LA Times Crossword Answers 22 Mar 13, Friday

CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Vowel Exchange … each of today’s themed answers is a well-known phrase, but with the vowels swapped in the second word:

17A. Army mints? MILITARY TIC TACS (from “military tactics”)
29A. Temperamental Midler impersonators? BETTE DIVAS (from “Bette Davis”)
37A. Penalize a Russian leader? FINE LENIN (from “fine linen”)
49A. Poll on where to sink the eight ball? POCKET VOTE (from “pocket veto”)
64A. Seasonal shade of pink? A CHRISTMAS CORAL (from “A Christmas Carol”)

COMPLETION TIME: 13m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Circa AROUND
“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

7. Snack brand with a monocled mascot PLANTERS
Planters is the company with the Mr. Peanut icon. Mr. Peanut was the invention of a first-grader called Antonio Gentile, a young man who won a design contest in 1916. A remarkable achievement, I’d say …

16. One of a kind RARA AVIS
A “rara avis” is anything that is very rare, and is Latin for “rare bird”.

17. Army mints? MILITARY TIC TACS (from “military tactics”)
Tic Tacs aren’t American candy (as I always mistakenly believed). Tic Tacs are made by the Italian company Ferrero, and were introduced in 1969.

20. Plural Spanish pronoun ELLAS
“Ellas” is Spanish for “they”.

21. Emu’s extinct kin MOA
Moas were flightless birds native to New Zealand that are now extinct. The fate of the Moa is a great example of the detrimental effect that humans can have on animal populations. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand about 1300 AD, upsetting the balance of the ecosystem. The Moa were hunted to extinction within 200 years, which had the knock-on effect of killing off the Haast’s Eagle, the Moa’s only predator prior to the arrival of man.

22. Fleming and crime writer Rankin IANS
Ian Fleming is most famous of course for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

Ian Rankin is crime writer from Scotland. Rankin’s most famous novels feature his hero “Inspector Rebus” and are set in and around Edinburgh.

24. Smidgen MITE
A mite is a small amount, as in “the widow’s mite”, the story from the Bible.

Our word “smidgen”, meaning a small amount, might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

29. Temperamental Midler impersonators? BETTE DIVAS (from “Bette Davis”)
I must confess that I have a problem watching movies starring Bette Davis. I think I must have seen her play one of her more sinister roles when I was a kid and it gave me nightmares or something. So, I have never seen the 1950 classic “All About Eve”, given that Bette Davis gets top billing. But, the title role of Eve Harrington was played by Anne Baxter, and Ms Baxter’s movies I do enjoy. Coincidentally, on the epic television series “Hotel”, when Bette Davis became ill, it was Anne Baxter who was chosen to take on her role.

I am a huge, huge fan of Bette Midler. I love everything about the woman, her bawdy humor, her expansive personality, and of course her amazing voice. Midler will forever be associated with the 1979 film “The Rose”, loosely based on the life of the self-destructive singer Janis Joplin, with Bette playing the lead. Midler shows that she can act in this movie, and boy does she show that she can sing. The title song was written by Amanda McBroom and became a huge hit for Midler in 1979.

36. Student of Elves, in Tolkien ENT
Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

37. Penalize a Russian leader? FINE LENIN (from “fine linen”)
“Lenin” wasn’t the birth name of the Russian leader. He was born Vladimir Ulyanov, and originally took the name Lenin as a pen name.

44. Shrimp RUNT
Back in 1500 a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s “runt” was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately “runt” came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

45. __ Galilee SEA OF
The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake, the largest freshwater lake in Israel and the lowest elevation freshwater lake in the world. The main source of the water in the Sea of Galilee is the Jordan River which flows through it.

49. Poll on where to sink the eight ball? POCKET VOTE (from “pocket veto”)
In the US, “pocket veto” is the term used for the legal maneuver that kills a piece of legislation when the President takes no action at all. The Constitution requires that the President sign or veto (i.e. a “regular veto”) any legislation within ten days while Congress is in session. If Congress adjourns within the 10-day period, then the bill does not become law. It is this inaction by the President when Congress is out of session that is called a “pocket veto”.

54. Inner Hebrides isle SKYE
The Isle of Skye is off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. It is the second largest island in the country, and has been linked to the mainland by a road bridge since 1995. I’ve never been there, but I hear the views are spectacular.

