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LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Jul 13, Thursday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Julian Lim
THEME: Ask for It … today’s themed answers end with something for which one might ask:
17A. *"Press Your Luck" contestant's cry BIG MONEY!
19A. *What sputtering might indicate ENGINE TROUBLE
34A. *Aid for the short? DEBT FORGIVENESS
47A. *Glee club on "Glee" NEW DIRECTIONS

54A. Ignore warnings, say ... and a hint to the last words of the answers to starred clues ASK FOR IT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Israel's Barak EHUD
Ehud Barak served as Prime Minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001. Barak left office after he called a special election for Prime Minister and lost the vote to Ariel Sharon. Barak resigned from the Knesset and took an advisory job with the US company Electronic Data Systems (EDS), and did some security-related work with a private equity company. In 2007, Barak took over leadership of Israel's Labor Party and is now the country's Minister of Defense.

5. Half an S-curve ZAG
Just the “zag” of a “zig-zag”.

8. Carol beginning ADESTE
The lovely hymn "Adeste Fideles" (aka "O Come, All Ye Faithful") was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time.

14. Honeymooner's island destination BORA BORA
Bora Bora is one of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The name “Bora Bora” is imitative of the Tahitian name for the island and should really be pronounced "pora pora". "Bora bora" translates as "first born".

16. Juice for Zeus NECTAR
In Greek mythology, according to Homer anyway, the drink of the gods was nectar, and their food was ambrosia.

17. *"Press Your Luck" contestant's cry BIG MONEY!
"Press Your Luck" is a game show that originally aired from 1983 to 1986. This was the show on which contestants had to press a large button in order to stop a light that was flashing around 18 squares in front of them. If the light stopped on a “Whammy”, then they lost their turn and any accumulated money. Famously, a contestant named Michael Larson used the stop-motion feature on a VCR player to memorise the pattern flashed out by the supposedly random light. On air, Larson pressed the button and avoided the Whammy 45 times in a row and amassed winnings of over $110,000, a record for a daily game show. After Larson’s big win, the show’s producers made the light sequence more complicated so they didn’t run into the same problem again.

18. Bronx-to-Coney Island subway D TRAIN
The D is a subway service that has been running in Manhattan, New York since 1940.

21. Dr.'s specialty ENT
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)

22. Not just centuries EONS
In astronomical terms, an aeon (also “eon”) is defined as one billion years.

23. Big name in smooth jazz KENNY G
Saxophonist Kenny G's full name is Kenneth Bruce Gorelick. Kenny’s “G” might also stand for “golfer”, as in 2006 he was ranked by “Golf Digest” magazine as the number one golfer working in the field of music.

27. __ Nui: Easter Island RAPA
Rapa Nui is the Polynesian name for what we are more likely to call Easter Island. The European name was coined by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who came across the island on Easter Sunday in the year 1722. Easter Island is inhabited, and is a location that is remarkably distant from neighboring civilization. The nearest inhabited island is Pitcairn Island, almost 1300 miles away.

28. Netherlands carrier KLM
The acronym KLM stands for “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij”, which translates from Dutch as “Royal Aviation Company”. KLM is the flag carrier for the Netherlands, and is the oldest airline in the world still operating with its original name. It was founded in 1919.

31. Melville novel OMOO
Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for "Moby Dick"). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for "Typee"). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate that was bound for Boston (a source for "Omoo").

32. Card for tomorrow? TAROT
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future.

33. Big Apple sch. NYU
New York University (NYU) comprises of fifteen schools, one of which it the Tisch School of the Arts. The Tisch is famous for its acting program, with notable alumni such as Debra Messing, Christopher Guest and Josh Radnor.

Apparently the first published use of the term "Big Apple" to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book "The Wayfarer in New York":
"Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap."
Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

38. Chase Field team, on scoreboards ARI
The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball's National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

39. Betelgeuse's constellation ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is of course named after the Greek God Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion's "right shoulder", the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don't want to miss that ...

41. "The Spanish Tragedy" playwright Thomas KYD
Thomas Kyd's most famous work is "The Spanish Tragedy", written in the mid to late 1580s. Even though Kyd was a recognized dramatist within his own lifetime, he fell foul of the standards of the Privy Council of the day and was imprisoned and tortured for allegedly being an atheist. He died soon after, impoverished.

42. Nippon noodle UDON
Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisine like tempura.

43. Immunity agents T CELLS
T cells are a group of white blood cells that are essential components of the body's immune system. T cells are so called because they mature in the thymus, a specialized organ found in the chest.

