LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Jan 16, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 18m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Diamond surprise UPSET
I’m guessing it’s an upset (unexpected result) in a baseball game …

6. Change keys often? ISLAND-HOP
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

15. “You’ve got me on my knees” woman in a 1971 hit LAYLA
“Layla” is one of the great rock anthems of the seventies, released by Derek and the Dominos in December of 1970. It is a masterpiece of composition, with the first half of the song a great vehicle for the guitar-playing talents of Eric Clapton. The second half is a beautifully melodic piano coda (a coda … taking up half the length of the track!). To top things off we have the “unplugged” version recorded by Clapton in 1992, a fabulous and inventive variation on the original.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

18. Unix guru, e.g. POWER USER
Unix is a computer operating system that was developed at Bell Labs in 1969.

19. Biblical miracle component LOAVES
According to the Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus performed two miracles in which he fed the multitude. The first was the Feeding of the 5,000, with five barley loaves and two small fish, which is reported in all four Gospels. The second was the Feeding of the 4,000, with seven loaves and a few small fish, which is reported in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew.

21. “Wedding Bell Blues” songwriter NYRO
Laura Nyro was a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York. Nyro had success with her own recordings, but her songs were even more successful when recorded by other big names. Two of Nyro’s compositions were “Eli’s Coming” recorded by Three Dog Night, and “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand.

“Wedding Bell Blues” is a 1966 song by Laura Nyro. A cover version by the 5th Dimension was a hit in 1969.

22. Last Hebrew letter TAV
The Phoenician letter “taw” is a related to the Hebrew letter “tav”. The Phoenician taw gave rise to the Greek tau and the Latin T.

23. eBay feature UPPERCASE B
The company name “eBay” features an uppercase letter B.

25. Designer Ricci NINA
The Nina Ricci fashion house was founded by Italian-born Maria “Nina” Ricci, in Paris in 1932.

26. D.C. United’s org. MLS
D.C. United is a professional soccer team based in the nation’s capital. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays home games at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.

27. King ratsnake’s defense ODOR
The king ratsnake is native to Southeast and East Asia. It is also known as the “stink snake” and the “stinking goddess”, referring to the foul odor released from post-anal glands when threatened.

28. Arctic GELID
“Gelid” is such a lovely word, with the meaning “icy cold”. “Gelid” derives from the Latin “gelum” meaning “frost, intense cold”.

32. “Particularly small and particularly wicked-looking” villain MR HYDE
Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was first published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story including one that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

33. Fateful day IDES
There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

Julius Caesar was assassinated on the 15th (the ides) of March, 44 BC. He was attacked by a group of sixty people in the Roman Senate, and was stabbed 23 times. The first to strike a blow was Servilius Casca, who attacked Caesar from behind and stabbed him in the neck. In Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, Casca utters the words “Speak, hands, for me!” just before making the fatal blow. The following line, uttered by Caesar, is more famous though: “Et tu, Brute?”

35. Neighbors of Frauen FEMMES
“Frauen” (German women) live across the border from “femmes” (French women).

38. “The Roosevelts” documentarian KEN BURNS
Ken Burns directs and produces epic documentary films that usually make inventive use of archive footage. Recent works are the sensational “The War” (about the US in WWII) and the magnificent “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Burns’ latest offering is 2014’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History”.

42. Jordan’s only port AQABA
The coastal city of Aqaba is the only seaport in the country of Jordan. The city lies at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, which is off the Red Sea.

44. Classified initials EOE
The abbreviation “EOE” (Equal Opportunity Employer) is found in some classified ads.

45. Tamblyn of “West Side Story” RUSS
Russ Tamblyn is an actor from Los Angeles who I know best from his performance in 1961’s “West Side Story” in which he played Riff, the leader of the Jets gang. More recently, Tamblyn played Dr. Lawrence Jacoby on the TV series “Twin Peaks”. Russ’s daughter is actress Amber Tamblyn, who plays the lead on the TV show “Joan of Arcadia”.

46. Silk Road component KHYBER PASS
The Khyber Pass is a famous mountain pass connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan through the Spin Ghar mountains. The Khyber Pass was crucial to the ancient Silk Road.

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

50. Bug FLAW
Back in 1947, the famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so she has been given credit for popularizing the term.

