LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 13, Saturday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Brad Wilber
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
9. There’s a charge for it OPTION
If you’re buying a car, say, options will cost you …

15. Navigator’s creator NETSCAPE
Netscape’s flagship product was its browser, which eventually came to be known as Netscape Navigator. Navigator had a huge impact on computing, basically bringing the Net to the masses by offering an intuitive, user-friendly interface. So popular was the product, that when the company had its IPO, the initial stock price set at $14 a share had to be doubled to $28 at the last minute. At the end of the first day’s trading, the stock closed at $75, and there were a lot of very rich people as a result (at least on paper!).

19. These, in Tours CES
“Ces” is the French word for “these”.

Tours is the largest city in the Centre region of France. It is said that the people of Tours speak the “purest” form of French in the whole country, and when spoken by a local it is also said to be free of any accent.

20. Herodotus and Thucydides, for two HISTORIANS
Herodotus was a historian from Ancient Greece. Roman orator Cicero referred to him as “the Father of History” as Herodotus was regarded as the first historian to work methodically and publish a well-constructed narrative. The only known work completed by Herodotus is “The Histories”.

Thucydides was a historian from Ancient Greece who has been dubbed “the father of scientific history”, a nod to his rigorous gathering and analysis of evidence.

30. One with “Esq.” on the door ATT
The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

31. Liveliness BRIO
“Brio” is borrowed from Italian, in which language it means vigor and vivacity. “Con brio” is a musical direction often found on a score, instructing the musicians to play “with energy, vigor”.

32. Citrus-marinated South American fish dish CEVICHE
Ceviche is a raw seafood dish that is popular in South and Central America. Ceviche is typically made from fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and spiced with hot peppers.

37. Not kosher TREF
According to Jewish dietary law, “kosher” food is “fit” to eat, and food that is not kosher is called “treif” (or tref).

40. Deep purples PUCES
The name of the purple shade known as “puce” has a strange derivation. “Puce” came into English from French, in which language “puce” means “flea”. Supposedly, puce is the color of a flea!

42. “The Winds of War” actress ALI MACGRAW
Ali MacGraw’s most famous role was the female lead in the 1970 film “Love Story”. MacGraw became romantically involved with Steve McQueen as they filmed “The Getaway” in 1972. The pair eventually wed after they managed to unwind their first marriages. They divorced in 1978.

“The Winds of War” is a 1983 mini-series made from a book of the same name by Herman Wouk. Both book and TV movie depict events from March 1939 until the US joined WWII in December 1941. There is a large cast, with the bill topped by Robert Mitchum and Ali MacGraw.

45. Homemade defense against a mind-control ray TINFOIL HAT
Before thin sheets of aluminum metal was available, thin sheets of tin were used in various application. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

47. Hotly contested area SWING STATE
On political maps, red states are Republican and blue states Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

49. Riddle of the Sphinx answer MAN
In Greek mythology, the creature known as the Sphinx has the body of a lion, the wings of a bird and the face of a woman. The Sphinx threatened to strangle and devour any person who could not answer a famous riddle: “Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?” Oedipus was able to save himself by answering correctly “Man”. The idea is that a man crawls on all fours as a baby, and then walks on two feet as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age. “Sphinx” is actually a Greek word, meaning “the strangler” …

57. Like Buckley’s columns, say LITERATE
William F. Buckey, Jr. was an author and commentator. Buckley wrote spy novels a syndicated newspaper column. He also hosted the public affairs television show called “Firing Line” for over 33 years from 1966 to 1999.

Down
1. Insensitive, in a way UN-PC
To be “un-PC” is to be politically incorrect.

2. Mononymous kicker 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.

5. Dave Matthews Band label RCA
The Dave Matthews Band is a rock band from Charlottesville, Virginia that was formed in 1991.

6. Meals-on-wheels worker? CARHOP
Carhops are servers who bring food to customers in their cars at drive-in restaurants. The first carhops were seen at the Pig Stand restaurant in Dallas, Texas in 1921. These male employees would “hop” onto the running board of cars as they entered the restaurant’s parking lot in order to quickly take the customer’s order, hence the name “carhop”.

7. “Rabbit Is Rich” Pulitzer winner UPDIKE
The novelist John Updike’s most famous work is the Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom series of books. Updike is one of only three authors who has won more than one Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and he did so for two of his “Rabbit” books.

