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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! We had probably the last hike of our trip this morning (strenuous, past beautiful alpine lakes), and then opted for vegging out by the pool for a change this afternoon. Almost home ...

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Oct 13, Thursday




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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gerry Wildenberg
THEME: Desert Island Movies … today’s themed answers are the names of movies set on a desert island:
20A. 1954 Luis Buñuel film ROBINSON CRUSOE
35A. 1974 Lina Wertmüller film SWEPT AWAY
54A. 1963 Peter Brook film LORD OF THE FLIES

13D. With 44-Down, setting for 20-, 35- and 54-Across DESERT
44D. See 13-Down ISLAND
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 09m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. One of two N.T. books COR
The seventh and eighth books of the New Testament are the First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians.

14. 24/7 Rollerball maker PENTEL
Pentel is Japanese company that is known for manufacture of pens and markers.

15. Address for a PFC APO
APO Army Post Office(APO)

Private First Class (PFC)

17. African adventure SAFARI
"Safari" is a Swahili word, meaning "journey" or "expedition".

20. 1954 Luis Buñuel film ROBINSON CRUSOE
“Robinson Crusoe” is a 1954 big screen adaptation of the famed novel of the same name by Daniel Defoe. The film was directed by Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel and starred actor Dan O’Herlihy in the title role. The producers wanted to cast Orson Welles as Robinson Crusoe, but Buñuel rejected the choice, saying that Welles was too loud and fat!

22. Eur.'s ocean ATL
The Atlantic is the world’s second largest ocean, after the Pacific. The name Atlantic is a reference to the Greek god Atlas, and so the ocean might be called the “Sea of Atlas”. The ancient Greeks believed that the Atlantic was a giant river that encircled the world.

23. Diva quality EGO
"Diva" comes to us from Latin via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". The word is used in Italy to mean "goddess" or "fine lady", and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

24. Smallish cells AAS
AA batteries are relatively small.

25. "__ Love": Natalie Cole hit OUR
Natalie Cole is of course the daughter of Nat King Cole. Natalie’s mother was Maria Cole, a singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The most famous version of the hit song "Unforgettable" was released in 1951 by Nat King Cole. In 1991, Natalie Cole recorded a version that was mixed with an earlier 1961 version sung by her father, creating an "unforgettable" father-daughter duet that was made 26 years after Nat King Cole had passed away.

26. Lamarr of Hollywood HEDY
Hedy Lamarr was an American actress, originally from Vienna in modern-day Austria. Not only was Lamarr a successful Hollywood performer, during WWII she was the co-inventor of the frequency-hopping spread-spectrum method of transmitting radio signals that is still used to this day in wireless communication. Impressive ...

28. Harrison colleague STARR
Ringo Starr's real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles (replacing drummer Pete Best), Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name "Ringo Starr", because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded "cowboyish". Back then his drum solos were billed as "Starr Time".

George Harrison is often referred to as the “quiet Beatle”, although he did have a profound influence on the direction taken by the Fab Four. It was Harrison who first became an admirer of Indian culture and led the rest of the group into the Indian way of life. Harrison went as far as embracing the Hindu religion.

30. Sluglike "Star Wars" alien HUTT
Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien that appears in the "Star Wars" movie "The Return of the Jedi". Jabba's claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.

35. 1974 Lina Wertmüller film SWEPT AWAY
“Swept Away” is a 1974 movie from Italy that was directed by Lina Wertmüller. The film stars Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela Melato as two castaways on a deserted island in the Mediterranean Sea. “Swept Away” was remade in 2002 with the same title and with Madonna as the female lead. Unlike the original, the 2002 version was panned by the critics.

38. Rat Pack leader SINATRA
The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart's wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

44. Start for sphere IONO-
The ionosphere is that layer of the atmosphere that is ionized by solar radiation. One of the most important characteristics of the ionosphere is that it reflects radio waves and so is an important factor in the propagation of radio signals over long distance.

45. Moved, as a trireme OARED
Triremes were galleys used in the Mediterranean by a number of cultures, including the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The trireme was so called because there were three rows of oars on each side of the vessel. The term “trireme” comes from the Latin “tres remi” meaning “three-oar”. There was also a less ambitious version of the trireme that had only two banks of oars, and that was known as a bireme.

48. Aussie flock 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 …

51. Portuguese royal REI
“Rei” is the Portuguese word for “king”.

53. PGA money winner, e.g. PRO
The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

54. 1963 Peter Brook film LORD OF THE FLIES
The 1963 film “Lord of the Flies” was directed by Peter Brook and is an excellent adaptation of the chilling novel of the same name by William Golding. It’s all about a group of English schoolboys who are stranded on a deserted island. We get to see the boys organize themselves for survival, and watch the darker side of the “survival of the fittest” principle emerge.

58. Unwanted import from the East? ASIAN FLU
The so called "Asian Flu" was a pandemic that originated in china in 1956, and lasted until 1958. The virus killed an estimated 2 million people worldwide, including almost 70,000 in the US. Years later, in 1997, the financial crisis that rocked many countries across Asia was given the same name, "Asian Flu". The crisis started in Thailand when the Thai currency collapsed, and like a virus the panic spread across much of southeast Asia and Japan.

59. Words that may precede weeping? READ ‘EM
Read ‘em and weep.

61. Word with blue or bean NAVY
The navy bean is a white bean, and is the bean commonly found in the dish known as “baked beans”. It can also be called a haricot bean. The term “Navy Bean” is used because haricot beans were a staple for sailors in the 19th-century US Navy.

62. Neurologist's test, briefly EEG
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is "brain dead".

63. Temper ANNEAL
One anneals glass or metal by exposing to a very specific temperature profile, resulting in a tougher or less brittle product.

65. Tokyo, long ago EDO
Edo is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today's Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

Down
1. Festoons with certain tissue, for short TPS
TPing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota that little "prank" is legal, but if you live here in California, TPing is classed as mischief or vandalism.

7. Hunter's garb, for short CAMO
Our term “camouflage” evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting”.

9. A.L. Rookie of the Year after Tommie Agee ROD CAREW
Rod Carew is a former Major League Baseball player from Panama. Actually. Carew is a "Zonian", meaning that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, a political entity that existed for decades from 1903.

Tommie Agee was a Major League Baseball player who played mainly with the Indians, White Sox and Mets. He was one of the "Amazin' Mets", and was famous for making two phenomenal catches in game three of the 1969 world series, potentially saving five runs.

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

12. On the way EN ROUTE
“En route” is a French term that means “on the way”.

19. TV's Oz and Gupta DRS
Mehmet Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, and a TV personality known simply as “Dr. Oz”. Oz appeared as a health expert for several seasons on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Now he has his own “The Dr. Oz Show” on radio and television that is backed by Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.

Sanjay Gupta is an American neurosurgeon, and is best known as the CNN's chief medical correspondent. In 2009, Gupta was offered the post of Surgeon General in the Obama administration, but he declined.

21. Barstool topper SOT
Our word "sot" comes from the Old English "sott", meaning a fool. The word "sot" started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

22. Yellowfin tuna AHI
Yellowfin tuna is usually marketed as "ahi", its Hawaiian name. Yellowfin tuna is one big fish, often weighing over 300 pounds.

29. "When You Wish Upon __" A STAR
"When You Wish Upon A Star" is a hit song by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington that was written for the 1940 Disney movie “Pinocchio”. In the animated film, the song is sung by the Jiminy Cricket character, with the voice provided by singer Cliff Edwards. In some parts of the world, "When You Wish Upon A Star" has become a Christmas classic due the assumption that the “star” in the title is the Star of Bethlehem.

30. Big name in games HOYLE
Edmond Hoyle was a writer, most famous for documenting the rules and play of card games. In particular, Hoyle first wrote a book on the game of whist that was very popular. Such was the success of Hoyle’s treatises that we use the phrase “according to Hoyle” to mean “according to some respected authority”.

32. Bygone Delta rival TWA
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan-Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the acronym TWA) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

Delta was the world's largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is also the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta's roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers and was called Huff Daland Dusters, a crop dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name Delta Air Service was introduced in 1928.

34. "Illmatic" rapper NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. Nas released his first album "Illmatic" in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say ...

36. Cajun crawfish dish ETOUFFEE
“Étouffée” is a Cajun and creole dish made with shellfish, the most famous version being Crawfish Étouffée. Étouffée is like a thick shellfish stew served over rice. The dish uses the cooking technique known as “smothering” in which the shellfish is cooked in a covered pan over a low heat with a small amount of liquid. “Étouffée” is the French word “stifled, smothered”.

43. That, in Tabasco ESO
Tabasco is one of Mexico’s 31 states, and is located in the very southeast of the country.

52. "The L Word" producer Chaiken ILENE
Ilene Chaiken was the executive producer for the Showtime drama series "The L Word". The show deals with lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in West Hollywood. The title refers to "the L word": lesbian.

55. Woody Allen's "Radio __" DAYS
Woody Allen's 1987 movie "Radio Days" is somewhat autobiographical. On screen, Allen is the narrator of the piece, and tells how radio influenced his young life before the advent of television, during the so called Golden Age of Radio.

56. Science fiction prize HUGO
The Hugo Awards are presented annually for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing. The awards are named for Hugo Gernsback who founded the sci-fi magazine “Amazing Stories”.

