LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Nov 12, Saturday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Brad Wilber
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 17m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
8. Pedestrian PROSAIC
Something that is prosaic is “like prose”. We use the term “prosaic” to mean “dry, arid, ordinary”, as in comparing prose to poetry … well, in a way …

15. New Jersey City across from Staten Island BAYONNE
The city of Bayonne, New Jersey is situated next to Jersey City and connects to Staten Island via the Bayonne Bridge that spans the tidal strait known as the Kill Van Kull.

16. Play that inspired Puccini LA TOSCA
“La Tosca” is a play written by Frenchman Victorien Sardou. We rarely get a chance to see the play these days, but the musical adaptation by Puccini called “Tosca” is one of the most frequently performed operas in the contemporary repertoire.

17. 19th-century literary trio BRONTES
The Brontë family lived in the lovely village of Haworth in Yorkshire, England. The three daughters all became recognised authors. The first to achieve success was Charlotte Brontë when she published “Jane Eyre”. Then came Emily with “Wuthering Heights” and Anne with “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”.

19. Pickett’s Charge soldier REB
Pickett’s Charge was an infantry assault that took place on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The charge was a futile manoeuvre ordered by Confederate General Robert E. Lee that resulted in a loss of 50% of the attacking rebel forces. The defeat turned the course of the battle, and the Battle of Gettysburg turned the course of the Civil War.

22. First family when D.C.’s earliest cherry trees were planted TAFTS
The famous cherry trees that line the Potomac River in Washington D.C. were a gift from the city of Tokyo, Japan. The first two of the trees were planted in a ceremony by First lady Helen Herron Taft and the wife of the Japanese ambassador. The US government reciprocated the gesture and presented the people of Japan with flowering dogwood trees.

William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929).

23. 1790s diplomatic powder keg XYZ AFFAIR
During the administration of President John Adams, there was a drawn-out exchange between three American and three French diplomats in an attempt to avoid war between the two countries. The French diplomats made demands that were considered insulting by the US. Documents released by the Adams administration denoted the three French diplomats as simply X, Y and Z. There was public outcry when the documents were released and the demands disclosed, and the whole incident became known as the XYZ Affair. The end result was an undeclared war between the US and France with American ships capturing 80 vessels that flew the French flag.

25. Chianti container CARAFE
Chianti is a red wine from Tuscany in Italy. Historically, Chianti was stored in a characteristically bulbous bottle wrapped in a straw basket, although these days the pragmatists have won the day and regular wine bottles tend to be used.

33. Miami Dolphins uniform color AQUA
The Miami Dolphins football team was founded in 1966 by politician Joe Robbie and the comedian Danny Thomas.

35. Garden blooms named for medieval music makers CANTERBURY BELLS
Canterbury Bells is the common name for the flowering plant Campanula medium. The term “campanula” means “small bell”, a reference to the shape of the flower. The common name is derived from the bells of Canterbury Cathedral in the county of Kent in England. Canterbury Cathedral is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England.

38. Ship with a prophetic prow ARGO
In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts set sail on the Argo from the city of Iolcos in search of the Golden Fleece. Jason’s vessel was called the “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

39. Mythical bowman EROS
As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male.

40. Motrin competitor ALEVE
Aleve is a brand name for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

Advil and Motrin are brand names for the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofin.

41. Oklahoma tribe OTO
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

44. Highly rated court figure JUDGE JUDY
Judge Judy of television fame is actually Judith Sheindlin, a retired family court judge from New York. Ms. Sheindlin’s contract was renewed in the middle of 2010, so that she now earns $45 million per year taping her show. That’s a tad more than she was earning on the “real” bench I think …

46. Claptrap HOKUM
“Hokum” was originally theater slang, meaning “melodramatic, exaggerated acting”. Now it just means empty talk.

“Claptrap” these days means nonsense talk. It was originally a term used on the stage meaning a trick to attract applause, hence the name “clap trap”.

