LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Sep 13, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Stillman
THEME: I Am Finished … today’s themed answers are the ends of notable “I am …” lines from famous people named in the clues:

17A. Ending from Ali THE GREATEST (“I am the greatest!”)
21A. Ending from Nixon NOT A CROOK (“I am not a crook”)
39A. Ending from the Elephant Man NOT AN ANIMAL (“I am not an animal”)
57A. Ending from Lennon and McCartney THE WALRUS (“I Am the Walrus”)
64A. Ending from Beyoncé SASHA FIERCE (“I Am… Sasha Fierce”)

71A. Beginning for this puzzle’s five endings I AM

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. Roulette bet ODD
In the game of roulette, players can bet on odd (“pair” in French) and even (“impair” in French).

The name “roulette” means “little wheel” in French, and the game as we know it today did in fact originate in Paris, in 1796.

14. Lawyer’s assistant, for short PARA
A paralegal is someone who is trained in legal matters sufficiently to assist a lawyer. A paralegal cannot engage in the practice of law and must be supervised by a qualified lawyer.

15. Vox __: voice of the people POPULI
The Latin phrase “vox populi” translates as “voice of the people”. The expression is used in the world of broadcasting to describe interviews with members of the public.

16. Architect I.M. PEI
I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect, born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.

17. Ending from Ali THE GREATEST (“I am the greatest!”)
One of Muhammad Ali’s famous most famous lines is “I am the greatest!” So famous is the line that in 1963, Ali released an album of spoken word that had the title “I Am the Greatest!”

19. Plumbing pipe initials PVC
PVC is polyvinyl chloride, the third most widely produced plastic in the world (after polyethylene and polypropylene). PVC is resistant to corrosion from biological and chemical agents making it a favored choice these days for sewage lines, replacing the traditional metal materials. It is so chemically stable, that it will be around a long, long time …

21. Ending from Nixon NOT A CROOK (“I am not a crook”)
At the height of the Watergate Scandal in November 1973, President Nixon conducted a televised hour-long question-and-answer session with 400 Associated Press managing editors. The president was under intense pressure, but maintained his innocence in the Watergate case. The lines most remembered from that session are:

And in all of my years of public life I have never obstructed justice. People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.

30. Dilbert creator Scott ADAMS
“Dilbert” is a comic strip written by Scott Adams, a “neighbor” of mine here in the Bay Area. Adams used to own a nice restaurant at the end of my street …

37. Superman and Batman wear them CAPES
Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

Batman is unique among his superhero compatriots in that he has no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets.

39. Ending from the Elephant Man NOT AN ANIMAL (“I am not an animal”)
The 1980 film “The Elephant Man” is about the sad life of a severely deformed man in the 1800s. The movie is based on the real life of Joseph Merrick who was exhibited in a freak show as a human curiosity under the name “Elephant Man”. At the climax of the movie, Merrick is chased by an unruly mob that removes his mask and corners him. The poor man cries out, before collapsing:

I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I … am … a … man!

43. Car window adornments DECALS
A decal is a decorative sticker, short for “decalcomania”. The term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

51. Banjo support of song KNEE
“… a banjo on my knee” is a phrase from the song “Oh! Susanna”.

“Oh! Susanna” is a song that was published in 1848, written by Stephen Foster. The song is often called “Banjo on My Knee”, an understandable slip given the words of the chorus. “Oh! Susanna” came to be associated with the Forty-Niners, the miners who travelled to California in the 1849 Gold Rush. The lyrics were changed to suit the Gold rush theme with “Alabama” being replaced by “California”, and “banjo” being replaced by “washpan”.

56. Archer’s wood YEW
Yew is the wood of choice for the longbow, a valued weapon in the history of England. The longbow is constructed with a core of yew heartwood (as the heartwood resists compression) that has a sheath of yew sapwood (as the sapwood resists stretching). The yew was in such demand for longbows that for centuries yew trees were in short supply in Britain and the wood had to be imported from all over Europe.

57. Ending from Lennon and McCartney THE WALRUS (“I Am the Walrus”)
“I Am the Walrus” is a Beatles song released in 1967. It was written by John Lennon, with the Walrus being a reference to the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass”.

63. Salt, in Quebec SEL
In French, one might season one’s food with salt (sel) and pepper (poivre).

The name “Québec” comes from an Algonquin word “kebec” meaning “where the river narrows”. This refers to the area around Quebec City where the St. Lawrence River narrows as it flows through a gap lined by steep cliffs.

64. Ending from Beyoncé SASHA FIERCE (“I Am Sasha Fierce”)

Sasha Fierce is an alter-ego that Beyoncé Knowles has developed for her stage and recording work. She describes Sasha as very sensual and aggressive. Beyoncé released a studio album called “I Am… Sasha Fierce” in 2008.

