LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Jan 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ned White
THEME: The Rules … we have a mini-theme today (as has been pointed out by a kind blog reader!). The two long answers are both RULES:

62A. Things to obey, like 36-Across and 8-Down THE RULES

36A. School hallway warning USE INDOOR VOICES
8D. Highway warning CLICK IT OR TICKET

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Plant reproductive structure SPORE SAC
Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.

14. Lindbergh nickname LONE EAGLE
Charles Lindbergh was the American pilot who made the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of nearly 3,600 miles. He won the accolades of a whole country for that feat, and was awarded the Medal of Honor (for which Lindbergh was eligible, as an Army Reserve officer). His new-found fame brought tragedy to his door, however, when a kidnapper took his infant son from his home in East Amwell, New Jersey. A ransom was paid in part, but the child was never returned, and was found dead a few weeks later. It was as a result of this case that Congress made kidnapping a federal offence should there be any aspect of the crime that crosses a state line.

17. European travel pass INTERRAIL
An InterRail pass can be purchased for travel right across the nations of Europe. The InterRail pass is only available to European residents, and to residents of a handful of neighboring countries. Non-residents can purchase an equivalent Eurail pass.

18. “You Must Love Me” musical EVITA
“Evita” was the follow up musical to “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). “Evita” was made into a film in 1996, with Madonna playing the title role and Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce playing her husband Juan Perón.

19. NYC travel org. MTA
The MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). The MTA abbreviation is also used for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as the Metro and sometimes the MTA.

20. Trig function ARCSEC
“Arcsec” is an abbreviation for “arcsecant”, the inverse function of “secant”. So, if the secant of 45-degrees equals the square root of two, then the arcsecant of the square root of two equals 45-degrees.

The secant (sec, for short) is the ratio of the hypotenuse of a triangle to its adjacent side, and is the reciprocal of the cosine, as we all remember from school …

23. Internal walls SEPTA
In the world of anatomy, a septum is a dividing wall within a chamber or other structure. For example, the interatrial septum separates the left and right atria of the heart, and the nasal septum separates the nostrils of the nose.

26. Lizard that can shed its tail SKINK
Skinks are lizards with relatively small legs and without a pronounced neck. Most skink species have long tails that they can shed if it is grabbed by a predator. The tail can then be regenerated.

30. Like 23 of Haydn’s symphonies IN D
Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Hayden was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

31. Standing losses? LAPS
You’ve got to sit down to “create” a lap …

40. Anthologies ANAS
An ana (plural “anas”) is a collection, perhaps of literature, that represents the character of a particular place or a person. Ana can be used as a noun or as a suffix (e.g. Americana).

42. Number of single-syllable U.S. states ONE
Maine is the only one-syllable state name. I believe the greatest number of syllables in a state name is five, and there are five such states i.e. California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and West Virginia.

43. Cosmo, for one MAG
“Cosmopolitan” magazine was first published way back in 1886! It started out life as a family magazine, then as a literary publication. “Cosmo” took its present form as a women’s magazine in the sixties.

44. One Direction singer Zayn __ MALIK
One Direction is a UK-based boy band. Each member of the band competed in the reality show “The X Factor”, and didn’t do very well. The five were then combined in a boy band at a later stage of the competition. They only finished in third place, but I don’t think they care. They’re doing very, very well for “losers” …

46. Kirkuk native IRAQI
Kirkuk is a city in northern Iraq, in the Kurdish region of the country.

50. “Every Moment Counts” gp. USO
“Every Moment Counts” is a program launched in 2013 by the USO in order to thank the troops and their families for the sacrifices made in serving their country.

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

51. 1965 Nobel Peace Prize recipient UNICEF
The United Nations Children’s Fund is known by the acronym UNICEF because the organization’s original name when it was founded in 1946 was the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. The original focus of the fund was to provide relief to children in countries that had been devastated by WWII. UNICEF is supported by contributions from governments, but also by individual donors. One of the more successful programs for collecting private donations is the Trick-or-Treat UNICEF box that has been a tradition here in North America since 1950.

56. A carve turn may be taught in one SKI LESSON
A skier executes a carve turn by rotating the downhill ski on its edge so that the natural shape of the ski carves a turn as it cuts into the snow.

