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0902-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Sep 15, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin Christian & Bradley Wilber
THEME: Norse Gods in Hiding … each of today’s themed answers includes the name of a Norse god as a hidden word:
58A. They're hidden in 17-, 25-, 36- and 47-Across : NORSE GODS

17A. College prank popular in the '50s : PANTY RAID (hiding “Tyr”)
25A. Classic Duke Ellington tune : MOOD INDIGO (hiding “Odin”)
36A. Slumber party game : TRUTH OR DARE (hiding “Thor”)
47A. Japanese toon with a red bow : HELLO KITTY (hiding “Loki”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Army E-3 : PFC
Private First Class (PFC)

14. Japanese genre with voice actors : ANIME
Anime is cartoon animation in the style of Japanese Manga comic books.

15. Portfolio part, for short : IRA
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

16. Arles's river : RHONE
The Rhône river rises in Switzerland and flows through the southeast of France.

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city's design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous "Cafe Terrace at Night", as well as "Bedroom in Arles".

17. College prank popular in the '50s : PANTY RAID (hiding “Tyr”)
The first college prank labelled as a “panty raid” apparently took place in 1948 at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

Týr is the Norse god of single combat, victory and heroic glory. According to legend, Týr showed great courage when he and his fellow gods were attempting to shackle the wolf monster called Fenrir. The wolf was tricked into accepting bindings that were actually magical ribbons of great strength. Fenrir submitted to the bonds because Týr agreed to place his hand in the wolf’s mouth, as a gesture of assurance that the ribbon was harmless. When Fenrir recognized the deceit, he bit of Týr’s hand. As a result, the god Týr is almost always depicted with only one hand.

19. Do the honors on Thanksgiving : CARVE
Thanksgiving Day was observed on different dates in different states for many years, until Abraham Lincoln fixed the date for the whole country in 1863. Lincoln’s presidential proclamation set that date as the last Thursday in November. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November, arguing that the earlier date would give the economy a much-needed boost.

20. "Ooky" cousin on TV : ITT
In the television sitcom "The Addams Family", the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

22. Surname on a financial weekly : BARRON
“Barron’s” is a weekly financial newspaper that was founded in 1921 by Clarence W. Barron.

23. Cameron of "Charlie's Angels" : DIAZ
The Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz started out her professional life as a model. Diaz’s first acting role was in the 1994 film “The Mask”, starring alongside Jim Carrey.

The 2000 film “Charlie's Angels” stars Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore as the “Angels”, three private detectives, with Bill Murray as the male lead Bosley. The movie is based on the classic seventies TV show in which the original Angels were played by Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors and Jaclyn Smith, with David Doyle as the male sidekick. In the television version of “Charlie’s Angels”, Charlie is an unseen character voiced by John Forsythe, a role that he reprised in the 2000 film.

25. Classic Duke Ellington tune : MOOD INDIGO (hiding “Odin”)
“Mood Indigo” is a 1930 jazz piece co-written by Duke Ellington as in instrumental specifically for a radio broadcast. Originally called “Dreamy Blues”, the radio audience responded so well that lyrics were added and it was renamed to “Mood Indigo”.

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin's wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term "Friday" (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin's son was Thor, and his name gave us the term "Thursday". Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday”, from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.

27. They may be determined by sonograms : SEXES
A sonogram is an image made created using ultrasound. "Ultrasound" is the name given to sound energy that has frequencies above the audible range.

31. Head honcho : BOSSMAN
“Honcho” is a slang term for a leader or manager. The term comes to us from Japanese, in which language a "hancho" is a squad (han) leader (cho).

35. How a ship's sails may be positioned : ALEE
"Alee" is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing "aweather".

36. Slumber party game : TRUTH OR DARE (hiding “Thor”)
In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

38. Perlman of "Cheers" : RHEA
Rhea Perlman's most famous role has to be "Carla Tortelli", the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom "Cheers". Perlman is also a successful children's author, and has published a series of six books called "Otto Undercover". She is of course married to Hollywood actor Danny DeVito, and has been so since 1982. I was saddened to hear recently that Perlman and DeVito are splitting up.

The wonderful sitcom "Cheers" ran for eleven seasons on NBC, from 1982 to 1993. "Cheers" spawned an equally successful spin-off show called "Frasier", which also ran for eleven seasons and often featured guest appearances of characters from the original "Cheers". The Cheers bar was styled on the Bull & Finch Pub in Boston (in which I've had a pint of Guinness two!). The owner of the Bill & Finch cleverly agreed to the initial interior and exterior shots, charging only one dollar. Since then he has made millions from selling "Cheers" memorabilia, and also from increased trade.

