The full solution to today's crossword that appears in the New York Times
The full solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword that appears in all other publications
COMPLETION TIME: N/A (watching "Top Gear" on BBC America ... great TV!)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. Lanai's county : MAUI
Maui County is pretty unusual. It is made up of four islands: Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai and Molokai (well, most of Molokai).
5. Five-spots : ABES
"Abe" is slang for a five-dollar bill.
9. Deep-sea exploration pioneer : BEEBE
William Beebe was an American explorer, active in the first half of the 20th century. Beebe was very interested deep-sea exploration and this interest led to the development of the bathysphere by Otis Barton in 1928. Beebe accompanied Barton on the first manned descent in a bathysphere, down to 803 ft. A few years later, in 1934, the pair descended to 3,028 ft. setting a record that stood for 15 years.
14. With 17-Across, encouragement for a trailing team : IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL
17. See 14-Across : THE FAT LADY SINGS
"It ain't over till the fat lady sings" is an American colloquialism. The message is that the outcome isn't clear until the final whistle, until it's really, truly over. The reference is to Grand Opera, and the cliched perception that the soprano lead is always overweight.
18. Normal muscle tension : TONUS
Tonus is another name for bodily muscle tone. The term comes from the Greek word "tonos" meaning "stretching".
20. It originated at Zurich's Cabaret Voltaire in the 1910s : DADA
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art movement. Dadaism began in Zurich, Switzerland, during the war, started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire. A familiar theme at those meetings was disgust for the war that was raging all over Europe.
21. Get blitzed : LOSE
"Blitz", as it is used in English means a fast-moving and overwhelming attack It is a shortened version of the German word "blitzkrieg". The blitzkrieg was a tactic used by the Germans running up to and during WWII. In the original German blitzkrieg, the army and air-force threw everything into a rapid penetration of enemy lines without stopping to reinforce its flanks. The word "blitz" means "lightning" (and "krieg" means "war").
I suppose, if you are faced with a blitz on the field of battle, you are probably going to lose. I don't think the clue is a reference to the football maneuver, the defensive blitz. But maybe I am missing something ...
24. Actress Chandler and others : ESTEES
Estee Chandler is an American actress. She made appearances on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Who's the Boss?". She also used to date comedian Adam Carolla, I believe.
26. Occasions to use pepper? : RIOTS
Pepper spray is a chemical agent designed to irritate the eyes, causing them to hurt and tear up, resulting in temporary blindness. The active ingredient in the spray is capsaicin, a chemical derived from the fruit of plants like chili peppers. Pepper spray isn't water-soluble, so it's difficult to wash out of the eyes. The recommendation is to blink vigorously so that the tears flush the spray away. Apparently, emergency rooms keep baby shampoo on hand to remove the irritant.
31. Caesarean section? : I SAW
The oft-quoted "Veni, vidi, vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered) was apparently written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BC and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.
34. See 46-Down : ORE
35. A.A.A. listings : B AND BS
An intimate inn (in the US) is a bed & breakfast. A bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic, and usually cheaper than a hotel room.
36. Parts of e-mail addresses : AT SIGNS
Email addresses are divided into two parts, separated by an @ (at sign). The part before the @ is called a "local-part", and the part after the @ is a domain.
38. Baking need : DRY HEAT
The application of dry heat in the process of baking acts on the starches in the bread causing the outer surface to turn an attractive brown. The resulting crust locks in much of the moisture inside the bread.
39. Tiki bar order : MAI TAI
The world's first tiki bar was called "Don the Beachcomber", and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as "Donn Beach"). It became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife's management, so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.
The Mai Tai is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but it was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic's restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curacao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice, and then a float of 6 parts dark rum.
40. Golfer who turned pro at age 15 : WIE
Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. She began playing golf at the age of four, and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday.
41. Things locked into place : OARS
Oars are locked into place in oarlocks, those stirrups into which the oars are positioned for rowing. Oarlocks ... another word I had to learn when I arrived in America. We call them rowlocks (pronounced "rol-ox") on the other side of the Atlantic.
42. Newswoman Lesley : STAHL
Lesley Stahl has worked on "60 Minutes" since 1991. She is married to author "Aaron Latham". As a journalist Latham wrote the article that inspired the movie "Urban Cowboy".
45. 1948 Literature Nobelist : ELIOT
T. S. Eliot was born in New England but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Much of his college education was at Oxford. Clearly he became comfortable with life in England as in 1927 he became a British citizen, and lived the rest of his life in the UK.
