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Greetings from Blackrock, in Dublin, Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland until October 9th. I plan on doing the puzzle each day (with a pint, no doubt), although I may be a little late due to time zone differences. I am sure that you understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Dec 13, Saturday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 17m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … IOWAS (Hodas!), KSU (CSU), Tiant (Thant), WIKTIONARY (dictionary!!)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Fiji neighbor TONGA
The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles.

The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.

14. Cutter cousin SLOOP
Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.

17. Honda CRF, e.g. TRAIL BIKE
The Honda CRF is a line of trail motorcycles that was launched in 2002.

19. Honda et al.: Abbr. MFRS
Manufacturer (mfr.)

20. 1969 Tommy James and the Shondells hit SHE
Tommy James and the Shondells was a rock and roll band at the height of their success in the sixties. The band’s biggest hits were “Hanky Panky” (1966), “Crimson and Clover” (1968) and “Mony Mony” (1968). The band was formed in Niles, Michigan in 1959 when lead singer Tommy James was only 12-years-old.

21. Canadian road sign letters KPH
Kilometres per hour (kph)

22. Recent delivery NEONATE
A neonate is a newborn infant.

25. Architect Mies van der __ ROHE
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect who was routinely referred to simply as "Mies". I am a philistine, I know, but Mies' buildings look very plain to me. However, he did come up with two far-from-plain sayings: "less is more" and "God is in the details".

27. Midwestern tribe IOWAS
The Iowa Native American people are a Siouan nation. The Iowa speak the Chiwere language, along with the Missouria and Otoe tribes.

31. Like some discount mdse. IRR
Some discount merchandise (mdse.) is irregular (irr.), falls below the manufacturer’s standard specification.

32. "Powerage" band AC/DC
The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers in Australia. The group is usually called "Acca Dacca" down under.

34. Org. led by David Stern NBA
David Stern has been the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) since 1984. He has announced plans to step down as commissioner in 2014, when he reaches his 30-year anniversary in the job.

37. The Wildcats of the Big 12 Conf. KSU
The athletic teams of Kansas State University (KSU) are called the Wildcats. The Wildcats official "colors" are just one, Royal Purple. There are very few college teams with just one official color. As well as KSU there is Syracuse (Orange) and Harvard (Crimson).

38. Composer Holst GUSTAV
Despite the Scandinavian-sounding name, Gustav Holst was born in Britain and was the most English of classical composers. His most famous work is the orchestral suite known as ‘The Planets”. The suite has seven movements, one for each of the planets known at the time (1914-1916) except Earth. Pluto was discovered during Holst’s lifetime, but decades after he had completed his masterpiece. And Pluto was relegated from the league of planets anyway ...

41. Noir protagonist TEC
“Tec” is a slang term for a private detective, a private investigator (PI).

The expression "film noir" has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning "black film" in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be "The Big Sleep" and "D.O.A".

45. Haberdashery items TIE TACS
I used to wear a tie pin (or “tie tack, tie tac”) in place of a tie clip many moons ago, but it just left little holes in my expensive ties!

Back in the 14th century a haberdasher was a dealer in small wares. By the late 1800s, the term had evolved to mean a purveyor of menswear, and in particular was associated with the sale of hats.

51. Bank deposit LODE
A lode is metal ore deposit that's found between two layers of rock or in a fissure.

52. Philatelist's purchases PANES
Stamp collectors (philatelists) might purchase a whole pane of stamps.

“Philately” is the more formal name given to the practice of collecting postage stamps. The term “philately” was coined (in French, as “philatélie) in 1864 by French collector Georges Herpin. He came up with it from the Greel “phil-” meaning “loving” and “ateleia” meaning “exemption from tax”. Apparently “exemption from tax” was the closest thing Herpin could find to “postage stamp”.

54. Loretta Lynn's father was one COAL MINER
“The Coal Miner's Daughter” is a 1980 film that tells the life story of country music star Loretta Lynn. Sissy Spacek plays the title role, and won herself a Best Actress Oscar for her performance. Lynn was indeed a coal miner’s daughter, born into poverty in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky.

58. "Li'l Abner" Tony winner, 1956 EDIE ADAMS
A kind blog reader pointed out (below) that there is a slight error in this clue. Although "Li'l Abner" opened on Broadway in 1956, Edie Adams won her Tony Award in 1957.

Edie Adams was an all-round entertainer. She worked for many years on television with Ernie Kovacs and Jack Paar, marrying Ernie Kovacs in 1954. On the big screen she has a major supporting role in "The Apartment", and was one of the stars of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".

"Li'l Abner" is a musical based on the famous strip, with music by Gene De Paul and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The show opened on Broadway in 1956 and ran for 693 performances. The musical was adapted into movie released in 1959.

59. iComfort maker SERTA
Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement.

60. With equanimity SEDATELY
“Equanimity” is the quality of being composed and calm. The term comes from the Latin”aequus” (even) and “”animus” (mind). “Equanimity” is one of my favorite words of all time ...

