LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Sep 12, Monday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Adam Prince
THEME: SIDE SALAD … each of the theme answers includes a word that is associated with SALAD:

17A. Corfu or Crete GREEK ISLE (Greek salad)
25A. Salute heard at the Forum HAIL CAESAR (Caesar salad)
37A. Classic Frances Hodgson Burnett children’s novel THE SECRET GARDEN (garden salad)
45A. Once-common childhood ailment CHICKEN POX (chicken salad)
56A. Entrée go-with, or the aptly placed part of 17-, 25-, 37- or 45-Across SIDE SALAD

COMPLETION TIME: 5m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
9. Holy Roman emperor crowned in CMLXII OTTO I
Otto I the Great, ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th century.

17. Corfu or Crete GREEK ISLE (Greek salad)
Corfu is one of the most northerly of all the Greek Isles. Corfu plays an important role in Greek mythology and is oft-associated with god Poseidon. Nowadays, Corfu is more readily associated with tourists from mainland Europe.

21. Volkswagen sedan JETTA
The name Jetta is one in a series of names related to winds that has used by Volkswagen. Jetta comes from the German for “jet stream””, and the model name Passat comes from the German for “trade wind”.

22. Scary Nile snakes ASPS
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

25. Salute heard at the Forum HAIL CAESAR (Caesar salad)
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s, in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

27. Friend of Monica and Rachel on “Friends” PHOEBE
The character Phoebe Buffay is played on the sitcom “Friends” by the actress Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays the ditsy member of the troupe of friends, but I’ve always viewed her as the “smartest” of the group of actors in real life, as best I could tell. Kudrow is behind the US version of the British genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” a very entertaining bit of television.

31. Snow-block home IGLOO
The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, “igdlo”.

34. Ab __: from day one OVO
“Ab ovo” translates literally from Latin as “from the egg”, and is used in English to mean “from the beginning”.

37. Classic Frances Hodgson Burnett children’s novel THE SECRET GARDEN (garden salad)
“The Secret Garden” is a children’s novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published in serial form in 1910, and then as a complete book in 1911. The story is so popular that it has been adapted on more than one occasion for the stage, big screen, and television, and there are also numerous animated productions as well.

40. CIA precursor 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).

41. Arkin and Alda ALANS
The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006, a movie I just did not understand …

Alan Alda had a great television career, especially of course on “M*A*S*H”. But when it comes to the big screen, my favorite of his movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

42. Queen, in France REINE
“La reine” (the queen) might sit on “le trône” (the throne), in French.

45. Once-common childhood ailment CHICKEN POX (chicken salad)
Chicken pox is a viral infection, a classic disease of childhood most commonly caught by 4-10 year olds. There is a complication that can arise later in life as the virus sometimes reactivates to cause shingles.

52. Boca __ RATON
The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

55. Primitive calculators ABACI
The abacus was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numerical numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that it is still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

56. Entrée go-with, or the aptly placed part of 17-, 25-, 37- or 45-Across SIDE SALAD
Entrée of course means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get a “way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!

60. Spiced rice dish PILAF
Pilaf is a Persian word, and we use it to describe rice that is browned in oil and then cooked in a seasoned broth.

61. Cinque meno due TRE
Five minus two (cinque meno due) is three (tre), in Spanish.

62. Prefix with -dactyl PTERO-
The prefixes pter- and ptero- mean “pertaining to a wing, or a feather”, coming from the Greek word “pteron” (feather). Examples of use would be in pterosaur and pterodactyl.

64. IRS W-4 info SSN
The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an “identity number” to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the ago of 5. Sure enough, in 1987 seven million dependents “disappeared”.

65. Saudi Arabia neighbor YEMEN
Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, lying just south of Saudi Arabia and west of Oman. Yemen is the only state on the peninsula that is a republic (its official name is the Republic of Yemen). Everyone over the age of 18 gets to vote, but only Muslims can hold elected office.

Down
1. NBA scoring stat PPG
Points per game (PPG).

