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: CROCKERY ... all the theme answers end with items of tableware i.e. (TECTONIC) PLATE, (FLYING) SAUCER, (FIFA WORLD) CUP, (HOLLYWOOD) BOWL
COMPLETION TIME: 4m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
5. Crimson Tide, to fans : BAMA
That athletic teams of the University of Alabama are nicknamed the Crimson Tide, a reference to the team colors, crimson and white.
13. Aria da ___ : CAPO
An "aria da capo" is an operatic aria which has three sections, with the final section being very similar to the first, a "recap" as it were. This form was very popular during the Baroque era. The composer quite often wrote out the first and second sections in full, and then simply specified "da capo" for the third section (literally "from the head") indicating that the first section should be played and sung again in full.
14. Establishment with hair dryers : SALON
"Salon" is the French word for a large room, usually the largest room in a house, and often the room in which one sits with guests. The word was brought into English with the same meaning in the late 17th century. It wasn't until early in the 20th century that "salon" came to mean an establishment for hairdressing and beauty care.
15. Hip about : ONTO
The word "hip" meaning "informed" is just a a variant of the word "hep", which has the same meaning. Both terms probably originated as slang first used in the African American community.
16. Muscat is its capital : OMAN
Oman is lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The city of Muscat, with its strategic location, has a history of invasion and unrest. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody attack. The Portuguese held Muscat for much of the next century until finally ousted by local Omani forces in 1648.
18. Slightly open, as a door : AJAR
Our word "ajar" is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which "a char" means "slightly open".
19. Shifting piece of the earth's crust : TECTONIC PLATE
There are eight major tectonic plates, and numerous small plates, that make up the outermost shell of our planet. The heat from within the Earth causes the plates to move, albeit it slowly, creating earthquakes and volcanic eruptions where the plates meet each other ... like right under my house here in California ...
22. Exist naturally : INHERE
"To inhere" is to be inherent, to be innate, to exist naturally.
23. ___ Royal Highness : HER
His or Her Royal Highness is a form of address used for English royalty in particular, and has been since about the year 1400.
24. Cut (off), as with a sweeping motion : LOP
The word "lop" meaning "to cut off" was originally reserved for the trimming off of small branches and twigs from a tree.
28. ___Vista (search engine) : ALTA
The AltaVista search engine was one of the originals, launched by the now defunct Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1995. On the first day of operation AltaVista received 300,000 hits (compared with this blog, which gets only 2,000 hits, after two years online!). Over time, AltaVisa lost its way, trying to morph into a Web portal like Yahoo! and lost its identity as a search engine. Then, when no one was looking I guess, along comes Google in the late nineties, and shoves AltaVista off its pedestal in the search engine space. But, AltaVista is still around for search, and is now owned by Yahoo!
33. Extraterrestrial's transportation : FLYING SAUCER
Disc-shaped flying objects have been reported in the sky since the Middle Ages. In the modern era the event that launched the term "flying saucer" was a UFO sighting in 1947 that was covered widely in the media. Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine unidentified flying objects in formation near Mount Rainier in Washington. In describing the objects he repeatedly used the words "saucer", "disc" and "pie-plate". The newspapers latched onto the terminology, and we've been seeing "flying saucers" ever since.
35. Lotion ingredient : ALOE
The so called "true aloe" is aloe vera, a succulent plant native to Africa that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant's leaves are full of biologically active compounds that have been extensively studied. Even before all the modern research, aloe vera was used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.
38. Psychology 101 topic : EGO
"Ego" is another word for "the self", and is used to distinguish oneself from others and the world around one. In psychoanalysis, the ego is that division of the psyche that is most in touch with external reality, the part that is conscious. "Ego" is a Latin word meaning "I".
40. Quadrennial soccer championship : FIFA WORLD CUP
Uruguay won the soccer gold medals at both the 1924 and 1928 Olympic tournaments. When Jules Rimet, the president of soccer's international governing body (FIFA) decided to start an international tournament outside of the Olympics, it was decided to give Uruguay the honor of hosting the first competition, in 1930. Sure enough, Uruguay emerged victorious as the first FIFA World Cup winners. Sadly, Uruguay haven't won since. Oh, and quadrennial means every four years.
45. Traveled with Huck Finn, e.g. : RAFTED
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, was first published in 1884, not here in the US but rather in England. The original launch planned for the US had to be delayed until 1885, because some rascal had defaced the plate for one of the illustrations, making an obscene joke. Once the problem was spotted, a new plate had to made, and 30,000 copies already printed had to be reworked to cover up the obscenity.
46. Those, in Tijuana : ESAS
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of the Tijuana's growth took place in the twenties, as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar's, in the Avenida Revolucion area. Hotel Caesar's claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.
47. ___-Town (Cubbies' home) : CHI
The Chicago Cubs are one of only two teams still playing that are charter members of baseball's National League (the other is the Atlanta braves). The Cubs are known as the "Lovable Losers", because they haven't won the World Series since 1908 (after winning it in 1907 as well), giving the Cubs the longest spell without a World Series title in the whole of baseball.
50. Surgeons' workplaces, for short : ORS
Surgeons operate in Operating rooms.
