LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Feb 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark McClain
THEME: Nicknames … each of today’s themed answers is a nickname of a US state:

55A. What seven puzzle answers are with reference to abbreviations in their clues NICKNAMES

17A. One raising a hand (TN) VOLUNTEER
22A. Wedge-shaped arch piece (PA) KEYSTONE
26A. Byzantine or Roman (NY) EMPIRE
35A. Piled-high hairdo (UT) BEEHIVE
38A. Fictional Korean War surgeon Pierce (IA) HAWKEYE
46A. At an earlier date (OK) SOONER
49A. Word in a fair forecast (FL) SUNSHINE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Egg-shaped tomato ROMA
The Roma tomato isn’t considered to be an heirloom variety, but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

17. One raising a hand (TN) VOLUNTEER
Tennessee uses the nickname “Volunteer State” as during the War of 1812 volunteer soldiers from Tennessee fought with valor, especially during the Battle of New Orleans.

19. Pedro’s “I love you” TE AMO
“I love you” translates into “te amo” in Spanish, and “je t’aime” in French.

22. Wedge-shaped arch piece (PA) KEYSTONE
The keystone of an arch is the last piece put in position, the placement of which allows the arch to bear weight. The keystone sits right at the apex.

Pennsylvania is nicknamed the Keystone State as it was located geographically in the middle of the original thirteen colonies, and also because of the state’s key position in the union in terms of economics and politics.

26. Byzantine or Roman (NY) EMPIRE
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, formally ending in 476 CE when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus was deposed. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire that was centered on Constantinople.

New York earned the nickname “Empire State” when it became an economic powerhouse in the 19th century. That prosperity largely came with the completion of the Erie Canal, allowing shipping to navigate from New York Harbor right through to the Great Lakes.

27. Many California wines NAPAS
The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

30. Hockey legend Bobby et al. ORRS
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

31. Milk: Pref. LACTO-
The prefix “lacto-” meaning “milk” comes from the Latin “lac”, which also means “milk”.

32. Abbr. for some Garden State senators D-NJ
Democrat representing New Jersey (D-NJ)

Apparently New Jersey was nicknamed “The Garden State” by former Attorney General of the state Abraham Browning. While speaking at the Philadelphia Centennial exhibition in 1876, he described his “garden state” as an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other.

35. Piled-high hairdo (UT) BEEHIVE
When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag.

38. Fictional Korean War surgeon Pierce (IA) HAWKEYE
Hawkeye Pierce is the lead character in the “M*A*S*H” novel, movie and TV series. Hawkeye was originally portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the film, and then by Alan Alda in the television show. Pierce is the only character appearing in all 250 episodes of the groundbreaking TV series.

Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State in honor of Chief Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk people during the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War.

40. ’60s radical gp. SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

44. Coeur d’__, Idaho ALENE
The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is named for the Coeur d’Alene People, Native Americans who lived in the area when it was first explored by French Canadian fur traders. “Coeur d’Alene” translates from French as “heart of an awl”. The Native American people were given this name as they were perceived as shrewd traders by their Canadian counterparts.

45. One of the Musketeers ATHOS
Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, and their young protégé is D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for their prowess with their swords.

46. At an earlier date (OK) SOONER
The 1889 Indian Appropriations Act officially opened up the so called Unassigned Lands, land in Oklahoma on which no Native American tribes had settled. Once the Act was signed, those lands became available for settlement. Those people that settled the same lands illegally, prior the date specified, they were termed “Sooners” as their situation was defined in the “sooner clause” of the Act. “Sooner State” is now the nickname for Oklahoma.

49. Word in a fair forecast (FL) SUNSHINE
Florida is known as the Sunshine State, although it is also the lightning capital of the US, experiencing more lightning strikes than the rest of the country. Florida is also the nation’s fourth-rainiest state, after Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

52. Part of USDA: Abbr. AGRIC
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.

55. What seven puzzle answers are with reference to abbreviations in their clues NICKNAMES
Back in the 1300s,”an additional name” was referred to as “an eke name”. This phrase was somehow misheard and by the mid-1600s had morphed into “a nickname”.

