LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Mar 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jerry Edelstein
THEME: Left Field … each of today’s themed answers is in two parts, with the LEFT part (the first word) often seen with the world FIELD:

64A. Figuratively, where some wild ideas come out of; literally, a hint to a word and its position when paired with the starts of the answers to starred clues LEFT FIELD

17A. *Pest-control device MOUSETRAP (giving “fieldmouse”)
25A. *Off-the-wall game? HANDBALL (giving “field hand”)
30A. *Simple garment HOUSEDRESS (giving “field house”)
44A. *One given to flights of fancy DAYDREAMER (giving “field day”)
49A. *Hidden explosives activator TRIPWIRE (giving “field trip”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Dash gauge TACH
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

5. Pawn at a shop HOCK
The term “in hock” is an American invention. Back in the mid-19th century “in hock” meant both “in debt” and “in prison”. The work “hock” came from the Dutch “hok” meaning “jail”.

14. Height: Pref. ACRO-
Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”. Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

19. Hersey’s bell town 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.

23. “Tao Te Ching” poet __-tzu LAO
The “Tao Te Ching” is a classical Chinese text, fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that it was written by the philosopher and poet Lao-Tzu.

27. Grant-granting gp. NEA
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark. I wonder how long that will last though …

29. Soul automaker KIA
The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is from Kia in Seoul …

30. *Simple garment HOUSEDRESS (giving “field house”)
A field house is a building connected to sports field that’s used for perhaps changing clothes or for storage.

36. Aerobic exercise aid STEP
Aerobic exercise is moderate activity, designed to be at a low enough intensity that very little anaerobic activity takes place. In other words, the exercise is at a level where oxygen is taken in to burn fat and carbohydrate to create energy. Anaerobic exercise is more intense and uses carbohydrate (glycogen) in the muscle to provide energy, without the need for oxygen. Aerobics are also called “cardio” as the exercises strengthen the cardiovascular system.

40. Woodlands man-goat SATYR
The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

41. Campus URL suffix EDU
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com ) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

43. Old Russian ruler TSAR
The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

44. *One given to flights of fancy DAYDREAMER (giving “field day”)
To have a “field day” is to have a great time, a really enjoyable day. The term arose with the military, in which a field day was one spent on maneuvers in the field.

46. Short-lived Egypt-Syr. alliance UAR
The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria made in 1958 and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

48. Drunkard SOT
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning a fool. The term “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

60. “__ o’ your throats”: “Measure for Measure” A POX
“Measure for Measure” is one of William Shakespeare’s plays, ostensibly a comedy. The title “Measure for Measure” is actually a quotation from the Bible found in the Gospel According to Luke.

62. “Alas and __!” ALACK
The archaic interjection “alack!” is an exclamation of sorrow or dismay. It is an abbreviated form of “ah, lack”, with “lack” used in the sense of loss, failure or shame.

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

68. Colombian city CALI
In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá and Medellin). Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks head there looking for a “cheap” nose job.

69. Beer holder STEIN
A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is the German for “stone”.

Down
4. Mubarak of Egypt 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, although this was overturned. Mubarak has been in detention ever while facing new charges.

6. “Days of __ Lives” OUR
NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” is the second-longest running soap opera on US television, second only to “General Hospital”. “Days …” has been aired since November 1965.

8. Letter after iota KAPPA
Kappa is the 10th letter of the Greek alphabet, the equivalent of our letter K.

9. Chastain of women’s soccer BRANDI
Brandi Chastain is professional soccer player and former member of the US national team. Famously, Chastain scored the game-winning kick in a penalty shootout in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final. Male soccer players regularly whip off their jerseys in celebration of a goal, and Chastain did the same thing. The sports bra seen around the world, as it were …

11. City NW of Orlando OCALA
The city of Ocala, Florida was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language “Ocala” means “Big Hammock”. Back in the 1890s, Ocala was famous for its oranges, with over one third of that fruit shipped from Florida coming from the city. Also, thoroughbred horse farming in Florida started in Ocala, back in 1943. Some folks today call Ocala the “Horse Capital of the World”, but I bet that’s disputed by others …

18. Ex-Disney CEO Michael EISNER
Michael Eisner took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 1984. Eisner has been attributed with turning Disney around, as the company was floundering really since 1966 when Walt Disney died. Eisner had a good run, but ran foul of Walt Disney’s nephew Roy Disney who led a revolt that resulted in Eisner’s resignation in 2005.