45. Vermeer's "Girl With __ Hat" A RED
“Girl with a Red Hat” is one of only 34 or 35 paintings known to exist that were painted by the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer. You can see the painting in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Johannes Vermeer was born in the city of Delft in 1632, and died there some 43 years later. I just love Vermeer's paintings, and his wonderful use of light. A great example of such a work is his "Girl with a Pearl Earring". If you haven't seen it, I thoroughly recommend the 2003 movie "Girl with a Pearl Earring" starring Scarlett Johansson as the girl in the painting, and Colin Firth as Vermeer. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, so it's all just a great story as opposed to a documentary. The way the movie is shot really reflects the qualities of a Vermeer work of art. And, my wife and i are planning on taking a peek at the original painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” in a couple of weeks as it is visiting one of our galleries here in San Francisco.

46. Sale abbr. IRR
Irregular (irr.)

47. *Glee club on "Glee" NEW DIRECTIONS
The TV show called "Glee" has proven to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.

53. San __, Argentina ISIDRO
San Isidro is an affluent municipality in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Among San Isidro’s many claims to fame is that it is known as “the National Capital of Rugby” for the country.

57. "Father of American Universalism" Hosea __ BALLOU
Hosea Ballou was a clergyman and theologian from Richmond, New Hampshire. Ballou was an influential member of the Universalist Church that was established in America by John Murray.

59. Mum SILENT
The phrase “mum’s the word” has been around since the early 1700s. “Mum” has been used to mean “silent” for centuries, the idea being that “mum” is the sound made when the lips are tightly sealed.

60. Dash lengths ENS
In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an "m" character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an "n' character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. Th em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won't let me show you one!

61. "Critique of Pure Reason" philosopher KANT
Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century, German philosopher. Kant published "Perpetual Peace" in 1795, laying out what he believed were conditions for ending all wars and creating a lasting peace. The good news for us is that one of these conditions was to have a world full of constitutional republics, so it seems we are on the right track here in the US!

Down
2. __ polloi HOI
"Hoi polloi" is a Greek term, literally meaning "the majority, the many". In English, "hoi polloi" has come to mean "the masses" and is often used in a derogatory sense.

7. "Mercy Mercy Me" singer GAYE
"Mercy Mercy Me" is a 1971 Marvin Gaye song that bemoans the fate of the environment due to the ravages of man.

8. Longest-serving KGB chairman (1967-'82) ANDROPOV
Yuri Andropov was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1982 until he passed away just 15 months after taking office. Andropov had also served as head of the KGB from 1967 to 1982, making him the longest-serving KGB chairman in its history.

The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved at that time after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d'état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

10. Neutral paint choices ECRUS
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word "ecru" comes from French and means "raw, unbleached". "Ecru" has the same roots as our word "crude".

13. Ballyshannon's river ERNE
The River Erne in the north of Ireland is now linked to the River Shannon by the easily navigated Shannon-Erne Waterway. I’ve spent a little time cruising along the River Erne in my time …

Ballyshannon is a town in County Donegal in the northern part of the island of Ireland. Ballyshannon lays claim to being the oldest town in the whole country.

15. Tiger's concern BOGEY
The term "Bogey" originated at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England in 1890, and was used to indicate a total round that was one over par (and not one over par on a particular hole, as it is today). The name Bogey came from a music hall song of the time "Here Comes the Bogey Man". In the following years it became popular for players trying to stay at par to be "playing against Colonel Bogey". Then, during WWI, the marching tune "Colonel Bogey" was written and named after the golfing term. If you don't recognize the name of the tune, it's the one that's whistled by the soldiers marching in the great movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai".

By now, everyone must know everything there is to know about Tiger Woods. But did you know that Tiger's real name is Eldrick Tont Woods? "Tont" is a traditional Thai name.

23. Brand for shooters 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.

24. Polishing agent EMERY
Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

28. Lugubrious chime KNELL
The word "knell" is used for a solemn ring from a bell, often associated with death or a funeral. "Knell" comes the Old English "cnell" and is probably imitative in origin, sounding like a peal from a large bell.

“Lugubrious”is such a lovely word, a favorite of mine. “Lugubrious” means “mournful, gloomy” and comes from “lugere”, the Latin word for “to mourn”.

29. Antibacterial brand LYSOL
The disinfectant called Lysol takes its name from the words "lysosome" and "solvent". Lysosomes are structures found within cells that have the job of breaking up waste material and cellular debris.

32. Transistor's forerunner TRIODE
A triode is like a diode, in that it had a cathode from which electrons flow to an anode. However, there is a third terminal called a grid, between the cathode and anode. By applying a potential to the grid, the flow of electrons can be regulated.

36. Call for a pizza, say ORDER OUT
Well, I would say “order in”, but I suppose some might say “order out’ …

37. "__ wind, __ rain--__ golf!": Scottish adage NAE
The Scottish axiom states, “Nae wind, nae rain, nae golf”, meaning “no wind, no rain, no golf”. This is often restated as “without wind and rain, it’s just not golf”.

44. Lara of "Tomb Raider" CROFT
Lara Croft was first introduced to the world as the main character in a pretty cool video game (I thought) called "Tomb Raider", back in 1996. Lara Croft moved to the big screen in 2001 and 2003, in two pretty awful movie adaptations of the game's storyline. Angelina Jolie played Croft, and she did a very energetic job.