52. Dogfish Head sellers ALEHOUSES
Dogfish Head is a brewery in Milton, Delaware that set up shop in 1995. The brewery is named for Dogfish Head in Maine, where the founder spent summers as a child.

55. Mobutu’s land ZAIRE
Mobutu Sese Seko was the longtime President of Zaire (later to be called the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Mobutu was known to be a very corrupt dictator and it is believed that he embezzled over $5 billion from his country. On a lighter note, Mobutu was the money man behind the famous 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman known as “The Rumble in the Jungle”. Mobutu was anxious to expand the image of Zaire so he used his nation’s funds to entice the fighters to have a go at each other in his homeland.

58. Slinky spots TOY CHESTS
The marvelous Slinky toy was invented in the early forties by a naval engineer called Richard James. James was developing springs for the navy that could stabilize sensitive instruments in rough seas. One day he accidentally knocked one of his experimental coils off a shelf and watched it “step” onto a stack of books, then onto a table and from there onto the floor where it recoiled itself very neatly. The Slinky was born …

Down
1. Poe title answer to ” … ‘What is written … / On the door of this legended tomb?'” ULALUME
“Ulalume” is a poem written by Edgar Allen Poe in 1847. The poem’s line “in the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir” is quoted in another respected work, Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Blanche Dubois says that her sister, Stella, lives “in the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir”, a nod to “Ulalume”.

2. Impressive array PANOPLY
“Panoply” originally described the complete set of armor of a warrior, with the term coming from the Greek “pan-”meaning “all” and “hopla” meaning “arms”. We’ve been using “panoply” to mean “any splendid array” since the 1820s.

3. Neural junction SYNAPSE
A synapse is a junction between a nerve cell and another cell over which an electrical or chemical signal can pass.

4. Professeur’s charge ELEVE
In French, a “professeur” (teacher) in France should show concern for his élèves (pupils).

6. Juno, e.g.: Abbr. ISP
Juno is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that was founded in 1996 and is based in Newark, New Jersey.

8. Many a president LAWYER
The former occupations of the US presidents is a varied list, with most common profession being lawyer. Some other occupations were:

– James Madison: farmer and plantation owner
– Andrew Johnson: soldier and tailor
– James Garfield: school teacher, minister and soldier
– Warren Harding: newspaper publisher and editor
– Herbert Hoover: engineer and investor
– Ronald Reagan: actor and broadcaster

9. Having a bite ACERB
“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, meaning sour or bitter-tasting, acidic.

10. 50s-60s emperor NERO
Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE. Nero had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old he married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

11. R&B group __ Hill DRU
Dru Hill is an R&B singing group from Baltimore, Maryland. Dru Hill was formed in 1992, and is still going strong today. The name “Dru Hill” comes from Druid Hill Park which is found on the west side of Baltimore.

13. Mythological sea nymph OCEANID
In Greek and Roman mythology, the 3,000 daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys were sea nymphs known as the Oceanids. The couple also had 3,000 sons, the river gods known as the Potamoi.

24. Vitamin C sources ADES
The essential nutrient referred to as vitamin C is also called L-ascorbic acid or ascorbate. A lack of vitamin C causes the disease scurvy.

25. Prime minister sworn in by Mountbatten NEHRU
Jawaharlal Nehru was the very first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor, Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter, Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi, though she was no relation to Mahatma).

Louis Mountbatten was the uncle of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Mountbatten held many influential posts in the British Government. He was the last Viceroy of India in the late forties and oversaw the transition of India to independence and the end of the British Raj. In the 1950s, he was First Sea Lord, the head of the Royal Navy. Mountbatten was assassinated by the Irish Republican Army in 1979, while holidaying in his summer home in the West of Ireland.

31. Bean product? IDEA
A slang term for a “head” might be “bean” or “noggin”.

32. “The Little Mermaid” composer Alan MENKEN
Alan Menken is a composer from New York City best known from the scores he produced for Disney movies. Menken won Oscars for the scores for “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin” and “Pocahontas”.

34. Wormwood, e.g. HERB
Wormwood is an ornamental plant and herb that is used as an ingredient in absinthe. As a herb, wormwood has been used as an antiparasitic drug, consumed in order to expel parasitic worms. That usage gave rise to the name “wormwood”.

