LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Mar 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kurt Krauss
THEME: Islands … each of today’s themed answers ends with the name of a group of ISLANDS:

37A. This puzzle’s theme, as suggested by the ends of 16-, 27-, 47- and 61-Across ISLANDS

16A. Venue that keeps you up-to-date NEWS CHANNEL (giving “Channel Islands”)
27A. Tropical cocktail whose color comes from curaçao liqueur BLUE HAWAIIAN (giving “Hawaiian Islands”)
47A. Chaste priestess of ancient Rome VESTAL VIRGIN (giving “Virgin Islands”)
61A. Biblical wise man KING SOLOMON (giving “Solomon Islands”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Latte option MOCHA
Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, and gave its name to the Mocha coffee bean, which in turn gave it’s name to the mocha brown color.

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

14. African city where pounds are spent CAIRO
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is the largest city on the continent of Africa and is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

The main currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound, divided into 100 piastres (also piasters). The piastre used to be the Egyptian currency until is was replaced by Royal Decree with the Egyptian pound in 1834. The piaster continued in circulation and was pegged at 1/100 of a pound.

16. Venue that keeps you up-to-date NEWS CHANNEL (giving “Channel Islands”)
The Channel Islands are located in the English Channel off France’s Normandy coast. The islands are grouped into two British dependencies, although neither is part of the United Kingdom. Historically, the Channel Islands were part of the Duchy of Normandy, which also included mainland Normandy, from whence came the Norman kings of England. Normandy became disputed territory between France and England until the Treaty of Paris of 1259. Mainland Normandy then became part of France, but the Channel Islands remained part of the Duchy of Normandy, and under English rule.

18. __ Tin Tin RIN
The original Rin Tin Tin was a real-life dog, a puppy discovered by a GI in a bombed-out kennel in France during WWI. The soldier named the pup Rin Tin Tin, the same name as a puppet given to American soldiers for luck. On returning to the US, “Rinty” was trained by his owner and was spotted doing tricks by a film producer. Rinty featured in some films, eventually getting his first starring role in 1923 in the silent movie “Where the North Begins”. Legend has it that this first Rin Tin Tin died in the arms of actress Jean Harlow. Not a bad way to go …

21. Bus terminal DEPOT
Our term “depot”, meaning a station or warehouse, derives from the word “dépôt”, French for “deposit” or “place of deposit”.

23. “Beaches” actress Midler BETTE
One of my favorite singers, and indeed all-round entertainers, is Bette Midler. If you’ve ever seen her live show you’ll know that “camp” is a good word to describe it, as her humor is definitely “out there” and quite bawdy. Early in her career, Midler spent years singing in the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in New York City. There she became very close friends with her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow. While singing in the bathhouse, Bette only wore a white towel, just like the members of her audience. It was in those days that she created her famous character “the Divine Miss M” and also earned herself the nickname “Bathhouse Betty”.

“Beaches” is a 1988 film starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey as two friends who have known each other since childhood, with John Heard playing the third in a love triangle. The film’s theme song “Wind Beneath My Wings” became a huge hit for Midler.

25. Canadian stadium renamed Rogers Centre in 2005 SKYDOME
The SkyDome is a stadium in downtown Toronto, home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and the Toronto Argonauts Canadian football team. The SkyDome was officially renamed to the Rogers Centre when it, and the Toronto Blue Jays team, was purchased by Rogers Communications in 2005.

27. Tropical cocktail whose color comes from curaçao liqueur BLUE HAWAIIAN (giving “Hawaiian Islands”)
The Blue Hawaiian cocktail is a cousin of the more celebrated Pina Colada, with both drinks using rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice as a base. The Pina Colada also uses heavy cream, whereas the Blue Hawaiian includes Blue Curacao.

The liqueur known as Curaçao comes from the island of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. The liqueur is usually given artificial coloring to make it suitable for use in exotic cocktails. The common colors used are blue and orange.

