LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Nov 13, Tuesday

Share today’s solution with a friend:
FacebookTwitterGoogleEmail

CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: Inner Voices … today’s themed answers each have a category of singing voice hidden within:

21A. Playskool’s Rocktivity products, e.g. MUSICAL TOYS (hiding ALTO)
26A. Clinic helper LAB ASSISTANT (hiding BASS)
43A. Decree that spells things out WRITTEN ORDER (hiding TENOR)

50A. One’s toughest critics, often, and, literally, three different words hidden in 21-, 26- and 43-Across INNER VOICES

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Basics for Dick and Jane ABCS
The “Dick and Jane” beginning reader series of books was originally written by William S. Gray and Zerna Sharp and first published in the 1930s. There are claims of plagiarism from an earlier pair of books published throughout the British Commonwealth that featured the characters Dick and Dora. Indeed, I grew up in the British Isles with “Dick and Dora”, and always assumed that “Dick and Jane” were somehow their American cousins!

10. XT computers IBMS
The IBM XT was IBM’s follow-on model to the original IBM PC. It was released in 1983, and had a whopping 128kB of RAM, a 5¼ floppy drive and a huge 10MB hard drive. I remember it so well …

14. Mandel of “America’s Got Talent” HOWIE
Howie Mandel is a Canadian “funny guy”. He’s making a lot of money a few years ago as host of “Deal or No Deal”, and now as a judge on “America’s Got Talent”. But I remember him from “St. Elsewhere” in the eighties, the first American TV show that I started to watch regularly when I moved to the US.

NBC’s show “America’s Got Talent” is part of a global franchise based in the UK. The original show is called “Britain’s Got Talent”, and the whole franchise is owned by Simon Cowell. The first host of “America’s Got Talent” was Regis Philbin (2006), followed by Jerry Springer (2007-2008). Nick Cannon has been the host since 2009.

15. Actress Lollobrigida GINA
Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress, and also a photojournalist and sculptor. After her career in movies started to slow down in the seventies, she turned to photojournalism. She has photographed many of the greats, including Paul Newman, Salvador Dali, Audrey Hepburn and even the German national soccer team. In fact, she was also able to arrange an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro, much to the chagrin of the world’s professional journalists.

16. “La maja desnuda” artist GOYA
Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter, often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portrait known as “La maja desnuda” (“The Naked Maja”).

17. Primary artery AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

18. First name in advice ABBY
The advice column “Dear Abby” first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the “Abby” pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Phillips came up with by combining “Abigail” from the biblical Book of Samuel, and “Van Buren” after the former US president.

19. Baseball’s Hershiser OREL
Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. Hershiser lives in Las Vegas and when he isn’t working for ESPN, apparently he is at the poker tables.

21. Playskool’s Rocktivity products, e.g. MUSICAL TOYS
Playskool is a company headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island that makes educational toys and games for children. Playskool was started in 1901 as a subsidiary of a lumber company, with the first products being wooden toys used as teaching aids in the classroom.

25. Old British coin GUINEA
The British coin known as a “guinea” was minted between 1663 and 1814. The guinea was originally worth one pound sterling, but its value increased as the value of gold increased relative to silver. The value was eventually fixed in 1816 at twenty-one shillings when it was withdrawn from circulation and the pound was established as the major unit of currency. Even though the guinea stopped circulating soon after 1816, the “guinea” continued to be used to indicate an amount of 21 shillings, especially when pricing certain things. Indeed, I remember some everyday items being price-tagged in guineas as a young boy. Do you remember the “10/6” pricetag on the hat of the Hatter at the tea party in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”? That tag reads “10 shillings and sixpence”, which is “half a guinea”.

32. Gambler’s IOU CHIT
A chit is a note or a short letter. The term tends to be used these days in the sense of an amount owed (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, which is now obsolete but was closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself because when we are at school we would be excused class if we had a “chitty”.