60. Colorful tropical fish TETRA
The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

Down
2. Tic-tac-toe loser O-X-O
When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

3. Actor Gibson MEL
Mel Gibson is an actor who born in America, and not in Australia as many believe. Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York and moved with his family to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old.

4. Puncture prefix ACU-
Acupressure and acupuncture are related alternative medical techniques. Both aim to clear blockages in the flow of life energy through the body’s meridians. The treatment is given by stimulating “acupoints’ in the body, by applying pressure in the case of acupressure, and by applying needles in the case of acupuncture.

7. Tennis period since 1968 OPEN ERA
In the sport of tennis, the Grand Slam tournaments were opened up to professional players, and not just amateurs, in 1968. So, the period since 1968 has been called “The Open Era”.

9. “Bee’s knees” equivalent CAT’S MEOW
Something described as “the cat’s meow” is particularly fine, the best. The term was popularized and perhaps coined by Tad Dorgan, a cartoonist active in the early 20th century.

Something excellent can be described as the “bee’s knees”, although other animals and their anatomy can be used in the same sense e.g the cat’s whiskers and the flea’s eyebrows. More “rude” anatomical references are common too …

11. Video game pioneer ATARI
At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

18. Washington MLB team NATS
The Washington Nationals baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

23. Dog-__: folded at the corner EARED
The folded-down corner of the page of a book, a temporary placeholder, is known as a “dog-ear”. I suppose that’s because it look like the ear of the dog …

24. Belgian city where the In Flanders Fields Museum is located YPRES
The In Flanders’ Fields Museum is located in Ypres, Belgium and houses exhibits about the First World War. The museum is named for the famous war poem “In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae.

The WWI battlefields in West Flanders, East Flanders (both in Belgium) and French Flanders are often referred to in English as “Flanders Fields”. The phrase was coined by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields”.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

25. Window framework SASH
A movable (up and down) window frame is called a sash, from the French word for a frame “châssis”. The term is also applied to that part of a door or window into which windows are set.

26. James of jazz ETTA
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

29. German cries ACHS
The German exclamation “ach!” is usually translated into English as “oh!”

32. Indian metropolis DELHI
New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

34. James of the Old West JESSE
Jesse James was an outlaw from Missouri who became a legendary figure of the Wild West. James somehow earned the reputation that he was a Robin Hood figure, robbing the rich and giving to the poor, but in fact this is far from the truth. After being chased persistently by law enforcement officers, he was eventually killed by one of his own gang members who hoped to collect a reward. As soon as newspaper reported his death in 1882, rumors started that Jesse James had in fact survived. Eventually, the body buried in the grave marked with Jesse James’ name was exhumed in 1995, and DNA testing showed that almost certainly it was the resting place of the infamous outlaw.

39. __ and kin KITH
The word “kith” describes friends and acquaintances, and is used used in the phrase “kith and kin” meaning “friends and family”. “Kith” comes from an Old English word meaning “native country, home”, as the expression “kith and kin” was used originally to mean “country and kinsmen”.

44. “Peer Gynt Suite” dancer ANITRA
Anitra is a minor character Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt”. She is the daughter of a Bedouin chief.

Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music ever written, at least in my humble opinion …

45. Part of NBA: Abbr. ASSN
The National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America. The NBA name was adopted in 1949. Of the four major sports leagues in North America, the NBA has the highest average annual salary per player.

47. Curved moldings OGEES
An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S). An ogee arch is composed of two ogees, with one being the mirror of the other and meeting at the arch’s apex.

50. Stomach problem ULCER
Until fairly recently, a peptic ulcer was believed to be caused by undue amounts of stress in one’s life. It is now known that 70-90% of all peptic ulcers are in fact associated with a particular bacterium.

