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Greetings from Dromod, County Leitrim 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

0301-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Mar 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, or leave a comment below.

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: 8m 28s
THEME: BEAKFAST! ... breakfast items appear in the theme answers e.g. TOAST-MISTRESS, PANCAKE MAKEUP
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

TODAY'S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
Across
Packs On!: Memoirs of the 10th Mountain Division in World War II (Stackpole Military History Series)1: BOB: Despite all Bob Dole's success in the world of politics, he is remembered by many as the VP candidate who lost to Walter Mondale (and Jimmy Carter) and the presidential candidate who lost to incumbent Bill Clinton. The man is a true war hero. He joined up in 1942 and fought with the Army's 10th Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945 he was hit by machine gun fire in his right arm and back, so badly injured that his comrades could only dose him up with morphine, write "M" on his forehead with his own blood (so that another, fatal dose of morphine would not be administered) and continue fighting the battle. Dole had to wait nine hours to be evacuated from the battlefield, and wait another three years before being discharged from hospital back in the States.

9 MCCOY: This idiom originated back in Scotland, where the expression was "the real McKay" meaning the real deal, as it does to day. When the expression migrated to Ireland it mutated into "the real McCoy", and from Ireland it crossed intact across the Atlantic to America.

Moxie Soda 12 oz 6 pack 4/6pks15 MOXIE: Back as far as 1876, Moxie was a brand name of a "medicine" peddled with the claim that it "built up your nerve". In 1924, Moxie was registered as a trademark for a bitter, non-alcoholic beverage (no more claims of nerve-building). And we've used the term "moxie" ever since ...

22 SONIA: Sonia Braga achieved fame in here native Brazil playing the title role in the movie "Gabriela". There followed roles in American films such as "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and  "The Milagro Beanfield War". She has also played in the Portuguese version of "Desperate Housewives".

23 PFUI: Nowadays we use the spelling "phooey". Phooey came into English via Yiddish from the original German word pfui, a vocal gesture expressing rejection.

28 EMS: Emergency Medical Services.

29 SHAMUS: Shamus is a slang term for policeman or a private inestigator. The experts don't seem so sure, but there is no doubt in my mind that the term derives from the Irish name Seamus (James in English). Sure, aren't cops always from the Auld Sod?

36 HIGH FALUTIN': The expression "high falutin'" dates back to the mid-1800s. some suggest that it may be a mutation from "high flying", as high falutin' of course means "haughty" or "pretentious".

Jaws42 SHARK: "Jaws" is about the only "creature from the deep" movie that I'll watch, and it is excellent. If you haven't read the Peter Benchley book, put it on your list. Great reading for the summer, sitting by the beach ...

47 BOZ: Charles Dickens used the pen-name Boz early in his career. He had already established himself as the most famous novelist of the Victorian Era when he came to visit America in 1842. He was honored by 3,000 of New York's elite at a "Boz Ball" in the Park Theater.

49 TIMBAL: The timbal is most often associated with Brazil and/or Cuba. The timbal comes in varying sizes, is slightly conical in shape and made of wood or metal with a nylon head.

Alice's Restaurant58 ARLO: Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. He is most famous for his epic "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", a song that lasts a full 18m and 34s. In the song, Guthrie tells how he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War after being drafted, based on his criminal record. He had one incident on his record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest from littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

60 SAJAK: Pat Sajak took over the hosting of "Wheel of Fortune" back in 1983, and has been doing the job ever since. He had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990, but has subbed quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

67 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. Yoko was in Tokyo during the great fire-bombing of 1945. Immediately after the war, the family was far from prosperous. While her father was in a concentration 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 got to attend university, the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin Univeristy.

The History Channel Presents Enola Gay68 ENOLA: As we all know, the Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb. Enola Gay was the name of the pilot's mother, Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

70 OTT: I don't think Mel Ott took steroids! At 5' 9" he weighed just 170 lb.. Yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958, at age 49 years.

Down
2 OTERI: Cheri Oteri was the SNL cast member that appeared with Will Farrell as a pair of Spartan Cheerleaders.

3 BACON'S REBELLION: Nathaniel Bacon led an uprising in 1676 in the Virginia Colony. It was remarkable in that poor whites and blacks united in opposition to the ruling class. The rebels were trying to drive Native Americans from Virginia.

8 SERIN: Serins form a whole group of small finches, that includes canaries.

The Story of Space Station Mir9 MIR: Mir was a very successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of its life, however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so the station was allowed to reenter the Earth's atmosphere in 2001.

37 FREI: The German word for "free", as in the tragic phrase "Arbeit macht frei" placed at the entrances to many Nazi concentration camps. Literally the phrase means "work makes free", but more colloquially "work liberates". Pretty cynical ...

