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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 15 May 13, Wednesday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Thomas Takaro
THEME: H-aeiou-CK … today’s themed clues are a vowel progression wrapped in the letters H-CK:
17A. Hack TAXIDRIVER
23A. Heck ANNOYED OATH
37A. Hick BACKWOODS NATIVE
45A. Hock EQUINE ANKLE
57A. Huck BUDDY OF TOM
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 09m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
10. Early late-night host PAAR
Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

15. "__ Las Vegas" VIVA
“Viva Las Vegas” is an Elvis Presley movie released in 1964, considered to be one of his best films. The good reception for the movie was at least in part due to the performance of the female lead, Ann-Margret.

16. Comstock __: Nevada silver deposit LODE
The first major discovery of silver ore in the United States was in 1857 in the Virginia Range in western Utah Territory (now Nevada). The find is said to be have been made by two brothers, Ethan Allen Grosh and Hosea Ballou Grosh. The Grosh brothers died before they could register their claim, and Henry T. P Comstock made the claim instead, on learning of the deaths.

17. Hack TAXIDRIVER
Hackney is a location in London, and it probably gave it's name to a "hackney", an ordinary type of horse around 1300. By 1700 a "hackney" was a person hired to do routine work, and "hackneyed" meant "kept for hire". This morphed into a hackney carriage, a carriage or car for hire.

19. Weapons, in Latin ARMA
“Arma” is the Latin for “arms, weapons”. One famous use of the term is in the first words of Virgil’s “The Aeneid”. “Arma virumque cano …” translates as “I sing of arms and of a man …” This quotation inspired the title George Bernard Shaw used for his play “Arms and the Man”.

21. Abu Dhabi's fed. UAE
Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

22. Bit of tomfoolery ANTIC
In Middle English, in the middle of the 14th century, a mentally deficient man would be called a Thom Foole, sort of a nickname. We retain the name today in our word "tomfoolery" meaning "clowning around".

26. Suitable for marriage NUBILE
The word "nubile" can mean of a marrying age, or sexually attractive. The word generally applies to young women, and comes from the Latin "nubere" meaning "to take a husband".

40. Radical '70s gp. SLA
The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) was founded in 1973 by an escapee of the prison system, Donald DeFreeze. The group's manifesto promoted the rights of African Americans although, in the 2-3 year life of the group, DeFreeze was the only black member. Famously, the SLA kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst in 1974.

41. Charlotte __: dessert RUSSE
Charlotte Russe is a cold dessert consisting of Bavarian cream set in a mold layered with ladyfingers. The dessert was named by its creator in honor of Princess Charlotte, daughter of British King George IV, and in honor of Czar Alexander I of Russia (“russe” is French for “Russian”).

42. Columnist Abigail Van __ BUREN
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.

44. Nobelist Camus ALBERT
Albert Camus was a French author, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Sadly, Camus died in a car accident just two years after he received the prize, at only 46 years of age.

50. Stalin era prison GULAG
The Gulag was a government agency in the Soviet Union that administered forced labor camps. The term “gulag” was used for the camps themselves, especially when used for political dissidents. “GULag” is actually an acronym for the Russian “Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies”.

52. Tennis legend ASHE
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

56. Rice-A-__ RONI
Rice-a-Roni was introduced in 1958 by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company of San Francisco. The company was run by an Italian immigrant and his four sons. The wife of one of the sons served a pilaf dish at a family diner that was a big hit, so her brother-in-law created a commercial version by blending dry chicken soup mix with rice and macaroni. Sounds like "a San Francisco treat" to me ...

57. Huck BUDDY OF TOM
Tom Sawyer is of course a favorite character created by Mark Twain. He turns up in four of Twain's books:
- "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"
- "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
- "Tom Sawyer Abroad"
- "Tom Sawyer, Detective"

But that's not all, as he appears in at least three works that Twain left unfinished:
- "Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians" (a sequel to "Huckleberry Finn")
- "Schoolhouse Hill"
- "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy" (a sequel to "Tom Sawyer, Detective")

61. Sneaker brand AVIA
The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as "avia" is the Latin word for "to fly", and suggests the concept of aviation.

63. For whom the bell tolls THEE
John Donne wrote a piece of prose called “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions". One passage contains two phrases that are oft-quoted: “No man is an island”, and “for whom the bell tolls”.
No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

65. Office cartridge contents TONER
The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the unexposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery ...

Down
2. Q.E.D. word ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

3. Like begonias WAXY
Some begonias have “waxy” leaves.

4. "A Jew Today" writer Wiesel ELIE
Elie Wiesel is a holocaust survivor, best known for his book "Night" that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

5. "Dropped" drug LSD
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

6. Like doves and hawks AVIAN
"Avis" is the Latin word for a bird.

7. Danno's outfit, familiarly FIVE-O
Danny Williams is a character on the TV show “Hawaii Five-O”, both in the original version that first aired in 1968 and in the remake that was first broadcast in 2010. The original, “Danno” was played by James McArthur. In the remake, Danno is played by Scott Caan, son of Hollywood actor James Caan.