5. Trike rider TYKE
“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

7. __ Lama DALAI
Starting with the fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century, the Buddhist leader used to spend the winter months in the magnificent Potola Palace in the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa. The current Dalai Lama (the 14th) had to flee Tibet when the Tibetan people rebelled against Chinese occupation in 1959. Since then, he has resided in Dharamsala in Northern India, as a guest of the Indian people.

9. Séance accessory OUIJA BOARD
The Ouija board was introduced to America as a harmless parlor game at the end of the 19th century, although variations of the board date back to 1100 BC in China, where it was apparently used to “contact” the spirit world. The name “Ouija” is relatively recent, and is probably just a combination of the French and German words for “yes” … “oui” and “ja”.

11. “__ a wrap!” THAT’S
When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to “wrap”, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

18. “__ Dead?”: Mark Twain play IS HE
Mark Twain’s play “Is He Dead?” was written in 1898, but it wasn’t published in print until over 100 years later, in 2003. It opened on Broadway in 2007, and ran for 105 performances.

23. Persian sovereigns SHAHS
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown by the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

31. Pension supplement, for short IRA
I have to tell you when I first came to the US from Ireland, it was pretty confusing seeing big signs along the freeway advocating IRA contributions. Back in Ireland, that was pretty illegal (where IRA stands for the outlawed Irish Republican Army!).

32. First Bible bk. GEN
The Book of Genesis takes it name from the Greek word for “origin”.

34. Keats, notably ODIST
The poet John Keats is famous for writing a whole series of beautiful odes. The most renowned are the so-called “1819 Odes”, a collection from the year 1819 that includes famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”.

38. Game with rooms and weapons CLUE
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

39. Republican region, on a political map RED STATE
On political maps, red states are Republican and blue states Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties.

43. Toyota Prius, e.g. ECO-CAR
The Toyota Prius is still the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered car sold in the US, according to the EPA. The name “Prius” is a Latin word meaning “ahead, leading”. In the US we pronounce the name “pree-us”, but across the Atlantic it’s pronounced “pry-us”. Oh, and i drive one …

45. High roller’s game CRAPS
If one considers earlier versions of craps, then the game has been around for a very long time and probably dates back to the Crusades. Craps may be derived from an old English game called “hazard” also played with two dice, which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” from the 1300s. The American version of the game came here courtesy of the French and first set root in New Orleans where it was given the name “crapaud”, a French word meaning “toad”.

47. __-Turkish War ITALO-
The Italo-Turkish War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 1911 and October 1912. At the end of the conflict the Ottoman Empire ceded to Italy the three provinces of Tropolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica, which became Italian North Africa, and ultimately the country that we know today as Libya.

50. Humorous poet Nash OGDEN
The poet Ogden Nash was well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one:

The one-L lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-L llama,
He’s a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-L lllama.

57. NASA moon craft LEM
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy”, and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was of course called “Eagle”, and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface.

58. “We __ the World” ARE
“We Are the World” is the 1985 charity single recorded by a whole host of celebrity singers who came together as USA for Africa. “We Are the World” was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and sold over 20 million copies. The idea for the USA for Africa recording came out of the great success of the UK project, Band Aid’s “do They Know it’s Christmas?”.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sitcom’s test episode PILOT
6. Sitcom interrupters ADS
9. Holy Roman emperor crowned in CMLXII OTTO I
14. In on, with “to” PRIVY
15. Keg attachment TAP
16. “Yep” UH-HUH
17. Corfu or Crete GREEK ISLE (Greek salad)
19. Hopping mad IRATE
20. Close again, as a Ziploc bag RESEAL
21. Volkswagen sedan JETTA
22. Scary Nile snakes ASPS
25. Salute heard at the Forum HAIL CAESAR (Caesar salad)
27. Friend of Monica and Rachel on “Friends” PHOEBE
29. Dumbbell abbr. LBS
30. Selfish sort TAKER
31. Snow-block home IGLOO
34. Ab __: from day one OVO
37. Classic Frances Hodgson Burnett children’s novel THE SECRET GARDEN (garden salad)
40. CIA precursor OSS
41. Arkin and Alda ALANS
42. Queen, in France REINE
43. End of a professor’s email address EDU
44. Makes sense ADDS UP
45. Once-common childhood ailment CHICKEN POX (chicken salad)
51. Flower stalk STEM
52. Boca __ RATON
53. Young bird of prey EAGLET
55. Primitive calculators ABACI
56. Entrée go-with, or the aptly placed part of 17-, 25-, 37- or 45-Across SIDE SALAD
60. Spiced rice dish PILAF
61. Cinque meno due TRE
62. Prefix with -dactyl PTERO-
63. Keep in the warehouse STORE
64. IRS W-4 info SSN
65. Saudi Arabia neighbor YEMEN

