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0128-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Jan 11, Friday

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

COMPLETION TIME: Didn't finish!
ANSWERS I MISSED: Several in the very northeast corner

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
10. Savannah growth : COPSE
A savanna (also savannah) is a grassland. If there are any trees, by definition they are small and widely spaced so that light can get to the grasses and they can grow unhindered.

16. Home of Creighton University : OMAHA
Creighton University is a private, Jesuit school in Omaha, Nebraska. The school was founded in 1878 funded by a gift from the widow of a local businessman, Edward Creighton.

18. Iron Age people : MEDES
The Medes were an ancient people that lived in what is now northwestern Iran. The Medes held sway in the region only for about 60 years, until Cyrus the Great came along and defeated Astyages, the king of Media (not to be confused with Howard Stern, the self-claimed "king of all media"!).

Dionysus Greek God Bronzed Statue Wine Bacchus Nude19. Mythical mortal who helped raise Dionysus : INO
Dionysus was the party animal of Greek mythology. He was the god of the wine, ritual madness and ecstasy! His Roman equivalent was Bacchus.

20. Aye's opposite, poetically : NE'ER
"Aye" can mean "ever, always", so it is opposite in meaning to "never, ne'er".

Bernard Shaw (Applause Books)26. 1925 Literature Nobelist : SHAW
George Bernard Shaw was a very successful Irish playwright. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. Shaw won his Oscar for the adapting his own play "Pygmalion" for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaption of "Pygmalion" that went by the title ... "My Fair Lady".

29. Middle of summer? : EMS
My kind of clue ...

31. Frog-eating bird : ANI
The tropical bird called the ani is related to the cuckoo, although it doesn't go around robbing other birds' nests like a cuckoo.

32. Tangle : SNAFU
SNAFU is an acronym standing for Situation Normal: All Fouled Up (well, that's the "polite" version!). As you might imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

Safari Incredible Creatures - Cobra36. Herpetologist's supply : ANTIVENOM
Herpetologists study amphibians and reptiles.

Antivenom is made by extracting venom from say a snake (so called "milking") and then diluting it and injecting it into a host animal (like a cat, horse or sheep). The animal undergoes an immune response and produces antibodies to neutralize the poison. The antibodies are harvested from the animal's blood and are stored for use with victims who are bitten by the same snake, or by some other creature that injects the same or a similar venom.

41. French for "clog" : SABOT
There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called sabots, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn't have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of ... sabotage.

Rip Van Winkle45. Washington Irving hero, informally : RIP
"Rip Van Winkle" is a short story written by Washington Irving. The story was an instant hit, and was adapted for the stage just a few years after its first publication in 1819. Since then "Rip" has featured on the small screen, big screen and there is even an operetta.

50. Japanese brew : ASAHI
Asahi is Japanese for "morning sun". Here Asahi refers to a beer, and the brewery that produces it. Asahi introduced a "dry beer" in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed Asahi to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

BOB FOSSE 11X14 PHOTO60. Bob Fosse specialty : JAZZ DANCE
Bob Fosse won more Tony Awards for choreography than anyone else, a grand total of eight. He also won an Oscar for Best Director for his 1972 movie "Cabaret", even beating out the formidable Francis Ford Coppola who was nominated that same year for "The Godfather".

64. Two-bit : DINKY
Here's a word that has practically the opposite meaning back in Ireland where I come from. In the US something that is dinky is insignificant. In Ireland something dinky is neat and dainty.

2. Like much oil : IRANIAN
Iran is the fourth largest oil producer in the world. The US comes in at number three, while Saudi Arabia is the second biggest producer. Top of the table is our old friend Russia.

Madonna and Child Giclee Poster Print by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato , 18x243. One often seen with her child : MADONNA
"Madonna" is an old Italian term for a woman with status, and has for centuries been used to describe the Virgin Mary especially when she is depicted in an image with the baby Jesus.

4. Magazine holder : UZI
The first Uzi sub-machine gun was designed in the late 1940s, by Major Uziel Gal, who gave his name to the gun.

5. Lord ___ (overseer of Scottish heraldry) : LYON
The Lyon King of Arms is the officer responsible for regulating heraldry in Scotland, and is the person who would issue new coats of arms for example. I've never heard of him, although I reckon "The Lyon King of Arms" would be a great name for a musical ...

7. Literally, "to God" : ADIEU
"Adieu" is the French for "goodbye", or "farewell", from "à Dieu" meaning "to God".

1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue8. Brands ... or carrier of brands : SEARS
Richard Sears was a station agent on the railroad. In the late 1800s he bought up a shipment of unwanted watches that was left at his depot, and sold the watches to other agents up and down the line. He was so successful that he ordered more watches, and then came up with the idea of using a catalog to promote more sales. The catalog idea caught on, and by the mid 1900s Sears was the biggest retailer in the whole country.

12. Dish topped with crushed peanuts and lime : PAD THAI
The delicious dish called Pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name "Pad Thai" translates as "fried Thai style".

13. Ball of wax : SHEBANG
The word "shebang" is probably a derivative of "shebeen", an Irish word for a "speakeasy", where liquor was drunk and sold illegally. In English "shebang" was originally a "hut" or a "shed". Just how this evolved into the expression "the whole shebang" is unclear.

The phrase "whole ball of wax" is probably a corruption of "the whole bailiwick".

