Top Line

Greetings from San Jose, 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! We had a long and spectacular drive across the Sierra Nevada today, and saw Julianne and Derek Hough's dance spectacular this evening. Back home and back to reality tomorrow (Friday) ...

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 1 Feb 13, Friday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Bajcz
THEME: Zero-G … each of today’s themed answers sounds like a well-known term without an initial G:
21A. British bathroom plant? LOO FACTORY (from “glue factory”)
34A. Review July 4th festivities? RATE BALLS OF FIRE (from “Great Balls of Fire”)
41A. Headline about rudeness in the House of Lords? EARL INTERRUPTED (from “Girl Interrupted”)
54A. Academy for special operatives? RAID SCHOOL (from “grade school”)

70A. Weightless state, and a hint to 21-, 34-, 41- and 54-Across ZERO-G
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. F. Scott's spouse ZELDA
Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, was a novelist in her own right. Zelda’s one and only novel is "Save Me the Waltz", a semi-autobiographical account of her life and marriage.

6. Major NCAA 8-Down ACC
(8D. Sports div. CONF)
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

14. Homer work ILIAD
The Iliad is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer, which tells the story of the siege of Ilium (also known as Troy) during the Trojan war.

15. 2014 World Cup final site RIO
The next three FIFA World Cup tournaments (soccer) will be hosted by Brazil (2014), Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022).

16. Home of the NCAA's Black Bears ORONO
The Maine Black Bears are the athletic teams of the University of Maine.

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation.

19. Portsmouth pop PATER
“Pater” is Latin for father, and is sometimes used to address one’s Dad in elite circles in the UK.

Portsmouth in Hampshire is located on Portsea Island just off the south coast of England. Portsmouth is the only island city in the whole country and is a major naval port, home to the headquarters of the Royal Navy. If you visit the city, be sure to take a tour of HMS Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship.

21. British bathroom plant? LOO FACTORY (from “glue factory”)
When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of "lanterloo" in which the pot was called the loo!

29. Bass player's tool AMP
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

30. "Wheel of Fortune" buy AN E
Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since it first aired in 1975.

34. Review July 4th festivities? RATE BALLS OF FIRE (from “Great Balls of Fire”)
“Great Balls of Fire” is a song recorded in 1957 by Jerry Lee Lewis. The song was used as the title for “Great Balls of Fire!”, the biographical film about Jerry Lee Lewis released in 1989 with Dennis Quaid in the main role.

40. Disney duck princess OONA
Princess Oona is one of the ducks appearing in stories about “Donald Duck”. Created in 1994, Oona lives in a cave and is usually proclaiming her interest in Donald, romantically that is …

41. Headline about rudeness in the House of Lords? EARL INTERRUPTED (from “Girl, Interrupted”)
“Girl, Interrupted” is a memoir first published in 1993 written by Susanna Kaysen. The book tells of her time spent in a psychiatric hospital in the sixties suffering from borderline personality disorder. The book was adapted into a very successful film released in 1999 in which Winona Ryder played Kaysen. The title of book and film refer to the painting by Vermeer called “Girl Interrupted at her Music”.

47. Actress West MAE
Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the "sexy" side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called "Sex", a work she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of "corrupting the morals of youth". She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

58. Kuala Lumpur locale ASIA
The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur, very often abbreviated to K.L. The name "Kuala Lumpur" translates into English as "muddy estuary". Famously, K.L. is home to the spectacular Petronas Twin Towers, currently the tallest twin towers in the world and the tallest of any building from 1998 to 2004.

62. Long bones ULNAS
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the "thumb-side" of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the "pinkie-side".

63. Musician for whom New Orleans's airport is named ARMSTRONG
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport lies at an average of just 4.5 feet above sea level. That makes it the second lowest-lying international airport in the world (after Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands).

66. Big name in casual wear LEE
The Lee company famous for making jeans was formed in 1889, by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

67. Thomas associate ALITO
Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

Clarence Thomas is the second African American to serve on the US Supreme Court. Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall who was the first American with African heritage to serve. Thomas is generally regarded as the most conservative member of the court. He doesn’t have a lot say, verbally anyway. Thomas made a joking remark in January 2013 during oral argument, the first time he had spoken at all during oral argument for almost seven years.

68. Gave quite a shock? TASED
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called "Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle". The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym TASER stands for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle". Interesting, eh?

70. Weightless state, and a hint to 21-, 34-, 41- and 54-Across ZERO-G
The force of gravity that we all feel is referred to as “one G”. As gravity is a actually an accelerating force, acceleration is measured relative to that force of gravity. So, if we are sitting in a vehicle that accelerates at 3G, then we are experiencing a force that is three times that which we feel from the gravitational pull of the earth. Zero-G is weightlessness that is experienced when in space, outside the influence of the earth's gravity.

Down
2. Mideast carrier EL AL
The Israeli national airline is called El Al (Hebrew for "to the skies"). El Al does not fly on the Sabbath, although this has been subject of some debate since the airline's founding in 1948.

3. Rocker Ford LITA
Lita Ford was the lead singer for The Runaways, later becoming famous for her solo work (never heard of her!).

4. The maximum score with three of them is 180 DARTS
The maximum score in a game of darts with one throw is 60 (treble-20). Each round involves the throwing of three darts, so the maximum score in a round is 3 x 60 i.e. 180.

7. "Bye!" CIAO
"Ciao" is the Italian for "'bye". "Arrivederci" is more formal, and translates better as "goodbye".

9. Show with a "Just Desserts" spin-off TOP CHEF
“Top Chef” is a reality television show on the Bravo channel. It’s basically a cooking competition.

11. Absolutely none NOT ONE IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

12. Steven Chu's Cabinet dept. ENER
Steven Chu is the Secretary of Energy in the Obama Cabinet. Chu is a physicist by trade, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. I read today that Chu has handed in his resignation to President Obama.

13. Small craft DORY
A dory is a small boat, around 20 feet long with a shallow draft, a flat bottom and a sharp bow. Dories are commonly used for fishing.

26. Pisces follower ARIES
Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that!

30. Hubble, for one ASTRONOMER
The famous Hubble Space Telescope was installed in orbit by the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990. The telescope was named for the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the man who changed our view of the universe by postulating that the universe is expanding.

32. Maritime birds ERNES
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

53. Baseball Hall of Famer Combs EARLE
Earle Combs was a professional baseball player who played for the New York Yankees from 1924 to 1935, his whole playing career. Combs, a native of Kentucky, had the reputation of being a real gentleman and was nicknamed "the Kentucky Colonel". He was such a gentleman that he was described as the favorite Yankee by sports writers. That must have been quite an honor given that his teammates included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

56. Word seen twice on some dairy cartons HALF
Half and half is a dairy product consisting of half milk and half light cream.

57. Dipped cookie OREO
The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

59. Évian evening SOIR
Évian-les-Bains (or simply Évian) is in the very east of France, on the shores of Lake Geneva directly across the lake from Lausanne, Switzerland. As you might imagine, Évian is the home of Évian mineral water, the most successful business in town. I can't stand the taste of Évian water ...

64. Toon devil TAZ
The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared on screens in 1964 but gained real popularity in the 1990s.

The carnivorous marsupial known as the Tasmanian devil is aptly named, in the sense that the only place the animal is found in the wild is on the island of Tasmania. The “little devils” are about the size of a small dog, and they have the strongest bite for their size of any known mammal.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. F. Scott's spouse ZELDA
6. Major NCAA 8-Down ACC
9. Buff TONED
14. Homer work ILIAD
15. 2014 World Cup final site RIO
16. Home of the NCAA's Black Bears ORONO
17. One keeping a beat? PATROLMAN
19. Portsmouth pop PATER
20. Narrow strip SLAT
21. British bathroom plant? LOO FACTORY (from “glue factory”)
23. Center of attention STAR
25. At that point THEN
26. Medical office responses AHS
29. Bass player's tool AMP
30. "Wheel of Fortune" buy AN E
31. Wriggly swimmer EEL
34. Review July 4th festivities? RATE BALLS OF FIRE (from “Great Balls of Fire”)
38. Center of attention IDOL
39. Man on a mission: Abbr. AGT
40. Disney duck princess OONA
41. Headline about rudeness in the House of Lords? EARL INTERRUPTED (from “Girl Interrupted”)
46. Mucky place STY
47. Actress West MAE
48. Tool for some summer Olympians OAR
49. Barnyard beast ASS
50. Home in the woods LAIR
52. Summer sunset hour, for some NINE
54. Academy for special operatives? RAID SCHOOL (from “grade school”)
58. Kuala Lumpur locale ASIA
62. Long bones ULNAS
63. Musician for whom New Orleans's airport is named ARMSTRONG
65. Attack from all sides SIEGE
66. Big name in casual wear LEE
67. Thomas associate ALITO
68. Gave quite a shock? TASED
69. In support of FOR
70. Weightless state, and a hint to 21-, 34-, 41- and 54-Across ZERO-G

