LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Sep 14, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Steve Blais
THEME: Something to Lose … each of today’s themed answers starts with something one might LOSE:

17A. Reminder to be polite MIND YOUR MANNERS (giving “lose one’s mind”)
23A. Assets-and-liabilities statement BALANCE SHEET (giving “lose one’s balance”)
40A. “Congratulations!” WAY TO GO! (giving “lose one’s way”)
51A. 1993 film about a novice Olympic bobsled team COOL RUNNINGS (giving “lose one’s cool”)

62A. What risktakers have … and what the starts of 17-, 23-, 40- and 51-Across can be? SOMETHING TO LOSE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 57s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Cross in some hieroglyphics ANKH
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world).

5. Guinness of “Star Wars” ALEC
Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.

9. Most of its panhandle is in the Pacific Time Zone IDAHO
The US state of Idaho has a panhandle that extends northwards between Washington and Montana, right up to the border with Canada. Across that border is the Canadian province of British Columbia. Most of Idaho is in the Mountain Time Zone, but Northern Idaho (the Panhandle) is in the Pacific Time Zone.

14. “Star Wars” princess LEIA
Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

15. “Hawaii Five-O” nickname DANO
“Five-O” has become urban slang for a police officer, or the police force in general. The term of course is rooted in the 1970s TV Show “Hawaii Five-O”. Hawaii Five-O was a totally fictional police force created for the television show. The name recognizes that Hawaii was the 50th state to join the union. Steve McGarrett in the original show was played by Jack Lord, and “Danno” Williams was played by James MacArthur.

20. Pond growth ALGAE
Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

23. Assets-and-liabilities statement BALANCE SHEET (giving “lose one’s balance”)
The balance sheet of a company is a snapshot (single point in time) view of a company’s financial position. The balance sheet lists all the company’s liabilities, all of its assets, and all of its ownership equity. The assets of a company, less its liabilities equals the ownership equity. The term “balance” is used because assets always balance out with the sum of liabilities and shareholder equity.

45. It’s a gas in Canada ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

46. Copper-plated coin CENT
The original one-cent coin was introduced in the US in 1793 and was made of 100% copper. The composition varied over time, and was 100% bronze up to the 1940s. During WWII there was a shortage of copper to make bronze, so the US Mint switched to zinc-coated steel for production of one-cent coins in 1943. The steelie is the only coin ever issued by the US mint that can be picked up by a magnet. Today’s one-cent coin is comprised mainly of zinc.

47. Without ice NEAT
The adjective “neat” has been used to describe “straight liquor” since about 1800. Before then, the term applied to wine, when it meant “unadulterated wine”. The term comes from Old French “net” meaning “clear, pure”.

51. 1993 film about a novice Olympic bobsled team COOL RUNNINGS (giving “lose one’s cool”)
The 1993 film “Cool Runnings” was inspired by a true story of the unlikely participation of the Jamaica in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in the bobsled competition. The film was well received, as was the song “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff that features on the soundtrack. John Candy appears in the film as the bobsled team’s coach. This was to be the last John Candy film to be released in his lifetime.

66. Nursery rhyme tart taker KNAVE
“The Queen of Hearts” is a poem that dates back to 1782. The poem starts out:

The Queen of Hearts
She made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day;
The Knave of Hearts
He stole those tarts,
And took them clean away.

The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
And beat the knave full sore;
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
And vowed he’d steal no more.

67. Large cross ROOD
A rood is a crucifix that specifically symbolizes the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

68. Blessing ender AMEN
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

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. Astronaut Armstrong NEIL
Neil Armstrong was the most private of individuals. You didn’t often see him giving interviews, unlike so many of the more approachable astronauts of the Apollo space program. His famous, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” statement; that was something that he came up with himself while Apollo 11 was making its way to the moon.