57. Collector's suffix -IANA
The suffix “-iana” is a variant of “-ana”.

An ana (plural “anas”) is a collection, perhaps of literature, that represents the character of a particular place or a person. Ana can be used as a noun or as a suffix (e.g. Americana).

60. D.C. United's org. MLS
D.C. United is a professional soccer team based in the nation’s capital. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays home games at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Works by future doctors THESES
7. One of two N.T. books COR
10. Mellowed, perhaps AGED
14. 24/7 Rollerball maker PENTEL
15. Address for a PFC APO
16. Traffic controller CONE
17. African adventure SAFARI
18. Buttinskies MEDDLERS
20. 1954 Luis Buñuel film ROBINSON CRUSOE
22. Eur.'s ocean ATL
23. Diva quality EGO
24. Smallish cells AAS
25. "__ Love": Natalie Cole hit OUR
26. Lamarr of Hollywood HEDY
28. Harrison colleague STARR
30. Sluglike "Star Wars" alien HUTT
31. Map corner item, maybe INSET
33. Cross-referencing words SEE NOTE
35. 1974 Lina Wertmüller film SWEPT AWAY
38. Rat Pack leader SINATRA
40. Pizza order SLICE
44. Start for sphere IONO-
45. Moved, as a trireme OARED
48. Aussie flock EMUS
49. Benchmark: Abbr. STD
50. "For shame!" TUT!
51. Portuguese royal REI
53. PGA money winner, e.g. PRO
54. 1963 Peter Brook film LORD OF THE FLIES
58. Unwanted import from the East? ASIAN FLU
59. Words that may precede weeping? READ ‘EM
61. Word with blue or bean NAVY
62. Neurologist's test, briefly EEG
63. Temper ANNEAL
64. Covers the gray, say DYES
65. Tokyo, long ago EDO
66. They raise dough YEASTS

Down
1. Festoons with certain tissue, for short TPS
2. Give courage to HEARTEN
3. Swathes ENFOLDS
4. Attempt STAB
5. Spine-tingling EERIE
6. Baby carriers SLINGS
7. Hunter's garb, for short CAMO
8. Clearing OPEN AREA
9. A.L. Rookie of the Year after Tommie Agee ROD CAREW
10. Rights protection gp. ACLU
11. Has a date GOES OUT
12. On the way EN ROUTE
13. With 44-Down, setting for 20-, 35- and 54-Across DESERT
19. TV's Oz and Gupta DRS
21. Barstool topper SOT
22. Yellowfin tuna AHI
27. Like no-nonsense questions YES/NO
29. "When You Wish Upon __" A STAR
30. Big name in games HOYLE
32. Bygone Delta rival TWA
34. "Illmatic" rapper NAS
36. Cajun crawfish dish ETOUFFEE
37. Went on and on PRATTLED
38. In a manner of speaking SO TO SAY
39. Ready to go forward IN DRIVE
41. Blocks IMPEDES
42. Attack with profanity CURSE AT
43. That, in Tabasco ESO
44. See 13-Down ISLAND
46. Before, to a bard ERE
47. Offset, as costs DEFRAY
50. It may be gross TON
52. "The L Word" producer Chaiken ILENE
55. Woody Allen's "Radio __" DAYS
56. Science fiction prize HUGO
57. Collector's suffix -IANA
60. D.C. United's org. MLS


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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Oct 13, Wednesday




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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen
THEME: The Lone Ranger Says … the starts of today’s themed answers give us “HI-YO, SILVER”, the famous line uttered by the LONE RANGER:
16A. Home sound system HI-FI STEREO
23A. Memorable "Rocky" line YO, ADRIAN!
33A. Eloquent SILVER-TONGUED
55A. Hero whose catchphrase begins 16-, 23-, 33- and 47-Across LONE RANGER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Big name in big trucks MACK
Mack Trucks was founded by John Mack in the early 1900s, after he had spent some years working in companies that made carriages and electric motor cars. Along with his two brothers, Mack started their company to focus on building heavy-duty trucks and engines.

9. TV's Dick Van __ DYKE
The marvelous iconic comedian, actor, singer and dancer Dick Van Dyke has been in the world of entertainment since the 1940s when he was a radio announcer with the US military. He really made a name for himself on television in his iconic sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. On the big screen, Van Dyke’s most famous roles were in “Bye Bye Birdie” (1963), “Mary Poppins” (1964) and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (1968).

13. When doubled, a Northwest city WALLA
The Walla Walla Valley is a wine-growing region in Washington that extends into the northeast of Oregon. The valley is named after the Walla Walla people who lived in the area. I have a few bottles of excellent wine from the region that I picked up there on a recent road trip with my wife.

16. Home sound system HI-FI STEREO
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”.

20. Some Beethoven works TRIOS
Beethoven’s most famous piano trio is commonly referred to as the “Archduke Trio”, as it was dedicated to friend and student Archduke Rudolph of Austria.

22. "Veni, vidi, vici" man CAESAR
The oft-quoted statement "Veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered") is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BC and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

23. Memorable "Rocky" line YO, ADRIAN!
You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, "Yo, Adrian!" in the original Rocky movie. Adrian was Rocky's wife played by the lovely Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

29. __ del Fuego TIERRA
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southern tip of South America and is the location of the famed Cape Horn. Tierra del Fuego was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He saw native fires on land as he passed by and originally called the location "Land of Smoke" This was later changed to "Land of Fire", or "Tierra del Fuego" in Spanish.

32. Many millennia AEON
Aeon is a variant spelling of "eon". In astronomical terms, an aeon is defined as one thousand million years.

40. Rapper who played Left Ear in "The Italian Job" MOS DEF
Mos Def is the stage name of actor and rapper Dante Terrell Smith-Bay. Mos Def is one of the few rap stars who is really making a name for himself in the world of movies. He received critical acclaim for roles in 2003's "The Italian Job" , 2005's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and a featured role in an episode of television's "House".

43. Software test version BETA
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the "alpha" version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a "beta" and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as "beta". The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right ...

44. Agnus __ DEI
"Agnus Dei" is Latin for "Lamb of God", a term used in Christian faiths for Jesus Christ, symbolizing His role as a sacrificial offering to atone for the sins of man.

51. Botanist's study FLORA
The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

52. Nostalgic souvenir MEMENTO
A “souvenir” is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported the word from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

53. River in a 1957 Best Picture title KWAI
The river referred to in the movie (and novel) "The Bridge on the River Kwai" is actually called the Khwae Yai River, and is in western Thailand. The original novel by Pierre Boulle was published in French in 1952, and the wonderful movie released in 1957. Both tell the story of construction of part of the Burma Railway and a bridge over the river, using prisoners of war as laborers. The film stars William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.

55. Hero whose catchphrase begins 16-, 23-, 33- and 47-Across LONE RANGER
"The Lone Ranger" was both a radio and television show, dating back to its first radio performance in 1933 on a Detroit station. The line "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" was a device used in the storyline to signal that a riding sequence was starting, so cue the music!

58. Q.E.D. part ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

60. Tiny arachnid MITE
Mites are tiny arthropods in the arachnid (spider) class. Mites are (annoyingly!) very successful creatures that have adapted to all sorts of habitats, and being so small, they generally pass unnoticed. Ick ...

62. Puts the kibosh on ENDS
"Kibosh" is something that constrains or checks. "Kibosh" looks like a Yiddish word but it isn't, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

Down
1. Fruity cocktail MAI TAI
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic's restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum.

2. Butler in the Batcave ALFRED
Alfred Pennyworth was the faithful butler and valet to Bruce Wayne in the world of Batman.

Wayne Manor is where Bruce Wayne lives, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access is to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne's parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

3. Awards for ads CLIOS
The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

4. "How Life Imitates Chess" author Garry KASPAROV
Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster and former World Chess Champion. When he first became champion in 1985 he was 22 years old, making him the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion. Kasparov retired in 2005 in order to pursue a career in Russian politics.

5. Earl with a tea GREY
The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

6. Above, to Keats O’ER
7. Start of some Keats titles ODE TO
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”.

9. H.G. Wells' island physiologist DR MOREAU
“The Island of Doctor Moreau” is an 1896 novel penned by H. G. Wells. The book tells the story of a shipwrecked man who ends up on the island of Doctor Moreau. Moreau engages in vivisection and creates new beasts by combining different species.

12. Golf star Ernie ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname "The Big Easy". He has a child who suffers from autism and so Els has been very effective in raising money for charities that focus on the condition.

13. Off, in mobspeak WHACK
“Whack” and “off” are terms used by mobsters that mean “murder”.

21. Exiled Amin IDI
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda Amin joined his country's military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies, Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country's president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. Amin died in 2003.

23. Google-owned video site YOUTUBE
YouTube is a video-sharing website, launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion ... less than two years after it was founded ...

24. Yank since 2004 A-ROD
Poor old Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called "the Cooler" by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves. He has also been called "A-Fraud" by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez is now seems to be in a world of hurt for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

25. Bert Bobbsey's sis NAN
The “Bobbsey Twins” series of children’s novels was first written by Edward Stratemeyer in 1904. Stratemeyer used the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope, as did subsequent authors who wrote 72 books in the series between 1904 and 1979. The title characters were two sets of fraternal twins, one called Bert and Nan (who were 12) and the other called Flossie and Freddie (who were 6).