Down
1. Closes, in a way ZIPS
2. Mideast carrier EL AL
3. Rocker Ford LITA
4. The maximum score with three of them is 180 DARTS
5. Fuss ADO
6. Bank truck protector ARMOR PLATE
7. "Bye!" CIAO
8. Sports div. CONF
9. Show with a "Just Desserts" spin-off TOP CHEF
10. Grandstand, say ORATE
11. Absolutely none NOT ONE IOTA
12. Steven Chu's Cabinet dept. ENER
13. Small craft DORY
18. Andean creature LLAMA
22. "... __ additional cost!" AT NO
24. Looseleaf divider feature TAB
26. Pisces follower ARIES
27. Went after HAD AT
28. They may have twists STORYLINES
30. Hubble, for one ASTRONOMER
32. Maritime birds ERNES
33. Has followers LEADS
35. 90-degree turn ELL
36. Clothing catalog choice: Abbr. LGE
37. Top-drawer dresser FOP
42. "My aim was off" I MISSED
43. Buster NARC
44. Roller coaster guides RAILS
45. Spigoted vessel URN
51. Bit of wisdom ADAGE
53. Baseball Hall of Famer Combs EARLE
54. Deteriorate, in a way RUST
55. Et __ ALIA
56. Word seen twice on some dairy cartons HALF
57. Dipped cookie OREO
59. Évian evening SOIR
60. Excited by INTO
61. Dumbfounded AGOG
64. Toon devil TAZ

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LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Jan 13, Thursday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Paul Hunsberger
THEME: “Kind of a Drag” … each of the themed answers is “kind of a drag”:
17A. Illusionist's effect PUFF OF SMOKE (a drag on a cigarette)
31A. Major bore SNOOZEFEST (a real drag, a bore)
37A. County fair competition TRACTOR PULL (a powerful, motorized drag)
47A. Many towns have one MAIN STREET (the main drag in a town)
60A. 1967 #1 hit for The Buckinghams, which can describe 17-, 31-, 37- or 47-Across KIND OF A DRAG
COMPLETION TIME: 08m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
19. Bushranger Kelly NED
Ned Kelly was an Irish-Australian outlaw, regarded by many as a symbol of resistance against the British ruling class in Australia in the 19th century. There have been two famous films made of his life story. “The Story of the Kelly Gang” was released in 1906, and is recognized today as the first feature film ever made. We might be more familiar with the film called “Ned Kelly” released in 1970, as it starred Mick Jagger in the title role.

20. Novelist Wiesel ELIE
Elie Wiesel is a holocaust survivor, best known for his book "Night" that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

21. "Days of Thunder" org. NASCAR
NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR is very, very popular and commands the second largest television audience of any professional sport in America, second only to football.

“Days of Thunder” is 1990 movie about NASCAR racing that stars Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Robert Duvall. “Days of Thunder” is the first of three films that co-starred Cruise and Kidman, with the other two being “Far And Away” and “Eyes Wide Shut”.

36. BBQ heat rating BTU
In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water's temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

It is believed that our word “barbecue” comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

44. Italian soccer star Maldini PAOLO
Paolo Maldini is a former soccer player from Italy who played his whole career with Serie A in Milan. Maldini was the captain of the national team of Italy for many years, earning him the nickname “Il Capitano”.

51. "Voulez-__": 1979 ABBA album VOUS
I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA's music. ABBA was of course the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members, namely: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.

52. Big name in foil ALCOA
The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

55. Discipline involving slow, steady movement T’AI CHI
More properly called t’ai chi chuan, t’ai chi is a martial art mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

60. 1967 #1 hit for The Buckinghams, which can describe 17-, 31-, 37- or 47-Across KIND OF A DRAG
The Buckinghams are a band from Chicago. The Buckinghams’ big year was 1967 when they had four hits, including the chart-topper “Kind of a Drag”.

65. Traditional London pie-and-mash ingredient EEL
Eel pie is a traditional dish associated with the working classes in London, England especially during the Victorian era. Eel was chosen as an ingredient as it was one of the few fish that could live in the polluted River Thames.

66. New newts EFTS
Newts wouldn't be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

67. Stereo knob TREBLE
Monophonic sound ("mono") is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

70. Nine-ball feature STRIPE
Nine-ball is the most popular variant of the game of pool.

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

Down
2. "Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?" singer 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 ...

7. Nelson, e.g.: Abbr. ADM
Admiral Horatio Nelson is noted for his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. The battle was a decisive win for the British during the Napoleonic Wars, fought against the combined fleets of France and Spain. Nelson was fatally wounded by a marksman from one of the French ships, but as he was conscious he continued to monitor the battle, dying three hours after he was shot. Nelson was much revered by his crew who felt that his body had to be returned to England. The body was placed in a barrel full of brandy and the barrel lashed to the mainmast of the Victory and placed under guard. The damaged flagship was towed to Gibraltar where the body was transferred to a lead-lined coffin and the brandy replaced by aqua vitae (spirits of wine). While the body continued its journey home, dispatches reporting the outcome of the battle were carried to England on a ship called ... HMS Pickle. A boozy end to a distinguished life ...

12. Top of the world EVEREST
Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth at 29,029 feet above sea level. However, Everest is only the 5th tallest mountain as measured from the center of the planet. Because of the equatorial bulge, that honor goes to the volcano Chimborazo in Ecuador, part of the Andes.

18. He played James SEAN
Sean Connery is of course most famous for playing the original James Bond in the successful series of movies. Back in his native Scotland, Connery is very active in politics and is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party. He actively campaigns for Scottish independence from Britain and has stated that he believes Scotland will achieve that goal within his own lifetime.

Sean Connery wasn’t the first choice for the role of James Bond. Six potential actors were selected for a screen test, after which a 28-year-old model was chosen called Peter Anthony. It turned out that Anthony wasn’t up to the part, and so second-choice Connery was given a call.

23. 2002 Olympics host, briefly SLC
The last Olympic Games held in the US was in Salt Lake City in 2002, a winter games. That made Utah the fifth US state to host the Olympics. The others were:
- Missouri (St. Louis in summer 1904)
- California (Los Angeles in summer 1932 & 1984, Squaw Valley in winter 1960)
- New York (Lake Placid in winter 1932 & 1980)
- Georgia (Atlanta in summer 1996).

25. How shysters practice UNETHICALLY
"Shyster" is American slang for an unscrupulous lawyer, and is probably an alteration of the German word “Scheisser” meaning an incompetent and worthless person. “Scheisser” derives from an even less complimentary term “Sheisse”, the German for …. well, I won’t say it. But I will say as an aside that one of my son’s school friends told me one time that he didn’t really hold with the “Thank God It’s Friday” philosophy (TGIF), and was more into “So Happy It’s Thursday". You can work it out ...

29. Onetime Beatles bassist Sutcliffe STU
Stu Sutcliffe was one of the original four members of the Silver Beatles (as the Beatles were known in their early days) along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. It was Sutcliffe who came up with name "Beatles" in collaboration with John Lennon, as a homage to their hero Buddy Holly who was backed by the "Crickets". By all reports, Sutcliffe wasn't a very talented musician and was more interested in painting. He went with the group to Hamburg more than once, but he eventually left the Beatles and went back to art school, actually studying for a while at the Hamburg College of Art. In 1962 in Hamburg, Sutcliffe collapsed with blinding headaches. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital, his death attributed to cerebral paralysis.

32. Led __: "Stairway to Heaven" group, to fans ZEP
Led Zeppelin was an English rock band that got together in 1968. The band's most famous release has to be the classic "Stairway to Heaven". Led Zeppelin broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.

41. Org. with an oft-quoted journal AMA
The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The first female member was allowed to join the AMA in 1868, but the first African American members weren't admitted until one hundred years later, in 1968.

46. Sugary suffix -OSE
The sugar we consume as "table sugar" is mainly sucrose that is extracted from sugar cane and sugar beet. We also consume lactose, naturally occurring in milk, and fructose, naturally occurring in fruit. But most of the sugar we eat or drink tends to be prepared commercially, the most famous being high-fructose corn syrup, which is glucose that is industrially processed into a glucose/fructose mix. Don't get me started on the politics of food ...

56. Audiophile's setup HI-FI
Hi-fi systems were introduced in the late forties, and is audio equipment designed to give a much higher quality reproduction of sound than cheaper systems available up to that point. “Hi-fi” of course stands for “high fidelity”.

59. Wet behind the ears NEW
Someone who is “wet behind the ears” is young and immature. The expression is thought to derive from the fact that newborns enter the world covered with amniotic fluid. Perhaps the area behind the ears is the last to dry off ...

61. "Spring forward" letters DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as "summer time". The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring and backwards in the fall so that afternoons have more daylight.

