LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Jul 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Rick Papazian
THEME: Role Reversal … each of today’s themed answer contains the hidden letter-sequence ELOR, which is a REVERSAL of the word ROLE:

55A. Psychodrama technique … and a literal hint to what’s hidden in 19-, 32- and 39-Across ROLE REVERSAL

19A. Seedless citrus fruit NAVEL ORANGES
32A. Dish named for its French place of origin QUICHE LORRAINE
39A. Recitation from Matthew THE LORD’S PRAYER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Fictional Carpathian Mountains resident DRACULA
Transylvania is a geographic region in the center of Romania. The area is very much associated with vampires ever since the publication of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” that is set in Transylvania. According to the novel, Count Dracula lives in a castle in the Carpathian Mountains, on the border of Transylvania, Bukovina and Moldavia.

The Carpathian Mountains are the second longest range in Europe (after the Scandinavian Mountains), and run from the Czech Republic through Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Romania and into Serbia.

8. Bat wood ASH
Most wooden baseball bats are made out of ash. Bats are also made of maple, although maple bats are falling out of favor due to a tendency for them to shatter.

11. Embroidered pronoun HIS
As in a set of “His” and “Hers” towels, perhaps.

15. “Handcuff Secrets” author HOUDINI
Harry Houdini was the stage name of Hungarian-born escapologist and magician Erik Weisz (later changed to “Harry Weiss”). Many people are under the impression that Houdini died while performing an escape that went wrong, an impression created by the storyline in a couple of movies about his life. The truth is that he died of peritonitis from a burst appendix. It is also true that a few days prior to his death Houdini took a series of punches to his stomach as part of his act, but doctors believe that his appendix would have burst regardless.

The great escapologist Harry Houdini wrote “Handcuff Secrets”, first published in 1907. The volume demonstrates a series of methods for undoing locks and handcuffs, and various other devices such a straitjackets. The intended audience for the book was the brotherhood of fellow magicians.

17. “… folks dressed up like __”: “The Christmas Song” ESKIMOS
The Christmas classic known as “The Christmas Song”, which starts out with the line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, was written in 1944 by Bob Wells and singer Mel Tormé. According to Tormé, the song was actually written on a very hot summer day, with Wells providing the lyrics. Apparently without the intention of writing a song, Wells jotted down four Christmassy phrases in an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool”. Those phrases were:

– Chestnuts roasting
– JackFrost nipping
– Yuletide carols
– Folks dressed up like Eskimos

“The Christmas Song” is now the most-performed Christmas song in the world.

19. Seedless citrus fruit NAVEL ORANGES
Navel oranges are the ones with the small second fruit that grows at the base, at the “navel”. The navel orange has been traced back to a single mutation that took place in an orange tree in Brazil many years ago. The mutation also rendered the fruit seedless and hence sterile, so it is propagated using grafts.

25. Medical tube STENT
In the world of medicine and surgery, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, so that it reduces the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

26. Gauchos’ 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, South American cowboys.

31. Baja bear OSA
In Spanish, “osa” is a female bear, and “oso” is a male.

Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

32. Dish named for its French place of origin QUICHE LORRAINE
The classic dish called quiche is made with eggs (“oeufs” in French). Even though the quiche is inextricably linked to French cuisine, the name “quiche” comes from the German word for cake, “Kuchen”. The variant called “quiche lorraine” includes bits of smoked bacon as an ingredient.

37. Painter Cassatt MARY
Mary Cassatt was an American painter from Pennsylvania who moved to France at the young age of 22 years, in 1866. By which time she was already studying to become a professional artist. Cassatt became friends with Edgar Degas, who invited her to exhibit with the group called “the Impressionists”, who were garnering a great deal of attention at the time. Cassatt’s reputation as a great artist is perhaps built on an extensive series of paintings of mothers with a child.

39. Recitation from Matthew THE LORD’S PRAYER
The Lord’s Prayer is a central prayer in Christian religions, and is found in two places in the New Testament. In the version in the Gospel of Matthew, the last line of the prayer is “deliver us from evil”. In the Gospel of Luke, the last line is “lead us not into temptation”. The last words of the prayer as it most often said today are:

For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever,
Amen

45. Comic strip boy with a giant squid pal LIO
“Liō” is a comic strip drawn by Mark Tatulli that has been distributed since 2006. Liō is a little boy who lives with his widowed father and his pets, including Fido (a spider), Cybil (a cat), Frank (a cobra), Ishmael (a squid) and Mittens (a lobster).