60. S-shaped sofa TETE-A-TETE
An S-shaped sofa, on which two people can sit and almost face each other, is known as a “tête-à-tête” or a “vis-à-vis”. These French terms translate respectively as “head-to-head” and “face-to-face”.

61. Company with antlers in its logo DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The company registered its famous leaping deer trademark back in 1876.

Down
2. Bridge overseas PONTE
“Ponte” is the Italian word for “bridge”.

3. Slated ON TAP
An item that has “been slated” has been put on the agenda, scheduled. The term comes from the notion of writing something down on a slate board.

4. R&B artist Des’__ REE
Des’ree is an R&B singer from London, England. One of Des’ree’s biggest hits is the song “Kissing You”, which was used in the 1996 film adaption of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

5. “As wicked dew as __ my mother brush’d”: “The Tempest” E’ER
At one point in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, Caliban curses Prospero using the words:

As wicked dew as e’er my mother brush’d
With raven’s feather from unwholesome fen
Drop on you both! A south-west blow on ye,
And blister you all o’er!

William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. The island is home to a devilish character called Caliban, who is forced into slavery on the arrival of the exiles. Prospero learns sorcery while cast away, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island’s shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio). On the island, Prospero is eventually successful in revealing Antonio’s lowly nature.

6. 1979-’80 Fleetwood Mac hit SARA
“Sara” is a lovely song written by Stevie Nicks and released by Fleetwood Mac on the 1979 album “Tusk”. Nicks tells us that if she’d ever had a daughter of her own, she would have named her Sara. But, Nicks also tells us that she consciously chose not to have children of her own, due to her demanding career.

Fleetwood Mac was founded in 1967 in London. The band was started by Peter Green, and he chose the name from two friends in former bands (named Fleetwood and McVie). This is despite the fact the drummer’s name happens to be Mick Fleetwood.

7. Food stabilizers AGARS
Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

8. Highway warning CLICK IT OR TICKET
The national “Click It or Ticket” campaign started at the state level in 1993, when it was introduced in North Carolina. New York was the first state to introduce a mandatory seat belt use law, back in 1984.

10. Highway lane, for short HOV
In some parts of the country one sees high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV lanes), but out here in California, we call them carpool lanes.

11. Four-time Emmy-winning actress EDIE FALCO
The actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”.

12. Four-stranded DNA structure TETRAPLEX
Famously, James Watson and Francis Crick worked out that the structure of DNA is a double helix. Well, it turns out that some strands of DNA can twist into different shapes. For example, the DNA at the ends of our chromosomes can form a rectangular structure called a triplex or quadruplex.

15. Where “Hamlet” opens ELSINORE
Elsinore is the castle that William Shakespeare used as the setting for his play “Hamlet”. Elsinore is based on the actual Kronborg castle in the Danish city of Helsingør (hence “Elsinore”).

29. __ Bannon, Paul Newman role HUD
The modern-day, western movie called “Hud” was released in 1963 and has become a classic. “Hud” stars Paul Newman (in the title role) and Patricia Neal and is an adaptation of a novel by Larry McMurtry called “Horseman, Pass By”. Patricia Neal’s role in the film was relatively small, yet her performance was enough to earn her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Paul Newman was an actor from Shaker Heights, Ohio. Newman won his only Best Actor Oscar for his role in “The Color of Money”, a Martin Scorsese film. Off screen Newman was a very successful racing driver and won several national championships. He also founded a food company called Newman’s Own which donates its profits to charity, an amount that now exceeds $300 million.

31. Jerry who wrote lyrics for many Presley songs LEIBER
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were a songwriting partnership, with Leiber writing lyrics and Stoller writing music. The list of Leiber and Stoller hits is impressive, including “Hound Dog”, “Poison Ivy”, “Stand By Me”, “Jailhouse Rock” and “Spanish Harlem”.

33. Rabble-rouser DEMAGOGUE
A demagogue is a political leader who seeks to achieve power by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of the masses. A favored tactic of demagogues is to accuse moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness, advocating instead immediate and often violent action. The term “demagogue” ultimately derives from Greek and can be translated as “people’s manipulator”.

34. Champion of the common man POPULIST
Populism is a political doctrine that appeals to the masses, usually playing off the interests of the elite.

