LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Jul 13, Tuesday


CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: Starts to Crack … today’s themed answers start with something that might be cracked:

36A. What the starts of 18- and 57-Across and 3- and 28-Down can be : CRACKED

18A. Best kind of wrinkles to have, arguably : SMILE LINES
57A. Port in a storm : SAFE HARBOR
3D. Kid : JOKE AROUND
28D. Social agency employee : CASEWORKER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. West African amulet : JUJU
“Juju” is a term used by Europeans in days gone by to describe West African religions. Today we use the term for things such as amulets and spells associated with those religions and also witchcraft.

5. Repelled a mugger, in a way : MACED
Mace is actually a brand name, originally introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray.

15. Garlic mayonnaise : AIOLI
To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, the “home” of aioli, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

17. Feint on the ice : DEKE
A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. “Deke” is a colloquial shortening of the word “decoy”.

21. Either “Fargo” director : COEN
I think it’s great to see two brothers working together and being so successful. Joel and Ethan Coen are two movie producers and directors who both live in New York City. The Coen brothers do love the movie-making business and they even married industry “insiders”. Ethan’s wife is film editor Tricia Cooke, and Joel is married to one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Frances McDormand.

“Fargo” is one of my favorite films of all time, and stars perhaps my favorite actress, Frances McDormand. “Fargo” was directed by the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. Frances McDormand is Joel’s wife.

25. Kilt wearer : SCOT
The lovely Scottish garment called a kilt is pleated, but only at the rear.

26. Flag maker Betsy : ROSS
Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first stars and stripes.

31. Sparkly stone : GEODE
A geode is a rock in which there is a cavity lined or filled with crystal formations.

35. Tempe sch. : ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

39. Caribbean music : SKA
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.

45. Capital on the Danube : BUDAPEST
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Today’s city was formed with the merging of three cities on the banks of the Danube river in 1873: Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, and Pest on the east bank.

49. Home of the NHL’s Blackhawks, familiarly : CHI-TOWN
The Chicago Blackhawks are one of six teams still playing in the NHL who are founding members of the league. The other five teams are the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

55. Elvis __ Presley : ARON
Elvis Aron Presley was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So though born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.

56. Letter after pi : RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”.

60. Japanese golfer Aoki : ISAO
Isao Aoki is one of Japan’s greatest golfers, now playing on the senior circuit. Aoki’s best finish in a major tournament was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 US Open.

62. Soccer immortal : PELE
Pelé is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name Pelé for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads, and is a national treasure in his native Brazil.

64. Blunted swords : EPEES
The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

65. Mars : Rome : : __ : Greece : ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of blood-lust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos, Deimos and Eros. The Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

Down
1. Blasé : JADED
“Blasé”, meaning “nonchalant, bored from overindulgence” comes from the French verb “blaser”, meaning “to satiate”.

2. Where embryos develop : UTERI
The Latin “uterus” translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word was derived from the Greek “hystera” also meaning womb, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

4. Half of deux : UNE
In French, half of two (deux) is one (un, une).

9. Drink for the calorie-conscious : DIET COKE
Diet Coke is a sugar-free version of Coca Cola that was introduced back in 1982. If you drink Diet Coke around the world, you’ll receive a slightly different drink depending on where you are. Various artificial sweeteners are banned as health risks in various countries, so Coke varies its formulation to comply with local laws.

10. Pricey brand of bubbly : CRISTAL
Cristal Champagne is a brand name produced by Louis Roederer. It is called “Cristal” as it is shipped in clear bottles. The champagne was first produced in 1876 at the request of Alexander II of Russia. As the tsar feared assassination, he ordered that wine be produced in clear bottles so that he could be assured there was no bomb inside. The first bottles were made of lead crystal, and gave the wine its name.

