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Greetings from Kingman, Arizona: BUSINESS AS USUAL

My wife and I are on a summer road trip, a loop from California extending as far east as New Orleans (we hope). While on the road I am continuing to solve and post, although I may not be as prompt in posting or responding to messages as I would like. I hope you can understand! We had a much more prosaic day today, with no encounters with dangerous animals. We did visit the Meteor Crater near Winslow, AZ (a big, big hole in the ground) ... Bill

0804-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Aug 15, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Liquor Store Purchases … each of todays’ themed answers starts with an amount of alcohol one might purchase in a LIQUOR STORE:
52A. Where to purchase the starts of 21-, 26- and 45-Across : LIQUOR STORE

21A. Fashionable shopping area in New York City : FIFTH AVENUE
26A. Goal of one doing crunches : SIX-PACK ABS
45A. "End of discussion" : CASE CLOSED
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Dog food brand : ALPO
Alpo is a brand of dog food first produced by Allen Products in 1936, with "Alpo" being an abbreviation for "Allen Products". Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

15. European capital on a fjord : OSLO
Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city of Oslo burns trash to fuel half of its buildings, including all of its schools. The problem faced by the city is that it doesn’t generate enough trash. So, Oslo imports trash from Sweden, England and Ireland, and is now looking to import some American trash too.

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

16. Lady friend in Italy : AMICA
“Amici” is the Italian word for "friends" (singular "amico", and feminine “amica”).

17. Sound of a high-five : SLAP
The celebratory gesture that we call a “high-five” is said to have been invented by former baseball players Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke when they were both playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the later 1970s.

18. No longer worth discussing : MOOT
“To moot” is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. We don’t seem to be able get that right ...

20. Bracketed word in a quote : SIC
"Sic" indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. "Sic" is Latin for "thus, like this". The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

21. Fashionable shopping area in New York City : FIFTH AVENUE
Fifth Avenue in New York is sometimes referred to as the “most expensive street in the world” as the section that runs through Midtown Manhattan is home to upscale stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue.

25. Big shot : NABOB
A “nawab” (also “nabob”) was a deputy governor in the Mogul empire in India. The term is also used as an Muslim honorary title in India and Pakistan. We use “nabob” in English for a person of wealth and prominence.

30. Lee with the 2011 #1 album "Mission Bell" : AMOS
Singer Amos Lee’s 2011 album “Mission Bell” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts. However, “Mission Bell” also holds the record for the lowest number of sales of any number-one album.

32. Symphony that premiered 4/7/1805 : EROICA
Beethoven originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven admired the principles of the French Revolution and as such respected Bonaparte who was "born" out of the uprising. When Napoleon declared himself Emperor, Beethoven (and much of Europe) saw this as a betrayal to the ideals of the revolution so he changed the name of his new symphony from "Bonaparte" to "Eroica", meaning "heroic" or "valiant".

34. Barbecue side dish : SLAW
The term "coleslaw" is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name "koolsla", which in itself is a shortened form of "Koolsalade" meaning "cabbage salad".

41. Moist towelette : WET NAP
"Wet nap" is a term commonly used for a "wet wipe", a manufactured paper tissues that comes pre-moistened. They are often provided after a meal at some restaurants after a finger-food dish, or perhaps as a refresher on an airplane. I think the "nap" is short of "napkin".

49. New York county bordering Pennsylvania : TIOGA
Tioga County, New York is part of the Binghamton Metropolitan Statistical Area. “Tioga” is a Native-American word meaning “at the forks”.

51. First-aid kit supply : IODINE
Tincture of iodine is a disinfectant. A “tincture” is a substance used in dyeing. Since the 1600s, “tincture” has also been used for a solution of medicine in an alcohol mixture.

56. Dawson who played in Super Bowl I : LEN
Len Dawson is a retired AFL-NFL quarterback who played for the Kansas City Chiefs (originally the Dallas Texans).

57. 45-Down from Japan : ACURA
(45D. See 57-Across : CAR)
Acura is a division of the Honda Motor Company, their luxury brand. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

58. ___ Blair, George Orwell's real name : ERIC
George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, the famous British author of the classics "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and "Animal Farm".