26. Iraqi port BASRA
It’s quite a coincidence that the Iraqi city of Basra has a name that is an anagram of “Arabs”, isn’t it? Basra also features in the H. G. Wells science-fiction tale “The Shape of Things to Come”. Written in 1933, the storyline predicts a global conflict (WWII) that breaks out in 1940 lasting for ten years, after which chaos reigns as no victor emerges. Following worldwide plague, a benevolent dictatorship takes charge and the world moves towards a serene utopia. In time, the dictators are overthrown and peacefully retired, and the people of the Earth live happily ever after, all citizens of one global state with its capital in Basra in the Middle East.

30. FDR’s last vice president HST
The initial “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

31. Western defense gp. OAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. All the independent states in the Americas are members of the group except Honduras, which had its membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

32. Actress Hagen UTA
Uta Hagen was a German-born American actress. Hagen married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

33. IHOP condiment SYRUP
The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests …

34. Ice cream maker Joseph EDY
Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

35. Brewski SUDS
“Brewski” and “suds” are slang terms for “beer”.

37. Bagpiper’s topper TAM
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”), but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of Robert Burns’ poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

49. “__ Life”: Sinatra hit THAT’S
“That’s Life” is a song recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1966, and the title of the album on which it was included. Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon, the song was first recorded by Marion Montgomery in 1966.

52. Romeo and Juliet, e.g. ROLES
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.

56. Song of praise PAEAN
A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning “song of triumph”.

57. City in northern France LILLE
Lille is a large city in the very north of France sitting right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’isle” meaning “the island”.

58. Comic Izzard EDDIE
Eddie Izzard is a remarkable British stand-up comedian and actor. Famously, Izzard is a transvestite and used to perform stand-up in women’s clothing and makeup, although he tends to perform in “boy-mode” these days. In 2009, Izzard decided to run back-to-back marathons to raise money for charity, despite having no real history of running. He trained for five weeks, and then ran the equivalent of an incredible 43 marathons in 51 days, covering more than 1,100 miles all over the UK and raising over $300,000.

63. TV forensic drama CSI
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is apparently the most-watched television show worldwide.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Dash gauge TACH
5. Pawn at a shop HOCK
9. Vague shapes BLOBS
14. Height: Pref. ACRO-
15. Saintly glow AURA
16. Sportscast rundown RECAP
17. *Pest-control device MOUSETRAP (giving “fieldmouse”)
19. Hersey’s bell town ADANO
20. Like paradise EDENIC
21. Go round and round SPIN
23. “Tao Te Ching” poet __-tzu LAO
24. “Yummy!” DELISH!
25. *Off-the-wall game? HANDBALL (giving “field hand”)
27. Grant-granting gp. NEA
29. Soul automaker KIA
30. *Simple garment HOUSEDRESS (giving “field house”)
36. Aerobic exercise aid STEP
40. Woodlands man-goat SATYR
41. Campus URL suffix EDU
42. Serious GRAVE
43. Old Russian ruler TSAR
44. *One given to flights of fancy DAYDREAMER (giving “field day”)
46. Short-lived Egypt-Syr. alliance UAR
48. Drunkard SOT
49. *Hidden explosives activator TRIPWIRE (giving “field trip”)
54. Overthrow TOPPLE
59. Farm female HEN
60. “__ o’ your throats”: “Measure for Measure” A POX
61. Phobic AFRAID
62. “Alas and __!” ALACK
64. Figuratively, where some wild ideas come out of; literally, a hint to a word and its position when paired with the starts of the answers to starred clues LEFT FIELD
66. In need of a chill pill TENSE
67. Mystery writer Gardner ERLE
68. Colombian city CALI
69. Beer holder STEIN
70. Ear piece? STUD
71. __-slapper KNEE