49. Clay + straw + water + sunshine ADOBE
The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word “adobe” dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original “spelling” is dj-b-t, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

53. Type of mining used for near-the-surface minerals OPEN-PIT
Open-pit mining is the extraction of of rock and minerals from the earth by the removal from an open pit. This is compared with the alternative form of mining that requires tunnelling into the ground. A quarry is an example of an open-pit mine, one that produces common building materials.

60. “Act I: Daily Life” play OUR TOWN
“Our Town” is a play by Thornton Wilder, first performed in 1938. Wilder won a Pulitzer for the work. “Our Town” was actually banned by the Soviet authorities in East Berlin in 1946. Their reasoning was that “the drama was too depressing and could inspire a German suicide wave”.

Down
3. Initial warning to an intruder? MYOB
Mind Your Own Business!

4. Longtime Cub Santo RON
Ron Santo was a professional baseball player most noted for his appearances as third baseman for the Chicago Cubs. Santo suffered diabetes, something he managed to keep to himself for most of his playing career. After he retired, the disease necessitated the amputation of both his legs and complications from diabetes eventually contributed to his death.

7. Inventor hired by Westinghouse TESLA
Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

George Westinghouse was an American engineer and businessman, a rival to Thomas Edison in developing the first robust electrical grid for the country. Edison’s approach was to distribute electrical power using DC current, but Westinghouse opted to partner with Nikola Tesla and worked with AC current. AC technology won the day!

8. Golfer’s knickers PLUS FOURS
Plus fours are so called because the traditional design extends four inches in the leg longer than knickerbockers. You can also get hold of plus twos, plus sixes and plus eights should you be interested.

10. Canal malady OTITIS
Otitis is inflammation of the ear.

13. “Johnny Mnemonic” actor ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not …

“Johnny Mnemonic” is a 1995 film based on a short story of the same name by William Gibson. The movie stars Keanu Reeves in the title role.

21. Like an old saw OFT-QUOTED
A “saw” is an old adage, a saying.

23. Maker of the Vortex electric pencil sharpener X-ACTO
The X-Acto knife was invented in the thirties by a Polish immigrant, although his intention was to come up with a scalpel for surgeons. The knife couldn’t cut it as a scalpel though (pun intended!), because it was difficult to clean. The inventor’s brother-in law suggested it be used as a craft knife, and it is still around today.

25. Evergreen bean CACAO
Chocolate is made from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. The seeds are very bitter and the traditional drink made with the seed was called “xocolatl” by the Aztecs, meaning “bitter water”. That’s how our “chocolate” got its name.

27. Movie chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp RANGO
“Rango” is a 2011 animated feature film starring the voice of Johnny Depp. The anti-smoking organization known as Breathe California labelled “Rango” as a public health hazard because of 60 instances of smoking in the movie.

30. Volley SALVO
A salvo is a simultaneous discharge of guns. Ironically, “salvo” comes from the Latin “salve” meaning “be in good health!” Salvo was originally the name given to the firing of guns in the air as a sign of respect or greeting for an important visitor. Good health!

31. Ruhr valley city ESSEN
I knew a man back in Ireland, a German national from the city of Essen. He had very sad tales to tell from the days of WWII. As a young boy he lost his (socialist) parents during the Nazi purges early in the war. In 1943 he was living with his grandmother and still attending school when he was drafted into the army along with the rest of his class (at 14 years of age). His platoon leader was his school teacher who made a point of tutoring the boys in place of military drilling. One day he was on guard duty with his class/platoon at the dam above the city, and along come the Dam Busters with their bouncing bombs. The raid was successful (from the perspective of the Allies), but he described terrible famine faced by the people below the dam due to flooding of the farmland that surrounded the factories.

33. Repeals ABROGATES
Abrogate is such a lovely sounding word. It means to annul or do away with, especially by authority.

36. Senate Majority Leader after Frist REID
Democrat Harry Reid became the Senate Majority leader in 2007. Reid had a big day in the Senate from a Democratic perspective with the successful passage of the so-called ObamaCare Bill. Paradoxically, Harry Reid’s wife was in hospital at the time, having broken her back in a car accident. Reid took over as Senate Majority leader from Bill Frist who retired from politics in 2007.