33. Lawyers’ org. ABA
American Bar Association (ABA)

36. Peer pruriently at OGLE
Someone described as “prurient” has an extreme interest in sexual matters. Back in the 1600s “prurient” meant “to have an itch”, although now the meaning is exclusively “to have an itching desire”.

37. Kermit’s color GREEN
Kermit has to be the most readily recognized puppet character created by the late great Jim Henson. Henson came up with Kermit way back in 1955 when he appeared on a puppet show called “Sam and Friends” that aired in Washington, D.C. Kermit is loved so much that he even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

40. Boozer SOT
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning a fool. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

42. Longtime “Masterpiece Theater” host Alistair COOKE
The British American journalist was probably best known over here in the US as the genteel host of PBS’s “Masterpiece Theater” from 1971 to 1992. On the other side of the Atlantic, we knew him for his 15-minute BBC radio show called “Letter from America”, that ran every week from 1946 to 2004. “Letter from America” was the longest-running speech radio show in history.

46. Nighttime shindig SOIREE
“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a “soirée” is an “evening party”. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think, describing a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game similar to field hockey.

49. TV warrior princess XENA
The Xena character, famously played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role.

53. Internet letters WWW
The World Wide Web (WWW) was effectively the invention of English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The key to Berner-Lee’s invention was bringing together two technologies that already existed: hypertext and the Internet. I for one am very grateful …

58. D-Day beach OMAHA
The Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944 took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The worst fighting by far took place on Omaha Beach, a sector assigned to the US Army, transported by elements of the US Navy and the Royal Navy.

62. Poe’s “ebony bird” RAVEN
“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allen Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …

Down
1. Cager-turned-rapper O’Neal, familiarly SHAQ
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he’s a big guy … 7 foot 1 inch tall.

In the early days of basketball, when a ball went out of bounds possession was awarded to the player who first retrieved the ball. This led to mad scuffles off the court, often involving spectators. As the game became more organized courts were routinely “caged”, largely because of this out of bounds rule, to limit interaction with the crowd. It’s because of these cages that basketball players are sometimes referred to today as “cagers”.

2. Old grump COOT
“Geezer” and “coot” are two not-so-nice terms for an old man.

3. Haywire AWRY
“Haywire” is wire used to bind bales of hay. Haywire is very springy, and coils of the wire are difficult to keep under control. That characteristic gives us informal meaning of “haywire”, namely “erratic, crazy”.

6. Andre of tennis AGASSI
Renowned tennis professional Andre Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

7. Netanyahu of Israel, familiarly BIBI
Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has been the Prime Minister of Israel since 2009. Netanyahu is the only leader of the country who had actually been born in the state of Israel.

8. “Squawk on the Street” airer CNBC
“Squawk on the Street” is a CNBC business show that reports live on the first hour and a half of trading on Wall Street.

11. B in chemistry BORON
Boron is the chemical element with the atomic number of 5, and the symbol “B”. It lies over to the right in Group 13 of the Periodic Table of the Elements. Uncombined, elemental boron is not found naturally on Earth. The boron that is mined is found in oxide form, not as uncombined boron.

12. “Poppycock!” MY EYE!
It is thought that the apparently “nice” term “poppycock” comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so nice after all …

13. Doritos scoopful SALSA
Doritos are a brand of flavored tortilla chips launched in 1964. The name “Doritos” means “little bits of gold” in Spanish.

22. “What can Brown do for you?” shipping co. UPS
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky.

23. Manhattan’s __-Fontanne Theatre LUNT
The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is a Broadway theater that originally opened in 1910 as the Globe Theatre, named for the London playhouse used by William Shakespeare. The theater was named in honor of actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in 1958.

Lynn Fontanne was a British actress who married actor Alfred Lunt in 1922. The couple moved to America after appearing on the New York stage in a Noel Coward play that was regarded as too risque for London’s West End. The Lunts were very successful in the American theater, almost always acting together, and often playing husband and wife.