35. Successor to Anwar HOSNI
Hosni Mubarak was the fourth President of Egypt, taking over after Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981. Mubarak resigned in 2011 in the early months of the Arab Spring after 18 days of public demonstrations. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012, a sentence which was overturned in 2013. Mubarak is still in jail though, serving three years for embezzlement.

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

37. Brandy designation VSO
Cognac is a famous variety of brandy named after the town of Cognac in the very west of France. To be called cognac, the brandy must be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in very specific French oak barrels. It is the length of this aging that defines the various grades of cognac (and other brandies):

– VS: Very Special … at least 2 years storage
– VSOP: Very Special (or Superior) Old Pale … at least 4 years storage
– XO: Extra Old … at least 6 years
– VSO: Very Superior Old … 12-17 years

41. 31-day mo. JAN
Janus is a Roman god, usually depicted with two heads, one looking to the past and the other to the future. As such, as a god Janus is often associated with time. The Romans named the month of Ianuarius (our “January”) after Janus.

44. Beaux-arts venue MUSEE
In French, one might find fine arts (beaux-arts) at a museum (musée).

45. Sports commentator Olbermann KEITH
Keith Olbermann is a sports and political commentator. Olbermann was exclusively a sports journalist for the first twenty years of his career, and spent several years presenting shows on ESPN. He left ESPN in 1997 to host his own prime-time, news-driven show on MSNBC.

47. Adams who shot El Capitan ANSEL
As an amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

El Capitan is a stunning vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park in California. The top of El Capitan has been used as the take-off point for many BASE jumps, parachute jumps made by diving off the top of the rock face. The National Park Service put a stop to the practise in 1999. Soon after, a BASE jumper made an illegal jump to protest the ban. She died …

49. Novelist Hammond __ INNES
Hammond Innes was an English author who mainly wrote thrillers, several of which have been made into films. The most famous of his novels is probably “The Wreck of the Mary Deare”, first published in 1956. It was made into a successful movie of the same name in 1959, starring Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston.

55. Big name in bar code scanners NCR
NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.

58. Tommy Pickles’ dad in “Rugrats” STU
“Rugrats” is a cartoon show that aired on Nickelodeon.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Plant reproductive structure SPORE SAC
9. Sharpens WHETS
14. Lindbergh nickname LONE EAGLE
16. Goat __: chaotic situation, in slang RODEO
17. European travel pass INTERRAIL
18. “You Must Love Me” musical EVITA
19. NYC travel org. MTA
20. Trig function ARCSEC
22. West end? -ERN
23. Internal walls SEPTA
26. Lizard that can shed its tail SKINK
27. Passing event? FAD
28. Book ending -ISH
30. Like 23 of Haydn’s symphonies IN D
31. Standing losses? LAPS
32. Signifies ADDS UP TO
35. “What have we here?!” HELLO!
36. School hallway warning USE INDOOR VOICES
38. Fingers NAMES
39. Media section PRESS BOX
40. Anthologies ANAS
41. Project JUT
42. Number of single-syllable U.S. states ONE
43. Cosmo, for one MAG
44. One Direction singer Zayn __ MALIK
46. Kirkuk native IRAQI
50. “Every Moment Counts” gp. USO
51. 1965 Nobel Peace Prize recipient UNICEF
53. Vow taker NUN
54. 8-Down and others SIGNS
56. A carve turn may be taught in one SKI LESSON
59. Bring forth EDUCE
60. S-shaped sofa TETE-A-TETE
61. Company with antlers in its logo DEERE
62. Things to obey, like 36-Across and 8-Down THE RULES

