LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Feb 14, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brad Wilber
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “A Different World” actress LISA BONET
Lisa Bonet is an actress best known for playing one of the daughters on the “The Cosby Show”. Bonet was married for a few years to the singer Lenny Kravitz, with whom she eloped in 1987. She changed her name to Lilakoi Moon in 1992, but still uses “Lisa Bonet” as her stage name.

“A Different World” is a spin-off sitcom from “The Cosby Show” that centers on the character Denise Huxtable who was played by Lisa Bonet. After the first season of the show, Debbie Allen (of television’s “Fame”) took over creative control. As a result, “A Different World” gained a reputation for dealing with difficult social issues such as date rape and racial discrimination in colleges.

15. Halley’s field ASTRONOMY
Edmond Halley was an English astronomer who lived at the turn of 17th and 18th centuries. In 1705 he declared that comet sightings recorded in 1456, 1531, 1607 and 1682 were in fact observations of the same comet returning to fly by Earth at regular intervals. He predicted that this comet would return in 1758, and he was right, and so the comet was named after him: Halley’s Comet. Sadly, Halley didn’t live long enough to see his prediction come true.

16. Veronese white SOAVE
Soave is a dry white wine produced in the area around the city of Verona in northeast Italy.

20. “__ Mutual Friend”: Dickens’ last completed novel OUR
“Our Mutual Friend” is the last novel that Charles Dickens finished, first published in 1865. The last novel that Dickens worked on is “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, which he left unfinished.

21. Royal letters HRH
His/her Royal Highness (HRH)

22. Texting gasp OMG
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

26. St. Peter’s Basilica attraction PIETA
The Pietà is a representation of the Virgin Mary holding in her arms the dead body of her son Jesus. The most famous Pietà is probably the sculpted rendition by Michelangelo which is located in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. In some depictions of Mary with Jesus in her arms, mother and son are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament. These depictions are known as “Lamentations”.

31. The first one opened on Majorca in 1950 CLUB MED
Club Méditerranée is usually referred to as “Club Med”. It is a French company that started in 1950 with a resort on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean. It was originally a “club” with annual membership dues. Now it is an operator of numerous all-inclusive resorts located all over the world.

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain’s largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

33. Lake Geneva river RHONE
The Rhone river rises in Switzerland and flows through the southeast of France.

Lake Geneva has a lot of “official” names!

– English: Lake Geneva
– French: Lac Léman or Lac de Genève
– German: Genfersee or Genfer See
– Italian: Lago Lemano or Lago di Ginevra

35. Princess with a Wookieepedia entry LEIA
Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

Wookieepedia is also known as “The Star Wars Wiki”, and is a mini-Wikipedia for everything you’d ever want to know about the movies. The name is of course a play on the word “Wikipedia”, and is a portmanteau of “Wookiee” and “encyclopedia”. Wookiees are a biped race featured in “Star Wars”, the most notable being Chewbacca, the loyal friend and associate of Han Solo.

36. “I Lost It at the Movies” author KAEL
“I Lost It at the Movies” is collection of film reviews by critic Pauline Kael that was published in one volume in 1965.

39. Teaching method based on set theory NEW MATH
“New Math” was a novel method of teaching mathematics that became popular with the powers that be (not so much with students and teachers!) in the sixties. Central to New Math was set theory. The impetus for introducing the new methodology was the Space Race, as there was fear in the US that the country was not generating enough science-oriented mathematicians to compete with Soviet engineers and physicists.

42. Gent CHAP
“Chap” is an informal term for “lad, fellow”, especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

43. Moselle tributary SAAR
The Saar is a river that rises on the border between Alsace and Lorraine in France, flows through western Germany and finally enters the Moselle. Historically the Saar river valley was an important source for coal, iron and steel.

45. “The Love Boat” bartender ISAAC
The bartender on TV show “The Love Boat” is Isaac Washington, played by Ted Lange.

“The Love Boat” TV series was born out of 1976 made-for-TV movie with the same title. The movie was which itself was an adaptation of a nonfiction book called “The Love Boats” written by real-life cruise director Jeraldine Saunders.

49. Lucy of “Elementary” LIU
Lucy Liu is an Asian-American actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I am having fun watching one of Liu’s more recent projects, in which she plays one of the two leads in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

59. Spud TATER
The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

60. Europe’s tallest ferris wheel LONDON EYE
London Eye is the name of a very large Ferris wheel that sits right beside the River Thames in London. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and was the tallest in the world when it was constructed in 1999. The London Eye is the most-visited, paid tourist attraction in the whole country.

62. Mississippi has four AREA CODES
Area codes were introduced in the 1940s. Back then the “clicks” one heard when dialling a number led to mechanical wear on various pieces of equipment. In order to minimize overall mechanical wear, areas with high call volumes were given the most efficient area codes (lowest number of clicks). That led to New York getting the area code 212, Los Angeles 213 and Chicago 313.