3. Checkmate victim KING
In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

6. 2000s first lady Bush LAURA
Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, had her memoir “Spoken from the Heart” published in 2010. Born Laura Lane Welch, the former First Lady has a Master’s degree in Library Science (as does my wife, my own First Lady!). Given that background, it’s not surprising that two causes that Laura Bush focused on while in the White House were education and literacy. She established the annual National Book Festival, first held in Washington, D.C. in 2001, after having co-founded the Texas Book Festival in her home state.

7. 2001 bankruptcy filer ENRON
After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

24. “Stormy Weather” singer Horne LENA
Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

29. Like “The X-Files” cases PARANORMAL
“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history.

35. Part of LAPD LOS
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third largest local law enforcement agency in the country, after New York PD and Chicago PD. Among other things, LAPD is famous for creating the first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in the US, in 1965.

38. “Family Guy” creator McFarlane SETH
Seth McFarlane is best known for creating the very successful (although they don’t get my vote!) animated TV shows “Family Guy” and “American Dad”. My kids love ’em …

41. Prom attire GOWN
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

48. Rear end TUSH
“Tush”, a word for the backside, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

50. “Thick & Fluffy” breakfast brand EGGO
Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced the original name chosen, which was “Froffles”, created by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

52. Maine campus town ORONO
The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation.

53. Bête __ NOIRE
“Bête noire” translates from French as “the black beast” and is used in English for something or someone that is disliked.

54. Verboten things NO-NOS
“Verboten” is the German word for “forbidden”, a word that we have imported into English.

59. Weighty work TOME
“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.

63. First lady? EVE
According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion, creating her from Adam’s rib.

64. Actor Danson TED
The actor Ted Danson is noted for in particular for three successful roles that he has played on television. He played Sam Malone on the sitcom “Cheers”, and the title role on the sitcom “Becker”. Danson is currently leading the cast on the drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Danson has been married to the lovely actress Mary Steenburgen since 1995.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cross in some hieroglyphics ANKH
5. Guinness of “Star Wars” ALEC
9. Most of its panhandle is in the Pacific Time Zone IDAHO
14. “Star Wars” princess LEIA
15. “Hawaii Five-O” nickname DANO
16. At lunch, say NOT IN
17. Reminder to be polite MIND YOUR MANNERS (giving “lose one’s mind”)
20. Pond growth ALGAE
21. Churn up ROIL
22. “__-haw!” YEE
23. Assets-and-liabilities statement BALANCE SHEET (giving “lose one’s balance”)
27. Judge at a base UMPIRE
30. Flower pot filler SOIL
31. Something to brag about FEAT
32. Perform perfectly NAIL
36. Dance movements STEPS
39. Rower’s blade OAR
40. “Congratulations!” WAY TO GO! (giving “lose one’s way”)
42. Be a contender VIE
43. Word with whisper or fright STAGE
45. It’s a gas in Canada ESSO
46. Copper-plated coin CENT
47. Without ice NEAT
49. Millionaire’s accumulation WEALTH
51. 1993 film about a novice Olympic bobsled team COOL RUNNINGS (giving “lose one’s cool”)
56. Incoming flight info: Abbr. ARR
57. Any minute now SOON
58. Hop out of bed GET UP
62. What risktakers have … and what the starts of 17-, 23-, 40- and 51-Across can be? SOMETHING TO LOSE
66. Nursery rhyme tart taker KNAVE
67. Large cross ROOD
68. Blessing ender AMEN
69. Repaired, as a shoe SOLED
70. Approximate figs. ESTS
71. Ties the knot WEDS