39 NEZ: The Nez Perce tribe of the Pacific Northwest call themselves the Nimiipuu, meaning "The Real People". The name Nez Perce means "pierced nose" in French, a name applied in error to the Nimiipuu, instead of the neighboring Chinook tribe that practiced nose piercing.

41 IBM: The origin of the nickname "Big Blue" seems to have been lost in the mists of time. But, the IMB logo is blue, almost every mainframe they produced was painted blue. I remember visiting IBM on business a few times in my career, and we were encouraged to wear whites shirts and blue suits to "fit in" with our client's culture.

Ezra Pound: The Solitary Volcano56 CANTO: Ezra Pound was an American poet who spent much of his life wandering the world, spending years in each of London, Paris, and Italy. In Italy, his work and sympathies for Mussolini's regime led to his arrest at the end of the war. His major work was the epic, albeit incomplete "The Cantos". The poem is divided into 120 sections, each known as a canto.

61 JANE: Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a whole series of "Tarzan" novels, in which the love interest was an American from Baltimore, called Jane Porter. The most celebrated screen portrayal of Jane was by Maureen O'Sullivan who played opposite Johnny Weissmuller.

66 SPY: "Spy vs Spy" is a comic strip that has run in "Mad" magazine continuously since 1961. It was drawn by Antonio Prohias, a refugee from Cuba. The early storyline was very fitting for the times, a statement about the futility of the arms race, detente and the Cold War.

0228-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 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: No idea! (watching Ireland beat England in the rugby international!!)
THEME: EASE-E DOES IT ... replacing "A" with "E" in common phrases
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

TODAY'S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
Across
9 APSE: The word apse actually comes via Greek from the Latin word for arch or vault, "absis".

18 ANNE: William Shakespeare was of course married to Anne Hathaway. There are suggestions that there was some pressure for the  marriage to take place, with 18-year-old Anne pregnant, and William eight years her senior. The two lived much of their lives apart, with William working in London, and Anne back at the family home in Stratford.

19 IAGO: Iago is indeed the schemer, in Shakespeare's "Othello".

21 ARRET: "Arret" is the French word for a stop.

The Life of St. Francis of Assisi [Fom the Legenda Sancti Francisci ]27 ASSISI: St. Francis founded the Franciscan religious order in Assisi in 1208. He died in 1226, and was declared a saint just two years later in 1228. Construction of the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi started immediately after the canonization, and finished 25 years later. The Basilica is now a United Nations World Heritage Site.

28 NCIS: NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. I've never seen the television show, but I do enjoy Mark Harmon's performances.

40 FRED ALLEN: Fred Allen and Jack Benny were very close friends, but they milked a long-running gag feud between the two of them for ten years on the radio.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead42 TOMEI: Marisa Tomei won her Oscar for her delightful performance in "My Cousin Vinny" in 1992. "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" is a 2007 crime drama, which takes it's name from an old Irish saying, "May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you're dead". That kind of words that prove we all do in fact kiss the Blarney Stone ...

46 REPRO: Repro is short for "reproduction proof", which is one of the final stages in the non-digital printing process. A repro is a fine quality proof of text and images, of high enough quality to be photographed for the making of a printing plate...

49 MANX: I've seen them. They're all over the Isle of Man. Manx cats have no tails.

57 MYLAR: Mylar is a brand name for a polyester film with many uses, one of which is to make reflective surfaces. Mylar can be used to make reflective solar sail, which are a fascinating form of spacecraft propulsion. Believe it or not, reflecting photons of light each provide a small amount of thrust, and enough of them can propel an object in the vacuum of space.

60 CENTS: When I was growing up, we put in our "tuppence worth" or "two pennies worth" when giving an opinion. I found it interesting that when I came to America, the same expression was used, but with a currency exchange!

Butterfly61 ZADORA: The 1982 film "Butterfly" has quite a cast. Pia Zadora got to work with Orson Welles and Stacey Keach. The film was based on the novel "The Butterfly" by James M. Cain, and deals with the difficult subject of father-daughter incest.

68 ALLES: Like many, I thought that Germany's national anthem was called "Deutschland Uber Alles". In fact, these are just words from the refrain. The anthem is called "Das Lied der Deutschen" ("the Song of the Germans") with words put to music written by Joseph Haydn in 1797.

69 ALICE: Falstaff is a character that appears in three of Shakespeare's plays, a fat and cowardly knight. Verdi took the character, and elements from two of Shakespeare's plays, in creating his comic opera "Falstaff". Alice Ford is one of the two women that Falstaff tries to seduce in order to get at their husband's money.

73 RANI: A Rani is the female equivalent to, or wife of, a Raja. Raja is the Hindustani word for "monarch".

Sabrina78 BOGART: Humphrey Bogart's break-through movie was "The Petrified Forest" from 1936, but for me, nothing beats "Casablanca". Although, if you haven't seen it, check out the original "Sabrina" from 1954, a real delight.