Down
2. Like about 1.5 billion people ISLAMIC
Over 50% of the world’s population consider themselves to be adherents of the big three Abrahamic religions: Christianity (2-2.2 billion), Islam (1.6-1.7 billion) and Judaism (14-18 million).

3. His was the first number retired by the Mets STENGEL
Casey Stengel was a professional baseball player, playing from 1912-1925 and managing from 1934-1965. Stengel was born in Kansas City. He had German heritage, and so was called “Dutch” for much of his early life. As he acquired fame on the baseball field he was given the nickname “Casey”, largely because he came from Kansas City (“KC”) and also because of the popularity of the poem “Casey at the Bat”. He was a smart and erudite guy when it came to baseball, so sportswriters tended to call him “The Old Professor”.

4. Ireland’s __ Islands ARAN
The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay in the west of Ireland. They are beautiful and desolate places, and one of the few places in Ireland where the main language spoken is Irish, as opposed to English. If you’ve seen the television comedy “Father Ted”, you’ll be familiar with the landscape, as many of the external shots are from Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands.

5. Audio giant BOSE
Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.

7. View from The Hague NORTH SEA
The North Sea is an offshoot of the Atlantic Ocean that is located between Britain and Scandinavia.

Den Haag is the Dutch name for the city in the Netherlands that we know in English as The Hague. Even though The Hague is the seat of the Dutch parliament and is where Queen Beatrix resides, it is not the country’s capital city. That honor goes to Amsterdam.

8. Graph- ending -EME
A letter in an alphabet might be called a “grapheme”. In linguistics, grapheme is a more general term that refers to all symbols that form the most basic units of a language, which may be letters and groups of letters.

9. Cooperstown charter member TY COBB
Ty Cobb was one of the richest baseball players of all times. When he retired, Cobb was a major stockholder of the Coca-Cola Corporation. By the time he passed away in 1961, Cobb had an even bigger investment in General Electric. He left an estate after his death worth about $86m (in 2008 dollars).

Cooperstown is a village in New York that is famous as the home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The village was named for Judge William Cooper, Cooperstown’s founder, and the father of the noted writer James Fenimore Cooper.

10. There’s a lot of interest in it USURY
“Usury” was originally the name given to the practice of lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at excessive rates of interest.

11. Food cooked in an imu POI
I was reliably informed by a blog reader that poi is not in fact cooked in an imu. Taro root might be baked in an imu, but that produces baked taro root, not poi …

An imu is a type of underground oven that is used in the traditional Hawaiian cooking method known as “kālua”. The word “kālua” actually means “to cook in an underground oven”. The imu is a sand or dirt pit usually about three feet deep. A fire is built in the pit using koa wood and then rocks are placed on the fire. Once the rocks are sufficiently hot, the pit is lined with banana leaves. The seasoned meat to be cooked is also wrapped in banana leaves, as well as wet burlap. The meat “package” is surrounded by hot rocks in the pit and then covered with sand or soil.
Cooking time is usually 6 or 7 hours.

27. Spring bloom TULIP
Tulip festivals are held in a few cities around the world. The largest of these is the Canadian Tulip Festival that is held every year in the capital city of Ottawa. The tradition of growing tulips in Ottawa really started at the end of WWII. The Dutch royal family presented the city with 100,000 tulip bulbs as an act of thank for having sheltered Princess Juliana and her children while the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. The first Canadian Tulip Festival took place in 1953.

30. Pampas weapons BOLAS
Bolas are heavy balls connected by cords that constitute a throwing weapon. Bolas are often used to capture animals by tripping them as they run. The weapon is usually associated with gauchos, the South American cowboys.

The Pampas are fertile lowlands covering a large part of Argentina, Uruguay and some of Brazil. “Pampa” is a Quechua word meaning “plain”.

34. Half: Pref. HEMI-
Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

36. Fuel that built the Rockefeller fortune KEROSENE
Kerosene is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is used mainly as a fuel. Kerosene is volatile, but is less flammable than gasoline. Back in the British Isles, we call the same fuel “paraffin”.

John D. Rockefeller was an American industrialist whose biggest success came with the Standard Oil Company that he ran for over 25 years. Rockefeller became the richest man in the world, and America’s first billionaire.

37. Adjective for “Pygmalion” or “Major Barbara” SHAVIAN
“Shavian” is such a lovely word, and is used to describe George Bernard Shaw or his works.

George Bernard Shaw was a very successful Irish playwright. Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. He won his Oscar for adapting his own play “Pygmalion” for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaptation of “Pygmalion” that went by the title “My Fair Lady”.

38. Shower paraphernalia LAYETTE
A newborn baby’s collection of clothing and accessories is called a layette.

44. Luanda’s land ANGOLA
Angola is a country in south-central Africa, on the west coast. Angola is the fourth largest diamond exporter in Africa, after Botswana, the Congo and South Africa. Such a valuable export hasn’t really helped the living standard of the country’s citizens as life expectancy and infant mortality rates are among the poorest on the continent.

