LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Jul 13, Thursday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Skoczen & Patti Varol
THEME: False Things … each of today’s themed answers STARTS with a word that is often preceded with the word FALSE:

18A. *Union VIP LABOR LEADER (from “false labor”)
24A. *You might sleep through it ALARM CLOCK (giving “false alarm”)
39A. *Self-esteem essential POSITIVE IMAGE (giving “false positive”)
49A. *1998 Sandra Bullock film HOPE FLOATS (giving “false hope”)

59A. Swimming infractions, and what the first words of the answers to starred clues can all have FALSE STARTS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 20m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … NAWLINS (Narlins!!), CAREW (Carer)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. “The Walking Dead” network AMC
“The Walking Dead” is a horror television show that made by AMC. There are lots of flesh-eating zombies featured, so I won’t be “seen dead” watching it …

4. Home of William, known for his logical “razor” OCCAM
Ockham’s Razor (also Occam’s Razor) is a principle in philosophy and science that basically states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. This explanation is a corollary to the more exact statement of the principle, that one shouldn’t needlessly use assumptions in explaining something. The principle was developed by 14th-century logician and Franciscan Friar William of Ockham (or “Occam” in Latin). The principle is dubbed a “razor” as it is used as a philosophical tool used to cut out absurd and spurious reasoning in an argument.

9. Dubuque native IOWAN
The city of Dubuque, Iowa is named for a pioneer from Quebec who arrived in the area in 1785, a pioneer named Julien Dubuque.

14. John of England LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a “bathroom” was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called “the toilet” or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a “closet”, as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo” in which the pot was called the loo!

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in cruder moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

16. Aria response, perhaps BRAVO!
To express appreciation for a male performer at an operatic performance, traditionally one calls out “bravo!”. Appreciation for a female performer is shown by using “brava!”, and for more than one performer by using “bravi!”

20. Image on Irish euro coins HARP
The state symbol of the Irish government is the harp. The reason for the use of the harp as a symbol seems to have been lost in time, but it has been used for centuries. The actual harp used as a model for the state symbol is called the Trinity College harp, a medieval instrument on display in the university in Dublin.

41. Super 8, e.g. MOTEL
Supposedly, Super 8 is the biggest budget hotel chain in the world. The chain got the name as the original room rate (back in 1972) was $8.88.

42. The Big Easy, to locals NAWLINS
The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans, LA.

44. S.A. country ARG
Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and geographically is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” of course comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

46. Inc. cousin LLC
A limited liability company (LLC) is a company structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners.

47. Silk Road desert 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 Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

49. *1998 Sandra Bullock film HOPE FLOATS (giving “false hope”)
“Hope Floats” is a romantic drama movie starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. that was released in 1998. The film starts with a husband revealing his infidelity to his wife on a TV talk show. Complications ensue …

The actress Sandra Bullock is the daughter of a part-time voice coach (her father) and an opera singer and voice coach (her mother). Her father was an American soldier stationed in Nuremberg in Germany when he met his German wife. Sandra Bullock’s maternal grandfather was a rocket scientist working in Nuremberg.

57. “Deathtrap” playwright Levin IRA
As well as writing novels, Ira Levin was a dramatist and a songwriter. Levin’s first novel was “A Kiss Before Dying”, and his most famous work was “Rosemary’s Baby” which became a Hollywood hit. His best known play is “Deathtrap”, a production that is often seen in local theater (I’ve seen it a couple of times around here). “Deathtrap” was also was a successful movie, starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve. My favorite of Levin’s novels though are “The Boys from Brazil” and “The Stepford Wives”.

65. Prepare to be dubbed KNEEL
Kneel, and the Queen might “dub thee a knight” if you’re lucky. “Dub” is a specific term derived from Old English that was used to mean “make a knight”. As the knight was also given a knightly name at the same time, “dub” has come to mean “give someone a name”.

67. Sculpted works BUSTS
A bust is a sculpture of the upper torso and head. We imported the word from Italy, where the word “busto” means “upper body”.

68. Après-ski drink TODDY
The word “toddy” has come a long way. Its origins lie in the Hindi word for a palm tree, which is “tar”. The derivative word “tari” was used for palm sap, which came into English as “tarrie”, then “taddy” and “toddy”, all of which described an alcoholic drink made from fermented palm sap. That was back around 1600. Late in the 18th century, the palm sap drink called “toddy” had morphed into meaning any alcoholic drink made with liquor, hot water, sugar and spices.