46. North __ SEA
The North Sea is an offshoot of the Atlantic Ocean that is located between Britain and Scandinavia.

55. Psychodrama technique … and a literal hint to what’s hidden in 19-, 32- and 39-Across ROLE REVERSAL
Psychodrama is a type of therapy in which clients act out certain roles in order to gain insight into their lives. A common technique used in psychodrama is role reversal, in which the client is asked to move out of his or her own position and adopt the role of some significant other.

59. Whammy EVIL EYE
The “evil eye” is a curse that is cast by giving a malicious glare.

“Whammy” is a slang term for a hex, a supernatural spell.

60. Greets rudely ACCOSTS
“To accost” is to confront boldly, and is a term that ultimately derives from the Latin “ad” meaning “to” and “costa” meaning “side, coast”. Originally, the term applied to warships that were attacking an enemy’s “coast”.

65. “It’s better to be looked over than overlooked” speaker MAE WEST
Comic actress Mae West can be quoted so easily, as she had so many great lines delivered so well. Here are a few:

• When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better.
• When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.
• I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
• Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet.
• I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
• Why don’t you come on up and see me sometime — when I’ve got nothin’ on but the radio.
• It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.
• To err is human, but it feels divine.
• I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I’m a woman, but loose enough to show I’m a lady.
• I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
• Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

67. Pennant race mo. SEP
The last few weeks of the baseball season are known as “a pennant race”. Before 1969, the term was perhaps more apt, as the pennant winner (league champion) would be the team with the best win-loss record at the end of the season. Starting in 1969, when both the National and American Leagues formally split into East and West divisions, the pennant has been awarded to the winner of a best-of-five series of games played by the division winners each October. The pennant winners then go on to the best-of-seven World Series, also played in October. .

68. Storehouse ARSENAL
Our word “arsenal” comes from the Italian “arzenale”, a work adapted from the Arabic for “workshop”. There was a large wharf in Venice called the Arzenale that became associated with the storage of weapons and ammunition, and this led to our contemporary usage of “arsenal”.

Down
2. Med. personnel RNS
Registered nurses (RNs)

4. Son of Eve CAIN
According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

5. Dr. Richard Kimble pursuer US MARSHAL
If you recall the beginning of each episode of “The Fugitive” television series, there was a narration that summarized the background to the show. It started off “The Fugitive, a QM Production — starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble: an innocent victim of blind justice, falsely convicted for the murder of his wife …” Those words were read by actor William Conrad, who made a name for himself in his detective series playing the portly “Cannon”.

6. Byzantine emperor after Basil I LEO VI
The Byzantine Emperor Leo VI was also known as Leo the Wise and Leo the Philosopher. He was so called because he was extremely well-read.

The Byzantine Emperor Basil I was also known as Basil the Macedonian. Basil was born a simple peasant in Macedonia, and yet rose to become one of the Byzantines’ greatest emperors.

Ancient Rome went through three distinct periods. From 753 to 509 BC, Rome was a kingdom, founded by the legendary Romulus. The Roman Republic lasted from 509 to 27 BC. The Republic started with the overthrow of the last monarch, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and replacement by two elected consuls who were advised by a senate. The Republic evolved over time, but came to an end when Octavian expanded his power and declared himself “First Citizen”, and effectively became Rome’s first Emperor and took the name Caesar Augustus. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire that was centered on Constantinople.

8. “Oh, I see” AH SO
The slang term “ah so” is used in American English to mean “I see”. The term derives from the Japanese expression “Ah so desu ka” meaning “Oh, that’s how it is”.

9. Évian evening SOIR
Évian-les-Bains (or simply Évian) is in the very east of France, on the shores of Lake Geneva directly across the lake from Lausanne, Switzerland. As one might imagine, Évian is the home of Évian mineral water, the most successful business in town. I can’t stand the taste of Évian water …

10. Luau entertainment HULAS
Hula is the name of the Polynesian dance. The chant or song that the dance illustrates, that’s known as the mele.

13. Nogales nap SIESTA
We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, taking the word from the Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at “the sixth hour” after dawn.