55. “Cheers” accountant NORM
The character of Norm Peterson was the only customer of the bar to appear in every episode of “Cheers”, something that one couldn’t really call ironic since he loved that barstool! George Wendt played Norm, and I suppose the fact the Wendt was expelled from Notre Dame after one semester, with a 0.0 GPA, might have helped him get the role!

57. Texter’s afterthought lead-in BTW
By the way (BTW).

62. More than just calls RAISES
“Raise” and “call” are options in a game of poker, say.

64. Seasonal shade of pink? A CHRISTMAS CORAL (from “A Christmas Carol”)
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to the popular use of “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that the character Scrooge was fond of using the now famous line “Bah! Humbug!”.

68. Semisoft cheese with an orange rind MUENSTER
Muenster is an American cheese, not to be confused with Munster cheese which is from the department called Vosges in the northeast of France. The American cheese is named for the German city of Münster (also Muenster) in the northwest of the country, a city that doesn’t actually have a local cheese named for it.

71. Jimmy follower RONALD
Ronald Reagan started out his political career as a member of the Democratic Party, but switched to the Republicans in the early fifties. Reagan served as Governor of California for eight years, and vied unsuccessfully for the nomination for US President on two occasions. He finally succeeded in 1980 and defeated President Jimmy Carter to become the 40th US President in 1981.

President Jimmy Carter is a graduate of the US Naval Academy. Carter served in the Navy on surface ships and submarines, and chose to pursue a career in the submarine service as he was interested in nuclear power and believed it had a great future in submarine design. As a result, he became an expert in nuclear propulsion. In 1952, the Navy sent the young Carter to the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada to lead the US effort to shutdown the reactor after an accident and partial meltdown of a reactor core. He and his team had to be lowered into the leaking reactor core for mechanical disassembly, staying there for only seconds at a time to minimise exposure to radiation. Decades later as US President, it was this experience that influenced Carter’s decision not to complete the development of the neutron bomb.

Down
3. City saved by Joan of Arc ORLEANS
Joan of Arc (also Jeanne d’Arc, her birth name) led the French Army successfully into battle a number of times during the Hundred Years War with England. When she was eventually captured, Joan was tried in Rouen, the seat of the occupying English government in France at that time. There she was burned at the stake having been found guilty of heresy. Joan of Arc was canonized some 600 years later, in 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.

5. 1930s-’40s Chicago Outfit “enforcer” NITTI
Frank Nitti was one of the top henchmen working for Al Capone. Unlike American-born Capone, Nitti was actually from Italy and was born near the city of Salerno. When Capone was eventually put away for 11 years for tax evasion, Nitti was convicted of the same crime. Nitti was only imprisoned for 18 months, and when released he was labelled as the new head of Capone’s Chicago Outfit. However the truth seems to be that he was just a frontman, with others making the decisions.

9. Seed cover ARIL
The casing called the aril, which surrounds many seeds, may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

10. Chemist’s salt NACL
Sodium chloride (NaCl) is an ionic compound, a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

11. Teahouse floor covering TATAMI
A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

13. Rocker Ocasek RIC
Ric Ocasek is an American musician of Czech heritage, and was the lead vocalist of the rock band known as the Cars.

14. Old draft org. SSS
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

18. Pierce’s co-star in “The Thomas Crown Affair” RENE
The lovely and very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to highschool (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …

“The Thomas Crown Affair” is an excellent 1998 remake of the 1969 film of the same name that starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. The remake stars Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, with Faye Dunaway making a cameo appearance as Thomas Crown’s psychiatrist.

23. Cheese with which port is traditionally served STILTON
Stilton is a lovely village in Cambridgeshire, and the original home of the delicious blue cheese called Stilton.

26. Setting for Columbus: Abbr. EST
Eastern Standard Time (EST).

The city of Columbus, Ohio is a “purpose-built” state capital. The state legislature selected the location for Ohio’s new capital in 1812, choosing dense forestland with no significant settlement, largely due to its strategic location in the center of the state. The name was of course chosen in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus.

28. OED entry DEF
The “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) contains over 300,000 “main” entries and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb “set”. When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb “put”. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

30. Grizabella creator’s monogram TSE
Grizabella is a character in T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. In the musical ”Cats” that is adapted from the book, Grizabella is the character who sings the show-stopping song “Memory”.

