LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 2017, Saturday










Constructed by: Doug Peterson & Patti Varol

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Modern categorizing aid : HASHTAG

A hashtag is a word preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are big these days because of Twitter, a microblogging service that I don’t think I will ever understand …

15. Pennsylvania home of the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster : ALTOONA

Altoona is in central Pennsylvania, and is home to the Ivyside Park Campus of Pennsylvania State University. Altoona is also home to Lakemont Park and Leap-The-Dips, the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster.

17. Homophonically named ’60s sitcom lady : JEANNIE

The name “Jeannie” is a homophone of “genie”.

Back in 1964, the second most watched show on American television was ABC’s “Bewitched”. Sidney Sheldon was tasked with the job of creating a rival sitcom and he came up with “I Dream of Jeannie”, which first aired in 1965 and starred Barbara Eden in the title role. The censors had a big say in how the story developed. For starters, Jeannie’s skimpy costume was permitted on air, provided that Eden didn’t show off her navel on the screen. Also, Jeannie was only allowed to live with an unmarried man as long as the story made it clear that she slept in a bottle.

18. Steel work : ROMANCE

Danielle Steel is a remarkably popular author. She has sold over 800 million copies of her novels, making her the eighth best-selling writer in history.

19. It’s cut and dried : JERKY

Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat and dried. The term “jerky” comes into English via Spanish from the Incan Quechua “ch’arki” meaning “dried flesh”.

20. Fish-eating bird : LOON

The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the Loonie”.

23. Coast Guard pickup : 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.

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG was founded as the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton in 1790.

25. Wave function symbols : PSIS

A wave function in quantum mechanics is usually denoted with the Greek letter psi. A wave function is a mathematical function that describes the quantum state of a particle and how it behaves.

28. Financial pg. debut : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

31. “The __ of King William”: Old English poem : RIME

“The Rime of King William” is an old English poem that dates back to 1087. The poem’s subject is the death of King William the Conqueror. Nothing is known about the author, other than he or she was a member of the the king’s household.

33. “Golden Boy” dramatist : ODETS

“Golden Boy” is a play written by Clifford Odets that was first performed in 1937 on Broadway. There was a film adaptation released in 1939 that starred a young William Holden. “Golden Boy” was the film that launched Holden’s career.

35. Friend of the Fry Kids : RONALD MCDONALD

“Fast Food Nation” is an expose by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser that reveals in the inner workings of the US fast food industry. One of Schlosser’s more controversial findings was the deliberate targeting of children by the marketing folks at McDonald’s. McDonald’s copied the marketing plans of Walt Disney to attract not only children, but also their parents and grandparents. That’s how Ronald McDonald was born …

The Fry Kids are characters used in McDonald’s advertising who were introduced in 1972 under the name “Gobblins”. They were given the name “Fry Guys” in 1983, and then finally “Fry Kids” in 1987 after someone decided it would be a good idea to include “Fry Girls”.

42. It’s generally celebrated on the same day as Tet : CHINESE NEW YEAR

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.

46. Nevada copper town : ELY

Ely is a city in eastern Nevada. The city was founded as a Pony Express stagecoach station, and then experienced a mining boom after copper was discovered locally in 1906. One of Ely’s former residents was First Lady Pat Nixon, who was born there in 1912.

47. Troubling bank msg. : NSF

Not sufficient funds (NSF)

48. Cutlass, e.g. : OLDS

Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the most successful model that bore the Oldsmobile badge.

51. Angels’ org. : MLB

The Anaheim Angels are today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

53. Peabody-winning journalist Ifill : GWEN

Gwen Ifill was a television journalist who was regularly seen on PBS’s “Newshour”. Ifill was also the moderator on the weekly PBS show “Washington Week”, and was also selected to moderate the US Vice Presidential debates in 2004 and 2008.

The Peabody Awards have been presented annually since 1941 to individuals and organizations for excellence in broadcasting. They are named for businessman and philanthropist George Foster Peabody, who provided the funds to establish the awards program.

57. Buckwheat porridge : KASHA

Kasha is a type of porridge made from roasted whole-grain buckwheat. The dish is most popular in the Russian and Jewish cultures.

