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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

0106-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Jan 11, Thursday




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: BREAK RANKS ... each of the circled letters sits in the middle of (breaking) a military rank:
- PER CAPITA INCOME (CAP-I-TAIN ... captain)
- AMMAN JORDAN (MA-N-JOR ... major)
- PERCENT SIGN (EN-T-SIGN ... ensign)
- MARSHMALLOW PEEP (MARSH-M-AL ... marshal)

COMPLETION TIME: 18m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Thirsty toddler's request : WAWA
I want water!

5. Hurl curse words at? : JINX
A jinx is a charm or a spell, and the word "jinx" comes from an older word "jyng" from the 17th century. A "jyng" was another word for the "wryneck", a type of bird much used in witchcraft.

9. With 65-Across, go against the group ... or what the shaded squares literally do in the answers to the starred clues : BREAK
(65. See 9-Across : RANKS)

Acer AS7741-7870 17.3-Inch Laptop ( Black)15. Big name in PCs : ACER
I am typing away right now in an Acer laptop, for my money the most reliable machine at the best price. Acer is a Taiwanese company that I used to visit a lot when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed with the company's dedication to quality, and haven't been let down since.

16. Sister of the Biography Channel : A AND E
The A&E television network used to be a favorite of mine, with the "A&E" standing for "arts and entertainment". The channel used to air a lot of the old classic dramas, as well as biographies and arts programs. Now there seems to be more reality TV, with one of the flagship programs being "Dog the Bounty Hunter". A slight change of direction I'd say ...

17. *Average national earnings : PER CAPITA INCOME
The circled "I" breaks the rank of CAP-TAIN in the answer ...

21. Mont. neighbor : WYO
Wyoming is the least populous state, and the tenth largest state in terms of area.

Hooked On Classics Collection22. "Hooked on Classics" record company : K-TEL
I know that a lot of people detested the "Hooked on Classics" albums, but to be honest, I found them to be a lot of fun. But then again, I liked disco! The original "Hooked on Classics" album was recorded in 1981 by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from London. The music was a selection of recognizable extracts from the world of classical music played over a continuous, disco beat.

Notre Dames Era Of Ara23. Era of ___ (period in Notre Dame football history) : ARA
Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as "The Era of Ara".

25. Chamber workers: Abbr. : SENS
Senators work in the chamber ... sometimes anyway ...

26. *Capital ENE of Jerusalem : AMMAN, JORDAN
The circled "N" breaks the rank of MA-JOR in the answer ...

Amman, the capital city of Jordan, is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called it Philadelphia, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.

30. Olympic gymnast Paul or Morgan : HAMM
The twin brothers Paul and Morgan Hamm competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, representing the United States. Paul and Morgan won the silver medal in the team event, and Paul won the gold in the all-around competition.

SPICE GIRLS 8x10 COLOUR PHOTO39. Genre for the Spice Girls and Oasis : BRIT POP
The five members of the English pop group the Spice Girls are:
- Scary Spice (Melanie Brown)
- Baby Spice (Emma Bunton, and my fave!)
- Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell)
- Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham)
- Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm)

Oasis were an English rock band from Manchester in the north of the country. The group was phenomenally successful in the UK, holding the record for the longest run in the UK Top Ten with 22 successive Top Ten hits.

44. *Symbol above a 5 : PERCENT SIGN
The circled "T" breaks the rank of EN-SIGN in the answer ...

On an American keyboard, the percent sign is found over the number 5.

An ensign is the most junior rank of commissioned officer (usually) in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

48. Danish kroner, topologically speaking : TORI
"Krone" translates in English as "crown", and was the name given to coins that bore the image of the monarch. Today, the krone is the name given to the currency of Norway and of Denmark. Some of the Norwegian and Danish kroner have holes in the middle, giving them a "doughnut" or "torus" shape.

53. Partner of 40-Down, traffic-wise : HIT
(40. Partner of 53-Across, traffic-wise : RUN)

Elf (Infinifilm Edition)55. Pole position holder? : ELF
One of Santa's elves might be said to "hold a position" making toys at the North Pole ...

56. Use a portion of, as one song in another : SAMPLE
In the world of recorded music, the action of taking a portion of one song and using it in another song is called "sampling". Sampling can be very inventive and creative, and is very popular in hip hop music ... so I am told ...

Marshmallow Peeps Sing Along: 14 Sweet Tweets59. *Easter basket treat : MARSHMALLOW PEEP
The circled "M" breaks the rank of MARSH-AL in the answer ...