Down
1. NBA scoring stat PPG
2. Like some reduced mdse. IRR
3. Commit perjury LIE
4. Supervises OVERSEES
5. Trike rider TYKE
6. On the ocean AT SEA
7. __ Lama DALAI
8. Wizard’s incantation SPELL
9. Séance accessory OUIJA BOARD
10. Good scores on par-fours THREES
11. “__ a wrap!” THAT’S
12. “__ sight!” OUTTA
13. “Word on the street is …” I HEAR
18. “__ Dead?”: Mark Twain play IS HE
22. Probably will, after “is” APT TO
23. Persian sovereigns SHAHS
24. Jabs in the ribs POKES
26. Thick-soled shoe CLOG
28. Serrated kitchen tool BREAD KNIFE
31. Pension supplement, for short IRA
32. First Bible bk. GEN
33. USN officers LTS
34. Keats, notably ODIST
35. Change of __: trial request VENUE
36. Early aft. hour ONE PM
38. Game with rooms and weapons CLUE
39. Republican region, on a political map RED STATE
43. Toyota Prius, e.g. ECO-CAR
44. Wheel-supporting shaft AXLE
45. High roller’s game CRAPS
46. Nun’s wear HABIT
47. __-Turkish War ITALO-
48. Homes in trees NESTS
49. Sock purchases PAIRS
50. Humorous poet Nash OGDEN
54. Catch sight of ESPY
57. NASA moon craft LEM
58. “We __ the World” ARE
59. Mafia boss DON

Return to top of page

LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Sep 12, Sunday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Alan Arbesfeld
THEME: Inside Help … the letters “SOS” are found inside each of the theme answers:

120D. Help found inside eight puzzle answers SOS

23A. Infielder traded by the Yankees to get Alex Rodriguez ALFON(SO S)ORIANO
33A. Bygone U.S. fuel stop ES(SO S)TATION
42A. “How the Camel Got His Hump” et al. JUST (SO S)TORIES
57A. Where Hope sprang eternal? U(SO S)HOWS
80A. Japanese food staple MI(SO S)OUP
95A. “CBS News Sunday Morning” host CHARLE(S OS)GOOD
103A. Area in the North Atlantic SARGAS(SO S)EA
116A. Lord Kitchener of Trinidad et al. CALYP(SO S)INGERS

COMPLETION TIME: 34m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … COIGN (soign), TCU (TSU)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
21. Not quite par ONE OVER
One over par is not quite par, on a golf course.

23. Infielder traded by the Yankees to get Alex Rodriguez ALFON(SO S)ORIANO
Alfonso Soriano is a professional baseball player from the Dominican Republic, currently playing as an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs. In 2004 Soriano sent a donation of $2.6 million dollars back to his homeland to help children who had an ambition to become professional baseball players.

25. Journalist Peter ARNETT
Peter Arnett is an American journalist, originally from New Zealand. I mainly remember him from his coverage of the Gulf War for CNN, although Arnett was awarded his Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for his work in Vietnam during the war there.

26. John Irving’s “__ of the Circus” A SON
The novelist and screenwriter John Irving became famous with publication of his novel “The World According to Garp”. As a screenwriter Irving won an Oscar for the screen adaptation he wrote for another of his novels, “The Cider House Rules”.