32. Agnus __: Mass prayers DEIS
“Agnus Dei” is Latin for “Lamb of God”, a term used in Christian faiths for Jesus Christ, symbolizing His role as a sacrificial offering to atone for the sins of man.

38. Aficionado NUT
An “aficionado” is an enthusiast, a word that came to us from Spanish. “Aficionado” was originally used in English to describe a devotee of bullfighting.

41. SUV option GPS
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians all round the world owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

43. Bush hooks, e.g. SCYTHES
A brush hook or bush hook is a gardening and farming instrument like a scythe.

46. Banff National Park locale ALBERTA
Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada is located high in the Canadian Rockies and is a popular tourist destination. The town of Banff and the surrounding park were given their name in 1884 by then president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, George Stephen. He named Banff for his birthplace of Banffshire in Scotland.

47. Defeat in the regatta OUTSAIL
The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

48. Hardly hordes FEW
A “horde” is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” that means “camp, army”.

50. “Team of Rivals” author Doris __ Goodwin KEARNS
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a noted biographer and historian. Goodwin has authored biographies of several US presidents, and won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1995 for “Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt”. Her most recent book is “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln”, which was adapted into the marvelous 2012 film “Lincoln” directed by Steven Spielberg.

51. One-third of a WWII film TORA
The pre-determined code word to be used by the Japanese if they managed to achieve surprise in their attack on Pearl Harbor was “tiger”, or “tora” in Japanese. This gave the name to the excellent 1970 movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!”.

59. Actress Virna LISI
Virna Lisi is an Italian film actress who made a few movies in Hollywood in the sixties. Lisi appeared opposite Jack Lemmon in the fun movie “How to Murder Your Wife” in 1965 and with Frank Sinatra in “Assault on a Queen” in 1966.

61. Acronymous submachine gun STEN
The STEN gun was an iconic armament used by the British military forces. The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T comes from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

64. Trans __ AMS
The Trans Am was a specialty version of the Pontiac Firebird produced from 1969 to 2002.

65. Stick around a pool hall? CUE
The more correct name for the game of pool is pocket billiards. The name “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

66. Union title, often MRS
Mr. is the abbreviation for “master”, and Mrs. is the abbreviation for “mistress”.

67. Calculator display, for short LCD
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Circa AROUND
7. Snack brand with a monocled mascot PLANTERS
15. Retire TURN IN
16. One of a kind RARA AVIS
17. Army mints? MILITARY TIC TACS (from “military tactics”)
19. Bug NETTLE
20. Plural Spanish pronoun ELLAS
21. Emu’s extinct kin MOA
22. Fleming and crime writer Rankin IANS
24. Smidgen MITE
27. Endow FUND
29. Temperamental Midler impersonators? BETTE DIVAS (from “Bette Davis”)
33. Estate item ASSET
35. “Got it!” I SEE!
36. Student of Elves, in Tolkien ENT
37. Penalize a Russian leader? FINE LENIN (from “fine linen”)
41. Blast GAS
44. Shrimp RUNT
45. __ Galilee SEA OF
49. Poll on where to sink the eight ball? POCKET VOTE (from “pocket veto”)
53. Down BLUE
54. Inner Hebrides isle SKYE
55. “Cheers” accountant NORM
57. Texter’s afterthought lead-in BTW
58. Accounts TALES
62. More than just calls RAISES
64. Seasonal shade of pink? A CHRISTMAS CORAL (from “A Christmas Carol”)
68. Semisoft cheese with an orange rind MUENSTER
69. Titillating EROTIC
70. Recordings are made in them SESSIONS
71. Jimmy follower RONALD