Bill Frist was Senate Majority Leader for the Republicans from 2003 to 2007. Prior to becoming a politician, Frist was a heart and lung transplant surgeon. He has also been a pilot since he was 16-years-old, and has run seven marathons.

37. Tourist guidebook publisher BAEDEKER
Baedeker travel guides have been around since 1827. Baedeker guides were so popular in the early 20th century that “baedekering” came to mean travelling a country with the intent of writing a travel guide. During WWII the British used the term “Baedeker Blitz” for a series of air attacks on English towns that seemed to have no strategic importance. The suggestion was that the towns were targeted simply because they rated three stars in the Baedeker guide book.

43. Legacy producer SUBARU
Subaru is the automobile division of the Japanese company, Fuji Heavy Industries. The name “Subaru” is the Japanese name of the Pleiades star cluster. As a result, the Subaru logo is also a cluster of stars.

44. Coup group JUNTA
A junta is a group of military officers that rule a country, usually after having seized power forcibly. “Junta” is a Spanish word meaning “council”.

45. Game with five-letter words JOTTO
Jotto is a word guessing game for two players. I used to play a game with colored pegs as a kid that works on the same principle, but for the life of me I cannot remember the name …

46. Traditional dance HORA
The hora (also “horah”) is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. The hora was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional Israeli folk songs. The dance is a regular sight at Jewish weddings.

47. Australian export OPAL
97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.

48. Foreign Legion cap KEPI
The kepi is that circular cap with a visor, worn in particular by the French military.

The French Foreign Legion is a military wing of the French Army that is noted for accepting foreign nationals in its ranks. The Legion is open to French recruits, but they only make up about a quarter of the fighting force. Having said that, the majority of the officers are Frenchman.

51. Bamboozle SNOW
It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.

52. School in the Quaker Consortium PENN
The Quaker Consortium is an arrangement between four colleges in the Philadelphia area that allows their students to take courses in any of the participating schools and still get academic credit. The schools in the consortium are:

– Bryn Mawr
– Haverford
– Swarthmore
– The University of Pennsylvania

The name “Quaker” is a nod to the influence of Quakers in the founding of the participating schools.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cup holder site ARMREST
8. Pedestrian PROSAIC
15. New Jersey City across from Staten Island BAYONNE
16. Play that inspired Puccini LA TOSCA
17. 19th-century literary trio BRONTES
18. Not 26-Down UNIFIED
19. Pickett’s Charge soldier REB
20. Some moves, briefly RELOS
22. First family when D.C.’s earliest cherry trees were planted TAFTS
23. 1790s diplomatic powder keg XYZ AFFAIR
25. Chianti container CARAFE
28. Takes off the shoulder, perhaps TOWS
29. La Paz-to-Montevideo dir. SSE
32. Expeditiously APACE
33. Miami Dolphins uniform color AQUA
34. Fluff pieces? BOAS
35. Garden blooms named for medieval music makers CANTERBURY BELLS
38. Ship with a prophetic prow ARGO
39. Mythical bowman EROS
40. Motrin competitor ALEVE
41. Oklahoma tribe OTO
42. Barrel of laughs RIOT
43. Flavor, in a way SEASON
44. Highly rated court figure JUDGE JUDY
46. Claptrap HOKUM
49. Clay + straw + water + sunshine ADOBE
50. Recipe meas. TSP
53. Type of mining used for near-the-surface minerals OPEN-PIT
55. Sample tray sign TAKE ONE!
57. Ecstasy RAPTURE
58. Walk all over TREAD ON
59. What con men may assume ALIASES
60. “Act I: Daily Life” play OUR TOWN

