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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

1022-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Oct 14, Wednesday



There's a note with today's puzzle:
All the puzzles this week, from Monday to Saturday, have been created by one person, Patrick Blindauer. Keep your solutions handy, because the Saturday puzzle conceals a meta-challenge involving the solution grids of all six. When you have the answer to the meta-challenge, send it to crossword@nytimes.com. Twenty correct solvers, chosen at random, whose entries are received by 6:00 p.m. E.T. Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, will win one-year online subscriptions to the New York Times crossword. Only one entry per person, please. The answer and winners' names will appear on Friday, Oct. 31, at www.nytimes.com/wordplay.

We've been asked by Will Shortz, the New York Times puzzle editor, not to speculate about the meta-challenge until the competition ends on Sunday evening. Let's honor that request ...



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Blindauer
THEME: Face Time ... if you squint a bit, the black squares in today’s grid are in the form of a FACE looking out at us, and we have two themed answers that refer to EYES and SEEING:
17A. Words to a baby PEEKABOO! I SEE YOU!

32A. With 33-Across, meeting with someone in person FACE
33A. See 32-Across TIME

59A. 007 film of 1981 FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Actor Gerard of "Buck Rogers" GIL
Gil Gilbert is an actor best known for playing the title role in the TV series “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”, which originally aired in the 20th century, in the late eighties and early nineties.

Before Buck Rogers made it into the big time in the comic strip "Buck Roger in the 25th Century", he was a character in a pair of short stories written by Philip Francis Nowlan, the first of which was "Armageddon 2419 A.D." In the stories, he was known as Anthony Rogers, and was given a name change when he went into the comics.

4. Bit TAD
Back in the 1800s "tad" was used to describe a young child, and this morphed into our usage of "small amount" in the early 1900s. The original use of "tad" for a child is very likely a shortened version of "tadpole".

10. 12-Down from meditators OMS
(12D. See 11-Down SOUNDS)
“Om” is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. “Om” is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

13. U.K. award OBE
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:
- Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
- Knight Commander (KBE)
- Commander (CBE)
- Officer (OBE)
- Member (MBE)

14. Catherine de' Medici is said to have eaten it at every meal SPINACH
Catherine de’ Medici was an Italian noblewoman who became Queen consort of France in 1547 as wife of King Henry II. Catherine was very fond of spinach, and so had it served at every meal. Catherine hailed from Florence, and to this day dishes that are made with spinach are referred to as “Florentine”, reflecting Catherine’s city of birth.

16. Losing line in tic-tac-toe XOO
When I was growing up in Ireland we played "noughts and crosses" ... our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

20. One with a mister in Münster FRAU
In Germany, a “Mr.” (Herr) is married to a “Mrs.” (Frau).

21. Ballot marker X-ER
Today a “ballot” is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

22. Another time, in "Li'l Abner" AGIN
The cartoon strip "Li'l Abner" was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years, starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years.

23. Fjord explorers? FINNS
The Nordic country Finland is the most sparsely populated nation in the European Union. The relatively modest population of 5.5 million people live in the eighth largest country in the continent.

25. Robert of "The Sopranos" ILER
The actor Robert Iler's most famous role was A.J., son of mob leader Tony Soprano in HBO's "The Sopranos". Apparently Iler's screen persona has spilled over into his personal life, as he was arrested for armed robbery of two tourists in 2001 (and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge).

28. Emulated Pacino in a "Scent of a Woman" scene TANGOED
“Por una cabeza” is one of the most famous Argentine tangos, oft-featured in memorable scenes in big Hollywood movies. You might recall tangos in 1992’s “Scent of a Woman” or 1994’s “True Lies”, for example, both of which were danced to “Por una cabeza”. The title of the song translates to “by a head”. The “by a head” in this context is the distance by which a horse might win a race. The lyrics tell of a man who compares his addiction to gambling on horses to his attraction to women.

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

42. Strong punch SANGRIA
Sangria is red wine punch, usually associated with Portugal and Spain. Recipes for sangria vary, but almost all include a robust red wine, sliced fruit, something sweet (e.g. orange juice, sugar), a spirit (e.g. brandy, triple sec), carbonated water or perhaps 7up, and ice. The drink is named for its color, as “sangre” is the Spanish for blood.

