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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Jul 13, Friday





CROSSWORD SETTER: John Lampkin
THEME: Finish with Written Works … today’s themed answers all end with a piece of writing:
17A. Article about a bottle of whiskey? FIFTH COLUMN
62A. Essay for grammar class? PERIOD PIECE
11D. Report on the site of the Humpty-Dumpty tragedy? WALLPAPER
34D. Drama about Trigger? HORSEPLAY
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 30m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. '90s-'00s first baseman Martinez TINO
Tino Martinez has retired from Major League Baseball. Martinez played first base for a number of teams including the Mariners, Yankees, Cardinals and Devil Rays. Martinez was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and as a boy he worked in his father's cigar factory.

16. Old ring leader? ALI
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali was presented with a gold medal during those '96 Games, a replacement for the medal he won at the 1960 Olympics. He had thrown the original into the Ohio River as a gesture of disgust after being refused service at a "whites only" restaurant.

17. Article about a bottle of whiskey? FIFTH COLUMN
“Fifth column” is the name given to a group of people who work from within to undermine or sabotage a nation or larger group. The term originated during the Spanish Civil War and was coined by General Emilio Mola who said that he had four columns of troops approaching Madrid and a “fifth column” of supporters within the city who would rise and up assist the regular troops.

A “fifth” is an American unit of volume used for liquor. It used to be equal to one fifth of a US gallon. Since the seventies we’ve been using a “metric fifth” which is equal to 750 mL, the standard size for wine bottles around the world.

19. Bar in the shower LUX
The British company Lever Brothers introduced a brand of household soap known as Sunlight in 1884. A flaked version of Sunlight was then introduced first in India, under the brand name "Lux". The same name was used when the product was launched in the US in 1916. The flaked form of soap meant that much less lye was needed as an ingredient, making a "gentler" product. So, in the US, the original marketing hook was to use Lux for laundering a woman's "delicates" without fear of lye yellowing the satins and silks.

20. Blowup cause TNT
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.

22. Loud salute SALVO
A salvo is a simultaneous discharge of guns. Ironically, “salvo” comes from the Latin “salve” meaning “be in good health”. Salvo was originally the name given to the firing of guns in the air as a sign of respect or greeting for an important visitor. Good health!

29. Bar in the kitchen OLEO
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".

31. Composer/conductor Boulanger NADIA
Nadia Boulanger was a composer and music teacher from Paris. Included in her impressive list of students were Aaron Copland, Quincy Jones and Philip Glass. Boulanger was also the first woman to conduct some respected orchestras including the BBC Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Hallé, the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia.

32. Macy's competitor KOHL’S
Kohl’s is a department store chain with its headquarters in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The store takes its name from the founder, Maxwell Kohl.

The original Macy’s store was opened by Rowland Hussey Macy in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1851. This store, and several others that Macy opened, all failed. Macy picked himself up though, and started over again in New York City. Those early New York stores all focused on the sale of dry goods, but added departments quickly as the clientele grew. The Macy’s “star” logo has been around since the company was first established. Macy chose the star because it mimicked the star tattoo that he got as a teenager when he was working on a whaling ship out of Nantucket.

37. Hardly a back rd. TPKE
Back in the 15th century a “turnpike” was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travellers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.

41. Autobiography? IBOOK
iBook is Apple’s e-book application.

43. One born unfree SERF
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. "Serf" comes from the Latin "servus", meaning "slave".

44. Beaver's expletive? DAMN
Damn dam …

45. Antarctic phenomena BERGS
An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. Out use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

53. Antarctic phenomenon ICECAP
The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the land mass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

58. Downwind ALEE
"Alee" is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing "aweather".

66. That niña ESA
In Spanish, a padre’s (father’s) boy is a “niño”, and his girl is a “niña”.

69. King of Spain REY
In Spanish, a king (rey) might wear a crown (una corona).

70. Den piece SETTEE
“Settee” is another word for a couch. The term come from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

Down
1. New England school with a campus in the French Alps TUFTS
Tufts University is a private school near Boston. The school was built in 1852 on land donated by Charles Tuft a local businessman. One of the early benefactors of the school was P. T. Barnum who funded the Barnum Museum of Natural History located on the college grounds. This museum is home to the stuffed hide of Jumbo, the famous elephant. Jumbo is the school’s mascot.

4. Cooperstown's Mel OTT
At 5' 9", Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don't think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

8. Seminoles' sch. FSU
Florida State University (FSU) is located in Tallahassee, the state capital of Florida. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Seminoles. The team name was chosen in 1947 by the students in a vote, and alludes to the Seminole people who originally lived in the state. Most of the Seminole now live in Oklahoma, after their forced relocation by the US government in the 1840s.

9. Certain leaf beetle's target ELM
Dutch elm disease is a fungus devastating to all species of elm trees that is transmitted by the elm bark beetle. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia and is now rampant in Europe and North America. Even though there is a hybrid of elm known as the Dutch elm, the disease isn't named after the tree. Rather, the disease is called "Dutch" as it was identified in 1921 by a phytopathologist (plant pathologist) in the Netherlands.

11. Report on the site of the Humpty-Dumpty tragedy? WALLPAPER
Humpty Dumpty is a character in a nursery rhyme, actually an egg although that isn’t specifically called out in the original rhyme:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

12. Candy heart message I LUV U
The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We've been able to buy Sweethearts with the words "Text me" since 2010.

