LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Apr 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: Sniff … each of our themed answers today is clued with a [sniff], with the answer being what one might say on making that [sniff].

20A. [sniff] I’VE CAUGHT A COLD
37A. [sniff] THIS IS REALLY SAD
56A. [sniff] WHAT’S THAT SMELL?

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … MIA (Mya), MILORD (My Lord)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Bit of plankton ALGA
Plankton are organisms that float in water and are incapable of swimming against a current. There are three general classifications of plankton:

– Phytoplankton, which live on the surface and use light for photosynthesis.
– Zooplankton, small animals that mainly feed on other plankton.
– Bacterioplankton, the bacterial component of plankton.

5. Venus and Mars ORBS
The planet Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, after our Moon.

The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!

9. Actress Thompson of “Veronica Mars” TESSA
Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”.

“Veronica Mars” is a TV show starring Kristen Bell in the title role. Mars is a student who also works as a private investigator.

14. Small deer ROES
Roe deer are found mainly in Europe. They would be the deer shown on television and in movies when Robin Hood was out hunting in Sherwood Forest.

15. Roman numerals may be seen on one DIAL
Strangely enough, when Roman numerals are used on the face of a clock, the number 4 is represented “incorrectly” as IIII, rather than IV. However, the number 9 is represented “correctly” as IX. There are a number of theories to explain this, and no matter which is correct, I still find the dichotomy quite interesting!

16. Coveted annual honor OSCAR
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

19. Caroler’s wear, often SCARF
The word “carol” came into English via the Old French word “carole”, which was a “dance in a ring”. When “carol” made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

20. [sniff] I’VE CAUGHT A COLD
The common cold is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are over 200 strains of virus that are known to cause the disease.

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

23. Expressive music genre EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

24. Sport fishing quarry MARLIN
The fish called a marlin takes its name from the sailor’s took called a marlinspike. The long nose of the marlin might indeed be described as a “spike”. A marlinspike is used by sailors when working with rope, untying knots or perhaps splicing. The name of the tool comes from the practice of “marling”, which is the winding of twine around the ends of a larger piece of rope to prevent it from unravelling.

26. Way around London TRAM
A tram is a means of public transportation that runs on rails laid along the length of streets in cities and towns. Trams might also be referred to as trolleys or streetcars.

Trams were a common form of transport in London starting with horse-drawn versions in 1860. Trams were gradually replaced by diesel buses after WWII, with the last tram running in 1952. Even though the trams disappeared in the early fifties, many of the rails that carried the trams remained in some streets for many years afterwards (I remember them well as a child). A new generation of tram, a so-called light-rail system, was introduced in London in 2000.

28. Debatable skill ESP
Extrasensory perception (ESP)

36. Shepherd’s __ PIE
Shepherd’s pie, also known as cottage pie, is one of my favorite dishes. It is a meat pie (although my wife makes a vegetarian version), with a crust made from mashed potato.

41. “Jingle Bells” contraction O’ER
The traditional Christmas song “Jingle Bells” was first published in 1857, penned by James Lord Pierpont. We associate the song with Christmas, although in fact Pierpont wrote it as a celebration of Thanksgiving.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

42. Some road signals BLINKERS
A car’s turn signals are more formally referred to as “directional indicators”, and indeed in Ireland we usually just called them “indicators”. Other casual terms used here in North America seem to be “blinkers” and “flashers”.

45. Otoscope user, for short ENT
An otoscope is that instrument that an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT) uses to look into the interior of your ears.

46. Hurricane __ LAMP
A hurricane lamp is a kerosene lantern that is portable and designed for outdoor use.

52. Inflation meas. PSI
Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

55. “Alice in Wonderland” (2010) star Wasikowska MIA
Mia Wasikowska is an Australian actress. Wasikowska’s breakthrough role was playing the title character in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010. The only movie I’ve seen her in though is 2011’s “Jane Eyre”, a pretty good adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic, I thought …

64. NYC-to-Montauk system LIRR
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

67. Cocker spaniel of film LADY
“Lady and the Tramp” is a classic animated feature from Walt Disney, released in 1955. Who can forget the scene where the Tramp and Lady are “on a date” and together eat that one strand of spaghetti? So cute!

The Cocker Spaniel originated in the UK, where the breed was developed for hunting the Eurasian Woodcock. It is the hunting of the woodcock that led to the breed’s name.