Down
1. Diets, with “down” SLIMS
2. Bridge overseas PONTE
3. Slated ON TAP
4. R&B artist Des’__ REE
5. “As wicked dew as __ my mother brush’d”: “The Tempest” E’ER
6. 1979-’80 Fleetwood Mac hit SARA
7. Food stabilizers AGARS
8. Highway warning CLICK IT OR TICKET
9. Highway closer, perhaps WRECK
10. Highway lane, for short HOV
11. Four-time Emmy-winning actress EDIE FALCO
12. Four-stranded DNA structure TETRAPLEX
13. Scoundrels SO-AND-SOS
15. Where “Hamlet” opens ELSINORE
21. Object END
24. Spruces (up) TIDIES
25. Like-minded orgs. ASSNS
29. __ Bannon, Paul Newman role HUD
31. Jerry who wrote lyrics for many Presley songs LEIBER
32. How a stage line might be spoken AS AN ASIDE
33. Rabble-rouser DEMAGOGUE
34. Champion of the common man POPULIST
35. Successor to Anwar HOSNI
36. Not laughing UNAMUSED
37. Brandy designation VSO
41. 31-day mo. JAN
44. Beaux-arts venue MUSEE
45. Sports commentator Olbermann KEITH
47. Adams who shot El Capitan ANSEL
48. Repeat exactly QUOTE
49. Novelist Hammond __ INNES
52. Run FLEE
55. Big name in bar code scanners NCR
57. Tin __ EAR
58. Tommy Pickles’ dad in “Rugrats” STU

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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Jan 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paolo Pasco
THEME: Back Words Puzzle … each of today’s themed answers starts with a word that has the suffix -BACK. But the suffix is omitted in the answer and is instead implied by writing the prefix in the BACK-direction:

16A. Deep-sea creature, literally PMUH WHALE (giving “humpback whale”)
20A. Alternative strategies, literally LLAF PLANS (giving “fallback plans”)
40A. Infomercial offers, literally YENOM GUARANTEES (giving “money-back guarantees”)
55A. Toddler’s transport, literally YGGIP RIDE (giving “piggyback ride”)
65A. Preflight purchase, literally REPAP BOOK (giving “paperback book”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Rock blasters AMPS
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

9. Californie, for one ETAT
In French, California (Califonie) is a state (état).

13. Apple variety 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.

14. Goal for a runner SEAT
A person running for election is usually seeking a seat.

15. Renaissance painter Veronese PAOLO
Paolo Veronese was a Renaissance painter from the Italian city of Verona (hence his name “Veronese”). Veronese is most famous for his paintings “The Wedding at Cana” and “The Feast at the House of Levi”. “The Wedding at Cana” is a massive work, measuring over 21 x 32 feet in size. It has the honor of being the largest painting in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

16. Deep-sea creature, literally PMUH WHALE (giving “humpback whale”)
The males of the humpback whale species are particularly known for their song. This song can last up to 20 minutes and can be repeated for hours at a time. It is usually assumed that the song is part of a mating ritual.

18. Mozart’s “King of Instruments” ORGAN
Mozart is quoted as saying, “In my eyes and ears, the organ will forever be the King of Instruments”.

19. Seat of Dallas County, Alabama SELMA
The Alabama city of Selma is noted for the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches from 1965.

The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day.

22. Churchill, for one TORY
“Tory” comes from the Irish word “tóraí” meaning “outlaw, robber”. The term “tory” was originally used for an Irish outlaw and later became a term of abuse for Irish rebels. At the end of the reign of King Charles II in Britain, there was a political divide with one side being called “Whigs” and the other “Tories”. Historically, the term “Tory” evolved to basically mean a supporter of the British monarchy, and today is used for a member of the British Conservative Party.

After a year of fighting in WWII, the British people had lost confidence in the British prime minister Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain stepped aside, and fellow-Conservative Winston Churchill took charge of the government. For the duration of the war, Churchill led a coalition government comprising mainly Conservative and Labor Party members, but also a handful of independents.

25. 1,000 G’s MIL
One “G” is a thousand dollars, and 1,000 Gs make up a cool million (mil).

30. Fusion, for one ECO-CAR
Ford introduced the Fusion mid-size car in 2006. A hybrid version of the Fusion came out in 2010, and a plug-in hybrid in 2012.

35. Receptionist on “The Office” ERIN
When Pam gave up her spot at the reception desk in the US version of the hit sitcom “The Office”, it was taken over by Kelly Erin Hannon. Erin, as she is known, is played by Ellie Kemper. Kemper had auditioned for the sitcom “Parks and Recreation” but didn’t get the part. However, she did get a callback to play on “The Office”. I think it’s a great show, and the addition of the character called Erin added a lot …

39. Yellowish tone OCHRE
Ochre is often spelled “ocher” in the US (it’s “ochre” where I come from). Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher.

