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LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Feb 14, Saturday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 17m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. They're used in British puzzles ZEDS
The letter named "zed" has been around since about 1400, and derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation of "zee" used in America today first popped up in the 1670s.

5. Peter Pan rival JIF
Jif is the leading brand of peanut butter in the US, and has been since 1981. Introduced in 1958, it is now produced by Smuckers.

The Peter Pan brand of peanut butter is of course named after the character in the J. M. Barrie play. What we know today as Peter Pan peanut butter was introduced in 1920 as E. K. Pond peanut butter, and renamed in 1928.

8. "The X Factor" judge COWELL
Simon Cowell was invited to be a judge on “Pop Idol”, a British show that spawned “American Idol”. Cowell was then asked to take part in the US spin-off, and we haven’t stopped seeing him since …

"The X Factor" is another one of Simon Cowell's TV shows and now a worldwide franchise, a show that searches for talented singers. "The X Factor" is in effect a spin-off the the UK show "Pop Idol" (produced as "American Idol" here in the US). And "The X Factor" is here in America as well. Oh joy ...

15. Classified letters EOE
Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

The abbreviation EOE might be seen in a classified ad.

16. God in a temple ADONAI
“Adonai” is a Hebrew name for God.

18. Double shot, say STIFF DRINK
A shot glass is a small glass used to measure or hold liquor. There is no standard size for a “shot” in most parts of North America, but it is generally 1.25 to 1.5 fluid ounces. A smaller, 1 fl. oz. shot is called a “pony shot” or “short shot”.

20. Many an Urdu speaker PAKISTANI
Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

27. QB's stat ATT
In football, one statistic (stat) used to track the performance of a quarterback (QB) is attempts (ATT).

40. Walmart advantage ONE-STOP SHOPPING
Walmart (previously "Wal-Mart") takes in more revenue than any other publicly traded company in the world. Over in my homeland, Walmart operates under the name Asda. Walmart's worldwide headquarters are in Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Sam Walton's original Five and Dime. You can actually go into the original store, as it is now the Walmart Visitor Center.

44. MDCLIII ÷ III DLI
1,653/3 = 551

50. Georgia retreat DACHA
Dachas are usually second homes in Russia and the former Soviet Union that are located outside the city limits in rural areas. Residents/tenants of dachas are often called dachniks.

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

56. State treasury EXCHEQUER
The treasury of a nation can be called an exchequer. The most famous such government department is the British Exchequer, which is responsible for the collection and management of taxes. The term comes from an old Anglo-French word “escheker” meaning “chessboard. The use as a term of finance started with the Norman kings of England who used a cloth that was divided into squares on which counters were placed to keep track of revenue.

63. Old-fashioned "Neat!" GROOVY!
The term “groovy” meaning “neat, cool” comes from the jazz slang phrase “in the groove”.

65. Quail collection BEVY
“Bevy” is a collective noun used for a number of types of bird, including quail and swans. "Bevy" is also sometimes used as a collective noun for ladies.

“Quail” is a name used for several chicken-like wild birds. Quail are common prey for hunters.

Down
1. Posthumous 1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee ZAPPA
Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist, a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

2. Key of Shostakovich's "First of May" E-FLAT
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major is sometimes called the “First of May”.

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer, producing works in the Soviet period. He had a difficult relationship with the Communist Party and twice was officially denounced by the party.

3. Pond swimmer DRAKE
A drake is a male duck.

4. The duck in Disney's "Peter and the Wolf" SONIA
As is the case for many I am sure, Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" was my introduction to the world of classical music, as it was played for us at school many, many moons ago. Prokofiev wrote the piece as a commissioned work for the Central Children's Theater in Moscow, in 1936. He loved the idea of the project, and wrote the story and music in just four days!

5. Bon mot JEST
“Bon mot” translates from French as "good word". We use "bon mot" (and sometimes just "mot") to mean a quip, a witticism.

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

A “jot” is something very small, from the Latin “jota”, which in turn is from the Greek “iota”, the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet.

8. Stimulating substance, briefly CAF
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

11. Giant with 17,468 vacuum tubes ENIAC
The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for "Computer"). ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer. It was designed to calculate artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it's not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

12. Sri __ LANKA
The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as "venerable island". Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

25. Skylight insulation material, perhaps AEROGEL
Aerogel is an extremely low density material that is used as a thermal insulator.

29. Provençal spreads TAPENADES
Tapenade is traditionally made from olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. The name comes from the Provençal word for capers, "tapenas".

31. JAMA readers DOCS
The AMA has been publishing the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) since 1883.

32. How some NBA games are resolved IN OT
In overtime (OT)

33. Fictional captain NEMO
In the 1954 movie version of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne the fate of Nemo and his crew isn't quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones' Locker.

34. Hockey Hall of Fame nickname ESPO
Phil "Espo" Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

37. __-Indian War SINO
The Sino-Indian War was a border conflict between China and India that took place in 1962. Other disagreement above and beyond the dispute contributed to the tension between the parties. One factor was that India had granted asylum to the Dalai Lama after the Tibetan uprising of 1959. The Chinese started the war by invading the disputed territory, and ended it by unilaterally withdrawing one month later. The Sino-Indian War was noted for the harsh conditions in which fighting took place, at an altitude of about 14,000 feet in the Himalayas.

38. Bay State motto starter ENSE
The motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem”, a Latin phrase that can be translated as “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”. The quotation is from a passage written by English politician Algernon Sidney who was executed for treason by King Charles II.