28. Hot-sounding European capital BERN
Bern (or Berne) is the capital city of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

36. Infernal NETHER
I guess the idea is that the “infernal region” is the abode of Satan, the “nether region”, the lower region, Hell.

38. Physicians' org. AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

41. Id controller EGO
Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

42. Chris of "Tommy Boy" FARLEY
Chris Farley was a comedian and actor who was noted as a member of Chicago’s “Second City Theatre” and a cast member of “Saturday Night Live”. Farley died in 1997 at the age of 33 due to a speedball (cocaine and heroin) overdose.

46. Stravinsky and Sikorsky IGORS
The classical composer Igor Stravinsky's most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets "The Firebird", "Petrushka" and "The Rite of Spring" were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.

Igor Sikorsky was a Russian pioneer in the world of aviation. He designed and indeed piloted the world’s first multi-engine, fixed-wing aircraft in 1913. He moved to the US in 1919 and set up his own aircraft manufacturing business. In the thirties he made the magnificent flying boats that were used by Pan Am in their Clipper era. Sikorsky also developed the world’s first mass-produced helicopter, in 1942.

48. Native New Zealander MAORI
The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. The Māori are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting sometime in the late 13th century. The word "māori" simply means "normal", distinguishing the mortal human being from spiritual entities.

53. Airline to Amsterdam KLM
The acronym KLM stands for “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij”, which translates from Dutch as “Royal Aviation Company”. KLM is the flag carrier for the Netherlands, and is the oldest airline in the world still operating with its original name. It was founded in 1919. KLM merged with Air France in 2004.

54. Xbox 360 competitor WII
The Wii is the biggest-selling game console in the world.

Xbox is made by Microsoft (I'm sure the kids have one around here somewhere!) and introduced in 2001. The current version is known as Xbox 360.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Big name in big trucks MACK
5. Gunk GOOP
9. TV's Dick Van __ DYKE
13. When doubled, a Northwest city WALLA
14. Give a makeover REDO
15. Line holder REEL
16. Home sound system HI-FI STEREO
18. Texts: Abbr. MSGS
19. Decline from disuse ATROPHY
20. Some Beethoven works TRIOS
22. "Veni, vidi, vici" man CAESAR
23. Memorable "Rocky" line YO, ADRIAN!
26. Little Leaguer, say KID
27. Automated intro? ROBO-
29. __ del Fuego TIERRA
30. Stay a step ahead of ONE-UP
32. Many millennia AEON
33. Eloquent SILVER-TONGUED
38. "__ baby!" ATTA
39. Zapped NUKED
40. Rapper who played Left Ear in "The Italian Job" MOS DEF
43. Software test version BETA
44. Agnus __ DEI
47. Reason to pile onto the team bus AWAY GAME
49. Promoting HYPING
51. Botanist's study FLORA
52. Nostalgic souvenir MEMENTO
53. River in a 1957 Best Picture title KWAI
55. Hero whose catchphrase begins 16-, 23-, 33- and 47-Across LONE RANGER
57. Work on, as a popsicle LICK
58. Q.E.D. part ERAT
59. Levels TIERS
60. Tiny arachnid MITE
61. "Gadzooks!" YIPE!
62. Puts the kibosh on ENDS

Down
1. Fruity cocktail MAI TAI
2. Butler in the Batcave ALFRED
3. Awards for ads CLIOS
4. "How Life Imitates Chess" author Garry KASPAROV
5. Earl with a tea GREY
6. Above, to Keats O’ER
7. Start of some Keats titles ODE TO
8. Having little talent for POOR AT
9. H.G. Wells' island physiologist DR MOREAU
10. "Darn tootin'!" YES, SIREE!
11. Small cask KEG
12. Golf star Ernie ELS
13. Off, in mobspeak WHACK
17. Royal seat THRONE
21. Exiled Amin IDI
23. Google-owned video site YOUTUBE
24. Yank since 2004 A-ROD
25. Bert Bobbsey's sis NAN
28. Hot-sounding European capital BERN
31. Elbow POKE
33. Tuck away STOW
34. "I've got proof!" IT’S A FACT!
35. Elegantly feminine LADYLIKE
36. Infernal NETHER
37. Greeting from Down Under G’DAY, MATE
38. Physicians' org. AMA
41. Id controller EGO
42. Chris of "Tommy Boy" FARLEY
44. Dented DINGED
45. Keys in ENTERS
46. Stravinsky and Sikorsky IGORS
48. Native New Zealander MAORI
50. Enclose, as pigs PEN IN
52. Parcel (out) METE
53. Airline to Amsterdam KLM
54. Xbox 360 competitor WII
56. Quick snooze NAP


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LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Oct 13, Tuesday




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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: Sounds Like a Vowel Progression … today’s themed answers end with -FLx, where “x’ represents the sound of a vowel. We progress through the five regular vowel sounds as we go from top to bottom of the grid:
17A. Food Network's "Throwdown!" host BOBBY FLAY (fl-A)
24A. '60s song about an insect who "hid / Inside a doggie from Madrid" SPANISH FLEA (fl-E)
41A. 1996 R. Kelly hit I BELIEVE I CAN FLY (fl-I)
51A. Difference between money coming in and money being spent NET CASH FLOW (fl-O)
66A. Contagious dog malady CANINE FLU (fl-U … well, “fl-oo”!)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 05m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Tom, Ma or Pa, in "The Grapes of Wrath" JOAD
John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” is set during the Great Depression. The novel tells the story of the Joad family from Oklahoma, farmers who had to leave their home and head for California due to economic hardship.

9. Greek i's 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. Russian currency RUBLE
The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks.

17. Food Network's "Throwdown!" host BOBBY FLAY (fl-A)
Bobby Flay is a celebrity chef who has hosted several shows on the Food Network. Flay is also an Iron Chef on the show “Iron Chef America”, which also airs on the Food Network.

23. Skin care brand OLAY
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

24. '60s song about an insect who "hid / Inside a doggie from Madrid" SPANISH FLEA (fl-E)
“Spanish Flea” is a song from the sixties that was composed by Julius Wechter with lyrics by his wife Cissy Wechter. The song is best-known as an instrumental, a number one hit for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in 1965.

32. Villainous Norse god in the 2012 film "The Avengers" LOKI
Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki was bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then Loki's wife must empty the venom onto her husband when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing causes the earthquakes that we poor humans have to endure.

“The Avengers” is a 2012 movie that features a whole load of superheroes (Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and Thor) battling a supervillain called Loki.

41. 1996 R. Kelly hit I BELIEVE I CAN FLY (fl-I)
“I Believe I Can Fly” is a 1996 hit that was written and performed by R&B singer R. Kelly. Notably, the song was used in the 1996 film “Space Jam”.

R. Kelly is the stage name of R&B singer Robert Kelly from Chicago. R. Kelly was named by “Billboard” as the most successful R&B singer in the past 25 years, and so I guess he has earned his nickname “King of R&B”. Kelly ran into some problems in the press when it was revealed that he had married singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 and Kelly was 27-years-old.

45. Sesame Street giggler ELMO
The man behind/under the character Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

47. Singer Sumac YMA
Yma Sumac was a Peruvian soprano. Sumac had a notable vocal range of five octaves.

57. Grand Ole __ OPRY
"The Grand Ole Opry" started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM "Barn Dance". In 1927, the "Barn Dance" radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called "Musical Appreciation Hour", a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of "Barn Dance" announced, "For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the 'Grand Ole Opry'". That name was used for the radio show from then on.

58. Beverage nut KOLA
The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Of course in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

59. Newton with laws ISAAC
Sir Isaac Newton was of course one of the most influential people in history, the man who laid the groundwork for all of classical mechanics. The story about an apple falling on his head, inspiring him to formulate his theories about gravity, well that's not quite true. Newton often told the story about observing an apple falling in his mother's garden and how this made him acutely aware of the Earth's gravitational pull. However, he made no mention of the apple hitting him on the head.

66. Contagious dog malady CANINE FLU (fl-U … well, “fl-oo”!)
Canine flu is a relatively new disease that first came to attention with an outbreak at a Florida dog racing track in 2004. Subsequent testing showed that the virus causing the disease has been around at least since 1999. Although canine flu is very contagious and causes a dog to be very ill for 10-30 days, it is not usually fatal.

69. SOS responder 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.

70. Fast horse ARAB
The Arab (or Arabian) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

71. Bridge predecessor WHIST
Whist is an English card game that involves the taking of tricks. Whist is a derivative of the earlier game of Trump or Ruff that was played in the 16th century. Back in Ireland, where I come from, whist tournaments are extremely popular and are known as "whist drives".

72. Stadium that hosted a 1965 Beatles concert SHEA
The Beatles concert tour of 1965 was the band's second, after the phenomenal success of their debut appearances in America the prior year. The opening engagement was at Shea Stadium, a concert at which the Beatles only played for 30 minutes. The audience of over 55,000 people set a new record for concert attendance, as did the gate of $304,000 (seems small now, huh?). The amplifiers in the stadium were completely overpowered by the noise of the crowd, and the Fab Four literally couldn't hear themselves sing. At one point John Lennon just started goofing around as no one could hear the music, and starting playing keyboards with his elbows!