The Hawaiian Islands can be divided into the Hawaiian Windward Islands and the Hawaiian Leeward Islands. The former include the eight main islands. That latter stretch out to the northwest as far as the Kure Atoll. Included in the Hawaiian Island chain is the Midway Atoll, which isn’t actually part of the State of Hawaii, although it is a territory of the US.

30. First name in game shows VANNA
Vanna White is the lady who turns the letters on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. White is big into knitting and crochet, and has her own line of yarns called “Vanna’s Choice”.

31. Work-wk. start MON
Our word “Monday” evolved from an Old English word meaning “moon’s day”.

32. Basic Latin conjugation word AMAT
“Amo, amas, amat” … “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”, in Latin.

41. Big heart? ACE
As in “ace of hearts” …

42. Ladies of Sp. SRAS
The Portuguese word for “sir” is “senhor”, abbreviated to “Sr.” The female equivalent is “senhora”, or “sra.” for short.

44. Chicago’s __ Center AON
The Aon Center in Chicago is the third-tallest building in the city. There is also an Aon Center in Los Angeles that is the second-tallest building in that city.

45. Elena of the Supreme Court KAGAN
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

47. Chaste priestess of ancient Rome VESTAL VIRGIN (giving “Virgin Islands”)
In Ancient Rome the priestesses of the the goddess Vesta were known as the Vestals. They were also called the Vestal Virgins as they took a vow of chastity, although they weren’t required to be celibate for life. Each priestess entered the order before puberty and promised to live a celibate life for thirty years. The first decade was spent as a student, the second in service, and the final ten years as a teacher. Upon completion of the thirty years the Vestal was free to marry, but few did. Life was a lot better for a woman in the priesthood than it was subject to Roman Law.

The Virgin Islands were so named by Christopher Columbus in 1493, in honor of Saint Ursula and her legendary virgin followers. The islands were Danish territory until WWI, when they were purchased by the United States. The driving force behind the purchase was a fear on the part of the US that the islands might be seized by Germany and used as a submarine base.

54. “__ a stinker?”: Bugs Bunny AIN’T I
Bugs Bunny first said “What’s up, Doc?” in the 1940 cartoon short “A Wild Hare”, addressing the hunter Elmer Fudd.

55. Upright, e.g. PIANO
What was remarkable about the piano when it was invented, compared to other keyboard instruments, was that notes could be played with varying degrees of loudness. This is accomplished by pressing the keys lightly or firmly. Because of this quality, the new instrument was called a “pianoforte”, with “piano” and “forte” meaning “soft” and “loud” in Italian. We tend to shorten the name these days to just “piano”.

57. Disaster relief org. FEMA
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

60. Longtime football commentator Cross IRV
Irv Cross is a former professional footballer and a sportscaster. Cross was hired by CBS Sports in 1971 and became the first African American to work full-time as a sports analyst on network television.

61. Biblical wise man KING SOLOMON (giving “Solomon Islands”)
According to the Bible, Solomon was the son of David and a king of Israel. Notably, Solomon is described as being very wise. In the story known as “the Judgment of Solomon”, Solomon was asked to decide who of two quarreling women was the mother of a baby. He suggested that they cut the baby in two with a sword, forcing one of the women to surrender the child rather than see it die. Solomon gave the child to the woman who showed compassion.

The Solomon Islands archipelago mainly comprises the nation known as the Solomon Islands. The Solomons are located in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia. The islands were so named by the Spanish, a suggestion that they had found the source of the gold brought to King Solomon according to the Bible.

65. Actress Charlotte RAE
Charlotte Rae is an American actress, best known for playing the character Edna Garrett on two sitcoms from the seventies and eighties: “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life”. Towards the end of the series, the Edna Garrett character operated her own gourmet food shop called “Edna’s Edibles”.

66. Where to learn une leçon ECOLE
In French, one might learn “une leçon” (a lesson) in an “école” (school).

68. CIA forerunner OSS
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

69. “Man, you are not serious!” DUDE!
Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, Easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

70. Rocker Patty married to John McEnroe SMYTH
Singer-songwriter Patty Smyth gained national attention as the lead vocalist with the New York City band Scandal, after which she carved out a successful solo career. Smyth has been married to former tennis star John McEnroe since 1997.