53. Lit. collection ANTH
Strictly speaking, an “anthology” is a collection of poetic works, although the meaning has broadened over time to cover any literary collection, or even a collection of ideas, comments, complaints etc. The term derives from the Greek “anthologia”, a word for a collection of short poems by several authors. The literal meaning is “flower collection” from “anthos” and “logia”, so an anthology is a book containing “flowers” of verse.

56. Band equipment component AMP
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

58. Pilot’s prediction: Abbr. ETA
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Egg-shaped tomato ROMA
5. Molecule part ATOM
9. Winter outerwear COATS
14. Suit on a board EXEC
15. Plumber’s piece PIPE
16. Playful trick ANTIC
17. One raising a hand (TN) VOLUNTEER
19. Pedro’s “I love you” TE AMO
20. Answer (for) ATONE
21. More confident SURER
22. Wedge-shaped arch piece (PA) KEYSTONE
26. Byzantine or Roman (NY) EMPIRE
27. Many California wines NAPAS
28. Motel charges RATES
30. Hockey legend Bobby et al. ORRS
31. Milk: Pref. LACTO-
32. Abbr. for some Garden State senators D-NJ
35. Piled-high hairdo (UT) BEEHIVE
38. Fictional Korean War surgeon Pierce (IA) HAWKEYE
40. ’60s radical gp. SDS
41. Loved ones DEARS
43. Tribulations ILLS
44. Coeur d’__, Idaho ALENE
45. One of the Musketeers ATHOS
46. At an earlier date (OK) SOONER
49. Word in a fair forecast (FL) SUNSHINE
52. Part of USDA: Abbr. AGRIC
53. Top grade A-PLUS
54. Below, poetically NEATH
55. What seven puzzle answers are with reference to abbreviations in their clues NICKNAMES
60. Colorful tropical fish TETRA
61. Genealogy diagram TREE
62. Course with ratios MATH
63. “Save me __” A SEAT
64. Ranch group HERD
65. Seek divine intervention PRAY

Down
1. Sermon giver: Abbr. REV
2. Tic-tac-toe loser O-X-O
3. Actor Gibson MEL
4. Puncture prefix ACU-
5. Likely will, after “is” APT TO
6. Attach with string TIE ON
7. Tennis period since 1968 OPEN ERA
8. Trivial MERE
9. “Bee’s knees” equivalent CAT’S MEOW
10. Gets the better of ONE-UPS
11. Video game pioneer ATARI
12. Microwave beeper TIMER
13. Composer’s creation SCORE
18. Washington MLB team NATS
22. Drawer openers KNOBS
23. Dog-__: folded at the corner EARED
24. Belgian city where the In Flanders Fields Museum is located YPRES
25. Window framework SASH
26. James of jazz ETTA
29. German cries ACHS
31. Tilt LEAN
32. Indian metropolis DELHI
33. Paintbrush bristles material NYLON
34. James of the Old West JESSE
36. Small talk IDLE CHAT
37. Change course suddenly VEER
39. __ and kin KITH
42. Breathe RESPIRE
44. “Peer Gynt Suite” dancer ANITRA
45. Part of NBA: Abbr. ASSN
46. Seasonal gift giver SANTA
47. Curved moldings OGEES
48. Deliver a speech ORATE
50. Stomach problem ULCER
51. Microwaved NUKED
53. Lit. collection ANTH
56. Band equipment component AMP
57. Blemish MAR
58. Pilot’s prediction: Abbr. ETA
59. Bashful SHY

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Feb 16, Tuesday”

  1. First again ? By the way, where's Pookie. I miss her.

    The puzzle was easily done, and while I enjoyed it I am more than a little nervous on what comes in tomorrow. I didn't know these were nicknames, until I got the final answer. I thought they were professional teams. Also I learn that the Volunteers were from 1812, I thought they were formed during the Civil War.