24. Mr. Peanut prop CANE
Planters is the company with the Mr. Peanut icon. Mr. Peanut was the invention of a first-grader called Antonio Gentile, a young man who won a design contest in 1916. A remarkable achievement, I’d say …

26. Vietnam neighbor LAOS
The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country’s name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.

27. Golden Fleece vessel ARGO
Jason is a hero from Greek mythology, most noted for leading the quest for the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-haired winged ram. For his quest, Jason assembles a group of heroes who were given the name Argonauts, as they journeyed on the ship called the “Argo”. The vessel was called the “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

33. Yankee infielder, to fans A-ROD
Poor old Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez is now seems to be in a world of hurt for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

34. Ride the Harley BIKE
The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was started up in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906 they built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

39. Cartoon explorer DORA
“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

41. Uncle Remus’s __ Fox BR’ER
Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The Uncle Remus stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” of course stands for “brother”.

42. Monarch’s spouse CONSORT
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. The wife may be called a queen, but does not have the king’s political or military power. The husband of a reigning queen is usually called a prince consort, rather than king consort.

43. Tears (away) from WRESTS
The verb “to wrest” can mean to obtain by violent twisting and pulling. The word “wrest” derives from the Middle English “wresten” meaning “to twist”. Our word “wrestling” has the same etymology.

45. Maiden name intro NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

Share today’s solution with a friend:
FacebookTwitterGoogleEmail

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. In short supply SCANT
6. Basics for Dick and Jane ABCS
10. XT computers IBMS
14. Mandel of “America’s Got Talent” HOWIE
15. Actress Lollobrigida GINA
16. “La maja desnuda” artist GOYA
17. Primary artery AORTA
18. First name in advice ABBY
19. Baseball’s Hershiser OREL
20. Amt. QTY
21. Playskool’s Rocktivity products, e.g. MUSICAL TOYS
24. Mugs, e.g. CUPS
25. Old British coin GUINEA
26. Clinic helper LAB ASSISTANT
31. Big concert setting ARENA
32. Gambler’s IOU CHIT
33. Lawyers’ org. ABA
36. Peer pruriently at OGLE
37. Kermit’s color GREEN
39. Coffee-brewing choice DRIP
40. Boozer SOT
41. High-fiber food BRAN
42. Longtime “Masterpiece Theater” host Alistair COOKE
43. Decree that spells things out WRITTEN ORDER
46. Nighttime shindig SOIREE
49. TV warrior princess XENA
50. One’s toughest critics, often, and, literally, three different words hidden in 21-, 26- and 43-Across INNER VOICES
53. Internet letters WWW
56. Uses a straw SIPS
57. Fairy tale start ONCE
58. D-Day beach OMAHA
60. Promote big-time TOUT
61. Slangy turnarounds UIES
62. Poe’s “ebony bird” RAVEN
63. Tiny hill builders ANTS
64. Criteria: Abbr. STDS
65. Trapped on a branch TREED

Down
1. Cager-turned-rapper O’Neal, familiarly SHAQ
2. Old grump COOT
3. Haywire AWRY
4. “Picked” complaint NIT
5. Olympians in red, white and blue TEAM USA
6. Andre of tennis AGASSI
7. Netanyahu of Israel, familiarly BIBI
8. “Squawk on the Street” airer CNBC
9. “Huh?” SAY AGAIN?
10. Outfielder’s cry I GOT IT!
11. B in chemistry BORON
12. “Poppycock!” MY EYE!
13. Doritos scoopful SALSA
22. “What can Brown do for you?” shipping co. UPS
23. Manhattan’s __-Fontanne Theatre LUNT
24. Mr. Peanut prop CANE
26. Vietnam neighbor LAOS
27. Golden Fleece vessel ARGO
28. Suspenders alternative BELT
29. What a hound follows SCENT
30. With 53-Down, stadium fans’ rhythmic motion THE
33. Yankee infielder, to fans A-ROD
34. Ride the Harley BIKE
35. Copycat APER
37. Heartrending GRIEVOUS
38. Scavenging pest RAT
39. Cartoon explorer DORA
41. Uncle Remus’s __ Fox BR’ER
42. Monarch’s spouse CONSORT
43. Tears (away) from WRESTS
44. Superabundance EXCESS
45. Maiden name intro NEE
46. Slangy sibling SISTA
47. Bulb in a garden ONION
48. Addition to the conversation INPUT
51. Attending to a task ON IT
52. Like some coffee or tea ICED
53. See 30-Down WAVE
54. Roller coaster cry WHEE!
55. Hand-held scanner WAND
59. Vandalize MAR

