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Greetings from San Jose, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! We had a long and spectacular drive across the Sierra Nevada today, and saw Julianne and Derek Hough's dance spectacular this evening. Back home and back to reality tomorrow (Friday) ...

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 1 Feb 14, Saturday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Doug Peterson
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Sign with a sting? SCORPIO
Scorpio is a the eighth astrological sign of the Zodiac. In days of old, the planetary ruler of Scorpio was Mars, but since 1930 and the discovery of a new planet, Pluto has been the ruler. I wonder if the “demotion” of Pluto to a dwarf planet has made a difference?

8. Anatomical blade SCAPULA
The scapula is the shoulder blade. It is thought that the term comes from the Greek “skaptein” meaning “to dig”. The assumption is that the shoulder blade resembles a trowel or a small shovel, hence the name “scapula”.

15. Key keys for many secretaries HOME ROW
The “home row” of a keyboard is the middle row (ASDFGHJKL etc …)

19. Sub HERO SANDWICH
"Hero" is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name "hero" was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the "New York Herald Tribune" when he wrote that "one had to be a hero" to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

21. Yahoo! rival MSN
MSN was originally called The Microsoft Network, and was introduced in 1995 as an integral part of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system. MSN is a whole bundle of services including email, instant messaging, and the MSN.com portal (which is the 9th most visited site on the Internet).

22. Bar order RYE
For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

27. Fitness brand AVIA
The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as "avia" is the Latin word for "to fly", and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

30. Big name in Tinseltown tittle-tattle TMZ
TMZ.com is a celebrity gossip web site launched in 2005. "TMZ" stands for "thirty-mile zone", a reference to the "studio zone" in Los Angeles. The studio zone is circular in shape with a 30-mile radius centered on the intersection of West Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard.

34. "Arrow-maker's daughter" in a Longfellow poem MINNEHAHA
Minnehaha is a character featured in "The Song of Hiawatha", the epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, published in 1855. The name Minnehaha translates in the Dakota language into "waterfall" or "rapid water", and not into "laughing water" as is oft-quoted.

37. Score directive LENTO
A lento passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo.

38. __ Arizona USS
The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor sits across the sunken hull of the battleship, the resting place of 1,102 out of 1,117 sailors of the Arizona who were killed during the 1941 attack. After the attack, the superstructure of the Arizona protruded above the surface of the water. This was removed during and after WWII, leaving just a submerged hull. The memorial itself was approved by President Eisenhower in 1958, and the building was opened in 1962. In 1999, the battleship USS Missouri was permanently moored in Pearl Harbor, docked nearby and perpendicular to the Arizona. It was on the Missouri that the Japanese surrendered, marking the end of WWII.

39. Three-time McDonald's LPGA Championship winner SE-RI PAK
Se-Ri Pak is a South Korean golfer playing on the LPGA tour. Having a Korean name, we really should be calling her Pak Se-Ri as she is known in her homeland. Korean names always start with the family name.

41. Like the vb. "have" IRR
The verb (vb.) “to have” is irregular (irr.).

49. Well-sinewed ROPY
Sinew is another name for a tendon. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle. We also use the term “sinew” to mean muscular power.

51. Cousin of com ORG
The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:
- .com (commercial enterprise)
- .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
- .mil (US military)
- .org (not-for-profit organization)
- .gov (US federal government entity)
- .edu (college-level educational institution)

53. Bud abroad AMI
A male friend in France is "un ami", and a female friend is "une amie".

55. Where Superman made his debut ACTION COMICS
Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

61. Red wood, perhaps HOT COAL
A piece of charred wood might be turned a “coal”.

64. Asana accessory YOGA MAT
"Asana" is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "sitting down". The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called "padmasana".

65. Martha's Vineyard paper since 1846 GAZETTE
The ”Vineyard Gazette” is a newspaper that has been circulating on the island of Martha's Vineyard since 1846, when it was founded by Edgar Merchant. The Merchant family owned the paper until 1920.

Martha’s Vineyard is a relatively large island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. “Martha’s Vineyard” was originally the name of a smaller island to the south, named by English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. The name was eventually transferred to the main island, and is now the eighth-oldest English place-name still used in the US. It is likely that the Gosnold named the island for his daughter Martha.

68. Old-fashioned messages TELEXES
Telex grew out of the world of the telegraph. What Telex brought to telegraphy was the ability to route messages. Instead of having to talk to an operator to route a particular message to the intended party, the user of a telex could route the message directly to another telex machine by way of a rotary dial, very similar to that on a telephone.