Down
1. Got under control TAMED
2. Words after “crack” or “live by” A CODE
3. Pitiless CRUEL
4. Mubarak of Egypt HOSNI
5. Came out of one’s shell? HATCHED
6. “Days of __ Lives” OUR
7. Attend uninvited CRASH
8. Letter after iota KAPPA
9. Chastain of women’s soccer BRANDI
10. Guided LED
11. City NW of Orlando OCALA
12. Unoriginal BANAL
13. Thread dispenser SPOOL
18. Ex-Disney CEO Michael EISNER
22. Printer cartridge contents INKS
26. Iraqi port BASRA
28. Neighborhood AREA
30. FDR’s last vice president HST
31. Western defense gp. OAS
32. Actress Hagen UTA
33. IHOP condiment SYRUP
34. Ice cream maker Joseph EDY
35. Brewski SUDS
37. Bagpiper’s topper TAM
38. December 24 or 31 EVE
39. Each PER
42. Exit the bus GET OFF
44. Tap concern DRIP
45. Went round and round ROTATED
47. Greet the day AWAKEN
49. “__ Life”: Sinatra hit THAT’S
50. Rented again RELET
51. Silly INANE
52. Romeo and Juliet, e.g. ROLES
53. Apply, as pressure EXERT
55. Puncture with a pin PRICK
56. Song of praise PAEAN
57. City in northern France LILLE
58. Comic Izzard EDDIE
63. TV forensic drama CSI
65. __ shot FLU

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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Mar 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Black-and-Whites … our themed answers today are all black and white:

17A. Black-and-white cruiser PATROL CAR
25A. Black-and-white puzzles CROSSWORDS
30A. Black-and-white music makers PIANO KEYS
45A. Black-and-white companion DALMATIAN
50A. Black-and-white flag JOLLY ROGER
64A. Black-and-white ocean predator ORCA WHALE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Hotelier Helmsley LEONA
Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” No wonder she was known as the Queen of Mean …

14. Post-ER area ICU
A patient might end up in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after being moved from the Emergency Room (ER).

16. ABBA’s “__ Mia” MAMMA
The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

19. High-tech prefix with space CYBER-
The prefix “cyber-” means “computer-related” and now “ultra-modern”. The prefix derives from the word “cybernetics”, which was coined in 1948 by mathematician Norbert Wiener to describe the use of mechanical and electronic systems to replace functions traditionally controlled by humans.

20. Memorial __ Kettering: NYC hospital SLOAN
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City comprises the Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, and Sloan Kettering Institute. The center was founded in 1884 as the New York Cancer Hospital by a group of philanthropists led by John Jacob Astor and his wife Charlotte. The Sloan-Kettering Institute is the research arm of the center. The institute was set up in 1945 with funds from the charitable foundation of Alfred P. Sloan. Jr. Charles F. Kettering was an executive at General Motors at the time, and he organized the application of industrial research techniques to the fight against cancer. Sloan and Kettering jointly announced the founding of the institute in the days following the dropping of the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. The pair pointed out that if a two billion dollar scientific effort could produce an atomic bomb, then surely a similar application of funds and scientific talent could make enormous strides in the fight against cancer.

24. Yin’s partner 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. Black-and-white puzzles CROSSWORDS
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.

27. When doubled, a Pacific island BORA
Bora Bora is one of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The name “Bora Bora” is imitative of the Tahitian name for the island and should really be pronounced “pora pora”. “Bora bora” translates as “first born”.

29. Actor DiCaprio, familiarly LEO
Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio is from Los Angeles, California. DiCaprio’s mother was visiting a museum in Italy when she was pregnant and felt the first kick of her unborn child. At the moment of that first kick, Mama DiCaprio was looking at a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and so named her son Leonardo.

30. Black-and-white music makers PIANO KEYS
The traditional materials used for the manufacture of piano keys were ebony (black) and ivory (white). Ebony is still used, but this is now covered with plastic instead of ivory to make the white keys.

35. “The Jetsons” boy ELROY
“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” are like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family are Rosie the household robot, and Astro the pet dog.

40. Painkiller with a Meltaways children’s brand TYLENOL
Tylenol is pain relieving drug, with the active ingredient acetaminophen (which we call paracetamol back in Ireland, and outside of America). Anacin does the same thing, with the active ingredients of aspirin and caffeine.

42. “__ Maria” AVE
“Ave Maria” (“Hail Mary” in English) is the prayer at the core of the Roman Catholic Rosary, which itself is a set of prayers asking for the assistance of the Virgin Mary. Much of the text of the “Hail Mary” comes from the Gospel of Luke. The words in Latin are:

AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

The prayer has been adapted as a hymn. The two most famous musical versions of “Ave Maria” are by Charles Gounod (based on a piece by Bach) and by Franz Schubert.