Down
2. Febreze target ODOR
The odor eliminating product we know today as Febreze was developed in England in the early nineties, and is now produced by Product & Gamble.

3. "Fantastic Four" actress Jessica ALBA
Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that she acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. It seems that she has really turned her life around ...

“Fantastic Four” is a 2005 movie about the band of comic heroes made famous in Marvel Comics. The Fantastic Four are:
- Mr. Fantastic (played by Ioan Gruffudd)
- The Invisible Woman (played by Jessica Alba)
- The Human Torch (played by Chris Evans)
- Thing (played by Michael Chiklis)

4. Society newbies DEBS
Deb is short for "debutante", which translates from French as "female beginner".

5. Frequency between 300 and 3,000 MHz UHF
The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. "High band" is composed of relatively high frequency values, and "low band" is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).

6. Island nation near Sicily MALTA
The island state of Malta is relatively small, but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta's strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

9. Org. that's the target of April glowers IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

A “glower” is an angry or sullen look.

22. PC bailout key ESC
Escape (Esc)

26. Hawaiian dance HULA
Hula is the name of the Polynesian dance. The chant or song that the dance illustrates, that's known as the mele.

28. 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.

A “vagabond” is a person without a home who moves from place to place. The term derives from the Latin “vagabundus” meaning “wandering, strolling about”.

29. 26-Down instruments UKES
The ukulele originated in the 1800s and mimics a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

30. Hannah Montana portrayer MILEY CYRUS
Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character "Hannah Montana". Miley is of course the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter "Destiny Hope", but soon they themselves calling her "Smiley" as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute ...

34. Eden outcast EVE
In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against the bidding of God. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

35. Poivre companion SEL
In French, one might season one’s food with salt (sel) and pepper (poivre).

36. Duncan of the NBA's Spurs TIM
Tim Duncan is professional basketball player from La Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Duncan was a natural swimmer with his eyes on the 1992 Olympic Games. He was forced to turn his attention to basketball when Hurricane Hugo destroyed St. Croix’s only Olympic-sized pool in 1989.

38. Usually fuzzy tabloid pics UFOS
In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in a program called Project Blue Book. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969 with the conclusion that there was no threat to national security and that there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.

"Tabloid" is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a "small tablet of medicine", a name that goes back to 1884. The word "tabloid" had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in "tabloid journalism", applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

42. Culinary maven Rombauer IRMA
Irma Rombauer was the author of the famous cookbook "The Joy Of Cooking". Rombauer self-published the book back in 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her family continued to publish privately as demand was high, and then a commercial printing house picked it up in 1936. "The Joy of Cooking" has been in print continuously ever since.

43. Denver's st. COLO
Denver, Colorado is nicknamed the “Mile-High City” because its official elevation is listed as exactly one mile. Denver City was founded in 1858 as a mining town. The name was chosen in honor of the Kansas Territorial Governor at the time, James W. Denver.

52. Pleistocene, e.g. EPOCH
The Pleistocene epoch lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, and is associated with the most recent period of repeated glaciations. The name “Pleistocene” translates as “newest”. This name was chosen as the name of the preceding Pliocene epoch translates as “newer”. The name of the subsequent Holocene epoch (which extends right up to today) translates as “entirely new”.

53. "Baywatch" actress Bingham TRACI
Actress and model Traci Bingham played Jordan Tate on “Baywatch” from 1996 to 1998.

54. Magician's opening HOCUS
There appears to be a lot of speculation about the origin of the magician's phrase "hocus pocus", but nothing stands out to me as being very clear.

62. Arkin of "Argo" ALAN
The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in "Little Miss Sunshine" from 2006, a movie that I just did not understand ...

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I saw “Argo” recently and recommend it highly, although I found the scenes of religious fervor pretty frightening …

65. 2000 Richard Gere role DR T
The 2000 movie "Dr. T & the Women" is a pretty good film, starring Richard Gere in the title role. There can't be many romantic comedies about gynecologists ...

Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet.

67. Red-and-white supermarket logo IGA
IGA stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA's headquarters is in Chicago.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Tom, Ma or Pa, in "The Grapes of Wrath" JOAD
5. Ballpark judges UMPS
9. Greek i's IOTAS
14. Doing nothing IDLE
15. Put a stop to HALT
16. Russian currency RUBLE
17. Food Network's "Throwdown!" host BOBBY FLAY (fl-A)
19. Actor's platform STAGE
20. Remove pencil marks ERASE
21. Vinyl flooring piece TILE
23. Skin care brand OLAY
24. '60s song about an insect who "hid / Inside a doggie from Madrid" SPANISH FLEA (fl-E)
27. Palsy-walsy CHUMMY
31. Mongrel CUR
32. Villainous Norse god in the 2012 film "The Avengers" LOKI
33. Musical pause REST
37. Guffaw LAUGH
41. 1996 R. Kelly hit I BELIEVE I CAN FLY (fl-I)
44. Baffling question POSER
45. Sesame Street giggler ELMO
46. Increase, as prices GO UP
47. Singer Sumac YMA
49. Deceives LIES TO
51. Difference between money coming in and money being spent NET CASH FLOW (fl-O)
57. Grand Ole __ OPRY
58. Beverage nut KOLA
59. Newton with laws ISAAC
64. Squirrel away HOARD
66. Contagious dog malady CANINE FLU (fl-U … well, “fl-oo”!)
68. Take place OCCUR
69. SOS responder USCG
70. Fast horse ARAB
71. Bridge predecessor WHIST
72. Stadium that hosted a 1965 Beatles concert SHEA
73. Muscle firmness TONE

Down
1. Be in sync (with) JIBE
2. Febreze target ODOR
3. "Fantastic Four" actress Jessica ALBA
4. Society newbies DEBS
5. Frequency between 300 and 3,000 MHz UHF
6. Island nation near Sicily MALTA
7. __ Jane PLAIN
8. Touchscreen-touching tools STYLI
9. Org. that's the target of April glowers IRS
10. Not close enough OUT OF RANGE
11. Game for young batters T-BALL
12. Aquarium buildup ALGAE
13. "I'm outta here!" SEE YA!
18. Polite rural assent YES’M
22. PC bailout key ESC
25. Pile that aptly rhymes with fire PYRE
26. Hawaiian dance HULA
27. Film excerpt CLIP
28. Vagabond HOBO
29. 26-Down instruments UKES
30. Hannah Montana portrayer MILEY CYRUS
34. Eden outcast EVE
35. Poivre companion SEL
36. Duncan of the NBA's Spurs TIM
38. Usually fuzzy tabloid pics UFOS
39. Market surfeit GLUT
40. Doc's shot provider HYPO
42. Culinary maven Rombauer IRMA
43. Denver's st. COLO
48. Inquire of ASK
50. Victor's cry I WIN!
51. "Never in a million years!" NOHOW!
52. Pleistocene, e.g. EPOCH
53. "Baywatch" actress Bingham TRACI
54. Magician's opening HOCUS
55. Word with drive or memory FLASH
56. Cavalry weapon LANCE
60. "Save me a __!" SEAT
61. Bushy do AFRO
62. Arkin of "Argo" ALAN
63. Sugar bowl unit CUBE
65. 2000 Richard Gere role DR T
67. Red-and-white supermarket logo IGA


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LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Oct 13, Monday




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CROSSWORD SETTER: Steve Blais
THEME: Crunch Time … each of today’s themed answers ends with a CRUNCHY snack:
17A. Computer storage medium MEMORY CHIP
24A. Quick-on-the-uptake type, in slang SMART COOKIE
37A. Carton-cushioning unit STYROFOAM PEANUT
46A. Showy authority figure WHIP-CRACKER

58A. Tense pre-deadline period ... or when to eat the ends of 17-, 24-, 37- and 46-Across? CRUNCH TIME
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Pedro's eye OJO
“Ojo” is Spanish for “eye”.

10. Golf great Ballesteros SEVE
Seve Ballesteros was a very entertaining golfer from Spain, once ranked as the world’s number one player. Sadly, Ballesteros died from brain cancer in 2011, at the age of 54.

14. Crumbly Italian cheese ASIAGO
Asiago is a crumbly cheese, named after the region in northeastern Italy from where it originates.

15. Lao Tzu's "path" TAO
The Chinese character "tao" translates as "path", but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.

Lao Tse (also Lao-Tzu) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism.

16. Slangy prefix meaning "ultra" UBER-
“Uber” is the German word for "over".

19. When repeated, island near Tahiti BORA
Bora Bora is one of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The name “Bora Bora” is imitative of the Tahitian name for the island and should really be pronounced "pora pora". "Bora bora" translates as "first born".

Captain Cook landed in Tahiti in 1769, although he wasn't the first European to do so. But Cook's visit to Tahiti was the most significant in that it heralded a whole spate of European visitors, who brought with them prostitution, venereal disease and alcohol. Paradoxically, they also brought Christianity. Included among the subsequent visitors was the famous HMS Bounty under the charge of Captain Bligh.

