LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 2017, Thursday










Constructed by: David Poole

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Punny Foreign Things

Today’s themed answers are common phrases starting with an adjective that points to a country. Each phrase has been reinterpreted in a “punny” way by the clue:

  • 20A. Volleyball players in Dublin? : IRISH SETTERS
  • 28A. Euros in Rome? : ITALIAN BREAD
  • 37A. Airport inspectors in Beijing? : CHINESE CHECKERS
  • 45A. Dance lessons in Madrid? : SPANISH STEPS
  • 56A. Number cruncher in New Delhi? : INDIAN SUMMER

Bill’s time: 7m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. Jai __ : ALAI

Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

18. Board member? : KING

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

20. Volleyball players in Dublin? : IRISH SETTERS

In volleyball, each team can only touch the ball a maximum of three times before it returns to the other side of the net. The three contacts are often a “bump” (a preliminary pass) and a “set” (setting up the attacking shot) followed by a “spike” (a shot into the opposing court).

The city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is known as “Baile Átha Cliath” in Irish (“town of the hurdled ford”). The English name “Dublin” is an anglicized form of the older Irish name for the city “Dubh Linn”, meaning “black pool”.

23. New York’s __ Island : STATEN

Staten Island is part of New York City and is the least populous of the city’s five boroughs. The island was originally called Staaten Eylandt by Henry Hudson and was named after the Dutch parliament, the Staaten Generaal.

24. Sturgeon delicacy : ROE

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

25. Engineering sch. on the Hudson River : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

The Hudson River flows through eastern New York State from Henderson Lake in the Adirondacks to the Port of New York and New Jersey. The river is named for the English explorer Henry Hudson who navigated it in 1609.

28. Euros in Rome? : ITALIAN BREAD

The Euro is the official currency of most of the states in the European Union, but not all. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

36. __ Trinket, “The Hunger Games” chaperone played by Elizabeth Banks : EFFIE

Traditionally, a chaperone (often “chaperon” in the British Isles) was a woman accompanying a younger unmarried lady in public, with the term “chaperone” originating in France. The French word was used to mean “hood, cowl” going back to the 12th century, a diminutive of “chape” meaning “cape”. So, out word “chaperone” has the same roots as our word “cape” and indeed “cap”. The idea is that a chaperone is “covering” someone who is vulnerable socially.

Elizabeth Banks is known on TV for playing Avery Jessup on the sitcom “30 Rock”, and on the big screen for playing Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. Behind the cameras, Banks also co-produced and directed the 2012 film “Pitch Perfect 2”.

37. Airport inspectors in Beijing? : CHINESE CHECKERS

The city of Beijing in China was given its name in 1403, with “Beijing” chosen as it translates as “Northern Capital”. The name distinguished it from the city of Nanjing, which name translates as “Southern Capital”. Beijing was written in English as Peking for centuries.

The board game known as Chinese Checkers has nothing to with checkers, nor anything to do with China. It was invented in Germany in 1892, under the name “Stern-Halma”. The Chinese Checkers moniker was the creation of the Pressman Company which purchased the rights to the game in the US in 1928.

42. Cosmonaut Vladimir : TITOV

Former cosmonaut Vladimir Titov went into space four times in all. After retiring, Titov became Director for Space and Communications with Boeing, in the company’s Moscow operation.

44. Most of Ariz. doesn’t observe it : DST

Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states in the US that do not observe daylight saving time (DST). having opted out when the Uniform Time Act was passed by the US Congress in 1966. Some Native American nations also observe DST, and some don’t. As a result, times can change back and forth a few times while driving across Arizona during the summer.

45. Dance lessons in Madrid? : SPANISH STEPS

Madrid is the largest city in Spain and the capital. Madrid is located very close to the geographical center of the country. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (after London and Paris). People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

Rome’s Spanish Steps are known locally as the “Scalinata” and are a set of 135 steps that sit above the Piazza di Spagna. The Spanish Steps actually form the widest staircase in Europe. They always remind me of the movie “Roman Holiday”, as that is where Audrey Hepburn enjoyed her gelato.