43. Time to say “¡Feliz año nuevo!” ENERO
In Spanish, one often says “Happy New Year!” (Feliz Año Nuevo!) each January (enero).

48. 1980s surgeon general KOOP
C. Everett Koop was Surgeon General from 1982-89, appointed by President Reagan. Koop was a somewhat controversial character and one who brought the position of Surgeon General into the spotlight more than was historically the case. Partly this was due to his pro-life position, his anti-tobacco stance and the fact that AIDS became a prominent issue while he was in office.

50. Dennings of “Thor” KAT
Kat Dennings is the stage name of actress Katherine Litwack, noted today for her co-starring role on CBS’s sitcom “2 Broke Girls”. Dennings is an avid blogger, and you can check out her video blog on YouTube.

The 2011 movie “Thor” is yet another film based on a comic book hero. Even though I won’t be seeing it (I don’t do comics), I must admit it does have an impressive cast. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, supported by Natalie Portman, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins. And to crown it all, Kenneth Branagh is the director.

51. __ lane HOV
In some parts of the country one sees high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV lanes), but out here in California, we call them carpool lanes.

64. Certain Middle Easterner IRANI
Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

69. “Truth in Engineering” automaker AUDI
In most countries around the world, Audi uses its corporate tagline in advertising, namely “Vorsprung durch Technik” (which translates as “Advancement through Technology”). However, the German has been dropped for the US in favor of “Truth in Engineering”.

70. First place? EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

71. Bothersome parasites LICE
Lice are small wingless insects of which there are thousands of species, three of which are human disease agents. The three kinds of lice affecting humans are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …

Down
2. Former “Fashion Emergency” host EMME
Emme is the highest paid plus-size model in the world. Emme’s real name is Melissa Aronson, and she was born in New York City and raised in Saudi Arabia.

“Fashion Emergency” is a reality TV show that originally aired on E!

3. Surface fractures FAULT LINES
In geology, a “fault” is a fracture in the Earth’s crust resulting from the action of plate tectonic forces. The fault manifests itself at the surface of the Earth as a “fault line”.

There are eight major tectonic plates and numerous small plates, which make up the outermost shell of our planet. The heat from within the Earth causes the plates to move, albeit it slowly, creating earthquakes and volcanic eruptions where the plates meet each other, like right under my house here in California …

4. Blockhead SCHMO
“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

7. Depressing atmosphere PALL
A pall is a cloth used to cover a casket at a funeral. Pallbearers actually carry the coffin, covered by the pall. The phrase “casting a pall over”, meaning to create a dark mood, is metaphorical use of the pall over the casket.

9. “Downton Abbey” title EARL
In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville.

10. Draped garment TOGA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

11. The first “A” in A.A. Milne ALAN
Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author, best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

15. Michael Jackson, e.g. POP ICON
Michael Jackson was such a sad figure I always think. Jackson’s apparently unconstrained lifestyle made him an easy target for the tabloids. The less than charitable representatives of the media gave him the nickname “Wacko Jacko”.

23. Half a philosophical duality YANG
The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

25. “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution” author Nicholas MEYER
Nicholas Meyer is a screenwriter, director and author. Meyer directed two of the “Star Trek” films, and is credited with saving the franchise.

“The Seven-Per-Cent Solution” is a 1974 Sherlock Holmes mystery written by Nicholas Meyer. Mayer adapted the novel into a screenplay for the 1976 film of the same name. Somehow, I’ve not seen this movie, despite a great cast that includes Robert Duvall as Dr. Watson, Samantha Eggar as Irene Adler and Laurence Olivier as Professor Moriarty. Nicol Williamson plays Sherlock Holmes, and Alan Arkin turns up as Sigmund Freud.

26. Adler of Sherlock Holmes lore IRENE
The character Irene Adler only appeared in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In that story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

29. Snideness SNARK
“Snark” is a term that was coined by Lewis Carroll in his fabulous 1876 nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. Somehow, the term “snarky” came to mean “irritable, short-tempered” in the early 1900s, and from there “snark” became “sarcastic rhetoric” at the beginning of the 21st century.

36. Sushi seaweed NORI
Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when I was living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

38. Layered snack OREO
There’s an iPhone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

41. Venue involving a lot of body contact MOSH PIT
Moshing (also “slam dancing”) is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive” it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are commonplace in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.

