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LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Sep 13, Wednesday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Twins Meeting … the themed answers today are in pairs. One of the pair is a famous twin, and the name of the second twin is hidden in an intersecting answer:
17A. *Edward Cullen's rival for Bella's hand, in the "Twilight" series JACOB BLACK
2D. *Biblical birthright seller ESAU (“Jacob & Esau” from the Hebrew Bible)

23A. *She played Michelle on "Full House" MARY-KATE
11D. *"High Crimes" actress ASHLEY JUDD (“Mary-Kate & Ashley”, the Olsen Twins)

45A. *Brother of Helen of Troy, some say POLLUX
28D. *Source of an age-old medicinal oil CASTOR BEAN (“Pollux & Castor” of Greek and Roman mythology)

59A. *Beach Boys title girl BARBARA ANN
44D. *"Today" correspondent __ Bush Hager JENNA (“Barbara & Jenna” Bush, daughters of President George W. Bush)

64A. Target Field team, and each pair of intersecting names in the answers to starred clues TWINS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Nation between Togo and Nigeria BENIN
The Republic of Benin is a country in West Africa. Benin used to be a French colony, and was known as Dahomey. Dahomey gained independence in 1975, and took the name Benin after the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies.

10. CSNY member NASH
The supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. The band can grow to "CSNY" when the trio is joined by Neil Young. Fans have been known to call the act “C, S, N and sometimes Y”, a play on the expression that names all the vowels, "A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y".

15. Elevator man OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the "safety elevator", a design that he showcased at the 1853 World's Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

17. *Edward Cullen's rival for Bella's hand, in the "Twilight" series JACOB BLACK
Stephenie Meyer’s series of “Twilight” book is composed of four fantasy romance novels set in the world of vampires. So far three of the books have been adapted into successful films. But, I don’t do vampires …

19. Genghis __ KHAN
Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire that was destined to be the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world. He initially built his empire by uniting nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, but once Genghis Khan had consolidated his position he initiated Mongol invasions throughout Eurasia. At it's height, the Mongol Empire stretched from the River Danube to the Sea of Japan.

20. "The Plains of Passage" author AUEL
As Jean Auel prepared her first book in the “Earth’s Children” series, she did a lot of research about the Ice Age, the setting for her stories. She went as far as taking a survival course in cold conditions, learning to build an ice cave and how to make fire, tan leather and knap stone.

21. Former SSR UKR
Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English we often call the country “the" Ukraine, but I am told that we should just say "Ukraine".

23. *She played Michelle on "Full House" MARY-KATE
Michelle Tanner was a character on the TV sitcom “Full House” that originally aired from 1987 to 1995. Michelle was the youngest child in the Tanner family: and she was played by a set of identical twins who were to achieve great fame, namely the Olsen Twins. For most of the show’s run, the producers hid the fact that Michelle was played by twins, so both actresses were jointly credited as “Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen” as opposed to Mary-Kate AND Ashley Olsen.

26. Dogpatch creator AL CAPP
The cartoonist Al Capp set his classic comic strip "Li'l Abner" in the fictional community of "Dogpatch". According to one of the "Li'l Abner" strips, Dogpatch was located somewhere in the state of Kentucky. However, a map shown in another strip seemed to place Dogpatch in Tennessee or Arkansas.

34. Desert tableland MESA
“Mesa” is the Spanish word for “table”.

35. Blue bird JAY
The bird known as a “jay” is sometimes called a “magpie”, although the terms are not completely interchangeable.

39. Cook, in a way SAUTE
“Sauté” is of course a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

44. 2007 "American Idol" winner Sparks JORDIN
Singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks won the 2007 season of “American Idol”. Sparks was just 17 years old at the time, making her the youngest winner in the history of the show.

45. *Brother of Helen of Troy, some say POLLUX
In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into the beautiful Helen, later to be known as Helen of Troy and over whom the Trojan War was fought. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda's earthly husband, and so he was a mortal.

47. Fails to pronounce ELIDES
“To elide” is to pass over, omit or slur a syllable when speaking.

51. Drifters HOBOS
No one seems to know for sure how the term "hobo" originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that "hobo" comes from the first letters in the words "ho-meward bo-und", but it doesn't seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS's "Car Talk" (a great source!), "hobo" comes from "hoe boy". Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from "tramps" and "bums", in that "bums" refused to work, "tramps" worked when they had to, while "hobos" traveled in search of work.