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

21. Trig function : COSEC
The cosecant (cosec, for short) is the ratio of the hypotenuse of a triangle to its opposite side, and is the reciprocal of the sine, as we all remember from school …

25. Deserving of a standing O : SOCKO
“Socko” is a slang term meaning “impressive”.

27. “Be quiet,” in music : TACET
“Tacet” is a musical direction meaning “be silent”. It is typically written on a score to instruct a particular voice or instrument to remain silent for a whole movement. “Tacet” is Latin for “it is silent”.

29. “My Way” lyricist Paul : ANKA
Canadian-born Paul Anka’s big hit was in 1957, the song entitled “Diana”. Anka was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962 called “Lonely Boy”.

The song “My Way” has lyrics that were written by Paul Anka in 1969, but the tune itself was composed two years earlier by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. The song had been released with completely different lyrics in France as “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”). When Anka heard the song on television in Paris he sought out and obtained the rights to use it himself, for free. Supposedly, “Comme d’habitude” has been recorded in more languages, by more artists, than any other song in the contemporary repertoire.

30. Laser emission : BEAM
The term “laser” comes from an acronym, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely LOSER …

32. Son of Isaac and Rebekah : ESAU
Esau, was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described, “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

37. 1973 landmark court decision : ROE V WADE
Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

38. “Mack the Knife” singer Bobby : DARIN
The singer Bobby Darin had a short but eventful life. Darin started in show business as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He then made it big as a performer with huge hits like “Splish Splash”, “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea”. He was active politically as a supporter of Robert Kennedy, and was present in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was assassinated. Soon after, Darin found out that the people he thought were his parents, were in fact his grandparents. The woman he knew as his older sister was in fact his mother. Darin died following a heart operation at only 37 years old.

“Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” is the original name of the song “Mack the Knife”, taken from “The Threepenny Opera”. “The Threepenny Opera” (“Die Dreigroschenoper”) is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that first performed in Berlin in 1928, an adaptation of “The Beggar’s Opera” written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. “Mack the Knife” was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. He had a hit with it in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version of the song. I love it …

41. Spanish Main ship : GALLEON
When one thinks of the word “main” in the context of the sea, the Spanish Main usually comes to mind. Indeed, the use of the more general term “main”, meaning the sea, originates from the more specific “Spanish Main”. “Spanish Main” originally referred to land and not water, as it was the name given to the mainland coast around the Caribbean Sea in the days of Spanish domination of the region.

46. “The House at __ Corner” : POOH
“The House at Pooh Corner” is the second volume of stories written by A. A. Milne about the wonderful Winnie-the-Pooh. “The House at Pooh Corner” marks the first time we meet the bouncy character called Tigger.

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author, best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

49. “Time in a Bottle” singer Jim : CROCE
Jim Croce’s most successful songs were “Bad. Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle”. Like so many great singers it seems, Croce died in a plane crash. He was killed along with five others just after takeoff when the small commercial plane in which he was travelling hit a tree, possibly because the pilot had a heart attack. Croce died just a few days before the release of his latest album, “I Got a Name”.

53. Shock, as a perp : TASE
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym TASER stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”. Interesting, eh?

55. “__ Baby”: “Hair” song : ABIE
The full name of the famed stage show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. I’ve never had the chance to see “Hair” in a live production, but it’s on “the bucket list” …

59. Massage locale : SPA
The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. West African amulet : JUJU
5. Repelled a mugger, in a way : MACED
10. Study at the last minute : CRAM
14. Loads (of) : A TON
15. Garlic mayonnaise : AIOLI
16. Principle governing play, as in golf : RULE
17. Feint on the ice : DEKE
18. Best kind of wrinkles to have, arguably : SMILE LINES
20. Afore : ERE
21. Either “Fargo” director : COEN
22. Prepares, as salad : TOSSES
23. Infield shape : DIAMOND
25. Kilt wearer : SCOT
26. Flag maker Betsy : ROSS
27. Skipped the subway and bus : TOOK A CAB
31. Sparkly stone : GEODE
33. Prepare for vacation : PACK
34. Olympic pool division : LANE
35. Tempe sch. : ASU
36. What the starts of 18- and 57-Across and 3- and 28-Down can be : CRACKED
39. Caribbean music : SKA
40. Telephoned : RANG
42. Three-part cookie : OREO
43. First-string squad : A-TEAM
45. Capital on the Danube : BUDAPEST
47. Cornfield bird : CROW
48. Passion : LOVE
49. Home of the NHL’s Blackhawks, familiarly : CHI-TOWN
52. Hitting bottom, spirits-wise : AT A LOW
55. Elvis __ Presley : ARON
56. Letter after pi : RHO
57. Port in a storm : SAFE HARBOR
59. Lose traction : SKID
60. Japanese golfer Aoki : ISAO
61. Melt glaze from, as a windshield : DE-ICE
62. Soccer immortal : PELE
63. Bit of a florist’s greenery : FERN
64. Blunted swords : EPEES
65. Mars : Rome : : __ : Greece : ARES