21. Longtime Rolling Stones bassist : WYMAN
Bill Wyman was one of the first members of the Rolling Stones, joining in 1962 and staying with the band until 1992. Wyman is multi-talented. As well as having played bass guitar with the Stones, he is a very talented photographer whose work has been shown in many galleries around the world. He is also an amateur archaeologist, and markets his own design of metal detector for the amateur relic hunter.

25. Parisian thinkers? : TETES
"Tête" is the French word for "head".

28. Like the Bay of Rainbows : LUNAR
The Bay of Rainbows, usually known by its Latin name "Sinus Iridium", is considered by lunar observers to be one of the most beautiful features on the moon.

40. One of 300 at Thermopylae : SPARTAN
The Battle of Thermopylae took place in 480 BC, fought between the Persian Empire of Xerxes and an alliance of Greek city-states led by Sparta. The Greeks chose the narrow pass of Thermopylae to make a stand against the advancing Persian army, as there they could minimize the advantage that the Persians had with their large army. The pass of Thermopylae was so narrow that only one chariot could pass through at a time. Famously, the vastly outnumbered Spartan forces held this pass with hand-to-hand combat for two full days, until a local resident showed the Persians a way around the pass so that the Greek army could be attacked and annihilated from the rear.

The History of the Ryder Cup42. Stretches between Ryder Cups : BIENNIA
The Ryder Cup competition is held every two years, a biennium ...

The Ryder Cup trophy was donated by Samuel Ryder, an English entrepreneur. Ryder made his money selling garden seeds in small packets. He only took up golf in his fifties, but became quite the enthusiast, eventually donating the trophy in 1927, when it was valued at 100 guineas.

National Lampoon's Animal House (Widescreen Double Secret Probation Edition)52. "Animal House" figure : HAZER
The very funny 1978 movie "Animal House" has the prefix "National Lampoon's ..." because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in "National Lampoon" magazine. "Animal House" was to become the first in a long line of successful "National Lampoon" films. The main pledges in the movie were Tom Hulce, who later played a magnificent "Amadeus", and Stephen Furst, who later played a regular role on television's "Babylon 5".

55. President after Auriol : COTY
René Coty was the President of France from 1954 to 1959 (succeeding Vincent Auriol), and notably presided over the Algerian War. Coty resigned after five years, making way for the 7-year term of Charles de Gaulle.

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Run in two places at once : SIMULCAST
10. Savannah growth : COPSE
15. Nut's suggestion : CRAZY IDEA
16. Home of Creighton University : OMAHA
17. Station finder : RADIO DIAL
18. Iron Age people : MEDES
19. Mythical mortal who helped raise Dionysus : INO
20. Aye's opposite, poetically : NE'ER
21. Used the name : WENT BY
22. See 49-Down : MIND
24. Out of top form : RUSTY
26. 1925 Literature Nobelist : SHAW
27. Cartoon series : PANELS
29. Middle of summer? : EMS
31. Frog-eating bird : ANI
32. Tangle : SNAFU
33. Temperature, e.g. : VITAL SIGN
36. Herpetologist's supply : ANTIVENOM
38. Some island dwellers : CASTAWAYS
41. French for "clog" : SABOT
45. Washington Irving hero, informally : RIP
46. Father, e.g.: Abbr. : REL
47. Vigil locale : SHRINE
48. What some veterans recall : IRAQ
50. Japanese brew : ASAHI
53. Burst : TEEM
54. X'd : STRUCK
56. More than surprise : DAZE
58. What you may do when you're beat : NAP
59. Sunbathing spot : PATIO
60. Bob Fosse specialty : JAZZ DANCE
62. Not rounded : EXACT
63. Minor restrictions : AGE LIMITS
64. Two-bit : DINKY
65. Dead duck's cry : WE'RE TOAST

1. Doesn't blow dough : SCRIMPS
2. Like much oil : IRANIAN
3. One often seen with her child : MADONNA
4. Magazine holder : UZI
5. Lord ___ (overseer of Scottish heraldry) : LYON
6. Press releases? : CIDERS
7. Literally, "to God" : ADIEU
8. Brands ... or carrier of brands : SEARS
9. ___ vez (Mexican "maybe") : TAL
10. Take place : COME
11. Forecaster's concerns : OMENS
12. Dish topped with crushed peanuts and lime : PAD THAI
13. Ball of wax : SHEBANG
14. Romp : EASY WIN
21. Longtime Rolling Stones bassist : WYMAN
23. Trim, in a way : DEFAT
25. Parisian thinkers? : TETES
28. Like the Bay of Rainbows : LUNAR
30. Washing machine sound : SLOSH
33. Glasses for a scientist : VIALS
34. It creeps up : IVY
35. Upper-class? : SMART
37. Small change : TWEAK
38. Like rice in some cereal treats : CRISPED
39. On-demand flier : AIR TAXI
40. One of 300 at Thermopylae : SPARTAN
42. Stretches between Ryder Cups : BIENNIA
43. Plays without a break : ONE-ACTS
44. Nautical danger : TEMPEST
47. Thing often heard in short order? : SIZZLE
49. With 22-Across, genius's asset : QUICK
51. It may become a cliché : ADAGE
52. "Animal House" figure : HAZER
55. President after Auriol : COTY
57. Better papers? : EDIT
60. Hook connection point : JAW
61. "Just ___" ("Hold on") : A MO

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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at

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.

January 29, 2009

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