Down
1. Provider of bucks ATM
2. Catastrophic RUINOUS
3. City saved by Joan of Arc ORLEANS
4. Troop group UNIT
5. 1930s-’40s Chicago Outfit “enforcer” NITTI
6. Crime-solving locale DNA LAB
7. Pull with effort PRY
8. Behind LATE
9. Seed cover ARIL
10. Chemist’s salt NACL
11. Teahouse floor covering TATAMI
12. Not forthcoming EVASIVE
13. Rocker Ocasek RIC
14. Old draft org. SSS
18. Pierce’s co-star in “The Thomas Crown Affair” RENE
21. Museum curator’s deg. MFA
23. Cheese with which port is traditionally served STILTON
25. Salon offering TAN
26. Setting for Columbus: Abbr. EST
28. OED entry DEF
30. Grizabella creator’s monogram TSE
31. Bard’s adverb E’EN
32. Agnus __: Mass prayers DEIS
34. Flag TIRE
38. Aficionado NUT
39. P.O. purchase ENV
40. Neighbor of Colo. NEB
41. SUV option GPS
42. Hunky-dory A-OK
43. Bush hooks, e.g. SCYTHES
46. Banff National Park locale ALBERTA
47. Defeat in the regatta OUTSAIL
48. Hardly hordes FEW
50. “Team of Rivals” author Doris __ Goodwin KEARNS
51. One-third of a WWII film TORA
52. Backspace key, at times ERASER
56. Minuscule MICRO
59. Actress Virna LISI
60. José’s this ESTO
61. Acronymous submachine gun STEN
63. Procrastinator’s word SOON
64. Trans __ AMS
65. Stick around a pool hall? CUE
66. Union title, often MRS
67. Calculator display, for short LCD


Return to top of page

LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Mar 13, Thursday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Bajcz
THEME: Undercover COP … each of today’s themed answers is two words, with COP bridging those two words:

20A. Hot sauce ingredient TABASCO PEPPER
27A. Vox populi PUBLIC OPINION
43A. Genre artist of mid-18th-century Europe ROCOCO PAINTER
49A. Stinger? (and what’s literally found in 20-, 27- and 43-Across) UNDERCOVER COP

COMPLETION TIME: 10m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
17. “Scrubs” head nurse CARLA
The head nurse on the TV series “Scrubs” is a character called Carla Espinosa. Carla is played by Judy Reyes.

“Scrubs” is a comedy-drama TV show set in a fictional hospital. The show’s main character is Doctor J. D. Dorian, played by Zach Braff. “Scrubs” ran from 2001 to 2010.

19. “__ 911!”: police series parody RENO
“Reno 911!” is what nowadays is called a “mockumentary”, a documentary-style comedy that parodies the television show “COPS”. I am afraid I don’t watch either TV program … not my cup of tea.

20. Hot sauce ingredient TABASCO PEPPER
Edward McIlhenny created the first Tabasco Sauce in 1868. He recycled old cologne bottles as a container for the sauce so that he could present it to friends, and when he went into business he ordered new cologne bottles for the commercial product. Even today, the Tabasco Sauce bottle bears a striking resemblance to the bottle used to distribute 4711 cologne.

23. Beret-sporting revolutionary CHE
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

25. Operation Overlord vessel, for short LST
LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels used mainly in WWII that had doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles could roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

The Allied Invasion of Normandy during WWII was given the codename “Operation Overlord”. The Normandy landings which kicked off the invasion, and which took place on D-Day (6 June 1944), were given the codename “Operation Neptune”.

26. Concerto standout SOLOIST
A concerto is a musical work usually composed of three movements, and is usually written for a solo instrument accompanied by an orchestra.

27. Vox populi PUBLIC OPINION
“Vox populi, vox Dei” is a Latin expression that translates as, “The voice of the people, the voice of God”, meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.

32. NBAer who tweeted “I’m about to retire” in 2011 SHAQ
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he’s a big guy … 7 foot 1 inch tall.

33. Wrinkly toy PUG
The pug is a breed of dog of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, a good-looking mutt!

41. British blame game? CLUEDO
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 …

43. Genre artist of mid-18th-century Europe ROCOCO PAINTER
The Rococo style is also known as “Late Baroque”. It is a very floral and playful style, very ornate.

53. Say and mean AVER
The word “aver”, meaning “profess”, comes from the Latin “adverare” meaning “to make true, to prove to be true” from “ad” (to) and “verus” (true).

54. Slapstick sidekick OLLIE
Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.

57. “House,” in Inuit IGLU
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”.