21. Kadett automaker OPEL
Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we'd say "estate car" in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

22. Apple music players IPODS
When Apple settle on the name “iPod” for the company’s line of portable media players, they found that the trademark was already owned by one Joseph Grasso of New Jersey. Grasso had registered the name in 2000 to describe Internet kiosks that had a brief flurry of life in 2000-2001. Grasso assigned the iPod trademark to Apple in 2005. One has to wonder if Apple bought him a beer to do so …

23. Vintner's prefix OEN-
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.

26. Athenian walkway STOA
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.

29. Persian rulers SHAHS
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

31. Irene of "Fame" CARA
Irene Cara (as well as acting in "Fame") sang the theme songs to the hit movies "Fame" and "Flashdance".

37. Carton-cushioning unit STYROFOAM PEANUT
Styrofoam is an extruded polystyrene foam made by The Dow Chemical Company. Styrofoam has loads of applications, including home insulation and use as a buoyancy aid. It is also formed into “peanuts” used as a packaging filler.

40. Latin being ESSE
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

41. Latin love word AMAS
"Amo, amas, amat: ... "I love, you love, he/she/it loves", in Latin.

42. Muslim pilgrim's destination MECCA
Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

43. Tombstone lawman Wyatt EARP
Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

45. Mischievous trick DIDO
A “dido” is a mischievous prank. The term’s etymology is unclear, though it might somehow come from the Carthaginian Queen Dido who appears in the “Aeneid”.

51. Facebook notes, briefly IMS
Even though instant messaging (sending IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties.

55. Orator's place DAIS
Ultimately our word "dais" comes from the Latin "discus" meaning a "disk-shaped object". I guess that many a dias was disc-shaped ...

56. Vivacity ELAN
Our word "élan" was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours i.e "style" or "flair".

57. Fitzgerald of jazz ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the "First Lady of Song", had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

61. Notes after dos RES
Do, re, mi …

62. Pop singer Spector who fronted a '60s girl group named for her RONNIE
The Ronettes were a sixties "girl group" from New York City that worked with famed record producer Phil Spector. Their most famous hit was probably "Be My Baby" from 1963. The lead singer of the group was Veronica Bennett, who ended up marrying Spector in 1968, leaving him in 1974 to become "Ronnie" Spector, "the original bad girl of rock and roll".

65. Chuck who broke the sound barrier YEAGER
Chuck Yeager enlisted as a private in the US Army Air Forces in 1941, starting out as an aircraft mechanic. With the onset of the war at the end of the year, Yeager was able to enroll in flight school. In 1943 he was posted overseas, and flew P-51 Mustangs out of the south of England. He was shot down over France in 1944 and escaped to Spain with the aid of the French Resistance. His 11.5 accredited victories includes five downed aircraft in one mission (making him an "ace in a day"), and one of the first air-to-air kills of a jet fighter.

Down
1. Up-tempo Caribbean dance MAMBO
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.

2. River of Grenoble ISERE
The Isère river gives its name to the French Department of Isère, located partly in the French Alps. In turn, Isère gave its name to a somewhat famous ship called the Isère, which in 1885 delivered the Statue of Liberty from France to America in 214 shipping crates.

Grenoble is a city at the edge of the French Alps. Grenoble hosted the 1968 Winter Olympic Games.

3. Kids' imitation game SIMON SAYS
“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says ...”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

4. Vietnam neighbor LAOS
The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People's Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country's name is "Meuang Lao". The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of "Lao" entities united into one, the French added the "S" and so today we tend to use "Laos" instead of "Lao".

5. Part of USDA: Abbr. AGR
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) actually dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the "people's department" as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

6. Multiple Grammy-winning cellist YO-YO MA
Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist, born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

9. Caveman Alley OOP
"Alley Oop" is a comic strip that ran for four decades starting in 1932. "Alley Oop" was drawn by V. T. Hamlin. The title character lived in the prehistoric kingdom of Moo and had a pet dinosaur called Dinny. Alley Oop also had a girlfriend called Ooola. I had assume that Ooola’s name was a play on “hula hoop”, but that wasn't invented until the 1950s (a kind blog reader informs me) ...

10. Summoned as a witness SUBPOENAED
A “subpoena” is a writ issued by a court compelling a person to testify before the court, or compelling a person or organization to produce evidence before the court. The term comes from the Latin phrase “sub poena” meaning “under penalty”. The court has the authority to penalize a person or organization that does not comply with the subpoena.

12. "Falstaff" was his last opera VERDI
“Falstaff” is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi that draws on the character Falstaff from William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor”. “Falstaff” was the maestro’s last opera, written while Verdi was in his 80s.

18. Tax pro: Abbr. CPA
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

22. Cyclades island IOS
The Cyclades are a group of islands in the Aegean Sea lying southeast of the Greek mainland. There are about 200 islands in the group, almost all of which are the peaks of a submerged mountain range. Ios is one of the larger islands, 11 miles long and 6 miles wide.

27. Feats like the Yankees' 1998, '99 and 2000 World Series wins THREE-PEATS
A “three-peat” is the winning of a sports championship three seasons in a row.

30. 6'3", 5'4", etc.: Abbr. HTS
Heights (hts.)

31. Close associates COMPADRES
“Compadre” is Spanish for “godfather”.

32. Roadside assistance org. AAA
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

35. Tampa Bay NFLer BUC
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL in 1976 along with the Seattle Seahawks as expansion teams. The Bucs had a tough start in the NFL, losing their first 26 games. Things went better in the early eighties, but then the team went through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Their luck changed again though, and they won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.

36. RR stop STA
A station (sta.) is a railroad (RR) stop.

38. Jamie of "M*A*S*H" FARR
Actor Jamie Farr is best known for playing the cross-dressing Max Klinger in the sitcom ”M*A*S*H”. Although Farr landed a role in the 1955 movie “Blackboard Jungle”, his career didn’t really take off until he started appearing regularly on “The Red Skelton Show”. Years later he managed to get a one-episode appearance in ”M*A*S*H”, and his character and performance was received so well that he became a regular on the show. Farr actually did serve in the US Army in Korea, although it was after hostilities had ended. The dog tags that Farr wore when filming ”M*A*S*H” were the one's he actually wore while serving.

45. Discern DESCRY
“To descry” is to catch sight of, to discern.

46. Take by force WREST
The verb “to wrest” can mean to obtain by violent twisting and pulling. The word “wrest” derives from the Middle English “wresten” meaning “to twist”. Our word “wrestling” has the same etymology.

48. Quran religion ISLAM
The Koran is also known as the Qur'an in English, a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of "Koran" is "the recitation".

52. Mrs. Eisenhower MAMIE
Mamie Eisenhower has to have been one of the most charming of all the First Ladies of the United States. Ms. Eisenhower suffered from an inner ear complaint called Ménière's disease which caused her to lose her balance quite often. Because she was unsteady on her feet there were unfounded rumors floating around Washington that Ms. Eisenhower had a drinking problem. People can be very unkind ...

56. Sicilian volcano 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.

58. French vineyard CRU
"Cru" is a term used in the French wine industry that means "growth place". So, "cru" is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms "premier cru" and "grand cru" are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Forget where one put, as keys MISLAY
7. Pedro's eye OJO
10. Golf great Ballesteros SEVE
14. Crumbly Italian cheese ASIAGO
15. Lao Tzu's "path" TAO
16. Slangy prefix meaning "ultra" UBER-
17. Computer storage medium MEMORY CHIP
19. When repeated, island near Tahiti BORA
20. Male sibs BROS
21. Kadett automaker OPEL
22. Apple music players IPODS
23. Vintner's prefix OEN-
24. Quick-on-the-uptake type, in slang SMART COOKIE
26. Athenian walkway STOA
28. Otherwise ELSE
29. Persian rulers SHAHS
31. Irene of "Fame" CARA
33. Used-up pencils NUBS
37. Carton-cushioning unit STYROFOAM PEANUT
40. Latin being ESSE
41. Latin love word AMAS
42. Muslim pilgrim's destination MECCA
43. Tombstone lawman Wyatt EARP
45. Mischievous trick DIDO
46. Showy authority figure WHIP-CRACKER
51. Facebook notes, briefly IMS
54. Put back to zero RESET
55. Orator's place DAIS
56. Vivacity ELAN
57. Fitzgerald of jazz ELLA
58. Tense pre-deadline period ... or when to eat the ends of 17-, 24-, 37- and 46-Across? CRUNCH TIME
60. Bedframe part SLAT
61. Notes after dos RES
62. Pop singer Spector who fronted a '60s girl group named for her RONNIE
63. Alley prowlers TOMS
64. Function USE
65. Chuck who broke the sound barrier YEAGER

Down
1. Up-tempo Caribbean dance MAMBO
2. River of Grenoble ISERE
3. Kids' imitation game SIMON SAYS
4. Vietnam neighbor LAOS
5. Part of USDA: Abbr. AGR
6. Multiple Grammy-winning cellist YO-YO MA
7. Catchall option in a survey question OTHER
8. They're related to the severity of the crimes JAIL TERMS
9. Caveman Alley OOP
10. Summoned as a witness SUBPOENAED
11. Novel on a small screen, perhaps EBOOK
12. "Falstaff" was his last opera VERDI
13. Wipe clean ERASE
18. Tax pro: Abbr. CPA
22. Cyclades island IOS
24. Nothing to write home about SO-SO
25. Applaud CLAP
27. Feats like the Yankees' 1998, '99 and 2000 World Series wins THREE-PEATS
29. Opposite of NNW SSE
30. 6'3", 5'4", etc.: Abbr. HTS
31. Close associates COMPADRES
32. Roadside assistance org. AAA
34. Preparing to use, as a hose UNCOILING
35. Tampa Bay NFLer BUC
36. RR stop STA
38. Jamie of "M*A*S*H" FARR
39. Arabian leader EMIR
44. Play a part ACT
45. Discern DESCRY
46. Take by force WREST
47. "Is anybody here?" HELLO?
48. Quran religion ISLAM
49. Underlying reason CAUSE
50. Relatives KIN
52. Mrs. Eisenhower MAMIE
53. Snide smile SNEER
56. Sicilian volcano ETNA
58. French vineyard CRU
59. Earth chopper HOE