    I thought the 'Keystone' came from the keystone Cops …..

    Thank you Bill, for the Cat's meow, and the Flander's field poem. So poignant.

    I looked at a pictures of the OGEES – the most common crosswordese word , and they look more like teardrops, double minaret domes or probably onion shaped …..

    Have a nice day, all.

  2. Easy Tuesday, but recently it seems as though there is always one pothole somewhere in the puzzle that does me in. Today it was the ALENE/ANITRA nexus. Had to guess the vowel, and I guessed incorrectly. I got the theme almost immediately and that helped as well.

    @Vidwan
    I put an APB out for Pookie as well on Sunday, but we haven't heard anything back. I hope she's just busy and it's nothing else. Willie has left us except for the occasional cameo. Mtn West as well as a few others have also been MIA of late. Either we're way too entertaining here and no one feels the need to add anything, or (MUCH more likely) we've gotten too boring for them and they've put their time in elsewhere. I've always felt the more the merrier here so they are all missed.

    Best –

  3. I join Vidwan in thanking Bill for printing out "In Flanders Fields" in full, but I was shocked to discover that what I'd always thought of as pacifist lament for wasted lives might actually be something very different. I mean, it seems to be a war-cry calling for the renewal of hostilities — "Take up our quarrel with the foe:/ To you from failing hands we throw/ The torch; be yours to hold it high./ If ye break faith with us who die/ We shall not sleep, . . ."

    I don't know, maybe it's simply a plea to the living to insure that the dead did not die in vain, but to me it sounds more like even death can't put a stop to the male instinct for violence.

    @Jeff
    Bloodthirsty ghosts — that can't be boring.

  4. This went together really quickly without any drama or angst. I too miss Pookie. I hope that this whole "puzzle" think didn't scare her off? We are a friendly and encouraging bunch of puzzle loving dudes and dudettes (as far as I can tell). Pookie, come back!

  5. Hi friends! So…it seems to me that we last heard from Pookie about ten days ago, when a certain Anonymous referred to a supposed obscenity hidden in the puzzle. There developed a contentious exchange here, with both me and Pookie scolding that Anonymous. Could that be why she is MIA?
    Yes, our ranks are thinning of late, and It's sad! Also haven't seen Bella, Mike, others for awhile.
    @Macaroni, dont go making good on your threat –stick with us!
    Really liked today's puzzle. States are fun, somehow. This was both entertaining and (to me) super easy — I actually came here thinking Bill might have a time of 3 minutes and change. @Bill, have you ever broken the 4 minute mark?!
    Hope we see some of our wayward colleagues soon, but I'm sure glad YOU GUYS are here!!
    Sweet dreams~~™

  6. @Carrie
    To answer your question, the best I've ever done time-wise is just under the 4-minute mark. And as I always point out, compared to some folks my times are positively pedestrian. I attended my first crossword tournament just under a year ago, and was trounced. I'll be trying again in a few weeks time, at the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) in Stamford, CT. I hope to get a tad better result this time, but am not holding my breath!

  7. Bill, enjoyed your great write-up of my puzzle today! Just wanted to interject that some were annoyed with the clue for PDFS, and I must say it is a bit misleading. Actually it was changed by Rich from my original which was "Sharable files". Now, I don't know if he was trying to trip people up (if you got that F first, you were bound to write in GIFS). More likely it was because he had recently used my clue and wanted to do something different, or maybe make it a little more colorful. I seldom have quibbles with editors' changes – they really know their stuff and clean up a lot of our messes.

    Mark
    https://www.facebook.com/unpluggedcrosswords/

  8. @Mark McClain
    Thanks for stopping by and visiting the blog, Mark. An even bigger thanks for taking the time to create a great puzzle for us all. I'm afraid that I don't understand your reference to the "PDFS clue". Maybe you are referring to another of your puzzles?

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