79 OBIES: The Obies are the "Off-Broadway Theater Awards". They are given annually, and decided by "The Village Voice" newspaper.

81 LON: Lon Chaney did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earned him the nickname of "the man of a thousand faces". Most famous of all was portrayal of "The Phantom of the Opera" in 1925.

82 GARRETS: A garret is a room on the top floor of a house, under a gabled roof. It can be another word for an attic.

Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb85 H-TEST: The first test of a hydrogen bomb was in 1954 at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. It may have been a technical success, but it was an environmental disaster, largely because the actual yield of 15 megatons was unexpected (4-6 megatons was anticipated). The fallout caused many deaths, and led to birth defects for generations.

96 EASTON: The Lehigh Valley metropolitan area in Pennsylvania is primarily composed of the three cities, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.

103 REEL MEN ... Bruce Feirstein wrote the best seller "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche", published in 1982. It's main theme is the situation in which 1980s, middle-class men found themselves, after feminist attacks on traditional male roles in the seventies.

Down
1 NANU: "Mork & Mindy" was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams, of course) in a special episode of "Happy Days". The bizarre storyline leads to Fonzie and Mork having a duel, thumb to finger. Eventually richie wakes up in bed, and it's all a dream. Oh, and Nanu Nanu means hello back on the planet Ork. "I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu". Great stuff ...

2 ENOS: Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam.

The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg8 MOE: Moe Berg was a mediocre baseball player in the major leagues, known for being the "brainiest man in baseball". He spoke several languages, and read ten newspapers a day. In WWII he worked for the OSS in Yugoslavia and Italy, in particular picking up information on the German nuclear program. After the war, he worked occasionally for the CIA, but he spent the last two decades of his life out of work, living off family. Sad ...

11 SAKI: Hector Hugh Munro was a British writer, actually born in Burma. He was most famous for his short stories, which he published using the pen name "Saki".

14 ARE: The Who's "Who Are You" is used as the them song for the TV show "CSI". Other songs by the Who are used as theme songs for the spin-offs as well, "CSI: New York" and "CSI: Miami". And the Who played them all during the half-time show at the last Super Bowl.

Wales Flag Polyester 3 ft. x 5 ft.24 WALES: The dragon on the Welsh flag is the red dragon of Cadwalder, Kng of Gwynned.

34 ODIE: Odie is Garfield's best friend, and a beagle.

50 ALOP: The word "alop" turns up in crosswords a lot. It clearly means "crooked", presumably as in "lop-sided".

51 NARA: Nara, located not far from Kyoto, was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784.

59 MIEN: One's mien is one's bearing or manner. Mien shares the same etymological root as our word "demeanor".

The Congo: From Leopold to Kabila: A People's History61 ZAIRE: Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda, and the genocide and war there slipped over into Zaire in 1996. The trouble escalated into what is now called the First Congo War. as part of the war's fallout, there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire changed its name to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

63 TRES: Los Tres Reyes Magos ... the Three Wise Men.

66 BLAISE: Blaise Pascal was an important French mathematician and physicist, who lived in the mid-1600s.  In math, his name was given to Pascal's triangle, a triangle of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two numbers above it.

68 ALGER: Horatio Alger was an American writer of the late nineteenth century. He was a prolific writer of novels for young people, telling tales of poor children making it good in the world, achieving the American Dream as it were.

78 BREE: Bree is played by Marcia Cross on "Desperate Housewives" (never seen an episode!). During pre-production, the show was called "Wisteria Lane" and then "The Secret Lives of Housewives". It's hugely popular, all over the world.

The Firm: A Novel86 THE FIRM: "The Firm" is the book that brought John Grisham his first success, although it was the second novel that he wrote. The first was "A Time to Kill", which garnered a lot more attention after "The Firm" took off. Personally, my favorite of his novels is "Runaway Jury".

99 ATOM: Well, I would argue that it's actually bits of atoms that are accelerated in particle accelerators. Atoms aren't charged. Maybe I am just being argumentative ...

100 OCTO: Octomom is the name the media gave to Nadya Doud-Suleman Gutierrez. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the birth of her octuplets in 2009, with the aid of in vitro fertilization. She already had six children, and was unemployed and using public assistance programs.

101 RHEO: A rheostat is an electrical device that can offer a varying degree of resistance to current flow. The English physicist Sir Charles Wheatstone first coined the term, using the Greek "rheos" meaning "flowing stream" and "stat" meaing "regulating device".

The West Wing: The Complete First Season104 LEO: Leo McGarry was played very ably by John Spencer. If you haven't seen them, the early series' of "The West Wing" are just fabulous. I think I learned so much about the workings of the American government through this TV show.

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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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