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LA Times Crossword Answers 4 May 13, Saturday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Frederick J. Healy
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 17m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … ROD (bod!), ELEAZAR (Eleazab), ZIP (dip), TARZANA (Tardana)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. No ordinary joe? MOCHA LATTE
Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, and gave its name to the Mocha coffee bean.

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian "caffelatte" meaning "coffee (and) milk". Note that in the correct spelling of "latte", the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the "e". An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as "joe", but we've been doing so since early in WWII.

11. Fabergé egg decor GEMS
Fabergé eggs are beautiful jeweled eggs made by the House of Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. The tradition of fabricating the eggs started when Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé to create a jeweled egg for his wife in 1885. After this, the House of Fabergé produced more and more elaborate designs, year after year.

16. Slightly off ALOP
I had to go to one of my two huge volumes of the OED to find the definition of "alop". It means "lop-sided". A lovely word, but amazingly it seems to have avoided the Internet!

18. "Handwriting on the wall" word MENE
In the Book of Daniel, there is the story of the words "Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharson" being written mysteriously on the walls of the royal place. This story is the origin of the phrase "the writing's on the wall".

20. Poet whose muse was Maud Gonne YEATS
Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for "inspired poetry" that gave "expression to a whole nation". Yeats was Ireland's first Nobel laureate.

Maud Gonne was a colorful participant in the Irish struggle for a national identity. Gonne was of English birth, and moved to Ireland as a young woman when her father was posted there as a British Army officer. A few years after moving to Ireland, Gonne met famed poet William Butler Yeats and the two fell in love. The relationship between Yeats and Gonne did not last, even though Yeats proposed marriage to her four times over ten years. Maud married a Frenchman with whom she had two children. 23 years later, a 52-year old Yeats went so far as proposing marriage to Iseult Gonne, Maud’s only surviving daughter.

24. Bloemfontein's country: Abbr. RSA
Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of the Republic of South Africa (RSA), and is one of three capital cities in the country. Cape Town is the legislative capital, and Pretoria is the executive capital.

25. Coot GEEZER
Geezer and coot are two not-so-nice terms for an old man.

30. Terrier on "Frasier" EDDIE
Eddie is a Jack Russell Terrier who is a character in the hit sitcom “Frasier”. Over the show’s run, Eddie was first played by a dog called Moose, and was replaced by Moose’s son Enzo.

31. Hardly a Brown cheer? AAUGH!
“Aaugh!” is an exclamation of display often uttered by Charlie Brown in the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles Schulz.

33. Nearly extinct island language MANX
There are three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gàidhlig (in Scotland).

35. New Mexico county or its seat TAOS
The city of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo.

37. Word in a manual size description YEA
Someone might hold up his or hands and describe something as “yea big” meaning “this big”, the size indicated by the hands.

40. River valley silt LOESS
Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. "Loess" is German in origin and was first used to describe silt along the Rhine Valley.

49. Odorless gas ETHANE
Ethane is the second largest component of natural gas, after methane. Ethane’s main use is in the production of ethylene, a compound that is widely used in the chemical industry.

50. Oscar winner Lee ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as "Sense & Sensibility" (my personal favorite), "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Hulk", "Brokeback Mountain" and "Life of Pi".

53. Málaga title: Abbr. SRTA
The city of Malaga is on the Costa del Sol in the South of Spain, as are the famous European tourist destinations of Torremolinos and Marbella. The Costa del Sol was made up of sleepy little fishing villages until the 1980s when the European sunseekers descended on the region. I wouldn't recommend it for a holiday quite frankly ...

54. "Paint Your Wagon" composer LOEWE
Frederick Loewe was a composer best known for his collaborations with the lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, the most famous of which were “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot”.

“Paint Your Wagon” is a Lerner & Loewe musical comedy that opened on Broadway in 1951. The two most famous songs from the show are “Wand’rin’ Star” and “They Call the Wind Maria”. “Paint Your Wagon” was adapted into a very successful musical film released in 1969 starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg. Who can forget the very special rendition of “Wand’rin’ Star” by Lee Marvin?