Après-ski is a French term, meaning “after skiing”, and refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.

Down
1. Sign of tropical hospitality ALOHA
The Hawaiian word “Aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

3. Hooded slitherer COBRA
“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different animal families. The term “cobra” is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capelo” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

5. Tiny Tim’s surname CRATCHIT
Tiny Tim is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, the little disabled boy in the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”. “A Christmas Carol” is such a popular book that it has never been out of print since its first publication in December 1843.

6. Early computer language COBOL
COBOL is one of the oldest computer programming languages, with the acronym standing for COmmon Business-Oriented Language. COBOL was developed by “the mother of the COBOL language”, programmer Grace Hopper.

11. Besides Derek Jeter, only Major Leaguer whose 3,000th hit was a homer WADE BOGGS
Wade Boggs is a former Major League Baseball player, a third baseman who was noted for his hitting ability.

19. Change in Albania? LEKS
The official currency of Albania is called the lek. The first lek was introduced in 1926, and was apparently named after Alexander the Great.

The Republic of Albania is a country in the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Albania was made a communist state after WWII but became independent again with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990.

25. Tropical capital MANILA
Many moons ago I spent a couple of very happy years living in Manila in the Philippines. I had an apartment there, and residing in the apartment building next door was Imelda Marcos, along with all of her shoes I assume …

26. Seven-time A.L. batting champ CAREW
Rod Carew is a former Major League Baseball player from Panama. Actually. Carew is a “Zonian”, meaning that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, a political entity that existed for decades from 1903.

32. Skater known as “America’s sweetheart” HAMILL
Dorothy Hamill was the Olympic and World Champion singles figure skater in 1976. She was noted for the “Hamill camel”, a skating move that started with a camel spin and transitioned into a sit spin.

34. Puts in storage MOTHBALLS
Something held in reserve is often said to be “in mothballs”. The expression is derived from the practice of placing mothballs with clothing that is placed in storage during the “off season”.

Mothballs are little white balls made up of a pesticide and a deodorant, and are designed to preserve clothes that are susceptible to attack by mold or moth larvae. The chemicals used are not harmless to humans, so it is important to air clothes that have been in contact with mothballs, usually for a day or so until the mothball odor disappears.

36. Actress Gardner AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

39. Kelly’s possum POGO
“Pogo” is a comic strip that was launched in 1948, the creation of cartoonist Walt Kelly. The story centers on animals that live in the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia-Florida border, with the title character “Pogo Possum” being an anthropomorphic opossum.

41. Ham it up for a shooter MUG
The verb “mug” means to make an exaggerated facial expression. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are the made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions.

45. P-like letters RHOS
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”.

50. Grand __ PIANO
What was remarkable about the piano when it was invented, compared to other keyboard instruments, was that notes could be played with varying degrees of loudness. This is accomplished by pressing the keys lightly or firmly. Because of this quality, the new instrument was called a “pianoforte”, with “piano” and “forte” meaning “soft” and “loud” in Italian. We tend to shorten the name these days to just “piano”.

52. Vital conduit AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

53. Clan symbol TOTEM
Totem poles are large sculptures that have been carved from trees. Totem poles are part of the culture of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest of North America.

56. Ball club whose colors are blue and orange METS
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

59. Little white lie FIB
To “fib” is to “to tell a lie”. The term likely comes from “fibble-fable” meaning “nonsense”, itself derived from “fable”.

60. Sch. with a Mesa campus 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.

The city of Mesa, Arizona is in effect a suburb of Phoenix. The original settlement of non-Native Americans was founded by Daniel Webster Jones who led a Mormon group from St. George, Utah. The settlement was first called Jonesville, then Fort Utah and eventually Lehi. A second group of Mormons arrived and formed a settlement on top of a nearby mesa. It was this use of a mesa that eventually gave the city its current name.