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LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Oct 13, Sunday




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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: Catching Some Zs … today’s themed answers are well-known phrases, but with a “Z” sound inserted:
24A. Really big hangover? A DAZE LIKE NO OTHER (from “a day like no other”)
36A. Mythical siren's boast? I CALL ‘EM AS I SEIZE ‘EM (from “I call ‘em as I see ‘em”)
50A. Couch potato's preparations? LAZE-AWAY PLAN (from “layaway plan”)
66A. North Pole resident's motto? LIVE, FREEZE OR DIE (from “Live Free or Die”)
89A. "You might wanna clean your glasses"? THAT AIN’T HAZE (from “that ain’t hay”)
100A. Harvest time in the Corn Belt? MERRY MONTH OF MAIZE (from “merry month of May”)
117A. "L, XL, XXL—who cares?"? A SIZE IS JUST A SIZE (from “a sigh is just a sigh”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. All-in-one Apple IMAC
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an "all-in-one" design, with the computer console and monitor integrated.

14. 92-Across newbie PLEBE
“Plebe” is a slang term for a freshman in the US military and naval academies. Plebe is probably short for "plebeian", the name given to someone of the common class in Ancient Rome (as opposed to a Patrician). "Pleb" is a shortened version of plebeian, and is a term used outside of the military schools.

19. Bits of fibrous fuzz LINT
“Lint”, meaning “fuzz”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

20. Second ballot, often RUNOFF VOTE
Today a “ballot” is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

22. Marathoner, e.g. RACER
The marathon is run over 26 miles and 385 yards, and of course commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens. The actual distance run today was decided in 1921, and matches the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway.

26. Bond film title beginning A VIEW
"A View to a Kill" is a James Bond movie with Roger Moore playing the famous 007. The villain of this particular piece was played very ably by Christopher Walken. In the film, Actress Maud Adams appears as an extra in a scene shot at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. She was visiting her friend Roger Moore, and happened to get caught in the background. Adams is the only actress to play a Bond girl twice (in “The Man with the Golden Gun” and “Octopussy”), and she also merits this uncredited appearance in “A View to a Kill”.

28. Title for Lancelot SIR
Sir Lancelot was one of the knights in the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table. Lancelot was the most trusted of Arthur’s knights when it came to battle, but off the field he had a poorer reputation. Famously, Lancelot had an affair with Guinevere, Arthur’s wife.

30. Video file format MPEG
The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym MPEG.

35. Nada, to Nanette RIEN
The word “nothing” translates to “nada” in Spanish and “rien” in French.

36. Mythical siren's boast? I CALL ‘EM AS I SEIZE ‘EM (from “I call ‘em as I see ‘em”)
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were seductive bird-women who lured men to their deaths with their song. When Odysseus sailed closed to the island home of the Sirens he wanted to hear their voices, but in safety. He had his men plug their ears with beeswax and then ordered them to tie him to the mast and not to free him until they were safe. On hearing their song Odysseus begged to be let loose, but the sailors just tightened his bonds and and the whole crew sailed away unharmed.

42. Demolition material TNT
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

47. In __ of: replacing LIEU
As you might imagine, "in lieu" comes into English from the Old French word "lieu" meaning "place", which in turn is derived from the Latin "locum", also meaning "place". So, "in lieu" means "in place of".

48. NYC subway IRT
The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

49. Better part of a loaf? HALF
“Half a loaf is better than none …”

54. George Smiley portrayer Guinness ALEC
Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars".

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “Smiley’s People” were two excellent BBC mini-series that were adaptations of the novels of the same name by John le Carré. Sir Alec Guinness stars in both series, playing the main character George Smiley.

56. Rihanna song title meaning "I love you" TE AMO
The singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career.

58. Nicholas II's consort ALEXANDRA
Alexandra Feodorovna was the wife of Nicholas II, the last Emperor of the Russian Empire. Famously, Alexandra was murdered by Bolsheviks with the rest of her family in 1918. She was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the UK. Alexandra and her grandmother were both carriers of the gene causing haemophilia in European royalty in the 19th and 20th centuries. She was also known for her friendship with Grigori Rasputin, the Russian mystic whose influence over the imperial family is said by many to have helped hasten their downfall.

59. Florida's "Blue Monster" golf course DORAL
The Doral Golf Resort in Doral, Florida has five championship golf courses, including one called the Blue Monster.

64. Loser to DDE AES
Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!" followed by "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!"

65. Balaam's mount ASS
Balaam was a diviner who appears in the Book of Numbers in the Hebrew Bible. In one story, Balaam is held to task by an angel for particularly cruel treatment of an ass.

66. North Pole resident's motto? LIVE, FREEZE OR DIE (from “Live Free or Die”)
“Live Free or Die” is the motto of the state of New Hampshire. The phrase originated with General John Stark, a native of New Hampshire who served in the Revolutionary War. Stark had to miss a reunion celebration in 1809 due to poor health, and instead sent a letter with his toast “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.”

72. Toon Chihuahua REN
“The Ren and Stimpy Show” is an animated television show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland "Ren" Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea ...

77. Belarusian bread RUBLE
The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks.

The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located east of Poland and north of Ukraine. Belarus didn’t exist as an entity until the Russian Revolution when it was created as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) that made up the USSR. The Republic of Belarus was formed soon after the USSR dissolved in 1990, but unlike many of the former Soviet Republics, Belarus has largely retained the old Soviet policies. Alexander Lukashenko is the country’s president and he believes in state ownership of the economy. Belarus and Russia have formal agreements in place that pledge cooperation.

92. Annapolis inst. USNA
The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

94. Wheel spinner's purchase AN I
Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since it first aired in 1975.

97. Valedictorians, e.g. A-STUDENTS
A valediction is an act of taking one's leave, from the Latin "vale dicere", to say farewell. An example of a valediction would be the words "yours truly" at the end of a letter. And of course, the valedictorian (here in the US anyway) is the student in a graduating class that is chosen to say the final words at the graduation ceremony, a farewell to the classmates.

99. Alley-__ pass: hoops play OOP
An alley-oop is a play in basketball in which one player throw the ball close to the basket for a teammate who usually scores with a slam dunk.

100. Harvest time in the Corn Belt? MERRY MONTH OF MAIZE (from “merry month of May”)
There is a traditional nursery rhyme that goes:
In the merry month of May
When green leaves begin to spring,
Little lambs do skip like fairies,
Birds do couple, build, and sing.

106. Mardi Gras, for one FETE
“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent.

107. Caddies of old ELDORADOS
The Cadillac Eldorado is a two-door luxury car that was produced by GM from 1953 to 2002.

114. Big name in bookselling NOBLE
Barnes & Noble (B&N) is the oldest retailer of books in the US. The company started out in the book-printing business in 1873 and opened its first true bookstore in 1917, in New York City.

117. "L, XL, XXL—who cares?"? A SIZE IS JUST A SIZE (from “a sigh is just a sigh”)
“A sigh is just a sigh” is a lovely line from a lovely song, “As Time Goes By”, featured in the 1942 classic movie “Casablanca”.

The movie "Casablanca" was released in January of 1943, timed to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, the high-level meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. The film wasn't a box-office hit, but gained critical acclaim, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The signature song "As Time Goes By" was written many years earlier for a 1931 Broadway musical called "Everybody's Welcome", and was a hit in 1931 for Rudy Vallee. But today we all remember the Casablanca version, sung by Dooley Wilson (who played "Sam" in the film). Poor Dooley didn't get to record it as a single, due to a musician's strike in 1943, so the 1931 Rudy Vallee version was re-released that year and became an even bigger hit second time round.

123. Debussy contemporary RAVEL
Maurice Ravel was a great French composer of the Romantic Era. His most famous piece of music by far is his “Bolero”, the success of which he found somewhat irksome as he thought it to be a trivial work. Personally though, I love minimalism and simplicity …

Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, one who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some "lighter" Debussy pieces called "Debussy for Daydreaming", and what an evocative collection it is. Included are "Syrinx", "Maid with the Flaxen Hair", "Rêverie" and everyone's favorite, "Clair de Lune".

124. Steinbeck novel set in the Salinas Valley EAST OF EDEN
John Steinbeck considered "East of Eden" his magnus opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of where I live here in the Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

125. Iberian river EBRO
The Ebro is the longest river in Spain. The river was known by the Romans as the Iber, and it is the "Iber" river that gives the "Iberian" Peninsula its name.