Despite the name, “buckwheat” is not related to wheat, and nor is it a grass. Buckwheat is related to rhubarb. As the seeds are eaten, it is known as a “pseudocereal”. The name comes from “beech wheat”, a reference to the resemblance of buckwheat seeds to beech nuts from the “beech” tree, and the fact that buckwheat seeds are used like “wheat”.

63. Studio mascot : MGM LION

There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn’t until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

68. Only president to win a Pulitzer Prize : KENNEDY

“Profiles in Courage” is 1957 book by John F. Kennedy, who was at that time a US Senator. Kennedy’s collaborator was his speechwriter Ted Sorensen, and most of the research and writing was done in 1954 and 1955 while the Kennedy was bedridden following back surgery. “Profiles in Courage” is a collection of the biographies of eight US Senators, eight Senators who despite criticism and loss of popularity acted in the best interests of the country and its citizens. Kennedy won a Pulitzer in 1957 for the book, making him the only US President to have been so honored.

Down

1. Pillar of Islam : HAJJ

Followers of the Muslim tradition believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, five obligatory acts that underpin Muslim life. The Five Pillars are:

  1. The Islamic creed
  2. Daily prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. The pilgrimage to Mecca (haj) once during a lifetime

2. Nautical direction : ALEE

“Alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing “aweather”.

3. Michelin unit : STAR

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin “stars”.

5. “Candida” singer : TONY ORLANDO

Singer Tony Orlando’s birth name is Michael Cassavitis. He had two hits in 1970 while performing with studio backup singers in an act called Dawn, namely “Candida” and “Knock Three Times”. His greatest success came in 1973 with “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”, which was released by “Dawn featuring Tony Orlando”.

6. “The Phantom Menace” boy : ANI

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

7. Certain Celt : GAEL

A Gael is anyone of a race that speaks or spoke one of the Erse tongues. There are actually three Erse languages. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

The Celts were a very broad group of people across Europe, linked by common languages. The Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the “Celtic identity” is alive and well in the British Isles. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in France..

9. “Madam Secretary” actress : LEONI

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni is now playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary”, a show that I really enjoy …

“Madam Secretary” is TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

10. Flee : LAM

To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

11. Word with grass : CRAB

Crabgrass may be considered a weed and a scourge of the lawn-loving population, but it has its uses. In Africa, the seeds of some species of crabgrass are toasted and ground into a flour that is used to make porridge, or better still, to make beer.

12. Poe classic : ANNABEL LEE

“Annabel Lee” was the last complete poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The opening lines are:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;

The closing lines are:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

21. Org. Indonesia left in 2008 : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

26. Pioneering music player : SONY WALKMAN

Walkman is a brand of portable audio and video products manufactured by Sony. The first Walkman was introduced in 1979 and popularized the practice of carrying music around and listening through lightweight headphones.

28. Radio host Glass : IRA

Ira Glass is a well-respected presenter on American Public Radio, most noted for his show “This American Life”. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.

32. Fr. titles : MMES

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

34. “The Voice” host Carson : DALY

Carson Daly is a radio and television personality who is perhaps best known today as host of the reality show “The Voice”. If you stay up late enough on New Year’s Eve, you might also know him from NBC’s “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly”.

“The Voice” is yet another reality television show. “The Voice” is a singing competition in which the judges hear the contestants without seeing them in the first round. The judges then take on chosen contestants as coaches for the remaining rounds. “The Voice” is a highly successful worldwide franchise that originated in the Netherlands as “The Voice of Holland”.

36. Section in Disney’s Animal Kingdom : ASIA

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a zoo-based theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Animal Kingdom covers 580 acres in total, making it the largest theme park in the world.

38. Greek theater : ODEUM

In Ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

44. Old name for England : ANGLIA

The Romans referred to Britain as “Brittania”, from which the island took its name. Also, the Latin for Scotland is “Caledonia”, and for Ireland is “Hibernia”. Centuries after the Romans left, a German tribe called the Angles settles in the part of Britain now known as England. The word “Angle” is the root of the name “England”, as in medieval times the country was called Anglia, its late-Latin name.

