LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Sep 12, Saturday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 17m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Heavy D, e.g. RAPPER
Heavy D was the stage name of singer Dwight Myers, a Jamaican-born American rap artist. Heavy D died in 2011 from a pulmonary embolism, at just 44 years of age. He had just taken a flight from Europe back to the US and developed deep vein thrombosis in one of his legs. Part of the clot broke off and traveled to his lung where it killed him. My wife developed deep vein thrombosis from prolonged sitting on a plane some years ago. She is very careful to keep moving around now when she flies, and for good reason …

7. Herb related to oregano MARJORAM
Marjoram is a fragrant herb that is native to the Mediterranean area. The related species of oregano is sometimes known as wild marjoram.

15. 1960s-’70s San Francisco mayor ALIOTO
Joseph Alioto was the 36th mayor of San Francisco, serving from 1968 to 1976.

16. Natural soother ALOE VERA
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

17. Suit portmanteau HAZMAT
Dangerous goods are commonly referred to as hazardous materials, or HazMat. People working with dangerous goods might wear a HazMat suit.

19. French naturalism pioneer ZOLA
The most famous work of French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to then French president Félix Faure. It was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down, choosing to let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

Naturalism was a literary movement in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century. Naturalism was inspired by Darwin’s theory of evolution and suggested that environment and heredity shaped the human character. This realism was starkly in contrast with the works of the romantics and surrealists.

24. Philosophy that influenced Buddhism TANTRA
Tantrism (sometimes “Tantra”) is a relatively recent class of religious ritual and meditation that has its roots in 5th century India. The tantras are sometimes considered as advanced teachings that extend the basic tenets of several Indian religions including Buddhism and Hinduism.

27. Rocket scientist’s calculation ESCAPE VELOCITY
When a space rocket reaches the speed known as escape velocity, it has sufficient energy to break free of the Earth’s gravity. In other words, once at escape velocity the engines can be shut down and the rocket will continue into space using momentum.

32. Acre’s land: Abbr. ISR
Acre is a port city in northern Israel, on Haifa Bay.

34. 2012 Angels rookie standout Mike TROUT
Mike Trout plays baseball for the Los Angeles Angels. Trout’s nickname is the “Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

36. Purple Label designer LAUREN
Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer, born Ralph Liftshitz in the Bronx, New York. Lauren started off working as a salesman for Brooks Brothers after spending two years in the US Army. He then opened a necktie store, featuring his own tie designs. The ties were sold under the name “Polo”, which became Lauren’s most famous brand. Other Lauren brands are Purple Label and Black Label.

38. React when the brass walks in SNAP TO
Snap to attention …

39. Janitor’s supply LYSOL
The disinfectant called Lysol takes its name from the words “lysosome” and “solvent”. Lysosomes are structures found within cells that have the job of breaking up waste material and cellular debris.

40. Invention credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori circa 1700 PIANO
Bartolomeo Cristofori was a maker of musical instruments from Italy. In the very early 1700s, Cristofori invented two keyboard instruments, the spinettone and the oval spinet, both variants of the harpsichord. However, it was Cristofori’s third invention which was most enduring, what we now call the piano. His new instrument gave the player the ability to influence the loudness of the note by varying the pressure applied to the key. An early name for the piano was “pianoforte” which combines the Italian words “piano” and “forte” meaning “quiet” and “loud”.

44. 1979 Einstein Medal recipient STEPHEN HAWKING
Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist from Oxford, England. Hawking owes much of his fame in the world of popular science to his incredibly successful book called “A Brief History of Time”. “A Brief History of Time” has sold over 10 million copies and was on London’s “Sunday Times” bestseller list for over four years. Hawking does a wonderful job of explaining many aspects of cosmology without losing the average reader. There is only one equation in the whole book, and that equation is of course is “E = mc2”.