Nogales (properly called “Heroica Nogales”) is a city in the Mexican State of Sonora. Nogales lies right on the Mexico-US border, opposite the city of Nogales, Arizona.

20. Fallon followed him LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

Jimmy Fallon was a cast member for a number of years on “Saturday Night Live” before getting his own talk show in 2009, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. Fallon took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in 2014.

21. Cookout, briefly BBQ
It is believed that our word “barbecue” (often shortened to “BBQ”) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

23. Member of college music’s Whiffenpoofs ELI
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

The Yale Whiffenpoofs are an a cappella group based in Yale University. They are the oldest such university group in this country, established in 1909. “The Whiffenpoof Song” is the group’s traditional closing number. The song was first performed back in 1909, and has been recorded by many artists including Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby.

27. Pinnacle ACME
The “acme” is the highest point, coming from the Greek word “akme” which has the same meaning.

30. Drainpipe section TRAP
Most sinks in a home have a P-trap in the outlet pipe that empties into the sewer line. This P-trap has at its heart a U-bend that retains a small amount of water after the sink is emptied. This plug of water serves as a seal to prevent sewer gases entering into the home. By virtue of its design, the U-bend can also capture any heavy objects (like an item of jewelry) that might fall through the plughole. But the “trapping” of fallen objects is secondary to the P-traps main function of trapping sewer gases.

33. Cupid’s counterpart EROS
Cupid is the god of desire and erotic love in Roman mythology. The Greek counterpart of Cupid is Eros.

34. Old instrument played with a plectrum LYRE
The lyre is a stringed instrument most closely associated with Ancient Greece, and with the gods Hermes and Apollo in particular. According to myth, Hermes slaughtered a cow from a sacred herd belonging to Apollo and offered it to the gods but kept the entrails. Hermes used the entrails to make strings that he stretched across the shell of a tortoise, creating the first lyre. Apollo liked the sound from the lyre and agreed to accept it as a trade for his herd of cattle.

36. Font choice: Abbr. ITAL
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

40. “MASH” nickname HOT LIPS
Loretta Swit started playing “Hot Lips” Houlihan on “M*A*S*H” in 1972. She and Alan Alda were the only actors who appeared in both the pilot and the series finale. Swit has written a book on needlepoint, would you believe? It’s called “A Needlepoint Scrapbook”.

43. Perón of Argentina EVA
Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” was also the follow-up musical to “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and was based on the life of Eva Perón.

44. Stout in the mystery section REX
Rex Stout was an author who is mainly known for his detective fiction featuring his hero Nero Wolfe. One of Stout’s friends was the British author P. G. Wodehouse, who wrote the “Jeeves” series of books.

45. Rio Grande city LAREDO
Laredo is a border city in Texas, situated on the banks of the Rio Grande across the border from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a river forming part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

50. “Wonderfilled” treats OREOS
Nabisco launched a new ad campaign for the Oreo brand of in 2012, telling us that the cookie is “wonderfilled”. The modest little Oreo cookie can bring about a positive change of perspective and create a sense of wonder. I think that’s the idea …

52. Store display suffix -ORAMA
The “-orama” is used in advertising and journalism to create words meaning a space or spectacle related to the root word. Examples are “Scoutorama” and “smellorama”. The suffix is a derived from words like “panorama” and “diorama”.

53. First name in wieners OSCAR
The Oscar Mayer brand of meats was named for a German immigrant named Oscar F. Mayer who sold German sausages in the Chicago area in the late 1800s. The Oscar Mayer company has a famous vehicle called the Wienermobile that it has used in promotions for over 70 years.

What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

56. Rochester’s bride EYRE
“Jane Eyre” is the celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I’ve shared here on my blogs that the “Jane Eyre” story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

57. Ford, but not Lincoln VEEP
Gerald Ford is the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the US, without having been elected to those positions. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after he resigned in 1973. Vice President Ford assumed the presidency the following year after President Nixon resigned.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the US in 1861, with Hannibal Hamlin from Maine serving as his vice president throughout the length of his first term. Hamlin and Lincoln never once met each other prior to the announcement of their election. President Lincoln dropped Hamlin from the ticket for the 1864 election, opting instead for the southern Democrat Andrew Johnson from Tennessee. Johnson became president the following year after the assassination of President Lincoln.