Down
1. 24 Hours of Le __: auto race MANS
Le Mans is a city in northwestern France. The city is famous for the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race that has been held annually since 1923. The 24-hour race uses the city’s race track, but closed city streets are also used for part of the circuit.

2. Hurler 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, playing professionally. When Hershiser is eliminated in a poker tournament, he is in the habit of presenting the person who ousts him with an autographed baseball.

3. Ninja Turtle’s “Awesome!” COWABUNGA!
“Cowabunga” is an exclamation adopted by surfers in the sixties. The original use of “cowabunga” was on television, a catchphrase of Chief Thunderhead in “The Howdy Doody Show” in the fifties. The term got even more exposure in the nineties when it was adopted by the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.

The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” started out as a parody of comic book superheroes, first appearing in a self-published comic book in 1984. A couple of years later the characters were picked up by someone who built a whole line toys around the characters, and then television and movies followed. Do you remember the names of all four of the Turtles? Their names were all taken from Renaissance artists:

– Leonardo
– Raphael
– Michelangelo
– Donatello

7. Alley target PIN
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

10. Silent Marx HARPO
Harpo Marx was the second oldest of the Marx brothers. Harpo’s real name was Adolph, and he earned his nickname because he played the harp. Famously he didn’t speak on screen, a routine he developed after reading a review that he performed really well when he just didn’t speak!

12. “Fiddler on the Roof” matchmaker YENTE
The enduring musical “Fiddler on the Roof” is based on a collection of stories by Sholem Aleichem about Tevye, a milkman living in Tsarist Russia. The musical version of the tales first opened on Broadway in 1964. “Fiddler on the Roof” had such a long run that it became the first musical to reach 3,000 performances.

14. Hall of Fame infielder Rod CAREW
Rod Carew is a former Major League Baseball player from Panama. Actually. Carew is a “Zonian”, meaning that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, a political entity that existed for decades from 1903.

22. Novelist Ferber EDNA
Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman.

25. “The Da Vinci Code” priory SION
The Priory of Sion is presented in the preface of Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code” as a secret society that did in fact exist. However, there is a lot of evidence that the priory was an invention, created in forged documents in the sixties. Regardless, Dan Brown’s book is a really enjoyable read, in my humble opinion …

27. Some undies BVDS
The men’s underwear known as BVDs are made by the Bradley, Voorhees & Day. The company was started in 1876 to make bustles for women, and is named for its founders.

29. Range maker AMANA
The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa.

33. Rod Stewart classic with the line “You stole my heart but I love you anyway” MAGGIE MAY
“Maggie May” is a wonderful 1971 song recorded and co-written by Rod Stewart. Stewart tells us that the story told in “Maggie May” is basically true, and was inspired by the first woman with whom Stewart had a relationship, at the Beaulieu Jazz Festival in 1961.

The English singer Rod Stewart first achieved success with the Jeff Beck Group in the late sixties before launching a solo career while recording with a new lineup called Faces. Stewart is an ardent soccer fan, and actually supports the Scottish national team (Rod’s father was Scottish). Stewart plays the game himself, playing for a team called the LA Exiles along with a few other celebrities. He even kicks autographed soccer balls into the audience at his concerts.

34. Trendy berry ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

35. Ky. neighbor TENN
Tennessee borders eight other states, a record number that is shared with Missouri. The states bordering Tennessee are Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri.

38. Postage-paid enc. SASE
Self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE)

39. Gobs LOTS
“Gobs” is an informal term meaning “a large amount”.

43. Kristoff’s reindeer in “Frozen” SVEN
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.

50. Corleone patriarch VITO
Mario Puzo created the Corleone Mafia family in his 1969 novel “The Godfather”. The head of the family is Vito Corleone (whose birth name was Vito Andolini), a native of Corleone in Sicily. He was given the name Corleone by immigration officers at Ellis Island.

