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Greetings from Louisburgh, County Mayo in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

1210-10: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Dec 10, Friday




Quicklinks:
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: JOHNNY ONE NOTE ... the grid design features black squares that feature one musical note (a quaver, or eighth note) in the middle
COMPLETION TIME: 41m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Dealers' dreads : NARCS
Drug dealers dread the sight of narcotics agents.

6. Clothes hangers? : SALES TAGS
Sales tags hang on some clothes at the store.

15. Plant whose roots are used as detergent : AMOLE
Amoles are flowering plants, known familiarly as Soap Plants or Soaproots, native to the western states of North America. Native Americans had many uses for the Soap Plant,  baking the bulbs for food, and extracting the coarse fibers from the leaves to make brushes. The bulbs could also be crushed to produce a soapy lather that made an effective shampoo (hence the name Soap Plant). The soapy extract was also used to catch fish, would you believe? When the lather was added to slow-moving streams it clogged up the gills of fish so they died from suffocation.

16. Something you can bank on : POOL TABLE
The more correct name for the game of pool is pocket billiards. The name "pool" came after pocket billiards started to be played in "pool halls", places where gamblers "pooled" their money to bet on horse races.

Julie Inkster autographed 8x10 Photo (Golf) JSA19. Two-time U.S. Women's Open winner : INKSTER
Juli Inkster has played professional golf for over 27 years and ranks second in wins amongst all players active on the LPGA tour today. Inkster has played many times on the US team in the Solheim Cup (the women's equivalent to the Ryder Cup), and has won more points for her team than any other American who has played in the competition.

Season of the Gar: Adventures in Pursuit of America’s Most Misunderstood Fish26. Air-gulping swimmer : GAR
Gar was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term gar is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. Gar are unusual in that they are often found in very brackish water. What is interesting about them is that their swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. So, many species of gar can be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that must rely on their gills to get oxygen. Indeed, quite interesting …

27. Went wild : RAN AMOK
The phrase "to run amok" has been around since the 1670s, and is derived from the Malay word for "attacking furiously", "amuk". The word "amok" was also used as a noun, to describe Malay natives who were "frenzied". Given Malayan history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy ...

MICHAEL MOORE 8x10 COLOUR PHOTO29. Grp. knocked in "Sicko" : AMA
Like all of Michael Moore's films, his 2007 documentary "Sicko" tends to polarize his audience. The film deals with the health care system in the United States, comparing it with the systems in place in other countries. Having lived in two of the countries covered in the movie, France and the UK, I can attest that the basic facts presented about those foreign health care systems are accurate. Now Moore's style of presentation of those facts ... that might give rise to some debate ...

30. Needle point?: Abbr. : ENE
ENE is one of the directions to which a compass needle might point.

BOBBY DARIN 16X20 PHOTO31. Alternative title of "Mack the Knife" : MORITAT
"Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" is the original name of the song "Mack the Knife", taken from "The Threepenny Opera". "The Threepenny Opera" ("Die Dreigroschenoper") is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that first performed in Berlin in 1928, an adaptation of "The Beggar's Opera" written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. "Mack the Knife" was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. He had a hit with it in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version of the song. I love it ...

A "moritat" translates from German as "deadly deed", and is a musical form that developed from a type of ballad performed by strolling minstrels. The precursor to the moritat was the murder ballad, a narrative dealing with events before, during and after a murder. Gruesome stuff ...

JUDY GARLAND 11X14 PHOTO33. With 36-Across, "Babes in Arms" tune that's apt for this puzzle : JOHNNY
36. See 33-Across : ONE NOTE
The song "Johnny One Note" is from the 1937 musical "Babes in Arms" by Rodgers and Hart. In the film version released in 1939, "Johnny One Note" was sung by Judy Garland.

37. Sodium ___ (cleansers) : BORATES
Borax is also known as sodium borate, a salt of boric acid. It is a white powder that dissolves easily in water. Borax has many uses, for example as an anti-fungal agent and an anti-septic.

Taser C2 with Laser Sight - Yellow/Titanium Silver/ Metallic Pink38. Like some people resisting arrest : TASERED
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called "Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle". The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon, named their product as a homage to the novel. TASER stands for Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle. Interesting, eh?

39. It might accompany a bar line : LEER
Some guy giving a gal a line in a bar might accompany it with a leer. Good luck with that ...

40. N.Y.C.'s Washington ___ : HTS
During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Army built a fortification at the northern end of Manhattan that the troops named Fort Washington. The fort fell to the British in 1776 after a bloody battle, and was held by British forces until the end of the war. The surrounding area subsequently adopted the name of the fort and has been called Washington Heights ever since.

47. Kitties : POTS
The "pot" in a card game has been referred to as the kitty since the 1880s. It's not certain how the name "kitty" evolved but possibly it came from "kit", the necessary equipment for the game.

Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope, Black54. Stethoscope inventor Laënnec and others : RENES
The word "stethoscope" comes from the Greek word for "chest examination". The stethoscope was invented back in 1816 in France by René Laennec, although back then it looked just like an ear trumpet, a wooden tube with flared ends.

55. Early 19th-century engineering marvel : ERIE CANAL
The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal, and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, it had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of "cheap" transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal, that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname, the Empire State.

The New American Story56. Bill Bradley, once : KNICK
Bill Bradley played his whole NBA career with the New York Knicks, although prior to joining the Knicks he played professional basketball for a year in Europe while attending Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. After retiring from basketball, Bradley served three terms as a Democratic US Senator from New Jersey, and of course ran unsuccessfully for the party's Presidential nomination in the 2000 election.

58. Friends and such : SECTS
The Religious Society of Friends is a name used by a number of different organizations that have roots in the Christian church in 17th-century England and Wales. A common name for one of these organizations is of course the Quakers.

Down
1. Inventor of logarithms : NAPIER
John Napier was a Scottish mathematician who is often accredited with the invention of logarithms, although log tables were actually being used decades earlier. However, Napier did popularize the use of the decimal point.

Egyptian Amun Ra Statue Sculpture2. Dualistic Egyptian deity : AMEN-RA
Amun was also known as "Amun-Ra", a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word "ammonia", as the Romans called the ammonium chloride they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun "sal ammoniacus" (salt of Amun).

5. What a motto encapsulates : SENTIMENT
"Motto" is an Italian word that we imported into English in the 1580s. Ultimately "motto" comes from the Latin "muttire" meaning "to mutter, murmur".

Solar Group E100B00 Standard Size Galvanized Steel Rural Mailbox, Black6. Dupes in some mailboxes : SPARE KEYS
Who puts a spare key in mailbox these days?

7. Part of AIM : AOL
AIM stands for AOL Instant Messenger.

8. Part of many an AIM chat : LOL
LOL is an abbreviation used in Instant Messages and phone text messages, meaning "Laughing Out Loud".

Ernie Els Autographed / Signed Golf 8x10 Photo9. P.G.A. Tour Rookie of the Year two years before Woods : ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. He's a big guy, but he has an easy, fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname "The Big Easy". Els has a child who suffers from autism, and he has been very effective raising money for charities that focus on the condition.

10. Femme canonisée: Abbr. : STE
In French, a woman (femme) becomes a saint (sainte ... ste.) by being canonized (canonisée).

11. Fancy shooters : TAWS
In the game of marbles, the "taw" is the shooting marble, and is shot at the "ducks".

12. One who surrenders : ABNEGATOR
"To abnegate" is to renounce or surrender something, particularly a luxury or a right. "Abnegare" is the Latin for "to refuse, deny".

13. MSG component : GLUTAMATE
Monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of a naturally occurring (and non-essential) amino acid, glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. My vote is no... it's not good for you. Something that comes out of test tube shouldn't be in food ...

Evonne Goolagong Autographed / Signed Sports Illustrated Magazine - July 12, 197120. Tennis's Goolagong : EVONNE
Evonne Goolagong was an outstanding Australian tennis player who was at the pinnacle of her success in seventies and early eighties. Her colorful family name, Goolagong, came from her Aboriginal father who worked for much of his life as an itinerant sheep shearer. I remember seeing Goolagong play back then, and I always thought that she was so elegant and such a lady on the court ...

23. Being reserved : IN MOTHBALLS
Something held in reserve is often said to be "in mothballs". The expression is derived from the practice of placing mothballs with clothing that is placed in storage during the "off season".

Mothballs are little white balls made up of a pesticide and a deodorant, and are designed to preserve clothes that are susceptible to attack by mold or moth larvae. The chemicals used are not harmless to humans, so it is important to air clothes that have been in contact with mothballs, usually for a day or so until the mothball odor disappears.

24. They may be incubating : NEONATES
A "neonate" is a newborn infant, a term usually used while the child is less than a month old.

The Story of Bach32. Like Bach's second violin concerto : IN E
Like so many of the great composers, the extent of Bach's contribution to the repertoire was only fully recognized long after his passing. Johann Sebastian Bach was undoubtedly the greatest composer of the Baroque period, and is ranked by many as the greatest classical composer of all time.

Johann Sebastian Bach raised a very musical family. He had four sons who became famous musicians in their own right. There was:
- Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (aka "the Halle Bach")
- Carl Philipp Bach (aka "the Hamburg Bach")
- Johann Christoph Bach (aka "the Buckeberg Bach")
- Johann Christian Bach (aka "the London Bach")

Joe Torre Milwaukee Braves Autographed 11 x 14 Professionally Matted Color Photo33. Author of "Chasing the Dream: My Lifelong Journey to the World Series" : JOE TORRE
As manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees. Torre is an Italian American, born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I'd say that was quite a thrill ...