61. Woody’s son ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

62. “Tearin’ Up My Heart” band ‘N SYNC
‘N Sync was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded “in sync”. But, it’s also true that the letters of the name ‘N Sync are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:

– Justin Timberlake
– Chris Kirkpatrick
– Joey Fatone
– Lance “Lansten” Bass
– JC Chasez

Down
1. Compound once used as aerosol propellant: Abbr. CFC
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are the propellants that were once used in aerosols. CFCs make their way up into the ozone layer and trigger a chain reaction that converts ozone (O3) into regular oxygen (O2). That conversion creates “holes” in the ozone layer. Regular O2 is good stuff, but we need O3 to absorb harmful UV radiation raining down on us. CFC is not good stuff …

2. NPR’s “Science Friday” host Flatow IRA
“Science Friday” is an excellent talk show broadcast every Friday on NPR, and hosted by Ira Flatow. Flatow is known on television as the host of “Newton’s Apple”, which ran from 1983 to 1998.

4. Land in el agua ISLA
In Spanish, “land in the water” is an “island”.

5. Dry French wine CHABLIS
Chablis wine comes from the Chablis region that is the most northerly wine district in the Burgundy region of France. Chablis is a dry white wine made mainly from Chardonnay grapes.

11. Bowler’s target ONE-PIN
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

21. “The Nazarene” author Sholem ASCH
Sholem Asch was a Polish-born American novelist and dramatist who published his work in Yiddish. One of his plays was “God of Vengeance”, a highly-regarded work performed all over Europe and translated into many languages. It opened on Broadway in 1923, but the adult themes (it was set in a brothel, and featured a lesbian relationship) led to the entire cast being arrested and convicted on obscenity charges.

22. Belgian prime minister Di Rupo ELIO
Elio Di Rupo is a the current Prime Minister of Belgium and the leader of the Socialist Party. Di Rupo has the honor of being the first openly gay leader of a country in the European Union.

23. Coast Guard noncoms CPOS
A Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is a non-commissioned officer in the Navy and Coast Guard. The “Petty” is derived from the French word “petit” meaning “small”.

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.

24. Jackman of “Les Misérables” (2012) HUGH
Australian actor Hugh Jackman is most famous perhaps for his recurring role as Wolverine in the “X-Men” series of films, but as I don’t really “do” superhero movies, I like him best from the romantic comedy “Kate & Leopold” and the epic “Australia”. More recently, Jackman has garnered praise for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables”.

The 2012 movie adaption of the musical “Les Misérables” has an ensemble cast, although the two actors getting the most acclaim seem to be Hugh Jackman (as Jean Valjean) and Anne Hathaway (as Fantine). There’s a lot of buzz about the way the soundtrack was recorded. In the past few decades it is common for actors to lip-sync musical numbers to voices that are pre-recorded. In “Les Misérables” the actors instead sang while on set with a piano accompaniment playing in their ears. The orchestral accompaniment was added in post-production.

29. São __ PAULO
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. São Paulo is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.

36. Coconut product? IDEA
“Coconut” is a slang term for “head”.

37. McEnroe rival BORG
Bjorn Borg reacted very calmly under pressure on the tennis court, earning him the nicknames “Ice Man” and “Ice Borg”, which is my personal favorite.

39. Tar Heel St. N CAR
Tar Heel is a nickname for a native of the state of North Carolina. As such, it is also the nickname of the athletic teams of the University of North Carolina. No one seems to know for sure where the term “Tar Heel” originated, but it is thought to be related to the historical importance of the tar, pitch and turpentine industries that thrived in the state due to the presence of vast forests of pine trees.

40. Improvisational piece TOCCATA
The name “toccata” comes from the Italian word “toccare” meaning “to touch”. I am not sure one can really describe a toccata as “improvisatory”, as it is very precisely composed. Rather it is a piece of music with an “improvisatory feel”, a piece that seems very spontaneous in form.

41. Gideon Fell creator John Dickson __ CARR
John Dickson Carr was an American author of crime fiction. Carr’s most famous work is “The Hollow Man” published in 1935, a so-called “locked room mystery” in which two murders are committed in apparently impossible circumstances. “The Hollow Man” was selected in 1981 as the best “locked room mystery” of all time.

42. Apt vehicle in a presidential motorcade? LINCOLN
Lincoln is a luxury brand in the Ford Motors portfolio. The Lincoln name originated as the Lincoln Motor Company in 1917 when it was founded by Wilfred Leland. The company was named for President Abraham Lincoln, someone for whom Leland actually got to vote for in 1864.

