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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 8 May 13, Wednesday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
THEME: Paper Trails … each of the themed answers ends with a word that can be preceded by PAPER:
17A. *"We've got this one!" IT’S IN THE BAG! (from “paper bag”)
24A. *Mischievous child PECK'S BAD BOY (from “paperboy”)
38A. *YouTube piece ONLINE VIDEO CLIP (from “paperclip”)
49A. *India's national animal BENGAL TIGER (from “paper tiger”)

60A. What auditors look for, and, in a way, what the ends of the answers to starred clues are PAPER TRAILS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 07m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Fabric named for an Asian capital DAMASK
Damask was originally a weaving technique associated with the Byzantine and Islamic weaving centers of the Middle Ages. "Damask" comes from the name of Damascus which was a major trading city at that time.

7. Letter-shaped lift T-BAR
A T-bar is a type of ski lift in which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There's also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

11. Suntan lotion letters SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun ...

14. Eight-time tennis Grand Slam champion AGASSI
Renowned tennis professional Andre Agassi wrote an autobiography called "Open", published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi's famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

16. Covert ops gp. CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

20. Anglo-French fliers until 2003 SSTS
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s AĆ©rospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC).

24. *Mischievous child PECK'S BAD BOY (from “paperboy”)
“Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa” is a book by American writer and politician George Wilbur Peck. The book spawned a term “Peck’s bad boy” that is used for someone who exhibits annoying and embarrassing behavior.

32. Ferrell's "SNL" partner in "Morning Latte" skits OTERI
Cheri Oteri was the SNL cast member who regularly appeared with Will Farrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

34. Some PCs IBMS
IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name of International Business Machines (IBM) was given first to the company's Canadian subsidiary, and then its South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice ...

38. *YouTube piece ONLINE VIDEO CLIP (from “paperclip”)
YouTube is a video-sharing website, launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion ... less than two years after it was founded ...

43. Fun unit? TON
Tons of fun …

44. Crete peak: Abbr. MT IDA
There are two peaks called Mount Ida that are sacred according to Greek mythology. Mount Ida in Crete is the island's highest point, and is where one can find the cave in which Zeus was reared. Mount Ida in Asia Minor (located in modern-day Turkey) is where Ganymede was swept up by Zeus in the form of an eagle that took him to Olympus where he served as cupbearer to the gods.

49. *India's national animal BENGAL TIGER (from “paper tiger”)
The Bengal tiger is the most populous subspecies of tiger in the world, yet it is still in danger of extinction. There are estimated to be under 2,500 individual Bengal tigers on the planet, with most in India and Bangladesh. The Bengal tiger is the national animal of both countries.

A paper tiger is something that appears to be threatening like a tiger, but when challenged tends to back down. The term “paper tiger” is a direct translation of the Chinese phrase that has the same meaning.

54. Jack's place BOX
A Jack-in-the-box is child's toy. It's a box with a crank handle at the side. Turning the crank causes a tune to play (usually "Pop Goes the Weasel"), and at the right moment the lid pops open and a spring loaded clown character jumps up out of the box.

55. Soho stroller PRAM
Another word used in the UK that's rarely used over here is "pram", which in my day was the most common term for what is called a baby carriage in the US. "Pram" is short for "perambulator".

The area of London called Soho had a very poor reputation for most of the 20th century as it was home to the city’s red light district. Soho has been transformed though, and has been a very fashionable neighborhood since the 1980s.

59. Cyclades island IOS
The Cyclades are a group of islands in the Aegean Sea lying southeast of the Greek mainland. There are about 200 islands in the group, almost all of which are the peaks of a submerged mountain range. Ios is one of the larger islands, 11 miles long and 6 miles wide.

65. Pound of poetry EZRA
Ezra Pound was an American poet who spent much of his life wandering the world, spending years in London, Paris, and Italy. In Italy, Pound's work and sympathies for Mussolini's regime led to his arrest at the end of the war. His major work was the epic, albeit incomplete, "The Cantos". This epic poem is divided into 120 sections, each known as a canto.

