LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Feb 14, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Daniel Landman
THEME: Gigi’s Inside … each of today’s themed answers is a well-known expression, but with the letter sequence GG inserted to suit the clue:

18A. Non-magical “Harry Potter” animal? MUGGLE DEER (from “mule deer”)
23A. Camembert left out in the sun too long? SAGGY CHEESE (from “say ‘cheese’”)
37A. Woman’s enticing movements? FEMININE WIGGLES (from “feminine wiles”)
52A. Miracle in the mire? BOGGY WONDER (from “boy wonder”)
58A. Periodical dedicated to stylish boots? UGGS WEEKLY (from “US Weekly”)

63A. Best Picture of 1958, and a hint to this puzzle’s theme GIGI

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 15s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Poetic” or “Prose” mythological work EDDA
The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century, in Iceland.

5. Movie-rating org. MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (R, PG-17, G etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

9. R&B singer known for popularizing Auto-Tune T-PAIN
T-Pain the stage name of rap artist Faheem Rasheed Najm. T-Pain is from Tallahassee, Florida.

When Cher recorded the 1998 song “Believe”, the audio engineers routinely corrected the sound of Cher’s voice to ensure that all notes were sung with perfect pitch (all singers “cheat”, it seems!). The software that does this pitch correction is called “Auto-Tune”. Then, for a bit of fun, the same engineers played with the Auto-Tune software and created a special effect in her voice that she so liked it was left in the final release. You can easily detect the strange effect if you listen to the song. The process is now called the “Cher Effect” and is used by other artists in their recordings.

14. Device for Marner LOOM
“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.

18. Non-magical “Harry Potter” animal? MUGGLE DEER (from “mule deer”)
In the word of “Harry Potter”, a “muggle” is someone born without any magical ability, and who wasn’t born into the magical world. There is also a “Squib”, who is someone born to magical parents but who has no magical abilities.

The mule deer is native to North America and is named for its large ears, which resemble those of a mule.

20. Shill PLANT
A shill is someone planted, perhaps in an audience, with the job of feigning enthusiasm.

22. Serengeti predators LIONS
The Serengeti is a region in Africa, located in northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai language and means “Endless Plains”.

23. Camembert left out in the sun too long? SAGGY CHEESE (from “say ‘cheese’”)
Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese”, to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” for the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and the most Latin Americans say “whiskey”.

The soft cheese called Camembert is named after the place it was first produced, the commune of Camembert in Normandy in the north of France.

26. Whammy HEX
“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

29. Cockney location word ‘ERE
The East End of London is home to the Cockney, and Cockneys are famous for dropping their aitches, as in “here” becoming “‘ere” and “home” becoming “‘ome”.

30. Bean opening? SOY
What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

36. Inventing middle name ALVA
Thomas Alva Edison was nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

42. Gulf of __ ADEN
The Gulf of Aden is the body of water that lies south of the Red Sea, and just north of the Horn of Africa.

44. The Aztecs’ Tonatiuh, for one SUN GOD
Tonatiuh was an Aztec sun god, actually the fifth in a series of such gods. The Aztecs believed him to be the sun that took over after the fourth sun was ousted. They also believed that human sacrifice was needed to ensure that the sun moved across the sky. It is though that the Aztecs sacrificed 20,000 humans each year to Tonatiuh and other gods.

47. Bert Bobbsey’s twin 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).

48. Old sports org. with a red, white and blue ball ABA
The American Basketball Association (ABA) was absorbed into the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976. Famously, the ABA used a red, white and blue ball instead of the traditional orange ball used by the NBA.

51. Germaphobia may be a symptom of it, for short OCD
Apparently obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as common as asthma.

52. Miracle in the mire? BOGGY WONDER (from “boy wonder”)
A “boy wonder” is a male who rises through the ranks early in his career. The term is also a nickname given to Batman’s sidekick Robin the Boy Wonder.

56. British bishop’s headdress MITRE
A mitre is a traditional headdress worn by bishops in some Christian traditions. The name “mitre” comes from a Greek word for “headband, turban”.

58. Periodical dedicated to stylish boots? UGGS WEEKLY (from “US Weekly”)
“US Weekly” is a celebrity gossip magazine, first published in 1977.

