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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Nov 13, Saturday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 07m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Some legal cases ATTACHES
Attaché is a French term which literally means "attached", and is used for a person who is assigned to the administrative staff of some agency or other service. The term is most recognized as it applies to someone assigned to an Ambassador's staff at an embassy. The word was extended to “attaché case” at the beginning of the twentieth century, meaning a leather case used for carrying papers, perhaps by an attaché at an embassy.

9. Its results commonly fall between 70 and 130 IQ TEST
The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.

18. Shilling spender KENYAN
The shilling is the currency of Kenya, having replaced the East African shilling in 1966. Kenya adopted a new constitution in 2010, and one of its provision is that the country’s currency can no longer bear the portrait of any individual.

19. O or A, e.g. ALER
The Baltimore Orioles (sometimes “the O’s”) were one of the eight charter teams of MLB's American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team has roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn't fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn't help the team's performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.

The Oakland Athletics (usually “the A’s”) baseball franchise was founded back in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team became the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and moved to Oakland in 1968.

20. Bottom topper TALC
Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days "baby powder" can also be cornstarch.

23. Discharged British soldier DEMOB
After WWII, there were about five million personnel in the British military. The process of “demobilising” these forces started about six weeks after Victory in Europe was declared, but there was tremendous frustration at the perceived slow rate at which men and women returned to “civvy street”. One of the symbols of demobilisation in Britain was the civilian suit of clues issues to each individual, the so-called “demob suit”.

25. Electronic music genre TECHNO
Techno is a type of electronic dance music that originated in Detroit in the eighties. Techno involves a heavy beat in common time, and what seems to be a lot of repetition. Not for me …

27. Cologne article DER
“Der” is German for “the”.

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is called “Koln” in German.

29. Sign of summer LEO
The constellation called Leo of course can be said to resemble a lion. Others say that it resembles a bent coat hanger. “Leo” is the Latin for “lion”, but I’m not sure what the Latin is for “coat hanger” …

30. Roxy Music alum ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with the band Roxy Music. However, Eno's most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft's "start-up jingle", the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:
I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

33. Sirius B, for one WHITE DWARF STAR
A white dwarf is what’s left of a star after it has collapsed, before it turns into a neutron star or black hole. A white dwarf might have the same mass as our Sun, but that mass has collapsed into a volume about the size of the Earth. Our nearest white dwarf is Sirius B.

39. They included Chopin's "Prelude in E Minor," in a film title FIVE EASY PIECES
The 1970 film “Five Easy Pieces” stars Jack Nicholson and Karen Black. Nicholson plays a man working on an oil rig, even though as boy he had been a piano prodigy. The “Five Easy Pieces” are five classical works written for the piano, and are all played by characters in the film:
- Fantasy in F minor, by Chopin
- Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, by Bach
- Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, by Mozart
- Prelude in E minor, by Chopin
- Fantasy in D minor, by Mozart

40. Princeton Review subj. GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

The Princeton Review is a company that offers test preparation for those about to take college admission tests.

41. MIT Sloan degree MBA
MIT’s School of Management (MIT Sloan) is named for MIT graduate Alfred P. Sloan, former chairman of General Motors.

46. Staircase support NEWEL
A newel is a principal upright post that supports a handrail beside a staircase. Newels are found at the top and bottom of the banister, and sometimes in between. Newels are often adorned with decorative trim to set them apart from the other posts by the staircase.

50. Arabic for "struggle" JIHAD
In the Islamic tradition “jihad” is a duty, either an inner spiritual struggle to fulfill religious obligations or an outward physical struggle to defend the faith. Someone engaged in jihad is called a “mujahid” with the plural being “mujahideen”.

53. Salts TARS
A Jack Tar, or just "tar", was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor's various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

55. "The Diana Chronicles" author Brown TINA
Tina Brown is a British journalist, best known in America as author of "The Diana Chronicles", a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, of whom Brown was a personal friend. Brown has turned her attention to this side of the Atlantic and is reportedly working on a book about Hillary and Bill Clinton.

63. 2012, e.g. LEAP YEAR
Leap day is February 29th in a leap year, which is usually a year that is divisible by 4. My baby brother was born on February 19th, in 1968. A woman in Utah gave birth on February 29th in 2004, on February 29th in 2008, and once more on February 29th, 2012. That's in the Guinness Book of World Records ...

Down
2. Oarlock pin THOLE
In a boat, a thole is a wooden peg or pin that acts as a fulcrum for an oar that it is used in rowing. The thole is inserted into a hole in the gunwale, the top edge of the side of the boat.

3. Tribal emblem TOTEM
Totem poles are large sculptures that have been carved from trees. Totem poles are part of the culture of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest of North America.

4. Venus counterpart APHRODITE
As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male. The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite was Venus, and the equivalent of Eros was Cupid.

5. Indians' home, on scoreboards CLE
The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after "Forest City", which is the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name "Indians". The media came up with name "Indians" after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. "Indians" was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.