60. Ugly weather : SLEET
Apparently "sleet" is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It's the second definition that I have always used ...

64. Missing part of the Great Sphinx of Giza : NOSE
In Greek mythology, the creature known as the Sphinx has the body of a lion, the wings of a bird and the face of a woman. The Sphinx threatened to strangle and devour any person who could not answer a famous riddle: “Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?” Oedipus was able to save himself by answering correctly “Man”. The idea is that a man crawls on all fours as a baby, and then walks on two feet as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age. “Sphinx” is actually a Greek word, meaning “the strangler” …

Giza is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 20 km southwest of Cairo. The nearby Giza Plateau is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments on the planet, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

65. Florida ___ : KEYS
A "key" (also "cay") is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish "cayo" meaning "shoal, reef".

Down
1. Gets in the loop? : LASSOS
Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

2. "Fighting" Big Ten team : ILLINI
The Illini (or “the Fighting Illini”) is the name given to the athletic teams and marching band of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The name Illinois is a French name that was given to the people who lived in the area (called Illiniwek).

3. Private-sector rocket launcher : SPACEX
SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is a space transportation company that was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, veteran of PayPal and Tesla Motors. In 2012, SpaceX became the first private concern to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. Apparently, SpaceX are the lowest-price player in the game.

5. Yearly gathering for superhero fans : COMIC-CON
San Diego’s Comic-Con was founded in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention. Held over four days each summer, apparently Comic-Con is the largest show in North America.

8. Ice planet in "The Empire Strikes Back" : HOTH
The fictional planet known as Hoth is featured in the “Star Wars” movie “The Empire Strikes Back”. Hoth is an ice planet, and home to a secret base belonging to the Rebel Alliance.

9. Grub vis-à-vis a beetle : LARVA
The larvae of stag beetles are commonly known as grubs, and the pupa known as the chrysalis.

10. Blob that divides : AMOEBA
An ameba (or "amoeba" as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek "amoibe", meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

11. 1974 hit that begins "It's nine o'clock on a Saturday" : PIANO MAN
“Piano Man” is a great 1973 song released by Billy Joel, his first ever single. The song reflects Joel’s own experiences working a piano-lounge singer in a Los Angeles bar called the Executive Room. The lyrics mention a “waitress practicing politics”, which is a reference to Elizabeth Weber who worked at the Executive Room and was Joel’s first wife.

Billy Joel is the third-best selling solo artist in the US, after Elvis Presley and Garth Brooks. Joel’s name has been associated with two supermodels in his life. He dated Elle Macpherson, and wrote two songs about their relationship: “This Night” and “And So It Goes”. Joel’s second wife was Christie Brinkley, to whom he was married from 1985 to 1994. Brinkley appeared in the title role in the music video for “Uptown Girl”.

27. Great Plains tribe : KIOWA
The Kiowa Native Americans have a name that means “Principal People”. Most of the Kiowas today live on a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma.

28. There are about 14,500 in Manhattan : ACRES
The island we know as Manhattan was inhabited by the Lenape Indians when the first Europeans explorers arrived in the area. According to the logbook of one of the officers on explorer Henry Hudson's yacht, the island was called "Manna-hata" in the local language, from which the modern name derives.

31. Second word of "The Star-Spangled Banner" : SAY
“O say can you see by the dawn's early light” us the opening line of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with the Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

35. "21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity," e.g. : LISTICLE
A “listicle” is a form of writing used by some journalist and bloggers that is basically a list, but which is fleshed out with extra information for each list item. Typically, listicles have title such as “10 Ways to …”, “The 100 best …” or “The 10 Most …” The term “listicle” is a portmanteau of “list” and “article”.

46. Livestock feed : SILAGE
Silage is animal fodder that has fermented.

47. Part of E = mc^2 : ENERGY
In Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc², “E” stands for energy, “m” stands for mass, and “c” stands for the speed of light.

48. IHOP competitor : DENNY'S
Denny's was the first restaurant I ate at on my initial visit to the US over 30 years ago. I thought I was in heaven. I've changed my opinion a little since then! Denny's is famous for being "always open" (almost), something that blew my mind as a visitor from Ireland back in 1980. Denny's was founded in 1953 in Lakewood, California, and originally went by the name "Denny's Donuts".