Uggs are sheepskin boots that originated in Australia and New Zealand. Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. Ugg is a generic term down under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

63. Best Picture of 1958, and a hint to this puzzle’s theme GIGI
In the lovely musical film “Gigi”, released in 1958, the title song is sung by Louis Jourdan who plays Gaston. My favorite number though, has to be “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” sung by Maurice Chevalier. Many say that “Gigi” is the last in the long line of great MGM musicals. It won a record 9 Academy Awards, a record that only lasted one year. Twelve months later “Ben Hur” won 11 Oscars. In the 1958 film, Gigi was played by the lovely Leslie Caron. A few years earlier, “Gigi” was a successful stage play on Broadway. Chosen for the title role on stage was the then-unknown Audrey Hepburn.

64. Japanese comics MANGA
The Japanese word “manga” means “whimsical pictures” and is an apt term to describe the Japanese style of comic book. Manga publications are more diverse than American comic books and have a larger audience. Manga cover many subjects including romance, sports, business, horror, and mystery.

65. Kitchenware brand EKCO
The EKCO name dates back to 1888 when Edward Katzinger founded his company in Chicago, to make baking pans. The acronym EKCO stands for “Edward Katzinger Co”.

66. First name in case fiction ERLE
I must have read all of the Perry Mason books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

Down
2. Almighty __ DOLLAR
The idiom “almighty dollar” is used to describe an obsession with material wealth or with capitalism. The phrase is sometimes attributed to Washington Irving who used it in his story “The Creole Village”, first published in 1837:

The almighty dollar, that great object of universal devotion throughout our land, seems to have no genuine devotees in these peculiar villages; and unless some of its missionaries penetrate there, and erect banking houses and other pious shrines, there is no knowing how long the inhabitants may remain in their present state of contented poverty.

4. First __ equals AMONG
The phrase “first among equals” is a translation of the Latin “primus inter pares”. The expression was used by Roman emperors to describe themselves and mitigate the appearance of dictatorship after the demise of the Roman Republic.

6. Little, in Lille PEU
Lille is a large city in the very north of France sitting right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’isle” meaning “the island”.

8. Bellow title hero March AUGIE
“The Adventures of Augie March” is a novel by Saul Bellow published first in 1953. The story tells of a young man growing up during the Great Depression.

21. 1980s-’90s heavyweight champ TYSON
The boxer Mike Tyson has said some pretty graphic things about his opponents. For example:

– About Lennox Lewis, “My main objective is to be professional but to kill him.”
– To Razor Ruddock, “I’m gonna make you my girlfriend.”
– About Tyrell Biggs, “He was screaming like my wife.”

24. E. follower COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

25. Serengeti scavenger HYENA
Hyenas have the reputation of being cowardly scavengers. That said, the spotted hyena that lives in Sub-Saharan Africa actually kills about 95% of its food and a pack of spotted hyenas are capable of driving off leopards or lionesses before they can consume their kill.

28. Short holiday? XMAS
The abbreviation “Xmas” that is used for “Christmas” comes from the Greek letter chi (X), which is the first letter of the Greek word for “Christ” (Χριστός).

32. Joplin works RAGS
Scott Joplin was a great American composer and pianist, the “King of Ragtime”. Joplin was born poor, into a laboring family in Texas. He learned his music from local teachers and started out his career as an itinerant musician, traveling around the American South. He found fame with the release of his 1899 composition “Maple Leaf Rag”, regarded as the foundation stone on which ragtime music was built. Joplin’s music, and ragtime in general, was rediscovered by the populous in the early seventies when it was used in the very successful movie “The Sting”.

33. Artistic dynasty MING
The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. Late in the Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

34. Sun. message SER
A sermon (ser.) is often delivered in Sunday (Sun.) in many Christian traditions.

35. Strong like string TWINY
Our word “twine”, meaning a light string, has the same root as our word “twin”. The original Old English “twin” was a double thread.

37. Burkina __ FASO
Burkina Faso is an inland country in western Africa. The country used to be called the Republic of Upper Volta and was renamed in 1984 to Burkina Faso meaning “the land of upright people”.

