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
THEME: 2010 DRIVER'S TRANSLATIONS ... all the theme answers are somewhat cynical ways that we might refer to signs seen on the road these days e.g. PORK BARREL PROJECT (YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK), PREPARE TO BE CUT OFF (MERGING TRAFFIC), COAST ON THROUGH (STOP)
COMPLETION TIME: 21m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
6. The pulp in pulp fiction : PAPER
"Pulp fiction" was the name given to cheap, fiction magazines that were popular from the late 1890s up to the 1950s. The name comes from the inexpensive wood pulp paper that was used for the publications. The upmarket equivalent, was printed on fine, glossy paper.
16. Bob and pageboy : DOS
A "bob cut" is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s a "bob" was the name given to a horse's tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their "mop tops", with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women's hair in a bob cut again. Personally, I like it ...
What we now know as the "pageboy" hairstyle was apparently one introduced and made famous by the fifties fetish model, Betty Page. Women's magazines dissociated themselves from the connection with Ms. Page and sold the hairstyle to the public as one worn historically by English pageboys, hence the name. A pageboy hairstyle is sort of like a "long bob cut" I guess. But don't listen to me; I get a "number one all over" at my local barbershop ...
19. 1987 #1 Heart song that starts "I hear the ticking of the clock" : ALONE
Heart is a rock band from Seattle, Washington, founded in the seventies and still going strong. The band has had a changing lineup, except for sisters Anne and Nancy Wilson.
20. Sauce made with garlic and olive oil : AIOLI
To the purist (especially in Provence in the South of France), aioli is prepared by grinding just garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often used, particularly egg yolks.
21. Adrenaline producer : SCARE
The naturally occurring hormone adrenaline is also known as epinephrine. Adrenaline takes its name from the adrenal glands that produce the hormone. The glands themselves take their name from their location in the body, right on the kidneys ("ad-renes" meaning near or at the kidneys in Latin). The alternative name of epinephrine has a similar root ("epi-nephros" meaning upon the kidney, in Greek).
22. Dog show org. : AKC
The American Kennel Club is the organization that handles registration of purebred dogs, and promotes dog shows around the country including the famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
23. YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK ... : PORK BARREL PROJECT
Pork barrel politics have been around for a long time. The term originated in 1863 in a story by Edward Everett Hale called "The Children of the Public". He used "pork barrel" in a positive way, describing any public spending by government for the benefit of citizens. By the 1870s, the term "pork" had negative connotations, with references in the press to "pork barrel bills" in Congress. Nowadays "pork" really applies to any government project designed to benefit a relatively small group of citizens (usually potential voters for a particular politician) with the bill being paid by the citizenry as a whole.
28. "Batman" fight scene sound : KAPOW
The "Batman" television series of the sixties famously featured "pows" and "oofs" that were splattered across the screen in cartoon fashion.
29. Blender brand : OSTER
The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women's hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 Oster diversified by buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed an Osterizer, and was a big hit. Oster was bought up by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.
31. Hold 'em bullet : ACE
A bullet in "Hold 'em" poker is an ace.
The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas Hold 'Em is Robstown, Texas, where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts, including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion ofTexas Hold 'Em in the television line-up that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just sky-rocketing.
33. MERGING TRAFFIC ... : PREPARE TO BE CUT OFF
38. Flies that don't go far from home : POP UPS
I'm not sure what the difference is between a "pop up" and a "fly ball", but I've seen the kids hit enough of them over the years. Me? Never hit a baseball in my life ...
43. Cuzco native : INCA
Manco Capac was the head of the Incan Kingdom of Cusco (also Cuzco). He introduced what we might call some sensible laws, including abolishing human sacrifice, and outlawing marriage to one's sister. However, through a loophole in the law,as he managed to marry his own sister and had a son with her who became his successor.
44. Range rover : STEER
Nicely disguised wording ...
45. STOP ... : COAST ON THROUGH
Out here we call that a "California roll" (a pun for lovers of sushi!).
51. Some '50s Fords : EDSELS
It was Henry Ford's son, Edsel Ford, who gave his name to the Edsel make of automobile, a name that has become synonymous with "failure".
60. Ermine, e.g. : FUR
Ermine is another name for the stoat. The stoat has dark, brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term "ermine" is reserved for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty, often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.
61. CONGESTION NEXT 10 MILES ... : ROAD RAGE ZONE
The term "road rage" dates back to a specific time and place. It was used by newscasters on Los Angeles TV station KTLA in 1988 to describe a rash of freeway shootings in the area on interstates 405, 110 and 10, many sparked by incidents in heavy traffic.