Down
3. Canis and Felis GENERA
Biological classification is a method used to group organisms by biological type. The method uses a hierarchy of nested classes, with an organism being classified with reference to evolutionary traits. The major taxonomic ranks used are:

– Life
– Domain
– Kingdom
– Phylum (plural “phyla”)
– Class
– Order
– Family
– Genus (plural “genera”)
– Species

The genus Canis includes dogs, wolves, coyotes and jackals. “Canis” is Latin for “dog”.

The genus Felis includes the domestic cat and other small, wild cats. The Latin word for “cat” is “feles”.

5. Disgust ODIUM
“Odium” is a strong dislike or aversion. The term is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.

6. “Don’t Pass Me By” songwriter RINGO
“Don’t Pass Me By” is a 1968 song recorded by the Beatles. Unusually enough, the song was written by drummer Ringo Starr, several years before its first release on the White Album. In fact, while pulling together the White Album, the song’s working title was simply “Ringo’s Tune”.

7. Bad thing to take in Vegas? BATH
In old gambling slang, if you lost all of your money you were “cleaned out”. This expression evolved into the phrase “to take a bath”, meaning “to lose everything”.

8. Pinball machine feature SLOT
Our modern game of pinball evolved from an earlier table game called bagatelle which used balls, pins and holes (and I remember playing bagatelle as boy in a pub in Ireland). The first “pinball” machine was made by a British inventor who settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. He modified the game of bagatelle, adding a coiled spring and a plunger to introduce balls at the end of the table, a device that is still in use today. From there, manufacturers developed coin-operated versions of pinball, which became popular during the depression as they provided a little entertainment for a few pennies. One distributor of the coin-operated pinball machines started manufacturing them himself as he couldn’t source new games fast enough. He called his pinball game Ballyhoo, and eventually named his company Bally, a brand name well known in the gambling industry to this day.

9. 1900 Teatro Costanzi premiere TOSCA
Unlike so many operas, “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I’ve only seen it once myself.

11. Food often served seared SCALLOPS
A scallop is a marine mollusk that is served as seafood. Scallops are often served baked in milk and this method of preparation has become known as “scalloping”. So, scalloped potatoes are potatoes baked in milk.

12. Autonomous region of Italy SARDINIA
Sardinia is an autonomous region of Italy, an island in the Mediterranean off the west coast of the country. It lies to the south of the French island of Corsica. Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean (Sicily is the largest).

18. Actor Daniel __ Kim DAE
Daniel Dae Kim is an American actor who is famous for playing Jin-Soo Kwon on “Lost”. Kim now plays one of the leads on the CBS remake of “Hawaii Five-O”, portraying the character Chin Ho Kelly.

21. Pharmaceutical container AMPULE
An ampule is a sealed vial that is commonly used to hold pharmaceuticals. Ampoules are usually made from glass, and are opened by snapping off the neck of the container.

27. Classic two-seated roadsters MGS
My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG acronym standing for “Morris Garages”.

33. The Skerries in the 39-Down, e.g. ISLETS
The Skerries are a group of islets of the coast of Wales in the Irish Sea. “Skerry” is mainly a Scottish word meaning “small, rocky island”. There’s a lot of SCUBA diving around the Skerries as they were the site of many shipwrecks over the centuries. Because of the dangerous landfall, there has been a Skerries Lighthouse on the largest island since 1716. I remember that lighthouse as a welcome sight when crossing the Irish Sea in my sailing days, many, many moons ago …

34. Yeats’ home ERIN
Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.

35. Camera shop offering, briefly SLR
SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

37. “The Wind in the Willows” figure TOAD
“The Wind in the Willows” is a classic children’s novel first published in 1908. Featured in the story are characters such as Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger. The story’s author was Kenneth Grahame, a man who held the exalted position of Secretary of the Bank of England.

39. View from Liverpool IRISH SEA
Liverpool is a large port city in the northwest of England, located on the estuary of the River Mersey. With a sense of humor that is typical of the area, people from Liverpool are often called “Liverpudlians”. The term comes from the jocular “Liver-puddle”, a diminutive of “Liver-pool”.