38. Cabinet dept. EDUC
The US Department of Education is by far the smallest government department in the cabinet, having a mere four or five thousand employees. The next smallest department is Housing and Urban Development with about ten thousand employees. The largest of course is the Department of Defense with a permanent staff of over 600 thousand.

40. Part of Caesar’s boast I SAW
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.

41. Italy’s largest port GENOA
Genoa is a seaport in the very north of Italy, in fact the largest port in the country. One of Genoa’s most famous sons was Christopher Columbus.

45. Sci-fi character nicknamed Ben OBI-WAN
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

49. Hunting dog BEAGLE
The Beagle breed of dog is a scent hound, developed for tracking small game. Because of this characteristic, Beagles are often used as detection dogs in customs halls around the world. The world’s most famous Beagle is probably Snoopy from the comic strip “Peanuts”.

53. “__ is good” GREED
54. “Wall Street” antagonist who said 53-Down GEKKO
“Wall Street” is a very entertaining 1987 film from Oliver Stone starring Charlie Sheen as an up and coming stockbroker and Michael Douglas as an amoral corporate raider.

The business strategy known as “corporate raiding” really is pretty ruthless and short sighted (excuse my being judgmental). The idea is to buy a large interest in a corporation, sometimes “stealthily”, by buying up a significant number of voting shares. Then, the raider uses the power of the voting rights to convince other voters to change the way the company is run, purely to increase the share price in the relatively short term. The changes often involve replacement of the management team, downsizing and even liquidation of the company, all for short term, personal gain. Corporate raider, Gordon Gekko said in the 1987 movie “Wall Street”, “greed is good”, but I wonder is he right?

55. Spinal Tap guitarist Tufnel NIGEL
“This Is Spınal Tap” is a rock musical mockumentary about the fictional band Spinal Tap, directed by the great Rob Reiner. I love Rob Reiner’s work, but this movie … not so much …

56. Roman Cath. title MSGR
“Monsignor” is a form of address used when speaking to some high ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church. The word “monsignor” comes from the Italian “monsignore” which in turn comes from the French “mon seignor” meaning “my lord”.

60. Serengeti prey GNU
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is actually the Dutch word for “wild beast”.

61. PC screen type LCD
LCD Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Poetic” or “Prose” mythological work EDDA
5. Movie-rating org. MPAA
9. R&B singer known for popularizing Auto-Tune T-PAIN
14. Device for Marner LOOM
15. Orderer’s reference MENU
16. “In what way?” HOW SO?
17. Not to mention ALSO
18. Non-magical “Harry Potter” animal? MUGGLE DEER (from “mule deer”)
20. Shill PLANT
22. Serengeti predators LIONS
23. Camembert left out in the sun too long? SAGGY CHEESE (from “say ‘cheese’”)
26. Whammy HEX
29. Cockney location word ‘ERE
30. Bean opening? SOY
31. Constant flow STREAM
33. Annoy MOLEST
36. Inventing middle name ALVA
37. Woman’s enticing movements? FEMININE WIGGLES (from “feminine wiles”)
42. Gulf of __ ADEN
43. Stands ARISES
44. The Aztecs’ Tonatiuh, for one SUN GOD
47. Bert Bobbsey’s twin NAN
48. Old sports org. with a red, white and blue ball ABA
51. Germaphobia may be a symptom of it, for short OCD
52. Miracle in the mire? BOGGY WONDER (from “boy wonder”)
56. British bishop’s headdress MITRE
57. Target AIM AT
58. Periodical dedicated to stylish boots? UGGS WEEKLY (from “US Weekly”)
63. Best Picture of 1958, and a hint to this puzzle’s theme GIGI
64. Japanese comics MANGA
65. Kitchenware brand EKCO
66. First name in case fiction ERLE
67. Rebuff SPURN
68. Lunkhead DODO
69. One may make you uncomfortable LEER