46. Vote on Scottish independence NAE
The terms “United Kingdom”, “Great Britain” and “England” can sometimes be confused. The official use of “United Kingdom” originated in 1707 with the Acts of Union that declared the countries of England and Scotland as “United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”. The name changed again with the Acts of Union 1800 that created the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” (much to the chagrin of most of the Irish population). This was partially reversed in 1927 when the current name was introduced, the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, in recognition of an independent Irish Free State in the south of the island of Ireland. There was much speculation about the future of the UK’s “name” as the referendum on the independence of Scotland loomed in 2014. That discussion died out when the Scots voted to remain part of the UK.

49. Shakespearean title character TIMON
Timon of Athens was noted for renouncing society, for being someone who despised mankind. Timon started out life as a wealthy man, but he lost all his money by pandering to the needs of his friends. Without money, Timon’s friends deserted him. Timon became rich again when he found a pot of gold, and so his friends sought him out once more. Timon was very embittered and so drove everyone away and lived the rest of his life as a hermit. Centuries after he died, Timon of Athens was to become the title character in “Timon of Athens”, a play by William Shakespeare

50. Copper CENT
The original one-cent coin was introduced in the US in 1793 and was made of 100% copper, and so it sometimes referred to as a “copper”. The composition varied over time, and was 100% bronze up to the 1940s. During WWII there was a shortage of copper to make bronze, so the US Mint switched to zinc-coated steel for production of one-cent coins in 1943. The “steelie”, as it was sometime called, is the only coin ever issued by the US mint that can be picked up by a magnet. Today’s one-cent coin is comprised mainly of zinc.

53. Ballot topic for decriminalization POT
“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

54. Subj. with Riemann sums CALC
In the world of mathematics, a Riemann sum is an approximation to the area under a curve. Named for German mathematician Bernhard Riemann, the approximation is usually made by dividing up the area under the curve into a series of rectangles, the area of which can be calculated relatively easily. In the world of calculus, the function of integration is very similar. An integral can be the area under a curve calculated from an infinite series of rectangles that approximate the area being measured.

59. 007 film of 1981 FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
In addition to the James Bond series of novels, Ian Fleming wrote a collection of "Bond" short stories called "For Your Eyes Only". The name of the collection was used as for one of the Bond films. "Quantum of Solace" was one of those stories, and this title was also used for a Bond film, even though the plot bears no resemblance to the storyline.

63. Vegan-friendly protein source TOFU
Tofu is another name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that ... bean that has "curdled". Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it ...

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy which are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

64. "Impression, Sunrise" painter MONET
Claude Monet painted the harbor of Le Havre in the north of France in 1872, giving it the title "Impression, Sunrise". The painting is not a "realistic" representation of the scene in front of him, hence the name "impression". It was this very painting that gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement.

65. Czolgosz who shot McKinley LEON
President William McKinley was re-elected in 1900, but failed to serve out the full term. In September of 1901 he went to the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York where he went to meet the public at the Exposition's Temple of Music. Leon Czolgosz was waiting for the president, armed with a pistol. Czolgosz shot the President twice before being subdued (and beaten) by the crowd. Doctors operated, and were able to stabilize President McKinley. The medical profession decided to leave one bullet inside the victim, on the face of it a good decision as the President spent almost a week apparently recovering from his ordeal. However, he relapsed, and eight days after being shot he died from gangrene surrounding the wound.

66. Like some radios AM/FM
The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. "High band" is composed of relatively high frequency values, and "low band" is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).

67. Form of 10-Down OZONE
(10D. Element #8 OXYGEN)
Ozone (O3) gets its name from the Greek word ozein, meaning "to smell". It was given this name as ozone's formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas's distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation.

68. Uffizi display ARTE
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest art museums in the western world and is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy. The Palazzo was built in 1560, intended to house the offices of the Florentine magistrates. This original usage gave the gallery its name, as "uffizi" is Italian for "offices".

Down
2. Largest airline of Spain IBERIA
The airline called Iberia is the flag carrier for Spain and is based in the country’s capital city at Madrid-Barajas Airport.

3. "I Hope You Dance" singer Womack LEE ANN
Lee Ann Womack is a country music singer and songwriter from Jacksonville, Texas.

4. Org. with the Precheck program TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks.

5. "Dragnet" alert, briefly APB
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

“Dragnet” was a very successful police drama that developed into quite a franchise. The show started out on radio in 1949, and then also ran on television from 1952. There were even a couple of movies. Star of the show, and the producer, was Jack Webb who played Sgt. Joe Friday.