35. China setting FAR EAST
In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. The Near East and Middle East are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

38. Site of Truman’s winter White House KEY WEST
After President Harry S. Truman’s was in office for 19 months he was physically exhausted, and so his doctor prescribed a warm-weather vacation. The president used a government property in Key West, Florida for his recuperation, and continued to use it for additional visits twice a year for the duration of his presidency. Originally built in 1890 as officer’s quarters for a submarine base, the facility became known as the Little White House.

41. Sonnet parts SESTETS
A sestet is a group of six lines of poetry similar to a quatrain, a group of four lines.

A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).

46. 1971 title detective KLUTE
“Klute” is an entertaining 1971 crime thriller film starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. Fonda won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance.

48. Schroeder’s love PIANO
Schroeder is a favorite character of mine in the comic strip “Peanuts”. He is young boy who constantly plays on a toy piano, especially pieces by Beethoven. Schroeder also has an extreme infatuation with Lucy van Pelt.

50. WWI French marshal FOCH
Marshal Ferdinand Foch was a French military officer who participated in WWI. Foch’s reputation was at its height after victories in the First Battle of the Marne in 1914, and the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918. After he died in 1929, Fochs was interred in Les Invalides in Paris, next to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

54. D and C, in D.C. STS
Famously, the layout of the streets in Washington was designed by French-born American architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant. The L’Enfant Plan called for a grid of east-west and north-south streets. This grid was criss-crossed with diagonal avenues. The avenues and streets met at circles and rectangular plazas. The east-west streets are generally named for letters, while the north-south streets are numbered. Later, many of the diagonal avenues were named for states of the union.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Diamond surprise UPSET
6. Change keys often? ISLAND-HOP
15. “You’ve got me on my knees” woman in a 1971 hit LAYLA
16. Competition covering many miles SPACE RACE
17. Wing ANNEX
18. Unix guru, e.g. POWER USER
19. Biblical miracle component LOAVES
21. “Wedding Bell Blues” songwriter NYRO
22. Last Hebrew letter TAV
23. eBay feature UPPERCASE B
25. Designer Ricci NINA
26. D.C. United’s org. MLS
27. King ratsnake’s defense ODOR
28. Arctic GELID
29. Pencil contents, perhaps EYELINER
32. “Particularly small and particularly wicked-looking” villain MR HYDE
33. Fateful day IDES
34. Pick up HEAR
35. Neighbors of Frauen FEMMES
38. “The Roosevelts” documentarian KEN BURNS
42. Jordan’s only port AQABA
43. Benefit from work PERK
44. Classified initials EOE
45. Tamblyn of “West Side Story” RUSS
46. Silk Road component KHYBER PASS
49. Down EAT
50. Bug FLAW
51. Ace the test NAIL IT
52. Dogfish Head sellers ALEHOUSES
55. Mobutu’s land ZAIRE
56. Most unforgiving STRICTEST
57. Inception ONSET
58. Slinky spots TOY CHESTS
59. Learning methods ROTES

Down
1. Poe title answer to ” … ‘What is written … / On the door of this legended tomb?'” ULALUME
2. Impressive array PANOPLY
3. Neural junction SYNAPSE
4. Professeur’s charge ELEVE
5. Government, often TAXER
6. Juno, e.g.: Abbr. ISP
7. Back SPONSOR
8. Many a president LAWYER
9. Having a bite ACERB
10. 50s-60s emperor NERO
11. R&B group __ Hill DRU
12. With urgency HASTILY
13. Mythological sea nymph OCEANID
14. Fill PERVADE
20. Tea cart items SCONES
24. Vitamin C sources ADES
25. Prime minister sworn in by Mountbatten NEHRU
28. Land __ GRAB
30. An arm and a leg LIMBS
31. Bean product? IDEA
32. “The Little Mermaid” composer Alan MENKEN
34. Wormwood, e.g. HERB
35. China setting FAR EAST
36. On a par with EQUAL TO
37. Domination MASTERY
38. Site of Truman’s winter White House KEY WEST
39. Dreamer’s opposite REALIST
40. “Ain’t happening!” NO SIREE!
41. Sonnet parts SESTETS
43. Stages PHASES
46. 1971 title detective KLUTE
47. Carry-on no-no RAZOR
48. Schroeder’s love PIANO
50. WWI French marshal FOCH
53. It’s heard at 52-Across HIC!
54. D and C, in D.C. STS

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Jan 16, Saturday”

  1. Bill, this is in 'reply' to your heartfelt post yesterday. We, so do, take you for granted. And I often forget the NYT post, as well !! Wow ! This is a labor of tough love. And, for what – some appreciation, no money and a lot of time and effort. I do not believe that I can last remember anything that I have done, in the past 20 years, that has required such dedication. And I think I am infinitely poorer because of it. And, despite your lovely and blessed marriage, you are all alone and single handed in this endeavor. No backup, not even a Hail Mary, I'll-pay-you-anything type of fall-back guy. That is a sobering responsibility.