27. Bit of derring-do GEST
Our word “gest” meaning a great deed or an exploit has been around since about 1300, and comes from the Old French word “geste” meaning the same thing. These days “geste” can also mean “gesture”.

As one might expect, “derring-do” comes from the phrase “daring to do”, which back in the 14th century was written as “dorrying don”.

28. Obi-Wan portrayer EWAN
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

33. Bygone U.S. fuel stop ES(SO S)TATION
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.

38. Fair-hiring inits. EOE
An Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

39. “Moon River” composer MANCINI
The lovely song “Moon River” was written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini. It was of course sung by Audry Hepburn in the wonderful 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. The song went on to become the theme song for Andy Williams who performed it at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1962.

42. “How the Camel Got His Hump” et al. JUST (SO S)TORIES
Rudyard Kipling was a British poet and writer famous for his tales of the British Raj, the rule of the British Empire in India. Kipling was actually born in Bombay, but returned with his family to England when he was very young. After being educated in England, he returned to India and from there travelled the world. Kipling’s most famous works are the stories “The Jungle Book”, “Just So Stories”, “The Man Who Would Be King”, and the poems “Mandalay”, “Gunga Din” and “If-”.

47. Jets’ former gp. AFL
Just like the New York Giants, the New York Jets are based in New Jersey, headquartered in Florham Park. The Jets and the Giants have a unique arrangement in the NFL in that the two teams share Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets were an AFL charter team, formed in 1959 as the Titans of New York. The Titans changed their name to the Jets in 1963.

51. __ of vantage: favorable position COIGN
A “coign of vantage” is an advantageous position. The term is famously used by William Shakespeare in “Macbeth”.

52. Literary lord JIM
“Lord Jim” is a novel by Joseph Conrad, adapted into a movie in 1965 starring Peter O’Toole as the title character.

54. Lucy Lawless role XENA
Lucy Lawless is a New Zealand actress (and singer), famous for playing the title role in TV’s “Xena: Warrior Princess”. Lawless first played the Xena character in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”, and later reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the role.

55. Coastal flooding cause TSUNAMI
“Tsunami” is the Japanese word for “harbor wave”.

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

I remember my first non-business visit to Los Angeles. I was a typical tourist and bought a map showing the homes of the stars and drove around Beverly Hills absorbing all the glitz. At one point I drove past a Rolls Royce that was stopped in oncoming traffic, waiting to make a left turn. The window was down and the driver was puffing away on a big cigar. It was none other than Bob Hope, and seeing him there beside me … well, that was a big thrill.

67. Part of a Maui welcome LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

71. Año starter ENERO
In Spanish, a year (año) starts in January (Enero) and ends in December (Diciembre).

74. 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.

78. One-named supermodel EMME
Emme is the highest paid plus-size model in the world. Her real name is Melissa Aronson, and she was born in New York City and raised in Saudi Arabia.

80. Japanese food staple MI(SO S)OUP
Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus (!) to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

82. “West Side Story” number AMERICA
Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is of course based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets falls in love with Maria from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

84. Lift near a lodge T-BAR
A T-bar is a type of ski lift in which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skier who remains standing on his/her skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

88. Purim’s month ADAR
Adar is a month in the Hebrew calendar.

Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther. During the celebration of Purim, the Book of Esther (or Megillah) is read aloud, once in the evening and once the following morning. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Old Testament that doesn’t mention the word “God”.

89. Stock mkt. opening? 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 it marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually). Anyone owning stock in the company prior to the IPO can find that after that IPO the stock is now worth something on the market (as opposed to just on paper), and can become quite wealthy overnight.

90. Lean cuisine lover SPRAT
Jack Sprat was a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. Jack featured in a proverb of the day:

Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.

Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still heard today:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.

94. Modern address URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

95. “CBS News Sunday Morning” host CHARLE(S OS)GOOD
The radio and television commentator Charles Osgood is from New York City. On the radio, Osgood is noted for for his daily show called “The Osgood Files”, and on television is noted as the host for “CBS News Sunday Morning”, a role that he took over from Charles Kuralt.