Down
1. __ mater ALMA
2. Astronaut Armstrong NEIL
3. Checkmate victim KING
4. Tasted, with “of” HAD A BIT
5. “And now, without further __ …” ADO
6. 2000s first lady Bush LAURA
7. 2001 bankruptcy filer ENRON
8. Stand-up individual? COMIC
9. Road trip stopover INN
10. Crime family boss DON
11. Right in front of one’s face AT EYELEVEL
12. New recruit HIREE
13. Beginning ONSET
18. Magazine subscription period YEAR
19. Many microbrews ALES
24. “Stormy Weather” singer Horne LENA
25. “Nothing special” SO-SO
26. Bit of Google success HIT
27. Sci-fi transports UFOS
28. Veggie platter’s lack MEAT
29. Like “The X-Files” cases PARANORMAL
33. Thumbs-up vote AYE
34. For what __ worth IT’S
35. Part of LAPD LOS
37. Ice cream buy PINT
38. “Family Guy” creator McFarlane SETH
40. Wash-and-__ WEAR
41. Prom attire GOWN
44. Hair goo GEL
46. Source of legal precedents CASE LAW
48. Rear end TUSH
50. “Thick & Fluffy” breakfast brand EGGO
51. Big barrels CASKS
52. Maine campus town ORONO
53. Bête __ NOIRE
54. Verboten things NO-NOS
55. Weighty gold bar INGOT
59. Weighty work TOME
60. Pre-owned USED
61. Rollerballs, e.g. PENS
63. First lady? EVE
64. Actor Danson TED
65. QB’s scores TDS

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LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Sep 14, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Skoczen
THEME: That’s a Wrap … each of today’s themed answers starts with a type of WRAP:

17A. Boil out of the pot BUBBLE OVER (giving “bubble wrap”)
27A. Present in lieu of cash GIFT CERTIFICATE (giving “gift wrap”)
48A. Doctors doing reconstructive work PLASTIC SURGEONS (giving “plastic wrap”)
64A. Director’s “We’re done,” and hint to the starts of 17-, 27- and 48-Across THAT’S A WRAP!

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Prefix with final or trailer SEMI-
A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

10. Ward of “CSI: NY” SELA
The actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast …

15. Frau’s home HAUS
In Germany, the lady of the house (haus) is the wife (frau).

16. Medicine cabinet swab Q-TIP
Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name “Baby Gays”, but this was changed in 1926 to “Q-Tips”, with the Q standing for “quality”.

17. Boil out of the pot BUBBLE OVER (giving “bubble wrap”)
Bubble wrap was invented in 1957 in an abortive attempt to make a 3-dimensional wall covering. The result was a material that wasn’t suitable as a “wallpaper” but that did make a great packing material. And don’t forget the last Monday of every January … that’s Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.

19. Sch. near the Rio Grande UTEP
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) was founded in 1914, originally as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. To this day there is a mine shaft on the campus, and the mascot of the school’s sports teams is Paydirt Pete, a prospector from the mining industry.

20. Old Testament twin ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

22. Goethe classic FAUST
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer (among other things!). Goethe’s most famous work is probably his play “Faust”. This epic work was published in parts, starting in 1808. The work was only published in toto after his death in 1832.

23. Sun. message SER
A sermon (ser.) is a Sunday (Sun.) message.

25. Shortening for pie-making LARD
Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called “suet”. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be “rendered” or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call “lard”. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as “tallow”.

35. Genetics lab subject RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

40. Dict. entry DEF
A definition (def.) might be found in a dictionary (dict.).

42. Sturm und __ DRANG
“Sturm und Drang” translates from the German into “Storm and Stress” or perhaps “Storm and Impulse”. “Sturm und Drang” was the name given to a movement in German literature and music in the latter half of the 18th century. The writer Johann Goethe was a major proponent of the movement, which took its name from a play by Maximilian Klinger.

45. Gin flavoring SLOE
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin.

51. Verdi opera AIDA
“Aida” is a famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi, actually based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!

52. Turkish bigwig AGA
“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

53. Where to find Houston St. and Penn Sta. IN NYC
Houston Street right across the island of Manhattan in an east-west direction. Houston Street was named for William Houstoun who served as a delegate from Georgia to the Continental Congress in 1787. As such, the street name is pronounced “HOUSE-ton”, unlike the city of Houston, which was named for Sam Houston.

Penn Station in New York City may have been the first Pennsylvania Station, but it’s not the only one. The Pennsylvania Railroad gave that name to many of its big passenger terminals, including one in Philadelphia (now called 30th Street Station), one in Baltimore, one in Pittsburgh, one in Cleveland, as well as others.