9. Wouk's "The Winds of __" WAR
Herman Wouk wrote three novels set in WWII:
- “The Caine Mutiny” (1951)
- “The Winds of War” (1971)
- “War and Remembrance” (1978)

11. Vital blood vessel AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

18. Mystical old letter RUNE
A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

24. Brooklynese pronoun YOUSE
The New York dialect of English is sometimes called Brooklynese, I believe, youse guys ...

27. Russia's __ Mountains URAL
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

28. Resort north of the Keys BOCA
The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

32. __ nova BOSSA
Bossa Nova is a style of music from Brazil that evolved from samba. The most famous piece of bossa nova is the song "The Girl from Ipanema".

33. Church based in SLC, Utah LDS
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often abbreviated to "LDS", is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

38. Yorkshire river OUSE
York is the biggest city on the River Ouse in Yorkshire. The name "Ouse" comes from the Celtic word "usa" meaning water.

39. Oleo holder TUB
Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. In 1869, a French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something that he called oleomargarine, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name "margarine". The name "oleomargarine" also gives us our generic term "oleo".

45. Long-legged flier 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.

46. Repeated, like Poe's raven QUOTH
"The Raven" is a narrative poem by Edgar Allen Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student's bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven's shadow and shall be lifted "nevermore" …

47. Forearm bones ULNAE
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the "thumb-side" of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the "pinkie-side".

48. It's the pits NADIR
The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

49. "You press the button, we do the rest" camera company KODAK
George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter "K", calling it "strong, incisive". He also wanted a word that was short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. "Kodak" fit the bill.

53. Slugger Musial STAN
Stan Musial is a retired baseball player who went by the nickname "Stan the Man", a moniker he was awarded by the Brooklyn Dodgers fans in 1946. Apparently, off the field Stan is quite the harmonica player.

54. Use a whetstone on HONE
“To hone” is to sharpen, a verb derived from the noun “hone” A “hone” is a whetstone used in sharpening.

55. 911 situation: Abbr. EMER
The first use of an emergency phone number nationally was in the UK in 1937, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It's not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that "fit" with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

57. Scrooge's scoff BAH!
The classic 1843 novella "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to the popular use of "Merry Christmas", and secondly it gave us the word "scrooge" meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that the character Scrooge was fond of using the now famous line "Bah! Humbug!".

58. Charlottesville sch. UVA
The University of Virginia (UVA) was of course founded by Thomas Jefferson, who sat on the original Board of Visitors with former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

59. Mo. for opals OCT
Here is the "official" list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:
January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl or Moonstone
July: Ruby
August: Sardonyx or Peridot
September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gem JEWEL
6. At least three A FEW
10. Early late-night host PAAR
14. Doctoral exams ORALS
15. "__ Las Vegas" VIVA
16. Comstock __: Nevada silver deposit LODE
17. Hack TAXIDRIVER
19. Weapons, in Latin ARMA
20. Ocular woe STYE
21. Abu Dhabi's fed. UAE
22. Bit of tomfoolery ANTIC
23. Heck ANNOYED OATH
26. Suitable for marriage NUBILE
30. Eat too much of, as junk food OD ON
31. "I'm on __!" A ROLL
32. More navy than teal, say BLUER
34. Duck foot feature WEB
37. Hick BACKWOODS NATIVE
40. Radical '70s gp. SLA
41. Charlotte __: dessert RUSSE
42. Columnist Abigail Van __ BUREN
43. Grief counselor's subject LOSS
44. Nobelist Camus ALBERT
45. Hock EQUINE ANKLE
50. Stalin era prison GULAG
51. Common letters in an email address AOL
52. Tennis legend ASHE
56. Rice-A-__ RONI
57. Huck BUDDY OF TOM
60. Depot postings, briefly ETAS
61. Sneaker brand AVIA
62. Long-legged flier CRANE
63. For whom the bell tolls THEE
64. Quaint "Listen!" HARK
65. Office cartridge contents TONER

Down
1. Writes on one's palm, say JOTS
2. Q.E.D. word ERAT
3. Like begonias WAXY
4. "A Jew Today" writer Wiesel ELIE
5. "Dropped" drug LSD
6. Like doves and hawks AVIAN
7. Danno's outfit, familiarly FIVE-O
8. 25-Down resident, for a time EVE
9. Wouk's "The Winds of __" WAR
10. Set aside time for PLAN ON
11. Vital blood vessel AORTA
12. Fess up ADMIT
13. Arrive at REACH
18. Mystical old letter RUNE
22. Cute as a button ADORABLE
23. Bad way to get it ALL WRONG
24. Brooklynese pronoun YOUSE
25. Genesis place EDEN
26. Takes into custody NABS
27. Russia's __ Mountains URAL
28. Resort north of the Keys BOCA
29. Type ILK
32. __ nova BOSSA
33. Church based in SLC, Utah LDS
34. Speaker-to-stereo link WIRE
35. Always EVER
36. Crooked BENT
38. Yorkshire river OUSE
39. Oleo holder TUB
43. Get together (with) LIAISE
44. Get together (with) ALLY
45. Long-legged flier EGRET
46. Repeated, like Poe's raven QUOTH
47. Forearm bones ULNAE
48. It's the pits NADIR
49. "You press the button, we do the rest" camera company KODAK
52. High hair AFRO
53. Slugger Musial STAN
54. Use a whetstone on HONE
55. 911 situation: Abbr. EMER
57. Scrooge's scoff BAH!
58. Charlottesville sch. UVA
59. Mo. for opals OCT



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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.

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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