Luanda is the capital city of Angola. Luanda is a large seaport that was founded by the Portuguese in 1576. For centuries, Luanda served as the main center of the slave trade from Africa to the Portuguese colony of Brazil.

48. Icelandic singer BJORK
Björk is a rather eccentric singer-songwriter from Iceland who is a big hit in the UK in particular. Björk is the daughter of a nationally recognized union leader in her home country.

53. Org. that rejects bad eggs USDA
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) actually dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

54. Van. alternative CHOC
The flavor of vanilla (van.) is an alternative to chocolate (choc.).

55. Recent Yankee star named for Jackie Robinson CANO
Robinson Canó is a second baseman playing for the Seattle Mariners. Robinson’s father José Canó is a former pitcher who played briefly for the Houston Astros. José named his son for the great Jackie Robinson.

58. Scand. kingdom NOR
Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “A Different World” actress LISA BONET
10. More than ready to do UP FOR
15. Halley’s field ASTRONOMY
16. Veronese white SOAVE
17. Norwegian offerings PLEASURE CRUISES
19. Most like a beachcomber TANNEST
20. “__ Mutual Friend”: Dickens’ last completed novel OUR
21. Royal letters HRH
22. Texting gasp OMG
23. Profile listing HOBBY
25. “Yes!” I DO!
26. St. Peter’s Basilica attraction PIETA
29. Many roomies SIBS
30. Match BOUT
31. The first one opened on Majorca in 1950 CLUB MED
33. Lake Geneva river RHONE
35. Princess with a Wookieepedia entry LEIA
36. “I Lost It at the Movies” author KAEL
37. Narrow vents SLITS
39. Teaching method based on set theory NEW MATH
42. Gent CHAP
43. Moselle tributary SAAR
45. “The Love Boat” bartender ISAAC
47. Hit the __ HAY
48. “Precisely!” BINGO!
49. Lucy of “Elementary” LIU
50. Time to look forward EVE
51. Trot JOG
52. Aids SUCCORS
56. Fails to intervene SITS ON ONE’S HANDS
59. Spud TATER
60. Europe’s tallest ferris wheel LONDON EYE
61. Underhanded type SNEAK
62. Mississippi has four AREA CODES

Down
1. Telecommuter’s tool LAPTOP
2. Like about 1.5 billion people ISLAMIC
3. His was the first number retired by the Mets STENGEL
4. Ireland’s __ Islands ARAN
5. Audio giant BOSE
6. Cross to bear ONUS
7. View from The Hague NORTH SEA
8. Graph- ending -EME
9. Cooperstown charter member TY COBB
10. There’s a lot of interest in it USURY
11. Food cooked in an imu POI
12. Method FASHION
13. Accruing fines, maybe OVERDUE
14. Did a double take? RESHOT
18. Chafes RUBS RAW
24. Kin of -ish -OID
27. Spring bloom TULIP
28. Distract the security guard, say ABET
30. Pampas weapons BOLAS
32. Assignment MISSION
34. Half: Pref. HEMI-
36. Fuel that built the Rockefeller fortune KEROSENE
37. Adjective for “Pygmalion” or “Major Barbara” SHAVIAN
38. Shower paraphernalia LAYETTE
39. Hound NAG
40. Like owls TALONED
41. Lock-changing tool? HAIR DYE
42. See 57-Down CHESTS
44. Luanda’s land ANGOLA
46. Triggers a bleep, maybe CUSSES
48. Icelandic singer BJORK
53. Org. that rejects bad eggs USDA
54. Van. alternative CHOC
55. Recent Yankee star named for Jackie Robinson CANO
57. With 42-Down, spots for sailors’ gear SEA
58. Scand. kingdom NOR

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4 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Feb 14, Saturday”

  1. This was a good Saturday workout.
    Shavian is a new word for me.
    That right next to Layette gave me fits.
    54D clue- Van. alternative was cruel at first until I got the answer, DOH!

    Have a good weekend all!

  2. For anyone into Dickens and disappointed that he did not finish his last novel, I highly recommend the recent book "Drood" wherein the author attempts to finish the story through the eyes of fellow author and contemporary Wilkie Collins. Although the book is quite a few pages, it is worth reading and contains a good portrait of Dickens and his family life.

    I too am watching with enjoyment the TV series "Elementary". All crossword solvers are bound to enjoy the logical solutions to crimes that the new Sherlock Holmes comes up with.

  3. @Addict
    SHAVIAN was new to me too, but a lovely word, don't you think? Enjoy the rest of your weekend

    @Anonymous visitor
    Thank you so much for spotting my Pauline Kael error. I appreciate (and need!) the editorial assistance. All fixed now.

    @Piano Man
    I've just put "Drood" on my list, a long list admittedly. Thanks for telling us about the book. If you are enjoying "Elementary" you would probably also like "Sherlock", the British TV series on which "Elementary" is based. It shows on some PBS stations around the country, and I think maybe on BBC America.

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