126. Nixon fundraiser Maurice STANS
Maurice Stans was Secretary of Commerce in the Nixon administration. He resigned from the cabinet to head up the finance committee of Richard Nixon's reelection campaign. Famously, money raised by this committee was used to finance the Watergate crimes.

129. Breads for Reubens RYES
There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben's Deli in New York.

Down
1. __ mater ALMA
The literal translation for the Latin term "alma mater" is "nourishing mother". “Alma mater” was used in Ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one's alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one's last place of education.

2. Actor Schreiber LIEV
Liev Schreiber is highly regarded as a stage actor, and has many classical roles under his belt. He won a Tony in 2005 for his Broadway performance in "Glengarry Glen Ross", and earned excellent reviews for his performance in Shakespeare's "Cymbeline".

3. Part of the Enterprise's power source ANTIMATTER
In the world of particle physics, antimatter is made up of particles that have the same mass as particles of ordinary matter, but with the opposite charge and quantum spin. Mixing matter and antimatter causes the annihilation of both, with a release of energy equal to the mass of the particles according to Einstein’s equation E=mc2.

In the "Star Trek" universe, the warp speed achieved by the warp drive engines is very much like our real-world Mach number. Just as a plane traveling at Mach 1 is moving at the speed of sound, a starship traveling at warp factor 1 is moving at the speed of light. Mach 2 is twice the speed of sound, and warp factor 2 is twice the speed of light. Cool, huh ...?

7. Santa __: offshore winds ANAS
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city. The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically "falls" down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

9. Org. with Bucs and Broncos NFL
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL in 1976 along with the Seattle Seahawks as expansion teams. The Bucs had a tough start in the NFL, losing their first 26 games. Things went better in the early eighties, but then the team went through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Their luck changed again though, and they won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.

The Denver Broncos NFL team started out as a charter member of the AFL in 1960. The Broncos played in the famous Mile High Stadium from 1960 until 2001, when the team moved to the newly-built INVESCO Field at Mile HIgh that was built next door to the old stadium. Most people still seem to use the name “Mile High Stadium” though.

10. Duct opening? OVI-
Oviducts are the non-mammalian equivalents of the Fallopian tubes. Eggs travel from the ovaries, along the oviduct (there are usually two oviducts, but sometimes only one) and are released into some other organ or anatomical structure depending on species.

11. Manipulate, as statistics, with "up" HOKE
“To hoke” is a slang term meaning to create a false impression. The term derives from the noun “hokum”.

"Hokum" was originally theater slang, meaning "melodramatic, exaggerated acting". Now the term just means “empty talk”.

12. Old Roman way ITER
“Iter” is the Latin for “road”.

14. President __ PRO TEM
"Pro tempore" can be abbreviated to "pro tem" or "p.t." "Pro tempore" is a Latin phrase that best translates as "for the time being". It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior.

17. "Someone's __ sleeping in my bed" BEEN
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed" is a famous line from the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.

The story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" was first recorded in 1837, in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three "nameless" bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

21. 1938 Physics Nobelist FERMI
The physicist Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy. Fermi moved to the US just before WWII, largely to escape the anti-Semitic feelings that were developing in Italy under Mussolini. It was Fermi's work at the University of Chicago that led to the construction of the world's first nuclear reactor. Fermi died at 53 years of age from stomach cancer. Cancer was a prevalent cause of death among the team working on that first nuclear pile. The synthetic element Fermium was discovered in 1952 and is named in his honor.

25. Role for Ronny OPIE
Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier. Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like "Apollo 13", "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Da Vinci Code". And today, "Opie" is a grandfather ...

27. Llanfairpwll citizens WELSH
Llanfairpwll is the short form of the Welsh village that is more completely named Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. That’s the longest place name in Europe. The name translates as:
[St.] Mary's Church (Llanfair) [in] the hollow (pwll) of the white hazel (gwyngyll) near (goger) the rapid whirlpool (y chwyrndrobwll) [and] the church of [St.] Tysilio (llantysilio) with a red cave ([a]g ogo goch). 
The sign at the local railway station is a spot often used for photos by tourists. The length of the sign necessitates the use of five supporting poles instead of the usual two.

33. Nick and Nora's dog 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 story 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 "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.

36. 24-part epic 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.

37. "Two Women" producer Ponti CARLO
The Italian film producer Carlo Ponti was not quite as famous as his celebrity wife, Sophia Loren. Ponti met Loren as a contestant in a beauty contest he was judging in 1950. Back then she was a budding young actress still using her real name, Sofia Lazzaro. The two married in 1957 even though divorce was illegal at the time in Italy, so Ponti was still married to his first wife.

Sophia Loren certainly has earned her place in the world of movies. In 1962 she won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film "Two Women", the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. Loren received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in "Marriage Italian-Style", another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.

38. Like all bucks and some broncos MALE
A "bronco" (also "bronc") is a horse that is untamed. In Mexican Spanish "bronco" is a word for "horse", and in the original Spanish "bronco" means "rough, rude".

40. Intestinal parts ILEA
The human ileum is the lowest part of the small intestine, found below the jejumum and above the cecum of the large intestine.

42. Oscar winner Swinton of "Michael Clayton" TILDA
Tilda Swinton is an English actress, quite famous in her native land. Swinton made a big name for herself outside the UK when she played the “baddie” in the 2007 movie “Michael Clayton”, opposite the “goodie” played by George Clooney.

47. Hosp. worker LPN
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) might work in a hospital (hosp.).

53. PLO chairman before Mahmoud YASIR
Yasser (also Yasir) Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929, the son of two Palestinians and the second-youngest of seven children. Arafat was beaten by his father as a child and so did not have a good relationship with him. Arafat did not attend his father's funeral, nor did he visit his grave. The beatings were apparently administered because the young Arafat was repeatedly attending religious services in the Jewish quarter of Cairo. Arafat's explanation was that he wanted to "study the mentality" of the Jewish people.

Mahmoud Abbas took over as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 2004 after the death of Yasser Arafat. Abbas is also the President of the Palestinian National Authority, equivalent to "head of state".

55. "Iron man" Ripken CAL
Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken was known as the "Iron Man" because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous 2,130-game record held by Lou Gehrig.

57. Sea, overseas MER
“Mer” is the French word for “sea”.

60. Tripoli's country LIBYA
Tripoli is the capital city of Libya and sits on the Mediterranean Coast. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was originally called Oea.

62. R&R component: Abbr. REC
R&R is “rest and recreation”.

63. One of the greenhouse gases OZONE
Ozone gets its name from the Greek word ozein, meaning "to smell". It was given this name as ozone's formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas's distinctive smell.

Greenhouse gases are gases that act can both absorb and emit heat. The most abundant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane. Without these gases in the atmosphere, the mean temperature of the earth would be significantly lower. Since the Industrial Revolution man has caused dramatic shifts in the amount of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere in particular, causing the mean temperature of the earth to rise. Not a good thing, I hear …

67. One of a Caesarean trio VICI
The oft-quoted statement "Veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered") is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BC and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

68. Poet's deep black EBON
Ebony is another word for the color black (often shortened to "ebon" in poetry). Ebony is a dark black wood that is very dense, one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It is in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned ...

69. Reagan __ ERA
Ronald Reagan started out his political career as a member of the Democratic Party, but switched to the Republicans in the early fifties. He served as Governor of California for eight years, and vied unsuccessfully for the nomination for US President on two occasions. He finally succeeded in 1980 and defeated President Jimmy Carter to become the 40th US President in 1981.

71. Aus. setting EUR
The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country: “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

73. Prefix with botany ETHNO-
Ethnobotany is is the study of the relationship between plants and people.

74. Rights gp. since 1909 NAACP
The full name of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is remarkable in that it actually still uses the old offensive term "colored people". The NAACP was founded in 1909, by a group that included suffragette and journalist Mary White Ovington, wealthy socialist William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moscowitz. Another member of the founding group was W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University.

78. Collectible stuffed animal BEANIE BABY
There were originally just nine Beanie Babies when Ty Warner introduced the stuffed animal in 1993. In the late nineties the toy became a real fad, largely due to innovative marketing techniques. For example, there was no mass marketing with constant TV ads, and the production volume was limited pushing the line into the realm of collectibles. Beanie Baby models were also "retired" on a regular basis, fueling a "must have" behavior in the market.

79. Woody Woodpecker's creator LANTZ
The much-loved cartoon character called Woody Woodpecker came out of the Walter Lantz animation studio. Woody initially appeared in a cartoon called “Knock Knock” released in 1940. Woody was first voiced by the famous Mel Blanc.

80. Beethoven's "Für __" ELISE
"Fur Elise" is a beautiful piece of music written by Beethoven, and is also known as "Bagatelle in A Minor". "Fur Elise" means simply "For Elise", but sadly no one knows for sure the identity of the mysterious dedicatee.

83. Guide to Bethlehem STAR
"Magi" is the plural of the Latin word "magus", a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the "wise men from the East" who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born in Bethlehem.

84. "__ are the we of me": McCullers THEY
“They are the we of me” is a quotation from the 1946 novel “The Member of the Wedding” written by Carson McCullers.