6. "Cotton Candy" musician HIRT
Al Hirt was a trumpeter and bandleader. Hirt’s most famous recordings were the song “Java” and the album “Honey in the Horn”.

7. Key for some clarinets E-FLAT
The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn't it? The name comes from the Italian word "clarino" meaning "trumpet" with the "-et" suffix indicating "small".

8. Panache STYLE
Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially in a hat.

10. Nickname for Leona Helmsley QUEEN OF MEAN
Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." No wonder she was known as the Queen of Mean ...

11. Sierra follower, in the NATO alphabet TANGO
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … Zulu.

12. Singer born Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin ENYA
Enya's real name is Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

13. Whole lot SCAD
The origin of the word "scads", meaning "lots and lots", is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s "scads" was used to mean "dollars".

14. Place for an adder? TENS
Someone adding up numbers might count the ones, tens, hundreds etc.

24. Author of the children's book "The Saga of Baby Divine" BETTE MIDLER
"The Saga of Baby Divine" is a picture book for children that was written by Bette Midler, with illustrations by Todd Schorr. The book was first published in 1983.

One of my favorite singers, and indeed all-round entertainers, is Bette Midler. If you've ever seen her live show you'll know that "camp" is a good word to describe it, as her humor is definitely "out there" and quite bawdy. Early in her career, Midler spent years singing in the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in New York City. There she became very close friends with her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow. While singing in the bathhouse, Bette only wore a white towel, just like the members of her audience. It was in those days that she created her famous character "the Divine Miss M" and also earned herself the nickname "Bathhouse Betty".

32. Bruin great ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn't skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

The Boston Bruins professional ice hockey team goes way back, and has been in existence since 1924. The National Hockey League back then was a Canadian-only league, but was expanded to include the US in 1923. The Bruins were the first US-team in the expanded league.

35. Make potable, as seawater DESALT
Something that is “potable” is fit to drink. The term derives from the Latin verb “potare” meaning “to drink”, which is also the root for our word “potion”.

37. Cabinet part SECRETARY
In the Westminster system, the Cabinet is a group of sitting politicians chosen by the Prime Minister to head up government departments and also to participate collectively in major governmental decisions in all areas. In the US system, the Cabinet is made up not of sitting politicians, but rather of non-legislative individuals who are considered to have expertise in a particular area. The Cabinet members in the US system tend to have more of an advisory role to the President, in their areas of expertise.

38. Plant activity: Abbr. MFG
Manufacturing (mfg.)

43. Bates College locale MAINE
Bates College in Lewiston, Maine was founded back in 1855 and was coeducational from the day it first offered classes. That makes bates College one of the oldest coeducational schools in the country.

48. Name on a WWII flier ENOLA
The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

49. Surgery tool LASER
The term “laser” comes from an acronym, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn't quite so appealing, namely LOSER …

50. Language of software engineers JAVA
Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java was originally designed for interactive television, but didn’t fit the needs at the time. Back then it was called Oak, named after an oak tree that stood outside the designer’s office. Later it was called Green and finally named Java, which was simply picked out of a list of random words.

51. Novelist Turgenev IVAN
Ivan Turgenev was a Russian novelist and playwright. Turgenev’s most famous works are a collection of short stories called “A Sportsman’s Sketches” (1852) and the novel “Fathers and Sons” (1862).

52. White House chief of staff after Haldeman HAIG
Alexander Haig was Secretary of State under President Reagan, and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Nixon and Ford. Famously, Haig took over temporary control of the country immediately after President Reagan was shot in 1981. To do so was a pragmatic move, while waiting on Vice President Bush to arrive in Washington. There was much debate at the time about the legality of the steps taken, as the presidential line of succession called out in the US Constitution is President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the US Senate, and then Secretary of State.

H. R. Haldeman served as White House Chief of Staff to President Richard Nixon. Haldeman became embroiled in the Watergate scandal, which led to him resigning from government. Haldeman was later found guilty of several charges related to the Watergate cover-up and served 18 months in prison.

54. Humane org. SPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no "umbrella" organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Some legal cases ATTACHES
9. Its results commonly fall between 70 and 130 IQ TEST
15. Take inventory? SHOPLIFT
16. Shade NUANCE
17. Nurturing MOTHERLY
18. Shilling spender KENYAN
19. O or A, e.g. ALER
20. Bottom topper TALC
22. Old-school lament EGADS
23. Discharged British soldier DEMOB
25. Electronic music genre TECHNO
27. Cologne article DER
29. Sign of summer LEO
30. Roxy Music alum ENO
33. Sirius B, for one WHITE DWARF STAR
38. Food safety aid MEAT THERMOMETER
39. They included Chopin's "Prelude in E Minor," in a film title FIVE EASY PIECES
40. Princeton Review subj. GRE
41. MIT Sloan degree MBA
42. Wheels CAR
43. Took in MISLED
46. Staircase support NEWEL
50. Arabic for "struggle" JIHAD
53. Salts TARS
55. "The Diana Chronicles" author Brown TINA
56. Fulfills a need AVAILS
58. They get high on occasion SOPRANOS
60. More futile VAINER
61. Ring ENCIRCLE
62. Makes hot ANGERS
63. 2012, e.g. LEAP YEAR

