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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

1024-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Oct 14, Friday



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 ...



QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today's New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Blindauer
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 20m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

16. Finish putting on pants, say ZIP UP
What we know today as a “zipper” was invented by mechanical engineer Whitcomb Judson in 1890, when it was called a “clasp locker”. The device was introduced at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, but was not successful. Several people made improvements to the basic design over the coming decades. By the 1920s, the B. F. Goodrich Company was using the device on a line of rubber boots. It was Goodrich who introduced us to the name “zipper”.

The term “pants”, meaning trousers, is an abbreviated form of “pantaloons” that first appeared in the 1840s. Pantaloons were a kind of tights named for a silly old male character in Italian comedy called “Pantaloun” who always wore tight trousers over skinny legs.

18. Onetime Coleco competitor 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.

The company that we now know as Coleco was founded in 1932 as the Connecticut Leather Company (which became abbreviated to “Coleco”). Coleco’s most famous products are probably video game consoles and Cabbage Patch Kids.

19. Rom-___ (some films) COMS
Romantic comedy (rom-com)

22. Trivial Pursuit board location HUB
Trivial Pursuit was invented in 1979 by two Canadians from Montreal. The pair decided to come up with their own game after they discovered that there were pieces missing from the game of Scrabble that they wanted to play. There was a full blown launch of a commercial version of the game in 1982. In 2008, Hasbro bought the complete rights to Trivial Pursuit, for US$80 million! On a personal note, I met my lovely wife over a game of Trivial Pursuit ...

25. Richard March ___ (inventor of the rotary printing press) HOE
Richard Mark Hoe was an inventor from New York City who is best known for the improvements he made to the printing press. Hoe came up with the rotary printing press, which soon replaced the old flatbed presses. In a rotary design, the type is placed on a revolving cylinder, which greatly speeds up the application of the print to the page.

26. Remotely monitored event, informally A-TEST
Atomic test (A-test)

The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was code named “Trinity”, and was conducted on July 16, 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The detonation took place at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range located about 25 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.

29. "Sharknado" channel SYFY
Syfy is a cable television that used to be known as “Sci-Fi Channel”, which of course specializes in broadcasting science fiction shows. The brand name “Syfy” was chosen because “Syfy” could be trademarked whereas the generic term “sci-fi” could not.

“Sharknado” is a 2013 tongue-in-cheek disaster movie that was made for the Syfy television channel. The basis of the plot is a freak hurricane that hits Los Angeles, resulting in a flood that leaves man-eating sharks roaming the city. I don’t think so ...

32. Sleep on it SERTA
Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement.

34. "Ash Wednesday" poet TS ELIOT
“Ash Wednesday" is a poem that TS Eliot wrote in 1930, soon after he converted to Anglicanism, having been raised a Unitarian.

In the Christian tradition, the first day in the season of Lent is called Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday, Palm Crosses from the prior year's Palm Sunday are burned. The resulting ashes are mixed with sacred oil and then used to anoint worshipers on the forehead with the shape of a cross.

36. Groups with play dates? TROUPES
A “troupe” is a band of entertainers, especially one that travels in order to perform.

40. "Brokeback Mountain" role ENNIS
The very successful 2005 movie "Brokeback Mountain" is an adaptation of a short story written by Annie Proulx. The two romantic lead characters were Ennis del Mar (played by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal).

43. Henchman first seen in "The Spy Who Loved Me" JAWS
Jaws is a character who turns up in two “James Bond” films: “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker”. Jaws is a tall and scary villain with steel-capped teeth. In both movies, Jaws is played by actor Richard Kiel, who passed away in September 2014.

46. Stationery store stock INKS
“Stationery” is a noun describing writing materials and office supplies, items that are sold by a stationer. Centuries ago, a stationer was someone who sold goods from a shop or a “station”, from a fixed, stationary stall.

48. Pusillanimous TIMID
Someone described as “pusillanimous” lacks courage and resolution. The term comes into English via Middle French from the Latin “pusillis” meaning “very weak” and “animus” meaning “spirit”.

49. ___ Aduba of "Orange Is the New Black" UZO
Uzo Aduba is an actress best known for playing prison inmate Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix TV show “Orange Is the New Black”.

“Orange Is the New Black" is a very entertaining comedy-drama series made by Netflix about an upper middle-class woman who goes to jail for a drug-related offense committed ten years earlier, in her youth. The series is based on a memoir by Piper Kerman called “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”.