Down
1. Peter the Great, e.g. TSAR
Peter the Great was perhaps the most successful of the Romanov tsars, famous for modernizing Russia and expanding the country's sphere of influence, creating the Russian Empire. He ruled from 1682 until his death in 1725.

2. First International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee OLGA KORBUT
Olga Korbut is from modern-day Belarus, but was born during the days of the Soviet Union. Korbut competed for the USSR team in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. She was 17 when she appeared in the 1972 Munich Games, and had been training in a sports school since she was 8-years-old. The world fell in love with her as she was a very emotional young lady, readily expressing joy and disappointment, something that we weren't used to seeing in athletes from behind the Iron Curtain. Korbut immigrated to the US in 1991 and now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

4. "Faust" author GOETHE
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer (among other things!). Goethe’s most famous work is probably his play “Faust”. This epic work was published in parts, starting in 1808. The work was only published in toto after his death in 1832.

5. It roughly translates to "bearded" in Tibet APSO
The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning "bearded"). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

6. The Falcons of the Mountain West Conference AIR FORCE ACADEMY
The US Air Force Academy (USAFA) is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had the privilege not too long ago of visiting the Academy, and what an impressive campus it is. When the USAF Academy graduated its first class in 1959, it became the youngest of the five service academies to do so. Significantly, female candidates were first accepted by the academy in 1976, and today the graduating classes include over 20% women.

8. Woman in a "Paint Your Wagon" song ELISA
"I Still See Elisa" is a song from the Lerner & Loewe musical comedy “Paint Your Wagon”.

“Paint Your Wagon” is a Lerner & Loewe musical comedy that opened on Broadway in 1951. The two most famous songs from the show are “Wand’rin’ Star” and “They Call the Wind Maria”. “Paint Your Wagon” was adapted into a very successful musical film released in 1969 starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg. Who can forget the very special rendition of “Wand’rin’ Star” by Lee Marvin?

9. Aerobic exercise can raise it, briefly HDL
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is a compound that is used to transport fats around the body. When HDL is combined with (i.e. is transporting) cholesterol, it is often called "good cholesterol". This is because HDL seems to remove cholesterol from where it should not be, say on the walls of arteries, and transports it to the liver for reuse or disposal. Important stuff ...

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one of the compounds responsible for transporting fats around the body. When LDL is combined with cholesterol it can be referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This is because LDL actually transports cholesterol into the inner walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

10. Wagering option, briefly OTB
Off-Track Betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

11. "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" screenwriter URIS
Leon Uris is an American writer. Uris's most famous books are "Exodus" and "Trinity", two excellent stories, in my humble opinion …

"Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" is a 1957 movie about the famous shootout that took place in 1881 in Tombstone. The movie has quite the cast, including Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Dennis Hopper, DeForest Kelley and Lee Van Cleef. The screenplay for the film was written by novelist Leon Uris.

12. Punjab sect member SIKH
Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the 15th century in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world.

13. It's almost pointless 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”.

15. NSA headquarters site FT MEADE
Fort George G. Meade is located near Odenton, Maryland and is most famous these days as the location of the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA).

22. "Grimm" network NBC-TV
“Grimm” is an NBC television police drama, one that I haven’t seen. It doesn’t sound like my cup of tea though, as the hero of the piece is a Portland Police Bureau detective who has to battle with mythological creatures who come in and out of the human world.

23. Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Luis TIANT
Luis Tiant is a former Major League Baseball pitcher from Cuba. During his career, Tiant was noted for his cigar smoking. After he retired, he launched a line of his own cigars called “El Tiant”.

28. Its English version has more than 3.5 million entries WIKTIONARY
Wiktionary is a sister project to Wikipedia. Wiktionary even includes a section called Wikisaurus.

30. Peel off SHUCK
“To shuck” is to remove the husk from (say an ear of corn) or to remove the shell from (say an oyster).

36. Grasping organ PINCERS
Yes, “pincers” is a plural noun describing the single organ. I checked …

39. Bit of ink TAT
The word "tattoo" (sometimes shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word "tatau" into our "tattoo".

43. Like some Hindemith works ATONAL
Paul Hindemith was a German composer who created expressionist works are considered by many to be in the style of Arnold Schoenberg. That means they’re not for me …

46. Fail to say ELIDE
“To elide” is to pass over, omit or slur a syllable when speaking.

48. Secures ICES
“To ice” is a slang term meaning “to secure a victory”.

52. Chilean cabbage? PESO
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, simoleons, clams and moola are all slang terms for money.

53. Junior on the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team SEAU
Junior Seau is a retired NFL linebacker, first playing for the San Diego Chargers and then the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots.