T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his "Four Quartets", a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life's masterpiece.
47. Vienna-based grp. with no European members : OPEC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960, and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965.
50. Opposite of yours, in Tours : A MOI
Tours is a city in the middle of France, and is the largest city in the central region of the country.
"A moi" (literally "to me") is the French for "mine".
54. ___'acte : ENTR
The term entr'acte comes to us from French, and is the interval between two acts of a theatrical performance. It often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.
55. Apothecary's stock : VIALS
Nowadays, we would call an apothecary a pharmacist. "Apotecaire" is an Old French word from the 13th century meaning simply "storekeeper".
57. With 60-Across, risky "Jeopardy!" declaration : LET'S MAKE IT A TRUE
60. See 57-Across : DAILY DOUBLE, ALEX
"Jeopardy" first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek has been host since 1984.
61. Out with the junk, say : AT SEA
Clever, clever wording! A junk is a sailing boat often seen in Chinese waters today, and as far back as 200 BC. The English word "junk" is just a phonetic spelling of a Chinese word for "ship", although it would more correctly be pronounced "joong".
62. It's risky to build a house on this : SPEC
To do a job "on spec" is to do it without a guarantee of payment, without it being formally assigned, usually in the hope of winning future business.
1. A baker might have a hand in it : MITT
Another nicely disguised meaning. A baker might have his hand in an oven mitt.
2. Massachusetts city called Tool Town : ATHOL
Athol, Massachusetts was originally called Pequoiag, and was settled in 1735. When the township was incorporated in 1762, the name was changed to Athol, reminiscent of the previous home back in Scotland one of the founders, Blair Athol. The L. S. Starrett Company was established there in 1881, manufacturing precision tools. The company is still going strong, and is the city's biggest employer. As such, it inspired Athol's nickname of "Tool Town".
3. "I swear I ___ art at all": "Hamlet" : USE NO
In Shakespeare's "Hamlet", the politician Polonius describes Hamlet as succumbing to madness. He tells this to the Queen, in language that she describes as rhetoric ("art") and demands more substance in his arguments. Polonius defends himself, saying:
"Madam, I swear I use no art at all
That he's mad, 'tis true, 'tis true 'tis pity,
And pity 'tis 'tis true—a foolish figure,
But farewell it, for I will use no art."
5. Court fig. : ATT
You might see an attorney in a court of law.
6. Gives a shot in the arm : BOLSTERS
I don't think I have heard the term used here in the US, but that might be just me. Back in Ireland I often slept in beds that had a "bolster" as well as pillows. The bolster was usually a long, bed-wide, stuffed cushion, harder than a pillow. It served the purpose of raising the pillows, perhaps as an aid for sitting up in bed. Our modern usage of the verb "bolster", meaning to give a metaphoric shot in the arm, derives from this "bolster" that we used to sit up against.
8. Lots are in lots : SEDANS
There are lots of sedans in parking lots.
The American sedan car, is the equivalent to the British saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating, and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.
9. Something to take a pass on : BUS
You can use your bus-pass on the bus.
10. Often-referenced but never-seen wife on "Scrubs" : ENID
On the TV show "Scrubs". Bob Kelso M.D. is played by actor Ken Jenkins. Kelso's wife is Enid, someone he talks about a lot although she is never seen in the show. Enid is described as morbidly obese and neurotic. She was also paralyzed in an accident and uses a wheelchair.
11. Site of Vulcan's smithy : ETNA
Vulcan is the Roman god of fire, including the fire coming out of volcanoes. He was an iron-smith, and manufactured the arms, armor and jewelry for other gods. His smithy was believed to be underneath Mount Etna in Sicily.
12. Stars' city, informally : BIG D
Big D is the city of Dallas, Texas, the home of the Dallas Stars hockey team.
The Stars were founded in 1967, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, and back then called the Minnesota North Stars. The team moved to Dallas in 1993.
13. The bride in Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" : ELSA
We've often heard the "Bridal Chorus" from Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin". It's the tune to "Here comes the bride ..." played regularly at the start of wedding ceremonies as the bride walks down the aisle. In the opera, the "Bridal Chorus" is played not at the start of the ceremony, but afterwards, by the women of the wedding party as they accompany the bride, Elsa, to the bridal chamber.