    To, our teacher, may I link a tribute to teachers . Words fail me, but I hope my small effort brings some consolation and satisfaction to your heart and soul.

    Take care, be well.

  2. Quite simply:

    [Here]
    My head

    (i.e. over "my head")

    I guess I learned a lot, but that really means I didn't know a lot. I was trounced by this one. Barry's back to his old tricks. ACERB for "Having a bite" should come with a mandatory prison sentence. NERO and FEMMES both had cluing that was downright unconstitutional – i.e. cruel and unusual…

    Throw in ULALUME and KHYBER PASS and you have a washout.

    Still 0 for 2016.

    Best –

  3. @Bill from last night."That's probably more information than you guys wanted, but there you have it!"

    Never!I'm so glad you took the time to answer, because I too wonder how you get all of this done daily…NT Times puzzle included.
    I used to get the syndicated NYT puzzle in the paper, but they discontinued it. When I went to a couple of the blogs featuring the NYT ( before I knew of yours)I felt that they were filled with smarmy criticism and "I'm so bored with this because I'm so much smarter" attitudes. Maybe you're too nice a guy to attract those types! ^0^
    @Vidwan thanks for that teacher link. It was fabulous and oh so true.
    @Anon from yesterday @ 1:41 JUST-IN as just arrived!!!
    Duh! Thanks for turning on the light bulb!

    RE puzzle……Are you kidding me? I quit REALLY quickly. Waay over my head too,Jeff.
    One more day and then back to normal and I will know what day it is. (I said it last week, but I kept thinking Friday was Sunday).

  4. About as Silkie as they get. Educational. Loved reading about the Ratsnake and NYRO's life. And FOCH, though I knew some of it.
    I should have quit early, but I would have missed all that

    I prefer this blog. Bill is never nasty, even edgy, though the other fellow is a teacher.

    BTW, off-subject. What did everyone/anyone think of the NYT The Lives they Lived this year. As they say in the Midwest, "That's different," which is rarely a complement.

  5. A bit off-subject. For the grids I usually have done on the weekends lately, I actually ran into a stumper someone is going to have to explain to me before I can get. I happened to actually get the LA Times Sunday grid in pretty short order, but got stumped on Birnholz's grid today.

    I guess it's because he uses a convention of some sort that I am not getting. The title he uses is "Shady Practice", and then has 10 Across answers with a simple dash "-" as a clue. Then he has a down answer (52-Down) which is clued "Illegal concealment … and a hint to ten Across answers in this puzzle" (Answer: "COVERUP").

    Ten across answers clued with "-" are "WITH", "CAMP", "CHARGES", "GIRL", "SHORT", "SHOP", "JOB", "DAISIES", "ARMS", and "TEST".

    So, could someone explain this theme and how to pull these things out of what seems to me to be thin air?

    Onto a couple of others in my paper for tomorrow, I suppose.

  6. The NE corner basically was blank (I did get "sponsor" for 7 Down. But the rest of it was just missing in action, (not for lack of going around in circles until was too dizzy to stand). I had the other 3 quadrants done correctly, so there's that. But too little, too late. And I'm calling a definite "natick" on Juno. West Coast born and bred as I am I could only come up with the film or the Goddess. Doh!

    As to the work Bill does with his blog(s) all I can do is give him a high five and tell him that his work is definitely appreciated…more than he can ever know.

  7. Hey guys! Is it okay to comment on Friday's puzzle? 'Cuz I did really well, and I must brag!! Still was a DNF for me, but I only had to look up two things!! Yay! I place that one in the win column, being a Friday. Had LOONY BIN before DITTY BAG, and still think it's a better answer.
    Barely made a dent in today's puzzle… :-
    @Sfingi, I'll have to Google that article — sounds interesting!
    Be well~~™

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