50. Con targets : DUPES

A dupe is someone who is easily fooled, a “live one”, one who is easily the victim of deception.

52. Dwarf who traveled with Bilbo : BALIN

Balin is a dwarf in the Middle-earth universe created by J. R. R. Tolkien. He is played by Scottish actor Len Stott in the Peter Jackson film adaptation of “The Hobbit”.

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Hobbit”, the title character is Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who stumbles across a magical ring and then embarks on a series of adventures.

54. “The Old Curiosity Shop” girl : NELL

“The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens tells the story of little 14-year-old Nell Trent and her grandfather who live in the Old Curiosity Shop in London. If you visit London, there actually is an “Old Curiosity Shop”, in Westminster. It is an establishment selling odds and ends, old curiosities, and is believed to have been the inspiration for the shop in the Dickens story. The building has been around since the 1500s, but the name “The Old Curiosity Shop” was added after the book was published.

56. Trans-Siberian Railway city : OMSK

Omsk is a city in southwest Siberia. It is located over 1400 miles from Moscow and was chosen as the destination for many internal exiles in the mid-1900s. Perhaps the most famous of these exiles was the author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Siberia is a vast area in Northern Asia. The region’s industrial development started with the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway from 1891 to 1916, which linked Siberia to Russia in the west.

58. __ wave : SINE

A sine wave is a mathematical function that describes a simple, smooth, repetitive oscillation. The sine wave is found right throughout the natural world. Ocean waves, light waves and sound waves all have a sine wave pattern.

60. Red’s pal in “The Shawshank Redemption” : ANDY

Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” was adapted into a 2009 stage play and a 1994 film, both called “The Shawshank Redemption”. The Ohio State Reformatory was used for exterior shots of the fictional Shawshank Prison. That same facility was used for the prison scenes in the 1997 film “Air Force One”.

64. Former AT&T rival : GTE

GTE was a rival to AT&T, the largest of the independent competitors to the Bell System. GTE merged with Bell Atlantic in 2000 to form the company that we know today as Verizon. Verizon made some high-profile acquisitions over the years, including MCI in 2005 and AOL in 2015.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Modern categorizing aid : HASHTAG