16. Slugger Sandberg : RYNE
Ryne "Ryno" Sandberg is a former second baseman who played most of his career for the Chicago Cubs. He holds the major league fielding percentage record at second base ... .989.
23. Transporter of heavy loads : DRAY
A dray is a side-less, 4-wheeled cart used for hauling goods.
25. Lydman of the N.H.L. : TONI
Toni Lydman is a Finnish hockey player, currently with the Anaheim Ducks. He is one of the few players in the unofficial "Quadruple Silver Club". He got his spot there by playing on the losing teams in an Olympic Final, a World Championship Final, a World Cup Final and a Stanley Cup Final. Tough break ...
27. Like many laid-up Brits : IN HOSPITAL
I guess we don't use the term "laid up" in this sense in the US, even though I thought we did. When you're "laid up" in the UK or Ireland, you are "in hospital".
28. Concert halls : ODEA
In Ancient Greece, an odeon was like a small theater, literally meaning a building for musical competition. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome, for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.
29. Apparatus for pull-ups? : T-BAR
Here's another nicely disguised meaning. A T-bar is a type of ski lift in which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair sitting on either side of T-shaped, metal bar.
30. They had Machmeters, briefly : SSTS
SuperSonic Transports, like the Concorde, broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. They're all grounded now.
31. Pedigree alternative : IAMS
Iams dog food was produced by the animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Proctor & Gamble, in 1946.
32. Recap figure : STAT
When the game's being recapped, we usually hear loads of statistics.
33. Java setting : ASIA
Java is a large island in Indonesia, and home to the country's capital, Jakarta. With a population of over 130 million, Java is the most populous island in the world, with even more people than Honshu, the main island of Japan. It has a large population for the size of the island, making it one of the more densely populated locations on the planet.
35. Java, e.g. : BREW
Back in 1850, the name "java" was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java.
38. Venomous venting : DIATRIBE
A diatribe is a bitter discourse, and comes from the Greek "diatribein" meaning "to wear away".
43. Types a little to the left : PINKOS
The term "pinko" came to us courtesy of "Time" magazine in 1925. Back then it was used to describe those who were politically left of center. Red was the color associated with the left going back to the 1800s (how times have changed!), and "pink" was assigned to people who were politically aligned with the left, but had left-leaning tendencies.
44. Bright spots in the sky : NOVAE
A nova is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different. It is a very bright burst of light and energy, created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a super-nova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.
46. With 34-Across, slag furnace input : LEAD
34. See 46-Down : ORE
The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace to extract the metal. The "waste" from this process is called "slag". Slag does contain some residual lead, and it can be processed further in a "slag furnace" to extract that metal. Slag furnaces also accept the poorer lead ores as a raw material.
48. 1960s Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Wheeler : EARLE
Earle "Bus" Wheeler was an Army General who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs from 1964-70, during the turbulent times of the Vietnam War.
50. 1985 Oscars co-host with Fonda and Williams : ALDA
The first Academy Awards Ceremony was held in 1929, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William deMille. The 58th Academy Awards Ceremony, held in 1986, was co-hosted by Alan Alda, Jane Fonda and Robin Williams.
51. Nut part : MEAT
The meat of a nut is the kernel.
52. Its products go up and down : OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) had been around for a long time. What Otis invented was the "safety elevator". He showcased his design at the 1853 World's Fair in New York. He would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After his dramatic display at the fair, the orders came rolling in.
53. 1-Across, for one : ISLE
Maui is an isle ...
56. Send explicit come-ons by cell phone : SEXT
This is a new one on me. "Sexting" (a portmanteau of "sex" and "texting") is the sending of explicit dialog and perhaps images, between cell phones. The term "sexting" was first coined by the UK's "Sunday Telegraph Magazine" in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is "rampant" among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?
58. R&B singer with the hit "It's All About Me" : MYA
Mya is an R&B singer-songwriter. I don't know her music, but I did see her get to the runner-up position on the ninth series of "Dancing with the Stars", beaten out of first place by Donny Osmond (don't ask!).
59. R&B group with the hit "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" : TLC
TLC is an American hip-hop, girl-group. The trio's name comes from the stage names of the band members: T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli. I'd never heard of them, but they are apparently the biggest selling female group of all time. I find that hard to believe! The Supremes? The Andrews Sisters? I need to stop living in the past ...
Books, Movies, Songs etc. appearing in today's crossword (at Amazon.com)
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