67. Night sch. class ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

69. Biblical poetry PSALMS
The Greek word "psalmoi" originally meant "songs sung to a harp", and gave us the word "psalms".

Down
1. Where roasters may sit DAIS
Ultimately our word "dais" comes from the Latin "discus" meaning a "disk-shaped object". I guess that many a dias was disc-shaped ...

4. Yard sale caveat AS IS
A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

5. W-4 info: Abbr. SSN
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSn’s are assigned randomly.

A W-4 is an IRS tax from that is used by an employer to calculate the appropriate amount of tax withholding from an employee’s wages.

9. Parseghian of football ARA
Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as "The Era of Ara".

10. Jamaican genre REGGAE
Reggae is a genre of music that developed in the late sixties, evolving out of the genres of ska and rocksteady.

12. Scott Joplin's instrument PIANO
Scott Joplin was a great American composer and pianist, the "King of Ragtime". Joplin was born poor, into a laboring family in Texas. He learned his music from local teachers and started out his career as an itinerant musician, traveling around the American South. He found fame with the release of his 1899 composition "Maple Leaf Rag", regarded as the foundation stone on which ragtime music was built. Joplin's music, and ragtime in general, was rediscovered by the populous in the early seventies when it was used in the very successful movie "The Sting".

26. "Venerable" monk BEDE
The Venerable Bede was a monk in the north of England in the first century AD. Saint Bede is mainly known as an author and scholar, publisher of "The Ecclesiastical History of the English People".

28. Oxygen's 8: Abbr. AT NO
The atomic number of an element is also called the proton number, and is the number of protons found in the nucleus of each atom of the element.

29. Hawk SELL
The verb "to hawk" has a Germanic origin, from the Low German word "hoken" meaning "to peddle". A hawker is actually slightly different from a peddler by definition, as a hawker is a peddler that uses a horse and cart, or a van nowadays perhaps, to sell his or her wares.

30. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," for one TRILOGY
J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” is the second best-selling novel ever written, with only “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens having sold more copies around the world. Remarkably I think, the third best-selling novel is "The Hobbit", which was also written by Tolkien.

35. Sub on a screen BLIP
A submarine might show up on a sonar screen as a blip.

36. Modest skirt length MIDI
The midi skirt extends to the middle of the calf, and was very fashionable in the seventies.

40. Electrical unit VOLT
The volt is a unit of electric potential, or voltage. I always think of electrical voltage as something like water pressure The higher the pressure of water (voltage), the faster the water flows (the higher the electric current that flows).

41. "A Jug of Wine ..." poet OMAR
Omar Khayyam was a Persian with many talents. He was a poet as well as an important mathematician, astronomer and physician. A selection of his poems were translated by one Edward Fitzgerald in a collection called "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam".

Here are some lines by 11th-century poet Omar Khayyam:
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse -- and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness --
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

46. Spoke like Vito Corleone RASPED
Marlon Brando won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Vito Corleone in the 1972 blockbuster "The Godfather". He turned down the award and didn't attend the ceremony. Instead he sent a Native American rights activist called Sacheen Littlefeather who made a speech protesting the depiction of Native Americans in Hollywood movies. Brando wasn't the first person to refuse an Oscar. George C. Scott did the same thing when he won for playing the title role in 1970's "Patton". Scott just didn't like the whole idea of "competing" with other actors.

47. Composer Stravinsky IGOR
Igor Stravinsky's most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets "The Firebird", "Petrushka" and "The Rite of Spring" were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.

49. Unlikely hit on a 45 B-SIDE
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33 1/3 rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm "single" the following year, in 1949.

50. Preppy collars ETONS
An Eton collar is a wide, stiff, buttoned collar that is still part of the formal school uniform at Eton College near Windsor in England.