53. Diarist Anaïs NIN
Anaïs Nin was a French author, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

54. Neighbor of a Cambodian THAI
The Kingdom of Thailand was known to outsiders as Siam until 1939. To her citizens, the country has always been known as “Mueang Thai”. The word “mueang” means “nation” and the name “Thai” comes from “the Thai people” who are native to the central plains of the country.

58. Short race, briefly ONE-K
A “1K” race is run over one kilometer.

59. *Beach Boys title girl BARBARA ANN
The Beach Boys 1965 hit "Barbara Ann" was actually a cover version of a song first recorded by the Regents in 1961 (with a different spelling: Barbara “Anne").

63. Duel tool EPEE
The épée that is used in today’s sport fencing is derived from the old French dueling sword. In fact, the the sport of épée fencing is very similar to the dualing of the 19th century. The word “épée” translates from French as “sword”.

64. Target Field team, and each pair of intersecting names in the answers to starred clues TWINS
The Minnesota Twins baseball team started out life as the Kansas City Blues in 1894, before becoming the Washington Senators in 1901. The team arrived in Minneapolis in 1961.

Target Field is a baseball park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home to the Minnesota Twins since the stadium opening in 2010. Target Corporation paid an undisclosed sum to get the naming rights of the park. The Target Corporation is headquartered in Minneapolis.

65. Funny Dame EDNA
Dame Edna Everage is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was ...

Down
1. __ California BAJA
Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

2. *Biblical birthright seller ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins "the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)". As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father's wealth (it was his "birthright"). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a "mess of pottage" (a meal of lentils).

4. Teen Vogue subject IDOL
“Teen Vogue” is a version of “Vogue” magazine that targets teenage girls.

“Vogue” magazine has been published an awfully long time, with the first issue appearing in 1892. Over the decades the magazine has picked up a lot of criticism as well as its many fans. Famously, an assistant to the editor wrote a novel based on her experiences working with the magazine’s editor, and called it “The Devil Wears Prada”.

5. Lincoln's st. NEB
Nebraska gets its name from the Platte River which flows through the state. “Nebraska” is an anglicized version of Otoe or Omaha words meaning “flat water”. Omaha is the largest city in the state. When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

6. Beer garden music POLKA
The polka is a dance from central Europe, one that originated in Bohemia in the mid-1800s. It’s thought that “polka” comes from a Czech word meaning “little half”, reflecting the little half-steps included in the basic dance.

7. Super Bowl I and II MVP STARR
Bart Starr is a retired football player and coach who spent his whole career with the Green Bay Packers. Starr was quarterback for the Packers from 1956 to 1971. Starr was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the first two Super Bowls.

8. [Not my error] SIC
"Sic" indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. "Sic" is Latin for "thus, like this".

10. Former Soviet leader Khrushchev NIKITA
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev only ever made two visits to the United States. The second visit was in September 1960 without an invitation, when he appointed himself temporary head of the USSR delegation to the United Nations. The US responded to his unannounced visit by limiting his travel to the island of Manhattan and visits to a Soviet-owned estate on Long Island. During one of the debates at the UN, Khrushchev became outraged at a statement made by the Filipino delegate who called the Soviets two-faced for decrying colonialism while forcibly dominating and occupying Eastern Europe. Khrushchev demanded the right to reply immediately, and when the Filipino delegate refused to yield, the Soviet leader famously took off his shoe and began to pound it on his desk.

11. *"High Crimes" actress ASHLEY JUDD
The lovely actress Ashley Judd if the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd, and is half-sister to singer Wynonna Judd. I remember seeing Judd in a couple of episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” from 1991. Those appearances marked her television debut. Her feature film debut came the following year in a movie called “Kuffs”.

24. North Sea feeder YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a "race to the sea". But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was "stabilized". As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

The North Sea is an offshoot of the Atlantic Ocean that is located between Britain and Scandinavia.

25. Naut. speed units KTS
A knot (kt.) is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour. Traditionally a vessel's speed was determined by using a "chip log". A chip log is made up of a wooden board attached to a line wrapped around a reel. The line (called a "log-line") had knots tied in it at uniform spacings. To determine the vessels speed the board was thrown overboard and the line allowed to unroll. The speed was then the "number of knots" paid out in a fixed time interval.

26. Env. router ATTN
An envelope (env.) might be addresses the word “Attention” (attn.).

28. *Source of an age-old medicinal oil CASTOR BEAN
The castor bean is the seed of the castor oil plant, although it isn’t actually a true “bean”. The castor seed is the source of castor oil, which has several medicinal uses.