Down
1. With 63-Down, toy from Tibet SHIH
(63. See 1-Down TZU)
The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dog, a breed that originated in China. Shih Tzus have long hairy coats but they don't shed.

2. Froyo holder CONE
Frozen yogurt (froyo).

3. Old Persian poet OMAR
Omar Khayyám was a Persian with many talents. He was a poet as well as an important mathematician, astronomer and physician. A selection of his poems were translated by one Edward Fitzgerald in a collection called "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám".

6. Gilbert and Sullivan operetta that satirizes Parliament IOLANTHE
“Iolanthe” is a Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera that was first staged at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1882. The opera features a group of fairies who come into conflict with Britain’s House of Lords. “Iolanthe” satirizes many aspects of the country’s government of the day.

7. "Children of Men" star Clive OWEN
Clive Owen is an actor from Coventry in England who is perhaps best known in North America for his leading roles in action movies like “Children of Men” (2006) and “The International” (2009).

“Children of Men” is a 2006 big screen adaptation of the P. D. James novel “The Children of Men”. The film stars Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. Both novel and movie are set in a world that develops after two generations of human infertility.

9. Staples staple COPIER
Staples is an office supply chain store based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Some of the company’s stores have a Staples EasyTech department which provides computer repair and upgrade services.

13. Bucolic spot LEA
The word "bucolic", meaning rustic or rural, comes to us from the Greek word "boukolos" meaning "cowherd".

14. __ Arann: Irish carrier AER
Aer Arann is a small regional airline based in Dublin, Ireland. Aer Arann serves airports all over the country, although it was founded in 1970 to link the city of Galway with the Aran Islands off the west coast.

20. Physician married to Tonya Gromeko DR ZHIVAGO
"Doctor Zhivago" is an epic novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957. I haven't tried to read it the book, but the 1965 film version is a must-see, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif in the title role. The story centers on Yuri Zhivago, a doctor and poet, and how he is affected by the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.

24. "A Bronx Tale" director DE NIRO
Robert De Niro is noted for his longtime and highly successful collaboration with the director Martin Scorsese. He is also noted for his commitment as a method actor. Famously he gained a full 60 pounds in order to play Jake Lamotta in the 1980 movie “Raging Bull”.

"A Bronx Tale" is a crime film set in the sixties, that was released in 1993. The movie stars Robert De Niro, who also directed. “A Bronx Tale” was De Niro’s directorial debut.

26. Dark 'n' __ (rum and ginger beer cocktail) STORMY
A Dark ‘n’ Stormy is a classic cocktail made from dark rum and ginger beer, served over ice. The name comes from the ingredients, with the “dark” being the rum, and the “stormy” being the ginger beer.

28. Four-armed deity VISHNU
The Hindu Trinity is Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also Siva) the destroyer or transformer.

33. Nevada city ELKO
The city of Elko came into being in 1868 as a settlement built around the eastern end of a railway line that was constructed from California and that was destined for Utah. When that section of the line was completed. the construction crews moved on towards the Nevada/Utah border, and the settlement was left behind to eventually form the city of Elko

40. Trio preceding an exchange AREA CODE
Area codes were introduced in the 1940s. Back then the “clicks” one heard when dialling a number led to mechanical wear on various pieces of equipment. In order to minimize overall mechanical wear, areas with high call volumes were given the most efficient area codes (lowest number of clicks). That led to New York getting the area code 212, Los Angeles 213 and Chicago 313.

54. Heavy hitter MOGUL
A “mogul” is a person with power. The term comes from the Mughal emperors of India and South Asia.

56. Storable sacks COTS
“Sack” is an informal term for “bed”.

57. It may be heard in Orel arguments NYET
"Nyet" is Russian for "no", and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

Orel (also Oryol) is a city lying on the Oka River, just over 200 miles SSW of Moscow. Orel was one of the cities occupied by Germany during WWII. It was liberated in 1943, but had been almost completely destroyed.

58. Theater giant? IMAX
The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo '67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

59. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" co-star Blanchett CATE
Cate Blanchett is a great Australian actress, and winner of an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in "The Aviator". Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information ...

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a 2008 film based on a short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Brad Pitt plays the title role, a man who ages in reverse.