65. Wearers of jeweled turbans : MAHARAJAS
Maharaja is the Sanskrit word meaning "great king", and was the name given to a ruler in India. A maharani, or maharanee, was the wife of a maharaja.
71. Neurotransmitter associated with sleep : SEROTONIN
Most of the body's serotonin is found in the gut, where is regulates intestinal muscle movement. The balance is manufactured in specialized nerve tissue, and has various functions such as regulation of mood, sleep and appetite.
72. NO THRU TRAFFIC ... : GOOD SHORTCUT
77. Genetic material : RNA
The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein "generators" called ribosomes.
81. Wizened woman : HAG
"Wizen" is such a lovely word, I think. It means to dry up, especially with age. "Hag" is a shortened form of the Old English word "haegtesse" meaning, "witch".
84. Winged celestial being : SERAPH
A seraph is a celestial being found in Hebrew and Christian writings. The word "seraph" (plural seraphim) literally translates as "burning one".
88. STAY IN LANE ... : IGNORE THIS SIGN
93. Setting for the biggest movie of 1939 : TARA
Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O'Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind". In the book, the Tara plantation was founded by Scarlett's father, Irish immigrant Gerald O'Hara. He named his new home "Tara" after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.
95. Number system with only 0's and 1's : BASE TWO
We use a base ten numbering system of course, with ten digits (0-9). The binary system, or base two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched "on" or "off".
98. Cheesesteak capital : PHILLY
The cheesesteak sandwich was apparently introduced by Pat and Harry Olivieri and first sold in the thirties at their hot dog stand in South Philadelphia. Pat opened up his own restaurant with a menu centered on the popular sandwich, and you can go eat there to this day. It's Pat's King of Steaks, and my guess is everyone knows it in South Philly.
103. NO STOPPING OR STANDING ... : LEAVE IF YOU SEE A COP
The parking signs that prohibit "stopping" and "standing" really confused me when I moved to the US. Eventually I discovered that "No Standing" meant that I could stop to allow passengers in or out, but couldn't park. "No Stopping" meant that I couldn't stop my car, unless I had to for safety, to obey a traffic signal or the like.
107. Like some legal proceedings : IN REM
"In rem" translates from Latin as "in a thing". In a lawsuit, an action is described as "in rem" if it is directed against some property. This would be the case if someone disputes ownership of a piece of land, for example. An action "in personam" on the other hand, is directed against a specific individual.
109. Syrian president : ASSAD
Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the current President of the Syrian Arab Republic, and is the son of the former President, Hafez al-Assad, whom he replaced in 2001. President Assad is a medical doctor, speaks fluent English and conversational French. Assad was studying ophthalmology in London when he met his wife, an Englishwoman.
112. SPEED LIMIT 65 M.P.H. ... : KEEP IT UNDER EIGHTY
119. Guffaw syllable : HAR
"Guffaw", meaning a boisterous laugh, is an imitative word that comes to us from Scotland.
121. Field Marshal Rommel : ERWIN
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was probably the most respected of WWII German officers, by the military on both sides of the conflict. Rommel was highly decorated for his service in WWI, but gained most of his notoriety in the North African campaign from 1940 to 1943. It was during this period that he gained the nickname of "the Desert Fox". Rommel is regarded as an honorable soldier. He is reported to have ensured that all prisoners under his control were treated humanely, and he ignored all orders to execute Jewish soldiers and civilians no matter where he was serving. Late in the war he was convicted of participating in a conspiracy against Adolf Hitler, but his reputation as a war hero prevented Hitler from having him executed. Instead, Rommel was coerced into committing suicide under the threat of persecution of his family.
123. Literary monogram : TSE
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.
1. Unchallenging reading material : PAP
Pap is soft or semi-liquid food for babies and small children. "Pap" comes into English, via French, from the Latin word used by children for "food". In the 1500s, "pap" also came to mean "an over-simplified" idea. This gives us a usage that's common today, describing literature or perhaps TV programming that lacks real value or substance. Hmm, a lot of pap out there, especially on television ...
2. ___-mo : SLO
Slow motion replay of film.
4. Egyptian symbol of life : ANKH
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for "eternal life". The ankh wasn't just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world).
5. Online program : WEB APP
An application designed for the Web.
6. City in a "Can-Can" song : PAREE
"Who Said Gay Paree?" is a song from the Cole Porter musical "Can-Can".
The Cole Porter musical "Can-Can" was first produced on Broadway, in 1953, where it ran for two years. There was a very successful film adaptation (which I saw recently ... good stuff) released in 1960, starring Shirley McLaine, Frank Sinatra and Maurice Chevalier. During filming, the Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev visited the set as part of a tour of 20th Century Fox studios. He made a big splash in the media at the time describing what he saw as "depraved" and "pornographic".