69. Copenhagen’s __ Gardens TIVOLI
Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark that opened way back in 1843. It is the second oldest amusement park in the world. The oldest park is Dyrehavsbakken (The Deer Park Hill), which is located only a few miles away from Tivoli Gardens. Dyrehavsbakken opened in 1583!

70. Hullabaloos ADOS
Our word “hullabaloo” meaning a “commotion” is a derivative of an older term “hollo-ballo”. “Hollo-ballo” was a word used for an uproar in the north of England and Scotland.

72. Annie, for one ORPHAN
“Little Orphan Annie” is a comic strip created in 1924 by Harold Gray. The title was taken from a poem written in 1885 by James Whitcomb Riley called “Little Orphant Annie” (and yes, that spelling “orphant” is correct). Strangely enough, the original name of the poem was “Little Orphant Allie”, changed forever at its third printing, purely because of a typesetter’s error!

73. Sibilant “Hey, you!” PSST!
“Sibilant” is a word describing a sound of speech, the sound of an “s” or “z”, a hissing sound. The word “sissies”, for example, has three sibilant sounds.

Down
4. Pudding starch SAGO
When I was growing up in Ireland I was very familiar with pearl sago, which is very similar to pearl tapioca. Pearls of sago are simply little balls of sago starch used to make breads, pancakes, biscuits, or the steamed puddings that we ate as kids. Sago comes from pith of the sago palm tree. To get at the starch the tree has to be cut down and the trunk split to reveal the pith. The pith is crushed and manipulated to make the starch available, which is then washed out of a fibrous suspension. One sago palm tree yields about 150-300 kg of starch. Personally I love the stuff, but then, I am a bit weird …

5. King Kong, e.g. APE
“King Kong” really is a classic movie. It stars Fay Wray as the young woman (Ann Darrow) with whom Kong falls in love. Wray was very interested in the role as she was told that she would be playing opposite the “tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood”. She thought it might be Clark Gable. At least that’s how the story goes …

8. Bird feeder filler SUET
Suet is a very popular ingredient in food provided for bird feeders.

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called “suet”. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be “rendered” or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call “lard”. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as “tallow”.

9. Movie lioness ELSA
The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book “Born Free” about Elsa, and then “Living Free” which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on “Born Free”, Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.

18. Genetic letters RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

23. Turntable no. RPM
Revolutions per minute (rpm)

33. “Itsy bitsy” waterspout climber SPIDER

The Itsy Bitsy Spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.

38. Suffix with phon- -EME
I’m no linguist and just accept that a “phoneme” is a basic sound in a language. A language is built up from a collection of those basic sounds.

44. Grant’s opponent LEE
The Battle of Appomattox Court House was the last engagement by the Army of Northern Virginia, led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Immediately after the battle, Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. When the two men met for the signing of the surrender documents, even though the pair were acquaintances, it was the first time they had seen each other in almost 20 years. Grant started off the conversation by discussing a previous meeting they had during the Mexican-American War, when they were fighting on the same side.

46. 2009 World Series MVP Hideki MATSUI
Hideki Matsui is a Major League Baseball player from Japan, who has played here in the US since the 2003 season. He is a power hitter and deserves his nickname “Godzilla”. He even got himself a cameo in the 2002 Japanese film “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla”.

47. Goddess who advised Odysseus ATHENA
The Greek goddess Athena is often associated with wisdom (among other attributes). In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”.

50. Garam __: Indian spice mixture MASALA
Garam masala is a mixture of ground spices that is particularly associated with Indian cuisine. A typical composition of garam masala includes:

– black and white peppercorns
– cloves
– cinnamon
– black and white cumin seeds
– black, brown, and green cardamom pods

All of the ingredients are toasted, and then ground together.

53. Meal, in Milan PASTO
“Pasto” is Italian for “meal”.

Milan is Italy’s second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city’s reputation in the world of fashion.

55. Mai __: cocktail TAI
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum.

59. “We’d appreciate your answer,” on invitations RSVP
RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “please, answer”.

65. Half a sawbuck FIN
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

“Sawbuck” is slang for a ten dollar bill. The term was applied to the bill as the Roman numeral X (ten) resembles the end of sawhorse.