The 1960 novel by John Updike called “Rabbit Run” tells the story of Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom as he tries to escape from his constraining, middle-class life. “Rabbit Run” is the first in a series of novels from Updike that feature the “Rabbit” character, the others being:

– “Rabbit Redux”
– “Rabbit is Rich”
– “Rabbit at Rest”
– “Rabbit Remembered”

8. Mosaic piece TESSERA
A tessera is an individual tile used in making a mosaic.

9. Horse-and-buggy OBSOLETE
Something described as “horse-and-buggy” is old-fashioned and obsolete.

11. “… __ finest hour”: Churchill THEIR
Soon after Winston Churchill took over as Prime Minister of the UK in 1940, he delivered some stirring speeches that rallied the country in the face of German victories right across Europe. The first of these was his “Blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech as he reported the formation of a new coalition government designed to unite the country in time of war. The second was his “We shall fight on the beaches” speech, as he reported the successful evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk. The third speech concluded with, “This was their finest hour”, words delivered to Parliament just as France fell, and Churchill pledged that the British Commonwealth would fight on, alone if necessary. The last lines of this third speech, from this magnificent orator, were:

… But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour’.

12. Stephen Colbert bestseller subtitled “(And So Can You!)” I AM AMERICA
Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosts his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spin-off, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”.

14. Beatty and Rorem NEDS
Ned Beatty is probably best remembered for the rather disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene in the movie “Deliverance”. Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his book, “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexuality of others including Noel Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.

22. Font flourish SERIF
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif (using the French word “sans” meaning “without”). Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

23. Sporty Spice, familiarly MEL C
The five members of the English pop group the Spice Girls are:

– Scary Spice (Melanie Brown, or Mel B)
– Baby Spice (Emma Bunton, and my fave!)
– Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell)
– Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham)
– Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm, or Mel C)

24. Col. Potter on “M*A*S*H,” to pals SHERM
Colonel Sherman Potter is a character on the memorable TV series “M*A*S*H”. Potter was played by actor Harry Morgan. Potter replaced Colonel Henry Blake who was killed of in the story when actor McLean Stevenson left the show at the end of the third season. Morgan was asked to play Potter largely due to a great guest performance he had delivered in an early episode.

25. Pessimistic J. Geils Band hit with the line “It’s gonna make you cry” LOVE STINKS
The J. Geils Band is a rock group from Worcester, Massachusetts founded in 1967. After a few quiet years, the J. Geils Band is still going today.

27. Tough tissue SINEW
Sinew is another name for a tendon. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle.

28. Garb TOGS
“Toggery” is another word for clothing, sometimes shorted to “togs”. For example, back in Ireland we call a bathing suit “swimming togs”. The term “toggery” comes from the Latin “toga”.

29. Pro-prohibition org. WCTU
The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)

33. Petticoat alternative HALF-SLIP
A petticoat is an undergarment worn from the waist that goes under a skirt or dress. That said, the term “petticoat” was used in my day back in the British Isles for a full-length slip. The name translates literally as “small coat” and was originally a padded coat worn by men under armor.

34. “Four Quartets” poet ELIOT
T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece.

36. Annika Sorenstam’s gp. LPGA
Annika Sorenstam is a Swedish golfer, perhaps the most successful female golfer ever. She made history in 2003 when she participated in a men’s PGA tour event, the first time that has happened since 1945.

42. German chancellor Merkel ANGELA
The formidable politician Angela Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany, the country’s head of state. Merkel is the first female German Chancellor and when she chaired the G8 in 2007 she became only the second woman to do so, after the UK’s Margaret Thatcher. Merkel grew up in East Germany under Communist rule.

43. Language family including Turkish ALTAIC
The Altaic family of languages is named after the Altai Mountains located in Central Asia. The Altaic family includes the Japonic, Korean and Mongolic languages.

46. Old Peruvian INCAN
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro discovered the Incas in 1526, marking the beginning of the end for an ancient civilization that was to be ravaged by brutal Spanish colonists and by imported smallpox. The last leader of the Inca was Atahualpa. Pizarro staged a mock trial and then condemned Atahualpa to execution by burning. A Spanish friar intervened on behalf of the condemned man, as Atahualpa believed that if he was burned his soul would not move on to the afterlife. Pizarro, was kind enough to have Atahualpa garroted instead.

