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1218-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Dec 14, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Timothy Polin
THEME: Pig Latin … today’s themed clues are examples of PIG LATIN. To read them we first have to drop the -ay suffix. Then we take the last consonant sound and place it in front of the first consonant sound:
62A. Hint to interpreting the five starred clues : PIG LATIN

17A. *X-ray : JALOPIES (X-ray → X-r → r-X = wrecks)
24A. *Ashtray : RIP TO PIECES (Ashtray → Ash-tr → tr-Ash = trash)
32A. *eBay : LIVE AND BREATHE (eBay → e-B → B-e = be)
41A. *Outlay : KNUCKLE DRAGGER (Outlay → Out-l → l-Out = lout)
48A. *Airway : DETERIORATE (Airway → Air-w → w-Air = wear)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 38m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Nincompoops : DIPS
A “dip” is a foolish or obnoxious person. It’s a slang term.

The word "nincompoop", meaning a fool, seems to have been around for quite a while. It has been used since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

5. Pharaonic symbol : ASP
The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in Ancient Egypt.

Something described as “Pharaonic” is of or like a Pharaoh.

15. Former name of the physics unit siemens : MHO
Conductance (measured in mhos) is the inverse of resistance (measured in ohms). The mho has been replaced by the SI unit called the siemens.

16. Stannite or cassiterite : TIN ORE
The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

Cassiterite is an ore containing tin oxide, and is the most important source of metallic tin. The ore’s name comes from the Greek “kassiteros” meaning “tin”.

17. *X-ray : JALOPIES (X-ray → X-r → r-X = wrecks)
The origins of our word "jalopy" meaning "dilapidated old motor car" seem to have been lost in time, but the word has been around since the 1920s. One credible suggestion is that it comes from Jalapa, Mexico as the Jalapa scrap yards were the destination for many discarded American automobiles.

20. 15-Across's symbol, when turned upside down : OMEGA
(15A. Former name of the physics unit siemens : MHO)
The symbol used for the ohm, the unit of resistance, is the Greek letter omega. The mho is the inverse of resistance, and its symbol is is an inverted letter omega.

27. ___ King (big name in cooling) : THERMO
Thermo King is a manufacturer of cooling units used in the transportation sector. Thermo King units are installed on truck trailers, railway cars and buses, to give but a few examples.

31. Defunct G.M. division : OLDS
Oldsmobile was an automobile brand founded by Ransom E. Olds (REO) in 1897. The brand was finally phased out by General Motors in 2004.

37. Included on an email : CCED
I wonder do the kids of today know that "cc" stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?

38. "___ Como Va" : OYE
“Oye Como Va” is a song written by Tito Puente in 1963. The best-known recording is the cover version from Santana released in 1970.

39. Ingolstadt-based automaker : AUDI
The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch's young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that "Horch" was German for "hear" and he suggested "Audi" as a replacement, the Latin for "listen".

46. Cheese ___ : CURL
The snack food known as “cheese curls” are sold under various brand names including “Cheetos” and “Cheese Doodles” in North America, and “Wotsits” in the UK.

47. Classical concert halls : ODEONS
In Ancient Greece an odeon (also odeum) was like a small theater, with "odeon" literally meaning a "building for musical competition". Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

53. Frist's successor as Senate majority leader : REID
Democrat Harry Reid became the Senate Majority leader in 2007. Reid had a big day in the Senate from a Democratic perspective with the successful passage of the so-called ObamaCare Bill. Paradoxically, Harry Reid's wife was in hospital at the time, having broken her back in a car accident. Reid took over as Senate Majority leader from Bill Frist who retired from politics in 2007.

Bill Frist was Senate Majority Leader for the Republicans from 2003 to 2007. Prior to becoming a politician, Frist was a heart and lung transplant surgeon. He has also been a pilot since he was 16-years-old, and has run seven marathons.

55. Important acid : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

60. Palestinian guest at Camp David : ARAFAT
President Bill Clinton hosted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat at Camp David in 2000. The intent was to progress towards resolution of the conflict in the Middle East, but there was no agreement.

62. Hint to interpreting the five starred clues : PIG LATIN
Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters "ay". So the Pig Latin for the word "nix" is "ix-n-ay" ... ixnay, and for "scram" is "am-scr-ay"

64. Rival of Caesars : MIRAGE
When the Mirage Hotel was opened in Las Vegas in 1989 it was the most expensive hotel built in history, costing $630 million. The building has distinctive gold windows that were colored using real gold dust.

Caesars Palace is one of my favorite hotels on the Las Vegas strip, even though it is beginning to show its age. Caesars opened in 1966.

