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LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Jul 13, Tuesday





CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Vowel Progression … the first letter of all of today’s answer is an H, and the second letter progresses through the vowels:
18A. Subjects for Monet HAYSTACKS
22A. Sounded like an donkey HEE-HAWED
38A. Like someone needing a lot of attention HIGH MAINTENANCE
49A. Barn dances HOEDOWNS
58A. "Love Actually" actor HUGH GRANT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Oxymoronic shrimp type JUMBO
The word "oxymoron" is in itself an oxymoron, as it is derived from the Greek words "Oxys" and "moros" meaning "sharp" and "stupid".

15. Chop __ SUEY
Many believe that the Chinese dish known as chop suey was invented in America, by Chinese immigrants. In fact, by the time it showed up in the US it already existed in the Taishan district of Guangdong in southeast China, the origin of many of those immigrants. “Chop suey” translates as “assorted pieces”, and is made up of some meat and eggs quickly cooked with vegetables in a thickened sauce.

18. Subjects for Monet HAYSTACKS
The Impressionist painter Claude Monet made a whole series of paintings featuring haystacks. There are a total of 25 canvases title “Haystacks” that Monet painted between 1890 and 1891 near his home in Giverny in France.

Claude Monet painted the harbor of Le Havre in the north of France in 1872, giving it the title "Impression, Sunrise". The painting is not a "realistic" representation of the scene in front of him, hence the name "impression". It was this very painting that gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement.

20. Pocketed, as a pool ball SANK
The more correct name for the game of pool is pocket billiards. The name "pool" arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in "pool halls", places where gamblers "pooled" their money to bet on horse races.

21. Broke the Tenth Commandment COVETED
The tenth Commandment is, “You shall not covet”. The tenth Commandment is unique among the series of ten in that it is the only one that focuses on thought as opposed to outward action.

22. Sounded like an donkey HEE-HAWED
I guess the “an” in the clue is a typo and should read “a”.

28. Tanzania's __ es Salaam DAR
Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, and sits right on the east coast of Africa. The city’s name is usually translated from Arabic as “Haven of Peace”.

29. Thomas More's perfect world UTOPIA
The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More for his book "Utopia" published in 1516 describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More's use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek "ou" meaning "not" and "topos" meaning "place". By calling his perfect island "Not Place", More was apparently making the point that he didn't think that the ideal could actually exist.

37. Pre-Easter season LENT
In Latin, the Christian season that is now called Lent was termed "quadragesima" (meaning "fortieth"), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term "Lent" was introduced. "Lent" comes from "lenz", the German word for "spring".

42. Gourmet's prefix GASTRO-
The prefix “gastro-” comes from the Greek word “gaster” meaning “belly, paunch”.

43. __ Moines DES
The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French "Riviere des Moines" meaning "River of the Monks". It looks like there isn't any "monkish" connection to the city's name per se. "Des Moines" was just the name given by French traders who corrupted "Moingona", the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

44. Self-described "short, stocky, slow-witted bald man" of "Seinfeld" GEORGE
The character called Elaine Benes, unlike Jerry, Kramer and George, did not appear in the pilot episode of "Seinfeld". NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too "male-centric".

58. "Love Actually" actor HUGH GRANT
The English actor Hugh Grant’s full name is Hugh John Mungo Grant. Grant’s breakthrough came with his leading role in 1994’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. That was a fabulous performance. Sadly, I think Grant has basically been playing the same character ever since …

“Love, Actually” is a wonderful British romantic comedy, a film we watch every Christmas. The movie has a great ensemble cast and was written and directed by Richard Curtis. Curtis was also the man behind “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “Notting Hill”. “Love, Actually” is very much in the same style as these earlier films.

63. Willy of "Free Willy," e.g. ORCA
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name "orca", rather than "killer whale", is becoming more and more common. The Latin word "Orcinus" means "belonging to Orcus", with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

The orca who starred in the 1993 movie "Free Willy" was actually called Keiko, with Willy being his "stage name". Keiko had a sad life. He was captured near Iceland in 1979 and sold to a local aquarium. Subsequently he was sold on to Marineland in Ontario, and then Six Flags Mexico in 1985. After starring in the movie, his fans raised money with the intent of returning Keiko to the wild. Keiko had become very ill, partly from being confined in a small tank in Mexico, so a lot of money had to be spent returning him to good health. He was purchased by the Oregon Coast Aquarium who undertook the task of treating him and preparing him for the wild. You might recall the dramatic journey he took from Mexico to Oregon in US Air Force transport plane in 1996. Having regained his health, he was flown to Iceland and there was gradually reintroduced into the wild. Sadly, Keiko did not fare too well back in the ocean. He was never adopted by a pod, so lived a solitary life. He lost weight, would sometimes follow fishing boats and play with any humans who would give him attention. In 2003 he beached himself in Taken Bay in Norway, where he died.