6. Compound containing 10-Down DIOXIDE
(10D. Element #8 OXYGEN)
Oxides are usually named for the number of oxygen atoms in each molecule of the oxide. Oxides with one oxygen atom are called monoxides (as in carbon monoxide: CO). Oxides with two oxygen atoms are dioxides (as in carbon dioxide: CO2). Oxides with three oxygen atoms are trioxides (as in sulfur trioxide: SO3). Oxides with four oxygen atoms are tetroxides (as in dinitrogen tetroxide: N2O4).

7. Like Snow White, per the magic mirror FAIREST
In the German fairy tale “Snow White” (and the Disney film), the wicked queen owns a magic mirror, which she asks every morning:
Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?
Walt Disney changed the words slightly for his movie version of the tale:
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

8. Some LG appliances ACS
Room coolers are air conditioning units (ACs).

LG is a very large, South Korean manufacturer of electronics, chemicals and telecom products. LG used to be known as Lucky-Goldstar.

9. United States Constitution's first article THE
The US Constitutions begins with the words “We the People ...” So, the first “article” in the text of the document is the definite article “the”.

15. Coward who said "I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise" NOEL
Noel Coward was the most flamboyant of personalities, a playwright, composer and actor. Coward worked in a remarkable range of genres. He wrote the wonderfully airy play "Blithe Spirit", as well as the Oscar-winning WWII naval drama "In Which We Serve". A couple of his more famous songs, many of which he performed himself in cabaret, were "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" and "London Pride".

18. A master of this really knows his chops KUNG FU
In the west we sometimes use the term kung fu to mean a particular Chinese martial art. We've gotten the wrong idea though as the term "kung fu" really describes any skill that can be learned through dedication and hard work. So, kung fu can indeed describe a martial art, but by no means exclusively.

26. French for "grape" RAISIN
The French for “grape” is “raisin”, and the French for “raisin” is “raisin sec”, literally meaning “dried grape”.

29. Lots of sparkle ECLAT
“Éclat” can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French "éclater" meaning "to splinter, burst out".

31. Facility often referred to by its first letter YMCA
The YMCA is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of "a healthy spirit, mind and body". The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

36. "Carmina Burana" composer CARL ORFF
"Carmina Burana" is a cantata by Carl Orff based on a collection of medieval poems that go by the same name. The name translates as "Songs from Beuern". The best known movement of the cantata by far is the dramatic "O Fortuna" used at the opening and closing of the piece. One study placed "O Fortuna" as the most often played piece of classical music in the UK over the past 75 years, largely due to its use in television commercials. Famously, the piece appeared in the US in ads for Gatorade and Old Spice aftershave.

38. "I wonder what the word for 'dots' looks like in Braille," e.g. ONE-LINER
The Braille system of reading and writing was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, who was himself afflicted with blindness. Braille characters are composed of six positions or dots, each arranged in two columns of three dots each. Every dot can be raised or not raised, given a total of 64 possible characters.

39. Model of chivalry LANCELOT
Sir Lancelot was one of the knights in the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table. Lancelot was the most trusted of Arthur’s knights when it came to battle, but off the field he had a poorer reputation. Famously, Lancelot had an affair with Guinevere, Arthur’s wife.

The ideal qualities found in a knight are collectively described as “chivalry”, and include courtesy, generosity, valor and skill with a sword. The term comes into English via the Old French “chevalier” meaning “knight”.

44. Biotechnology output, for short GMO
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one with genetic material that has been altered by genetic engineering. One might argue that the oldest form of genetic engineering is selective breeding, the use of animals or plants with desired traits for the creation of the next generation.

45. Poppycock ROT
It is thought that the relatively gentle term “poppycock”, meaning “nonsense”, comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so gentle after all …

48. "The Mikado" maiden YUM YUM
"The Mikado" is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, set in the exotic location of Japan. "Mikado" is a former term for the "Emperor of Japan". In the opera, Nanki-Poo is the Mikado's son, who falls in love with the maiden Yum-Yum.

50. ___ oil CANOLA
Canola is a type of rapeseed, and Canola oil is made from the seeds. The particular cultivar used in oil production was developed in Canada, and the name Canola in fact comes from "CANadian Oil, Low Acid".

52. Image in Tiananmen Square MAO
Tiananmen Square is located in the center of Beijing, China. It is the third largest city square in the world, after Merdeka Square in Jakarta, Indonesia and Praça dos Girassóis in Palmas, Brazil. Tiananmen Square can hold up to 600,000 people.