67. George who directed "Miracle on 34th Street" : SEATON
George Seaton was an actor, screenwriter and film director. As an actor, Seaton played the title role on the radio version of the “The Lone Ranger” in 1933. Among his screenwriting credits in 1933’s Marx Brothers classic “A Day at the Races”. Seaton’s most famous directorial credit is probably 1947’s “Miracle on 34th Street”, for which he also wrote the script.

68. Roseanne's man on "Roseanne" : DAN
Actor John Goodman will forever be remembered as Dan Conner, the on-screen husband of Roseanne Barr in the sitcom "Roseanne". Goodman went to Missouri State University where he studied drama and was a compatriot of Kathleen Turner. The role that I most enjoyed played by Goodman was Speaker of the House Glen Allen Walken on the great show “The West Wing”. And right now I am really lapping up his latest show, the Amazon sitcom “Alpha House”.

69. Green card distributor, informally : AMEX
Amex is short for American Express. In dollar terms, there are more transactions conducted in the US using the Amex card than any other card.

Down
1. Good place to kick back? : DOJO
The Japanese word dojo literally means "place of the way". Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

2. Muslim scholar : IMAM
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

3. The King of Football : PELE
Pelé is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name Pelé for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world's greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads, and is a national treasure in his native Brazil.

4. French, e.g., to Brits : SNOG
"Snogging" is British slang of unknown origin that dates back to the end of WWII. The term is used for "kissing and cuddling", what we call "making out" over here in the US.

A kiss that involves touching of tongues is known as a "French kiss", but no one seems to know why. Paradoxically, in Northern France, giving the same type of kiss is known as "baiser anglais", i.e. "English kissing"!

6. One of the original Stooges : SHEMP
If you've seen a few of the films starring "The Three Stooges" you'll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as "Moe, Larry and Shemp". Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, "Moe, Larry And Curly". Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then "Curly-Joe" DeRita. When Larry Fine had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

7. Propose as fact : POSIT
“To posit” is to put forward for consideration, to suggest a “position”.

8. Carillon holder : STEEPLE
A carillon is musical instrument usually found in a belfry. A carillon is a collection of bells that is connected to a keyboard.

9. B'way purchases : TIX
Tickets (tix)

11. Dialect in ancient Greece : DORIC
The ancient Greeks fell into four ethnic groups: the Ionians, Aeolians, Achaeans and Dorians. The Dorians spoke their own Doric dialect of Greek, and had a distinctive, ornate Doric style of art and architecture.

18. Italian city known for its cheese : PARMA
Parma is a city in northern Italy, famous for its ham (prosciutto) and cheese (parmesan).

25. Kind of exchange : ION
Ion exchange is a chemical process, often used in the purification of drinking water and the softening of household water, although there are many other uses. One version of the technique involves passing a liquid over a resin in a cartridge. "Bad" ions in the liquid are exchanged for "good" ions from the resin, so the resin cartridge collects the contaminants and the treated liquid passes out of the cartridge. The process is reversible, so the cartridge can be "back-washed" and reused.

26. Nez Perce Natl. Forest locale : IDA
The Nez Percé tribe of the Pacific Northwest call themselves the Nimiipuu, meaning "The Real People". The name Nez Percé means "pierced nose" in French, a name applied in error to the Nimiipuu instead of the neighboring Chinook tribe, who did in fact practice nose piercing.

27. Something Nurse Ratched did not dispense : TLC
Tender loving care (TLC)

Nurse Ratched was the control-freak of a nurse who ran the ward in the Ken Kesey novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. In the 1975 movie of the same name, Ratched was played by actress Louise Fletcher. Fletcher won an Oscar for that performance.

28. Rube : HICK
A “rube” is person lacking sophistication, often described as "a country bumpkin". The term derives from the masculine name “Reuben”, which was considered back in the early 1800s to be a typical name used in rural areas.

34. What a seed often has : BYE
A team or player can get a bye into the next round of a tournament, meaning there's no need to play in the current round. This can perhaps happen because an opposing player/team fails to turn up, or maybe because there aren't enough teams to make the first round. Sometimes seeded players are awarded a bye and are automatically in a tournament.

35. Black on the Supreme Court : HUGO
Hugo Black was nominated as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, after Black had served as US Senator for Alabama for a decade. He retired from the court in 1971 after 34 years on the bench. His retirement came a few weeks after checking himself into hospital. Black suffered a stroke two days after stepping down from the court and died less than a week later.

36. Location of a bad apple? : EDEN
In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against the bidding of God. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

40. Shelter investigator, for short : IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigates tax shelters.

43. Actress Wiig : KRISTEN
Kristen Wiig is a comic actress who appears on "Saturday Night Live". She also made an appearance on the first season of Spike TV's quirky "The Joe Schmo Show", playing "Dr. Pat". More recently she co-wrote and starred in the film “Bridesmaids”.