29. Part of MOMA ART
The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, son of the oil magnate. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA's sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

30. Promotional bribes PAYOLAS
Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term "payola" comes from the words "pay" and "Victrola", an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

32. Composer Erik SATIE
Erik Satie was a French composer most famous for his beautiful composition, the three "Gymnopédies". I have tried so hard to appreciate other works by Satie but I find them so very different from the minimalist simplicity of the lyrical "Gymnopédies".

36. Hankerings YENS
The word "yen", meaning "urge", has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word "yin" imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

38. "Need You Tonight" band INXS
INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers.

40. First name in shipping ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They had two children, including the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

43. 1963 Newman/Neal film HUD
The modern-day, western movie called "Hud" was released in 1963 and has become a classic. "Hud" stars Paul Newman (in the title role) and Patricia Neal and is an adaptation of a novel by Larry McMurtry called "Horseman, Pass By". Patricia Neal's role in the film was relatively small, yet her performance was enough to earn her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Paul Newman was an actor from Shaker Heights, Ohio. Newman won his only Best Actor Oscar for his role in “The Color of Money”, a Martin Scorsese film. Off screen Newman was a very successful racing driver and won several national championships. He also founded a food company called Newman’s Own which donates its profits to charity, an amount that now exceeds $300 million.

Patricia Neal won her Best Actress Oscar relatively late in her career, for playing the middle-aged housekeeper in 1963’s “Hud”. A few years later she was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” but turned it down. Famously, Neal had an affair with Gary Cooper who was married at the time. She became pregnant with his child but he persuaded her to have an abortion. Not long afterwards Neal married British writer Roald Dahl (of “Willy Wonka” fame) and the couple had five children together before divorcing in 1983.

44. *"Today" correspondent __ Bush Hager JENNA
Jenna Bush is one of the twin daughters of President George W. Bush (along with sister Barbara). During her father’s 2004 presidential campaign, Jenna met and started dating Henry Hager who was a White House aide for Deputy chief of staff Karl Rove. The couple were married in 2008. Jenna works as an author, a contributor to “Southern Living” magazine and a correspondent for the “Today” show on NBC.

54. "I __ I taw ..." TAWT
“I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” is a famous line uttered by Tweety Bird, the yellow canary in the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons who is constantly stalked by various cats.

56. Years, to Caesar ANNI
“Anni” is Latin for “years”.

57. Clouseau's rank: Abbr. INSP
Inspector Jacques Clouseau is of course the wonderful detective in "The Pink Panther" series of films. The definitive player of the role was English actor Peter Sellers. Clouseau worked for the Sûreté, the detective branch of the French National Police.

60. Bart's Squishee provider APU
The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on "The Simpsons" TV show. The convenience store owner doesn't seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu's undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students ...

61. ACLU concerns RTS
Rights (rts.)

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Nation between Togo and Nigeria BENIN
6. "Look over here!" PSST!
10. CSNY member NASH
14. Private line? ASIDE
15. Elevator man OTIS
16. "It's clear now" I SEE
17. *Edward Cullen's rival for Bella's hand, in the "Twilight" series JACOB BLACK
19. Genghis __ KHAN
20. "The Plains of Passage" author AUEL
21. Former SSR UKR
22. Pharmaceutical rep's samples PILLS
23. *She played Michelle on "Full House" MARY-KATE
26. Dogpatch creator AL CAPP
31. Alley cats, e.g. STRAYS
33. Some crowns TIARAS
34. Desert tableland MESA
35. Blue bird JAY
37. Looking for a fight TESTY
38. Suffix with infer -IOR
39. Cook, in a way SAUTE
41. Bar bowl item NUT
42. "Don't tell me!" OH NO!
44. 2007 "American Idol" winner Sparks JORDIN
45. *Brother of Helen of Troy, some say POLLUX
47. Fails to pronounce ELIDES
48. Image to identify on a driver's license exam ROAD SIGN
51. Drifters HOBOS
53. Diarist Anaïs NIN
54. Neighbor of a Cambodian THAI
58. Short race, briefly ONE-K
59. *Beach Boys title girl BARBARA ANN
62. Ruse SCAM
63. Duel tool EPEE
64. Target Field team, and each pair of intersecting names in the answers to starred clues TWINS
65. Funny Dame EDNA
66. Bombs DUDS
67. Narrow piece, as of cloth STRIP