Down
1. Go by ELAPSE
2. Almighty __ DOLLAR
3. How much to take DOSAGE
4. First __ equals AMONG
5. “Dee-lish!” MMM!
6. Little, in Lille PEU
7. Position, as a pool cue ANGLE
8. Bellow title hero March AUGIE
9. Place to browse THE NET
10. Sci-fi vehicles PODS
11. Reverence AWE
12. Expert finish? -ISE
13. Here-there link NOR
19. Fan’s disappointment LOSS
21. 1980s-’90s heavyweight champ TYSON
24. E. follower COLI
25. Serengeti scavenger HYENA
26. Word after raise or catch HELL
27. Place for a nest, perhaps EAVE
28. Short holiday? XMAS
32. Joplin works RAGS
33. Artistic dynasty MING
34. Sun. message SER
35. Strong like string TWINY
37. Burkina __ FASO
38. Cabinet dept. EDUC
39. Heal MEND
40. Part of Caesar’s boast I SAW
41. Italy’s largest port GENOA
45. Sci-fi character nicknamed Ben OBI-WAN
46. Heap affection (on) DOTE
48. Regard highly ADMIRE
49. Hunting dog BEAGLE
50. More pretentious ARTIER
53. “__ is good” GREED
54. “Wall Street” antagonist who said 53-Down GEKKO
55. Spinal Tap guitarist Tufnel NIGEL
56. Roman Cath. title MSGR
58. Verbal stumbles UMS
59. Disparity GAP
60. Serengeti prey GNU
61. PC screen type LCD
62. “__-hoo!” YOO

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LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Feb 14, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: Mad Money … each of today’s themed answers ends with an anagram of an international currency, “MAD” MONEY:

17A. *Place for a soak in Bangkok? THAI BATH (from “Thai baht”)
23A. *Mumbai baby food? INDIAN PUREE (from “Indian rupee”)
36A. *Low point in Oran? ALGERIAN NADIR (from “Algerian dinar”)
47A. *Stance in a Monterrey studio? MEXICAN POSE (from “Mexican peso”)

60A. Emergency fund … or what the second part of each answer to a starred clue ends with? MAD MONEY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Sunshine State resort BOCA
The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

5. Country in which Quechua is an official lang. BOL
Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America, bordered by Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The land now occupied by Bolivia was originally part of the Inca Empire. The country declared independence from Spain in 1809, which led to 16 years of war. When the Republic was finally named, “Bolivia” was chosen in honor of the Venezuelan-born revolutionary leader, Simón Bolívar.

Quechua was the existing Native American language that was adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects.

14. “Downton Abbey” title EARL
Fans of the wonderful TV drama “Downton Abbey” will be very familiar with the exterior appearance of Highclere Castle in Hampshire. Highclere is used as the location for exterior and many interior shots of the fictitious Grantham residence called Downton Abbey. The exterior of Highclere is very reminiscent of the Houses of Parliament building in London. That similarity exists because the house was largely rebuilt from 1839 to 1842 by architect Sir Charles Barry soon after he finished work on the refurbished Houses of Parliament.

15. Tablet maker RCA
I guess RCA now makes a tablet computer.

16. Osaka-born violinist MIDORI
Midori Goto is a Japanese American classical violinist who was born in Osaka, Japan who moved with her mother to New York City in 1982 when she was 11 years old. She usually performs simply under the name “Midori”.

17. *Place for a soak in Bangkok? THAI BATH (from “Thai baht”)
The baht is the currency of Thailand, and is subdivided into 100 satang.

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word meaning “a village situated on a stream”.

19. Alligator cousin CAIMAN
Caimans are relatively small, crocodile-like reptiles that inhabit Central and South America. That said, the largest species can grow to 13 feet in length, but many are about 3 feet long.

22. Holy territory SEE
A “see” is the jurisdiction or official seat of a bishop or pope.

Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.

23. *Mumbai baby food? INDIAN PUREE (from “Indian rupee”)
The rupee is a unit of currency, used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

32. Edward Jones Dome NFL player RAM
The Edward Jones Dome is the stadium that is home to the St. Louis Rams football team. The stadium has been named since 2002 for Edward Jones Investments, a brokerage house headquartered in St. Louis.

33. Rank below abbot PRIOR
The ecclesiastical title of “Prior” is derived from the Latin word for “earlier, first”. A Prior is lower in rank than an Abbot but has a leadership position in a monastery. The female equivalent title is Prioress.