Down
1. Blasé : JADED
2. Where embryos develop : UTERI
3. Kid : JOKE AROUND
4. Half of deux : UNE
5. Bricks-and-mortar workers : MASONS
6. Used a scope : AIMED
7. Piggy bank addition : COIN
8. Letter-shaped annex : ELL
9. Drink for the calorie-conscious : DIET COKE
10. Pricey brand of bubbly : CRISTAL
11. Seeks an office : RUNS
12. Away from the breeze : ALEE
13. Untidy heap : MESS
19. “Over there!” : LOOK!
21. Trig function : COSEC
24. Chic : MOD
25. Deserving of a standing O : SOCKO
27. “Be quiet,” in music : TACET
28. Social agency employee : CASEWORKER
29. “My Way” lyricist Paul : ANKA
30. Laser emission : BEAM
31. Clothing : GARB
32. Son of Isaac and Rebekah : ESAU
33. Break down grammatically : PARSE
37. 1973 landmark court decision : ROE V WADE
38. “Mack the Knife” singer Bobby : DARIN
41. Spanish Main ship : GALLEON
44. Playground squealer : TOT
46. “The House at __ Corner” : POOH
47. Weekly allowance earners : CHORES
49. “Time in a Bottle” singer Jim : CROCE
50. Vague time period : WHILE
51. Bumps on a log : NODES
52. “I don’t think so!” : AS IF!
53. Shock, as a perp : TASE
54. Not near here : AFAR
55. “__ Baby”: “Hair” song : ABIE
58. Exercise unit : REP
59. Massage locale : SPA

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3 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Jul 13, Tuesday”

  1. Mr. Butler, you've done it again.

    I went to another web site, but I had to come here to understand what I could not understand.

    Lots of wonfderful trivia and lovely explanations and tit-bits.

    I am charmed and enthrall end and momentarily in ecstasy.

    Now I must read up on Juju and wonder if it has anything to do with VooDoo.

    I wonder if Tacet is related to Tacit '. – which I think means 'unspoken'.

    Happy Greetings.

  2. It is interesting that you mention that Coke tastes different, around the world.

    In most other countries, including India, Coke and Pepsi bottles or bottling plants have to pay a very heavy premium on the drink concentrate – which is of course imported from the US. Since the Formula or Formulae is obviously secret – it is made only made in the home country. The high charges for the ( imported ) concentrate is also to avoid the high income and corporate taxes in other countries. A common tax planning tool, also for oil refineries.

    In any case, the bottlers are forced to economize on the concentrate, and use cheaper diluents or somewhat adulterate the final product. Most SE Asian countries use a ginger concentrate – so the Pepsi, at least, tastes more like a ginger cola or ginger beer soda.

  3. Thanks, Admirer.

    I find that looking for little trivial bits of information about things that come up in the crossword actually helps me generally in solving puzzles. The research exercise seems to help lodge some facts in my brain. Hopefully, readers of the blog also find things easier to remember after having read some of the drivel that I produce here! 🙂

    Thanks for the info about Pepsi and Coke. I'm guessing that you are an industry insider as you have such insight. Fascinating stuff!

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