8. Sign of stress : ALL CAPS

15. Pennsylvania home of the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster : ALTOONA

16. “All will be well” : FEAR NOT

17. Homophonically named ’60s sitcom lady : JEANNIE

18. Steel work : ROMANCE

19. It’s cut and dried : JERKY

20. Fish-eating bird : LOON

22. Really feel the heat : BAKE

23. Coast Guard pickup : SOS

25. Wave function symbols : PSIS

27. Night spot : BED

28. Financial pg. debut : IPO

31. “The __ of King William”: Old English poem : RIME

33. “Golden Boy” dramatist : ODETS

35. Friend of the Fry Kids : RONALD MCDONALD

39. Place to buy a landscape : ART SALE

40. Unspoiled : IDYLLIC

42. It’s generally celebrated on the same day as Tet : CHINESE NEW YEAR

44. Per person : A HEAD

45. __ con gas: Spanish soda water : AGUA

46. Nevada copper town : ELY

47. Troubling bank msg. : NSF

48. Cutlass, e.g. : OLDS

51. Angels’ org. : MLB

53. Peabody-winning journalist Ifill : GWEN

55. Cutlass, e.g. : AUTO

57. Buckwheat porridge : KASHA

61. Waiting to get in, say : LINED UP

63. Studio mascot : MGM LION

65. Cover, as a cover charge : INCLUDE

66. __ glass : STAINED

67. Like most cartoon characters : AGELESS

68. Only president to win a Pulitzer Prize : KENNEDY

Down

1. Pillar of Islam : HAJJ

2. Nautical direction : ALEE

3. Michelin unit : STAR

4. Traffic chorus : HONKS

5. “Candida” singer : TONY ORLANDO

6. “The Phantom Menace” boy : ANI

7. Certain Celt : GAEL

8. High dos : AFROS

9. “Madam Secretary” actress : LEONI

10. Flee : LAM

11. Word with grass : CRAB

12. Poe classic : ANNABEL LEE

13. Make an unexpected connection with : POCKET-DIAL

14. Stable population : STEEDS

21. Org. Indonesia left in 2008 : OPEC

24. Edge furtively : SIDLE

26. Pioneering music player : SONY WALKMAN

28. Radio host Glass : IRA

29. Rocker alternative : PORCH SWING

30. Torn : ON THE FENCE

32. Fr. titles : MMES

34. “The Voice” host Carson : DALY

36. Section in Disney’s Animal Kingdom : ASIA

37. “Correct!” sound : DING!

38. Greek theater : ODEUM

41. Word with war or far : CRY

43. Point in the right direction? : EAST

44. Old name for England : ANGLIA

49. Praises : LAUDS

50. Con targets : DUPES

52. Dwarf who traveled with Bilbo : BALIN

54. “The Old Curiosity Shop” girl : NELL

56. Trans-Siberian Railway city : OMSK

58. __ wave : SINE

59. Broke ground : HOED

60. Red’s pal in “The Shawshank Redemption” : ANDY

62. Expected : DUE

64. Former AT&T rival : GTE

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LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Jul 2017, Tuesday










Constructed by: Patti Varol

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Hush

Each of today’s themed answers has the same clue, namely “Hush”.

  • 20A. “Hush” : PLEASE BE QUIET
  • 32A. “Hush” : DON’T SAY A WORD
  • 41A. “Hush” : PUT A SOCK IN IT
  • 57A. “Hush” : BUTTON YOUR LIP

Bill’s time: 5m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Nebraska city on the Missouri : OMAHA

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. It is located on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

16. Bear whose bed was too hard : PAPA

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837, in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

17. Like granola bars : OATEN

The name “Granola” (and “Granula”) were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

18. Arabian sultanate : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

19. “College GameDay” airer : ESPN

There are several sports shows on ESPN called “College GameDay”, the oldest of which is the one covering college football.

23. Funnyman Caesar : SID

Sid Caesar achieved fame in the fifties on TV’s “Your Show of Shows”. To be honest, I know Sid Caesar mainly from the very entertaining film version of the musical “Grease”, in which he played Coach Calhoun.

25. Table salt additive : IODINE

Back in 1924, a professor of pediatrics in Michigan led a campaign in the US to have producers of salt add a small amount of sodium iodide to table salt so that the population would have a readily available source of the iodine micronutrient. His goal was to reduce the incidence of goiter in the population.

30. FYI relative : BTW

By the way (BTW)

31. Cincinnati ballplayer : RED

The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with “Reds”.

36. Cathedral area : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

39. Ocean west of Eur. : ATL

The earliest known mention of the name “Atlantic” for the world’s second-largest ocean was in Ancient Greece. The Greeks called the ocean “the Sea of Atlas” or “Atlantis thalassa”.

40. Murray or Roddick of tennis fame : ANDY

Andy Murray is a tennis player from Scotland who became British number in 2006, rising to world number one in 2016. Much to the delight of the locals, Murray won the Wimbledon Championship in 2013, making him the first British male player to win in 77 years. Murray also won Olympic gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and again in the Rio Games in 2016.

Andy Roddick is a former World No. 1 tennis player from the US. Roddick retired in 2012, although he has been playing in what’s referred to as World Team Tennis.

46. Big bird Down Under : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

47. Pizza __ restaurant : HUT

Pizza Hut started out as a single location in Wichita, Kansas in 1958 and is now the world’s largest pizza franchise. Pizza Hut claims to be the world’s largest user of cheese, consuming 300 million pounds every year. The chain buys 3% of the cheese produced in the US, which means that 170,000 American cows are producing milk for Pizza Hut alone.

51. Forbidden actions : TABOOS

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

53. Payroll IDs : SSNS

Social Security number (SSN)

55. Lav of London : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

62. Pakistan neighbor : IRAN

There has been a lot of talk about a particular border wall in recent times, but one such that doesn’t get a lot of news coverage in the US is the one being built by the Iranians along the Iran-Pakistan border. The so-called Iran-Pakistan Barrier will extend across 700 kilometers of the desert, and is ten-foot high and three-foot thick concrete wall.

