LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Aug 13, Monday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt McKinley
THEME: Pine Tree … each of today’s themed answers ends with an item associated with pine trees:

20A. Long-eyed stitching tool : DARNING NEEDLE (giving “pine needle”)
33A. Dairy Queen order : ICE CREAM CONE (giving “pine cone”)
41A. Proverbial backbreaker : THE LAST STRAW (giving “pine straw”)
56A. Maine’s nickname, and a hint to the ends of 20-, 33- and 41-Across : PINE TREE STATE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
10. Trucker on a radio : CBER
A CBer is someone who operates a Citizens’ Band radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens’ Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

14. Former “Idol” judge Abdul : PAULA
Paula Abdul is primarily a singer and dancer, and someone who endeared herself even more to the American public in recent years as a judge on “American Idol”. She had a famous husband for a couple of years, as she was married to actor Emilio Estevez from 1992-94.

16. Cosmo competitor : ELLE
“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”.

“Cosmopolitan” magazine was first published way back in 1886! It started out life as a family magazine, then as a literary publication. “Cosmo” took its present form as a women’s magazine in the sixties.

17. Marx Brothers shenanigan : ANTIC
The five Marx Brothers were born to “Minnie” and “Frenchy” Marx in New York City. The more famous older boys were Chico, Harpo and Groucho. Zeppo was the youngest brother, and he appeared in the early Marx Brothers movies. The fifth son was called Gummo, and he decided to pursue a different career off the stage.

30. __ cheese dressing : BLEU
Being a bit of a French speaker (admittedly a pretty poor one), the term “bleu” cheese has always kind of irritated me. I would prefer that we use either “blue cheese” or “fromage bleu” and not mix the languages, but then I can be annoyingly picky! It’s said that blue cheese was probably discovered accidentally, as molds tend to develop in the same conditions that are best for storing cheese. The blue mold in the cheese is introduced by adding Penicillium spores before the cheese is allowed to set. And yes, it’s the same mold that is used to produce penicillin, the antibiotic.

32. Dinghy mover : OAR
Our word “dinghy” comes from the Hindi “dingi”, the word for a small boat.

33. Dairy Queen order : ICE CREAM CONE
Soft serve ice cream was developed by John McCullough in 1938. McCullough was able to get his new dessert carried by a local ice cream store in Illinois. He and the store owner became so swamped with sales that they opened a store specifically built around the product in Joliet, Illinois, hence creating the first Dairy Queen outlet. There are now over 5,700 Dairy Queen franchises in 19 countries. We’ve even got one in Ireland …

36. “The __ Baltimore”: Lanford Wilson play : HOT L
“The Hot l Baltimore” is a play by Lanford Wilson about the manager and residents of a dilapidated hotel in Baltimore. The play’s name comes from the establishment’s neon sign which is meant to read “Hotel Baltimore”, but the burnt out “e” was never replaced.

39. “__ Wiedersehen” : AUF
“Auf Wiedersehen” is German for “goodbye”, literally translating as “till we see each other again”.

41. Proverbial backbreaker : THE LAST STRAW
We use the idiom “the straw that broke the camel’s back” to refer to an seemingly inconsequential action that can cause a cataclysmic failure given the pressure on the situation that already exists. Our English idiom comes from an Arabic proverb with a similar wording and meaning.

46. Main element in pewter : TIN
Pewter is a relatively soft alloy that is made up mostly of tin, with some copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.

47. Dance in a pit : MOSH
Moshing (also “slam dancing”) is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive” it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are common in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.

54. Martini order : DRY
The name “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noel Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”.

55. Theology subj. : REL
Religion (rel.)

56. Maine’s nickname, and a hint to the ends of 20-, 33- and 41-Across : PINE TREE STATE
Maine is the least densely populated state located east of the Mississippi, and almost 90% of its land is covered with forests. Perhaps that’s why the state’s nickname is “The Pine Tree State” …

60. Army vehicle : JEEP
The Jeep is the original off-road vehicle. It was developed by the American Bantam Car Company in 1940 at the request of the US government who recognized the upcoming need for the armed forces as American involvement in WWII loomed. The Bantam Company was too small to cope with demand, so the government gave the designs to competing car companies. The design and brand eventually ended up with AMC in the seventies and eighties.

