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Vacation Alert

I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0201-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Feb 10

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'm retired now, 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

If you are working on the New York Times crossword in any other publication, you are working on the syndicated puzzle. Here is a link to my answers to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword. To find any solution other than today's, enter the crossword number (e.g. 1225, 0107) in the "Search the Blog" box above.

This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today ...

Completion Time: 9m 25s
Theme: ICKY sounds ... the theme answers all include the "icky" sounding syllable e.g. PICKY EATERS, RICKI LAKE.
Answers I missed: 0

TODAY'S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
Across
Stripes (Unrated Extended Cut)1 RAMIS: Harold Ramis is a real all-rounder, working as an actor, director and writer. Indeed, in "Stripes" he was one of the three writers, as well as having a major acting role.

11 KAT: "Krazy Kat" was a successful comic strip that ran from 1913-1944, drawn by George Herriman.

27 SST: SuperSonic Transports, like the Concorde, broke Mach 1, the speed of sound.

29 HUR: The celebrated Charlton Heston movie "Ben-Hur" was actually a dramatization of a book published in 1880 by Lew Wallace "Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ".

31 OMSK: We came across Omsk the other day, the location of the labor camp where Dostoevsky was imprisoned.

Hairspray35 RICKI LAKE: Ricki Lake is perhaps as well known for her "Ricki Lake" talk show, as she is for her role in the 1988 movie "Hairspray".

39 AVILA: Avila is a beautiful city, famous for its walls, in central Spain.

52 MRE: Meal, Ready to Eat ...

61 ERA: Ye Americans will know all about the Era of Good Feelings, a period from 1817-1825, when political strife very much abated. Of course the reason was because there was really only one party at the time as the Federalist party had just dissolved. Still, one can't help but be jealous of our forefathers!

66 OGDEN: Ogden Nash the poet was well known for his light and humorous verse.

67 HER: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was the sixth of the James Bond films, and the only one to star George Lazenby in the leading role. Not a great choice for 007 ...

Down
11 KWIK-E-MART: The fictional store, Kwik-E-Mart, is operated by Apu on the "The Simpsons" TV show.

Gemmy Self-Inflating Lightening Ball Game, 4-Feet Long32 SKEE: Skee Ball is that arcade game where you roll balls up a ramp trying to "bounce" it into rings for different numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.

33 KEDS: Keds is a brand name of athletic show first introduced in 1916 by US Rubber. The shoe was marketed as a rubber soled, canvas topped sneaker.

34 JAWS: Peter Benchley's book "Jaws" is a great read. It was published in 1974, and the movie "Jaws" was released just one year later.

35 AVIA: The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as it it is the Latin word for "to fly", and suggested the concept of aviation.

The Ultimate Collection36 VIKKI CARR: Vikki Carr's real name is Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona, born in El Paso. "It Must Be Him" is an English adaptation of a French song.

38 I AM A: "I Am a Rock" was written by Paul Simon, and appears on the Simon and Garfunkel album "Sounds of Silence".

43 EMERITA: Emeritus (feminine version "emerita") is an adjective used in the title of someone who is retired.


52 MAUDE: Bea Arthur played Maude Findlay on the TV's "All in the Family" and then on the spin-off "Maude".

55 LEAH: Leah appears in the Book Of Genesis. She is the older sister of Rachel, and the wife of Jacob.

0131-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Jan 10

This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today. If you are doing the New York Times crossword in any other publication, you are working on the syndicated puzzle.

Here is a link to my answers to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword.


Completion Time: 39m 03s
Theme: Keep an Eye on It! The themed clues are solved by adding an "I" to the first or last words of a common phrase e.g. THE WIZARD OF ID-I
Answers I missed: 2 SOLON (SOLEN), A TWO (ATWE)

