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This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today ...
Completion Time: 12m 07s
Theme: Computer KEYS ... i.e SHIFT (GEARS), ESCAPE (ARTIST), RETURN (OF THE JEDI), CONTROL (FREAK) & OPTION (PLAY).
Answers I missed: 0
5 ARETE: An arete is ridge of rock forming the border between to parallel valleys that have been formed by glaciation. If this ridge is rounded, it is called a "col". However, if it is "sharpened", with rock falling way with successive freezing and thawing, then it is called an "arete". Arete is the French word for "fishbone".
21 SHAW: The full quotation from Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw is, "Hell is full of musical amateurs; music is the brandy of the damned."
28 MOOR: Cornwall is the county at the very southwest of England. The interior of Cornwall is noted for its series of stark, upland moors, such as Bodmin Moor, in which is found the highest elevation in the county.
34 TIM (& 15D TOPSY): Topsy and Tim is a collection of over 130 children's books, written by Jean and Gareth Adamson.
37 RETURN OF THE JEDI: "Return of the Jedi" was the third film in the "Star Wars" series. Producer/writer George Lucas wanted his friend Stephen Spielberg to direct the movie, but was prevented from doing so because Lucas had parted ways with the Directors Guild of America in a dispute over "The Empire Strikes Back", the second movie of the series.
40 OTB: Off-Track Betting is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track.
41 E-ZPASS: E-ZPASS was a technology-driven (pun intended!) by the tolling agencies of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The first E-ZPASS toll booth was built in the New York Thruway, and opened at the Spring Valley toll plaza in 1993.
43 ESAI: Esai Morales is best known for his role in the 1987 movie "La Bamba", which depicted the life of Rickie Valens, and his half-brother, Bob Morales (played by Esai Morales).
52 E MAJ: Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer, not a favorite of mine as he embraces the use of dissonances (I'm a sober, traditionalist!). His Symphony No. 7 is perhaps his most popular work. He created a slow, mournful movement in recognition of the impending death of Richard Wagner, whom he greatly admired.
57 NATO: NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or OTAN in French, l'Oganisation du traite de l'Atlantique Nord.
60 SHAH: The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown by the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought for the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran, and resentment towards the United States. some say that this precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran, and the resulting hostage crisis.
61 OPTION PLAY: Many PC users may not know what the option key is. I think it's roughly equivalent to the Alt-key, and is found on Macs.
3 TINO: Tino Martinez has retired from Major League Baseball, but played first base for a number of teams including the Mariners, Yankees and Cardinals and Devil Rays. Martinez was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, and worked as a boy in his father's cigar factory.
4 IF I: "If I Can Dream" was written by Walter Earl Brown, and is famous for its lyric which makes use of quotations from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elvis Presley recorded the song in 1968, just two months after King's assassination.
11 PG-THIRTEEN: The movie "10,000 BC" was released in 2008, and is supposed to be a historically accurate portrayal of a tribe of hunter-gathers living in the prehistoric era. The film "2012" was released in 2009, a science-fiction disaster movie about the supposed end of the world defined by the Mayan, Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Best sell up and get out of town by December 21st or 23rd, 2012, because that's it ... we're done ...
22 ET TU: Shakespeare does indeed use the words "Et tu, Brute" in "Julius Caesar", but the phrase was around long before he used it. However, it's not known what Julius Caesar's actual last words were.
27 PAT BENATAR: The first video played at the launch of MTV the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" (I love that song), followed by Pat Benatar singing "You Better Run".
30 ANZIO: The WWII Battle of Anzio is famous for one of the most famous blunders in military history. The Operation Shingle was a surprise amphibious landing at Anzio, 35 miles south of Rome, designed to outflank the Germans and press home an attack on Rome. The surprise element allowed a safe landing at Anzio, and the allies were able to drive jeeps right into the outskirts of Rome unchallenged. But that element of surprise was lost when Allied commander General John Lucas decided to delay the march on Rome until he had consolidated his position on the beaches, a position that was surrounded by high ground. The Germans used the delay to throw everything they had into the high ground, and the allies were pinned down in a bloody battle, and it took four months for the allies to fight their way inland.
39 JERK: "The Jerk" was released in 1979, Steve Martin's first starring role in a film. By the way, have you seen "It's Complicated" with Steve Martin and Meryl Streep? If it's still playing near you, I recommend it, a really thoughtful and entertaining romantic comedy.
44 ST. JOHN: Jill St. John played Bond girl, Tiffany Case, in "Diamonds Are Forever". She has been married four times, but the current union to Robert Wagner seems to be lasting. They wed in 1990.
46 CENSE: To cense is to perfume with incense. Such a lovely word ...
48 L-DOPA: L-3,4-DihydrOxyPhenylAniline, thankfully can be shortened to L-DOPA. Swedish scientist Arvid Carlsson won a Nobel Prize for showing that L-DOPA could be used to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's Syndrome.
54 ALL I: "All I Have" is indeed a song by Jennifer Lopez, but it features rap star LL Cool J. But in all honesty, I don't really care ...
55 OMAR: The character Omar Little is played on "The Wire" by Michael K. Williams. I've never seen "The Wire" but I have heard good things. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.
58 DOC: Bugs Bunny first said "What's up, Doc" in the 1940 cartoon short "A Wild Hare", addressing the hunter, Elmer Fudd.
59 LPS: If we're talking about records, I think we should be saying "vinyl things", not "wax things". But maybe that's just me ...