58. Actor Rob LOWE
The actor Rob Lowe is one of the “founding members” of the so-called Brat Pack, having appeared in the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire”. More recently, he played a regular character on the TV show “Parks and Recreation”. My favorite of his roles though, was playing Sam Seaborn on Aaron Sorkin’s great drama series “The West Wing”. When “The West Wing” first aired, Seaborn was billed as the show’s main character, but outstanding performances from the rest of the cast and some great writing meant that Lowe’s role became “one of many”. This led to some dissatisfaction on Lowe’s part, and eventually he quit the show.

62. Dept. of Homeland Security org. TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports.

63. After N.Y., team with the most World Series wins STL
As of 2015, the New York Yankees have won 25% (27 titles) of all World Series. Next in ranking are the St. Louis Cardinals, who won 10% (11 titles) of the series. There has been a New York team in almost half (49%) of the World Series played.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fictional Carpathian Mountains resident DRACULA
8. Bat wood ASH
11. Embroidered pronoun HIS
14. Protects, in a way ENCASES
15. “Handcuff Secrets” author HOUDINI
17. “… folks dressed up like __”: “The Christmas Song” ESKIMOS
18. Quiet SILENCE
19. Seedless citrus fruit NAVEL ORANGES
21. “Later” BYE
24. Traditional observance RITE
25. Medical tube STENT
26. Gauchos’ weapons BOLAS
28. “__ so fast!” NOT
31. Baja bear OSA
32. Dish named for its French place of origin QUICHE LORRAINE
37. Painter Cassatt MARY
38. Entice BAIT
39. Recitation from Matthew THE LORD’S PRAYER
45. Comic strip boy with a giant squid pal LIO
46. North __ SEA
47. Work hard SLAVE
48. Probably will, after “is” APT TO
51. Programmer’s glitch, perhaps LOOP
54. Car wash option WAX
55. Psychodrama technique … and a literal hint to what’s hidden in 19-, 32- and 39-Across ROLE REVERSAL
59. Whammy EVIL EYE
60. Greets rudely ACCOSTS
64. Deeply regret DEPLORE
65. “It’s better to be looked over than overlooked” speaker MAE WEST
66. Logical operators ORS
67. Pennant race mo. SEP
68. Storehouse ARSENAL

Down
1. Low mark DEE
2. Med. personnel RNS
3. “Egad!” ACK!
4. Son of Eve CAIN
5. Dr. Richard Kimble pursuer US MARSHAL
6. Byzantine emperor after Basil I LEO VI
7. Accounts receivable, e.g. ASSET
8. “Oh, I see” AH SO
9. Évian evening SOIR
10. Luau entertainment HULAS
11. Contingently follow from HINGE ON
12. Tick off INCENSE
13. Nogales nap SIESTA
16. Trade-in deduction DENT
20. Fallon followed him LENO
21. Cookout, briefly BBQ
22. “__ rang?” YOU
23. Member of college music’s Whiffenpoofs ELI
27. Pinnacle ACME
29. Eyes in verse ORBS
30. Drainpipe section TRAP
33. Cupid’s counterpart EROS
34. Old instrument played with a plectrum LYRE
35. Jurisdictional atmospheric areas AIR SPACES
36. Font choice: Abbr. ITAL
39. Topple TIP OVER
40. “MASH” nickname HOT LIPS
41. Valley DALE
42. Deviate from a course YAW
43. Perón of Argentina EVA
44. Stout in the mystery section REX
45. Rio Grande city LAREDO
49. Inform TELL
50. “Wonderfilled” treats OREOS
52. Store display suffix -ORAMA
53. First name in wieners OSCAR
56. Rochester’s bride EYRE
57. Ford, but not Lincoln VEEP
58. Actor Rob LOWE
61. D.C. VIP SEN
62. Dept. of Homeland Security org. TSA
63. After N.Y., team with the most World Series wins STL

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16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Jul 15, Thursday”

  1. A fair effort with this, though again a lot more time than I wanted to take to finish. I finished the grid with one major error (15-Across), 3 others stemming from that. At least I knew what I had was wrong, just didn't know how to correct it.

    45-Across: Can't say most of the newer generation of comic strips are very good compared to the older ones, this one included.