48. 1/8 ounces : DRAMS
The dram is a confusing unit of measurement, I think. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

50. Diadem : TIARA
A diadem is a type of crown that is worn as a sign of royalty. The original “diadem” wasn’t made of metal and was simply an embroidered silk ribbon that was worn by a king as a symbol of his authority.

51. Allegro : RAPID
The tempo of a piece of music is usually designated with an Italian word on the score. For example, “grave” is slow and solemn, “andante” is at a walking pace, and “allegro” is fast, quickly and bright.

52. Santa ___ Derby : ANITA
Santa Anita Park is a racetrack for horses located in Arcadia, California.

56. Rooney ___, star of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" : MARA
The actress Rooney Mara is noted for her role in the 2010 film “The Social Network” and more recently for the title role in the 2011 hit movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Mara has American Football in her blood. Her mother’s family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers and her father’s family founded the New York Giants.

58. Lotus-laden waterway : NILE
The blue lotus is a water lily that is also known as the sacred lily of the Nile.

59. Inky : ONYX
Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it's the black version that's used for jewelry. The name "onyx" comes from the Greek word for "fingernail", as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

63. TV channel with the slogan "Get Smarter Now" : GSN
Game Show Network (GSN)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Nincompoops : DIPS
5. Pharaonic symbol : ASP
8. Opposite of hip : STODGY
14. A butterfly flying into a house is said to be a good one : OMEN
15. Former name of the physics unit siemens : MHO
16. Stannite or cassiterite : TIN ORE
17. *X-ray : JALOPIES (X-ray → X-r → r-X = wrecks)
19. Ones who are never billed? : EXTRAS
20. 15-Across's symbol, when turned upside down : OMEGA
21. Go without saying? : MIME
23. It's all abuzz : HIVE
24. *Ashtray : RIP TO PIECES (Ashtray → Ash-tr → tr-Ash = trash)
27. ___ King (big name in cooling) : THERMO
31. Defunct G.M. division : OLDS
32. *eBay : LIVE AND BREATHE (eBay → e-B → B-e = be)
37. Included on an email : CCED
38. "___ Como Va" : OYE
39. Ingolstadt-based automaker : AUDI
41. *Outlay : KNUCKLE DRAGGER (Outlay → Out-l → l-Out = lout)
46. Cheese ___ : CURL
47. Classical concert halls : ODEONS
48. *Airway : DETERIORATE (Airway → Air-w → w-Air = wear)
53. Frist's successor as Senate majority leader : REID
54. Part of an engineering project : SPAN
55. Important acid : AMINO
60. Palestinian guest at Camp David : ARAFAT
62. Hint to interpreting the five starred clues : PIG LATIN
64. Rival of Caesars : MIRAGE
65. With 45-Down, phrase accompanying a handshake : IT’S
66. Bank : RELY
67. George who directed "Miracle on 34th Street" : SEATON
68. Roseanne's man on "Roseanne" : DAN
69. Green card distributor, informally : AMEX

Down
1. Good place to kick back? : DOJO
2. Muslim scholar : IMAM
3. The King of Football : PELE
4. French, e.g., to Brits : SNOG
5. "___ missing something here?" : AM I
6. One of the original Stooges : SHEMP
7. Propose as fact : POSIT
8. Carillon holder : STEEPLE
9. B'way purchases : TIX
10. Performing, say : ON THE STAGE
11. Dialect in ancient Greece : DORIC
12. Serious : GRAVE
13. Acceptances : YESES
18. Italian city known for its cheese : PARMA
22. At anchor : MOORED
25. Kind of exchange : ION
26. Nez Perce Natl. Forest locale : IDA
27. Something Nurse Ratched did not dispense : TLC
28. Rube : HICK
29. Square : EVEN
30. Attribute of the 1%? : REDUCED FAT
33. Spoonful, say : DOLLOP
34. What a seed often has : BYE
35. Black on the Supreme Court : HUGO
36. Location of a bad apple? : EDEN
40. Shelter investigator, for short : IRS
42. Skunk : CUR
43. Actress Wiig : KRISTEN
44. Codswallop : ROT
45. See 65-Across : A DEAL
48. 1/8 ounces : DRAMS
49. Otherworldly : EERIE
50. Diadem : TIARA
51. Allegro : RAPID
52. Santa ___ Derby : ANITA
56. Rooney ___, star of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" : MARA
57. Thing : ITEM
58. Lotus-laden waterway : NILE
59. Inky : ONYX
61. Long ___ : AGO
63. TV channel with the slogan "Get Smarter Now" : GSN


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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.

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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.

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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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