40. Fashion monogram YSL
Yves Saint-Laurent was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint-Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from prison, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

44. Crown jewels item DIADEM
A diadem is a type of crown that is worn as a sign of royalty. The original “diadem” wasn’t made of metal and was simply an embroidered silk ribbon that was worn by a king as a symbol of his authority.

47. First name in aviation history AMELIA
Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.

54. NetZero, e.g.: Abbr. ISP
NetZero was launched in 1998 and was the first free Internet Service Provider (ISP). NetZero’s idea was to provide targeted advertising to users, based on what users liked to view online. It’s a little like Google’s business model, providing advertising based on Internet surfing patterns.

60. Ed.’s pile MSS
An editor (ed.) might be faced with a pile of manuscripts (MSs).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bit of plankton ALGA
5. Venus and Mars ORBS
9. Actress Thompson of “Veronica Mars” TESSA
14. Small deer ROES
15. Roman numerals may be seen on one DIAL
16. Coveted annual honor OSCAR
17. Very aware of TUNED INTO
19. Caroler’s wear, often SCARF
20. [sniff] I’VE CAUGHT A COLD
22. Sun. speech SER
23. Expressive music genre EMO
24. Sport fishing quarry MARLIN
26. Way around London TRAM
28. Debatable skill ESP
30. Manner of speaking TONE
31. Rueful GRIEVOUS
36. Shepherd’s __ PIE
37. [sniff] THIS IS REALLY SAD
41. “Jingle Bells” contraction O’ER
42. Some road signals BLINKERS
43. Desertlike ARID
45. Otoscope user, for short ENT
46. Hurricane __ LAMP
50. Knock it off DESIST
52. Inflation meas. PSI
55. “Alice in Wonderland” (2010) star Wasikowska MIA
56. [sniff] WHAT’S THAT SMELL?
60. Botch MISDO
61. Cockpit option AUTOPILOT
62. Expensive STEEP
63. Not at all pleasant GRIM
64. NYC-to-Montauk system LIRR
65. Frauds SHAMS
66. Barnyard meal SLOP
67. Cocker spaniel of film LADY

Down
1. Recording __ ARTIST
2. Vent opening LOUVER
3. Canis and Felis GENERA
4. “Give me __” A SEC
5. Disgust ODIUM
6. “Don’t Pass Me By” songwriter RINGO
7. Bad thing to take in Vegas? BATH
8. Pinball machine feature SLOT
9. 1900 Teatro Costanzi premiere TOSCA
10. Go with ESCORT
11. Food often served seared SCALLOPS
12. Autonomous region of Italy SARDINIA
13. Dog’s declaration ARF!
18. Actor Daniel __ Kim DAE
21. Pharmaceutical container AMPULE
25. Grant factor NEED
27. Classic two-seated roadsters MGS
28. It happens EVENT
29. Overcharge SOAK
32. Barbecue morsel RIB
33. The Skerries in the 39-Down, e.g. ISLETS
34. Yeats’ home ERIN
35. Camera shop offering, briefly SLR
37. “The Wind in the Willows” figure TOAD
38. Legalese adverb HEREWITH
39. View from Liverpool IRISH SEA
40. Fashion monogram YSL
44. Crown jewels item DIADEM
47. First name in aviation history AMELIA
48. Upper-class address MILORD
49. Insignificant PALTRY
51. Conductor’s calls STOPS
52. Cookout site PATIO
53. Tread heavily STOMP
54. NetZero, e.g.: Abbr. ISP
57. Puts (out) TAGS
58. Throw hard HURL
59. Paper or pepper source MILL
60. Ed.’s pile MSS

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LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Apr 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: “J” Hosts Tonight … each of today’s themed answers starts with the given name of a host of “The Tonight Show”. Only those hosts whose names begin with the letter J are listed, and they’re in chronological order:

60A. With “The,” post-prime time fare since the ’50s, whose last four regular hosts appear in sequence in the answers to starred clues TONIGHT SHOW

17A. *Knave in a black suit JACK OF CLUBS (giving “Jack Paar”)
24A. *Griddle-cooked corn bread JOHNNYCAKE (giving “Johnny Carson”)
38A. *Symbol of nakedness JAYBIRD (giving “Jay Leno”)
48A. *Like a well-made lock JIMMY-PROOF (giving “Jimmy Fallon”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Russia-Manchuria border river AMUR
The Amur is a river that serves as the border between Russia and China in Manchuria. On one side of the border is Outer Manchuria (in Russia) and on the other is Inner Manchuria (in China).