64. Painter Chagall : MARC

Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist, one of the most successful of the 20th century. Unlike so many painters, Chagall was able to achieve wealth and notoriety for his work during his own lifetime. It did help that Chagall lived to a ripe old age though. He passed away in 1985, when he was 97 years young. One of Chagall’s most famous works is the ceiling of the Paris Opera. The new ceiling for the beautiful 19th-century building was commissioned in 1963, and took Chagall a year to complete. Chagall was 77 years old when he worked on the Paris Opera project.

65. Fictional sleuth Wolfe : NERO

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

67. Hathaway of “Interstellar” : ANNE

The actress Anne Hathaway is a favorite of mine, I must say. She starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and in 2007’s “Becoming Jane”, a film I particularly enjoyed.

“Interstellar” is a sci-fi film released in 2014 with a “stellar” cast including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon and Michael Caine. I found “Interstellar” to be a really engaging movie, one that grabbed my attention the whole way through. That said, the ending was a little bit disappointing. I’m not one for walking out of theaters with unanswered questions …

68. Olympian’s goal : GOLD

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

Down

2. Charlotte __: U.S. Virgin Islands capital : AMALIE

Charlotte Amalie is the capital and largest city in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The city was named after the queen consort of King Christian V of Denmark, Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel.

4. __ butter: cosmetic moisturizer : SHEA

“Shea butter” is a common moisturizer or lotion used as a cosmetic. It is a fat that is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. There is evidence that shea butter was used back in Cleopatra’s Egypt.

5. Space pilot who insists, “I take orders from just one person: me” : HAN SOLO

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

6. Photoshop software developer : ADOBE

Adobe Systems is a San Jose-based enterprise that is best known for developing Photoshop image editing software and the Portable Document Format (PDF). The company was founded in 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, in Warnock’s garage. The Adobe Creek ran behind that garage, and the founders borrowed the name of the waterway for the company’s moniker.

Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software used for editing graphics. When I first bought a copy of Photoshop, it was really expensive (about $300, ten years ago), but now there are cost-effective, stripped-down versions available. Also, the full version of Photoshop is now only available as a monthly subscription service.

7. Budget noodle dish : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is a also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

8. Baghdad’s land : IRAQ

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BC (yes, BC!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh) and “beloved” (dad).

9. Retirement income source : ANNUITY

Annuities are regular payments made at fixed intervals of time. That interval of time used to be yearly (annual), but the term is used now for any regular payment, regardless of the interval of time.

10. Radar gun reading : SPEED

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

11. Like some durable skillets : CAST IRON

Cast iron is an alloy of iron and carbon, with a carbon content that is greater than 1.8%. Iron-carbon alloys containing less carbon are known as steel.

22. Where Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” house is : IOWA

The iconic Grant Wood work called “American Gothic” was painted in 1930. It depicts a farmer holding a pitchfork standing beside his spinster daughter. Grant used his sister as a model for the daughter, and his dentist as a model for the farmer. You can see “American Gothic” on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. You can also visit the house depicted in the painting, in the city of Eldon, Iowa. Perhaps predictably, the house is located on what is now called American Gothic Street.

27. Jacuzzi effect : EDDY

Jacuzzi is one of those brand names that has become so much associated with the product that it is often assumed to be a generic term. The Jacuzzi company was founded in 1915 by the seven(!) Jacuzzi brothers in Berkeley California. The brothers, who were Italian immigrants, pronounced their name “ja-coot-si”, as one might suspect when one realizes the name is of Italian origin. The company started off by making aircraft propellers and then small aircraft, but suspended aircraft production in 1925 when one the brothers was killed in one of their planes. The family then started making hydraulic pumps, and in 1948 developed a submersible bathtub pump so that a son of one of the brothers could enjoy hydrotherapy for his rheumatoid arthritis. The “hydrotherapy product” took off in the fifties with some astute marketing towards “worn-out housewives” and the use of celebrity spokesman Jack Benny.