“The Bay State” is one of the nicknames of Massachusetts. Other nicknames for Massachusetts are “The Old Colony State” and “The Codfish State”.

39. Friday et al.: Abbr. SGTS
“Dragnet” was a very successful police drama that developed into quite a franchise. The show started out on radio in 1949, and then also ran on television from 1952. There were even a couple of movies. Star of the show, and the producer, was Jack Webb who played Sgt. Joe Friday.

48. Winter __ MELON
Winter melon, despite its name, is not sweet. It is not eaten as a fruit, but rather is used as a vegetable, particularly in Asian cuisines.

51. Jordanian city AQABA
The coastal city of Aqaba is the only seaport in the country of Jordan. The city lies at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, which is off the Red Sea.

54. Chain with roast beef Mighty Minis ARBY’S
The Arby’s chain of fast food restaurants was founded in 1964 by two brothers, Forrest and Leroy Raffel. The name “Arby’s” is a homonym of “RB’s”, standing for “Raffel Brothers”.

57. Muse of history CLIO
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:
- Calliope (epic poetry)
- Clio (history)
- Erato (lyric poetry)
- Euterpe (music)
- Melpomene (tragedy)
- Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
- Terpsichore (dance)
- Thalia (comedy)
- Urania (astronomy)

58. Start of many addresses HTTP
"http" are the first letters in most Internet link addresses. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

61. Dancer Charisse CYD
Actress Cyd Charisse was famous for her dancing ability and the many roles she played opposite Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Charisse carved out a career based on dance despite the fact that she suffered from polio as a child. In fact, she took up ballet at the age of twelve to help build up her strength as she recovered from the disease.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. They're used in British puzzles ZEDS
5. Peter Pan rival JIF
8. "The X Factor" judge COWELL
14. Picked locks AFRO
15. Classified letters EOE
16. God in a temple ADONAI
17. Lesson __ PLAN
18. Double shot, say STIFF DRINK
20. Many an Urdu speaker PAKISTANI
22. Appropriate TAKE
23. Rankled ATE AT
24. Common desktop icon TRASH CAN
27. QB's stat ATT
30. Math group SET
31. Women seen standing at tables DINER WAITRESSES
40. Walmart advantage ONE-STOP SHOPPING
41. Attempts to best COMPETES AGAINST
42. Stretched, in a way STOOD ON ONE'S TOES
43. Italian article UNA
44. MDCLIII ÷ III DLI
45. Stock problem STAMPEDE
50. Georgia retreat DACHA
55. Ending suggesting wealth -AIRE
56. State treasury EXCHEQUER
59. It's used in dashes GARLIC SALT
62. 51-Down resident ARAB
63. Old-fashioned "Neat!" GROOVY!
64. Starting to burn LIT
65. Quail collection BEVY
66. Looked bored YAWNED
67. Spinner TOP
68. Drinks from a stand ADES

Down
1. Posthumous 1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee ZAPPA
2. Key of Shostakovich's "First of May" E-FLAT
3. Pond swimmer DRAKE
4. The duck in Disney's "Peter and the Wolf" SONIA
5. Bon mot JEST
6. Jot IOTA
7. Artful action FEINT
8. Stimulating substance, briefly CAF
9. "That's weird" ODD
10. Net __ WORTH
11. Giant with 17,468 vacuum tubes ENIAC
12. Sri __ LANKA
13. Make an analogy LIKEN
19. From the horse's mouth FIRSTHAND
21. Turned on STARTED UP
25. Skylight insulation material, perhaps AEROGEL
26. Words from one about to take over STEP ASIDE
28. Black and blue, say TWO-TONE
29. Provençal spreads TAPENADES
31. JAMA readers DOCS
32. How some NBA games are resolved IN OT
33. Fictional captain NEMO
34. Hockey Hall of Fame nickname ESPO
35. Short retort IS SO!
36. Rain in scattered drops SPIT
37. __-Indian War SINO
38. Bay State motto starter ENSE
39. Friday et al.: Abbr. SGTS
45. Needing a lift, maybe SAGGY
46. Papal headgear TIARA
47. Common keyboard symbol ARROW
48. Winter __ MELON
49. Glorify EXALT
51. Jordanian city AQABA
52. Back to normal CURED
53. Start of a nautical order HEAVE
54. Chain with roast beef Mighty Minis ARBY’S
57. Muse of history CLIO
58. Start of many addresses HTTP
60. "__ had it!" I’VE
61. Dancer Charisse CYD


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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may be wrong about the symbolism of the lion on the Sri Lanka flag.

Jeff said...

The Houston Chronicle reprinted the puzzle from a week or two ago by mistake.

In the last few weeks, they have misprinted a year in one of the clues, misspelled Bogota "Bogot" (ok not a huge deal), and now printed completely the wrong puzzle. Someone is either overworked or under the influence there these days....

Piano Man said...

EOE threw me for a loop today. There is also an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) run by a federal agency, the EEOC. Not to mention an OEO, Office of Economic Opportunity. Tough to keep all the acronyms straight :-)

Tony Michaels said...

Either I was a genius this morning (and I know that can't be it) or this was an easier than usual Saturday puzzle. You be the judge. (g)

Bill Butler said...

@Anonyomus visitor
You may be right, and I may be wrong. So, I will drop that sentence. Thanks!

@Jeff
Houston, we have a problem! (I wonder how many times you've heard that "joke"?) :)

@Piano Man
Don't get me started on acronyms. OMG. LOL.

@Tony Michaels
My judgement is that you're right, Tony. I found it a little easier than a usual Saturday, which was a disappointment admittedly.

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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.

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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.

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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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