67. Quintet of assassins? ESSES
There are five letters S in the word “assassins”.

Down
1. Sprees JAGS
The word "jag" is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

2. Awful Heep URIAH
Uriah Heep is a sniveling insincere character in the novel "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens. The character is such a "yes man" that today, if we know someone who behaves the same way, then we might call that person a "Uriah Heep".

3. Hundred Acre Wood creator MILNE
Hundred Acre Wood is where Winnie the Pooh lives with his friends. According to a map illustrating the books by A. A. Milne, Hundred Acre Wood is part of a larger forest, with Owl's house sitting right at the center.

5. Covert WWII agcy. OSS
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war, the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

7. Like Cary Grant characters SUAVE
Cary Grant was an actor from England who made it big, really big in Hollywood. “Cary Grant” is a stage name, chosen by Archibald Leach. There’s a great moment in the film “His Girl Friday” when Grant says the line “I never had so much fun since Archie Leach died”, an inside joke.

9. Part of TBS: Abbr. SYST
Turner Broadcasting System (TBS)

10. Flower with sword-shaped leaves GLADIOLA
I usually refer the flower in the singular as “gladiolus” and in the plural as “gladioli”. Apparently the singular can also be “gladiola”.

The gladiolus is a perennial flower in the iris family, and is sometimes called the Sword Lily.

11. Legendary bird ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants.

12. Noah's boat ARK
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board "every clean animal by sevens ... male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth". Apparently "extras" (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

21. 2011 Polanski comedy with an ironically violent title CARNAGE
“Carnage” is a comedy film directed by Roman Polanski that was released in 2011. The film is based on a play by French playwright Yasmina Reza called “God of Carnage”.

Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, and an Oscar winner for directing the 2002 movie "The Pianist". Polanski has had an eventful life. His pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family in 1969. In 1977, Polanksi was arrested in Los Angeles for sexual assault of 13-year-old girl, and pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor. He fled the country to avoid sentencing, and is now awaiting extradition to the US from Switzerland after the US requested his transfer in 2009.

23. "The Lost Boys" actor Corey HAIM
Corey Haim was a Canadian actor and teen idol. Haim found success in Hollywood at a very early age, and he also discovered drugs at a very early age, using by the time he was fifteen years old. Haim died when he was 41, in 2010.

27. David who directed four Harry Potter films YATES
David Yates is an English film director, most famous now for having directed the last four of the “Harry Potter” movies. However, he was also responsible for the outstanding 2003 TV political thriller series “State of Play” and excellent made-for-TV drama “”The Girl in the CafĂ©”.

30. Hooligans THUGS
There used to be a band of of murderers and robbers in India, famous for their use of the weapon called a garrote. These felons were known locally as "thuggees" (from the Hindi word for "thief"). This gave us our contemporary word "thug" meaning a brute.

“Hooligan” is a word that arose in England in the late 1800s and describes an aggressive and violent youth. The term is apparently derived from the Irish family name of “Houlihan”. I can’t think way …

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

36. Giant star 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.

39. Astronomer who discovered Uranus HERSCHEL
William Herschel was a British (born in Germany) astronomer who discovered Uranus and two of its moons, as well two moons of Saturn. Herschel also discovered infrared radiation. If that’s not enough, he was also an accomplished composer and wrote 24 symphonies.

45. Trivial Pursuit category: Abbr. GEOG
Trivial Pursuit was invented in 1979 by two Canadians from Montreal. The pair decided to come up with their own game after they discovered that there were pieces missing from the game of Scrabble that they wanted to play. There was a full blown launch of a commercial version of the game in 1982. In 2008, Hasbro bought the complete rights to Trivial Pursuit, for US$80 million! On a personal note, I met my lovely wife over a game of Trivial Pursuit ...

47. Stereotypical professorial attire TWEEDS
Tweed is a rough woolen fabric very much associated with Scotland in the UK, and County Donegal in Ireland. The cloth was originally called “tweel”, the Scots word for “twill”. Apparently a London merchant misinterpreted some handwriting in the early 1800s and assumed the fabric was called “tweed”, a reference to the Scottish River Tweed., and the name stuck …

49. White with age HOARY
The Old English word "har" meant "gray, venerable, old", and came into English as "hoar" (and later "hoary") with the same meaning. The term "hoar-frost" dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man's beard.