35. Oilers’ org. NHL
The National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada … oil country.

36. *Low point in Oran? ALGERIAN NADIR (from “Algerian dinar”)
The denarius (plural “denarii”) is a small silver coin that was used in Ancient Rome. Derived from the Latin “deni” meaning “containing ten”, a denarius had the value of ten asses. Today’s “dinar” is a common coin in the Arab world and is named for the old Roman coin. The dinar name was chosen in the days when Arabs were conquering large swathes of the old Roman Empire.

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

40. Sharable PC file PDF
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

41. Mah-__ JONGG
“Mahjong” (also mahjongg and mah-jongg) is the Chinese word for “sparrow”. Mahjong is a game that originated in China, and is usually played by four players. There is a myth that the game was developed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The myth also suggests that Confucius was fond of birds, and hence chose the name “sparrow”.

42. 2011 NBA retiree YAO
Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

43. Porter, for one ALE
Porter is a dark beer that originated in London in the 1700s and is named for the street and river porters with whom it was very popular. Porter is a well-hopped beer made using brown malt, which gives it the dark color.

44. Effusive musical genre EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. Not my cup of tea …

45. Knoxville sch. UTENN
The University of Tennessee (UT) is a public school in Knoxville that was founded in 1794. UT is home to the collections of three sets of presidential papers; those of Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson, all of whom hailed from Tennessee.

47. *Stance in a Monterrey studio? MEXICAN POSE (from “Mexican peso”)
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

Monterrey is a Mexican city, the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon in the northeast of the country. Monterrey is the second largest city in Mexico in terms of area, but third largest in terms of population (the largest area city in the country is Mexico City, and the most populous are Mexico City and Guadalajara).

52. Green Lantern or Green Arrow SUPERHERO
The Green Lantern is a comic book superhero who has had a number of alter egos through the life of the character. The Green Lantern is a member of the Justice League of America superhero team. Other members of the League include Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

The Green Arrow is a superhero in the DC Comics universe. He dresses like Robin Hood and used specially adapted arrows that give him his superpowers.

61. Mysterious ARCANE
Something that is “arcane” is something that is understood by only a few, something that might be described as mysterious.

Down
1. Behrs of “2 Broke Girls” BETH
Beth Behs is the actress who plays Caroline Channing, one of the leads on the sitcom “2 Broke Girls”.

“2 Broke Girls” is a somewhat new sitcom that has been on the air since 2011. It tells the story of two relatively poor roommates trying to start a cupcake business in Brooklyn, New York.

2. Vans Triple Crown of Surfing locale OAHU
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a series of surfing competitions held in Hawaii. All of the events are held off the coast of the island of Oahu, except one of the women’s competitions that is held in Honolua Bay in Maui.

4. Et __ ALII
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

7. “Swing Shift” Oscar nominee LAHTI
Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

“Swing Shift” is a 1984 movie starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It was while filming “Swing Shift” that Hawn and Russell met for the first time, and have been in a relationship ever since.

8. Film buff’s channel AMC
AMC, formerly known as American Movie Classics, is one of my favorite television channels. Although the channel’s focus has shifted from airing classic movies to including other programming, there’s still a lot of quality output. AMC’s flagship show is “Mad Men”.

9. Scattering of an ethnic population DIASPORA
Diaspora is a Greek word meaning “a scattering of seeds”. I guess I’m one of the Irish seeds …

10. Continental farewell ADIEU
“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye” or “farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”.

11. Toy dog breed POMERANIAN
The Pomeranian is a breed of small dog, named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

24. It may come before one NOON
Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in Ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

25. “I Feel Bad About My Neck” writer Nora EPHRON
Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, dealing in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

“I Feel Bad About My Neck” is a non-fiction book by Nora Ephron in which she uses humor to explore the life of an aging woman.

29. Bit of shocked text OMG
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

33. Evergreens with edible nuts PINONS
The piñon is also known as the pinyon pine, and is a tree that grows in the American Southwest and in Mexico. Pinyon nuts (a type of pine nut) are quite delicious …

37. Escaping à la James Bond, perhaps EJECTING
James Bond was of course the creation of the writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”.