Return to top of page

6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Nov 13, Tuesday”

  1. Hey Bill! ….. today's morning is not so nice …. There is more than a sprinkling of snow and ice in northeast ohio … So soon ! I haven't even signed my driveway snow plowing contract yet …..

    Hoyt, I've friends in Aurora and Reminderville, and shop there regularly … What a small world… The four corners mall is a great place, … 5 miles south of my place.

    The puzzle was fairly easy …. I had a little trouble with grievous (!), and Xena and 'say again'… But the other clues were easy, so it's all good. I got 'inner voices', without knowing why …. Maybe it was my conscience.

    Boron is one of my favorite elements, on which I know nothing about…. Other than boric acid, – a talc like powder, used as a lubricant powder in Carrom boards.

    What else to write about ? Guinea – was a coin made of gold, from the copious amount of gold, that the British originally looted from the Guinea coast, off of west Africa. Over the 300?, years, the British, to their credit, (pun intended ), faithfully kept the weight , – about a little less than a fourth of a fine ounce … And the purity, 22 carat, intact. So it is the most popular gold coin, minted by several mints, around the world, in Austr., India, and S.Africa … Even between the wars,… And is still being minted. I have a guinea variously-, of Victoria (4 types), Ed the 7th, George the 5th, G. The 6th, Elizabeth (3 types -). Since it is so very common, and in large supply, the numismatic value, is very little, so it's all the value of the gold, therein. A small gold coin, that's it. Used to be a fee , paid in advance, for a request for a doctor's visit, before national health plans, and a basic solicitors initial consulting fee…. ( from various novels, I have read …. A. J. Cronin, for example -)

    Have a great day, you all.

  2. Bill, I want to make a correction ….

    I got confused between a Guinea and a Sovereign.

    The Guinea is no longer minted, as you correctly mentioned … Since 1816.

    It's the Sovereign that is still minted, weighs about 0.2354 fine ounce, Assayed Gold Weight, albeit in 22 carat gold. . And has been produced with all the various queens and kings. And that is the bullion coin. The obverse is the portrait of the monarch, and the reverse is a depiction of St. George slaying the dragon…..

    Sorry, about the confusion.

  3. Two in a row for me woohoo!

    Yes Vid, snow..yuck!!

    Bill I thought the trivia about cagers etc. was very interesting, I had never heard that before. Thanks.

  4. Bill, I often complete the puzzle, which I did this time, without understanding the theme. This theme was particularly obscure to me though. Looking at your comments each day makes the theme clear, if there is one. Do you decipher these themes yourself or is the theme published somewhere? If you intuit them yourself, Bravo.

  5. @Vidwan
    Don't worry about confusion, Vidwan. I create enough of that around here at times 🙂 You are obviously a collector, and very knowledgable. I remember back in the early seventies that my borther and I, who were very young, were given a commemoration pack of the new decimal coins that were being introduced. We had them out of the pack and spent a few days later …

    @Hoyt
    Snow, eh? I feel for both of you. I was interested (and surprised) to learn about the origins of theterm cagers too. And that the original "baskets" in "basketball" wear peach baskets, with the bottom still in them!

  6. Hi there, Anonymous Visitor.

    I am glad the blog is helping, especially as the themes can sometimes take some time to figure out. I figure them out myself, but there have been occasions when I haven't been sure, so I just say that here on the blog and some kind reader will turn on the lightbulb for me/us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.