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LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Jan 14, Friday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: Bridges … four of today’s black squares need to be viewed as “bridges” (shown as double-ended arrows in my grid). We need to use the word BRIDGE in those four squares, and include BRIDGE in the answer to the left and to the right of each BRIDGE square:
14A. Stream crosser FOOT (BRIDGE)
16A. Sets of 13 cards (BRIDGE) HANDS

24A. 1990 Newman/Woodward drama MR AND MRS (BRIDGE)
26A. Overcome a significant difference (BRIDGE) THE GAP

54A. Oral prosthesis DENTAL (BRIDGE)
56A. Spock and Uhura, e.g. (BRIDGE) OFFICERS

66A. Place for spectacles NASAL (BRIDGE)
67A. Military fortification (BRIDGE)HEAD

52D. Apt word to substitute for each of four black squares to make sense of the across answers on either side of them BRIDGE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Creepy thing MOSS
There is a traditionally-held belief that in the northern hemisphere there is a heavier growth of moss on the north-facing side of trees. The assumption is that the sun creates a drier environment on the south side of the tree, an environment that is less conducive to the growth of moss.

5. Oft-used PC key ESC
Escape (ESC)

8. Karel Capek genre SCI-FI
Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play "R.U.R." is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word "robot". The words "automaton" and "android" were already in use, but Capek gave us "robot" from the original Czech "robota" meaning "forced labor". The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

13. "O.G. Original Gangster" rapper ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

17. Residential plot ACRE
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land one furlong long (660 feet) and one chain wide (66 feet). The word "furlong" is actually derived from the Old English words meaning "furrow long", the length of the furrow plowed by the oxen.

18. Sweeping target FLUE
The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that it is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition. When the fire is burning, flow through the flue should be more restricted. The flue needs to be open sufficiently to allow smoke and exhaust gases exit, but not too wide so that too much hot air escapes, dragging cold air into the house from elsewhere.

20. Hindu collection SUTRA
The word "sutra" is used in Hinduism for a learned text, one usually meant to be studied by students.

24. 1990 Newman/Woodward drama MR AND MRS (BRIDGE)
“Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” is a 1990 Merchant Ivory production that tells the story of a Kansas City lawyer and his wife in the 1930s and 1940s. The conservative lawyer is played by Paul Newman and his wife by Joanne Woodward. Newman and Woodward were of course husband and wife in real life.

30. Doc who treats snorers ENT
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)

32. Lake __ College, near Cleveland ERIE
Lake Erie College is a private school located in the city of Painesville, Ohio (about 30 miles east of Cleveland). Lake Erie College’s equine studies program is world-famous and is the most popular degree program in the school.

36. 1957 Treaty of Rome org. EEC
The Treaty of Rome is the international agreement of 1957 that established the European Economic Community (EEC). The original signatory countries were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.

The European Economic Community (EEC) was also called "the Common Market". The EEC was a NAFTA-like structure that was eventually absorbed into today's European Union.

40. Consumer's guide, briefly RDA
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII and are a set of recommendations for the standard daily allowances of specific nutrients. RDAs were effectively absorbed into a broader set of dietary guidelines in 1997 called Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs). RDIs are used to determine the Daily Values (DV) of foods that are printed on nutrition fact labels on most food that we purchase.

42. Caustic chemical LYE
Today when we purchase what is labelled as "lye", it is caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). Historically, the term “lye” was used for the related chemical potassium hydroxide.

50. Lit at the table, perhaps FLAMBE
"Flambé" is the French word for "flamed", and was originally a term used to describe certain types of porcelain. The word “flambé” crept into cookery just after 1900.

56. Spock and Uhura, e.g. (BRIDGE) OFFICERS
Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock in the original "Star Trek" television series. Spock has to be the most popular character on the show, and he keeps popping up in "Star Trek" spin offs to this day. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (I loved that show!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy and Shatner playing an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

Lt. Nyota Uhura was the communications officer in the original "Star Trek" television series, played by Nichelle Nichols. The role was significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first inter-racial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner says that he deliberately ran long on the first shoot (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second shoot (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

61. Muse of poetry ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of Lyric Poetry.

69. Inscribed pillar STELE
Stelae were used all over the world, sometimes as territorial markers and sometimes to commemorate military victories. In later times stelae were commonly erected as commemorative markers in graveyards or other religious sites.