43. 2014 film about a civil rights marches SELMA
“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches of 1965. The film stars British actors David Oyewale as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson. “Selma” was received extremely well by critics and audiences alike. That said, there is some criticism about the way President Johnson is portrayed as being less supportive of civil rights than is assumed to be the case in reality.

45. Black-and-white companion DALMATIAN
The Dalmatian breed of dog originated in Dalmatia, in the Republic of Croatia. Here in the US, Dalmatians are known as “firehouse dogs”. This association dates back to the use of Dalmatians in firehouses to guard the valuable horses that pulled the fire engines.

49. Brouhahas ADOS
“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

50. Black-and-white flag JOLLY ROGER
The Jolly Roger is a flag that was flown by pirates to identify their vessels, basically to strike fear in the hearts of the crews they were attacking. We usually think of the Jolly Roger’s design as a white skull and crossbones on a black background. There is a theory that pirates originally flew a red flag, and this was known colloquially as the “pretty red”, or “joli rouge” in French. “Joli Rouge” then evolved into “Jolly Roger”.

59. October birthstone OPAL
Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl or Moonstone
July: Ruby
August: Sardonyx or Peridot
September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

60. Curly-horned goat IBEX
Ibex is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

62. Really casual “No prob!” NATCH!
“Natch” is a slang term meaning “naturally, of course”. “Natch” is simply a shortening of the word “‘naturally”, and was first recorded at the end of WWII.

64. Black-and-white ocean predator ORCA WHALE
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

66. Pal of Threepio ARTOO
Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2. R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the “Star Wars” movies.

C-3PO, or “Threepio”, is the protocol droid that appears in all six “Star Wars” movies.

70. Meeting of church delegates SYNOD
The word synod comes from the Greek word for assembly, or meeting. A synod is a church council, usually in the Christian faith.

71. Albany is its cap. NYS
New York’s state capital Albany was founded as a Dutch trading post called Fort Nassau in 1614. The English took over the settlement in 1664 and called it Albany, naming it after the future King of England James II, whose title at the time was the Duke of Albany.

Down
2. City in Florida’s horse country OCALA
The city of Ocala, Florida was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language “Ocala” means “Big Hammock”. Back in the 1890s, Ocala was famous for its oranges, with over one third of that fruit shipped from Florida coming from the city. Also, thoroughbred horse farming in Florida started in Ocala, back in 1943. Some folks today call Ocala the “Horse Capital of the World”, but I bet that’s disputed by others …

4. Diving lake bird LOON
The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in the British Isles. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

5. Picture that shows more detail: Abbr. ENL
Enlargement (enl.)

6. “Sesame Street” grouch OSCAR
Oscar the Grouch is the Muppet that lives in a garbage can. Oscar’s persona comes from various sources. He is named after Oscar Brand who was one of the board members of the Children’s Television Workshop, the backers for “Sesame Street” as the Muppets were being developed in the sixties. Oscar’s personality was inspired by an angry waiter that once served Jim Henson (father of the Muppets). And the voice was modeled on a grumpy New York cab driver encountered one day by Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who brings Oscar to life.

8. Gillette razors ATRAS
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

9. HBO rival TMC
The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.

Home Box Office (HBO) is the second largest network of premium channels in the US, after Encore. HBO is a favorite of mine as I really like many of the HBO made-for-television movies and especially the HBO original series. Among the list of original series from HBO are “Mildred Pierce”, “The Pacific”, “John Adams”, “Big Love”, “Extras”, “The Wire”, “Sex and the City”, “From the Earth to the Moon”, “The Sopranos” and “Band of Brothers”. What great television …

22. ISP option DSL
The abbreviation “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way in which end users are connected to the ISP’s network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs.

25. Like dense brownies CAKY
Apparently the first brownies were created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The recipe was developed by a pastry chef at the city’s Palmer House Hotel. The idea was to produce a cake-like dessert that was small enough and dainty enough to be eaten by ladies as part of a boxed lunch.

26. Little shaver, to Burns WEE LAD
“Shaver” is a slang term for a “fellow”, from the sense of “one who shaves”. The term may have arisen in the late 1500s, and over the centuries has come to refer to a younger male. Today we mainly say “little shaver” when referring to a young child of either sex.