52. Not just a pop group, for short? PTA
Both moms and pops are involved in a parent-teacher association (PTA).

53. Tilting poles LANCES
Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called "tilting". Jousting took place in a roped-off enclosure that was called the lists, or list field. In later medieval times, some castles and palaces had purpose-built "tiltyards" that were used for jousting. Do you remember where the Beach Volleyball events were held in the 2012 London Olympics? Well that was Horse Guards Parade, the former tiltyard for the Palace of Whitehall that was used in the time of King Henry VIII.

55. Triton's domain, in myth SEA
Triton was a Greek god, the messenger of the sea. He was usually depicted as “merman”, with the body of a man and the tail of a fish. Triton carried a trident, like his father Poseidon, and a twisted conch shell that he used as trumpet. By blowing in the conch shell he could calm or raise the waves.

57. Two-time N.B.A. All-Star Brand ELTON
Elton Brand is a professional basketball player who played most of his career with the LA Clippers (from 2001 to 2008).

60. Flowering plant named for a Greek god PEONY
The flowering plant called a peony is named for Paean, the mythical physician to the Greek gods.

62. Onetime sponsor of "I Love Lucy" SANKA
The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let's hope they are safer ...

Down
3. Title carpenter of an 1859 novel ADAM BEDE
"Adam Bede" was the first novel written by the English writer George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans). It was published in 1859 and has been in print since then, over 150 years.

George Eliot was the pen name of English novelist Mary Anne Evans. As one might think, Evans chose a male pen name in order that her work might be best appreciated in the Victorian era. Eliot wrote seven novels including “Adam Bede” (1859), “The Mill on the Floss” (1860), “Silas Marner” (1861) and “Middlemarch” (1871-72).

4. Watch things, for short LCDS
Liquid crystal display (LCD)

5. Condensed vapeur EAU
In French, steam (vapeur) condenses to form water (eau).

6. Patient looks? X-RAYS
X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also "Roentgen"), and it was he who gave the name "X-rays" to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen's native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as "Röntgen rays". In 1901 Röntgen won the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded, recognition for his work on X-rays.

9. Part of E.S.T.: Abbr. STD
Eastern Standard Time (EST)

10. Bygone emperors CZARS
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. "Czar" is derived from the word "Caesar", which was synonymous with "emperor" at that time.

11. "Lovely" one of song RITA
"Lovely Rita" is a Beatles song on the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. When the album was released in 1967, the term "meter maid" wasn't used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of "meter maid" all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road Studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta "looked like a Rita", so that was the name she was given in the song.

14. ___ sense SPIDEY
“Spidey sense” is a phrase used to describe one’s intuition or instinct, especially when sensing something that might be dangerous. The term arises from the comic book hero Spider-Man’s ability to sense danger before others.

21. Nissan offering XTERRA
The Xterra is a compact SUV built in Smyrna, Tennessee (and in Brazil).

24. "Faster than shaving" brand NEET
The hair removal product "Neet" was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as "Immac". Today it is sold under the name "Veet".

27. Yugoslavian-born winner of nine Grand Slam tournaments SELES
Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

29. One with a short hajj SAUDI
Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

33. Johnny Depp role of 2013 TONTO
On the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels. In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Johnny Depp.

35. Formatting palette choice TINT
I think “formatting palette” is a reference to a menu in Microsoft Office products that is used to format type.

37. Site of an annual encierro PAMPLONA
“Encierro” is the Spanish term for the “Running of the Bulls”. Such events are held all around the world, but the most famous is in Pamplona in Spain.

Pamplona, Spain is famous for its San Fermin festival held in July every year, the highlight of which is the Running of the Bulls. Every year, 200-300 people are injured in the bull run, and 15 people have been killed since 1910. If you get to Pamplona two days before the Running of the Bulls, you can see the animal-rights protest event known as the Running of the Nudes. The protesters are as naked as the bulls ...

43. Things downed at Churchill Downs JULEPS
The mint julep is a bourbon-based cocktail that is associated with the American South, and with the Kentucky Derby in particular. If you’d like to make yourself a mint julep, one recipe is:
- 3 oz of Bourbon
- 4-6 sprigs of mint
- granulated sugar to taste

Churchill Downs is a thoroughbred racetrack located in Louisville, Kentucky that is famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby each year. The track is named for John and Henry Churchill who once owned the land on which the course was built.

44. Rhododendron relative AZALEA
Azaleas are very toxic to horses, sheep and goats, but strangely enough cause no problem for cats or dogs. And if you go to Korea you might come across "Tug Yonju", which is azalea wine made from the plant's blossoms.