Down
1. Noxious gas MIASMA
The word miasma was first used for the poisonous atmosphere thought to arise from swamps and rotting matter, and which could cause disease. Nowadays, a miasma is just a thick cloud of gas or smoke.

3. SmartSurface mattresses SERTAS
Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement.

4. Rib cage part STERNUM
Sternum is the Latin name for the breastbone.

5. Valedictorian's nightmare EFF
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.

6. __ eclipse SOLAR
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the earth from the light of the sun, in other words when the earth is positioned directly between the sun and the moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when moon passes in front of the sun, so that the earth falls into the shadow cast by the moon.

8. Turkish for "skewer" SHISH
The name "kebab" (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use "kebab" when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

11. New Deal initials FDR
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Philippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name "de Lannoy" was anglicized here in the US, to "Delano".

The New Deal was the series of economic programs championed by President Franklyn D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The New Deal was focused on three objectives, the “3 Rs”:
- Relief for the unemployed and poor
- Recovery of the economy to normal levels
- Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression
As Yogi Berra would say, "It's déjà vu all over again" …

15. Asian festival TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning "Feast of the First Morning". Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

21. Brody of "The Pianist" ADRIEN
Adrian Brody won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in the Roman Polanski masterpiece “The Piano”. He won the award in 2003 at the age of 29, making him the youngest person ever to receive the Best Actor Oscar.

“The Pianist” is a memoir of Wladydslaw Szpilman, a Polish musician of Jewish heritage and a survivor of the Holocaust. The memoir was not written by Szpilman himself, but by author Jerzy Waldorff who interviewed him and became his friend. The memoir was first published in 1946 in Poland under the title “Death of a City”, but lay unnoticed for decades. It was republished in English in 1998 under the title “The Pianist”, and became widely read. Roman Polanski then directed a 2002 screen version using “The Pianist” as a title. Sadly, Szpilman died during the making of the film and never saw the great success the movie achieved, including three Academy Awards.

23. TV cousin ITT
In the television sitcom "The Addams Family", the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

25. Phoenix suburb MESA
The city of Mesa, Arizona is in effect a suburb of Phoenix. The original settlement of non-Native Americans was founded by Daniel Webster Jones who led a Mormon group from St. George, Utah. The settlement was first called Jonesville, then Fort Utah and eventually Lehi. A second group of Mormons arrived and formed a settlement on top of a nearby mesa. It was this use of a mesa that eventually gave the city its current name.

28. Soccer superstar PELE
Pelé is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name Pelé for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world's greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads, and is a national treasure in his native Brazil.

31. Maker of the Super Soaker NERF
Nerf is the name given to the soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for "safe" play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. "NERF" is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

34. Monthly exp. UTIL
Utility (util.)

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

41. Tip DOFF
One doffs one's hat, usually as a mark of respect. To doff is to take off, with "doff" being a contraction of "do off". The opposite of “doff” is “don” meaning “to put on”.

46. Nags NOODGES
Noodge is a slang term, meaning "to nag", or as a noun it can mean "a nag". It comes into English from the Yiddish word "nudyen" meaning "to bore, be tedious".

47. Saint-Saëns' "Danse __" MACABRE
“Danse macabre” is a tone poem for orchestra by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns that he wrote in 1974. The piece is inspired by the legend of the “dance of death” performed by by the dead on Halloween at midnight, a dance performed as “Death” plays his fiddle.

Camille Saint-Saens was one of the great French composers in my opinion. Saint-Saëns composed during the Romantic Era, and it was he who introduced the symphonic poem to France. Even his light and airy "The Carnival of the Animals" is a lovely work.

49. Camera letters SLR
SLR stands for "single lens reflex". Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

57. Born in the wild FERAL
“Feral”, meaning existing in a wild or untamed state, comes from the Latin word "fera" meaning "a wild animal".

61. Annapolis grad. ENS
Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

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”.