55. Smurf with a beard PAPA
The Smurfs are little blue men created by a Belgian cartoonist in 1958. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children's cartoon series. The characters are largely a group of males. The original lineup included just one "Smurfette", who is wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix called Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.

56. Little brook RILL
Rill, meaning a small brook or rivulet, has German roots, the same roots as "Rhine", the name of the major European river.

57. Grad 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. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

61. Dye that comes from the French word for nitrogen AZO
Azo compounds have very vivid colors and so are used to make dyes, especially dyes with the colors red, orange and yellow. The term “azo” comes from the French word “azote” meaning “nitrogen”. French chemist Lavoisier coined the term “azote” from the Greek word “azotos” meaning “lifeless”. He used this name as in pure nitrogen/azote animals dies and flames are snuffed out (due to a lack of oxygen).

63. OR or ER workers RNS
Registered nurses (RNs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fabric named for an Asian capital DAMASK
7. Letter-shaped lift T-BAR
11. Suntan lotion letters SPF
14. Eight-time tennis Grand Slam champion AGASSI
15. Finish line WIRE
16. Covert ops gp. CIA
17. *"We've got this one!" IT’S IN THE BAG! (from “paper bag”)
19. Snitch RAT
20. Anglo-French fliers until 2003 SSTS
21. Cuppa contents TEA
22. Haggard GAUNT
24. *Mischievous child PECK'S BAD BOY (from “paperboy”)
27. Fuel holder GAS TANK
31. Mind HEED
32. Ferrell's "SNL" partner in "Morning Latte" skits OTERI
33. i follower POD
34. Some PCs IBMS
38. *YouTube piece ONLINE VIDEO CLIP (from “paperclip”)
42. Opinion sampling POLL
43. Fun unit? TON
44. Crete peak: Abbr. MT IDA
45. Like some vaccines ORAL
47. Pirouetting IN A SPIN
49. *India's national animal BENGAL TIGER (from “paper tiger”)
53. Collar inserts STAYS
54. Jack's place BOX
55. Soho stroller PRAM
59. Cyclades island IOS
60. What auditors look for, and, in a way, what the ends of the answers to starred clues are PAPER TRAILS
64. ID material DNA
65. Pound of poetry EZRA
66. Render powerless? UNPLUG
67. Night sch. class ESL
68. Gloom partner DOOM
69. Biblical poetry PSALMS

Down
1. Where roasters may sit DAIS
2. 16-Across personnel AGTS
3. Spar MAST
4. Yard sale caveat AS IS
5. W-4 info: Abbr. SSN
6. Litter box trainee KITTEN
7. Fine-tune TWEAK
8. Seafood restaurant freebie BIB
9. Parseghian of football ARA
10. Jamaican genre REGGAE
11. Deep-clean SCRUB
12. Scott Joplin's instrument PIANO
13. Like marbled meat FATTY
18. "Dang!" HECK!
23. More than fans ADDICTS
24. "I feel your __" PAIN
25. Sporting footwear SHOD
26. "Venerable" monk BEDE
27. Sticky stuff GOOP
28. Oxygen's 8: Abbr. AT NO
29. Hawk SELL
30. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," for one TRILOGY
33. ATM access PIN
35. Sub on a screen BLIP
36. Modest skirt length MIDI
37. Stretch across SPAN
39. List shortener, for short ET AL
40. Electrical unit VOLT
41. "A Jug of Wine ..." poet OMAR
46. Spoke like Vito Corleone RASPED
47. Composer Stravinsky IGOR
48. On deck NEXT UP
49. Unlikely hit on a 45 B-SIDE
50. Preppy collars ETONS
51. Like some cavities NASAL
52. Letter-shaped girder I-BEAM
55. Smurf with a beard PAPA
56. Little brook RILL
57. Grad ALUM
58. Voice mails: Abbr. MSGS
61. Dye that comes from the French word for nitrogen AZO
62. Tour golfer, e.g. PRO
63. OR or ER workers RNS



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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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