Down
1. 50-Across, e.g. ABBR
2. Infrequent RARE
3. Initial warning to an intruder? MYOB
4. Longtime Cub Santo RON
5. Contestant’s payment ENTRY FEE
6. Reaction to a tickle, maybe SNEEZE
7. Inventor hired by Westinghouse TESLA
8. Golfer’s knickers PLUS FOURS
9. Operated RAN
10. Canal malady OTITIS
11. To date SO FAR
12. “Never gonna happen!” AS IF
13. “Johnny Mnemonic” actor ICE-T
14. Heels CADS
21. Like an old saw OFT-QUOTED
23. Maker of the Vortex electric pencil sharpener X-ACTO
24. Off AWAY
25. Evergreen bean CACAO
26. Like exes APART
27. Movie chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp RANGO
29. Clog bottoms SOLES
30. Volley SALVO
31. Ruhr valley city ESSEN
33. Repeals ABROGATES
34. Anchor, as a nautical rope BELAY
36. Senate Majority Leader after Frist REID
37. Tourist guidebook publisher BAEDEKER
42. Clamor RUMPUS
43. Legacy producer SUBARU
44. Coup group JUNTA
45. Game with five-letter words JOTTO
46. Traditional dance HORA
47. Australian export OPAL
48. Foreign Legion cap KEPI
50. Clamor TO-DO
51. Bamboozle SNOW
52. School in the Quaker Consortium PENN
54. Haranguer’s fuel IRE
56. Absorb, as costs EAT

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LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 12, Friday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
THEME: Insert Nine in Rome … each theme answer today is a well known term with IX (the Roman numeral for “nine”) inserted:

17A. Impish chutzpah? P(IX)IE CRUST (pie crust)
24A. Royal handyman? F(IX)IT FOR A KING (fit for a king)
46A. Betty Crocker’s empire? M(IX)ING DYNASTY (Ming dynasty)
56A. Watergate, notably? N(IX)ON ISSUE (non-issue)

COMPLETION TIME: 10m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
10. Bottle in a crib? BABA
“Baba” is slang for a baby’s bottle.

15. Aruba, for one ISLE
Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands. The ABC Islands is the nickname given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

16. Muslim prayer leader IMAM
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

17. Impish chutzpah? P(IX)IE CRUST
Our word “chutzpah” meaning “nerve, gall, impudence” is derived from the Yiddish “khutspe”, which has the same meaning.

19. Enemy of un ratón GATO
In Spanish, a cat (gato) is the enemy of a mouse (un ratón).

21. Capital of Spain? ESS
The capital letter of the word “Spain” is S (ess).

22. Pennsylvania site of the Crayola Factory EASTON
The Lehigh Valley metropolitan area in Pennsylvania is primarily composed of the three cities, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.

In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

28. ’90s trade pact NAFTA
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994 it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

33. Airport near Forest Hills, N.Y. LGA
Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. He demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” in 1947.

36. __ de gallo: Mexican salsa PICO
Pico de gallo is a Mexican condiment made from tomato, onion and chili peppers. “Pico de gallo” is Spanish for “beak of rooster”. Apparently this name was given as eating of the condiment with the thumb and forefinger resembled the pecking of a rooster.

39. Trash can scavenger COON
The raccoon is native to North America. In captivity, raccoons can live to over 20 years of age, but in the wild they only live two or three years. The main causes for the shorter lifespan are hunting and road traffic.

42. Watson of the PGA BUBBA
Bubba Watson is a golfer on the PGA Tour from Bagdad, Florida. Watson is known as a big driver of the ball. He can hit a golf ball over 350 yards.

45. Electron circuit ORBIT
Excitation of an atom occurs when the atom absorbs energy and at least one of its electrons moves out of its resting orbit into a higher orbit. When the electron returns to it lowest orbit it may do so by emitting the excess energy in the form of a photon, that is by emitting a characteristic color of light. If sufficient energy is used to excite the atom, the electron may break out of orbit completely, in which case the atom becomes an ion.

46. Betty Crocker’s empire? M(IX)ING DYNASTY
The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. Late in the Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

Betty Crocker was introduced by the Washburn Crosby Company (now part of General Mills) in 1921. “Crocker” was chosen in honor of William Crocker who was one of the company’s directors. “Betty” was selected simply because it was considered a bright, all-American name. Betty’s original job was to sign her name on correspondence arising out of consumer product questions, but soon she evolved into a very successful brand name.