64. Market freezer name EDY
Dreyers' ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy's in the Eastern states. The company's founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Creepy thing MOSS
5. Oft-used PC key ESC
8. Karel Capek genre SCI-FI
13. "O.G. Original Gangster" rapper ICE-T
14. Stream crosser FOOT (BRIDGE)
16. Sets of 13 cards (BRIDGE) HANDS
17. Residential plot ACRE
18. Sweeping target FLUE
19. Prologue INTRO
20. Hindu collection SUTRA
22. Performer ARTISTE
24. 1990 Newman/Woodward drama MR AND MRS (BRIDGE)
26. Overcome a significant difference (BRIDGE) THE GAP
29. Promise ASSURE
30. Doc who treats snorers ENT
32. Lake __ College, near Cleveland ERIE
33. Wrong treatment MISUSE
35. Tree knot GNARL
36. 1957 Treaty of Rome org. EEC
39. Consume EAT
40. Consumer's guide, briefly RDA
42. Caustic chemical LYE
43. It may be pulled at a gym GROIN
45. Bring up to speed INFORM
48. V __ Victor AS IN
49. Road warning SLO
50. Lit at the table, perhaps FLAMBE
54. Oral prosthesis DENTAL (BRIDGE)
56. Spock and Uhura, e.g. (BRIDGE) OFFICERS
58. Become rusty CORRODE
60. "Shaddap!" CAN IT!
61. Muse of poetry ERATO
63. Mythical maneater OGRE
65. Sit tight BIDE
66. Place for spectacles NASAL (BRIDGE)
67. Military fortification (BRIDGE)HEAD
68. Fly off the handle RAGE
69. Inscribed pillar STELE
70. Sneaky SLY
71. Sch. level ELEM

Down
1. Noxious gas MIASMA
2. Comes to pass OCCURS
3. SmartSurface mattresses SERTAS
4. Rib cage part STERNUM
5. Valedictorian's nightmare EFF
6. __ eclipse SOLAR
7. Soup-to-nuts listing COURSES
8. Turkish for "skewer" SHISH
9. Hiker's container CANTEEN
10. Vital INTEGRAL
11. New Deal initials FDR
12. Prefix meaning "equal" ISO-
15. Asian festival TET
21. Brody of "The Pianist" ADRIEN
23. TV cousin ITT
25. Phoenix suburb MESA
27. Light AIRY
28. Soccer superstar PELE
31. Maker of the Super Soaker NERF
34. Monthly exp. UTIL
35. Enticing kitchen aroma GARLIC
36. "Gosh!" EGAD!
37. Scots Gaelic ERSE
38. Place for petty cash? COIN CASE
41. Tip DOFF
44. Taken together IN TOTAL
46. Nags NOODGES
47. Saint-Saëns' "Danse __" MACABRE
49. Camera letters SLR
51. Lowly MENIAL
52. Apt word to substitute for each of four black squares to make sense of the across answers on either side of them BRIDGE
53. Value ESTEEM
55. Play __ in A ROLE
57. Born in the wild FERAL
59. "How lovely!" OOH!
61. Annapolis grad. ENS
62. Squealer with a tale or a tail RAT
64. Market freezer name EDY


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7 comments:

Pookie said...

Hey Bill,
Total wipeout today.
This was perhaps the worst puzzle ever attempted.
13 cards is a SUIT.
EFF????
Horrible, just horrible.
And BRIDGE? Where does that come from?
This was WAY too smarmy for me.
UGH

Pookie said...

AND....35D was missing in the L.A.Times.
34D clue: Monthly exp.
aroma

Cole said...

Hey Bill! Thank God for your site. I would be at a loss without you, especially when it comes to the NY Times Sunday Crossword. Thank you.

Bill Butler said...

@Pookie
I am sorry to hear that this puzzle didn't sit well with you. I think that the theme device used was something I'd expect to see quite often in the NYTimes, and rarely in the LATimes. My guess is that someone who solves NYTimes puzzles regularly would have an advantage in working this puzzle. And, themes like this don't sit well with a lot of solvers, based on emails I've received over the years. So, you're not alone, Pookie! And thanks for pointing out the printing error in the puzzle. That certainly wouldn't help the solving experience!

@Cole
Thanks for the kind words about the blogs. I'm glad they're helping out a little :)

jens said...

Hi Bill

Just being a lost Dane I must admit the connection between 'valedictorian's nightmare' and 'eff' is a 'little' unclear to me. He fears that the audience will shout 'eff off' or something worse during his speech at the graduation ??

Jens

Addict said...

My thoughts on this puzzle

Thumper

jens, Eff is the letter grade in school (F). I thought that was weak also and could go on but see above :-)

Bill Butler said...

@Jens
Addict has answered your question (thank you, Addict). Thank you, Jens, for taking the time to leave the comment.

@Addict
Thanks for helping out (as always), and mum's the word :)

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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 everyday 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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