66. Rags-to-riches author Horatio : ALGER
Horatio Alger was an American writer of the late nineteenth century. Alger was a prolific writer of novels for young people and creates tales of poor children making it good in the world, achieving the American dream as it were.

68. Russian fighters : MIGS
The Russian fighter jets that we know as “MiGs” are so called because they were designed by the Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau, and MiG is an acronym for “Mikoyan-and-Gurevich” in Russian.

69. British city on the River Aire : LEEDS
The biggest city on the River Aire in Yorkshire is Leeds.

I went to school for a while not far from Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, Leeds was a major center for the production and trading of wool, and then with the onset of mechanization it became a natural hub for manufacture of textiles. These days Leeds is noted as a shopping destination and so has been dubbed “the Knightsbridge of the North”.

Down
2. Ottawa’s country : CANADA
Ottawa is the second largest city in the Province of Ontario (after Toronto) and is the capital city of Canada. The name “Ottawa” comes from an Algonquin word “adawe” which means “to trade”.

4. “thirtysomething” actor Ken : OLIN
Ken Olin was one of the stars on the hit television series “Thirtysomething”, playing Michael Steadman. After “Thirtysomething”, Olin moved behind the camera and is now a producer and director.

“thirtysomething” is a television drama that follows the lives of a group of baby boomers who have reached their late thirties. The show originally aired for four season on ABC from 1987 to 1991. The show was so successful that in 1993, the Oxford English Dictionary included the word “Thirtysomething” in its list of definitions.

5. World’s largest ocean : PACIFIC
The Pacific Ocean was given its name by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. When Magellan sailed into the ocean on his 1521 circumnavigation of the globe, he encountered favorable winds and so called it “Mar Pacifico” meaning “peaceful sea”.

7. Golfer’s selection : IRON
Most of the irons in a golf bag had non-numerical names in days gone by:

– 2 Iron … Cleek
– 3 Iron … Mid Mashie
– 4 Iron … Mashie Iron
– 5 Iron … Mashie
– 6 Iron … Spade Mashie
– 7 Iron … Mashie Niblick
– 8 Iron … Pitching Niblick
– 9 Iron … Niblick

9. Popeye’s kid : SWEE’PEA
Originally Popeye used the nickname “swee’pea” to address his girlfriend Olive Oyl. Then along comes a baby, found on Popeye’s doorstep. Popeye adopts the little guy and raises him, calling him “Swee’Pea”.

10. Violin cousin : CELLO
The word “cello” is an abbreviation for “violoncello”, an Italian word for “little violone”, referring to a group of stringed instruments that were popular up to the end of the 17th century. The name violoncello persisted for the instrument that we know today, although the abbreviation ‘cello was often used. Nowadays we just drop the apostrophe.

11. Song title words before “You saw me standing alone” : BLUE MOON
“Blue Moon” is a song by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart that they write in 1934. The original version of the song was written as the title song for the 1934 movie “Manhattan Melodrama”. However, the song was cut from the film, was reworked and published in 1935 with a new title “Blue Moon”. The most successful recording was in 1961 by the Marcels, when it hit the number one spot in the American and British charts.

12. Horror film street : ELM
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film, released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” nor “horror” I only learned recently that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

21. Nada : NONE
“Nada” is the Spanish word for “nothing”.

27. Yves’s “very” : TRES
“Très” ia the French word for “very”.

34. Sylvester and Garfield : CATS
Sylvester J, Pussycat was also known as Puddy Tat, and was a character who appeared in “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Sylvester was the cat who was often trying to get the better of Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales or Hippety Hopper.

“Garfield” is a comic strip drawn by Jim Davis since 1978. Garfield is an orange tabby cat. Davis named his hero Garfield after his own grandfather.