50. CIA predecessor : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

51. Drivers’ org. : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

52. Phillies’ div. : NL EAST

Philadelphia’s baseball team was founded in 1883 as the Quakers, with the name changing to the Philadelphias and Phillies not long into the team’s history. The Phillies have been based in the same city using the same team name longer than any other team in US professional sports.

56. Number cruncher in New Delhi? : INDIAN SUMMER

New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

59. SALT subject : ICBM

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …

There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union, and two resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II). The opening round of SALT I talks were held in Helsinki as far back as 1970, with the resulting treaty signed by President Richard Nixon and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972. Brezhnev also signed the SALT II treaty, with President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

62. Crab Key villain : DR NO

The Canadian actor Joseph Wiseman was perhaps best known for playing the original “James Bond” supervillain, portraying the title character in the 1962 movie “Dr. No”.

63. Mazda MX-5, familiarly : MIATA

The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan.

65. Novelist O’Brien : EDNA

Edna O’Brien is an Irish novelist and playwright who is known for her works that shine a light on the problems of women relating to men and society in general. O’Brien’s first novel, “The Country Girls”, was banned, burned and denounced by the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. As a result, O’Brien left the country and now lives in London.

66. Bunsen burner kin : ETNAS

“Etna” (after the volcano) is another name for a Bunsen Burner that is used in a laboratory.

The Bunsen burner is common piece of lab equipment that is used for heating and combustion. The device was invented in 1854 by Robert Bunsen at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

69. One of Franklin’s two certainties : DEATH

In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy dated 13 Nov 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Down

1. Musée d’Orsay city : PARIS

The Musée d’Orsay is one of the premier museums in Paris, and holds the world’s largest collection of impressionist art. It is a truly beautiful building, a former Beaux-Arts railway station.

3. Salsa singer Cruz : CELIA

Celia Cruz was born and bred in Cuba, but spent most of her working life in the United States, playing out her salsa singing career in New Jersey. Around the world she was known as the “Queen of Salsa”.

4. Spring 2008 “Dancing with the Stars” champion Yamaguchi : KRISTI

Kristi Yamaguchi is a figure skater, an Olympic champion in 1992. She is quite the dancer too, having won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2008. Yamaguchi started skating and taking ballet as a young child as physical therapy, as she had club feet …

5. Potpourri pouch : SACHET

A sachet is a small packet of perfumed powder left in perhaps a closet or trunk to scent clothes. The word “sachet” is a diminutive of the French word “sac” meaning “bag”.

The French term “pot pourri” literally translates to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.

8. Hindu incantation : MANTRA

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

9. Word with carrier or passenger : PIGEON

A carrier pigeon is a homing pigeon that has a message attached to its leg.

The passenger pigeon was a bird native to North America that is now extinct. The name “passenger” comes from the French “passager”, a word meaning “passing by”. This is a reference to the large flocks that could be seen migrating across the whole continent. The passenger pigeon was largely hunted to extinction.

22. Lute-like instrument : REBEC

The rebec is an old stringed instrument played with a bow. It was played like a violin, under the chin or sometimes on the arm.

27. In other words, in other words : ID EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

29. Novelist Harper : LEE

Nelle Harper Lee was an author from Monroeville, Alabama. For many years, Lee had only one published novel to her name. That is a “To Kill a Mockingbird”, a contribution to the world of literature was enough to earn her the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Pulitzer Prize. Harper Lee was a close friend of fellow author Truman Capote who was the inspiration for the character named “Dill” in her novel. Lee was all over the news in 2015 as she had published a second novel, titled “Go Set a Watchman”. The experts seem to be agreeing that “Go Set a Watchman” is actually a first draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Lee passed away less than a year after “Go Set a Watchman” hit the stores.