63. Wildspitze, for one ALP
Wildspitze is a mountain in the Alps, the second highest peak in Austria (after the Grossglockner).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Treehouse feature LADDER
7. Matured, as cheese AGED
11. Some condensation DEW
14. For one APIECE
15. One who's all action DOER
16. Eggs in a clinic OVA
17. Illusionist's effect PUFF OF SMOKE
19. Bushranger Kelly NED
20. Novelist Wiesel ELIE
21. "Days of Thunder" org. NASCAR
23. Duck SHUN
26. Diplomat's forte TACT
28. Feeds without needing seconds SATES
30. Arrive LAND
31. Major bore SNOOZEFEST
33. Pull (for) CHEER
35. Kicked oneself for RUED
36. BBQ heat rating BTU
37. County fair competition TRACTOR PULL
41. Flooring wood ASH
43. Busy time for a cuckoo clock NOON
44. Italian soccer star Maldini PAOLO
47. Many towns have one MAIN STREET
51. "Voulez-__": 1979 ABBA album VOUS
52. Big name in foil ALCOA
53. Make a fine impression ETCH
54. Outer limit EDGE
55. Discipline involving slow, steady movement T’AI CHI
57. Toppled, as a poplar HEWN
59. Goose egg NIL
60. 1967 #1 hit for The Buckinghams, which can describe 17-, 31-, 37- or 47-Across KIND OF A DRAG
65. Traditional London pie-and-mash ingredient EEL
66. New newts EFTS
67. Stereo knob TREBLE
68. Funny, and a bit twisted WRY
69. One way to run RIOT
70. Nine-ball feature STRIPE

Down
1. Slurp (with "up") LAP
2. "Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?" singer APU
3. "Makes no __" DIF
4. Lawyer, at times DEFENDER
5. Renewable energy subj. ECOL
6. Equips afresh REFITS
7. Nelson, e.g.: Abbr. ADM
8. Hit the road, musically GO ON TOUR
9. "__ mouse!" EEK! A
10. In one's Sunday best DRESSED-UP
11. Make a bank deposit? DONATE BLOOD
12. Top of the world EVEREST
13. Lump WAD
18. He played James SEAN
22. Half-__: coffee order CAF
23. 2002 Olympics host, briefly SLC
24. "As if!" HAH!
25. How shysters practice UNETHICALLY
27. Small crown CORONET
29. Onetime Beatles bassist Sutcliffe STU
32. Led __: "Stairway to Heaven" group, to fans ZEP
34. One who turns a place upside down RANSACKER
38. Foldable sleeper COT
39. Blasted TORE INTO
40. Purple hue LAVENDER
41. Org. with an oft-quoted journal AMA
42. More racy, as humor SALTIER
45. Tote LUG
46. Sugary suffix -OSE
48. "Oh, __ won't!" NO I
49. Tunnel effect ECHO
50. Five-finger discounts, so to speak THEFTS
56. Audiophile's setup HI-FI
58. Witch costume stick-on WART
59. Wet behind the ears NEW
61. "Spring forward" letters DST
62. One of four in a grand slam RBI
63. Wildspitze, for one ALP
64. "__ willikers!" GEE

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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Jan 13, Wednesday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Kurt Mengel & Jan-Michele Gianette
THEME: Football Team’s Association … each of today’s themed answers is the name of a football team followed by an verb that can be associated with the team name:
17A. New Orleans team confused? SAINTS BEDEVILED
26A. New York team punished? JETS GROUNDED
46A. Indianapolis team stymied? COLTS LASSOED
59A. San Diego team upset? CHARGERS SHOCKED
COMPLETION TIME: 08m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Net help pages, briefly FAQS
Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). There is a link to the LAXCrossword's blog’s FAQ page at the top right of every page.

5. County counterpart, in Canterbury SHIRE
The word "shire" comes from the Old English "scir" meaning "administrative district". The term was replaced with county as far back as the 14th century, but the usage persists to this day, largely because some counties retain the use of -shire as a suffix (Yorkshire, Lancashire etc.).

Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England in the county of Kent. Canterbury is famous for Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” written in the 14th century.

14. Longtime Stern rival IMUS
Don Imus's syndicated radio show "Imus in the Morning" broadcasts from New York City.

15. Little bits IOTAS
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

16. Baltic capital RIGA
Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city's magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

The Baltic is a sea in northern Europe that is much less saline than the oceans. The lower amount of salt in the Baltic partially explains why almost half of the sea freezes during the winter. In fact, the Baltic has been known to completely freeze over several times over the past few centuries.

17. New Orleans team confused? SAINTS BEDEVILED
The New Orleans Saints football team takes its name from the jazz song “When the Saints Go Marching In”, a tune that is very much associated with the city. The team was founded in 1967, on November 1, which is All Saints’ Day in the Roman Catholic tradition.

20. __ Who THE
The English rock band called the Who was formed in 1964, bringing together famed musicians Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. According to "Rolling Stone" magazine, the Who were the third arm of the holy trinity of British rock, alongside the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

26. New York team punished? JETS GROUNDED
Just like the New York Giants, the New York Jets are based in New Jersey, headquartered in Florham Park. The Jets and the Giants have a unique arrangement in the NFL in that the two teams share the same stadium, the New Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets were an AFL charter team, formed in 1959 as the Titans of New York. They changed their name to the Jets in 1963.

32. Picky eaters of rhyme SPRATS
Jack Sprat was a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. Jack featured in a proverb of the day:
Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.
Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still recited in England:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.

36. "Network" director LUMET
Sidney Lumet passed away in April 2011. As a movie director Lumet had a great string of celebrated films to his name including “12 Angry Men”, “Dog Day Afternoon”, “Network” and “The Verdict”. Although nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for each of these films, he never won an individual Oscar. However, the Academy gave him the recognition he deserved in 2004 by presenting Lumet with an Honorary Award.

The movie "Network" was released in 1976. It was directed by Sidney Lumet and stars Peter Finch in his final role, for which he won a posthumous Academy Award. That Oscar for Peter Finch was remarkable in that it was the first time the Best Actor award had been won after the actor passed away, and it was also the first time it had been won by an Australian.

39. Andrea Bocelli, e.g. TENOR
Andrea Bocelli is a classically-trained tenor who sings popular music, a so-called cross-over artist. Bocelli was born with poor eyesight and then became totally blind at the age of 12 when he had an accident playing soccer.

41. Half a fly TSE
Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name "tsetse" comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as "fly". Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as "sleeping sickness". Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

46. Indianapolis team stymied? COLTS LASSOED
The Indianapolis Colts professional football team has been in Indiana since 1984. The team traces its roots back to the Dayton Triangles, one of the founding members of the NFL created in 1913. The Dayton Triangles relocated and became the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1930, and then the Brooklyn Tigers in 1944. The team merged with the Boston Yanks in 1945, so then played in Boston. The Yanks were moved to New York in 1949, and then to Dallas in 1952 as the Dallas Texans. The Texan franchise moved to Baltimore in 1953, forming the Colts. The Colts made their last move, to Indianapolis, in 1984. Whew!

56. "Homeland" airer, briefly SHO
“Homeland” is a psychological drama shown on Showtime about a CIA officer who is convinced that a certain US Marine is a threat to the security of the United States. The show is based on a series from Israeli television called “Hatufim” (Prisoners of War”). I’m going to have to check this one out ...

59. San Diego team upset? CHARGERS SHOCKED
The San Diego Chargers are an AFL charter team, so the franchise was founded in 1959. The Chargers played one season in Los Angeles and then moved to San Diego in 1961.

66. Fur fortune-maker ASTOR
John Jacob Astor was the father of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country's first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today's terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

Down
2. Indian nursemaid AMAH
"Amah" is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet it actually comes from the Portuguese "ama" meaning "nurse". Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an amah.

4. IRS ID SSN
The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an "identity number" to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the ago of 5. Sure enough, in 1987 seven million dependents "disappeared".

5. TV drama about Alex, Teddy, Georgie and Frankie Reed SISTERS
“Sisters” is a drama TV show that originally aired in the nineties. “Sisters” was groundbreaking television in that it was the first primetime show to focus on women and women’s issues.

6. Vagabond HOBO
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.

8. X-ray units RADS
A rad is a unit used to measure radiation levels that is largely obsolete now. The rad has been superseded by the rem.

24. Bone: Pref. OSTE-
The Greek word for “bone” is “osteon”.

27. Tall runners EMUS
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the "invading force". The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

28. Footnote ref. OP CIT
Op. cit. is short for "opus citatum", Latin for "the work cited". Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to "ibid", except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.

29. Mount Narodnaya's range URALS
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

Mount Narodnaya is the highest peak in the Ural Mountains, the famous Russian range.

30. __ orange NAVEL
Navel oranges are the ones with the small second fruit that grows at the base, at the "navel". The navel orange has been traced back to a single mutation that took place in an orange tree in Brazil many years ago. The mutation also rendered the fruit seedless and hence sterile, so it is propagated using grafts.

35. Slave Scott DRED
Famously, the slave Dred Scott was unsuccessful in suing for his freedom in St. Louis, Missouri in 1857.

40. "Mi casa __ casa" ES SU
“Mi casa es su casa” translates from Spanish as “My home is your home”.

43. Gore and Hirt ALS
Al Gore was born in Washington DC, the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the "tougher" option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

Al Hirt was a trumpeter and bandleader. Hirt’s most famous recordings were the song “Java” and the album “Honey in the Horn”.

46. Casual wine choices CHARDS
The Chardonnay grape is believed to have originated in the Burgundy wine region of France. Now it's grown "everywhere". Drinkers of California "Chards" seem to be particularly fond of "oak" flavor, so most Chardonnay wines are aged in oak barrels.

48. Modern witch's religion WICCA
Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon, a Neopagan religion that developed in the twentieth century. A follower of Wicca is called a Wiccan or a Witch.