8. Creator of the detective C. Auguste Dupin : POE
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. He is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American writer to make his living through his writing, something that didn't go too well for him, as he was always financially strapped. In 1849, he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. He died a few days later in hospital, at 39 years of age.
C. Auguste Dupin is Edgar Allen Poe's most famous detective, first appearing in Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". This 1841 work is usually cited as the first ever work of detective fiction. I wonder if Poe knew what he was starting? Kojak, Starsky & Hutch ...
10. Oriole who played in a record 2,632 straight games : RIPKEN
Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. He was known as the "Iron Man" because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous record held by Lou Gehrig of 2,130 games.
11. Small crustacean : ISOPOD
Isopods are small crustaceans (meaning they have exoskeletons), with seven pairs of legs. Examples would be woodlice and pill bugs. The name "isopod" comes from the Greek "iso" (same) and "pod" (foot).
12. Low-level position : MCJOB
McJob is a slang term for a low-paying job that offers little chance for advancement. The term of course comes from front-line jobs at McDonald's fast-food restaurants.
13. Queen of double entendres : MAE WEST
Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the "sexy" side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. While still quite young, she moved into legitimate theater, eventually writing her own risque plays. One of her own Broadway plays in which she starred was called "Sex". The show was a sell out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of "corrupting the morals of youth". She went into the movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.
"Double entendre" is a French term describing something that is said that can be understood in two different ways. The literal translation is "double" (double) "entendre" (to mean).
16. The Wright brothers' Ohio home : DAYTON
Wilbur was the older of the two Wright brothers, and he was born in 1867 in Millville, Indiana. By the time that Orville was born in 1871, the family was living in Dayton, Ohio. The Wrights spent a few years in their youth back in Richmond, Indiana, before settling in Dayton for the rest of their lives and where they both died, Wilbur in 1912, and Orville in 1948.
17. Michael of "Caddyshack" : O'KEEFE
Michael O'Keefe played Danny Noonan in the film "Caddyshack" (I'm not a big fan of that movie). I saw O'Keefe not too long ago in the George Clooney film "Michael Clayton".
24. Mortgage figs. : APRS
Annual Percentage Rates.
32. Kind of commentator : COLOR
The color commentator works alongside the play-by-play announcer in broadcast coverage of a sports event.
34. Pub order : PINT
In Ireland if you go into a pub, and just order a "pint" without specifying the type of beer, the assumption is that it's a pint of the black stuff, Guinness. Getting thirsty now ...
35. Don Marquis's six-legged poet : ARCHY
Don Marquis was a humorist, journalist and author, best known for his characters Archy and Mehitabel who appeared in frequently in his daily newspaper column. Archy was a cockroach, and Mehitabel an alley cat. Archy was the poet, and his verses were very popular in the column. Because Archy was writing in the early part of the 20th century, he used a typewriter to compose his poems. Cockroaches can't operate shift keys, so all his works lacked capitals and punctuation!
37. Tony Hillerman detective Jim : CHEE
Tony Hillerman was a writer best known for his works of detective fiction, especially his series of Navajo Tribal Police mysteries. His two main characters in the Navajo books are Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, two detectives on the Tribal Police Force.
39. ___ Intrepid : USS
The most famous warship to bear the name USS Intrepid was an aircraft carrier launched during WWII and decommissioned in 1974. The Intrepid was the first US carrier to launch planes with steam catapults, and she was also a recovery ship for two NASA space missions: one Mercury flight and one Gemini flight. You can go see the Intrepid now in New York City where she is the base for the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum.
47. First name in TV talk : OPRAH
What can you say about Oprah? Born into poverty to a single mother, with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah's name was originally meant to be "Orpah" after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that's how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing "Orpah", so she's now "Oprah".
48. Spanish bear : OSO
In Spanish, "osa" is a female bear, and "oso" is a male.
49. Actress Thurman : UMA
Uma Thurman's father, Robert Thurman, was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and gave his daughter Uma her name as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name, Dbuma.
50. Gallivants : GADS
"Gallivant" is such a lovely word, and is probably a derivative of "gallant". To gallivant is to gad about, to flirt, wander in search of pleasure or amusement.
52. School for Prince Harry : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders, including David Cameron who took power in the recent UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell and Soviet spy, Guy Burgess.
53. Anderson of "WKRP in Cincinnati" : LONI
Loni Anderson's most famous role was that of Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati". Anderson has been married four times, most famously to actor Burt Reynolds from 1988 to 1993.
60. Troll dolls or Silly Bandz : FAD
Silly Bandz are rubber bands that can be used just like regular rubber bands, or as a hair tie. What makes them "silly" is that when they are "unstretched", lying on a flat surface, they revert to a particular shape such as a letter or an animal. It's a fad, but I don't think I've ever seen one ...