103. Area in the North Atlantic SARGAS(SO S)EA
The Sargasso Sea, an area within the Atlantic Ocean, is famous for being home to many species of Sargassum, the algae floating on the surface that gives the area its name. The Sargasso Sea is also where both the European and American eels lay their eggs and hatch their young. The young eels (or “elvers”) then head east or west, depending on the species.

108. Grenoble girlfriend AMIE
Grenoble is a city at the edge of the French Alps. Grenoble hosted the 1968 Winter Olympic Games.

114. Iowa and Indiana are in it BIG TEN
The Big Ten is the nation’s oldest Division I college athletic conference and today is comprised of not ten, but eleven colleges mainly located in the Midwest. The conference was founded in 1896 and earned the name “Big Nine” in 1899 when Iowa and Indiana joined to bring the number of teams in the conference to nine. The conference name was changed to the Big Ten after Michigan rejoined in 1917. Right after WWII, the University of Chicago dropped out so the conference became known as the Big Nine again until 1949. The official designation of “Big Ten” was adopted in 1987 when the conference (once again with with a complement of ten teams) registered as a not-for-profit corporation. It was decided to keep the official name of Big Ten even after Penn State joined in 1990 bringing the number of schools to the current level of eleven.

116. Lord Kitchener of Trinidad et al. CALYP(SO S)INGERS
Lord Kitchener was a renowned calypso singer from Trinidad. Lord Kitchener emigrated to the UK in 1948, and it was there that he gained a following in the large expatriate community from the West Indies.

122. Most avant-garde EDGIEST
People described as being avant-garde are especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

126. Ridges in ranges ARETES
An arete is ridge of rock defining the border between two parallel valleys that have been formed by glaciation. If this ridge is rounded, it is called a “col”. However if it is “sharpened”, with rock falling way due to successive freezing and thawing, then it is called an “arete”. “Arête“ is the French word for “fish bone”.

Down
1. Cape Town’s home: Abbr. RSA
The Republic of South Africa (RSA).

2. Dancer enslaved by Jabba the Hutt OOLA
Oola was a slave-girl dancer who was eaten by a scary creature in the movie. She was played by British actor Femi Taylor.

6. His, to Henri SES
“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its”, when referring to a group of items.

8. Slaughter on the field ENOS
Enos Slaughter has a remarkable playing record in Major League Baseball over a 19-year career. His record is particularly remarkable given that he left baseball for three years to serve in the military during WWII.

9. Spanish muralist SERT
José Maria Sert was a painter of murals from Catalan, and a friend of Salvador Dali.

10. Vous, familiarly TOI
“Toi” is the French word for “you”, when talking to someone with whom you are familiar.

11. One of the Peróns EVA
Nowadays, President Juan Perón of Argentina is perhaps less well-known than his second wife, Eva Perón of “Evita” fame. Juan and Eva Perón were overthrown in a military coup in 1955, although Juan Perón was returned to power in 1973 when he served for only nine months before he passed away. Juan was succeeded in office by his third wife, Isabel Perón.

19. Dramatist Chekhov ANTON
Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

36. Comet competitor AJAX
Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the equivalent slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.

39. Marshmallowy treat MOON PIE
Marshmallow cream was developed in 1927. Soon after, workers in the coal mines around Chattanooga, Tennessee started dipping graham crackers in marshmallow cream as a snack. Then a local baker jumped on the idea, and came up with a sandwich made with a marshmallow filling between two round graham crackers. His young grandson remarked that the popped bubbles in the marshmallow (from baking) looked like moon craters, and the Moon Pie was born. I used to love them as a kid, although we called them “Wagon Wheels” in our part of the world.

44. Ft. Worth campus TCU
Texas Christian University (TCU) is a private school in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU used to be called AddRan Male & Female, named after an AddRan Clark, the son of Addison Clark who died at the age of 3-years-old from diphtheria. Poor young AddRan was named after his father and his brother, Addison and Randolph.

46. John of “Good Times” AMOS
John Amos is an actor, best known for playing James Evans Sr. on the television show “Good Times”. Evans is also a former professional football player.