49. For this purpose AD HOC
The Latin phrase "ad hoc" means "for this purpose".

54. Exam sophs may take PSAT
I think the acronym PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

58. Keats works ODES
The poet John Keats is famous for writing a whole series of beautiful odes. The most renowned are the so-called “1819 Odes”, a collection from the year 1819 that includes famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, "Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”.

60. Org. concerned with greenhouse gas EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

61. Ally of Fidel CHE
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to "see the world" by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara's memoir later published as "The Motorcycle Diaries". While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara's death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Net help pages, briefly FAQS
5. County counterpart, in Canterbury SHIRE
10. Boring BLAH
14. Longtime Stern rival IMUS
15. Little bits IOTAS
16. Baltic capital RIGA
17. New Orleans team confused? SAINTS BEDEVILED
20. __ Who THE
21. Little bits ATOMS
22. Silly INANE
23. Musical quality TONE
25. Chooses ELECTS
26. New York team punished? JETS GROUNDED
31. Fail to mention OMIT
32. Picky eaters of rhyme SPRATS
33. Different ODD
36. "Network" director LUMET
38. Old West mil. force CAV
39. Andrea Bocelli, e.g. TENOR
41. Half a fly TSE
42. More than a sobber WAILER
45. Small or large SIZE
46. Indianapolis team stymied? COLTS LASSOED
48. Loads to clean WASHES
51. Person in a sentence, say NOUN
52. Convention pin-on ID TAG
53. Heroic poems EPICS
56. "Homeland" airer, briefly SHO
59. San Diego team upset? CHARGERS SHOCKED
62. Hardly friendly COLD
63. Go on and on PRATE
64. Take on HIRE
65. Golf rarities ACES
66. Fur fortune-maker ASTOR
67. Football positions ENDS

Down
1. Punch source FIST
2. Indian nursemaid AMAH
3. Being alone with one's thoughts QUIET TIME
4. IRS ID SSN
5. TV drama about Alex, Teddy, Georgie and Frankie Reed SISTERS
6. Vagabond HOBO
7. News piece ITEM
8. X-ray units RADS
9. Linguistic suffix -ESE
10. Pickled BRINED
11. Purple __: New Hampshire state flower LILAC
12. Word with travel or talent AGENT
13. Underworld HADES
18. Zippy flavor TANG
19. Most nasty VILEST
24. Bone: Pref. OSTE-
25. NH summer hours EDT
26. Quite a blow JOLT
27. Tall runners EMUS
28. Footnote ref. OP CIT
29. Mount Narodnaya's range URALS
30. __ orange NAVEL
33. Thin paper ONION SKIN
34. Nap DOZE
35. Slave Scott DRED
37. Like many omelets TWO-EGG
40. "Mi casa __ casa" ES SU
43. Gore and Hirt ALS
44. Stock market VIP? RANCHER
46. Casual wine choices CHARDS
47. Not bad, not good SO-SO
48. Modern witch's religion WICCA
49. For this purpose AD HOC
50. Old, as a joke STALE
53. Goofs ERRS
54. Exam sophs may take PSAT
55. Colon, in analogies IS TO
57. Sheep together HERD
58. Keats works ODES
60. Org. concerned with greenhouse gas EPA
61. Ally of Fidel CHE

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LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Jan 13, Tuesday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
THEME: A Couple of Jobs to Do … each of the theme answers is a well-known term comprised of two chores that can stand alone, all indicating a cleanup:
57A. Designed for two functions, and a hint to the answers to starred clues DOUBLE DUTY

20A. *4-0 World Series win, e.g. CLEAN SWEEP
41A. *Broom alternative DUST MOP
11D. *Scouring aid SCRUB BRUSH
28D. *Graffiti maker's medium SPRAY PAINT
COMPLETION TIME: 06m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Bit of high jinks ANTIC
Our expression “high jinks”, meaning a prank or a frolic, was once the name of an 18th-century Scottish drinking game, would you believe? A bad score on a dice and you had to take a drink or do something undignified.

6. Eastern European SLAV
The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:
- the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
- the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
- the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

15. Hang (around) in a hammock, say LAZE
Our word “hammock” comes via Spanish from Haiti, evolving from a word used there to describe a fishing net.

16. Dos cubed OCHO
In Spanish, two (dos) raised to the power of three is eight (ocho).

17. Second-largest Indian city DELHI
New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

24. Spy for Moses CALEB
According to the Bible, after fleeing Egypt the Hebrews were led by Moses to the promised land of Canaan. Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan (one from each of the Twelve Tribes) to report on what awaited them. Ten spies returned with exaggerated stories of giants who would kill the Hebrew army if it entered Canaan. Two spies, Caleb and Joshua, came back with valid reports, that the Hebrews could inhabit the area. As a result of the false reports from the ten spies, the Hebrews did not enter Canaan but instead wandered the desert for another forty years, before they finally took up residence in the promised land. At the end of the forty years, Caleb and Joshua were the only adults that survived the forty-year journey, a reward from God for their obedience.

29. Gardner of Hollywood AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of "Mogambo" (1953), "On the Beach" (1959), "The Night of the Iguana" (1964) and "Earthquake" (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

35. "The Shield" force, briefly LAPD
The television drama called “The Shield” tells the story of an LAPD strike team that stops at nothing to beat crime and bring justice. The show is famous for attracting high profile actors to various episodes, including Glenn Close and Forest Whitaker.

39. "Norma __" RAE
"Norma Rae" is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called "Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance".

42. www bookmark URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

43. Org. with many specialists AMA
The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The first female member was allowed to join the AMA in 1868, but the first African American members weren't admitted until one hundred years later, in 1968.

44. Online newsgroup system USENET
Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in "newsgroups"? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it's still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms "FAQ" and "spam" were both born on Usenet.

45. Nora was his mistress ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb movie "The Thin Man" starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original novel by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called "Skippy". Skippy was also the dog in the film "Bringing up Baby" with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of "The Thin Man" films.

46. Justin Timberlake's former band ‘N SYNC
Justin Timberlake got his break by appearing on TV's "Star Search" from which he was given a starring role in "The New Mickey Mouse Club". It was on "The New Mickey Mouse Club" that he met his future girlfriend Britney Spears, as well JC Chasez who would join Timberlake in the lineup of the boy band 'N Sync.

'N Sync was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded "in sync". But, it's also true that the letters of the name 'N Sync are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:
- Justin Timberlake
- Chris Kirkpatrick
- Joey Fatone
- Lance "Lansten" Bass
- JC Chasez

49. Bok __: cabbage CHOY
Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. “Bok choy” translates as “white vegetable”.

53. Corrosive stuff LYE
Today when we purchase what is labelled as "lye", it is caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job ...

63. Buffalo's lake ERIE
Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to the lake effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake's edge.

Buffalo is the second most-populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

68. Great enthusiasm GUSTO
"Gusto" is an Italian word meaning "taste". We use it in the sense of "with gusto", with great enjoyment.

70. Riga resident LETT
Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city's magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics. People from Latvia are called Letts.

Down
1. Adapter letters AC/DC
If you have a laptop with an external power supply then that big “block” is an AC/DC converter. It converts the AC current you get from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

2. Carolers' offering NOEL
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for "birth" (natalis). Noel has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

The word "carol" came into English via the Old French word "carole", which was a "dance in a ring". When "carol" made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

3. Shakespeare's "The Winter's __" TALE
“The Winter’s Tale” is one of William Shakespeare’s plays. One of the unusual things about “The Winter’s Tale” is that the fourth act of the play is set sixteen years after the third, a time lapse that Shakespeare used in no other work.

4. Sleepy Hollow schoolteacher Crane ICHABOD
Ichabod Crane is the protagonist in Washington Irving's short story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". It's thought that Irving "stole" the name from someone he actually knew, a captain in the army called Ichabod B. Crane.

6. Side with a sandwich SLAW
The term "coleslaw" is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name "koolsla", which in itself is a shortened form of "Koolsalade" meaning "cabbage salad".

8. Ancient Mexican AZTEC
The Aztec people of Central America dominated the region in the 14th-16th centuries. Two traits of the Aztec people are oft cited today. They built some magnificent pyramids, and they also engaged in human sacrifice. The two traits were linked in a way. For the consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, 84,400 prisoners were sacrificed over a period of four days.

9. Italian scooter VESPA
Vespa is a brand of motor scooter originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

10. David Letterman list TOP TEN
David Letterman first introduced his Top Ten List in 1985 "The top ten things that almost rhyme with peas!" The segment started off as a parody on "People" magazine's top ten and worst ten lists.

12. Genghis __ KHAN
Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire, destined to be the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world. He first 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.

13. Tofu source SOYA
Tofu is another name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that ... bean that has "curdled". Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she hates it ...

21. Bureaucratic bungles SNAFUS
SNAFU is an acronym standing for Situation Normal: All Fouled Up (well, that's the "polite" version!). As you might imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

26. Highway to Fairbanks ALCAN
The Alaska Highway is also known as the Alaska-Canadian Highway or ALCAN Highway. A highway connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska was proposed in the twenties, but the Canadian authorities didn't believe the project had much merit as the road would be used by very few of its citizens. The perceived importance of the route increased during WWII and President Roosevelt deemed the road a strategic necessity so he made a deal with Canada. The cost of construction would be born by the US, but the road and related facilities were to be handed over to Canada at the end of the war. The project was accelerated when the Japanese invaded and occupied Kiska and Attu Islands in the Aleutians. The road of course has been improved and is still in use today. The ALCAN Highway forms part of what is popularly known as the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the south of Argentina or Chile depending on how the route is defined.