Rhododendron is a genus of woody plants, usually with showy flowers. The rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal, where the bloom is also considered edible.

45. Chinese appetizer WONTON
A wonton is a dumpling used in Chinese cooking. Wontons are often boiled and served in a wonton soup.

50. Actress/singer Lotte LENYA
Lotte Lenya was an Austrian singer and actress. She was married to composer Kurt Weill, and was noted for her performances of his works. Late in her career she played Rosa Klebb, one of the main villains in the 1963 Bond movie "From Russia With Love". Klebb was the character who had the knife that popped out from the toe of her shoe.

51. Pot GANJA
“Ganja” is another name for the drug cannabis. Cannabis is known to have been used thousands of years ago by ancient Hindus in India, and “ganja” is the Sanskrit term for the drug.

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

58. ___ Friday's TGI
T.G.I. Friday's is an American restaurant chain, founded in 1965 in New York City. Today there are over a thousand T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in over 50 countries. I think they have always been particularly successful overseas. I used to visit one a lot with my family when we lived in the Philippines, and I believe the most successful Friday's restaurant anywhere in the world is the one in Haymarket Leicester Square in London in the UK.

59. Start of an alley-oop LOB
An “alley-oop” is a play in basketball in which one player throw the ball close to the basket for a teammate who usually scores with a slam dunk.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Times for speaking one's mind? ORAL EXAMS
10. Coarse CRASS
15. Spot for shooting stars RED CARPET
16. Finish putting on pants, say ZIP UP
17. Became a bachelor, maybe GRADUATED
18. Onetime Coleco competitor ATARI
19. Rom-___ (some films) COMS
20. Up to the present time YET
21. Beyond blue X-RATED
22. Trivial Pursuit board location HUB
23. Agreements ASSENTS
25. Richard March ___ (inventor of the rotary printing press) HOE
26. Remotely monitored event, informally A-TEST
28. Plum or pear TREE
29. "Sharknado" channel SYFY
30. Save REDEEM
32. Sleep on it SERTA
34. "Ash Wednesday" poet TS ELIOT
36. Groups with play dates? TROUPES
40. "Brokeback Mountain" role ENNIS
42. "Hurry up!," en español ANDALE!
43. Henchman first seen in "The Spy Who Loved Me" JAWS
46. Stationery store stock INKS
48. Pusillanimous TIMID
49. ___ Aduba of "Orange Is the New Black" UZO
50. Stop obsessing LET IT GO
52. Not just a pop group, for short? PTA
53. Tilting poles LANCES
55. Triton's domain, in myth SEA
56. Dart FLIT
57. Two-time N.B.A. All-Star Brand ELTON
58. Free TURN LOOSE
60. Flowering plant named for a Greek god PEONY
61. Saloons GIN JOINTS
62. Onetime sponsor of "I Love Lucy" SANKA
63. "Boy, am I having fun!" IT’S A BLAST!

Down
1. Diagram showing company positions, briefly ORG CHART
2. Detours REROUTES
3. Title carpenter of an 1859 novel ADAM BEDE
4. Watch things, for short LCDS
5. Condensed vapeur EAU
6. Patient looks? X-RAYS
7. Most fitting APTEST
8. People with signs at airports, e.g. MEETERS
9. Part of E.S.T.: Abbr. STD
10. Bygone emperors CZARS
11. "Lovely" one of song RITA
12. It may elicit a shrug APATHY
13. Not doubting SURE OF
14. ___ sense SPIDEY
21. Nissan offering XTERRA
23. Took courses at home ATE IN
24. "Faster than shaving" brand NEET
27. Yugoslavian-born winner of nine Grand Slam tournaments SELES
29. One with a short hajj SAUDI
31. Pounds and such MONIES
33. Johnny Depp role of 2013 TONTO
35. Formatting palette choice TINT
37. Site of an annual encierro PAMPLONA
38. They think they're special ELITISTS
39. Least excited SEDATEST
41. Outfit worn with goggles SKI SUIT
43. Things downed at Churchill Downs JULEPS
44. Rhododendron relative AZALEA
45. Chinese appetizer WONTON
47. Rear ends STERNS
50. Actress/singer Lotte LENYA
51. Pot GANJA
54. Bop CONK
56. Thwart FOIL
58. ___ Friday's TGI
59. Start of an alley-oop LOB


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About This Blog

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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