55. "Things fall __; the centre cannot hold": 20-Across APART
“The Second Coming” is a poem by Irish poet William Butler Yeats. The first verse goes:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

57. Squat ZIP
“Squat” is a slang term for “nothing”, and probably has a distasteful derivation that is related to a bodily function.

58. Genetic lab samples DNAS
RNA and DNA are very similar molecules. One big difference is that RNA is a single strand structure, whereas DNA is famously a double-helix. Another difference is that RNA contains ribose as a structural unit, and DNA contains deoxyribose i.e. ribose with one less oxygen atom. And that ribose/deoxyribose difference is reflected in the full name of the two molecules: ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

62. Queen Mary, e.g. OCEAN LINER
The RMS Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner that worked the North Atlantic for the Cunard line from 1936 to 1967. The Queen Mary, along with her sister ship the Queen Elizabeth, dominated the transportation of passengers between Europe and North America from the end of WWII until jet planes came into service in the late 50s. The Queen Mary was built in Clydebank, adjacent to Glasgow, Scotland. The ship was named after Queen Mary, the consort of King George V. The Queen Mary now sits in Long Beach, California where it is used as a hotel and a tourist attraction. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area …

Down
4. Prince in both parts of "Henry IV" HAL
“Prince Hal” is a term used for Prince Henry, the son of the title character in Shakespeare’s plays “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2”. Prince Hal then becomes the King in Shakespeare's “Henry V”.

8. Horn blast TANTARA
A tantara is a fanfare from a trumpet or a horn.

9. Blast causes TNTS
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

10. Shogun's capital 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.

The shoguns of Japan were military dictators who generally inherited their position and power. The term “shogun” can be translated as ‘general”. The position of shogun was effectively eliminated in 1867 with the demise of the Tokugawa shogunate. The modern equivalent of a shogun in Japan is a prime minister.

12. Biblical priest whose name means "God has helped" ELEAZAR
Eleazar was a priest in the Hebrew Bible. Eleazar was the son of Aaron and hence was also the nephew of Moses.

13. __ Bay: Jamaican resort MONTEGO
Montego Bay is the second largest city on the island of Jamaica, after the capital Kingston. Montego Bay is a tourist destination with many cruise ships stopping there.

14. Picked up at a cocktail party? SPEARED
Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.

21. Tongue-tingling candies RED HOTS
Red Hots are cinnamon-flavored candy pieces. I just found out that Red Hots are sometimes used in apple sauce ...

29. Alibis OUTS
"Alibi" is the Latin word for "elsewhere" as in, "I claim that I was 'elsewhere' when the crime was committed ... I have an 'alibi'".

36. Conciliatory offers SOPS
Cerberus is a dog with three heads that appears in both Greek and Roman mythology. Cerberus had the job of guarding the gates of Hades and preventing those who had crossed the River Styx from ever escaping. A sop is a piece of food that has been dipped in some liquid, as one might sop a piece of bread in soup. There is an idiomatic expression, "to give a sop to Cerberus", which means to give someone a bribe, or pay someone off. The idea is that if one could bribe Cerberus, give him a sop to eat, then he would let you pass and escape from Hades.

38. Gulf of Finland republic ESTONIA
Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea, due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

43. Los Angeles neighborhood that's the former site of an Edgar Rice Burroughs ranch TARZANA
Tarzana is an affluent neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles. The community was developed on the site of a former ranch that was owned by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Burroughs of course wrote the popular “Tarzan” series of novels, and named his property Tarzana Ranch. Sadly, Tarzana's history includes racial segregation and privilege for the white population. This was instigated by Burroughs himself, who marketed the community he developed back in the 1920s using British imperial themes.

47. Anchor-chain openings HAWSES
The hawse is that part of the bow of a ship containing the hawse holes, holes through which hawsers can be passed. Hawsers are thick cables or ropes used in mooring or towing.