53. Showy cock's object of affection : PEAHEN
The female peafowl, the peahen, has very dull plumage compared to the extravagant display on the tail of the peacock. The young of a peacock and peahen is known as a peachick (there's a surprise!).
55. Los Angeles Philharmonic summer venue : HOLLYWOOD BOWL
The amphitheatre known as the Hollywood Bowl has a very distinctive, white, arched cover over the stage, which sort of looks like an upturned bowl. But, the Hollywood Bowl actually takes its name from the concave depression in which it sits, surrounded by the Hollywood Hills.
61. The Hunter constellation : ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is of course named after the Greek God Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion's "right shoulder", the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. It is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don't want to miss that ...
62. Merle Haggard's "___ From Muskogee" : OKIE
Merle Haggard is a county singer and songwriter, whose most famous recording has to be "Okie from Muskogee" released in 1969. Haggard will tell you that the song was actually meant as a spoof, but it has become a country "anthem".
63. "I bet you won't go bungee jumping," e.g. : DARE
The first Bungee jump using the modern latex cord was from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England. It was an illegal jump, with all five jumpers getting arrested soon after "hitting" the ground.
64. Give 10% to one's church : TITHE
A tithe is traditional payment of one tenth of one's annual income often given to one's church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults actually donate 10% or more of their income to a church.
67. Impudence : SASS
"Sass", meaning "impudence", is a back formation from the word "sassy". "Sassy" is an alteration of the word "saucy" that first appeared in English in the 1830s.
68. Energy output units : ERGS
An erg is a unit of energy, or mechanical work. "Erg" comes from the Greek word "ergon", meaning "work". A dyne is a unit of force. The name "dyne" comes from the Greek "dynamis" meaning power or force. Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy need to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.
1. Nova ___, Canada : SCOTIA
The Canadian province of Nova Scotia lies on the east coast of the country, a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It was settled by Scots starting in 1621, and Nova Scotia is Latin for "New Scotland".
3. Cochise or Geronimo : APACHE
Cochise and Geronimo were perhaps the two most famous Apache leaders to resist intrusions by the European Americans in 1800s. Both lived lives full of conflict, but both also lived relatively long lives. Cochise eventually entered into a treaty putting an end to the fighting, and retired onto a new reservation. Cochise died of natural causes in 1874, at the age of 69. Geronimo surrendered, and spent years as a prisoner of war. He spent his last years as a celebrity, and even rode in the inaugural parade for President Theodore Roosevelt. Geronimo died of pneumonia in 1909 at the age of 79.
4. Del ___ Foods : MONTE
Del Monte Foods is headquartered just down the road here, in San Francisco. The company's roots go back to 1886, when a foods distributor in Oakland used the name Del Monte on a premium blend of coffee specially prepared for the Hotel Del Monte on the Monterrey peninsula.
5. Storied isle near Java : BALI
Bali is the most important tourist destination in Indonesia, and is an island lying east of Java. In recent years that tourist industry has been badly hit, due to two terrorist bombings. The first one, in 2002, killed 202 people, mainly foreign tourists in a nightclub.
6. Actor Baldwin : ALEC
Alec is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think his big break really was playing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan in "The Hunt for Red October", but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. He is making a name for himself these days playing Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock", opposite Tina Fey.
10. Oscar winner Huston : ANJELICA
Anjelica Huston has a great pedigree in the movie business. When she won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the 1985 movie "Prizzi's Honor", she became the third generation of her family to win an Academy Award. Anjelica is the daughter of director John Huston, and granddaughter of veteran actor Walter Huston.
32. Drainage pit : SUMP
A "sump" has been a "pit to collect water" since the middle of the 17th century. Prior to that, a sump was a marsh or a morass.
34. Dwellers on Mount Olympus : GODS
Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.
41. Prosperity : WEAL
"Weal" is prosperity or happiness, and has the same roots as the word "wealth".
43. Gangster known as Scarface : CAPONE
When Al Capone was a young man, he worked as a bouncer in night clubs and saloons. He was working the door of a Brooklyn nightspot one evening when he apparently insulted a woman, sparking off a fight with her brother. In the tussle, Capone's face was slashed three times. Capone wasn't too proud of the incident, nor the "Scarface" moniker. He always hid the scars as best he could when being photographed, and was also fond of telling people that the scars were from old war wounds.
47. Snug necklace : CHOKER
Back in the 1800s a choker was a large neckerchief. In the late 1920s "choker" was first used to describe a kind of necklace worn tightly around the neck.
48. Felling : HEWING
The verb "to fell" meaning "to cut down" is simply derived from the idea of "to make fall". "To hew" means to cut down, like a tree, and comes from Old English word meaning the same thing.
56. ___ page (newspaper part) : OP-ED
Op-ed is an abbreviation of "opposite the editorial page". Op-eds started in "The New York Evening World" in 1921. The page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent from the editorial board.
59. Prescription safety org. : FDA
The Food and Drug Administration was in effect created by the Food and Drug Act signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.
60. Too permissive : LAX
Long before the word "lax" was used to mean loose in terms of rules and discipline, it was used solely to mean "loose" as in "loose bowels". Yep, it has the same root as "laxative" ...
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