61. Box office buy: Abbr. TKT
Ticket (tkt.)

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”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “The Walking Dead” network AMC
4. Home of William, known for his logical “razor” OCCAM
9. Dubuque native IOWAN
14. John of England LOO
15. “Guess again!” WRONG!
16. Aria response, perhaps BRAVO!
17. Poet’s eye ORB
18. *Union VIP LABOR LEADER (from “false labor”)
20. Image on Irish euro coins HARP
22. Weigh station unit TON
23. Kitchen extension? -ETTE
24. *You might sleep through it ALARM CLOCK (giving “false alarm”)
27. Abates EBBS
30. Feedback for a masseuse AAH!
31. Tip for smokers ASH
33. José’s hooray OLE!
34. It may contain a $10 bottle of water MINIBAR
37. Bicker ARGUE
39. *Self-esteem essential POSITIVE IMAGE (giving “false positive”)
41. Super 8, e.g. MOTEL
42. The Big Easy, to locals NAWLINS
43. “Yuck!” UGH!
44. S.A. country ARG
46. Inc. cousin LLC
47. Silk Road desert GOBI
49. *1998 Sandra Bullock film HOPE FLOATS (giving “false hope”)
55. Peas, at times AMMO
57. “Deathtrap” playwright Levin IRA
58. Horseradish, e.g. ROOT
59. Swimming infractions, and what the first words of the answers to starred clues can all have FALSE STARTS
63. An invitation might include one: Abbr. RTE
64. Small landmass ISLET
65. Prepare to be dubbed KNEEL
66. Casual top TEE
67. Sculpted works BUSTS
68. Après-ski drink TODDY
69. Intensify, with “up” AMP

Down
1. Sign of tropical hospitality ALOHA
2. Parable message MORAL
3. Hooded slitherer COBRA
4. Hooter OWL
5. Tiny Tim’s surname CRATCHIT
6. Early computer language COBOL
7. “That’s __!” A NO-NO
8. Ball club VIP MGR
9. Skeptic’s reply I BET
10. Speak with style ORATE
11. Besides Derek Jeter, only Major Leaguer whose 3,000th hit was a homer WADE BOGGS
12. City map abbr. AVE
13. Here-there link NOR
19. Change in Albania? LEKS
21. Laud PRAISE
25. Tropical capital MANILA
26. Seven-time A.L. batting champ CAREW
28. Really bummed BLUE
29. Observe SEE
32. Skater known as “America’s sweetheart” HAMILL
34. Puts in storage MOTHBALLS
35. Word shouted at church BINGO
36. Actress Gardner AVA
38. Bitterness RANCOR
39. Kelly’s possum POGO
40. Like star-crossed lovers ILL-FATED
41. Ham it up for a shooter MUG
45. P-like letters RHOS
48. “You ready?” answer I’M SET
50. Grand __ PIANO
51. Had to say “Oops,” say ERRED
52. Vital conduit AORTA
53. Clan symbol TOTEM
54. High-end STEEP
56. Ball club whose colors are blue and orange METS
59. Little white lie FIB
60. Sch. with a Mesa campus ASU
61. Box office buy: Abbr. TKT
62. Slick SLY

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2 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Jul 13, Thursday”

  1. Mr. Bill – Again, a great pleasure to read your generous blog with all your usual wonderful titbits and oh so charming stories of a natural raconteur. Fun, fun, fun.

    Shocked, you actually made a (coupla – ) mistakes – especially when a novice, like myself happened to complete one of my rare Thursdays. Well, this too shall pass.

    Question: If the loo is named after Waterloo – what did they do before Napoleon ? lol.

    Toddy is still drunk in India. The fermented palm juice is called 'Taadi', and is drunk warm, or at room temperature – mostly because of the prohibitive cost of refrigeration. It looks and smells like fermented buttermilk – definitely, an acquired taste.

    The unfermented drink of the Palm, if properly refrigerated, and not allowed to ferment – by adding chalk-lime Ca(OH)2 – is very sweet and taste like nectar of the Gods. Unfortunately, people would much rather get inebriated than their thirst quenched.

    COBOL 'co-creator' Grace Hopper, retired as U.S. Navy Admiral.

    Question: DO FBI agents ever say FIB's ? lol.

    Cheerio, Bill.

  2. Yes! I don't get to say this too often…. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I never get to say this… I beat your time by about 6 minutes. That's as fast as I can type anyway. I did make the same mistake as you and with the same letter but I still take it as a win. W or R looks just as good on paper.

    Had to look at the date to make sure it was Thursday.

    Thanks again for all your insights Bill.

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