42. “Right Now (Na Na Na)” artist AKON
Akon is a Senegalese American R&B and hip hop singer, who was born in St. Louis but lived much of his early life in Senegal. Akon is a stage name, and his real name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam. Got that?

47. Rogers Centre team, on scoreboards TOR
The SkyDome is a stadium in downtown Toronto, home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and the Toronto Argonauts Canadian football team. The SkyDome was officially renamed to the Rogers Centre when it, and the Toronto Blue Jays team, was purchased by Rogers Communications in 2005.

54. Big brass TUBAS
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

56. Crossword component GRID
It is generally accepted that the first crossword puzzle was published as a “Word-Cross” puzzle on December 21, 1913 in the “New York World”. The name “Word-Cross” was changed to “Cross-Word” a few weeks due to a mistake in the typesetting room. The name “crossword” has been used ever since. The “New York World” then started publishing the puzzles every week, and the idea was picked up by other newspapers. By 1920, crosswords were so popular that the New York Public Library reported difficulties in meeting the demand for access to dictionaries and encyclopedias.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ones calling the shots? REFS
5. Rock blasters AMPS
9. Californie, for one ETAT
13. Apple variety IMAC
14. Goal for a runner SEAT
15. Renaissance painter Veronese PAOLO
16. Deep-sea creature, literally PMUH WHALE (giving “humpback whale”)
18. Mozart’s “King of Instruments” ORGAN
19. Seat of Dallas County, Alabama SELMA
20. Alternative strategies, literally LLAF PLANS (giving “fallback plans”)
22. Churchill, for one TORY
24. “Who, me?” MOI?
25. 1,000 G’s MIL
27. Goes out for a bit? NAPS
30. Fusion, for one ECO-CAR
35. Receptionist on “The Office” ERIN
37. It’s frowned upon NO-NO
39. Yellowish tone OCHRE
40. Infomercial offers, literally YENOM GUARANTEES (giving “money-back guarantees”)
43. Time to say “¡Feliz año nuevo!” ENERO
44. Pioneers’ journey, say TREK
45. Unpopular spots ACNE
46. Buck RESIST
48. 1980s surgeon general KOOP
50. Dennings of “Thor” KAT
51. __ lane HOV
53. “Who, me?” NOT I?
55. Toddler’s transport, literally YGGIP RIDE (giving “piggyback ride”)
61. Alley wanderers MUTTS
64. Certain Middle Easterner IRANI
65. Preflight purchase, literally REPAP BOOK (giving “paperback book”)
67. Pirouette, essentially PIVOT
68. Settled down ALIT
69. “Truth in Engineering” automaker AUDI
70. First place? EDEN
71. Bothersome parasites LICE
72. Block (up) STOP

Down
1. Steals, with “off” RIPS
2. Former “Fashion Emergency” host EMME
3. Surface fractures FAULT LINES
4. Blockhead SCHMO
5. Fire proof ASH
6. Courses taken consecutively? MEAL
7. Depressing atmosphere PALL
8. Energy STEAM
9. “Downton Abbey” title EARL
10. Draped garment TOGA
11. The first “A” in A.A. Milne ALAN
12. Piles TONS
15. Michael Jackson, e.g. POP ICON
17. Tip off WARN
21. One on the other side FOE
23. Half a philosophical duality YANG
25. “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution” author Nicholas MEYER
26. Adler of Sherlock Holmes lore IRENE
28. Look down POUT
29. Snideness SNARK
31. Numerical prefix OCTA-
32. “Look at this!” CHECK IT OUT!
33. Battleground ARENA
34. Start over, in a way RESET
36. Sushi seaweed NORI
38. Layered snack OREO
41. Venue involving a lot of body contact MOSH PIT
42. “Right Now (Na Na Na)” artist AKON
47. Rogers Centre team, on scoreboards TOR
49. Majestic display POMP
52. Like some popular videos VIRAL
54. Big brass TUBAS
55. “Heavens to Betsy!” YIPE!
56. Crossword component GRID
57. Collapsed GAVE
58. Aware of IN ON
59. Where many subs are assembled DELI
60. Really, really cool EPIC
62. Stir TO-DO
63. Pass over SKIP
66. Downed ATE

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