49. Nab, in oaters LASSO
The term “oater”, used for a western movie, comes from the number of horses seen. Those horses love their oats!

52. Karate kin JUDO
Judo is a martial art from Japan that was developed relatively recently, in 1882. The name “judo” translates as “gentle way”.

56. N.L. Central team STL
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. The new name obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

68. Hockey great Phil, familiarly ESPO
Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

75. Bag mate of a cleek and a niblick MASHIE
Most of the irons in a golf bag had non-numerical names in days gone by:

– 2 Iron … Cleek
– 3 Iron … Mid Mashie
– 4 Iron … Mashie Iron
– 5 Iron … Mashie
– 6 Iron … Spade Mashie
– 7 Iron … Mashie Niblick
– 8 Iron … Pitching Niblick
– 9 Iron … Niblick

76. Classic Chevy IMPALA
The Chevrolet Impala was first introduced in 1957, and you can still buy one today. “Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”.

77. __ Haute TERRE
Terre Haute, Indiana is a city close to the state’s western border with Illinois. The city is home to a state prison which in turn is home to the state’s death row. The name “Terre Haute” was chosen by French explorers in the 18th century to describe the location, as “terre haute” is French for “high ground”.

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

96. Leaves in STETS
“Stet” is the Latin word meaning “let it stand”. And editor can instruct a typesetter to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” beside the change and then underscoring the change with a line of dots (or dashes).

103. Cousin of a clog SABOT
There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called sabots, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn’t have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of … “sabot-age”.

104. Essential acid AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

106. Cabal activities PLOTS
A cabal is a small group of secret plotters, perhaps scheming against a government or an individual.

107. 1973 #1 hit for the Stones ANGIE
For my money, “Angie” is the greatest ballad ever performed by the Rolling Stones. Despite rumors to the contrary, “Angie” doesn’t refer to a particular woman. If fact, songwriter Keith Richard says that “Angie” is a pseudonym for heroin, and the lyrics tell of his efforts to get off the drug at a detox facility in Switzerland.

110. Graf __ SPEE
Maximilian Graf von Spee was actually born in Denmark, but of a noble German family. By the time WWI started, Spee had risen to the rank of Rear Admiral in the German Navy. He was killed in the Battle of the Falkland Islands (the original 1914 version!). Of course he gave his name to the powerful pocket battleship, the Admiral Graf Spee, which was damaged in the Battle of the River Plate during WWII. The Graf Spee took refuge in the neutral port of Montevideo and when the boat was expelled by the government of Uruguay, the captain scuttled her rather than face the Allied flotilla waiting for her off Montevideo.

111. NCAA member?: Abbr. ASSN
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

120. Help found inside eight puzzle answers 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.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fowl poles ROOSTS
7. Something for a rainy day NEST EGG
14. Bad mark STIGMA
20. Lenient sort SOFTIE
21. Not quite par ONE OVER
22. Snorkeling site LAGOON
23. Infielder traded by the Yankees to get Alex Rodriguez ALFON(SO S)ORIANO
25. Journalist Peter ARNETT
26. John Irving’s “__ of the Circus” A SON
27. Bit of derring-do GEST
28. Obi-Wan portrayer EWAN
30. Ratio words IS TO
31. Fit to be fried EDIBLE
33. Bygone U.S. fuel stop ES(SO S)TATION
36. Like A LA
38. Fair-hiring inits. EOE
39. “Moon River” composer MANCINI
41. Ran into MET
42. “How the Camel Got His Hump” et al. JUST (SO S)TORIES
45. Select TAP
47. Jets’ former gp. AFL
50. Cuts short ABORTS
51. __ of vantage: favorable position COIGN
52. Literary lord JIM
53. Court answer PLEA
54. Lucy Lawless role XENA
55. Coastal flooding cause TSUNAMI
57. Where Hope sprang eternal? U(SO S)HOWS
59. Soft “Hey, you!” PSST
61. Didn’t quite win PLACED
63. You can skip the flat ones STONES
64. Stage remark ASIDE
67. Part of a Maui welcome LEI
69. Barber’s challenge MOP
71. Año starter ENERO
72. Back from a trip, say IN TOWN
74. Mideast native SEMITE
78. One-named supermodel EMME
80. Japanese food staple MI(SO S)OUP
82. “West Side Story” number AMERICA
84. Lift near a lodge T-BAR
88. Purim’s month ADAR
89. Stock mkt. opening? IPO
90. Lean cuisine lover SPRAT
91. Theater district RIALTO
93. Address bk. datum TEL
94. Modern address URL
95. “CBS News Sunday Morning” host CHARLE(S OS)GOOD
97. Smashed LIT
99. Was of use AVAILED
101. Excessively TOO
102. Short missions? OPS
103. Area in the North Atlantic SARGAS(SO S)EA
106. Fivesome PENTAD
108. Grenoble girlfriend AMIE
109. Problem’s end? -ATIC
110. It may be used in a pinch SALT
112. Suspicious of ONTO
114. Iowa and Indiana are in it BIG TEN
116. Lord Kitchener of Trinidad et al. CALYP(SO S)INGERS
121. Available for work ON HIRE
122. Most avant-garde EDGIEST
123. Earthquake prefix SEISMO-
124. Walk unsteadily TOTTER
125. Strengthens DEEPENS
126. Ridges in ranges ARETES