30. Quechua speakers : INCAS

Quechua was the existing Native American language that was adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects. Today, Quechua is one of the official languages in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, alongside Spanish.

31. He served as A.G. under his brother : RFK

Robert “Bobby” Francis Kennedy (RFK) was the US Attorney General (AG) in the administration of his brother President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1964. He then served as US Senator for the State of New York from 1965 until 1968, when he was assassinated. Bobby was killed during his own run for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

34. Pockets for falafel : PITAS

Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

Falafel is a ball of ground chickpeas or fava beans that has been deep fried and served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, but falafel is often too dry to me …

39. French spa : EVIAN

Évian-les-Bains (or simply Évian) is in the very east of France, on the shores of Lake Geneva directly across the lake from Lausanne, Switzerland. As one might imagine, Évian is the home of Évian mineral water, the most successful business in town. Personally, I can’t stand the distinctive taste of Évian water …

41. Utopias : EDENS

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More for his book “Utopia” published in 1516 describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

47. Bob, for one : HAIRDO

A “bob cut” is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s a “bob” was the name given to a horse’s tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their “mop tops”, with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women’s hair in a bob cut again. Personally, I like it …

48. Like peacocks : PLUMED

The male peafowl is known as a peacock, and the female a peahen. The peafowl’s young are sometimes called peachicks.

49. Many a Mideast native : SEMITE

The word “Semitic” comes from the Greek for “Shem”, one of the three sons of Noah. A Semite is one of a large list of peoples, from the Assyrians and Babylonians to the Hebrews. The term “anti-Semite” however, almost always refer to anti-Jewish sentiment.

53. Appliance maker since 1934 : AMANA

The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa. Today, the Amana name is very much associated with household appliances. The company was founded in 1934 to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.

55. Vandalize : TRASH

A “vandal” is someone who destroys something beautiful or valuable. The term comes from the Germanic tribe called the Vandals who sacked Rome in the year 455. Our contemporary term “vandalism” was coined by Henri Grégoire in 1794, when he was describing the destruction of artwork during the French Revolution.

57. Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” : ANNA

Anna Kendrick is a marvelous actress whose big break came when she played the sidekick to George Clooney’s character in the very interesting 2009 film “Up in the Air”. Kendrick can sing as well as act, and played a student a cappella singer in the 2012 movie “Pitch Perfect”.

58. “Syntactic Structures” author Chomsky : NOAM

Noam Chomsky is a professor of linguistics at MIT. Chomsky is known as one of the fathers of modern linguistics.

59. Nos. averaging 100 : IQS

Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, so it actually is an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

60. What a shark strikes with : CUE

A pool shark is a player who hustles others in a pool hall, aiming to make money unfairly in competition. The term used to be “pool sharp”.

61. Wite-Out maker : BIC

Wite-Out is a brand of correction fluid made by Bic.

Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Draft day announcements : PICKS