54. G.M. and G.E. COS
General Motors (GM) and General Electric (GE) are companies (cos.).

55. Aqua Velva alternative AFTA
Afta is an aftershave in the Mennen range of products that is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

56. Bare-chested sport SUMO
Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization's aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

57. Basketball legend Maravich PETE
Pete Maravich was a professional basketball player. Maravich was forced to retire from the game in 1980 due to injury problems. He died eight years later from heart failure. An autopsy revealed that Maravich was missing a left coronary artery, which supplies blood to the heart muscle. His right coronary artery was grossly enlarged as a result, compensating for the defect.

58. End of a Burns poem heard annually SYNE
The song "Auld Lang Syne" is a staple at New Year's Eve, the words of which were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

60. Cartoonist Chast ROZ
Roz Chast had her first cartoon published in "The New Yorker" in 1978, and has had more than 800 published since then.

61. Ambient music composer Brian ENO
Brian Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, the first in a series of four albums with an “Ambient” theme. Eno named the tracks somewhat inventively: 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

62. Urge YEN
The word "yen", meaning "urge", has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word "yin" imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Actor Gerard of "Buck Rogers" GIL
4. Bit TAD
7. Target of trimming FAT
10. 12-Down from meditators OMS
13. U.K. award OBE
14. Catherine de' Medici is said to have eaten it at every meal SPINACH
16. Losing line in tic-tac-toe XOO
17. Words to a baby PEEKABOO! I SEE YOU!
20. One with a mister in Münster FRAU
21. Ballot marker X-ER
22. Another time, in "Li'l Abner" AGIN
23. Fjord explorers? FINNS
25. Robert of "The Sopranos" ILER
27. Summon, with "for" SEND
28. Emulated Pacino in a "Scent of a Woman" scene TANGOED
30. Adages SAYINGS
32. With 33-Across, meeting with someone in person FACE
33. See 32-Across TIME
34. Straighten out UNCURL
37. Reading for a king's herald SCROLL
41. Body in a bed SEA
42. Strong punch SANGRIA
46. Vote on Scottish independence NAE
47. Amiss AWRY
49. Shakespearean title character TIMON
50. Copper CENT
51. Urban blight SLUM
53. Ballot topic for decriminalization POT
54. Subj. with Riemann sums CALC
55. Factors in wine competitions AROMAS
57. Some carnival rides PONIES
59. 007 film of 1981 FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
63. Vegan-friendly protein source TOFU
64. "Impression, Sunrise" painter MONET
65. Czolgosz who shot McKinley LEON
66. Like some radios AM/FM
67. Form of 10-Down OZONE
68. Uffizi display ARTE

Down
1. Die GO PFFT!
2. Largest airline of Spain IBERIA
3. "I Hope You Dance" singer Womack LEE ANN
4. Org. with the Precheck program TSA
5. "Dragnet" alert, briefly APB
6. Compound containing 10-Down DIOXIDE
7. Like Snow White, per the magic mirror FAIREST
8. Some LG appliances ACS
9. United States Constitution's first article THE
10. Element #8 OXYGEN
11. Cattle yard 12-Down MOOING
12. See 11-Down SOUNDS
15. Coward who said "I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise" NOEL
18. A master of this really knows his chops KUNG FU
19. Not so knotty EASIER
24. Shoots up SOARS
26. French for "grape" RAISIN
29. Lots of sparkle ECLAT
31. Facility often referred to by its first letter YMCA
34. Anytown, ___ USA
35. Anchor's place NEWSROOM
36. "Carmina Burana" composer CARL ORFF
38. "I wonder what the word for 'dots' looks like in Braille," e.g. ONE-LINER
39. Model of chivalry LANCELOT
40. Rent LET
43. Winter chill NIP
44. Biotechnology output, for short GMO
45. Poppycock ROT
48. "The Mikado" maiden YUM YUM
50. ___ oil CANOLA
52. Image in Tiananmen Square MAO
54. G.M. and G.E. COS
55. Aqua Velva alternative AFTA
56. Bare-chested sport SUMO
57. Basketball legend Maravich PETE
58. End of a Burns poem heard annually SYNE
60. Cartoonist Chast ROZ
61. Ambient music composer Brian ENO
62. Urge YEN


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This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the New York Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, as soon as I am done, usually well before the newsprint version becomes available.

About Me

The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

I answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Irish Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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