48. 10th-century Russian Orthodox saint OLGA
St. Olga of Kiev was actually a ruler of the Medieval state of Rus (located in Eastern Europe) from 945 – 963 AD. By all accounts, Olga was a brutal woman in the early days of her reign. She came to power after her husband’s assassination and ruled as regent, acting for their son. She carried out terrible acts of vengeance on those responsible for her husband’s death. Later in her rule, she converted to Christianity. She was eventually proclaimed a saint for her efforts to spread the Christian religion in Rus.

49. Modern code letters HTML
HTML is HyperText Markup Language, the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

54. Big name in music compilations K-TEL
K-Tel was founded in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by one Philip Kives. K-Tel’s recipe for success was the sale of inexpensive goods with a simple sales pitch and mail-order distribution.

56. Principal McGee portrayer in the “Grease” films EVE ARDEN
Eve Arden’s most famous role early in her career was playing the high school teacher in the 1950’s radio and television show “Our Miss Brooks”. Years later she played the Principal of Rydell High School in the movies “Grease” (a great film!) and “Grease 2” (a terrible film!).

58. Five-time all-star catcher Santiago BENITO
Benito Santiago is a former Major League Baseball catcher from Puerto Rico.

62. Put in a row ALINED
“Alined” is an archaic variant of “aligned”.

63. Crowd-control device SAWHORSE
Sawhorses are used to support boards for sawing. Sawhorses are also used as barricades.

64. Ska kin REGGAE
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

Down
3. Place for toppings PIZZA CRUST
Pizza was invented in Naples where it has a long tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

4. City mentioned in the 1964 hit “G.T.O.” POMONA
The city of Pomona, California is mentioned in the song “G.T.O.”, the debut recording for the surf rock group from the sixties known as Ronny & the Daytonas.

5. Citation ender, perhaps ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

7. “Battle Cry” squad members MARINES
“Battle Cry” is a novel by Leon Uris, first published in 1953. The story follows men in the US Marines during WWII. “Battle Cry” is somewhat biographical as Uris served with the 6th Marine Regiment during the war. The book was adapted into a 1955 movie of the same name for which Uris wrote the screenplay.

9. Guitarist Ángel or Pepe ROMERO
The Romeros are a classical and flamenco guitar quartet. The group was founded and led by Celedonio Romero in 1960, and originally included three of his sons: Ángel, Celin and Pepe.

10. Actress famous for “The Rachel” hair style, familiarly JEN
Jennifer Aniston won a 2002 Emmy for playing Rachel on the great sitcom “Friends”. Jennifer’s parents are both actors, and her godfather is the actor Telly Savalas.

12. Western city with an annual balloon race RENO
Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous “Reno Arch”, a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

13. NEA part ARTS
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark.

22. 1947 Tony-winning composer for “Street Scene” WEILL
Kurt Weill was a German composer, noted for his work with Bertolt Brecht. The most famous work by Weill and Brecht is “The Threepenny Opera”, which includes the celebrated ballad “Mack the Knife”. Weill was Jewish and had to flee Nazi Germany and eventually settled in the US.

“Street Scene” is a Broadway musical by Kurt Weill and Langston Hughes. “Street Scene” was written as a fusion of European traditional opera and American musical theater, so it is often referred to as an “American opera”.

23. Lamb treats ESSAYS
The “Essays of Elia” began appearing in “London Magazine” in 1820, and were immediate hits with the public. The author was Charles Lamb, and Elia was actually a clerk and one of Lamb’s co-workers. The most famous of the essays in the collection are probably “Dream-Children” and “Old China”.

25. Colorado skaters, in sports reports AVS
The Colorado Avalanche is a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche were founded in Quebec in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques, and moved to Denver in 1995.

28. Impossible Missions Force leader Jim PHELPS
We all remember Jim Phelps (played by Peter Graves), the leader of the Impossible Missions Force team in the great television series ”Mission Impossible”. However, in season one the team was led by a Dan Briggs (played by Steven Hill). Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin wrote the very, very recognizable theme music for the show (and indeed the themes for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E”, “Mannix” and “Starsky and Hutch” among others).

29. After-work plan, 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, contributing to the IRA was pretty illegal (where IRA stands for the outlawed Irish Republican Army!).