35. Cornfield cries : CAWS
A caw is the harsh cry of a crow, and crows might be found in fields of corn …

36. Internet address opening : HTTP
“http” are the first letters in most Internet link addresses. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

37. Cincinnati’s home : OHIO
Cincinnati, Ohio was the first major city to be founded after the American Revolution, and indeed was the first major inland city to be founded in the whole country. Cincinnati was a boomtown in the 1800s, but it’s growth slowed as the the railroads displaced the steamboats as the major form of transportation. The city was founded in 1788, and was named “Cincinnati” two years later. It was named for the Society of Cincinnati, an organization with the mission to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the officers of Revolutionary War. The society was in turn named for Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. cincinnatus was farmer in ancient Rome who left his land to serve as Consul and then lawful dictator of Rome during a war emergency, before happily handing back power to the Senate after the war was won.

42. Church agreement : AMEN
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

51. Dims with tears, as one’s vision : BLEARS
“To blear” is to dim the vision, usually with watery eyes.

59. “A __ of Two Cities” : TALE
“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens is the most printed book that was originally written in English. The “two cities” referred to in the title are of course London and Paris.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 33-Across topper : SCOOP
6. Points (at) : AIMS
10. Trucker on a radio : CBER
14. Former “Idol” judge Abdul : PAULA
15. Tie in chess : DRAW
16. Cosmo competitor : ELLE
17. Marx Brothers shenanigan : ANTIC
18. Topnotch : A-ONE
19. Sugar bowl block : LUMP
20. Long-eyed stitching tool : DARNING NEEDLE
23. Student’s Web address ending : .EDU
24. One on the other side : FOE
25. Right on time : PROMPT
28. Finally registered mentally : SANK IN
30. __ cheese dressing : BLEU
32. Dinghy mover : OAR
33. Dairy Queen order : ICE CREAM CONE
36. “The __ Baltimore”: Lanford Wilson play : HOT L
39. “__ Wiedersehen” : AUF
40. Picnic spoilers : ANTS
41. Proverbial backbreaker : THE LAST STRAW
46. Main element in pewter : TIN
47. Dance in a pit : MOSH
48. Soak up : ABSORB
52. Promotional theater display item : POSTER
54. Martini order : DRY
55. Theology subj. : REL
56. Maine’s nickname, and a hint to the ends of 20-, 33- and 41-Across : PINE TREE STATE
60. Army vehicle : JEEP
62. “I figured it out!” cries : AHAS
63. Craze : MANIA
64. Gets older : AGES
65. Army status : RANK
66. Rags-to-riches author Horatio : ALGER
67. Murder mystery staple : BODY
68. Russian fighters : MIGS
69. British city on the River Aire : LEEDS

Down
1. Black suit : SPADES
2. Ottawa’s country : CANADA
3. Beat in a race : OUTRUN
4. “thirtysomething” actor Ken : OLIN
5. World’s largest ocean : PACIFIC
6. “Time is money,” e.g. : ADAGE
7. Golfer’s selection : IRON
8. Lion’s tresses : MANE
9. Popeye’s kid : SWEE’PEA
10. Violin cousin : CELLO
11. Song title words before “You saw me standing alone” : BLUE MOON
12. Horror film street : ELM
13. Workout unit : REP
21. Nada : NONE
22. Beaten instrument : DRUM
26. Breathe after sprinting : PANT
27. Yves’s “very” : TRES
29. Pass idly, as time : KILL
30. Hair neatener : BRUSH
31. Exited : LEFT
34. Sylvester and Garfield : CATS
35. Cornfield cries : CAWS
36. Internet address opening : HTTP
37. Cincinnati’s home : OHIO
38. State-of-the-art 1970s bike : TEN-SPEED
42. Church agreement : AMEN
43. Pitcher’s problem : SORE ARM
44. Hard to find : RARE
45. Totally dreadful : ABYSMAL
49. Autumn color : ORANGE
50. Tightened, as shoelaces : RETIED
51. Dims with tears, as one’s vision : BLEARS
53. A bit too happy at happy hour? : TIPSY
54. Office workplaces : DESKS
57. Spicy cuisine : THAI
58. Jingled : RANG
59. “A __ of Two Cities” : TALE
60. Fighter’s punch : JAB
61. Self-regard : EGO