34. Aeschylus trilogy : ORESTEIA
The "Oresteia" is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by playwright Aeschylus. We know the "Oresteia" today as a trilogy, but there was actually a fourth play in the series called "Proteus", but it did not survive the ravages of time.

Signed Rich, Irene 8x10 B&W (P)43. Rich of old films : IRENE
The actress Irene Rich worked in movies during the transition from the silent era to talkies. Rich also did a lot of work on radio where she had her own show. "The Irene Rich Show" was a series of mini-dramas in which Rich played opposite her leading man, Gale Gordon, who later played "Mr. Mooney", Lucille Ball's boss on "The Lucy Show".

44. Like some tattooed characters : RUNIC
A rune is a character in an alphabet (sometimes used in tattoos), believed to have mysterious powers.

46. Anchors' places : DESKS
News anchors are usually televised sitting at a desk.

50. Dupes in some mailboxes : CCS
I wonder do the kids of today know that "cc" stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy the carbon paper was to handle?

51. Chance : HAP
Our word "hap" means chance or fortune. It turns up combined in words like "haphazard" and even "happen". "Happen" originally meant to "occur by hap, by chance".

Fly (2cd Slim)52. Dweller near Central Park's Strawberry Fields : ONO
Yoko Ono was born into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the Emperors of Japan. Her father moved around the world for work, so she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, then moved onto New York, Hanoi, and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great fire-bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war, the family was far from prosperous. While her father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, Yoko's mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. But, when her father returned, life started to return to normal. Yoko was able to attend university, and was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.


For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Dealers' dreads : NARCS
6. Clothes hangers? : SALES TAGS
15. Plant whose roots are used as detergent : AMOLE
16. Something you can bank on : POOL TABLE
17. Tart flavor : PECAN
18. Totally assured, as victory : ALL SEWN UP
19. Two-time U.S. Women's Open winner : INKSTER
21. ___ date : SET A
22. Like swift streams : EROSIVE
23. People who have been 45-Downed : INS
26. Air-gulping swimmer : GAR
27. Went wild : RAN AMOK
28. What flounder flounder in : NET
29. Grp. knocked in "Sicko" : AMA
30. Needle point?: Abbr. : ENE
31. Alternative title of "Mack the Knife" : MORITAT
33. With 36-Across, "Babes in Arms" tune that's apt for this puzzle : JOHNNY
36. See 33-Across : ONE NOTE
37. Sodium ___ (cleansers) : BORATES
38. Like some people resisting arrest : TASERED
39. It might accompany a bar line : LEER
40. N.Y.C.'s Washington ___ : HTS
41. "___ date" : IT'S A
42. Stuck, in a way : BEMIRED
47. Kitties : POTS
48. 99 times out of 100 : AS A RULE
49. Spot for a tot : PRESCHOOL
54. Stethoscope inventor Laënnec and others : RENES
55. Early 19th-century engineering marvel : ERIE CANAL
56. Bill Bradley, once : KNICK
57. Where cells are of little use : DEAD SPOTS
58. Friends and such : SECTS

Down
1. Inventor of logarithms : NAPIER
2. Dualistic Egyptian deity : AMEN-RA
3. "All right, dude!" : ROCK ON
4. Superb : CLASS A
5. What a motto encapsulates : SENTIMENT
6. Dupes in some mailboxes : SPARE KEYS
7. Part of AIM : AOL
8. Part of many an AIM chat : LOL
9. P.G.A. Tour Rookie of the Year two years before Woods : ELS
10. Femme canonisée: Abbr. : STE
11. Fancy shooters : TAWS
12. One who surrenders : ABNEGATOR
13. MSG component : GLUTAMATE
14. Apart : SEPARATED
20. Tennis's Goolagong : EVONNE
23. Being reserved : IN MOTHBALLS
24. They may be incubating : NEONATES
25. Accents : STRESS MARKS
32. Like Bach's second violin concerto : IN E
33. Author of "Chasing the Dream: My Lifelong Journey to the World Series" : JOE TORRE
34. Aeschylus trilogy : ORESTEIA
35. Dogged : HARASSED
37. Appeared on screen, in a way : BLIPPED
43. Rich of old films : IRENE
44. Like some tattooed characters : RUNIC
45. Give a seat to : ELECT
46. Anchors' places : DESKS
50. Dupes in some mailboxes : CCS
51. Chance : HAP
52. Dweller near Central Park's Strawberry Fields : ONO
53. Kind of flour : OAT


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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 answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

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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