13. "__ in China": John Adams opera NIXON
“Nixon in China” is an opera by John Adams, libretto by Alice Goodman. The piece was of course inspired by President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972.

John Adams is a composer now based in California. Adams gained prominence with his 1987 opera “Nixon in Paris”. His works are usually described as in the minimalist genre. I had the privilege of hearing a work of his called “Absolute Jest” in San Francisco recently, in the presence of the composer.

32. Valuable rock nos. KTS
I know that “karat” is a variant spelling of “carat”, the measure of the purity of gold. I don’t recall seeing “karat” used as a variant of “carat”, the unit of mass used in measuring gemstones. Again, I might have missed something ...

34. Drama about Trigger? HORSEPLAY
Roy Rogers had a famous horse, a palomino named Trigger. When Rogers met up with Trigger, he was a “horse-for-rent” who appeared regularly in films. He was called Golden Cloud back then, and one of the horse's roles was as the mount of Maid Marian, played by Olivia de Havilland in “The Adventures of Robin Hood”. After Rogers rode Golden Cloud in his first major movie, he bought him and renamed him Trigger.

36. Tuba player's mantra? OOM
A “mantra” is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating.

The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). "Tuba" is the Latin word for "trumpet, horn". Oom-pah-pah ...

39. Mag wheels? EDS
Editors are big wheels at a magazine.

41. Like a bump on a log IDLE
Someone who is idle, inactive might be said to be “like a bump on a log”.

45. __ curls BICEP
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

50. __ Rouge KHMER
Followers of the Communist Party in Cambodia were called the Khmer Rouge. The group was formed in 1968 and then became the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. While the Khmer Rouge were in charge, the country was renamed to Democratic Kampuchea.

52. Manet's medium PAINT
The French painter Édouard Manet is responsible for many great works including "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe" (The Luncheon on the Grass") , a work you can see in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

55. Race site for 300+ years ASCOT
Ascot Racecourse is used for thoroughbred horse racing, and is located in the town of Ascot, Berkshire in England. The course is located just six miles from Windsor Castle, and is often visited by members of the royal family. Royal Ascot is the name given to the most famous race meeting in the year, at which members of the royal family attend each day, arriving in horse-drawn carriages amidst great ceremony.

56. Rounded hand-tool parts PEENS
The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

59. Rock band? LODE
A lode is metal ore deposit that's found between two layers of rock or in a fissure.

65. Dockworker's gp. ILA
The International Longshoremen's Association (ILA)


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. '90s-'00s first baseman Martinez TINO
5. Batter like the wind BUFFET
11. Best in a game WIN
14. Whole thing, or its part UNIT
15. Maroon ENISLE
16. Old ring leader? ALI
17. Article about a bottle of whiskey? FIFTH COLUMN
19. Bar in the shower LUX
20. Blowup cause TNT
21. Prefix with bound EAST-
22. Loud salute SALVO
24. Bird's-eye view provider SKYCAM
26. Folksy HOMESPUN
29. Bar in the kitchen OLEO
31. Composer/conductor Boulanger NADIA
32. Macy's competitor KOHL’S
35. Black, to Jacques NOIR
37. Hardly a back rd. TPKE
40. Walked TROD
41. Autobiography? IBOOK
42. Unwanted growth WEED
43. One born unfree SERF
44. Beaver's expletive? DAMN
45. Antarctic phenomena BERGS
46. They can make good impressions SEALS
48. Start to get going STIR
50. Seriously involved KNEE-DEEP
53. Antarctic phenomenon ICECAP
57. Get going HOP TO
58. Downwind ALEE
60. Put in service USE
61. Service-related: Abbr. MIL
62. Essay for grammar class? PERIOD PIECE
66. That niña ESA
67. Faddish TRENDY
68. King with a notable nape LION
69. King of Spain REY
70. Den piece SETTEE
71. They evolved from wasp-like ancestors ANTS

Down
1. New England school with a campus in the French Alps TUFTS
2. Indelibly IN INK
3. Peachy-keen NIFTY
4. Cooperstown's Mel OTT
5. Evolved into BECAME
6. Juan's "some" UNOS
7. Laundry challenge FILTH
8. Seminoles' sch. FSU
9. Certain leaf beetle's target ELM
10. Became anxious TENSED
11. Report on the site of the Humpty-Dumpty tragedy? WALLPAPER
12. Candy heart message I LUV U
13. "__ in China": John Adams opera NIXON
18. Makes sound HEALS
23. So to speak AS IT WERE
25. Cause of a sudden withdrawal COLD FEET
27. Shallot relatives ONIONS
28. Dog-ear, e.g. MARK
30. Hoping to score ON BASE
32. Valuable rock nos. KTS
33. Rock with promise ORE
34. Drama about Trigger? HORSEPLAY
36. Tuba player's mantra? OOM
38. Suds holder KEG
39. Mag wheels? EDS
41. Like a bump on a log IDLE
45. __ curls BICEP
47. Accepts, as a resolution ADOPTS
49. Eye-popping shirt TIE-DYE
50. __ Rouge KHMER
51. Tumult NOISE
52. Manet's medium PAINT
54. Bring up to speed CUE IN
55. Race site for 300+ years ASCOT
56. Rounded hand-tool parts PEENS
59. Rock band? LODE
63. Previous to ERE
64. IRA part: Abbr. RET
65. Dockworker's gp. ILA


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2 comments:

Addict said...

That
Damn

Dam

Bill Butler said...

I like your sense of humor, Addict :)

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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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