Down
1. Cape Town’s home: Abbr. RSA
2. Dancer enslaved by Jabba the Hutt OOLA
3. When many trades are made OFF SEASON
4. Put up with STOOD
5. Least resonant TINNIEST
6. His, to Henri SES
7. Long time follower? NO SEE
8. Slaughter on the field ENOS
9. Spanish muralist SERT
10. Vous, familiarly TOI
11. One of the Peróns EVA
12. Torah starter GENESIS
13. Become gradually more desirable to GROW ON
14. Bias SLANT
15. Do road work TAR
16. Start to burn IGNITE
17. Abandons the band GOES IT ALONE
18. Slogan MOTTO
19. Dramatist Chekhov ANTON
24. Gives more than the once-over OGLES
29. The way things stand AS IT IS
32. Raises BOOSTS
33. Puzzle ENIGMA
34. Pretty SCENIC
35. Band booster AMP
36. Comet competitor AJAX
37. Garage job LUBE
39. Marshmallowy treat MOON PIE
40. Plain font choice ARIAL
43. Hidden entrance TRAPDOOR
44. Ft. Worth campus TCU
46. John of “Good Times” AMOS
48. A smaller number FEWER
49. Nab, in oaters LASSO
52. Karate kin JUDO
53. Frustrating series of calls PHONE TAG
56. N.L. Central team STL
58. Originate STEM
60. Attaches, in a way, with “on” SEWS
62. Shade of green EMERALD
64. Get in one’s sights AIM AT
65. Nasty SNIDE
66. “There there” IT’S ALL RIGHT
68. Hockey great Phil, familiarly ESPO
70. Upper-bod muscle PEC
73. Dark genre NOIR
75. Bag mate of a cleek and a niblick MASHIE
76. Classic Chevy IMPALA
77. __ Haute TERRE
79. Strand MAROON
81. Like a baseball home team UP LAST
83. Manhattan suffix -ITE
85. Exam many examinees won’t look at BLOOD TEST
86. Over ATOP
87. Fishing gear RODS
92. Big name in gloves ISOTONER
94. Hagen of Broadway UTA
95. Falls CASCADE
96. Leaves in STETS
98. “That makes sense” I GET IT
100. Spoken VOICED
103. Cousin of a clog SABOT
104. Essential acid AMINO
105. More sound SANER
106. Cabal activities PLOTS
107. 1973 #1 hit for the Stones ANGIE
110. Graf __ SPEE
111. NCAA member?: Abbr. ASSN
113. “Him __”: beau’s ultimatum OR ME
115. Ahead of, in verse ERE
117. Size above med. LGE
118. Pound sound YIP
119. Patience-virtue link IS A
120. Help found inside eight puzzle answers SOS

Return to top of page