63. Hawaii’s “Valley Isle” MAUI
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Maui is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

64. Director’s “We’re done,” and hint to the starts of 17-, 27- and 48-Across THAT’S A WRAP!
When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to “wrap”, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

67. Frau’s mate HERR
In Germany, a “Mr.” (Herr) is married to a “Mrs.” (Frau).

69. Newsman Huntley CHET
Chet Huntley was a newscaster who co-anchored “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” on NBC with David Brinkley from 1956 to 1970.

70. Celestial bear URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”.

Down
1. Tea brand with a lizard logo SOBE
The brand name SoBe can be found on teas, juices and bottled waters. SoBe is an abbreviation for South Beach, the neighborhood in Miami Beach, Florida.

3. “Dancing Queen” band ABBA
I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was of course the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members, namely: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.

5. Word segment: Abbr. SYL
Syllable (syl.)

8. Rolled oats cereal MUESLI
“Muesli” is a Swiss-German term describing a breakfast serving of oats, nuts, fruit and milk. Delicious …

9. Jerusalem’s land: Abbr. ISR
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world, with the oldest part of Jerusalem having been settles in the 4th millennium BCE. The city is considered holy in all three of the big Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and as a result is one of the crucial issues to be resolved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

11. Caesar’s disbelieving words ET TU
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?), in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

18. “Snowy” heron EGRET
The Snowy Egret is a small white heron, native to the Americas. At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women’s hats.

26. CIO partner AFL
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886 by Samuel Gompers, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Led by Gompers, the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932 called the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

28. “__ inside”: chip-maker’s slogan INTEL
Intel is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips. The company was founded in 1968, and the name “Intel” is a derived from the term “int(egrated) el(ectronics)”. Recognition of the Intel brand has been greatly helped by the success of the “Intel Inside” campaign that started back in 1991.

29. Classic orange soda FANTA
The soft drink “Fanta” has quite an interesting history. As WWII approached, the Coca-Cola plant in Germany had trouble obtaining the ingredients it needed to continue production of the cola beverage, so the plant manager decided to create a new drink from what was available. The new beverage was built around whey (left over from cheese production) and pomace (left over after juice has been extracted from fruit). The inventor asked his colleagues to use their imagination (“Fantasie” in German) and come up with a name for the drink, so they piped up “Fanta!”

31. Rapunzel feature TRESS
“Rapunzel” is a fairy tale in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. Rapunzel was a maiden who was locked in a tower by an enchantress. The inevitable prince turns up, and he climbs up to Rapunzel using her long, fair hair as a climbing rope.

32. Hersey’s “A Bell for __” ADANO
“A Bell for Adano” is a novel written by John Hersey. Hersey’s story is about an Italian-American US Army officer, Major Joppolo, who found a replacement for a town’s bell stolen by fascists. “A Bell for Adano” was made into a film in 1945, the same year the novel won a Pulitzer.

33. Mortise insert TENON
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In a dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

34. Some MIT grads ENGRS
Some engineers (engrs.) graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

39. Charles Lamb, notably ESSAYIST
Charles Lamb published a famous collection of essays simply entitled “Essays of Elia”. Elia was actually a clerk and co-worker of Charles Lamb, whereas Lamb was the author.

44. Three times daily, on an Rx TID
“Ter” is the Latin word for “three”, commonly used in the medical world on prescriptions as part of the expression “ter in die”. “Ter in die” is Latin for “three times a day”, abbreviated to “TID”. “Bis in die” (BID) would be twice a day, and “quater in die” (QID) would be four times a day.

There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

49. Novelist Willa CATHER
American novelist Willa Cather wrote what’s called the “prairie trilogy”, books that tell the story of Swedish immigrants living in Nebraska. The titles in the trilogy are “O, Pioneers!”, “The Song of the Lark” and “My Antonia”. Cather won the Pulitzer Prize for another novel, “One of Ours”, that is set in Nebraska and the French battlefields of WWI.