50. Its components are often bought separately STEREO
Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

55. Zola title heroine NANA
“Nana” is a novel by the French author Émile Zola. It is the ninth in a series of twenty books collectively given the title “Les Rougon-Macquart”. The series follows the life of a fictional family during the Second French Empire in the second half of the 19th century.

56. Watergate, notably? N(IX)ON ISSUE
The Watergate scandal is so named because it involved a break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The Watergate
complex is made up of five units, three of which are apartment buildings, one an office building, and one a hotel-office building (which housed the DNC headquarters).

60. Posting place BLOG
“Blog” is a melding of the words “Web” and “log”. This blog is a “log” of all the New York Times Crosswords published, and I post them on the “Web”.

61. Dressage pace TROT
The equestrian sport of dressage involves demonstration of how well as horse responds to training. “Dressage” is a French word meaning “training”.

64. Spanish medals or metals OROS
“Oro” is Spanish for “gold”.

Down
1. Threats to Indiana Jones ASPS
Apparently Sean Connery’s version of James Bond was a major inspiration for the Indiana Jones character created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. And that’s why Connery was invited to play Indiana’s father in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.

2. Work hard MOIL
“To moil” is to toil or to slave.

3. Where a smash is welcome BOX OFFICE
The term “box office” may date back to Shakespearean times. In those days long past, patrons would deposit fees for seeing theater performances in boxes. The full boxes would be collected and placed in an office called, imaginatively enough, the “box office”.

4. Island chain? 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.

7. Sch. with a pelican on its official seal LSU
LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.

8. Singer Green et al. ALS
Al Green is a gospel and soul music singer. Green was born in Arkansas, where he started out as a gospel singer and moved into R&B. In 1974, he was assaulted by a girlfriend who burned him badly on much of his body by pouring boiling grits over him (and then she committed suicide). The incident changed Green’s life and he turned to the church, becoming a pastor in Memphis in 1976. He continued to record music, but never really enjoyed the same success that he had in the early seventies with hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still In Love With You”.

10. Idaho State’s conference BIG SKY
The Big Sky Conference is a college athletic conference that was founded in 1963 and is made up of schools from the western US.

11. Valuable violin AMATI
The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo’s son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

18. CBS series with regional spinoffs CSI
I’m told that the TV show “CSI” gets a lot of razzing by law enforcement professionals for its unrealistic portrayal of the procedures and science of criminal investigation. I don’t care though, as I just think it’s fun television. The original “CSI” set in Las Vegas seems to have “gone off the boil”, but the addition of Sela Ward to the cast of “CSI: NY” has really, really raised the level of the sister show centered around New York City.

23. 50-and-up group AARP
AARP is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

26. Electromagnetic induction discoverer FARADAY
Michael Faraday was a scientist from England who discovered electromagnetic induction among other things. It was Faraday who first observed that a conductor carrying an electric current has an associated magnetic field. Amazingly, the sum total of Faraday’s formal education was little more than a seven-year apprenticeship as a bookbinder and bookseller.

34. Desert that borders the Altai Mountains GOBI
The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called “Green Wall of China”.

The Altai Mountains are a range in Asia, located where the countries of Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan meet. “Altai” is Turkic for “Golden Mountain”.

38. Lover of Geraint ENID
“Idylls of the King” is a cycle of twelve poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that retells the tale of King Arthur. One of the “idylls” is the story of Geraint and Enid. By the way, Tennyson’s Enid gave her name to the city of Enid, Oklahoma.

43. Vegas hotel, with “the” MIRAGE
When the Mirage Hotel was opened in Las Vegas in 1989 it was the most expensive hotel built in history, costing $630 million. The building has distinctive gold windows that were colored using real gold dust.

46. “Hardball” network MSNBC
“Hardball with Chris Matthews” is a nightly talk-show about politics, airing on MSNBC. The show’s host, Chris Matthews, is a colorful character. Matthews served with the Peace Corps from 1968 to 1970, in Swaziland in Africa. He has been back to Africa since and found himself hospitalized in 2002, suffering from malaria that he picked up on one of his trips.