Down
1. Equally hot AS MAD
2. Oarlock pin THOLE
3. Tribal emblem TOTEM
4. Venus counterpart APHRODITE
5. Indians' home, on scoreboards CLE
6. "Cotton Candy" musician HIRT
7. Key for some clarinets E-FLAT
8. Panache STYLE
9. Newspaper supply INK
10. Nickname for Leona Helmsley QUEEN OF MEAN
11. Sierra follower, in the NATO alphabet TANGO
12. Singer born Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin ENYA
13. Whole lot SCAD
14. Place for an adder? TENS
21. Wood shop device C-CLAMP
24. Author of the children's book "The Saga of Baby Divine" BETTE MIDLER
26. Valiant HEROIC
28. Therapy goals REHABS
30. Major finale? -ETTE
31. Highland rejections NAES
32. Bruin great ORR
33. Small dam WEIR
34. Eat HAVE
35. Make potable, as seawater DESALT
36. Like some humor WRY
37. Cabinet part SECRETARY
38. Plant activity: Abbr. MFG
43. Bates College locale MAINE
44. Oil holder EASEL
45. Go (on) dully DRONE
47. Recoil WINCE
48. Name on a WWII flier ENOLA
49. Surgery tool LASER
50. Language of software engineers JAVA
51. Novelist Turgenev IVAN
52. White House chief of staff after Haldeman HAIG
54. Humane org. SPCA
57. Yearbook sect. SRS
59. Criticize RIP


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6 comments:

Vidwan827 said...

Hey Bill, a very nice blog. Very informative. Thank you.

Although you personally, must be very well informed on this - I think, I would like to mention the different jobs of a Secretary to the Cabinet in the US and elsewhere , as in UK, Ireland. Etc.

In the US, a Secretary to the Cabinet is a very prestigious, yet a politically, nominated position, .... advisor the Pres., and confirmed by the Senate. The person is otherwise very powerful politically, or a giant in his or her own field. Example, Steven Chu, the Secretary of the dept. of Energy, is a Nobel prize winner.

In the UK and elsewhere, a Secretary, is the top civilian government servant ... who is promoted to that position. He /she is not a politician, or an M.P. ( member of parliament ), but stays in that position, irrespective of the party in power, and the shade of government in power. He is under the direction of the ( political ) Minister of the dept. And of the ruling party, in power.( the Minister is a political semi- elected position, and generally an M.P. ).

The Secretary enforces the rules and procedures of the department. A chief cabinet secretary is like a 5 star general of the entire 'army' of civil servants of the nation.

After reading your description of 'newel', ...... I went and inspected my staircase .... Sure enough.... The newels are there.

As for jihad, the less said, the better .....

As for the Greek gods of Amor .... Even they were sexist .... There were no gods to stir the passions of the females / women. Maybe the females did not count....

I just learnt that the International Civil Aviation Org. Has always mandated that all communications, vis a vis the airplanes, around the world has to be conducted in English ! .... To the consternation of several European nations, notably the French.

Have a nice day, you all, and enjoy your weekend.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Vidwan.

Intersting comments, as always :)

Your mention of the different use of the term "Cabinet Secretary" brings to mind the excellent BBC comedy series "Yes Minister" that originally ran in the 1980s. I believe it has gotten an airing in the US on some PBS stations. The two leading characters are a politically-appointed Cabinet Minister and his "job-for-life" Cabinet Secretary. Famously, "Yes Minister" was Margaret Thatcher's favorite TV show.

Pookie said...

Looked totally implausible at first.
Finally got down to MFG/GRE
Never heard of GRE.
Didn't like Desalt.
That's all for me.
Gotta get some stuff done. Thanks, Bill.

Hoyt said...

Hello hello

Did pretty well for a Saturday, did cheat a little in the northeast and southwest. Had SLEW for SCAD and that messed me up.


Good old CLE. Indians. Maybe they will win another world series before I die. Although its been 65 years. One name of the team before Indians was the Naps. Named for Napoleon Lajoie, a hall of famer that comes up in puzzles from time to time.

Happy Saturday all

Addict said...

I had a hard time believing this was a Saturday Silkie. Breezed thru this rather quickly. Only stumbled in the upper left. Was looking for a term to steal but shoplift was late in figuring out. Then it all fell.

Bill Butler said...

@Pookie
Ive seen GRE quite a few times in crosswords, so I had no problem with that. But DESALT was out there, valid, but out there. Hope you enjoyed doing your stuff :)

@Hoyt
Thanks for the Cleveland Naps info. More sports trivia for me to remember!

@Addict
This one did fall quickly for a Saturday for me too. But it vary's by solver, as we have learned so very often.

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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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