45. Mystify ADDLE
To be addled is to be confused.

47. His __: big shot NIBS
His Nibs is a term of unknown origin, used from the early 1800s to describe a boss, employer or a self-important person. However, I know that "His Nibs" is also used in the much older card game of cribbage (describing a jack), but maybe the term was added to the old game more recently.

48. Morales of "Caprica" ESAI
Esai Morales is best known for his role in the 1987 movie "La Bamba", which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai).

“Caprica” is a sci-fi television series that was written as a prequel to the show “Battlestar Galactica”. “Caprica” didn’t sit well with the public and was cancelled after just one season.

50. Actress Blanchett CATE
Cate Blanchett is a great Australian actress, and winner of an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in "The Aviator". Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information ...

51. Kindle competitor NOOK
The Barnes & Noble electronic-book reader is called the Nook. The Nook accounts for 10-15% of electronic book readers in the world.

52. Mex. miss SRTA
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish, and mademoiselle (Mlle.), is French for “Miss”.

55. K+, e.g. ION
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K. The “K” stands for “kalium”, a neo-Latin name for the element that is taken from the word “alkali”. The name “potassium” comes from “potash”, as potash is a mixture of potassium salts.

56. Asian holiday TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning "Feast of the First Morning". Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Israel's Barak EHUD
5. Half an S-curve ZAG
8. Carol beginning ADESTE
14. Honeymooner's island destination BORA BORA
16. Juice for Zeus NECTAR
17. *"Press Your Luck" contestant's cry BIG MONEY!
18. Bronx-to-Coney Island subway D TRAIN
19. *What sputtering might indicate ENGINE TROUBLE
21. Dr.'s specialty ENT
22. Not just centuries EONS
23. Big name in smooth jazz KENNY G
27. __ Nui: Easter Island RAPA
28. Netherlands carrier KLM
31. Melville novel OMOO
32. Card for tomorrow? TAROT
33. Big Apple sch. NYU
34. *Aid for the short? DEBT FORGIVENESS
38. Chase Field team, on scoreboards ARI
39. Betelgeuse's constellation ORION
40. Plenty A LOT
41. "The Spanish Tragedy" playwright Thomas KYD
42. Nippon noodle UDON
43. Immunity agents T CELLS
45. Vermeer's "Girl With __ Hat" A RED
46. Sale abbr. IRR
47. *Glee club on "Glee" NEW DIRECTIONS
53. San __, Argentina ISIDRO
54. Ignore warnings, say ... and a hint to the last words of the answers to starred clues ASK FOR IT
57. "Father of American Universalism" Hosea __ BALLOU
58. Close way to fight TOE-TO-TOE
59. Mum SILENT
60. Dash lengths ENS
61. "Critique of Pure Reason" philosopher KANT

Down
1. Diminish EBB
2. __ polloi HOI
3. Drive URGE
4. Denounce DAMN
5. Urban planner's concern ZONING
6. "__ you clever!" AREN’T
7. "Mercy Mercy Me" singer GAYE
8. Longest-serving KGB chairman (1967-'82) ANDROPOV
9. Go boom DETONATE
10. Neutral paint choices ECRUS
11. Wild guess STAB
12. Shadow TAIL
13. Ballyshannon's river ERNE
15. Tiger's concern BOGEY
20. Enter hurriedly TEAR IN
23. Brand for shooters KODAK
24. Polishing agent EMERY
25. "I pass" NO BID
26. "Kidding!" NOT!
27. Make fun of RAG ON
28. Lugubrious chime KNELL
29. Antibacterial brand LYSOL
30. They're not optional MUSTS
32. Transistor's forerunner TRIODE
35. Longish club FOUR IRON
36. Call for a pizza, say ORDER OUT
37. "__ wind, __ rain--__ golf!": Scottish adage NAE
43. Kids' rides TRIKES
44. Lara of "Tomb Raider" CROFT
45. Mystify ADDLE
46. "This means war!" IT’S ON!
47. His __: big shot NIBS
48. Morales of "Caprica" ESAI
49. It deals with what's left WILL
50. Actress Blanchett CATE
51. Kindle competitor NOOK
52. Mex. miss SRTA
55. K+, e.g. ION
56. Asian holiday TET


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2 comments:

A Fervent Admirer said...

Could I express my appreciation of your oh so wonderful blog ? You explain, you inform, and you give out so much trivial tidbits that I am flabbergasted.

I learn, I am amused and I am enchanted . This just about makes my day. What more could any word worshiper ask for.

God Bless.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Admirer.

Such kind words! I am not sure that they are fully deserved. None-the-less, I appreciate the sentiment and am delighted that the blog is proving to be of some service.

Stop by again soon!

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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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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.

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January 29, 2009

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