Peeps are marshmallow candies usually in the shapes of chicks and bunnies, primarily sold around the Easter holiday. Peeps were introduced in 1952 by a Russian immigrant called Sam Born whose company "Just Born" makes the candies to this day. The original candies were yellow and hand-shaped to look like little chicks, hence the name "Peeps".

Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer62. Ex-governor Spitzer : ELIOT
Eliot Spitzer was the Governor of New York for just over a year before he resigned when it surfaced that he had been a client of a prostitution ring.

65. See 9-Across : RANKS

67. Ciudad del ___ (second-largest city in Paraguay) : ESTE
Ciudad del Este is the second largest city in Paraguay (after the capital, Asunción). As the name suggests ("City of the East" in Spanish), Ciudad del Este is on the Eastern border of the country. It is connected to the city of Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil by what is called the Friendship Bridge over the Paraná River. The bridge is extremely busy, as the majority of Paraguay's imports and exports pass over it.

Down
2. Green card, in brief : AMEX
Amex is short for American Express. There are more transactions conducted in the US (in dollar terms) using the Amex card than any other.

Cold Steel War Hammer Hickory Wood Handle3. Medieval close-combat weapon : WAR HAMMER
War hammers were medieval weapons developed in response to the effectiveness of body armor. It was relatively difficult to cause bodily harm with a sword when an opponent was wearing armor, but the weighty war hammer could deliver its full force without having to penetrate the defensive metal plate.

The Simpsons Bart Simpson Beanbag 8 inch Character [Toy]4. Bart Simpson catchphrase : AY, CARAMBA!
Bart Simpson apparently uses the expression "Ay, caramba!" when he is positively surprised about something, often something related to a female I am told ...

5. Mock : JAPE
To jape is to joke or quip. The exact origins of "jape" are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600's "to jape" was a slang term meaning "to have sex with". No joke!

6. French "present" : ICI
"Ici" is the French word for "here".

8. Saw right through? : X-RAYED
X-rays were first really studied by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen, and it was he who gave the name "X-rays" to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen's native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as "Röntgen rays". Röntgen won the first ever Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on X-rays, in 1901.

11. Short online message : E-NOTE
Don't forget to put your e-note in an e-envelope and put an e-stamp on it ...

Mad Men: Season One12. Pro pitchers : AD MEN
If you haven't seen the AMC show "Mad Men" then I urge you to go buy the first season on DVD and allow yourself to get addicted. It is a great series set in the sixties, telling all that goes on in and around the advertising business on Madison Avenue in New York City. It brings you right back to the days of three-martini lunches, office affairs, and chain-smoking cigarettes. Great stuff ...

ALAN RICKMAN 8X10 COLOR PHOTO18. Actor Rickman of the Harry Potter films : ALAN
Alan Rickman is a marvelous English actor, famous for playing bad guy Hans Gruber in the original "Die Hard" film, Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" series and my personal favorite, Eamon de Valera in "Michael Collins".

19. Bit : IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use it to portray something very small, as it is the smallest letter in the alphabet.

24. Bill bloater : PORK
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". Hale 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.

29. Application letters : NMI
No Middle Initial ...

Flutie35. QB Flutie : DOUG
Doug Flutie is a former NFL football player, but is most famous as a Boston College quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner. Outside of sports Doug plays drums in the Flutie Brothers Band, along with his brother Darren (a famed wide receiver) on guitar.

38. 2006 Winter Olympics backdrop : ALP
The 2006 Winter Olympics were held in Turin, Italy, in the Italian Alps.

39. Orange Free State settler : BOER
Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for "farmer", a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s. Many of the settlers left the Cape and founded the Orange Free State, an independent republic located between the Orange and Vaal rivers. The Boers made this move largely to get out from under British rule.

40. Partner of 53-Across, traffic-wise : RUN

Penguin Family - Nature Poster (Size: 24" x 36")42. Penguin's locale : ICE FLOE
An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field, and is floating freely on the ocean.

45. Ca, Co or Cu : ELEM
Calcium, cobalt and copper are all elements.

49. Florida's ___ National Forest : OCALA
The Ocala National Forest covers 607 square miles of the central Florida. It is the southernmost national forest in the country, and having been established in 1908, it is the oldest national forest east of the Mississippi.

57. Time to give up? : LENT
In Latin, the Christian season that we now call Lent was termed "quadragesima", a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term "Lent" was introduced. "Lent" comes from "Lenz", the German word for "spring".