48. Corduroy rib WALE
“Wales” are the ridges on corduroy material.

There’s a myth that the name of textile known as “corduroy” comes from the French “corde du roi” (the cord of the king). It’s more likely that “corduroy” comes from a melding of “cord” and “duroy” (a coarse fabric that used to be made in England).

51. One of 60 billion in a min. NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns”, and really is a tiny amount of time … one billionth of a second.

54. Three-day festival TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning “Feast of the First Morning”. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

55. SS supplement IRA
The Social Security Administration (SSA) was of course set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Many a knockout punch UPPERCUT
9. There’s a charge for it OPTION
15. Navigator’s creator NETSCAPE
16. Mind the sitter BEHAVE
17. Signs at a rally PLACARDS
18. Showed signs of being SEEMED
19. These, in Tours CES
20. Herodotus and Thucydides, for two HISTORIANS
22. Disk-shaped safety device SMOKE ALARM
24. Baby shower gift SLEEPER SET
26. Recordholder’s suffix -EST
29. Ridge studied in forensics WHORL
30. One with “Esq.” on the door ATT
31. Liveliness BRIO
32. Citrus-marinated South American fish dish CEVICHE
35. High-level disagreement? YELLING
37. Not kosher TREF
38. Styled after A LA
40. Deep purples PUCES
41. Faltering sounds UMS
42. “The Winds of War” actress ALI MACGRAW
45. Homemade defense against a mind-control ray TINFOIL HAT
47. Hotly contested area SWING STATE
49. Riddle of the Sphinx answer MAN
52. Scratch CANCEL
53. Fortifications BASTIONS
56. Acid neutralizer ALKALI
57. Like Buckley’s columns, say LITERATE
58. Close again, in a way RESNAP
59. In orbit ECSTATIC

Down
1. Insensitive, in a way UN-PC
2. Mononymous kicker PELE
3. K-12 fund-raisers PTAS
4. Backup key ESC
5. Dave Matthews Band label RCA
6. Meals-on-wheels worker? CARHOP
7. “Rabbit Is Rich” Pulitzer winner UPDIKE
8. Mosaic piece TESSERA
9. Horse-and-buggy OBSOLETE
10. Examine closely PEER AT
11. “… __ finest hour”: Churchill THEIR
12. Stephen Colbert bestseller subtitled “(And So Can You!)” I AM AMERICA
13. Roast spot OVEN
14. Beatty and Rorem NEDS
21. Scrumptious TASTY
22. Font flourish SERIF
23. Sporty Spice, familiarly MEL C
24. Col. Potter on “M*A*S*H,” to pals SHERM
25. Pessimistic J. Geils Band hit with the line “It’s gonna make you cry” LOVE STINKS
27. Tough tissue SINEW
28. Garb TOGS
29. Pro-prohibition org. WCTU
31. Spill, with “out” BLURT
33. Petticoat alternative HALF-SLIP
34. “Four Quartets” poet ELIOT
36. Annika Sorenstam’s gp. LPGA
39. Good-natured AMIABLE
42. German chancellor Merkel ANGELA
43. Language family including Turkish ALTAIC
44. Drawer holders CHESTS
46. Old Peruvian INCAN
47. Trauma consequence SCAR
48. Corduroy rib WALE
49. Zoo trench MOAT
50. Debate side ANTI
51. One of 60 billion in a min. NSEC
54. Three-day festival TET
55. SS supplement IRA

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2 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 13, Saturday”

  1. Amazed that I completed this w/o Googling, leaving one "Natick" at CEVICHE crosses MELC. Figured I'd learn it here.

    Lo and behold I discovered I had a nearby boo-boo. Had SHaRk for the nickname as a guess, and WTCa thinking it was the Women's Christian Temperance Association.

    But, much easier than yesterday.

    ALCAIC languages are interesting when one tries to imagine how they spread. If one includes URALIC, one gets Finnish and Hungarian and the amazement increases.

    I've actually seen people with aluminum hats and other aluminum clothing. I love Aluminum, but…

  2. Well I can't claim a victory today, the crossings of Ceviche, WCTU and MelC did me in. But still a far cry better than yesterday's offering.

    Only thing more challenging is when
    Brad teams up with Doug Peterson.. OUCH!

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