30. “__ Ha’i”: “South Pacific” song : BALI

The song “Bali Ha’i” is from the musical “South Pacific” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. In the musical, Bali Ha’i is the name of a volcanic island that neighbors the island on which the story takes place.

34. E*TRADE purchase: Abbr. : STK

E*Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E*Trade used to produce those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a webcam.

35. Light bulb unit : WATT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor, a man who figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, named in his honor.

37. Mountain cat : PUMA

The mountain lion is found in much of the Americas from the Yukon in Canada right down to the southern Andes in South America. Because the mountain lion is found over such a vast area, it has many different names applied by local peoples, such as cougar and puma. In fact, the mountain lion holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most number of different names, with over 40 in English alone.

52. Postal scale unit : OUNCE

Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”.

54. Church council : SYNOD

The word “synod” comes from the Greek word for assembly, or meeting. A synod is a church council, usually in the Christian faith.

56. Pages for opinions : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

60. Nashville awards gp. : CMA

Country Music Association (CMA)

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Like a rough winter : HARSH

6. Opera number : ARIA

10. “Beat it!” : SCAT

14. Nebraska city on the Missouri : OMAHA

15. “Shoot!” : DARN!

16. Bear whose bed was too hard : PAPA

17. Like granola bars : OATEN

18. Arabian sultanate : OMAN

19. “College GameDay” airer : ESPN

20. “Hush” : PLEASE BE QUIET

23. Funnyman Caesar : SID

24. It’s often heated up for dinner : OVEN

25. Table salt additive : IODINE

28. Banishment : EXILE

30. FYI relative : BTW

31. Cincinnati ballplayer : RED

32. “Hush” : DON’T SAY A WORD

36. Cathedral area : APSE

39. Ocean west of Eur. : ATL

40. Murray or Roddick of tennis fame : ANDY

41. “Hush” : PUT A SOCK IN IT

46. Big bird Down Under : EMU

47. Pizza __ restaurant : HUT

48. Ready to pour : ON TAP

51. Forbidden actions : TABOOS

53. Payroll IDs : SSNS

55. Lav of London : LOO

57. “Hush” : BUTTON YOUR LIP

60. “Shake a leg!” : C’MON!

62. Pakistan neighbor : IRAN

63. Despicable character : LOUSE

64. Painter Chagall : MARC

65. Fictional sleuth Wolfe : NERO

66. Tacked on : ADDED

67. Hathaway of “Interstellar” : ANNE

68. Olympian’s goal : GOLD

69. Marsh stalks : REEDS

Down

1. Basketball targets : HOOPS

2. Charlotte __: U.S. Virgin Islands capital : AMALIE

3. Like adult movies : RATED X

4. __ butter: cosmetic moisturizer : SHEA

5. Space pilot who insists, “I take orders from just one person: me” : HAN SOLO

6. Photoshop software developer : ADOBE

7. Budget noodle dish : RAMEN

8. Baghdad’s land : IRAQ

9. Retirement income source : ANNUITY

10. Radar gun reading : SPEED

11. Like some durable skillets : CAST IRON

12. Smartphone download : APP

13. Almond-colored : TAN

21. Fairly matched : EVEN

22. Where Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” house is : IOWA

26. Geeky type : NERD

27. Jacuzzi effect : EDDY

29. Inventor’s spark : IDEA

30. “__ Ha’i”: “South Pacific” song : BALI

33. Ambassador’s asset : TACT

34. E*TRADE purchase: Abbr. : STK

35. Light bulb unit : WATT

36. In __: moody : A PET

37. Mountain cat : PUMA

38. Tough to budge : STUBBORN

42. Small liquor amount : SHOT

43. Giving the boot : OUSTING

44. Forbidden action : NO-NO

45. Completely cut off : INSULAR

49. Refer (to) : ALLUDE

50. Self-assured : POISED

52. Postal scale unit : OUNCE

53. Hairbrush target : SNARL

54. Church council : SYNOD

56. Pages for opinions : OP-EDS

58. Cookie shaped like two of its letters : OREO

59. Biked, e.g. : RODE

60. Nashville awards gp. : CMA

61. Guy : MAN

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