Down
1. __ California BAJA
2. *Biblical birthright seller ESAU
3. "Great shot!" NICE!
4. Teen Vogue subject IDOL
5. Lincoln's st. NEB
6. Beer garden music POLKA
7. Super Bowl I and II MVP STARR
8. [Not my error] SIC
9. "That wasn't nice" TSK
10. Former Soviet leader Khrushchev NIKITA
11. *"High Crimes" actress ASHLEY JUDD
12. Corporate emblem SEAL
13. Egg sources HENS
18. Bruises partner BUMPS
22. Shade provider PARASOL
24. North Sea feeder YSER
25. Naut. speed units KTS
26. Env. router ATTN
27. Stay awake in bed LIE UP
28. *Source of an age-old medicinal oil CASTOR BEAN
29. Part of MOMA ART
30. Promotional bribes PAYOLAS
32. Composer Erik SATIE
34. Cattle call MOO
36. Hankerings YENS
38. "Need You Tonight" band INXS
40. First name in shipping ARI
43. 1963 Newman/Neal film HUD
44. *"Today" correspondent __ Bush Hager JENNA
46. Start of a show-off kid's cry LOOK, MA!
49. How traditional Chinese brides dress IN RED
50. Taunts GIBES
51. Garden waterer HOSE
52. Burned, in a high-tech way ON CD
54. "I __ I taw ..." TAWT
55. It may have highlights HAIR
56. Years, to Caesar ANNI
57. Clouseau's rank: Abbr. INSP
59. Place to sleep BED
60. Bart's Squishee provider APU
61. ACLU concerns RTS


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4 comments:

Vidwan827 said...

Bill, what a cute, informative lot of information ! Thank you.

Very nice puzzle by the LACC Corner blog mistress C.C. Burnikel. Thank you, too !

1. I had Niger before Benin. Next choice would have been Ghana. I am west African geography challenged ...

If they insist on having a Ben-in, then the next country should be a Ben-out ... Maybe also a Ben-gay, for us solvers.

Bight - not to be confused with the plant- bLight ...... Or the vampire Dracula's love puncture mark ..... Bight is my new word for the day. Who knew ? A curve on the coast.

The Twins are Cc's favorite baseball team - because she is a baseball sports, ( and cards ) fanatic, and lives in Minneapolis.

Nash could have been clued as the mathematician, who had a beautiful mind (?) ...

Genghis / Changiz Khan's. and indeed the Mongol DNA is the most dispersed DNA haplotype recognized around the world. This is a scientific fact. Anyway, if you should ever come across a scruffy looking, short statured, mean faced, muscular, sneering individual crossing the street ...... give way, willingly.

Esau was probably the first member of the N.R.A. .....

For what it's worth, may I mention that the Simpson Kwik-E-Mart owner, Apu's last name, (which I've never heard before - or since - ), indicates his family origins from Kerala, on the Indian SW coast. He would never have gone 1600 miles east to Calcutta, to study at that notoriously, fictitious institute ...

Castor beans are also notorious for the extremely toxic lectin, called Ricin, which was in the news a couple of months ago. Despite the evil, disgusting taste of castor oil, you can certain, it has no Ricin in it .....

Have a nice day, Cheerio.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Vidwan.

Yes, Ms. Burnikel gives us some great puzzles, especially for early in the week.

"A Beautiful Mind" was indeed a beautiful film. Very intriguing, I thought.

I also read about the trace amounts of ricin found in castor beans. Nasty stuff, and very much in the news, as you say. I hated getting dosed with castor oil as a kid. All kids seemed to have to take the stuff when I was growing up. I wonder was that an Irish thing, or something that was big in the fifties all over the world.

Good luck with tomorrow's puzzle, Vidwan.

Brooke said...

Hi all-
I missed about 4 answers but found today's puzzle to be educational and yes, quite fun.

I share your opinion on Satie. I seem to remember playing some finger exercises by him back when I was learning piano that were simple yet delicately pretty.

Am also a big fan of Beautiful Mind (and Paul Bettany!).

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Brooke.

Congrats on getting close today.

Re Satie, I find his "Gymnopédies" to be so beautiful that I admit to be very disappointed with myself in not being able to appreciate his other works. I definitely blame me and not him! :)

I like Paul Bettany too, although he seems to be getting a lot of roles now where he plays the bad guy. His wife Jennifer Connolly is not too bad either :)

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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.

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.

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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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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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