90. Weapon for Napoleon ARME
In French, a soldier (soldat) uses a weapon (arme).

91. __ suit: '40s apparel ZOOT
A zoot suit has pants that are fairly loose fitting, except around the cuff at the bottom of the leg. The pants also have a high waist. The jacket of the suit has wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. Zoot-suits were popular in the US in the thirties and forties, and were often associated with the African American, Latino American and Italian American ethnic groups. Over in the UK, the zoot suit was worn by the "Teddy boys" of the fifties and sixties. "Zoot" is probably just a slang iteration of the word "suit".

97. They have legends ATLASES
The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator's collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term "atlas".

100. Honeycomb-like fungi MORELS
The morel is that genus of mushroom with the honeycomb-like structure on the cap. They're highly prized, especially in French cuisine. Morels should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

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

"NYPD Blue" is a police drama that was originally aired in 1993, and ran until 2005. Stars of the show are Dennis Franz, David Caruso, Jimmy Smits and Rick Schroder. The show created a bit of a fuss back in the nineties as it featured a relatively large amount of nudity for broadcast television.

102. Exodus obstacle RED SEA
The Red Sea (sometimes called the Arabian Gulf) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

103. City south of Baghdad NAJAF
Najaf is an Iraqi city that lies about 100 miles south of Baghdad.

104. Pair of sixes DOZEN
Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for twelve is “douze”, and a dozen is “douzaine”.

107. Hammer sites EARS
The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles' job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their common names: the hammer, anvil and stirrup.

108. Future jurist's exam, for short LSAT
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

109. Prima donna DIVA
"Diva" comes to us from Latin via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". The word is used in Italy to mean "goddess" or "fine lady", and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

The Italian operatic term “prima donna” is used for the lead female singer in an opera company. “Prima donna” translates from Italian as “first lady”. The lead male singer is known as the “primo uomo”. The term “prima donna assoluta” is reserved for a prima donna who is generally accepted as being an outstanding performer. We tend to use “prima donna” for a female performer who has an inflated ego.

110. California home of the Bionic Woman OJAI
The city of Ojai, California is located just northwest of Los Angeles. One of the city's claims to fame is that according to the TV shows “The Bionic Woman” and “The Six Million Dollar Man”, Jaime Sommers and Steve Austin grew up in Ojai and were childhood sweethearts!

I so much preferred “The Bionic Woman” over the original show, “The Six Million Dollar Man”. That was probably because I was “at that age” in the mid-seventies, when the star Lindsay Wagner was attracting my attention! Wagner played Jaime Sommers who was badly injured in a parachute jump, and she was given robotic implants that gave her speed, strength and exceptional hearing.

115. Old Pisa dough LIRE
The city of Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city's cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are ...

116. Slaughter in the field ENOS
Enos Slaughter has a remarkable playing record in Major League Baseball over a 19-year career. Slaughter's record is particularly remarkable given that he left baseball for three years to serve in the military during WWII.

118. Letters for baseball's Cards STL
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the "Brown Stockings", changing their name to the "Perfectos" in 1899. The new name obviously didn't go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

120. Buddhism sect ZEN
Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word "chan", which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word "dhyana" meaning "meditation".

121. Tonsillectomy MD ENT
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)

The palatine tonsils are located at the back of the human throat. The exact role that tonsils play isn’t completely understood, but it is known that they are in the first line of defense in the body’s immune system. They provide some level of protection against pathogens that are ingested and inhaled.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cry from the heartbroken ALAS!
5. All-in-one Apple IMAC
9. Masterful, pitching-wise NO-HIT
14. 92-Across newbie PLEBE
19. Bits of fibrous fuzz LINT
20. Second ballot, often RUNOFF VOTE
22. Marathoner, e.g. RACER
23. Dole (out) METE
24. Really big hangover? A DAZE LIKE NO OTHER (from “a day like no other”)
26. Bond film title beginning A VIEW
28. Title for Lancelot SIR
29. Blow-ups ERUPTIONS
30. Video file format MPEG
32. Online read, for short EMAG
35. Nada, to Nanette RIEN
36. Mythical siren's boast? I CALL ‘EM AS I SEIZE ‘EM (from “I call ‘em as I see ‘em”)
42. Demolition material TNT
45. Rain delay result LATE START
46. Prefix with scope TELE-
47. In __ of: replacing LIEU
48. NYC subway IRT
49. Better part of a loaf? HALF
50. Couch potato's preparations? LAZE-AWAY PLAN (from “layaway plan”)
54. George Smiley portrayer Guinness ALEC
56. Rihanna song title meaning "I love you" TE AMO
58. Nicholas II's consort ALEXANDRA
59. Florida's "Blue Monster" golf course DORAL
61. Museum gift shop offering, briefly REPRO
64. Loser to DDE AES
65. Balaam's mount ASS
66. North Pole resident's motto? LIVE, FREEZE OR DIE (from “Live Free or Die”)
72. Toon Chihuahua REN
75. Crab eater's neckwear BIB
76. Treat with disdain SCORN
77. Belarusian bread RUBLE
81. Whatever the price AT ANY COST
85. Nasal airways NARES
88. Unlike fiction REAL
89. "You might wanna clean your glasses"? THAT AIN’T HAZE (from “that ain’t hay”)
92. Annapolis inst. USNA
94. Wheel spinner's purchase AN I
95. Foot segment INCH
96. Aviation prefix AERO-
97. Valedictorians, e.g. A-STUDENTS
99. Alley-__ pass: hoops play OOP
100. Harvest time in the Corn Belt? MERRY MONTH OF MAIZE (from “merry month of May”)
104. Prescription indication DOSE
105. List catchall ET AL
106. Mardi Gras, for one FETE
107. Caddies of old ELDORADOS
112. Yak JAW
114. Big name in bookselling NOBLE
117. "L, XL, XXL—who cares?"? A SIZE IS JUST A SIZE (from “a sigh is just a sigh”)
122. Bigheaded VAIN
123. Debussy contemporary RAVEL
124. Steinbeck novel set in the Salinas Valley EAST OF EDEN
125. Iberian river EBRO
126. Nixon fundraiser Maurice STANS
127. Path to a wedding AISLE
128. Posted SENT
129. Breads for Reubens RYES

Down
1. __ mater ALMA
2. Actor Schreiber LIEV
3. Part of the Enterprise's power source ANTIMATTER
4. Pealing place STEEPLE
5. CPA's recommendation IRA
6. Strong java MUD
7. Santa __: offshore winds ANAS
8. Like the best fireplace fire COZIEST
9. Org. with Bucs and Broncos NFL
10. Duct opening? OVI-
11. Manipulate, as statistics, with "up" HOKE
12. Old Roman way ITER
13. Teacher's security TENURE
14. President __ PRO TEM
15. Language of many a motto LATIN
16. It's repetitive ECHO
17. "Someone's __ sleeping in my bed" BEEN
18. Slips ERRS
21. 1938 Physics Nobelist FERMI
25. Role for Ronny OPIE
27. Llanfairpwll citizens WELSH
31. Imply GET AT
33. Nick and Nora's dog ASTA
34. "Shoot" GEEZ!
36. 24-part epic ILIAD
37. "Two Women" producer Ponti CARLO
38. Like all bucks and some broncos MALE
39. Line for 33-Down ARF ARF
40. Intestinal parts ILEA
41. Enthusiasm ZEAL
42. Oscar winner Swinton of "Michael Clayton" TILDA
43. Approaches NEARS
44. Albacore and ahi TUNAS
47. Hosp. worker LPN
50. Easy strides LOPES
51. Sport WEAR
52. Felled in the forest AXED
53. PLO chairman before Mahmoud YASIR
55. "Iron man" Ripken CAL
57. Sea, overseas MER
60. Tripoli's country LIBYA
62. R&R component: Abbr. REC
63. One of the greenhouse gases OZONE
67. One of a Caesarean trio VICI
68. Poet's deep black EBON
69. Reagan __ ERA
70. Torrent ONRUSH
71. Aus. setting EUR
72. 9 to 5, e.g. RATIO
73. Prefix with botany ETHNO-
74. Rights gp. since 1909 NAACP
78. Collectible stuffed animal BEANIE BABY
79. Woody Woodpecker's creator LANTZ
80. Beethoven's "Für __" ELISE
82. Degree in math NTH
83. Guide to Bethlehem STAR
84. "__ are the we of me": McCullers THEY
86. Juan's "this" ESTO
87. Put (out) SNUFF
90. Weapon for Napoleon ARME
91. __ suit: '40s apparel ZOOT
93. Commercial developers ADMEN
97. They have legends ATLASES
98. Dine next door, say EAT OVER
100. Honeycomb-like fungi MORELS
101. Morales of "NYPD Blue" ESAI
102. Exodus obstacle RED SEA
103. City south of Baghdad NAJAF
104. Pair of sixes DOZEN
107. Hammer sites EARS
108. Future jurist's exam, for short LSAT
109. Prima donna DIVA
110. California home of the Bionic Woman OJAI
111. Figure (out) SUSS
113. Like EE shoes WIDE
115. Old Pisa dough LIRE
116. Slaughter in the field ENOS
118. Letters for baseball's Cards STL
119. Kid's piggy TOE
120. Buddhism sect ZEN
121. Tonsillectomy MD ENT


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This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the Los Angeles Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, usually before midnight PST.

I've been writing the NYTCrossword.com blog (about the New York Times crossword) since 2009. I finally started this LAXCrossword.com blog in response to many requests over the years to write about the daily LA Times crossword.

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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