41. Fish that's never served raw because its blood is poisonous : EEL
Anyone going to a sushi restaurant can order all types of raw fish (known collectively as “sashimi”). However, eel is always served cooked, and that’s because the blood of eels contains a protein that cramps muscles if eaten. If the heart muscle “cramps”, the result can be death. The protein is easily rendered harmless by applying heat, i.e. cooking.

43. Lollipop-loving character of 1970s TV : KOJAK
“Kojak” is a fun police drama that had an original run on TV from 1973 to 1978. The title character was NYPD Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak, played by Telly Savalas. Famously, Kojak sucks away on lollipops as he tries to quit cigarettes. Kojak is assisted in his cases by Sergeant “Fatso” Stavros, a character played by George Savalas, Telly’s younger brother.

47. Japanese toon with a red bow : HELLO KITTY (hiding “Loki”)
Hello Kitty is a female bobtail cat, a character and a brand name launched in 1974 by the Japanese company Sanrio. Folks can overpay for stationary, school supplies and fashion accessories with the Hello Kitty character emblazoned thereon.

Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. He is a “shape-shifter”, a being who can appear in different forms. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

52. Oblong 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. The Roma is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

53. Leonard who wrote "Get Shorty" : ELMORE
Elmore Leonard used to write a lot of westerns in the fifties and moved onto crime and suspense novels later in his career. A lot of Leonard’s books have made it to the big screen, including “Get Shorty” and “Mr Majestyk”.

56. Dark half of a Chinese circle : YIN
The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

57. Game console 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.

61. Eliot's "cruellest" mo. : APR
Eliot wrote his poem called "The Waste Land" in 1922. “The Waste Land” opens with the famous line, "April is the cruellest month ...".

62. Composer with a horn named for him : SOUSA
The sousaphone is a kind of tuba that was specifically designed to send the sound upward and over the rest of the orchestra, with a warm tone, achieved with a large bell that pointed upwards. The instrument was developed at the request of the composer John Philip Sousa, hence the name. The design proved to be more suitable than its predecessors for use in marching bands, and that is how it is used most frequently today.

64. "Don't text and drive" spot, for short : PSA
Public service announcement (PSA)

Down
4. CPR expert : EMT
An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

5. Margret and Hans, who created Curious George : REYS
Curious George is a character in a series of children’s books written by Hans Augusto and Margret Rey. The couple wrote the original stories in Paris, taking the manuscripts with them as they fled from the city ahead of the Nazi invasion in 1940.

6. Alicia Keys's instrument, aptly : PIANO
Alicia Keys is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

7. Crunchy corn chip : FRITO
The Frito Corporation was started in 1932 by Elmer Doolin, basically in his mother’s kitchen. Doolin paid $100 for a corn chip recipe from a local restaurant and started producing Fritos at the rate of 10 pounds per day.

8. No Mr. Right : CAD
Our word "cad", meaning "a person lacking in finer feelings", is a shortening of the word "cadet". "Cad" was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used "cad" as a term for a boy from the local town. "Cad" took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

9. Understood by few : ARCANE
Something that is “arcane” is something that is understood by only a few, something that might be described as mysterious.

10. Certain salad green : CHARD
Chard is a lovely leafy vegetable, in my humble opinion. Chard is the same species as the garden beet, but chard is grown for the leaves, and beet is grown for the roots.

12. All-female group with the hit "Free Your Mind" : EN VOGUE
En Vogue is an all-female R&B group that formed in 1989 in Oakland, California. Never heard of them …

18. "Losing My Religion" group : REM
R.E.M. was a rock band from Athens, Georgia formed in 1980. The name “R.E.M.” was chosen randomly from a dictionary, apparently.

22. Matt with 11 Olympic swimming medals : BIONDI
American swimmer Matt Biondi competed in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, and came away with a total of eleven medals.

24. N.F.L. ref, slangily : ZEBRA
A football referee is sometimes called a “zebra”, a reference to the striped shirt that is part of a referee’s uniform.

28. Nearly worthless old French coin : SOU
A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

32. Acts of the Apostles writer, by tradition : ST LUKE
The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

33. Olympic speed skater Davis : SHANI
Shank Davis is an Olympic Champion speed skater from Chicago.

36. 1968 Etta James album : TELL MAMA
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.

37. Craft for couples : ARK
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board "every clean animal by sevens ... male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth". Apparently "extras" (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

39. Shoe lift : HEELTAP
A heeltap is a layer of leather, wood or metal that is used as a lift for the heel of a shoe. The heeltap is tacked onto the sole of the shoe at the heel.