51. James and Jones of jazz ETTAS
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song "At Last". Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

Etta Jones was a jazz singer, sometimes known as the "jazz musician's jazz singer". Because she has a similar name to Etta James, Jones was often confused with the more popular singer. Jones never really had any huge commercial success though, despite the respect that she engendered within the inner sanctums of the jazz world.

52. Greek vacation island NAXOS
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was raised in a cave on the island.

57. IRS identifiers SSNS
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.

58. Publisher wearing p.j.'s HEF
Hugh Hefner is from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for "Esquire" magazine. He left "Esquire" to found his own publication that he called "Playboy", which first hit the newsstands in 1953. "Playboy" has been around ever since.

Our word "pajamas" comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where "pai jamahs" were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And "pajamas" is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is "pyjamas".

59. 108-card game UNO
In my youth I remember being taught a great card game, by a German acquaintance of mine, called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that's used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

60. Bearded beast GNU
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, an antelope native to Africa. "Wildebeest" is actually the Dutch word for "wild beast".

61. __ kwon do TAE
Taekwondo is the national sport of Korea. "Tae" means "to strike or break with foot"; "kwon" means "to strike or break with fist"; "do" means "way" or "art". Along with judo, taekwondo is one of only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Oxymoronic shrimp type JUMBO
6. Sets, as a price ASKS
10. Overcast GRAY
14. Opera solos ARIAS
15. Chop __ SUEY
16. The stuff of legends LORE
17. Fish organs GILLS
18. Subjects for Monet HAYSTACKS
20. Pocketed, as a pool ball SANK
21. Broke the Tenth Commandment COVETED
22. Sounded like an donkey HEE-HAWED
24. Wimp SISSY
28. Tanzania's __ es Salaam DAR
29. Thomas More's perfect world UTOPIA
30. With 41-Across, thing sometimes resisted THE
33. Words welcoming speakers INTROS
37. Pre-Easter season LENT
38. Like someone needing a lot of attention HIGH MAINTENANCE
41. See 30-Across URGE
42. Gourmet's prefix GASTRO-
43. __ Moines DES
44. Self-described "short, stocky, slow-witted bald man" of "Seinfeld" GEORGE
46. Bankbook cred. INT
48. Taste, e.g. SENSE
49. Barn dances HOEDOWNS
54. Lame excuses COP OUTS
56. Absorbs, as a loss EATS
58. "Love Actually" actor HUGH GRANT
61. State whose motto is "Friendship" TEXAS
62. Kin of -trix -ENNE
63. Willy of "Free Willy," e.g. ORCA
64. Embellish ADORN
65. Umpire's call FOUL
66. Turns green, say DYES
67. Quintet of assassins? ESSES

Down
1. Sprees JAGS
2. Awful Heep URIAH
3. Hundred Acre Wood creator MILNE
4. Refused to cooperate BALKED
5. Covert WWII agcy. OSS
6. Vote by __ of hands A SHOW
7. Like Cary Grant characters SUAVE
8. Excited, with "up" KEYED
9. Part of TBS: Abbr. SYST
10. Flower with sword-shaped leaves GLADIOLA
11. Legendary bird ROC
12. Noah's boat ARK
13. "You betcha!" YES!
19. Midterm, say TEST
21. 2011 Polanski comedy with an ironically violent title CARNAGE
23. "The Lost Boys" actor Corey HAIM
25. Go on a shopping spree SPEND
26. Because SINCE
27. David who directed four Harry Potter films YATES
29. Log-in needs USER IDS
30. Hooligans THUGS
31. Newly employed person HIREE
32. Goad EGG ON
34. Alejandro's aunt TIA
35. ER VIPs RNS
36. Giant star Mel OTT
39. Astronomer who discovered Uranus HERSCHEL
40. "Mustn't do" thing NO-NO
45. Trivial Pursuit category: Abbr. GEOG
47. Stereotypical professorial attire TWEEDS
49. White with age HOARY
50. 1/16 of a pound OUNCE
51. James and Jones of jazz ETTAS
52. Greek vacation island NAXOS
53. Fixed look STARE
55. Poke PROD
57. IRS identifiers SSNS
58. Publisher wearing p.j.'s HEF
59. 108-card game UNO
60. Bearded beast GNU
61. __ kwon do TAE


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2 comments:

Addict said...

Intro and then some

And just for giggles

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Addict.

Two great, great clips. Wonderful to see those stars of the past on the dais, all puffing away on cigarettes like a scene from "Madmen". And as for Abbott & Costello, well, they don't make 'em like that anymore! :)

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