66. Comedian Bill, informally COS
The great comedic entertainer Bill Cosby is from Philadelphia. After working as a standup comedian, Cosby got his big break on television when he landed a starring role in “I Spy” alongside Robert Culp in the sixties. His greatest success on television came in the eighties and early nineties with his own sitcom “The Cosby Show”. At its height, “The Cosby Show” was the number one show in the US for five straight years.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Clods OAFS
5. Got a chuckle out of AMUSED
11. Roulette bet ODD
14. Lawyer’s assistant, for short PARA
15. Vox __: voice of the people POPULI
16. Architect I.M. PEI
17. Ending from Ali THE GREATEST (“I am the greatest!”)
19. Plumbing pipe initials PVC
20. Very long time EON
21. Ending from Nixon NOT A CROOK (“I am not a crook”)
23. Civil War soldier REB
25. Unhittable serve ACE
27. Proverbial waste maker HASTE
28. Ship’s front PROW
30. Dilbert creator Scott ADAMS
34. Poet’s “at no time” NE’ER
35. Abandon on an isle MAROON
37. Superman and Batman wear them CAPES
39. Ending from the Elephant Man NOT AN ANIMAL (“I am not an animal”)
42. Parcels (out) DOLES
43. Car window adornments DECALS
46. Atlas pages MAPS
49. Boss’s nervousness-inducing note SEE ME
51. Banjo support of song KNEE
52. “It’s __!”: warning shout A TRAP
54. Humanities major ART
56. Archer’s wood YEW
57. Ending from Lennon and McCartney THE WALRUS (“I Am the Walrus”)
61. Miss. neighbor ALA
63. Salt, in Quebec SEL
64. Ending from Beyoncé SASHA FIERCE (“I Am… Sasha Fierce”)
68. One: Pref. UNI-
69. Copenhagen’s __ Gardens TIVOLI
70. Hullabaloos ADOS
71. Beginning for this puzzle’s five endings I AM
72. Annie, for one ORPHAN
73. Sibilant “Hey, you!” PSST!

Down
1. Make a choice OPT
2. Backrub response AAH
3. Not a child of bondage FREEBORN
4. Pudding starch SAGO
5. King Kong, e.g. APE
6. Sounded ghostly MOANED
7. Until UP TO
8. Bird feeder filler SUET
9. Movie lioness ELSA
10. Roadside depression DITCH
11. Go up against OPPOSE
12. Spend, as time DEVOTE
13. Haggle DICKER
18. Genetic letters RNA
22. Plunder RANSACK
23. Turntable no. RPM
24. Time in history ERA
26. Ear passages CANALS
29. Carpentry tool WOOD SAW
31. __ of mistaken identity A CASE
32. “Oh, brother!” MAN!
33. “Itsy bitsy” waterspout climber SPIDER
36. Plains native OTO
38. Suffix with phon- -EME
40. Born, in society pages NEE
41. Refs’ whistle holders LANYARDS
44. Grant’s opponent LEE
45. Put in stitches SEW
46. 2009 World Series MVP Hideki MATSUI
47. Goddess who advised Odysseus ATHENA
48. Bout before the main event, briefly PRELIM
50. Garam __: Indian spice mixture MASALA
53. Meal, in Milan PASTO
55. Mai __: cocktail TAI
58. Bear’s home LAIR
59. “We’d appreciate your answer,” on invitations RSVP
60. “This is bad!” UH-OH!
62. Vault LEAP
65. Half a sawbuck FIN
66. Comedian Bill, informally COS
67. Repair quote: Abbr. EST

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3 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Sep 13, Monday”

  1. Well this is embarrassing but I'm man enough to admit it… I did not finish a Monday puzzle correctly.
    Didn't Know what a Beyonce was so her alter ego was out the window. Along with the crossings of Pasto, Masala, Tivoli and for some reason I thought a sawbuck was a twenty, that didn't help matters. Oh… the humanity ;~)

  2. Bill, seems a very easy puzzle, but I DIDNT complete it ….. I didn't even start it !!!!

    The L a times puzzle site still has the Sunday puzzle for solving …. The Monday puzzle hasn't even been loaded yet …. And it's 7:15. Pm, EST, 1915 HRS !,

    And they stopped the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Mondays – only 3 days a week, now. So, I don't have a choice.

    Well, Que sera, sera ….

    I M PEI also designed the rock and roll hall of fame, in Cleveland, OH, …. also a pyramid ….

    I cooked pearl tapioca breakfast, yesterday morning …. I still have 8 helpings left … (.sigh) …. Called sabu-dana , 'soap-seeds' in Hindi, because of its shape. Generally used as a 'fasting' food , but like anything, that is 100% starch, it can be flavored for any use.

    I don't eat garam masala – literally 'hot mixture' – I can handle a ton of chili powder, in my food, but cloves and cinnamon will get my goat. They can punish your stomach for hours afterwards.

    Have a nice rest of the day, and thanks.

    Maybe the Monday puzzle has been loaded by now …..

  3. @Addict
    You are indeed the man. We all stumble early in the week now and then. Definitely the toughest Monday puzzle in quite a while.

    @Vidwan
    I didn't hear that the puzzle was missing from the "LA Times" website. By the time I saw your message, I checked the MENSA site and found that it was available there anyway. Sad to hear about your local paper getting cut back. The print media really, really is struggling. I just hope we don't lose the grand tradition of true investigative reporting, and get stuck with tabloid trash. Hope you found the Monday puzzle eventually.

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