30. Ltr. add-ons PSS
One adds a PS (post scriptum, or simply “postscript”) at the end of a letter. A second postscript is a post post scriptum, a PPS.

31. Eisenhower nickname IKE
“I Like Ike” was a political slogan that originated with the grassroots movement to get Dwight D. Eisenhower to run for president in the 1952 presidential election.

34. NBC show that celebrated its 40th anniversary in Feb. SNL
NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

36. Cause an uproar of Biblical proportions? RAISE CAIN
As Cain was the first murderer according the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

38. Itch YEN
The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

41. Actor Sharif OMAR
Omar Sharif is the great Hollywood actor from Egypt, an actor who played major roles in memorable movies such as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”. But to me he is my bridge hero (the card game). In his heyday Sharif was one of the best bridge players in the world.

48. Med. scan MRI
A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

50. __ Brothers: pop music trio JONAS
A young neighbor of mine went to see the Jonas Brothers in concert a while back. She came home swooning …

51. Dizzying painting genre OP ART
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

52. Coffeehouse order LATTE
The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

53. Bassoon relatives OBOES
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

Our modern bassoon first appeared in the 1800s and has had a place in the concert orchestra ever since.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Also TOO
4. Hotelier Helmsley LEONA
9. Make small adjustments to TWEAK
14. Post-ER area ICU
15. First stage ONSET
16. ABBA’s “__ Mia” MAMMA
17. Black-and-white cruiser PATROL CAR
19. High-tech prefix with space CYBER-
20. Memorial __ Kettering: NYC hospital SLOAN
21. Teensy bit A TAD
23. Word on a penny CENT
24. Yin’s partner YANG
25. Black-and-white puzzles CROSSWORDS
27. When doubled, a Pacific island BORA
29. Actor DiCaprio, familiarly LEO
30. Black-and-white music makers PIANO KEYS
35. “The Jetsons” boy ELROY
39. Go over snow SKI
40. Painkiller with a Meltaways children’s brand TYLENOL
42. “__ Maria” AVE
43. 2014 film about a civil rights marches SELMA
45. Black-and-white companion DALMATIAN
47. Outfielder’s asset ARM
49. Brouhahas ADOS
50. Black-and-white flag JOLLY ROGER
56. Take five REST
59. October birthstone OPAL
60. Curly-horned goat IBEX
61. Happen OCCUR
62. Really casual “No prob!” NATCH!
64. Black-and-white ocean predator ORCA WHALE
66. Pal of Threepio ARTOO
67. Behave theatrically EMOTE
68. Type ILK
69. Way up or way down STEPS
70. Meeting of church delegates SYNOD
71. Albany is its cap. NYS

Down
1. Slightly sloshed TIPSY
2. City in Florida’s horse country OCALA
3. Released from jail until trial OUT ON BAIL
4. Diving lake bird LOON
5. Picture that shows more detail: Abbr. ENL
6. “Sesame Street” grouch OSCAR
7. “Sweet!” NEATO!
8. Gillette razors ATRAS
9. HBO rival TMC
10. “Totally awesome!” WAY COOL!
11. Campfire glower EMBER
12. Modify, as a law AMEND
13. Go-__: mini racers KARTS
18. Tease relentlessly RAG ON
22. ISP option DSL
25. Like dense brownies CAKY
26. Little shaver, to Burns WEE LAD
28. Dial type on old phones ROTARY
30. Ltr. add-ons PSS
31. Eisenhower nickname IKE
32. Days of yore, quaintly ELD
33. Supporting vote YEA
34. NBC show that celebrated its 40th anniversary in Feb. SNL
36. Cause an uproar of Biblical proportions? RAISE CAIN
37. Fertility clinic eggs OVA
38. Itch YEN
41. Actor Sharif OMAR
44. Shoplifter catcher, often MALL COP
46. Handheld burning light TORCH
48. Med. scan MRI
50. __ Brothers: pop music trio JONAS
51. Dizzying painting genre OP ART
52. Coffeehouse order LATTE
53. Bassoon relatives OBOES
54. Potentially infectious GERMY
55. Former jailbird EX-CON
57. Tarnish SULLY
58. Tough hikes TREKS
61. Didn’t pay yet OWED
63. Laughs from Santa HOS
65. From __ Z A TO

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