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn't do too well in marketing tests ...

50. Their hair makes cashmere : GOATS
Cashmere wool comes from not only the Cashmere goat, but also from other types of goat. Technically, cashmere isn’t really a wool, but rather a hair. Unlike hair, wool is elastic and grows in clusters.

54. "Jeopardy!" contestants, e.g. : TRIO
The word is that Alex Trebek will step down as host of the game show “Jeopardy” in 2016, when his current contract expires. The list of names mentioned to replace Trebek includes Brian Williams, Dan Patrick, Matt Lauer and Anderson Cooper. I vote for Cooper, but I can't see him taking the job ...

59. Exclamation while jumping on a chair, say : EEK!
At seeing a mouse, one might scream out “Eek!”, and then jump on a chair.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Thpeak like thith : LISP
5. Word before cow or crop : CASH
9. Mental mistake : LAPSE
14. Dog food brand : ALPO
15. European capital on a fjord : OSLO
16. Lady friend in Italy : AMICA
17. Sound of a high-five : SLAP
18. No longer worth discussing : MOOT
19. Laughs heartily : ROARS
20. Bracketed word in a quote : SIC
21. Fashionable shopping area in New York City : FIFTH AVENUE
23. "Just a moment" : ONE SEC
25. Big shot : NABOB
26. Goal of one doing crunches : SIX-PACK ABS
30. Lee with the 2011 #1 album "Mission Bell" : AMOS
32. Symphony that premiered 4/7/1805 : EROICA
33. Battery type : AAA
34. Barbecue side dish : SLAW
37. From 15-Across : NORSE
39. Pitch-black : INKY
40. Family : KIN
41. Moist towelette : WET NAP
43. Believers: Suffix : -ISTS
45. "End of discussion" : CASE CLOSED
49. New York county bordering Pennsylvania : TIOGA
51. First-aid kit supply : IODINE
52. Where to purchase the starts of 21-, 26- and 45-Across : LIQUOR STORE
56. Dawson who played in Super Bowl I : LEN
57. 45-Down from Japan : ACURA
58. ___ Blair, George Orwell's real name : ERIC
59. Work hard for : EARN
60. Ugly weather : SLEET
61. What indicates everything that's left? : WILL
62. Like French toast : EGGY
63. Does a sheepdog's job : HERDS
64. Missing part of the Great Sphinx of Giza : NOSE
65. Florida ___ : KEYS

Down
1. Gets in the loop? : LASSOS
2. "Fighting" Big Ten team : ILLINI
3. Private-sector rocket launcher : SPACEX
4. Champagne opening sound : POP!
5. Yearly gathering for superhero fans : COMIC-CON
6. Beginning on : AS OF
7. Opening for a coin : SLOT
8. Ice planet in "The Empire Strikes Back" : HOTH
9. Grub vis-à-vis a beetle : LARVA
10. Blob that divides : AMOEBA
11. 1974 hit that begins "It's nine o'clock on a Saturday" : PIANO MAN
12. Low-growing tree often in dense thickets : SCRUB OAK
13. Simplicity : EASE
21. Phobia : FEAR
22. Ques. counterpart : ANS
24. Expel, as lava : SPEW
27. Great Plains tribe : KIOWA
28. There are about 14,500 in Manhattan : ACRES
29. Moisten, as meat : BASTE
31. Second word of "The Star-Spangled Banner" : SAY
34. Go for a run? : SKI
35. "21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity," e.g. : LISTICLE
36. One shopping for old curios : ANTIQUER
38. Surround : ENCIRCLE
39. Device that can be linked to an auto stereo : IPOD
42. Ingredient in some shaving creams : ALOE
44. Went bad, as milk : SOURED
45. See 57-Across : CAR
46. Livestock feed : SILAGE
47. Part of E = mc^2 : ENERGY
48. IHOP competitor : DENNY'S
50. Their hair makes cashmere : GOATS
52. Respond angrily, with "out" : LASH
53. Hanging on by a thread? : SEWN
54. "Jeopardy!" contestants, e.g. : TRIO
55. Lubricates : OILS
59. Exclamation while jumping on a chair, say : EEK!


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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 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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