EPEE - Budget Practice Blade58. Thin blade : EPEE
The French word for sword is épée.

60. Cleveland ___, O. : HTS
Cleveland Heights is a city in Ohio.

61. Caustic soda : LYE
Historically, lye was hydrated potash (potassium hydroxide), but nowadays when we purchase lye it is caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). The brand name drain cleaner Crystal Drano is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The product clears pipes as the lye reacts with any fats in the clog forming soap. The lye also reacts in water with the finely divided aluminum generating tremendous heat, creating boiling and churning so that any hair or other deposits are cut by the sharp edges of the crystals. Having said all that, boiling water poured down the drain is nearly as effective I find ...

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Thirsty toddler's request : WAWA
5. Hurl curse words at? : JINX
9. With 65-Across, go against the group ... or what the shaded squares literally do in the answers to the starred clues : BREAK
14. Reply suggesting "perhaps" : I MAY
15. Big name in PCs : ACER
16. Sister of the Biography Channel : A AND E
17. *Average national earnings : PER CAPITA INCOME
20. Let it all out? : EXHALE
21. Mont. neighbor : WYO
22. "Hooked on Classics" record company : K-TEL
23. Era of ___ (period in Notre Dame football history) : ARA
24. One who works in feet and meters : POET
25. Chamber workers: Abbr. : SENS
26. *Capital ENE of Jerusalem : AMMAN, JORDAN
30. Olympic gymnast Paul or Morgan : HAMM
31. Something for pairs to enter? : ARK
32. Screw up : MISDO
37. Organ donation site : EYE BANK
39. Genre for the Spice Girls and Oasis : BRIT POP
41. "Slow and steady wins the race," e.g. : MORAL
42. Poker game memento, maybe : IOU
43. Turn around : SLUE
44. *Symbol above a 5 : PERCENT SIGN
48. Danish kroner, topologically speaking : TORI
52. Not look so good? : LEER
53. Partner of 40-Down, traffic-wise : HIT
54. Nervous as ___ : A CAT
55. Pole position holder? : ELF
56. Use a portion of, as one song in another : SAMPLE
59. *Easter basket treat : MARSHMALLOW PEEP
62. Ex-governor Spitzer : ELIOT
63. Jerk : YOYO
64. Race assignment : LANE
65. See 9-Across : RANKS
66. Spotted : SEEN
67. Ciudad del ___ (second-largest city in Paraguay) : ESTE

Down
1. Exhaust, with "out" : WIPE
2. Green card, in brief : AMEX
3. Medieval close-combat weapon : WAR HAMMER
4. Bart Simpson catchphrase : AY, CARAMBA!
5. Mock : JAPE
6. French "present" : ICI
7. Make some connections : NETWORK
8. Saw right through? : X-RAYED
9. Shut out : BAN
10. Sets up, as pool balls : RACKS
11. Short online message : E-NOTE
12. Pro pitchers : AD MEN
13. Falls (over) : KEELS
18. Actor Rickman of the Harry Potter films : ALAN
19. Bit : IOTA
24. Bill bloater : PORK
26. "Excuse me ..." : AHEM
27. Lunch spread, often : MAYO
28. Qtr. starter : JAN
29. Application letters : NMI
33. "No sweat ..." : IT'S SIMPLE
34. Some soup ingredients : SPLIT PEAS
35. QB Flutie : DOUG
36. Place the first bet : OPEN
38. 2006 Winter Olympics backdrop : ALP
39. Orange Free State settler : BOER
40. Partner of 53-Across, traffic-wise : RUN
42. Penguin's locale : ICE FLOE
45. Ca, Co or Cu : ELEM
46. Some races : RELAYS
47. Get out of the cold? : THAW
48. Circus chairperson? : TAMER
49. Florida's ___ National Forest : OCALA
50. ___ to go : RARIN'
51. "There, there" : IT'S OK
56. Before you know it : SOON
57. Time to give up? : LENT
58. Thin blade : EPEE
60. Cleveland ___, O. : HTS
61. Caustic soda : LYE


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

ELF for "Pole position holder?" 55A is bit of a stretch.

But I found the entire puzzle kind of annoying.

Hal Davis

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Hal.

Well, the idea of course is that an ELF holds a position, has a job, at the North Pole. I think that's a clever idea for a clue, but I agree, a little bit obscure.

Some puzzles just don't suit everyone :) Let's hope for something more satisfying for you tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by, Hal.

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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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