51. Veep between Hubert and Gerald SPIRO
Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice-President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

Hubert Horatio Humphrey (HHH) was the running mate of President Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential campaign. Humphrey was sworn in as Vice President in 1965, the 38th person to hold the office. Humphrey was the Democratic candidate for president in the 1968 election, but lost to Richard Nixon.

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.

52. Turkish coins LIRAS
The currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira, which is divided into 100 kuruş.

58. __ Blanc: tallest Alp MONT
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps. The name “Mont Blanc” translates from French into “white mountain”. The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

59. Egyptian cross ANKH
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

62. Post-ER area ICU
A patient might end up in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after being moved from the Emergency Room (ER).

64. Old DJ’s records LPS
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33 1/3 rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

The world’s first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Latte option MOCHA
6. Difficult position SPOT
10. It’s cut and dried HAY
13. Loud, as a crowd AROAR
14. African city where pounds are spent CAIRO
15. Tree feller AXE
16. Venue that keeps you up-to-date NEWS CHANNEL (giving “Channel Islands”)
18. __ Tin Tin RIN
19. Hunk SLAB
20. Really bother IRK
21. Bus terminal DEPOT
23. “Beaches” actress Midler BETTE
25. Canadian stadium renamed Rogers Centre in 2005 SKYDOME
27. Tropical cocktail whose color comes from curaçao liqueur BLUE HAWAIIAN (giving “Hawaiian Islands”)
30. First name in game shows VANNA
31. Work-wk. start MON
32. Basic Latin conjugation word AMAT
36. “Got it, man?” DIG?
37. This puzzle’s theme, as suggested by the ends of 16-, 27-, 47- and 61-Across ISLANDS
41. Big heart? ACE
42. Ladies of Sp. SRAS
44. Chicago’s __ Center AON
45. Elena of the Supreme Court KAGAN
47. Chaste priestess of ancient Rome VESTAL VIRGIN (giving “Virgin Islands”)
51. Record covers SLEEVES
54. “__ a stinker?”: Bugs Bunny AIN’T I
55. Upright, e.g. PIANO
56. Bow (out) OPT
57. Disaster relief org. FEMA
60. Longtime football commentator Cross IRV
61. Biblical wise man KING SOLOMON (giving “Solomon Islands”)
65. Actress Charlotte RAE
66. Where to learn une leçon ECOLE
67. Practical joke PRANK
68. CIA forerunner OSS
69. “Man, you are not serious!” DUDE!
70. Rocker Patty married to John McEnroe SMYTH

Down
1. 24 Hours of Le __: auto race MANS
2. Hurler Hershiser OREL
3. Ninja Turtle’s “Awesome!” COWABUNGA!
4. Faded star HAS-BEEN
5. Curved part ARC
6. Went under SANK
7. Alley target PIN
8. Load from a lode ORE
9. “Shoulda listened to me!” TOLD YA!
10. Silent Marx HARPO
11. Assumed truth AXIOM
12. “Fiddler on the Roof” matchmaker YENTE
14. Hall of Fame infielder Rod CAREW
17. Words before homer or brick wall HIT A …
22. Novelist Ferber EDNA
24. Takeout option THAI
25. “The Da Vinci Code” priory SION
26. Warm-hearted KIND
27. Some undies BVDS
28. Lion’s den LAIR
29. Range maker AMANA
33. Rod Stewart classic with the line “You stole my heart but I love you anyway” MAGGIE MAY
34. Trendy berry ACAI
35. Ky. neighbor TENN
38. Postage-paid enc. SASE
39. Gobs LOTS
40. Banana peel SKIN
43. Kristoff’s reindeer in “Frozen” SVEN
46. Sculpture or ballet ART FORM
48. Brought forth EVOKED
49. Run out LAPSE
50. Corleone patriarch VITO
51. Veep between Hubert and Gerald SPIRO
52. Turkish coins LIRAS
53. Some nest sites EAVES
56. Give the eye OGLE
58. __ Blanc: tallest Alp MONT
59. Egyptian cross ANKH
62. Post-ER area ICU
63. Sign of approval NOD
64. Old DJ’s records LPS

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Mar 16, Wednesday”

  1. Pretty easy Wednesday grid. No real glitches but I did put HAM instead of HAY for 10A for one strange error.

    Never had a latte or MOCHA. Coffee is best black – no cream no sugar. How boring am I? I'm drinking black coffee as I post here in fact.