62. Gambino boss after Castellano : GOTTI
John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family from 1985 after his predecessor, Paul Castellano, was gunned down, allegedly on Gotti's orders. He remained head of the New York family until he was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. Gotti died of throat cancer after ten years behind bars, in 2002.
67. Frozen dew : HOAR
The Old English word "har" meant "gray, venerable, old", and came into English as "hoar" with the same meaning. The term "hoar-frost" dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man's beard.
68. Betty, Bobbie and Billie followers on "Petticoat Junction" : JOS
I loved the American sitcom "Petticoat Junction" when I was a kid growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. The show was created by Paul Henning, one of a trio of shows that he had on the air featuring rural-based characters. As well as "Petticoat Junction", Henning was behind "Green Acres" and "The Beverly Hillbillies ".
69. Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE
Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader a jazz clarinetist. His real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. Of his many claims to fame is the fact that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to some hostility back then from Southern audiences.
73. "The Situation Room" airer : CNN
"The Situation Room" is a CNN news show aired in the afternoons, and hosted by Wolf Blitzer. I'm not a big fan, to be honest ...
74. Japanese vegetable : UDO
Udo is a perennial plant native to Japan, known taxonomically as Aralia cordata. The stems of udo are sometimes boiled up and served in miso soup.
79. "The Power of Positive Thinking" author : PEALE
Norman Vincent Peale was the author of the best seller "The Power of Positive Thinking". Peale was a Protestant preacher, and for the latter decades was pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan in New York City.
85. Anacin alternative : ALEVE
Aleve is a anti-inflammatory drug, Naproxen sodium.
Anacin is a pain reliever, with the active ingredients of aspirin and caffeine.
86. Famed Russian battleship : POTEMKIN
The Russian battleship Potemkin is perhaps more famous for an on-board rebellion than for any naval action. In 1905, the Potemkin was on firing exercises when the crew refused to eat meat that contained maggots. The second-in-command gathered the crew on the quarterdeck, and lined them up in front of armed marines. Fearing a mass execution, the crew rushed the marines and began the famous mutiny. The event was reconstructed in an equally famous film by Sergei Eisenstein called "The Battleship Potemkin", a silent film released in 1925, and considered by many to be greatest film of all time.
89. "___ Little Tenderness" : TRY A
The love song "Try a Little Tenderness" was first released in 1932 by the Ray Noble Orchestra, and has since been covered countless times. The most famous version is probably by Otis Redding from 1966. But my absolute favorite performance is in the Irish movie "The Commitments". That movie is a must see for anyone interested in contemporary Irish culture, in my humble opinion of course ...
90. Houston after whom the Texas city is named : SAM
Sam Houston was the first President of the Republic of Texas, a US Senator for Texas, as well as governor of the state. Houston was also governor of Tennessee in his earlier life, and is the only person in US history to have been governor of two different states. The city of Houston is of course named after him, and it being in Texas, there's a statue there of Sam Houston that's the largest free-standing statue of an American.
96. Leader whom Virgil called "the virtuous" : AENEAS
The Aeneid is Virgil's epic poem that tells of the journey of Aeneas, a Trojan that voyaged to Italy to become the ancestor of all Romans.
97. Jean-Paul who wrote "Words are loaded pistols" : SARTRE
John-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. He is one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and refused to accept it (the prize for Literature, in 1964). Beforehand he knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.
98. Particular form of government : POLITY
A polity is the form of government of a nation, or perhaps a state, church or organization. Another term for polity might be "body politic".
99. Jabba the ___, "Star Wars" villain : HUTT
Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien that appears in the "Star Wars" movie "The Return of the Jedi". His claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.
101. It may wind up at the side of the house : HOSE
Clever wording ...
105. Sideshow worker : CARNY
"Carny" is American slang, and is short for "carnival worker".
110. Taj Mahal site : AGRA
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth, delivering the couple's 14th child!
113. Bird in New South Wales : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. The aborigines used them for food and are very adept at hunting them using a variety of traditional techniques. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food, and knocked down fences. Soldiers were sent in using machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the emus. The emus were clever though, and broke there usual formation and adopted guerrilla tactics, operating as small units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers was refused.
114. New Deal inits. : NRA
The National Recovery Administration was one of the first agencies set up under President Roosevelt's New Deal program. On the one hand the NRA help set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn't opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn't survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.
115. Breathalyzer determination, for short : DWI
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, where by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.
116. One, for Fritz : EIN
"Ein" is German for "one", sort of. One can also be "eine" or "eins" depending on the context.
118. QB's stat. : YDS
Quarterbacks rack up yards.
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