38. Ovoid tomato ROMA
The Roma tomato isn’t considered to be an heirloom variety, but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

40. Nonstick brand PAM
PAM cooking oil was introduced in 1961 by Leon Rubin and Arthur Meyerhoff. The name “PAM” is an acronym … standing for “Product of Arthur Meyerhoff” …

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

50. Bridget Riley genre OP ART
Bridget Riley is a painter from England who expresses herself in the genre of Op Art.

53. __ erectus HOMO
Homo erectus is an extinct cousin of Homo sapiens, our human species.

54. Oklahoma city ENID
Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

55. Attorney general after Barr RENO
Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001. Reno was the person to hold the office second longest, and was our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life.

William Barr was the US Attorney General for two years in the administration of President George H. W. Bush. When not working, Barr is a very enthusiastic player of the Scottish bagpipes!

56. __ and terminer: criminal court OYER
“Oyer and terminer” is a term that originates in English law and that applies in some US states. Here in the US, oyer and terminer is the name given to some courts of criminal jurisdiction. Even though it has its origins in English law, the words “oyer” and “terminer” come from French (via Anglo-Norman) and mean “to hear” and “to determine”.

59. Business VIP CEO
Chief executive officer (CEO)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sunshine State resort BOCA
5. Country in which Quechua is an official lang. BOL
8. Transforms, as for a different medium ADAPTS
14. “Downton Abbey” title EARL
15. Tablet maker RCA
16. Osaka-born violinist MIDORI
17. *Place for a soak in Bangkok? THAI BATH (from “Thai baht”)
19. Alligator cousin CAIMAN
20. Abase HUMILIATE
22. Holy territory SEE
23. *Mumbai baby food? INDIAN PUREE (from “Indian rupee”)
27. Musical ability, in slang CHOPS
30. As well TOO
31. Mimic APE
32. Edward Jones Dome NFL player RAM
33. Rank below abbot PRIOR
35. Oilers’ org. NHL
36. *Low point in Oran? ALGERIAN NADIR (from “Algerian dinar”)
40. Sharable PC file PDF
41. Mah-__ JONGG
42. 2011 NBA retiree YAO
43. Porter, for one ALE
44. Effusive musical genre EMO
45. Knoxville sch. UTENN
47. *Stance in a Monterrey studio? MEXICAN POSE (from “Mexican peso”)
51. Poker haul POT
52. Green Lantern or Green Arrow SUPERHERO
57. __ license POETIC
60. Emergency fund … or what the second part of each answer to a starred clue ends with? MAD MONEY
61. Mysterious ARCANE
62. Teacher, at times PRO
63. Dig for 58-Down MINE
64. “We’re outta here!” LET’S GO!
65. Stop: Abbr. STN
66. What the nose knows ODOR

Down
1. Behrs of “2 Broke Girls” BETH
2. Vans Triple Crown of Surfing locale OAHU
3. Stuff CRAM
4. Et __ ALII
5. Mastermind BRAINS
6. Pie slices, often OCTAD
7. “Swing Shift” Oscar nominee LAHTI
8. Film buff’s channel AMC
9. Scattering of an ethnic population DIASPORA
10. Continental farewell ADIEU
11. Toy dog breed POMERANIAN
12. Melodic syllable TRA
13. Preacher’s topic SIN
18. Brief upturn BLIP
21. Getting down EATING
24. It may come before one NOON
25. “I Feel Bad About My Neck” writer Nora EPHRON
26. Long swimmer EEL
27. Carry protectively CRADLE
28. Anticipate uncertainly HALF EXPECT
29. Bit of shocked text OMG
33. Evergreens with edible nuts PINONS
34. Lurid paper RAG
37. Escaping à la James Bond, perhaps EJECTING
38. Ovoid tomato ROMA
39. Microscope slide additive DYE
40. Nonstick brand PAM
45. Applied to USED ON
46. Time between inaugurations TERM
48. Little bits IOTAS
49. Inflation causes PUMPS
50. Bridget Riley genre OP ART
53. __ erectus HOMO
54. Oklahoma city ENID
55. Attorney general after Barr RENO
56. __ and terminer: criminal court OYER
57. Sidekick PAL
58. See 63-Across ORE
59. Business VIP CEO

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