    I got the last 3 letters of CAIRO first and thought maybe it was a Spiro Agnew reference, but nope it was CAIRO. Then SPIRO actually reared his head later in the puzzle.

    My computer hard drive is currently in the ICU getting whatever data they can retrieve from it. It's been on life support for 24 hours, but it may be another 24 before I know anything. I guess getting info off of bad sectors of a hard drive is a long process apparently. It's all backed up in a cloud, but what a hassle to have to deal with all that.

    Vidwan – that was an amazing story about objections and no objection forms…etc., but if I had to take a quiz on that post right now, I think I would fail. If you object to the no objection form, would the plant cease to exist?

    Big week this week with Pi day on Tuesday (i.e. 3/14), the Ides being yesterday and St. Patrick's day tomorrow. It will definitely be a green beer night tomorrow night.

    Best

  2. The puzzle was a delight and I learnt something, as well. Last night, I kept thinking about the 3 letter clue for a night school subj. ….. I think it should be GED rather than ESL. I think more people, in the US, need a GED to make up all that they missed out on during regular school.

    Jeff, I have 'no objection' to your point of view. In reality, I left India soon after the 'objection certificate' was enacted …. I figured that there was nothing I could do to contribute to the general chaos.

    Drats, I missed Pi day. I did, however, vote my conscience yesterday. ( Not that it matters – ). (Now, we cue in the music, to 'Send in the clowns').

    Have a happy day, all.

  3. I'm a cream, no sugar.

    No errors, but 2 words I didn't know. AON appeared on both crosswords, once again proving a conspiracy. Didn't realize HAWAIIAN had 2 "I" like taxiing and skiing.

    In my town, Utica (which appears on crosswords), we have probably 20% foreign born. 10% of the population is Bosnian, and we really needed them. They generally are educated, but need English. They end up top of the class. Some other groups arrive illiterate. ESL is big here. Utica has been largely ethnic for over 100 years. In my day, it was Italian, Christian Lebanese and Polish, We're rather welcoming – the Bosnian mosque is literally next door to City Hall.

    On the other hand, our county (Oneida) has 3 NYS prisons, and GED is a big subject. That's what I taught there for 17 years.

    Hubster had 4 root canals this morning. I suspect that's a record.

  4. I got a cold and it's all the fault of daylight saving time.
    Pffft!!
    The puzzle fell in place. Had the darnedest time thinking of takeout option….THAW something out? Nope.
    Vidwan, what are those lights you were talking about that you can crank up?
    Cough, cough. Gotta lie down.

  5. This puzzle was the easiest, for me, in a long time — one of those few grids where I basically fill in everything without taking my pen off the paper. I won't take it as a good omen, tho….
    RE: ESL~~Sfingi, you and I taught the same thing! I spent my entire public school career in the Adult Education division. 29 years (yikes!!) Taught high school subjects, GED Prep, and of course ESL.
    @Vidwan, definitely the clue and answer make sense, as the great majority of Adult Ed classes are ESL. That said, however, I agree that our adults need GED Prep classes. Most ESL students don't make it that far because they need to work. It's the sad reality. Here in Los Angeles, our students typically spend a couple of years on their basic English, then leave school due to work and family demands. I also had many native born English speakers, now in their 30s or beyond and back at school to finish the high school diploma they never got. I miss teaching!! Loved the students and the work.
    Is this post considered a rant?! Maybe I should quit — I'll just add that I wish everyone could have the education they want and need!!
    Rant over:-D
    Sweet dreams~~™

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