11. Simile center AS A
A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

14. Esoteric ARCANE
Something that is “arcane” is something that is understood by only a few, something that might be described as mysterious.

Something described as “esoteric” is meant only for a select few with special knowledge. The term comes from the Greek “esoterikos” meaning “belonging to an inner circle”.

16. Amendments 1-10 subj. RTS
Rights (rts.)

The Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787. There have been 27 amendments to the constitution, the first ten of which are collectively called the Bill of Rights. In essence the Bill of Rights limits the power of the Federal Government and protects the rights of individuals. For example, the First Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

17. *Knave in a black suit JACK OF CLUBS (giving “Jack Paar”)
Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

We’ve been using “knave” to mean a cad since about 1200, and as an alternative name for the jack in a deck of cards since the mid-1500s. “Knave” comes from the Old English word “cnafa”, a “boy, male servant”.

20. Maldives landform ATOLL
An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

The Maldives is an island nation consisting of two chains of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The population of over 300,000 people is distributed over 192 of inhabited islands, with about 1,000 island remaining uninhabited. The Maldives is one of the countries in the world that is most endangered by rising sea levels.

23. Tofu source SOYA
Tofu is another name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has “curdled”. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it …

24. *Griddle-cooked corn bread JOHNNYCAKE (giving “Johnny Carson”)
Johnnycake is a flatbread made from cornmeal that is associated with the Atlantic coast. There are claims that johnnycake originated in Rhode Island.

Johnny Carson hosted “The Tonight Show” for thirty years, from 1962 to 1992. Although Carson was the first choice to take over the show from Jack Paar, he initially declined. Carson eventually took the job, after it had also been refused by Bob Newhart, Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx and Joey Bishop.

28. Former Yankee manager who’s now an MLB exec TORRE
As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

29. Comedy team who voiced the Piel Brothers of beer fame BOB AND RAY
“Bob and Ray” were a comedy team who worked together for over 40 years, performing mainly on radio and television. Bob Elliott started out as disk jockey, and Ray Goulding as a news reader.

Piels Beer ran a successful ad campaign during the late fifties that featured two animated characters, brothers Bert and Harry Piel. The brothers were voiced by comedy team “Bob and Ray”. Such was the success of the campaign that Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding launched a second career for themselves as voice-over artists, and ran their own advertising voice-over company called Goulding Elliott Greybar.

37. Goya’s year ANO
Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter, often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

38. *Symbol of nakedness JAYBIRD (giving “Jay Leno”)
The phrase “naked as a jaybird” dates back at least to 1943. Before that, back into the late 1800s, the equivalent phrase was “naked as a robin”. Going back further in time, the phrase “naked as a needle” was used in the late 1500s.

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

40. Clinker in a Glas EIS
In German, there may be some ice (Eis) clinking in the glass (Glas).

41. India’s first prime minister NEHRU
Jawaharlal Nehru was the very first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor, Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter, Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi, though she was no relation to Mahatma).

43. Pulitzer-winning WWII journalist ERNIE PYLE
Ernie Pyle was a journalist, truly a roving reporter, never happy unless he was filing stories from some remote part of the country or some far-flung corner of the globe. Pyle was noted for his intimate style of reporting, emphasizing the human element of the story. His reports written during WWII in Europe, stressing the experiences of soldiers in the front lines, won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1944. After Germany surrendered he decided to follow the war in the Pacific. One day towards the end of the war, Pyle was traveling in a jeep on the island of le Shima in the Okinawa Islands when he was hit by enemy machine gun fire and was killed. Pyle was one of very few civilians killed during WWII who was awarded the Purple Heart.

48. *Like a well-made lock JIMMY-PROOF (giving “Jimmy Fallon”)
“Jimmy” is a variant of the word “jemmy” that is used for a type of crowbar, one associated with burglars back in the 1800s.

A crowbar is a wonderful tool, one that can be used to pry open things, and to remove nails. The claw at one or both ends of the tool aids in that nail removal, and it is likely this “claw” was said to resemble that of a crow, giving us the name “crowbar”. Back in Elizabethan times. the same tool was called an “iron crow”. There’s a line in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” that reads “Get me an iron crow and bring it straight/Unto my cell.”