6. In-tents experience? : CAMP

10. Like some dental floss : WAXY

14. End of __ : AN ERA

15. Jai __ : ALAI

16. Wrapped up : OVER

17. Artifact : RELIC

18. Board member? : KING

19. Unites : WEDS

20. Volleyball players in Dublin? : IRISH SETTERS

23. New York’s __ Island : STATEN

24. Sturgeon delicacy : ROE

25. Engineering sch. on the Hudson River : RPI

28. Euros in Rome? : ITALIAN BREAD

32. Deadly snake : ASP

35. White House signing ceremony memento : PEN

36. __ Trinket, “The Hunger Games” chaperone played by Elizabeth Banks : EFFIE

37. Airport inspectors in Beijing? : CHINESE CHECKERS

42. Cosmonaut Vladimir : TITOV

43. Partner of abet : AID

44. Most of Ariz. doesn’t observe it : DST

45. Dance lessons in Madrid? : SPANISH STEPS

50. CIA predecessor : OSS

51. Drivers’ org. : AAA

52. Phillies’ div. : NL EAST

56. Number cruncher in New Delhi? : INDIAN SUMMER

59. SALT subject : ICBM

62. Crab Key villain : DR NO

63. Mazda MX-5, familiarly : MIATA

64. Witty tweet, e.g. : QUIP

65. Novelist O’Brien : EDNA

66. Bunsen burner kin : ETNAS

67. Small ticks? : SECS

68. Travel aimlessly : ROAM

69. One of Franklin’s two certainties : DEATH

Down

1. Musée d’Orsay city : PARIS

2. Still : INERT

3. Salsa singer Cruz : CELIA

4. Spring 2008 “Dancing with the Stars” champion Yamaguchi : KRISTI

5. Potpourri pouch : SACHET

6. Wedding reception sight : CAKE

7. Hit the ground : ALIT

8. Hindu incantation : MANTRA

9. Word with carrier or passenger : PIGEON

10. Floors : WOWS

11. Abbr. in many addresses : AVE

12. Crossed (out) : XED

13. Jr. and sr. : YRS

21. Loses it : SNAPS

22. Lute-like instrument : REBEC

25. Served seconds, say : REFED

26. Figure skating event : PAIRS

27. In other words, in other words : ID EST

29. Novelist Harper : LEE

30. Quechua speakers : INCAS

31. He served as A.G. under his brother : RFK

32. “Don’t __ innocent” : ACT SO

33. Port arrivals : SHIPS

34. Pockets for falafel : PITAS

38. Start to skid? : NON-

39. French spa : EVIAN

40. Strike : HIT

41. Utopias : EDENS

46. More melancholy : SADDER

47. Bob, for one : HAIRDO

48. Like peacocks : PLUMED

49. Many a Mideast native : SEMITE

53. Appliance maker since 1934 : AMANA

54. Attack : SET AT

55. Vandalize : TRASH

56. Rascals : IMPS

57. Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” : ANNA

58. “Syntactic Structures” author Chomsky : NOAM

59. Nos. averaging 100 : IQS

60. What a shark strikes with : CUE

61. Wite-Out maker : BIC

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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Aug 2017, Wednesday










Constructed by: Jacob Stulberg

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Vowel Progression

Today’s themed answers start with the letters CRxM, with “x” progressing through the vowels from the top of the grid to the bottom:

  • 17A. Student’s all-nighter : CRAM SESSION
  • 25A. Dessert with a caramelized top : CREME BRULEE
  • 39A. Course of study that may include forensics : CRIMINAL JUSTICE
  • 48A. Like a mid-17th century English government : CROMWELLIAN
  • 61A. Car’s impact-absorbing structural feature : CRUMPLE ZONE

Bill’s time: 5m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Brigantine’s pair : MASTS

A brig, short for brigantine, is a two-masted sailing vessel. It was the use of brigantines as prison ships that led to use of “brig” as the word for a jail or prison cell on a seagoing vessel.

19. Links figure : PAR

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

22. Martini garnish : OLIVE

The term “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noel Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

24. Keats’ “__ on Indolence” : ODE

“Ode on Indolence” was one of the so-called “1819 Odes” written by the poet John Keats, a collection that included famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”.

25. Dessert with a caramelized top : CREME BRULEE

Crème brûlée is a classic French dessert consisting of a rich custard topped with a crusty layer of caramelized sugar. The name “crème brûlée” translates from French as “burnt cream”.

29. Former “Inside the NFL” host Dawson : LEN

Len Dawson is a retired AFL-NFL quarterback who played for the Kansas City Chiefs (originally the Dallas Texans).

32. Issuer of bulls : POPE

A “bulla” (also “bull”) is a type of seal impression. A Papal Bull is a formal document from the Vatican that has such a seal attached, hence the name of the document.