    45-Down: Speaking of vacations, this was one of my past destinations. Quite interesting and different, especially to contrast the two. Especially true, since they are directly across the border from one another – the naming indicative of the fact that it is one "metropolitan" area.

    Bill: Glad to read that you are enjoying your vacation times, and hope you find your way back safely, with gladness that you have done these things.

  2. I called an audible this morning and am now headed down to Annandale-on-Hudson, NY to partake of the Bard College summer music festival. I managed to score some tickets to their presentation of Oklahoma! For a guy living in the desert, all these trees are quite fun!

    The grid was ok in some parts, and not-so-ok in parts. I don't know, something rubbed me the wrong way with this one. Perhaps the cluing, e.g., if I were INCENSEd, it'd be a lot more than "ticked off." And I must agree with Glenn: the funny pages are not nearly as funny as they used to be.

    To Bill and everyone else trying to vacation this summer: stay safe and enjoy. If you do make it to the Big Easy, you gotta do brunch at Galatoire's

  3. @Bill A note on your 58-Down commentary:

    He is currently playing a regular character on the TV show “Parks and Recreation”.

    “Parks and Recreation” is done as a TV show, so this would be past-tense to be accurate. As for current appearances, he will appear in a TV show called "The Grinder", which will premiere this fall.

  4. This puzzle came together without too much angst or gnashing of teeth. Learning how to spell "ack" as the answer for "egad" was something new for me and I had to figure out the grid wasn't looking for "zag" for 42 Down but rather "yaw" – Yee Haw!

    @Willie D – As soon as I read your post and saw you mention Annandale-on-Hudson my mind immediately began to play "My Old School" by Steely Dan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gezlZpHHhu4

    Hope everyone has a great day.

  5. Quite tough. Bill. thank you for the blog which explains everything. Hope you have safe driving and restful nights.

    On 'Evil Eye' …. the talisman to avoid or to 'bend' ot 'turn away' the evil eye …. itself has a nice word — Apotropaic. From the Greek, to turn away or to protect. Although I don't believe in all that nonsense, I do have plenty of talismans, in all types of materials, in my house – as bric-a-bracs. Have they helped ? I don't know. Claw of hawk, coral figurines and silver hamzas …. all manner of trinkets ….

    Motto of the TSA ;- Can't see London, can't see France, unless we see your underpants.

    Have a nice day, all.

  6. THE LORD SPRA*E* held me up longer than I'd like to admit.
    What verb is SPRA*R* ???
    The theme helped a lot in this case.
    Tough clues, but doable.

  7. @Pookie – I believe a "Lord Sprayer" could be a British aristocrat who has a severe spitting while speaking problem, would it not?

  8. @Tony Too too FUNNY!!
    @Citerna 66 Across Logical operators=ORS. What is that short for? What is a logical operator? Surely not operating rooms, is it?

    Me too! Have no idea.

  9. ORS stumped me as well. I had HAWKEYE before HOTLIPS which delayed me. But I finished eventually.

    I moved to Houston from St Louis to go to college. The drinking age was 18 when I arrived. 2 weeks later it switched to 19. Therefore, we roadtripped to Laredo (and Nuevo Laredo) about a thousand times when we wanted to go to bars etc. Great memories, but I'd never go to Nuevo Laredo now. The drug gang Zetas run the place. Way too dangerous. What a shame. We had a blast there back in the day.

    Best

  10. This was more enjoyable than yesterday. I was stuck in the upper left for a while because I could not remember the song lyric. That was a head slapping moment for me once I finally got it. Had the long answers before I got to the theme clue which helped me to answer that one.

    Tony – love the Lord Sprayer explanation. lol

    Regarding 66 across – it is a plural of the word 'OR' not an abbreviation. Logical operator is a programming term.

  11. Yay! Finished with no errors and minimal drama. The baseball stuff helped. I didn't understand "whammy" til I got here, but I did see EVIL EYE.
    I wonder if I'll get Friday's puzzle again — doubtful!
    See you then 😀

  12. @Everyone
    Many thanks for the "bon voyage" messages for our trip. They are much appreciated. And thnk you again for your patience as let my email inbox get away from me yet again!

    @Glenn
    Thanks for spotting that error re Rob Lowe. I've made an appropriate edit, thanks to your help. Much appreciated.

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