60. Some Fr. martyrs STES
“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a female.

61. Lic. number HGT
One’s driving licence (lic.) usually specifies one’s height (hgt.).

62. Shell mover OAR
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sign with a sting? SCORPIO
8. Anatomical blade SCAPULA
15. Key keys for many secretaries HOME ROW
16. "Guess again!" NO SIREE!
17. Stacked IN A PILE
18. Free-spirited locale? OPEN BAR
19. Sub HERO SANDWICH
21. Yahoo! rival MSN
22. Bar order RYE
23. Certain tributes ODES
27. Fitness brand AVIA
30. Big name in Tinseltown tittle-tattle TMZ
32. Soften RELENT
34. "Arrow-maker's daughter" in a Longfellow poem MINNEHAHA
37. Score directive LENTO
38. __ Arizona USS
39. Three-time McDonald's LPGA Championship winner SE-RI PAK
41. Like the vb. "have" IRR
42. Loser's metaphor SHIRT
44. Subject of weekly ratings TV PROGRAM
46. Make lovable ENDEAR
48. Bolted down ATE
49. Well-sinewed ROPY
50. Face-to-face contest DUEL
51. Cousin of com ORG
53. Bud abroad AMI
55. Where Superman made his debut ACTION COMICS
61. Red wood, perhaps HOT COAL
64. Asana accessory YOGA MAT
65. Martha's Vineyard paper since 1846 GAZETTE
66. Train EDUCATE
67. Like some Thanksgiving turkeys TRUSSED
68. Old-fashioned messages TELEXES

Down
1. With 63-Down, toy from Tibet SHIH
2. Froyo holder CONE
3. Old Persian poet OMAR
4. Pro with a tow truck REPO MAN
5. Uptight type PRISS
6. Gilbert and Sullivan operetta that satirizes Parliament IOLANTHE
7. "Children of Men" star Clive OWEN
8. White SNOWY
9. Staples staple COPIER
10. "Hold on __!" A SEC
11. Source of a slow leak, perhaps PINHOLE
12. Sub finisher? -URB
13. Bucolic spot LEA
14. __ Arann: Irish carrier AER
20. Physician married to Tonya Gromeko DR ZHIVAGO
24. "A Bronx Tale" director DE NIRO
25. Lead on ENTRAP
26. Dark 'n' __ (rum and ginger beer cocktail) STORMY
27. Kept occupied AMUSED
28. Four-armed deity VISHNU
29. Favorable track position INSIDE
31. Outlet MART
33. Nevada city ELKO
35. Verb in first-year Spanish ESTA
36. Patient request: Abbr. APPT
40. Trio preceding an exchange AREA CODE
43. Tightens, as a corset RELACES
45. Sign of displeasure GRIMACE
47. Take a turn ROTATE
52. Beside oneself RILED
54. Heavy hitter MOGUL
56. Storable sacks COTS
57. It may be heard in Orel arguments NYET
58. Theater giant? IMAX
59. " The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" co-star Blanchett CATE
60. Some Fr. martyrs STES
61. Lic. number HGT
62. Shell mover OAR
63. See 1-Down TZU


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4 comments:

Pookie said...

Hi Bill, and all of you who are kind enough to visit!
Said I was going to set a time limit last week, so I did. Even with red letter help I was going nowhere.
My order at the bar was ALE.. nope RUM.. nope RYE!!!!
Don't know golf names.
NEVER heard of HOME ROW.
Nevada city- RENO, of course...nope
So I hope you all have better luck than I, ...Gunga Din ;-)

Piano Man said...

Good explanations. My wife would watch Dr. Zhivago over and over again, not for the historical backdrop, but for the romance with Lara (Julie Christie) and the theme song "Lara's Theme".

I have been to Elko, and even now it appears everyone has "moved on" from there as you say. Pretty desolate.

Addict said...

Ouch!

Crash and Burn!

Should have walked away as soon as I saw the constructor's name.

But.... Like a moth to a flame

Bill Butler said...

@Everyone
Apologies for the tardy acknowledgment of comments. I was away for the weekend.

@Pookie
My wife and I take a couple of days in RENO at least once a year as it's relatively close where we live, and "on the way" for many of our road trips. If we're heading into Utah/Colorado then ELKO is also a stopping-off point, on the other side of Nevada. Because of all the gambling (not our vice, though!) there are always nice rooms available in the casinos for a very low price.

@Piano Man
I loved Julie Christie in "Dr. Zhivago", and played "Lara's Theme" for about five years before I even knew who Lara was!

@Addict
There are a couple of constructor names that I don't like to see at the top of a grid (Doug Peterson definitely ISN'T one of them). I'll keep those names to myself! But I will say that they like a lot of sports, urban slang and rap artists! Not my forte ...

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About This Blog

This is the simplest of blogs.

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

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

About Me

The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

I answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Los Angeles Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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