31. Chinese author Lin __ YUTANG
Lin Yutang was a Chinese writer who lived much of his life in the US. Among other accomplishments, Yutang is noted for his very popular translations of classic Chinese texts into English.

35. Kingdom called the Friendly Islands TONGA
The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles.

42. Hawaiian tuna AHI
Yellowfin tuna is usually marketed as “ahi”, its Hawaiian name. It’s one big fish, often weighing over 300 pounds.

45. Shot from the top? HEADER
A header is a pass or shot at goal in soccer made by heading the ball, hitting it with the head.

46. Chekov portrayer on “Star Trek” KOENIG
Walter Koenig played Pavel Chekov in the original “Star Trek” series. Mr Chekov was a Russian character, but Koenig himself was born in Chicago, the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania.

49. Name on a collectible toy truck HESS
The Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

50. “Rescue Me” rating TV-MA
“Rescue Me” is a television drama made for the FX Network. Star of the show is Denis Leary who plays a veteran New York City firefighter.

52. Wood strip LATH
The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall.

57. Density symbol, in physics RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Heavy D, e.g. RAPPER
7. Herb related to oregano MARJORAM
15. 1960s-’70s San Francisco mayor ALIOTO
16. Natural soother ALOE VERA
17. Suit portmanteau HAZMAT
18. Scraps REMNANTS
19. French naturalism pioneer ZOLA
20. Fury IRE
21. Without hope LOST
22. Withdraw WEAN
24. Philosophy that influenced Buddhism TANTRA
27. Rocket scientist’s calculation ESCAPE VELOCITY
32. Acre’s land: Abbr. ISR
33. Burst of bad temper HISSY
34. 2012 Angels rookie standout Mike TROUT
36. Purple Label designer LAUREN
38. React when the brass walks in SNAP TO
39. Janitor’s supply LYSOL
40. Invention credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori circa 1700 PIANO
43. Block BAN
44. 1979 Einstein Medal recipient STEPHEN HAWKING
47. Infected SEPTIC
48. 10th-century Russian Orthodox saint OLGA
49. Modern code letters HTML
53. Make fun of APE
54. Big name in music compilations K-TEL
56. Principal McGee portrayer in the “Grease” films EVE ARDEN
58. Five-time all-star catcher Santiago BENITO
61. Suppresses SMOTHERS
62. Put in a row ALINED
63. Crowd-control device SAWHORSE
64. Ska kin REGGAE

Down
1. Stadium backing RAH
2. As per A LA
3. Place for toppings PIZZA CRUST
4. City mentioned in the 1964 hit “G.T.O.” POMONA
5. Citation ender, perhaps ET AL
6. Gradually substitute ROTATE IN
7. “Battle Cry” squad members MARINES
8. With awareness ALERTLY
9. Guitarist Ángel or Pepe ROMERO
10. Actress famous for “The Rachel” hair style, familiarly JEN
11. Cricket infield shape OVAL
12. Western city with an annual balloon race RENO
13. NEA part ARTS
14. Spar MAST
22. 1947 Tony-winning composer for “Street Scene” WEILL
23. Lamb treats ESSAYS
25. Colorado skaters, in sports reports AVS
26. Ad directive ACT NOW
28. Impossible Missions Force leader Jim PHELPS
29. After-work plan, for short IRA
30. What stars get TOP BILLING
31. Chinese author Lin __ YUTANG
35. Kingdom called the Friendly Islands TONGA
37. Sturgeon yield ROE
38. Theater feature SNACK BAR
40. 3-Down topping PEPPERS
41. Strong INTENSE
42. Hawaiian tuna AHI
45. Shot from the top? HEADER
46. Chekov portrayer on “Star Trek” KOENIG
49. Name on a collectible toy truck HESS
50. “Rescue Me” rating TV-MA
51. “Got milk?” MEOW
52. Wood strip LATH
55. Marketing leader? TELE-
57. Density symbol, in physics RHO
59. Party serving TEA
60. Dedicated work ODE

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