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Aug 13, Monday”

  1. Bill, a nice and easy puzzle – though I hated to do it electronically. In Cleveland, OH, we get our ' daily ' papers only 3 days a week. It is known as our save-our-trees. and reduce- the- losses in our print media Act.

    ( I am not a happy camper ) …. Hate solving on the keyboard.

    What took you so much time ? I am scandalized ….. Maybe too many libations at yesterday's happy hour ? Lol. No really, what held you up ??

    The French must have kicked themselves BLUe for not discovering the penicillin, from their mountains of blue cheese. Opportunity knocks but once …. And then many times, again and again, and you keep ignoring it. Or, maybe, opportunity comes to those who are well prepared. On a personal level, for my taste, blue cheese is to die for. …… But I prefer the Danish variety.

    I never found out whether SweePea was a boy or a girl.

    I must read A Tale of two cities, once more. …… One of these days …

    Have a nice week, and take some rest. The challenge begins anew, tonight. Ta ta , for now.

  2. Hi there, Admirer.

    Thanks for pointing out the issue with my posted solving time. That 28m was actually the time for solving yesterday's Sunday puzzle, which I failed to update last night. All fixed now.

    I usually get an early copy of the puzzle at 7pm Pacific time, but occasionally that source can let me down, as it did last night. As a result I have to stay up late waiting for the "official" copy to be posted on the "LA Times" website. That version of the puzzle is much, much less blog-friendly, and involves a different write-up procedure. And different procedures lead to errors … like not updating thesolving time from the previous day.

    Also, I'm my own proofreader, and do a terrible job!

    Regards to Cleveland …

  3. Hi Bill, Addict and Ardent- As usual I only surface on easy puzzle days as I am still a novice. It had been so long since I'd completed a puzzle I was starting to despair!

    TGIM!
    I did complete a good chunk of Reagle's yesterday.
    I have fond memories of CB radios. They were a crude precursor to the Internet but a lot of fun.

  4. Hello Brooke, I was wondering where you disappeared to. I have been getting pretty beat up the last couple of Fri. & Sat.'s puzzles but all I can say is just keep trying. Try to remember the obscure names and places. Not that it works for me. 🙂
    Not sure if you know this but the Sunday Merl Reagle puzzle is not the LA Puzzle and the one Bill blogs. You can find the Sunday LA puzzle on the Mensa link I provided before.
    Its all a little confusing.
    Good Luck with your solving.

  5. Hi Addict-

    Yes I saw your previous comment, (thank you again) I was feeling ambitious yesterday. I've found practicing on these smaller puzzles and memorizing reused clues has helped with the big bad Reagles. Much credit to Bill!

    Looking forward to tomorrow's puzzle–good luck to everyone.

  6. Hi there, Addict.

    Yes, I do in fact use the Mensa version of the puzzle. I use it because it is published earlier than sites like the "LA Times" and the "Chicago Tribune".

    The problem with all of these sites is that I can't get at a text file containing clues/answers. I usually solve offline using what's called an Acrosslite file, at least when I can get hold of it. I can extract a text file from that Acrosslite file. Without the text file I have to rewrite clues and answers, which is a recipe for errors, and takes up time.

    If anyone knows any other way of getting at that text file of clues and answers, I am all ears!

  7. Hi there, Brooke.

    It's alwasy good to hear from you. I too was wondering where you'd wandered off to 🙂

    I have fond memories of CB radios too. I used to carry a portable CB set with me when I traveled around the country on business in the eighties. I often used it to get directions from a trucker when I got lost somewhere. Everyone was very helpful … breaker 19 🙂

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