47. 1895-’96 __-Ethiopian War ITALO
The first Italo-Ethiopian War was fought between 1895 and 1896. Ethiopia wasn’t fighting alone as Russia and France provided material support against Italy. The end result was a victory for Ethiopia, a unique outcome. Never before had an African nation successfully resisted the colonial onslaught of a European nation.

48. It might be in the spotlight XENON
Metal halide lamps that are called xenons don’t actually rely on the incorporated xenon gas to generate light. The xenon gas is added so that the lamp comes on “instantly”. Without the xenon, the lamp would start up rather like a street lamp, flickering and sputtering for a while before staying alight.

49. Curry of “Today” ANN
The television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …

53. “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” band, with “The” CURE
The Cure is an English rock band founded in 1976 and still going strong today, although not with the original line up. The only top ten hit the Cure had in the US is “Love Song”, released in 1989.

57. Damaged, as mdse. IRR
I’ve never thought of damaged merchandise as irregular (irr.) …

58. Pencil game loser XOO
When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for tic-tac-toe.

59. Cat lead-in SNO
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All “snowcats” are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four, independently-mounted tracks.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Stroll AMBLE
6. To-do FLAP
10. Bottle in a crib? BABA
14. Cry near the sty SOOEY
15. Aruba, for one ISLE
16. Muslim prayer leader IMAM
17. Impish chutzpah? P(IX)IE CRUST
19. Enemy of un ratón GATO
20. __-pitch SLO
21. Capital of Spain? ESS
22. Pennsylvania site of the Crayola Factory EASTON
24. Royal handyman? F(IX)IT FOR A KING
28. ’90s trade pact NAFTA
30. Agreeable SAVORY
31. Geometry staple AXIOM
32. Sign on for another hitch REUP
33. Airport near Forest Hills, N.Y. LGA
36. __ de gallo: Mexican salsa PICO
37. Core HEART
39. Trash can scavenger COON
40. Legal ending -ESE
41. Wedding ring, e.g. BAND
42. Watson of the PGA BUBBA
43. Fads MANIAS
45. Electron circuit ORBIT
46. Betty Crocker’s empire? M(IX)ING DYNASTY
50. Its components are often bought separately STEREO
51. Come-__: teasers ONS
52. “Gross!” ICK
55. Zola title heroine NANA
56. Watergate, notably? N(IX)ON ISSUE
60. Posting place BLOG
61. Dressage pace TROT
62. Submission ENTRY
63. Edible dessert container CONE
64. Spanish medals or metals OROS
65. Valentine’s Day gift ROSES

Down
1. Threats to Indiana Jones ASPS
2. Work hard MOIL
3. Where a smash is welcome BOX OFFICE
4. Island chain? LEI
5. Test for pupils? EYE EXAM
6. Baby book entries FIRSTS
7. Sch. with a pelican on its official seal LSU
8. Singer Green et al. ALS
9. Fizzle PETER OUT
10. Idaho State’s conference BIG SKY
11. Valuable violin AMATI
12. A racer may pass it BATON
13. Encircled by AMONG
18. CBS series with regional spinoffs CSI
23. 50-and-up group AARP
25. “Am __ late?” I TOO
26. Electromagnetic induction discoverer FARADAY
27. “Your turn to talk” OVER
28. It’s hidden by a ponytail NAPE
29. Turning point AXIS
33. Influential Washington group LOBBYISTS
34. Desert that borders the Altai Mountains GOBI
35. Future doc’s subj. ANAT
37. Keep HANG ONTO
38. Lover of Geraint ENID
39. Short and not so sweet CURT
41. Scourge BANE
42. More domineering BOSSIER
43. Vegas hotel, with “the” MIRAGE
44. Snobs SNOOTS
46. “Hardball” network MSNBC
47. 1895-’96 __-Ethiopian War ITALO
48. It might be in the spotlight XENON
49. Curry of “Today” ANN
53. “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” band, with “The” CURE
54. Ring jinglers KEYS
57. Damaged, as mdse. IRR
58. Pencil game loser XOO
59. Cat lead-in SNO

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