56. Door closer? -MAT
The word “mat” can be added to the word “door” to make “doormat”. In that sense, “mat” closes the word “doormat”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fiji neighbor TONGA
6. Round server? ALEHOUSE
14. Cutter cousin SLOOP
15. Research activity FIELD TRIP
16. Hot-and-cold feelings AGUES
17. Honda CRF, e.g. TRAIL BIKE
18. Cost RAN TO
19. Honda et al.: Abbr. MFRS
20. 1969 Tommy James and the Shondells hit SHE
21. Canadian road sign letters KPH
22. Recent delivery NEONATE
25. Architect Mies van der __ ROHE
26. Cellphone display BARS
27. Midwestern tribe IOWAS
31. Like some discount mdse. IRR
32. "Powerage" band AC/DC
33. Go away VANISH
34. Org. led by David Stern NBA
35. Infuse with STEEP IN
37. The Wildcats of the Big 12 Conf. KSU
38. Composer Holst GUSTAV
40. Is not misused? AIN’T
41. Noir protagonist TEC
42. Power STEAM
43. Troubling spots ACNE
44. Drop SINK
45. Haberdashery items TIE TACS
47. On a roll HOT
48. Devil IMP
51. Bank deposit LODE
52. Philatelist's purchases PANES
54. Loretta Lynn's father was one COAL MINER
57. Get around EVADE
58. "Li'l Abner" Tony winner, 1956 EDIE ADAMS
59. iComfort maker SERTA
60. With equanimity SEDATELY
61. "Shame __!" ON YOU

Down
1. Peter the Great, e.g. TSAR
2. First International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee OLGA KORBUT
3. Silly goose or sitting duck NOUN PHRASE
4. "Faust" author GOETHE
5. It roughly translates to "bearded" in Tibet APSO
6. The Falcons of the Mountain West Conference AIR FORCE ACADEMY
7. Picks up LEARNS
8. Woman in a "Paint Your Wagon" song ELISA
9. Aerobic exercise can raise it, briefly HDL
10. Wagering option, briefly OTB
11. "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" screenwriter URIS
12. Punjab sect member SIKH
13. It's almost pointless EPEE
15. NSA headquarters site FT MEADE
22. "Grimm" network NBC-TV
23. Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Luis TIANT
24. Forever and a day EON
25. Gymnastic event RINGS
28. Its English version has more than 3.5 million entries WIKTIONARY
29. Gave the go-ahead for ASSENTED TO
30. Peel off SHUCK
32. "Same here" AS AM I
33. Jungle features VINES
36. Grasping organ PINCERS
39. Bit of ink TAT
43. Like some Hindemith works ATONAL
44. Cut off SHAVEN
46. Fail to say ELIDE
48. Secures ICES
49. Way MODE
50. Took care of, in a way PAID
52. Chilean cabbage? PESO
53. Junior on the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team SEAU
55. Rural area LEA
56. Door closer? -MAT


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8 comments:

Sfingi said...

I expect a Saturday "Silkie" to be difficult, but this one was impossible for me. And it had 6 sports clues. I Googled 15 times.
If the local Observer Dispatch didn't come to my door, I wouldn't have bothered.

Pookie said...

NO COMMENT

Pookie said...

Six chansons

HINDEMITH

Bill Butler said...

@Sfingi
Sorry to hear that you had so much trouble with this one. My problem was the DICTIONARY that I put in at 28-down. I never managed to walk away from that error.

@Pookie
Sounds like there's an "I Can't Get Started" message coming through. Thanks for posting those Hindemith songs. Maybe I need to be less judgmental in future!

Anonymous said...

One error. Edie adams won in 1957

Vidwan827 said...

Hi bill and Pookie. I'm in an apple store, right now - getting my iPhone fixed. They just don't make them like they used to ....

I never got started with the puzzle, so I'll refrain from commenting.

Glad to read that equanimity is something good ...

I used to have trouble with equivocal , which means ... Lots of doubt and misunderstanding ....

Thus a candidate voted in UNequivocally means he or she was voted in ... Without a doubt, and no misunderstanding.

Go figure.

Getting ready for Monday. Have a good day, all.

Pookie said...

Hi Bill, Hindemith is atonal in the sense that he doesn't stay in one particular key...BUT his writing consists of major and minor chords and many fourth voicings (as opposed to thirds which make up our traditional chords).
I sang these in High School in the Madrigal choir and still remeber them.
Sometimes very haunting and beautiful harmonies, no?

Bill Butler said...

@Anonymous Visitor
There is indeed an error in the clue for EDIE ADAMS. Well spotted! "Li'l Abner" opened in 1956 on Broadway, but Edie Adams won her Tony Award in 1957. I will make a note above. thank you!

@Vidwan
Hope you got you iPhone back up and running. I am such a Luddite, and am using an ancient flip phone, and don't even have Internet access. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

@Pookie
Yes, beautiful and haunting. I could easily have mistaken some of the songs for Medieval or Renaissance pieces. I should be careful to keep an open mind when I come across someone associated with atonal music. I just checked out some of his orchestral work though, and I'd say the nearest key was in the door to the recording studio! But you clearly know your choral music, Pookie. Thank you!

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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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