28. *Graffiti maker's medium SPRAY PAINT
"Graffiti" is the plural of "graffito", the Italian for "a scribbling". The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

31. MetLife competitor AETNA
When the health care management company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mt. Etna, the European volcano.

37. Carlsbad Caverns locale: Abbr. N MEX
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in New Mexico. The “Big Room” chamber that is part of the network of caves, is the third largest underground chamber in the country. The Big Room is almost 4,000 feet long and over 600 feet wide.

51. Four-wheeled flop EDSEL
It was Henry Ford's son Edsel who gave his name to the Edsel brand of automobile, a name that has become synonymous with "failure".

52. Dry Italian wine SOAVE
Soave is a dry white wine produced in the area around the city of Verona in northeast Italy.

54. Safecrackers YEGGS
“Yegg” is a slang word for a burglar and often for a safe-cracker. The origin of the term appears to be unknown.

55. Ward of "CSI: NY" SELA
The actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show "Sisters" in the nineties, and was in "Once and Again" from 1999-2002. I don't know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama "House" in which she played the hospital's lawyer and Greg House's ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently Ward has been playing a lead role on "CSI: NY" and is a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast ...

60. Cold War country: Abbr. USSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

61. Mal de __: Henri's headache TETE
“Mal de tête” is French for “headache”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bit of high jinks ANTIC
6. Eastern European SLAV
10. Sounds of disapproval TSKS
14. Team leader COACH
15. Hang (around) in a hammock, say LAZE
16. Dos cubed OCHO
17. Second-largest Indian city DELHI
18. Play parts ACTS
19. Say grace, say PRAY
20. *4-0 World Series win, e.g. CLEAN SWEEP
22. Salad fish TUNA
23. Make illegal BAN
24. Spy for Moses CALEB
26. Bit of schoolyard disagreement AM SO!
29. Gardner of Hollywood AVA
32. Under the covers IN BED
35. "The Shield" force, briefly LAPD
36. Diabolical sorts FIENDS
39. "Norma __" RAE
40. Pooling vehicle CAR
41. *Broom alternative DUST MOP
42. www bookmark URL
43. Org. with many specialists AMA
44. Online newsgroup system USENET
45. Nora was his mistress ASTA
46. Justin Timberlake's former band ‘N SYNC
48. Fir feller AXE
49. Bok __: cabbage CHOY
50. Nudges POKES
53. Corrosive stuff LYE
55. Cashless deal SWAP
57. Designed for two functions, and a hint to the answers to starred clues DOUBLE DUTY
63. Buffalo's lake ERIE
64. Not nuts SANE
65. Run to the window GO SEE
66. Gave for a while LENT
67. Malevolent EVIL
68. Great enthusiasm GUSTO
69. Colony critters ANTS
70. Riga resident LETT
71. Scatter about STREW

Down
1. Adapter letters AC/DC
2. Carolers' offering NOEL
3. Shakespeare's "The Winter's __" TALE
4. Sleepy Hollow schoolteacher Crane ICHABOD
5. Plates for company CHINA
6. Side with a sandwich SLAW
7. Bridal gown trim LACE
8. Ancient Mexican AZTEC
9. Italian scooter VESPA
10. David Letterman list TOP TEN
11. *Scouring aid SCRUB BRUSH
12. Genghis __ KHAN
13. Tofu source SOYA
21. Bureaucratic bungles SNAFUS
25. Speech therapist's concern LISP
26. Highway to Fairbanks ALCAN
27. Sirs' counterparts MA’AMS
28. *Graffiti maker's medium SPRAY PAINT
30. Clamping device VISE
31. MetLife competitor AETNA
33. Turn a deaf __ EAR TO
34. Airport annoyance DELAY
37. Carlsbad Caverns locale: Abbr. N MEX
38. "I'm listening!" DO TELL!
41. "Watch your head!" DUCK
45. Prevailed against, slangily ACED OUT
47. Common rental restriction NO PETS
51. Four-wheeled flop EDSEL
52. Dry Italian wine SOAVE
54. Safecrackers YEGGS
55. Ward of "CSI: NY" SELA
56. Small songbird WREN
58. Army division UNIT
59. Shot at the bar BELT
60. Cold War country: Abbr. USSR
61. Mal de __: Henri's headache TETE
62. "That hurts!" YEOW!

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LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Jan 13, Monday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: A Couple of M&Ms … each of today’s themed answers contains four letters M:
18A. Musical based on ABBA songs : MAMMA MIA
20A. Golfer Snead's nickname : SLAMMIN' SAMMY
40A. One on a board : COMMITTEE MEMBER
56A. Whale or dolphin : MARINE MAMMAL

63A. Campbell's soup slogan, and a hint to the puzzle theme found in 18-, 20-, 40- and 56-Across : MMMM GOOD
COMPLETION TIME: 06m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Paper used for envelopes : MANILA
Manila folders and envelopes were originally made from manila hemp, hence the name.

10. Thick-bodied river fish : CHUB
There is a whole family of fish called "chubs" including European chubs, lake chubs, hornyhead chub, creek chubs, and a host of others.

18. Musical based on ABBA songs : MAMMA MIA
The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads, not so much …

20. Golfer Snead's nickname : SLAMMIN' SAMMY
Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball by teeing off from home plate.

23. Naval petty officer : YEOMAN
In the US Navy, a yeoman is tasked with administrative and clerical work. In fact the position of yeoman is the oldest rating in the navy.

36. "True __": Wayne film : GRIT
The classic 1969 western movie “True Grit” starring John Wayne is a screen adaptation of a 1968 novel by Henry Hathaway. The Coen brothers made another big screen adaption of the novel in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role previously played by John Wayne.

44. Gas in a sign : NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

66. "Seinfeld" woman : ELAINE
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".

67. Albany's canal : ERIE
The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of "cheap" transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of the Empire State.

New York’s state capital of Albany was founded as a Dutch trading post called Fort Nassau in 1614. The English took over the settlement in 1664 and called it Albany after the future King of England James II, whose title at the time was the Duke of Albany.

68. Actress Hagen : UTA
Uta Hagen was a German-born American actress. Hagen married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

69. Sticky-toed lizards : GECKOS
The word "gecko" comes from an Indonesian/Javanese word "tokek", which imitative of the reptile's chirping sound. In making such a sound, geckos are unique in the world of lizards. More interesting to me than a gecko's chirping is its ability to cling to walls and to other vertical surfaces. Their feet are specially adapted with "toes" that make extremely intimate, close contact to a surface. It isn't suction that supports them, but rather van der Waals forces (weak "gravitational" attractions). Fascinating stuff ...

71. LPGA star Se Ri __ : PAK
Se Ri Pak is a South Korean golfer playing on the LPGA tour. Having a Korean name, we really should be calling her Pak Se Ri as she is known in her homeland. Korean names always start with the family name.

Down
1. Red planet : MARS
The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!

2. Ill-fated Biblical brother : ABEL
The story of Cain and Abel not only appears in the Christian and Hebrew Bibles, it also features in the Qur'an. In the Muslim account the brothers are named Qabil and Habil.

3. Diddly, to Dalí : NADA
"Nada" is the Spanish word for "nothing".

The famous surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it's a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection.

5. Oscar winner for "Cat Ballou" : LEE MARVIN
I've always thought that Lee Marvin was a very talented actor. Marvin had an amazing voice, and the appearance of a man who was hard and villainous. Yet he was able to break free from the villain roles in which he was typecast and played some characters with more depth. He won an Academy Award for his dual-role performance in 1965's "Cat Ballou". His totally unique rendition of the song "Wand'rin Star" from the 1969 musical film "Paint Your Wagon" made it to number one in the UK charts, keeping the Beatles hit "Let it Be" in the number two spot. I'll bet that surprised even Marvin himself!

“Cat Ballou” is a 1965 film, a comedy western starring Jane Fonda in the title role and Lee Marvin in dual roles, for which Marvin won his only Oscar. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Roy Chanslor. The novel was a serious and a quite dark work, but it was lightened up for the big screen.

6. Part of FDA: Abbr. : ADMIN
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was in effect created by the Food and Drug Act signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

8. Campus sports org. : NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

11. Clumsy actor : HAM
The word "ham", describing a performer who overacts, is apparently a shortened form of "hamfatter" and dates back to the late 1800s. "Hamfatter" comes from a song in old minstrel shows called "The Ham-Fat Man". It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the "acting" qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

12. Special forces weapon : UZI
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel Gal of the Israel Defense Forces who gave his name to the gun.

13. Arthur who played Maude : BEA
Actress Bea Arthur's most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the "All in the Family" spin-off "Maude" and as Dorothy Zbornak in "The Golden Girls". Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of "Mame" in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

19. Marseille Mrs. : MME
Marseille (often written “Marseilles” in English) is the second largest city in France, after Paris. Marseille is also the largest commercial port in the country. I used to live nearby, and it’s a lovely, lovely place.