Jimmy Fallon was a cast member for a number of years on “Saturday Night Live” before getting his own talk show in 2009, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. Fallon took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in 2014.

56. Big name in elevators OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

57. N.Y. commuter line with a Hempstead Branch LIRR
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

58. Malia’s sister SASHA
Sasha is the younger of the two Obama children, born in 2001. She is the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant. Sasha’s Secret Service codename is “Rosebud”, and her older sister Malia has the codename “Radiance”.

Malia is the oldest of the two daughters in the Obama First Family. Malia was born on Independence Day, 1998, July 4th.

59. Flight-tracking fig. ETA
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

60. With “The,” post-prime time fare since the ’50s, four of whose regular hosts appear in sequence in the answers to starred clues TONIGHT SHOW
Here’s a list of the hosts of the iconic late-night talk show, NBC’s “The Tonight Show” …

– Steve Allen (1954-57)
– Jack Paar (1957-62)
– Johnny Carson (1962-92)
– Jay Leno (1992-2009, 2010-14)
– Conan O’Brien (2009-10)
– Jimmy Fallon (2014-present)

62. Craving 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!

63. Some Alcan Highway pumps 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.

The Alaska Highway is also known as the Alaska-Canadian Highway or ALCAN Highway. A highway connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska was proposed in the twenties, but the Canadian authorities didn’t believe the project had much merit as the road would be used by very few of its citizens. The perceived importance of the route increased during WWII and President Roosevelt deemed the road a strategic necessity so he made a deal with Canada. The cost of construction would be born by the US, but the road and related facilities were to be handed over to Canada at the end of the war. The project was accelerated when the Japanese invaded and occupied Kiska and Attu Islands in the Aleutians. The road of course has been improved and is still in use today. The ALCAN Highway forms part of what is popularly known as the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the south of Argentina or Chile depending on how the route is defined.

67. “__ End”: 1970-’71 Streisand hit STONEY
“Stoney End” is a track on the album of the same name, released by Barbra Streisand in 1971. Streisand’s recording of “Stoney End” is a cover version of a song written by Laura Nyro and originally released by Peggy Lipton.

Down
1. Subjects of two Goya paintings MAJAS
María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.

2. Muse for Millay ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of Lyric Poetry.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American poet and playwright, the third woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in 1923 for “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver”). Millay was noted not only for her work, but also for the open arrangement that she and her husband had in their marriage. Millay took many lovers, including the poet George Dillon for whom she wrote a number of sonnets.

3. Kelley’s “Star Trek” role MCCOY
The actor DeForest Kelley is best known for playing Bones McCoy in the original “Star Trek” cast. The show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, originally offered Kelley the role of Spock, but Kelly refused it and so was given the part of the ship’s medical officer.

4. Syrup-topped pastry BAKLAVA
Baklava is a very sweet and rich (and delicious) dessert pastry made from layers of filo dough filled with nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. The name “baklava” comes from the Ottoman Turkish name for the pastry.

5. Organic compound ENOL
An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, sort of part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol” therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.

7. God of Islam ALLAH
The term “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So “Allah” translates as “God”.

Over 50% of the world’s population consider themselves to be adherents of the “big three” Abrahamic religions: Christianity (2-2.2 billion), Islam (1.6-1.7 billion) and Judaism (14-18 million).

11. Ed Norton player ART CARNEY
Art Carney was best known as the actor who played Ed Norton on the fifties television show “The Honeymooners”.

18. Fiscal exec CFO
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

22. Phobia lead-in 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”).

24. Actress Pinkett Smith JADA
Jada Pinkett Smith is an actress from Baltimore, Maryland. Pinkett Smith’s most famous role is the human rebel Niobe in “The Matrix” series of movies. Back in 1990, she auditioned for the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, to play the girlfriend of the character played by Will Smith. She didn’t get the role but did get Will Smith, as the couple were married in 1997.

31. Dvorák and Smetana BOHEMIANS
Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

Antonín Dvořák was a composer from Czechoslovakia who spent three years working and composing in the United States. He was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York from 1892 to 1895. Certainly here in the US, Dvořák’s best known work is his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”, which is often referred to as “The New World Symphony”.

Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer, known as the father of Czech music. Just like Beethoven, Smetana was still composing at the end of his life even though he was totally deaf.

32. Deli option RYE
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

33. Like many dicts. ABR
Abridged (abr.)

34. Feminine force YIN
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.

39. Jazz solo RIFF
A “riff” is a short rhythmic phrase in music, especially one improvised on a guitar.

44. Artist who had a Blue Period PICASSO
Picasso’s Blue Period refers to his works completed between 1901 and 1904. All his paintings in the era were basically monochromatic, using different shades of blue. HIs best-known work from the period is “The Old Guitarist”, which you can see at the Art Institute of Chicago.

48. Young hoppers JOEYS
“Joey” is the name given to all infant marsupials, not just kangaroos. No one really seems to know for sure what the etymology is of the term “joey”.

50. Hunter seen at night ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is named after the Greek God Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion’s “right shoulder”, the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don’t want to miss that …

51. Kin of gov ORG
The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

54. French wine region RHONE
The Rhône wine region of France is home to my favorite appellation, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

58. Editor’s mark STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

60. Vietnamese holiday TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Senate electee MEMBER
7. Russia-Manchuria border river AMUR
11. Simile center AS A
14. Esoteric ARCANE
15. Without help LONE
16. Amendments 1-10 subj. RTS
17. *Knave in a black suit JACK OF CLUBS (giving “Jack Paar”)
19. Prefix with state TRI-
20. Maldives landform ATOLL
21. Taxi pickup FARE
22. Corrosive compound ACID
23. Tofu source SOYA
24. *Griddle-cooked corn bread JOHNNYCAKE (giving “Johnny Carson”)
26. By way of VIA
28. Former Yankee manager who’s now an MLB exec TORRE
29. Comedy team who voiced the Piel Brothers of beer fame BOB AND RAY
35. Things to avoid NO-NOS
37. Goya’s year ANO
38. *Symbol of nakedness JAYBIRD (giving “Jay Leno”)
40. Clinker in a Glas EIS
41. India’s first prime minister NEHRU
43. Pulitzer-winning WWII journalist ERNIE PYLE
45. Learns HEARS
47. Casual day, perhaps: Abbr. FRI
48. *Like a well-made lock JIMMY-PROOF (giving “Jimmy Fallon”)
52. Low-__ diet CARB
56. Big name in elevators OTIS
57. N.Y. commuter line with a Hempstead Branch LIRR
58. Malia’s sister SASHA
59. Flight-tracking fig. ETA
60. With “The,” post-prime time fare since the ’50s, four of whose regular hosts appear in sequence in the answers to starred clues TONIGHT SHOW
62. Craving YEN
63. Some Alcan Highway pumps ESSO
64. Email again RESEND
65. Soon-to-be grads: Abbr. SRS
66. Afterwards THEN
67. “__ End”: 1970-’71 Streisand hit STONEY

Down
1. Subjects of two Goya paintings MAJAS
2. Muse for Millay ERATO
3. Kelley’s “Star Trek” role MCCOY
4. Syrup-topped pastry BAKLAVA
5. Organic compound ENOL
6. One who whistles while he works REF
7. God of Islam ALLAH
8. Grieve MOURN
9. Not having yielded UNBENT
10. Hi-__ image RES
11. Ed Norton player ART CARNEY
12. Drill successfully STRIKE OIL
13. Parenthetical comment ASIDE
18. Fiscal exec CFO
22. Phobia lead-in ACRO-
24. Actress Pinkett Smith JADA
25. Over there YONDER
27. Strain or sprain INJURY
29. Interdict BAN
30. Game that’s close to perfect ONE-HITTER
31. Dvorák and Smetana BOHEMIANS
32. Deli option RYE
33. Like many dicts. ABR
34. Feminine force YIN
36. Kalamazoo-to-Cincinnati dir. SSE
39. Jazz solo RIFF
42. Lambs’ kin RAMS
44. Artist who had a Blue Period PICASSO
46. Jumping-in-puddles sound SPLOSH
48. Young hoppers JOEYS
49. Car wash cycle RINSE
50. Hunter seen at night ORION
51. Kin of gov ORG
53. Pale ASHEN
54. French wine region RHONE
55. Off-color BAWDY
58. Editor’s mark STET
60. Vietnamese holiday TET
61. Billing nos. HRS

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