50. Auditory canal blocker EARWAX
“Cerumen” is the medical term for earwax. I’ve just been reading about some of the historical uses for earwax. However, I can’t bring myself to record them here, as each is more disgusting that the next …

53. Colorful old 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. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

54. “Parsley is gharsley” poet Ogden NASH
The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:

Parsley
Is gharsley.

60. Comic Johnson ARTE
Arte Johnson, as well being a frequent judge on “The Gong Show”, played the German soldier on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. Johnson’s character’s famous catchphrase was, “Very interesting, but …”

64. Day before Fri. THU
In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, and his name gave us the term “Thursday”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Headliners STARS
6. Prefix with final or trailer SEMI-
10. Ward of “CSI: NY” SELA
14. “Wowie!” OH BOY!
15. Frau’s home HAUS
16. Medicine cabinet swab Q-TIP
17. Boil out of the pot BUBBLE OVER (giving “bubble wrap”)
19. Sch. near the Rio Grande UTEP
20. Old Testament twin ESAU
21. Leaves GOES
22. Goethe classic FAUST
23. Sun. message SER
25. Shortening for pie-making LARD
27. Present in lieu of cash GIFT CERTIFICATE (giving “gift wrap”)
35. Genetics lab subject RNA
36. Mix with a spoon STIR
37. Hard to lift LEADEN
38. Where serve-and-volley tennis players win a lot of points AT NET
40. Dict. entry DEF
42. Sturm und __ DRANG
43. Attacks SETS AT
45. Gin flavoring SLOE
47. Neither here __ there NOR
48. Doctors doing reconstructive work PLASTIC SURGEONS (giving “plastic wrap”)
51. Verdi opera AIDA
52. Turkish bigwig AGA
53. Where to find Houston St. and Penn Sta. IN NYC
56. Hammer or saw TOOL
59. Stadium cheers RAHS
63. Hawaii’s “Valley Isle” MAUI
64. Director’s “We’re done,” and hint to the starts of 17-, 27- and 48-Across THAT’S A WRAP!
66. Requests ASKS
67. Frau’s mate HERR
68. Backyard barbecue site PATIO
69. Newsman Huntley CHET
70. Celestial bear URSA
71. Wield EXERT

Down
1. Tea brand with a lizard logo SOBE
2. Consequently THUS
3. “Dancing Queen” band ABBA
4. Strong and healthy ROBUST
5. Word segment: Abbr. SYL
6. “Scram, fly!” SHOO!
7. Roof overhang EAVE
8. Rolled oats cereal MUESLI
9. Jerusalem’s land: Abbr. ISR
10. Cop show wheels SQUAD CAR
11. Caesar’s disbelieving words ET TU
12. Golfers’ concerns LIES
13. Date bk. entry APPT
18. “Snowy” heron EGRET
22. Breakfast sandwich item FRIED EGG
24. Deliriously happy ECSTATIC
26. CIO partner AFL
27. Clutch tightly GRASP
28. “__ inside”: chip-maker’s slogan INTEL
29. Classic orange soda FANTA
30. Get __ of: throw out RID
31. Rapunzel feature TRESS
32. Hersey’s “A Bell for __” ADANO
33. Mortise insert TENON
34. Some MIT grads ENGRS
39. Charles Lamb, notably ESSAYIST
41. Winter ailment FLU
44. Three times daily, on an Rx TID
46. Tough tests ORALS
49. Novelist Willa CATHER
50. Auditory canal blocker EARWAX
53. Colorful old Apple IMAC
54. “Parsley is gharsley” poet Ogden NASH
55. Microwave NUKE
57. Paddles, e.g. OARS
58. Mexican’s “other” OTRA
60. Comic Johnson ARTE
61. Word with spray or style HAIR
62. Laundry challenge SPOT
64. Day before Fri. THU
65. Swinger in the jungle APE

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