21. The Big Apple, initially : NYC
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.

24. Latin ballroom dances : MAMBOS
The form of music and dance known as mambo developed in Cuba. “Mambo” means “conversation with the gods” in Kikongo, a language spoken by slaves taken to Cuba from Central Africa.

25. Orange-yellow gemstones : AMBERS
Amber's technical name is "resinite", reflecting its composition and formation. Amber starts out life as soft sticky tree resin but then under high temperature and pressure from overlying layers of soil, it fossilizes. The sticky resin can trap organisms or other plant matter, and this material can sometimes remain virtually intact inside the amber fossil giving us a unique gift from the past.

35. Somme summer : ETE
One might spend the summer (été) under the sun (le soleil) in France.

The Somme is a department in the very north of France, in the Picardy region. The Somme is famous as the site of devastating battles during WWI.

37. Global currency org. : IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

47. Late-night host Jimmy : KIMMEL
Jimmy Kimmel is currently the host of the late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Kimmel also co-hosted “The Man Show” and my personal favorite, “Win Ben Stein’s Money”.

49. Revolutionary Guevara : CHE
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to "see the world" by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara's memoir later published as "The Motorcycle Diaries". While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara's death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

55. Alpha's opposite : OMEGA
Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe. The word "omega" literally means "great O" (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron meaning "little O" (O-micron).

57. Teensy amount : IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

58. Fargo's st. : N DAK
The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

Fargo, North Dakota is the biggest city in the state. The original name for the city was Centralia, when it was a stopping point for steamboats that traveled the Red River in the late 19th century. The town really grew with the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway, so the name "Fargo" was adopted in honor of one of the railroad company's directors, William Fargo (of Wells Fargo Express fame).

59. Apples with screens : MACS
Macintosh (also “Mac”) is a line of computers from Apple Inc. The first Mac was introduced in 1984, and I remember someone showing me one at work in those early days of personal computing. There was a piece of white plastic connected to the main computer by a cord, and I was amazed when the guy showed me that it controlled where the cursor was on the screen. My colleague told me that the lump of plastic was called "a mouse" ...

60. Karaoke prop : MIKE
"Kara-te", means "open hand", and the related word "kara-oke", means "open orchestra".

62. "__ we forget" : LEST
“Lest we forget” is an oft-quoted phrase, one that comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. Kipling wrote the piece on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 as an expression of sadness at the waning of the British Empire. The phrase “lest we forget” is used in this context, a warning that the empire will decline. Ever since WWI we’ve been using the same words on memorials as a plea not forget the sacrifices made by others in the past.

63. Ryan of "Sleepless in Seattle" : MEG
Meg Ryan is the stage name of the actress Margaret Mary Hyra. Ryan's big break came with the excellent 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally” from which she went on to star in some of the greatest romantic comedies ever made.

“Sleepless in Seattle” is a lovely romantic comedy directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, released in 1993. The film’s storyline is based on the excellent 1957 movie “An Affair to Remember”, and there are numerous direct references to the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr classic throughout the “remake”. The lead roles in “Sleepless …” are played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

64. Hosp. scan : MRI
A CT (or "CAT") scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn't like the term "nuclear" because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it's just called MRI.

65. 1,000 G's : MIL
Numbers were another thing that caused me problems when I moved to the US. Where I come from, a thousand million is just that, a thousand million, whereas in the US that’s a billion. All the names for numbers bigger than a US billion are different than in Europe. What’s called a quintillion here (a million x a trillion US) we just call a trillion.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Paper used for envelopes : MANILA
7. Teensy kitchen invader : ANT
10. Thick-bodied river fish : CHUB
14. Lessened : ABATED
15. Critical hosp. area : ICU
16. Take down with a wrecking ball : RAZE
17. Trade for cash : REDEEM
18. Musical based on ABBA songs : MAMMA MIA
20. Golfer Snead's nickname : SLAMMIN' SAMMY
22. "I don't care which" : ANY
23. Naval petty officer : YEOMAN
27. Lasting mark : SCAR
30. __ and gown : CAP
33. John, Paul, George or Ringo : NAME
34. Go without food : STARVE
36. "True __": Wayne film : GRIT
39. CFO's degree : MBA
40. One on a board : COMMITTEE MEMBER
43. Swiss peak : ALP
44. Gas in a sign : NEON
45. Knocks for a loop : FLOORS
46. Scallion relative : LEEK
48. Space-saving abbr. : ETC
50. Team statistic : LOSS
51. Finale : ENDING
54. Selling fast : HOT
56. Whale or dolphin : MARINE MAMMAL
63. Campbell's soup slogan, and a hint to the puzzle theme found in 18-, 20-, 40- and 56-Across : MMMM GOOD
66. "Seinfeld" woman : ELAINE
67. Albany's canal : ERIE
68. Actress Hagen : UTA
69. Sticky-toed lizards : GECKOS
70. Tadpole's breathing organ : GILL
71. LPGA star Se Ri __ : PAK
72. Be agreeable : ASSENT

Down
1. Red planet : MARS
2. Ill-fated Biblical brother : ABEL
3. Diddly, to Dalí : NADA
4. To-do list entry : ITEM
5. Oscar winner for "Cat Ballou" : LEE MARVIN
6. Part of FDA: Abbr. : ADMIN
7. Gets in one's sights, with "at" : AIMS
8. Campus sports org. : NCAA
9. Tot's belly : TUMMY
10. Tot's drawing tool : CRAYON
11. Clumsy actor : HAM
12. Special forces weapon : UZI
13. Arthur who played Maude : BEA
19. Marseille Mrs. : MME
21. The Big Apple, initially : NYC
24. Latin ballroom dances : MAMBOS
25. Orange-yellow gemstones : AMBERS
26. Gets warmer, in a game : NEARS
27. Taken in a break-in : STOLEN
28. Slept next to the trail, say : CAMPED
29. Upper limb : ARM
31. Sales rep : AGENT
32. Opposite of post- : PRE-
34. Weighing device : SCALE
35. Somme summer : ETE
37. Global currency org. : IMF
38. Stretch the truth : TELL TALES
41. Bathwater tester : TOE
42. Dairy farm sound : MOO
47. Late-night host Jimmy : KIMMEL
49. Revolutionary Guevara : CHE
52. Inveterate faultfinder : NAG
53. Word with hug or therapy : GROUP
55. Alpha's opposite : OMEGA
57. Teensy amount : IOTA
58. Fargo's st. : N DAK
59. Apples with screens : MACS
60. Karaoke prop : MIKE
61. Many a folk song, composer-wise: Abbr. : ANON
62. "__ we forget" : LEST
63. Ryan of "Sleepless in Seattle" : MEG
64. Hosp. scan : MRI
65. 1,000 G's : MIL

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LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jan 13, Sunday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Elizabeth C. Gorski
THEME: That’s a Wrap! … all of today’s theme answers are formed by inserting a bunch of contiguous letters inside the letters “THATS” i.e. THATS “wraps” a string of letters to give us the theme answers:
23A. Husky features TH(ICK CO)ATS
38A. Disney film featuring Berlioz, Toulouse, Marie and their mom Duchess TH(E ARISTOC)ATS
71A. Tom yum soup servers THA(I RESTAURAN)TS
102A. Packages from recent guests, perhaps THA(NK YOU GIF)TS
123A. The Chicago Bulls had two in the '90s TH(REE-PE)ATS
14D. Trademark caps for Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake T(RUCKER )HATS
71D. Household regulators TH(ERMOST)ATS
COMPLETION TIME: 19m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … OMARR (Onarr), MAMET (Manet!)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Actress Birch THORA
Thora Birch is an actress from Los Angeles. Birch is probably best known for her breakthrough role in the 1999 movie “American Beauty” in which she was the insecure daughter of a married couple played by Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.

22. Tear down, in Tottenham RASE
Tottenham is an area in north London in England. It is home to a famous football (soccer) club called Tottenham Hotspur, the team that I used to follow as a kid many moons ago ...

23. Husky features TH(ICK CO)ATS
The Siberian Husky is one of the oldest breeds of dog, and originated in northern Asia. Siberian Huskies were imported into Alaska in great numbers in the early 1900s for use as sled dogs during the gold rush.

25. Line at a rodeo? REATA
“Reata” is the Spanish word for “lasso”.

26. "QB VII" author URIS
Leon Uris as an American writer. His most famous books are "Exodus" and "Trinity", two excellent works, in my humble opinion …

“QB VII” is a novel by American author Leon Uris, a story about events leading up to a libel trial in the UK. The title refers to the courtroom in which the trial takes place i.e. Queen’s Bench, Courtroom Seven.

27. "$40 a Day" chef Ray RACHAEL
Rachael Ray is a celebrity chef and host of several shows on the Food Network television channel. Ray comes from a family that owned and managed a number of restaurants in the northeast of the country. One of Ray’s TV shows is “$40 a Day”, in which she demonstrates how to visit various cities in North America and Europe and eat three meals and a snack on a daily budget of just $40.