46. Setting for Capote's "In Cold Blood" : KANSAS
The larger-than-life Truman Capote was a celebrated author and comedian. Capote is perhaps most associated with his novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and his true crime novel “In Cold Blood”. Truman Capote grew up in Monroeville, Alabama. There he met, and became lifelong friends with, fellow novelist Harper Lee. Capote was the inspiration for the character "Dill" in Lee's celebrated work "To Kill a Mockingbird". In turn, Harper Lee was the inspiration for the character "Idabel" in Capote's "Other Voices, Other Rooms".

48. Best Actress for "Two Women" : LOREN
Sophia Loren certainly has earned her exalted position in the world of movies. In 1962 Loren won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film "Two Women", the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. She received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in "Marriage Italian-Style", another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.

"Two Women" is a disturbing Italian film released in 1960, starring Sophia Loren as a woman trying to protect her 12-year-old daughter during WWII. Based on a novel called “La ciociara” by Alberto Moravia, the film includes a scene where mother and daughter are gang-raped in a church by Moroccan soldiers of the French Army. Although the story is fictional, the mass-rape and killings really took place in the days following the Allied victory at the Battle of Monte Cassino. Referred to in Italy as “Marocchinate”, colonial troops in the French Army from Morocco reportedly raped thousands of women and murdered almost a thousand men who were trying to protect their wives and daughters.

49. Some 'Vette roofs : T-TOPS
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The Corvette has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

58. Spend time in a hammock, say : NAP
Our word “hammock” comes via Spanish from Haiti, evolving from a word used there to describe a fishing net.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Platform for a drum set : RISER
6. Army E-3 : PFC
9. Rheumatic ills : ACHES
14. Japanese genre with voice actors : ANIME
15. Portfolio part, for short : IRA
16. Arles's river : RHONE
17. College prank popular in the '50s : PANTY RAID
19. Do the honors on Thanksgiving : CARVE
20. "Ooky" cousin on TV : ITT
21. Emailed, say : SENT
22. Surname on a financial weekly : BARRON
23. Cameron of "Charlie's Angels" : DIAZ
25. Classic Duke Ellington tune : MOOD INDIGO
27. They may be determined by sonograms : SEXES
29. Hand-wringer's word : WOE
30. On the contrary : BUT
31. Head honcho : BOSSMAN
35. How a ship's sails may be positioned : ALEE
36. Slumber party game : TRUTH OR DARE
38. Perlman of "Cheers" : RHEA
40. Place where people practice : LAW FIRM
41. Fish that's never served raw because its blood is poisonous : EEL
42. Parochial school teacher, maybe : NUN
43. Lollipop-loving character of 1970s TV : KOJAK
47. Japanese toon with a red bow : HELLO KITTY
52. Oblong tomato : ROMA
53. Leonard who wrote "Get Shorty" : ELMORE
54. Abound (with) : TEEM
56. Dark half of a Chinese circle : YIN
57. Game console pioneer : ATARI
58. They're hidden in 17-, 25-, 36- and 47-Across : NORSE GODS
60. Breaks, as a stallion : TAMES
61. Eliot's "cruellest" mo. : APR
62. Composer with a horn named for him : SOUSA
63. Hit bottom? : SPANK
64. "Don't text and drive" spot, for short : PSA
65. Invitation senders : HOSTS

Down
1. Rafter's challenge : RAPIDS
2. Headed for overtime : IN A TIE
3. Cigarette levy, e.g. : SIN TAX
4. CPR expert : EMT
5. Margret and Hans, who created Curious George : REYS
6. Alicia Keys's instrument, aptly : PIANO
7. Crunchy corn chip : FRITO
8. No Mr. Right : CAD
9. Understood by few : ARCANE
10. Certain salad green : CHARD
11. Really, really bad : HORRIBLE
12. All-female group with the hit "Free Your Mind" : EN VOGUE
13. Cross-reference words : SEE NOTE
18. "Losing My Religion" group : REM
22. Matt with 11 Olympic swimming medals : BIONDI
24. N.F.L. ref, slangily : ZEBRA
26. Tower over : DWARF
28. Nearly worthless old French coin : SOU
32. Acts of the Apostles writer, by tradition : ST LUKE
33. Olympic speed skater Davis : SHANI
34. Do a golf course job : MOW
35. Cover of knight? : ARMOR
36. 1968 Etta James album : TELL MAMA
37. Craft for couples : ARK
38. Readies, as leftovers : REHEATS
39. Shoe lift : HEELTAP
42. Without a downside : NO RISK
44. Happy, and then some : JOYOUS
45. In the heart of : AMIDST
46. Setting for Capote's "In Cold Blood" : KANSAS
48. Best Actress for "Two Women" : LOREN
49. Some 'Vette roofs : T-TOPS
50. Earth, in sci-fi tales : TERRA
51. "What is it?" : YES?
55. Fit together, as gears : MESH
58. Spend time in a hammock, say : NAP
59. Icky stuff : GOO


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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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