43. Furniture wood RED ELM
The Slippery Elm is a species of elm native to North America, and is also known as the Red Elm.

44. __ Rico PUERTO
Puerto Rico is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.

45. Dutch export TULIP
We usually associate the cultivation of tulips with the Netherlands, but they were first grown commercially in the Ottoman Empire. The name “tulip” ultimately derives from the Ottoman Turkish word “tulbend” which means “muslin, gauze”.

46. Covent Garden architect Jones INIGO
Inigo Jones was a British architect, a native of London. The most famous Jones’s design is probably London’s Covent Garden Square.

Covent Garden in London’s West End is associated with the Royal Opera House that is located in the area, and with the former fruit and vegetable market that used to sit right at the center of the district. The name “Covent Garden” comes from the fact that there once was a walled garden in the area owned by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of St. Peter in Westminster. The abbey rented out the walled garden calling it “Convent Garden”, and this morphed into the area’s current name.

50. Scaloppine meat VEAL
Scaloppine is an Italian word used for small, thin slices of meat.

51. Fútbol cheers OLES
“Fútbol” is the Spanish word for football, soccer.

56. “I didn’t mean to do that” key ESC
The escape key was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. __-minded CIVIC
6. Skating team PAIR
10. Strong desire, with “the” HOTS
14. Caught this morning FRESH
15. “Look __ when I’m talking to you!” AT ME
16. Auth. of many snarky blog comments ANON
17. “Scrubs” head nurse CARLA
18. Nurses SIPS
19. “__ 911!”: police series parody RENO
20. Hot sauce ingredient TABASCO PEPPER
23. Beret-sporting revolutionary CHE
25. Operation Overlord vessel, for short LST
26. Concerto standout SOLOIST
27. Vox populi PUBLIC OPINION
30. Monstrous OGRISH
31. Off __: sporadically AND ON
32. NBAer who tweeted “I’m about to retire” in 2011 SHAQ
33. Wrinkly toy PUG
34. Silver-tongued GLIB
38. No later than UNTIL
41. British blame game? CLUEDO
43. Genre artist of mid-18th-century Europe ROCOCO PAINTER
45. Men’s department fixture TIE RACK
47. Vessel near the desserts URN
48. Droop SAG
49. Stinger? (and what’s literally found in 20-, 27- and 43-Across) UNDERCOVER COP
52. Produced fiction? LIED
53. Say and mean AVER
54. Slapstick sidekick OLLIE
57. “House,” in Inuit IGLU
58. Suckling spot TEAT
59. Favors, with “toward” LEANS
60. Fanfare POMP
61. Woody’s son ARLO
62. “Tearin’ Up My Heart” band ‘N SYNC

Down
1. Compound once used as aerosol propellant: Abbr. CFC
2. NPR’s “Science Friday” host Flatow IRA
3. Anatomical column component VERTEBRA
4. Land in el agua ISLA
5. Dry French wine CHABLIS
6. Target in the end zone PASS TO
7. System ending? -ATIC
8. Eliciting awe IMPOSING
9. Plead in court, say RESPOND
10. Whaling weapon HARPOON GUN
11. Bowler’s target ONE-PIN
12. Strengthens TONES
13. Sound from the bull pen SNORT
21. “The Nazarene” author Sholem ASCH
22. Belgian prime minister Di Rupo ELIO
23. Coast Guard noncoms CPOS
24. Jackman of “Les Misérables” (2012) HUGH
28. Sloshed LIQUORED UP
29. São __ PAULO
33. Examine, as produce PICK OVER
35. “Game on!” LET’S PLAY!
36. Coconut product? IDEA
37. McEnroe rival BORG
39. Tar Heel St. N CAR
40. Improvisational piece TOCCATA
41. Gideon Fell creator John Dickson __ CARR
42. Apt vehicle in a presidential motorcade? LINCOLN
43. Furniture wood RED ELM
44. __ Rico PUERTO
45. Dutch export TULIP
46. Covent Garden architect Jones INIGO
50. Scaloppine meat VEAL
51. Fútbol cheers OLES
55. Resting place INN
56. “I didn’t mean to do that” key ESC


Return to top of page