55. Chevron rival ARCO
ARCO stands for the Atlantic Richfield Company. One of ARCO's claims to fame is that it is responsible for the nation's largest Superfund site. Mining and smelting in the area around Butte, Montana polluted the region's water and soil, and ARCO have agreed to pay $187 million to help clean up the area.

56. Gentle application TALC
Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days "baby powder" can also be cornstarch.

60. Jazz pianist Evans GIL
Gil Evans was a jazz musician who collaborated with Miles Davis.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. No ordinary joe? MOCHA LATTE
11. Fabergé egg decor GEMS
15. Without a firm grip on reality IN LA LA LAND
16. Slightly off ALOP
17. Mad about REALLY INTO
18. "Handwriting on the wall" word MENE
19. Pre-date stop-off, maybe ATM
20. Poet whose muse was Maud Gonne YEATS
21. Rodeo catcher RIATA
22. Reneges, with "out" COPS
24. Bloemfontein's country: Abbr. RSA
25. Coot GEEZER
26. Garden bulbs LEEKS
28. Fits behind the wheel? ROAD RAGE
30. Terrier on "Frasier" EDDIE
31. Hardly a Brown cheer? AAUGH!
32. Hot __ ROD
33. Nearly extinct island language MANX
35. New Mexico county or its seat TAOS
37. Word in a manual size description YEA
40. River valley silt LOESS
42. Register button TOTAL
46. "No kidding!" IS THAT SO?
48. Avalanche SPATE
49. Odorless gas ETHANE
50. Oscar winner Lee ANG
53. Málaga title: Abbr. SRTA
54. "Paint Your Wagon" composer LOEWE
55. "Things fall __; the centre cannot hold": 20-Across APART
57. Squat ZIP
58. Genetic lab samples DNAS
59. Pub diversion TRIVIA GAME
61. Run out of steam TIRE
62. Queen Mary, e.g. OCEAN LINER
63. Stable diet OATS
64. Top-notch WORLD-CLASS

Down
1. Wonder MIRACLE
2. Like some salamanders or sloths ONE-TOED
3. Held in place, in a way CLAMPED
4. Prince in both parts of "Henry IV" HAL
5. One working with you ALLY
6. Coat LAYER
7. Cover ALIAS
8. Horn blast TANTARA
9. Blast causes TNTS
10. Shogun's capital EDO
11. More like venison GAMIER
12. Biblical priest whose name means "God has helped" ELEAZAR
13. __ Bay: Jamaican resort MONTEGO
14. Picked up at a cocktail party? SPEARED
21. Tongue-tingling candies RED HOTS
23. Take from the top SKIM
25. Loopy GAGA
27. Prevailing winds help determine one SEA LANE
29. Alibis OUTS
31. Good fellers? AXES
34. Bill NOTE
36. Conciliatory offers SOPS
37. Lose the battle with YIELD TO
38. Gulf of Finland republic ESTONIA
39. Good way to be young? AT HEART
41. More in need of rinsing SOAPIER
43. Los Angeles neighborhood that's the former site of an Edgar Rice Burroughs ranch TARZANA
44. On occasion AT TIMES
45. Ballerinas, often LEAPERS
47. Anchor-chain openings HAWSES
51. Like some blockades NAVAL
52. Coffee selection GRIND
55. Chevron rival ARCO
56. Gentle application TALC
59. Pull TOW
60. Jazz pianist Evans GIL


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Posted by Bill Butler
Google+

3 comments:

Addict said...

Bill, For 62A I confidently put in
cruise ship. Boy! Did that screw up that section for a while.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Addict,

I find that kind of mistake can just be a matter of good or bad luck. Just one letter already filled in from another answer and the error won't happen.

Lick of the draw!

Addict said...

Yeah, I know. I always check for a perp but didn't have any. But, It all worked out in the end, although I was an hour into it :)

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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.

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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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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 everyday 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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