39. Course of study that may include forensics : CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

48. Like a mid-17th century English government : CROMWELLIAN

Oliver Cromwell played a unique role in British history, ruling the nation as Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658. Cromwell basically had the same powers as a monarch, but he had no crown. Known by many as “Old Ironsides”, Cromwell fought in the English Civil War on the side of the Roundheads (the Parliamentarians) against the Cavaliers (the Royalists). The Parliamentarians emerged victorious, King Charles I was executed, and a few years later, Cromwell came to power. The monarchy was restored in 1658 after the Cromwell died, and Charles II was installed on the throne.

54. Letter after upsilon : PHI

Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

57. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actress Marisa : TOMEI

Marisa Tomei’s first screen role was in the daytime soap “As the World Turns”, but her break came with a recurring role in “The Cosby Show” spinoff “A Different World”. Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a 2017 superhero film. It is a “reboot” of the “Spider-Man” series, introducing a new storyline, and new actors to play the main characters. English actor Tom Holland has the title role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, with Marisa Tomei playing Peter’s Aunt May Parker.

60. Bygone U.K. record label : EMI

EMI was a British music company, with the initialism standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

65. Comic/writer/activist 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.

67. Ed.’s acquisitions : MSS

Editors (eds.) might read or edit a manuscript (MS)

68. Italian wine region : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

69. Latin clarifier : ID EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

Down

1. Virile : MACHO

A man described as “macho” shows pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.

“Vir” is the Latin word for “man” and is the root of our word “virile”, for example, meaning “manly”.

4. Heavy reading? : TOME

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

5. Signal of distress : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

7. __ salts : EPSOM

The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across Epsom salt from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time. The town is also home to Epsom College, an English “public school” (which actually means “private, and expensive”). One of Epsom’s “old boys” was the Hollywood actor Stewart Granger.

8. Dress named for a letter : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares toward the hem.

9. Electronic music’s Daft Punk, e.g. : DUO

Daft Punk is an electronic music duo from Paris, France.

10. Dilation target : PUPIL

The pupil of the eye is the “hole” located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

11. Tequila source : AGAVE

Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave. The drink takes its name from the city of Tequila, located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara.

12. Red billiard ball : THREE

The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

18. Rank between marquis and viscount : EARL

In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquis. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquis and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

23. __ fringe: fanatical extremists : LUNATIC

“Lunatic” is an adjective that is now considered offensive. The term arose in the late 1400s when it meant “affected with periodic insanity”, insanity attacks brought on by the cycles of the moon. “Lunatic” comes from the Latin “luna” meaning “moon”.

25. 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. Cali has also been historically associated with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.

26. __ cheese : BLEU

Being a bit of a French speaker (admittedly a very poor one), the term “bleu” cheese has always kind of irritated me. I would prefer that we use either “blue cheese” or “fromage bleu” and not mix the languages, but then I can be annoyingly picky! It’s said that blue cheese was probably discovered accidentally, as molds tend to develop in the same conditions that are best for storing cheese. The blue mold in the cheese is introduced by adding Penicillium spores before the cheese is allowed to set. And yes, it’s the same mold that is used to produce penicillin, the antibiotic.

30. Angel dust, for short : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

33. __ Navy: discount retailer : OLD

Old Navy is a store brand founded and owned by The Gap. The name Old Navy was taken from the Old Navy Cafe in Paris.

34. Comfy lounging wear : PJS

Our word “pajamas” (“PJs” for short) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is “pyjamas”.

37. IV units : CCS

Fluids in an IV (intravenous drip) might be measured in ccs (cubic centimeters).

47. Film critic Pauline : KAEL

Pauline Kael was a film critic who wrote for “The New Yorker” magazine from 1968 to 1991.

48. Third-stringers : C-TEAM

We’ve been using the phrases “first string” and “second string” in athletics since the mid-19th century. The expressions come from archery, in which a competitor would carry a second bowstring in case the first bowstring broke.

53. Macao Science Center designer : IM PEI

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.

The Macau Science Center is a landmark building in Macau, China that was completed in 2009. The building was designed in association with I. M. Pei, and has a distinctive asymmetric conical shape with a wraparound spiral walkway.