TODAY'S GOOGLIES ...
Across
1 SINATRA: In 1973 Frank Sinatra came out of retirement with a TV special, and an album, called "Ol' Blue Eyes is Back", and the name stuck.
22 EMERIL: Emeril Lagasse started using his famous, "Bam!" catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show, and it also stuck.
23 THE WIZARD OF ID-I: "The Wizard of Id" comic strip was created by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart. Forest Whitaker won many awards for his portrayal of Idi Amin the excellent film "The Last King of Scotland".
26 SOLON: Solon was an Athenian Statesman and lawmaker in Ancient Greece. He gave his name to our contemporary word "solon" meaning "a wise lawmaker".
27 MIGS: Tom Cruise's character came up against Soviet-built MiGs while flying his F-14 Tomcat in the movie "Top Gun".
35 TAIPEI: Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, is so-called because it has 101 floors.
38 RBI: In a suicide squeeze, the runner at 3rd heads for home before the pitcher releases the ball, assuming that the hitter will make contact with a bunt. If the batter misses the bunt, the runner has committed "suicide".
40 LA-LA: "La-La (Means I Love You)" is maybe the best known song from the Delfonics.
41 YOU CAN CALL ME AL-I: "You Can Call Me Al" is a song by Paul Simon the "Graceland" album.
46 LSAT: The Law School Admission Test has been around since 1948.
51 USO: The United Service Organization was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR, "to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces". A USO tour is a tour by a troupe of entertainers, many celebrities, to troop locations, often including combat zones.
52 ARA: Ara Parseghian coached Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, "The Era of Ara".
63 POE: "The Black Cat" is a short story By Edgar Allen Poe, published in 1843.
65 HRS: "48 Hrs." is hilarious movie starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy.
71 ANN: There was no such woman as "Ann Taylor". The name was chosen because "Ann" was considered to be "very New England" back in 1954 when the stores first opened, and "Taylor" suggested that clothes were carefully "tailored".
73 NEZ: In French, le nez (the nose) is just below les yeux (the eyes).
74 ORR: Orr has no other name, just "Orr", in Joseph Heller's "Catch 22".
75 ACELA: The Acela Express is the fasted train routinely running in the US, getting up to 150 mph at times.  The brand name "Acela" was created to evoke "acceleration" and "excellence".
76 JED-I CLAMPETT: Jed Clampett was played by Buddy Ebsen in "The Beverly Hillbillies".
81 CINE: Francois Truffaut was a celebrated French filmmaker, so one might see his movies in le cine, short for le cinema.
89 SKOAL: Skoal is a Swedish toast.
91 MARTIN-I AND LEWIS: The reference is to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. And Ramsey Lewis is a jazz composer and pianist.
95 LEIA: Princess Leia had those bigs buns on each side of her head in "Star Wars".
98 SYD: Syd Hoff wrote "Danny and the Dinosaur", as well as "Sammy the Seal".
106 GULAG: Aleksandr Solzenhitsyn, having spent many years in a Gulag labor camp, wrote his famous "The Gulag Archipelago".
109 GIDEON: Gideon, Judge of Israel, did indeed give the name to Gideons International, the group that deposits bibles in hotel rooms around the world.
116 SYLPHS: A sylph, or a sylphid, is a mythological creature, an invisible and wispy being of the air.
123 AUSTRIA: Both the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics were held in Innsbruck.
124 SANCHO: Sancho Panza is Don Quixote's squire, spouting out humorous comments called "sanchismos".

Down
2 IMHO: In My Humble Opinion ... that's what we bloggers say all the time ...
3 NOEL: A noel is another word for a Christmas carol, such as "The Seven Joys of Mary".
4 A TWO: Lawrence Welk used to count into his performances with "A one and a two ...". He even had a licence plate "A1ANA2".
5 THINKPAD: IBM introduced the ThinkPad in 1992, and the brand is still sold today, although no longer by IBM. They sold off their personal computer division in 2005.
6 REZ: Short for the "reservation".
7 ARAMAIC: "The Passion of the Christ" has dialogue in Aramaic, but also Latin and Hebrew. It is the biggest selling movie ever with non-English dialogue.
8 BAD GIRLS: "Bad Girls" was the hit song on the album of the same name released by Donna Summer in 1979.
11 EVITA: "On This Night of a Thousand Stars" is from the Andrew Lloyd-Weber musical "Evita".
13 TRINI: A Trini is from the island of Trinidad off the coast of Venezuela.
14 GENEVA: The Palace of Nations was built as the home of the League of Nations, and is now the home of the United Nations Office at Geneva.
15 AMORAL: "The Stranger" was Albert Camus's first, and probably most famous novel.
17 BRASI: Luca Brasi was played by Lenny Montana in the 1972 film of "The Godfather".
24 RIK: Rik Smits, now retired, is a dutch basketball player who played for the Indiana Pacers.
33 TIM: Tim Conway achieved a lot of his fame on TV's "McHale's Navy" and "The Carol Burnett Show".
41 YAZ: Yaz was the nickname for Carl Yastrzemski, who played his whole career with the Boston Red Sox.
42 AUSSI: The French word for "too, also".
43 EAMON: My favorite film giving insight into Eamon de Valera is actually "Michael Collins".
48 ACER: I am typing away right now in an Acer laptop, for my money the most reliable machine at the best price.
66 ON DIT: An on dit is bit of gossip, derived from the French on dit, meaning "one says".
67 DOPER: A doper is an athlete who subjects himself to blood doping.
72 NERO: In the 1967 film "Camelot", Sir Lancelot was played by Franco Nero, the Italian actor who met Vanessa Redgrave on the set, his future wife.
82 IOWA: "The Bridges of Madison County" is a novel by Robert James Waller, and a movie directed by and starring Clint Eastood.
91 MAUD: Maud Adams actually played two Bond girls, in "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Octopussy".
100 LISPS: Some Spanish dialects do not use certain sounds or sound, and create the impression that the speaker has a slight lisp, this is incorrectly termed a "Castilian Lisp".
102: NOLAN: Francie Nolan is the main character in Betty Smith's novel "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", a story that is accepted as being largely auto-biographical.
104 NORAH: Norah Jones can be noted as one of the very few contemporary performers that make it onto my mp3 player!
120 RUE: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe, and is recognized as the first "detective story" ever written.

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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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