28. __ facto IPSO
“Ipso facto” is Latin, meaning "by the fact itself". Ipso facto describes something that is a direct consequence of particular act, as opposed to something that is the result of some subsequent event. For example, my father was born in Dublin and was an Irish citizen ipso facto. My son was born in California and is an Irish citizen by virtue of being the son of an Irish citizen ("not" ipso facto).

32. Grafton's "__ for Lawless" L IS
Sue Grafton writes detective novels, and her "alphabet series" features the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with "A Is for Alibi" in 1982 and is working her way through the alphabet, most recently publishing "U Is for Undertow" in 2009. What a clever naming system!

34. Scottish tongue ERSE
There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gàidhlig (in Scotland).

36. Supermodel Wek ALEK
Alek Wek is a supermodel originally from Southern Sudan. In her native language, Wek’s name translates as “Black Spotted Cow”.

38. Disney film featuring Berlioz, Toulouse, Marie and their mom Duchess TH(E ARISTOC)ATS
“The Aristocats” is an animated feature film released by Disney in 1970. The lead voice actors in the movie are Eva Gabor and Phil Harris. “The Aristocats” was the last film to be approved for production by Walt Disney himself, as he passed away in 1966.

44. Nontraditional performance genre LIVE ART
Live art is a work of art that consists of a live performance by an artist or group of artists. Live art is beyond me …

52. Swashbuckler Flynn ERROL
Errol Flynn was born 1909 in Tasmania, Australia where he was raised. In his twenties Flynn lived in the UK, where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film "In the Wake of the Bounty" and then appeared in a British film "Murder at Monte Carlo". It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. His non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

58. Bledel of "Gilmore Girls" ALEXIS
Alexis Bledel is an actress from Houston, Texas who is best known for playing one of the title characters in TV’s “Gilmore Girls”. In the show, Bledel plays the daughter of single mother Lorelai Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham.

60. First name in fashion LIZ
Liz Claiborne was a Belgian American fashion designer and founder of the Liz Claiborne fashion company. Claiborne was the first woman to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

64. It ends in Nov. DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as "summer time". The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring and backwards in the fall so that afternoons have more daylight.

69. Blood typing letters ABO
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

70. Spot in front of the telly? TEA
I have had many a spot of tea in front of the telly …

"Telly" is the familiar term for a television in the British Isles, as opposed to our American use of the acronym "TV". And one watches “programmes” on a telly, as opposed to “programs” here in the US.

71. Tom yum soup servers THA(I RESTAURAN)TS
Tom yum is a delicious spicy soup served in Thai restaurants, a favorite of mine ...

74. "I'm not impressed" MEH
“Meh!” is one of those terms unfamiliar to me, a modern colloquialism meaning “I’m not great, but not bad”.

77. Big Island volcano MAUNA LOA
Mauna Loa on the "big island" of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name "Mauna Loa" is Hawaiian for "Long Mountain".

78. Like a bunch-spoiling apple BAD
One bad apple spoils the whole bunch …

84. NBC weekend staple SNL
NBC first aired a form of "Saturday Night Live" (SNL) in 1975 under the title "NBC's Saturday Night". The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from "The Tonight Show". Back then "The Tonight Show" had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call "Saturday Night Live".

85. Old Athens enemy SPARTA
Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece, famous for her military might. Sparta and Athens fought the Peloponnesian War from 431 to 404 BC, with Sparta eventually emerging victorious.

87. Astrologer to the rich and famous OMARR
Sydney Omarr was an astrology consultant to the rich and famous, and author of a horoscope column that appeared in the Los Angeles Times. While Omarr (real name Sidney Kimmelman) was in the US Army he even wrote a horoscope column for "Stars and Stripes". He claimed that he got the job of writing for "Stars and Stripes" after having giving a consultation to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

90. It has its highs and lows TIDE
Tides of course are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon's effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon's gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

94. C.P.E. Bach's birthplace WEIMAR
Weimar is city in Germany, perhaps best known as the location of the signing of the country’s first democratic constitution resulting in the creation of the Weimar Republic.

At the end of WWII, the imperial government of Germany was overthrown in the German Revolution of November 1918. Just under a year later, a new constitution was adopted by a national assembly in the city of Weimar. The resulting Weimar Republic lasted until German democracy collapsed in the early 1930s and the Nazi Party came to power.

Johann Sebastian Bach raised a very large family. He had seven children with his first wife, who died suddenly. He had a further thirteen children with his second wife. Of his twenty youngsters, there were four sons who became famous musicians in their own right:
- Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (aka "the Halle Bach")
- Carl Philipp Bach (aka "the Hamburg Bach")
- Johann Christoph Bach (aka "the Buckeberg Bach")
- Johann Christian Bach (aka "the London Bach")

112. Gp. with forces NATO
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill's chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."

114. Lasagna cheese RICOTTA
Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from sheep or cow's milk. Ricotta is actually produced from the whey of the milk, the liquid left after the curds have been separated out (curds are used to make "traditional" cheese). The whey is heated again so that the remaining protein, above and beyond that in the curd already removed, precipitates out making ricotta cheese. The word "ricotta" literally means "recooked", which makes sense to me now ...

Lasagna was originally the name of a cooking pot, but it came to mean a dish that was cooked in it. Lasagna also became the name of the flat noodle used in the dish. If you order lasagna on the other side of the Atlantic, you'll notice the "lasagne" spelling, the plural of "lasagna". The plural is used as there is more than one layer of pasta in the dish.

120. Madonna's "La __ Bonita" ISLA
Madonna’s full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone. Born in Bay City, Michigan, Madonna was destined to became the top-selling female recording artist of all time.

123. The Chicago Bulls had two in the '90s TH(REE-PE)ATS
The Chicago Bulls have won six NBA championships in the life of the franchise, all of them in the nineties. They won in the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons (a so-called “three-peat”), and then again in 1996, 1997 and 1998 (a second “three-peat”).

125. Future doc's exam MCAT
The acronym MCAT stands for the Medical College Admission Test.

126. Lats' neighbors DELTS
The deltoid muscle is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

127. It's south of Vesuvius ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius.

Mount Vesuvius is locates by the Bay of Naples, just over five miles from the city of Naples. The most famous of the volcano's eruptions took place in AD 79, the one which destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Today Vesuvius is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, largely because it is at the center of the most densely populated volcanic region in the world, with 3 million people living nearby.

Down
5. "Diana" singer ANKA
Canadian-born Paul Anka's big hit was in 1957, the song entitled "Diana". Anka was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962 called "Lonely Boy".

6. Soloists in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 VIOLISTS
The six beautiful Brandenburg Concertos were composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and presented to the Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721.

7. Lyricist Gershwin IRA
Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs "I Got Rhythm" and "Someone to Watch Over Me", as well as the opera "Porgy and Bess". After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, working with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

9. How freelancers may work ON SPEC
The term “free lance” was coined by Sir Walter Scott in his 1820 novel “Ivanhoe”, using it to describe a medieval mercenary warrior. Forty years later, a freelancer was a journalist who did work for more than one publication without a long-term commitment.

13. "__ Weapon" LETHAL
The “Lethal Weapon” series of film features Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the lead roles.

14. Trademark caps for Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake T(RUCKER )HATS
A trucker hat is like a baseball cap, but has mesh back.

15. __ avis RARA
A “rara avis” is anything that is very rare, and is Latin for "rare bird".

21. Mexico's national flower DAHLIA
The Dahlia is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Central America. It was named the national flower of Mexico relatively recently, in 1963.

24. "Drink to me only with thine eyes" dedicatee CELIA
Ben Jonson’s poem “To Celia” was written in 1616, but some time around 1770 the words were put to music in a song which uses the first line as its title, namely “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes”.

33. Editor's "leave it" STET
"Stet" is the Latin word meaning "let it stand". In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word "stet" and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

35. Legally bar ESTOP
The legal term "estop" means to block or stop by using some legal device. The word "estop" comes from Old French, in which "estopper" means "to stop up" or "to impede".

40. Everglades bird EGRET
At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to excessive hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women's hats.

41. "... like __ of chocolates" A BOX
The famous quotation "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." is of course from the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump”.

The epic 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Groom said that he had envisioned John Goodman playing the title role, and not Tom Hanks.

46. Dreaded Jamaican? RASTA
I must admit that I don't really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a "Rasta", like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

47. Nautical ropes TYES
A tye can be either a chain or a rope, and is used to hoist a spar up a mast on a boat.

50. Toyota Camry model SOLARA
The Solara is sporty version of the Toyota Camry.

54. Midler's "Divine" nickname MISS M
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".

56. Friend of Shylock TUBAL
Tubal is a friend of Shylock in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”.

Shylock is the main character in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”. Shylock is a moneylender and he gives a loan to Antonio (the “merchant” in the title) that is to be secured by “a pound of flesh”. When the money cannot be repaid, Shylock demands his pound of flesh, the collection of which would kill the poor victim of his scheme.

61. Z's overseas ZETAS
Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word "zeta" is also the ancestor of the name "zed", which became "zee", the pronunciation that we use here in the US.

63. Old hi-fis MONOS
Monophonic sound ("mono") is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

66. Coolidge and Hayworth RITAS
Rita Coolidge is a singer from Lafayette, Tennessee. Coolidge’s second marriage was to fellow singer Kris Kristofferson.

Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Rita's father was a flamenco dancer from Spain and so his daughter fell naturally into dancing. The family moved to Hollywood where Hayworth's father set up a dance studio, and there worked with the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The young Hayworth had a slow start in movies, finding herself typecast because of her Mediterranean features. When she underwent extensive electrolysis to change her forehead and dyed her hair red, she started to get more work (how sad is that?). In 1941 she posed for that famous pin-up picture which accompanied GIs all over the world.

67. Symphony that includes a funeral march EROICA
Beethoven originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven admired the principles of the French Revolution and as such respected Bonaparte who was "born" out of the uprising. When Napoleon declared himself Emperor, Beethoven (and much of Europe) saw this as a betrayal to the ideals of the revolution so he changed the name of his new symphony from "Bonaparte" to "Eroica", meaning "heroic" or "valiant".

74. "The Cryptogram" playwright MAMET
David Mamet is best known as a playwright, and indeed won a Pulitzer for his 1984 play "Glengarry Glen Ross". Mamet is also a successful screenwriter and received Oscar nominations for the films "The Verdict" (1982) and "Wag the Dog" (1997).

80. Bar fliers DARTS
Darts is a wonderful game often played in British and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called "Round the Clock" is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

82. Big name in coffee makers BRAUN
Braun is a manufacturer of consumer goods based in Kronberg, Germany.

91. 1977 ELO hit DO YA
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England. The band's manager was Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy).

97. Rooney __, who played Salander in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" MARA
The actress Rooney Mara is noted for her role in the 2010 film “The Social Network” and more recently for the title role in the 2011 hit movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Mara has American Football in her blood. Her mother’s family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers and her father’s family founded the New York Giants.

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is a sensational hit novel by the Swedish author Stieg Larsson, originally titled in Swedish as “Men Who Hate Women”. It is the first in a trilogy of successful books, all of which were only published after Larsson's death.

108. "The Perfect Storm" rescue gp. USCG
The US Coast Guard (USCG) has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG was founded as the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton in 1790.

“The Perfect Storm” is a nonfiction book written Sebastian Junger. The “perfect storm” hit North American coastal waters in 1991 causing the loss of the fishing boat Andrea Gail. The storm was also notable for the courageous actions of the crew of the US Coast Guard cutter Tamaroa, who plucked the three crew members of the sailboat Satori out of the water at the height of the storm.

111. Game divided into chukkers POLO
A game of polo is divided into periods of play called chuckas (sometimes “chuckers”). The game usually lasts for two hours, and the time between the chuckas is used to change horses.

113. "__ Be in Love": Kate Bush song OH TO
Kate Bush has a unique and experimental singing style, with her most famous recording being "Wuthering Heights" from 1978. I also love the subsequent releases "Babooshka" and "The Man with the Child in His Eyes".

115. Naval noncoms CPOS
A Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is a non-commissioned officer in the Navy and Coast Guard. The "Petty" is derived from the French word "petit" meaning "small".

116. Vintner's prefix OENO-
In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us "oen-" as a prefix meaning "wine". For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

117. "Later," in London TATA
An Englishman might say "tata" or "cheerio" instead of "goodbye". Well, supposedly so!

118. Camaro roof option T-TOP
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

119. Grieg's "__ Death" ASE’S
"Ase's Death" is a movement in Edvard Grieg's beautiful "Peer Gynt" suite. The suite is a collection of incidental music that Grieg composed for Ibsen's play of the same name. Ase is the widow of a peasant, and the mother of Peer Gynt.

122. Gold meas. KTS
A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

124. GOP platform-promoting org. RNC
National leadership of the Republican Party is provided by the Republican National Committee (RNC). Only one chairperson of the RNC has been elected to the office of US president, and that is George H. W. Bush.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Actress Birch THORA
6. Trattoria glassful VINO
10. Many a GE product APPL
14. Ruse TRAP
18. Have lunch at home EAT IN
19. Pressing need? IRON
20. Set of beliefs CREED
22. Tear down, in Tottenham RASE
23. Husky features TH(ICK CO)ATS
25. Line at a rodeo? REATA
26. "QB VII" author URIS
27. "$40 a Day" chef Ray RACHAEL
28. __ facto IPSO
30. Librarian's reminder SHH!
31. Players CAST
32. Grafton's "__ for Lawless" L IS
34. Scottish tongue ERSE
36. Supermodel Wek ALEK
38. Disney film featuring Berlioz, Toulouse, Marie and their mom Duchess TH(E ARISTOC)ATS
44. Nontraditional performance genre LIVE ART
48. Carpet cleaning tool RUG BEATER
49. Poses SITS
51. Route to the lungs AIRWAY
52. Swashbuckler Flynn ERROL
53. Arise (from) STEM
55. Codger COOT
57. High-speed scene CHASE
58. Bledel of "Gilmore Girls" ALEXIS
60. First name in fashion LIZ
62. Fruity treats PLUM TARTS
64. It ends in Nov. DST
65. Ready for aromatherapy, say STRESSED
69. Blood typing letters ABO
70. Spot in front of the telly? TEA
71. Tom yum soup servers THA(I RESTAURAN)TS
74. "I'm not impressed" MEH
76. "Was __ blame?" I TO
77. Big Island volcano MAUNA LOA
78. Like a bunch-spoiling apple BAD
81. Numskull LAMEBRAIN
84. NBC weekend staple SNL
85. Old Athens enemy SPARTA
87. Astrologer to the rich and famous OMARR
88. One who's not striking SCAB
90. It has its highs and lows TIDE
93. Not as warm ICIER
94. C.P.E. Bach's birthplace WEIMAR
96. “Up and __!” AT ‘EM
98. Court plea NO CONTEST
100. 2011 World Series champs ST LOUIS
102. Packages from recent guests, perhaps THA(NK YOU GIF)TS
104. Symbol of purity SNOW
105. Time past YORE
106. Sailor's direction AFT
107. Clump TUFT
110. Bread in a jar? TIP
112. Gp. with forces NATO
114. Lasagna cheese RICOTTA
120. Madonna's "La __ Bonita" ISLA
121. Call forth EVOKE
123. The Chicago Bulls had two in the '90s TH(REE-PE)ATS
125. Future doc's exam MCAT
126. Lats' neighbors DELTS
127. It's south of Vesuvius ETNA
128. Like ballerinas, at times ON TOE
129. Cake mix additions EGGS
130. Late for a party, maybe LOST
131. Berth place DOCK
132. Some aromatic cakes SOAPS

Down
1. Four: Pref. TETR-
2. "Yuk yuk" HA-HA
3. Of the ear OTIC
4. Like chocolate truffle cake RICH
5. "Diana" singer ANKA
6. Soloists in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 VIOLISTS
7. Lyricist Gershwin IRA
8. Words of denial NOT I
9. How freelancers may work ON SPEC
10. Puzzle book offering ACROSTIC
11. Teen leader? PRE-
12. Pod veggies PEAS
13. "__ Weapon" LETHAL
14. Trademark caps for Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake T(RUCKER )HATS
15. __ avis RARA
16. Yard sale caveat AS IS
17. Recurring pain? PEST
21. Mexico's national flower DAHLIA
24. "Drink to me only with thine eyes" dedicatee CELIA
29. Span. ladies SRAS
33. Editor's "leave it" STET
35. Legally bar ESTOP
37. Kick out EVICT
38. Gripping pattern TREAD
39. Throws HURLS
40. Everglades bird EGRET
41. "... like __ of chocolates" A BOX
42. Dog topper RELISH
43. Bully's words OR ELSE!
45. Mindful AWARE
46. Dreaded Jamaican? RASTA
47. Nautical ropes TYES
50. Toyota Camry model SOLARA
54. Midler's "Divine" nickname MISS M
56. Friend of Shylock TUBAL
59. Way up STAIR
61. Z's overseas ZETAS
63. Old hi-fis MONOS
66. Coolidge and Hayworth RITAS
67. Symphony that includes a funeral march EROICA
68. Intimidate DAUNT
71. Household regulators TH(ERMOST)ATS
72. Disconnect UNLINK
73. Recording TAPING
74. "The Cryptogram" playwright MAMET
75. Online message EMAIL
78. Lawyer's document BRIEF
79. "This is only __" A TEST
80. Bar fliers DARTS
81. Valleys LOWS
82. Big name in coffee makers BRAUN
83. Smartly dressed NATTY
86. Theater opening ACT I
89. "Don't play games with me" BE HONEST
91. 1977 ELO hit DO YA
92. Environmental extremist ECOFREAK
95. Reacted with outrage, as a mob RIOTED
97. Rooney __, who played Salander in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" MARA
99. Navel type OUTIE
101. Turn at the bar, perhaps SWIVEL
103. Brought home NETTED
107. Coach's call TIME
108. "The Perfect Storm" rescue gp. USCG
109. Penalty __ FLAG
111. Game divided into chukkers POLO
113. "__ Be in Love": Kate Bush song OH TO
115. Naval noncoms CPOS
116. Vintner's prefix OENO-
117. "Later," in London TATA
118. Camaro roof option T-TOP
119. Grieg's "__ Death" ASE’S
122. Gold meas. KTS
124. GOP platform-promoting org. RNC

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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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