56. Like noble gases : INERT

The rare gases are better known as the noble gases, but neither term is really very accurate. Noble gas might be a better choice though, as they are all relatively nonreactive. But rare they are not. Argon, for example, is a major constituent (1%) of the air that we breathe.

59. Polo maker that’s a Polo rival : IZOD

Jack Izod was a tailor of some repute over in England, producing shirts for King George V as well as other members of the Royal Family. As Izod was about to retire, he was approached for the use of his name by an American clothing manufacturer based in New York. The brand Izod of London was introduced to America in 1938.

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. And then the “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

62. Nutritional abbr. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

63. Philanthropist Broad : ELI

Eli Broad made his fortune in real estate and was one of the founders of Kaufman and Broad, that we know these days as KB Homes. Broad’s net worth was recently reported at just over $5 billion.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Brigantine’s pair : MASTS

6. Necklace globule : BEAD

10. Touch gently : PAT

13. Sneezing sound : ACHOO!

14. Grade for exceptional work : A-PLUS

16. “Gross!” : UGH!

17. Student’s all-nighter : CRAM SESSION

19. Links figure : PAR

20. Trek on a trail : HIKE

21. Lots : A TON

22. Martini garnish : OLIVE

24. Keats’ “__ on Indolence” : ODE

25. Dessert with a caramelized top : CREME BRULEE

27. Verbal : ORAL

29. Former “Inside the NFL” host Dawson : LEN

30. Correctional : PENAL

32. Issuer of bulls : POPE

35. Bridge support : ARCH

39. Course of study that may include forensics : CRIMINAL JUSTICE

42. Trail : PATH

43. Sports figures : ODDS

44. __ fit: tantrum : HISSY

45. Tie-ending qtrs. : OTS

47. Boot : KICK

48. Like a mid-17th century English government : CROMWELLIAN

54. Letter after upsilon : PHI

57. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actress Marisa : TOMEI

58. Je t’__: French “I love you” : AIME

59. Cookware material : IRON

60. Bygone U.K. record label : EMI

61. Car’s impact-absorbing structural feature : CRUMPLE ZONE

64. Suitable : APT

65. Comic/writer/activist Izzard : EDDIE

66. Solitary sort : LONER

67. Ed.’s acquisitions : MSS

68. Italian wine region : ASTI

69. Latin clarifier : ID EST

Down

1. Virile : MACHO

2. Bitterly pungent : ACRID

3. Seal the deal : SHAKE ON IT

4. Heavy reading? : TOME

5. Signal of distress : SOS

6. Moisten while roasting : BASTE

7. __ salts : EPSOM

8. Dress named for a letter : A-LINE

9. Electronic music’s Daft Punk, e.g. : DUO

10. Dilation target : PUPIL

11. Tequila source : AGAVE

12. Red billiard ball : THREE

15. [Bo-ring!] : SNORE!

18. Rank between marquis and viscount : EARL

23. __ fringe: fanatical extremists : LUNATIC

25. Colombian city : CALI

26. __ cheese : BLEU

28. Make emphatically, as a point : RAM HOME

30. Angel dust, for short : PCP

31. Significant stretch : ERA

32. Sketchbook, e.g. : PAD

33. __ Navy: discount retailer : OLD

34. Comfy lounging wear : PJS

36. Like aggressive investments : RISK PRONE

37. IV units : CCS

38. “Listen up!” : HEY!

40. Body part with a bridge : NOSE

41. It’s just over a foot : SHIN

46. __-baked potatoes : TWICE

47. Film critic Pauline : KAEL

48. Third-stringers : C-TEAM

49. Escapades : ROMPS

50. Passes over : OMITS

51. Praises highly : LAUDS

52. Maximum : LIMIT

53. Macao Science Center designer : IM PEI

55. Sharpens : HONES

56. Like noble gases : INERT

59. Polo maker that’s a Polo rival : IZOD

62. Nutritional abbr. : RDA

63. Philanthropist Broad : ELI

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