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Greetings from Las Vegas, Nevada (again!)

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! We spent the whole morning today hiking and taking photos in Arches NP, a favorite of ours, and then had a long drive across Utah as we start back towards home ...

Bill

0131-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Jan 11, Monday




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: Icons in the kitchen ... all the theme answers are "the faces" of certain brands of food:
- AUNT JEMIMA
- BETTY CROCKER
- JOLLY GREEN GIANT
- CHEF BOYARDEE
- CAP'N CRUCH
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 9s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
10. I.R.S. experts, you hope : CPAS
Certified Public Accountants (CPAS) will help you file your tax returns.

The IRS came into being during the Civil War, to raise money to pay for war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, taxation was limited to levies on trade and property.

14. Hawaiian veranda : LANAI
Named after the Hawaiian island, a lanai is a type of veranda.

Aunt Jemima Original Syrup, 12-Ounce Plastic Bottles (Pack of 6)17. Pancake syrup icon : AUNT JEMIMA
The Aunt Jemima brand name was taken from an old vaudeville song called "Old Aunt Jemima". The whole Aunt Jemima image has been surrounded by controversy for many years, understandably.

19. Dalai ___ : LAMA
Starting with the fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century, the Buddhist leader used to spend the winter months in the magnificent Potola Palace in the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa. The current Dalai Lama (the 14th) had to flee Tibet when the Tibetan people rebelled against Chinese occupation in 1959. Since then, he has resided in Dharamsala in Northern India, as a guest of the Indian people.

22. San Francisco footballer, for short : NINER
The very successful National Football League team in San Francisco takes its name from the gold prospectors who flooded into Northern California around 1949 during the California Gold Rush, the "49ers".

Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook23. Baking icon : BETTY CROCKER
Betty Crocker was introduced by the Washburn Crosby Company (now part of General Mills) in 1921. The "Crocker" was chosen in honor of William Crocker who was one of the company's directors. The "Betty" was selected simply because it was considered a bright, all-American name. Betty's original job was to sign her name on correspondence arising out of consumer product questions, but soon she evolved into a very successful brand name.

Debussy: The Quiet Revolutionary (Unlocking the Masters Series No. 13)26. French composer Claude : DEBUSSY
Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers. He composed a piece called "L'Enfant Prodigue" (The Prodigal Son) quite early in his life, and it premiered in 1884. The work is described as a cantata in one act (a one-act opera in effect), and it earned him the Prix de Rome and a scholarship to the Academis des Baux-Arts allowing him to continue his studies. The prize included a four-year residence at the French Academy in Rome. But, Debussy was far from inspired by his stay in Rome, had no liking for Italian opera, and lacked the inspiration to compose. He was steadfast in his desire to "go his own way", and thank goodness he won out in the end!

29. "Stretch" car, in brief : LIMO
The word "limousine" actually derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather, while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving raise to that type of transportation being called a "limousine". Well, that's how the story goes anyway ...

30. Abbr. at the end of a list : ET AL
Et alii is the equivalent of et cetera, with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names.

32. ___ alai : JAI
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world (because of the speed of the ball), in fact golf balls often get going at a greater clip.

Adult Jolly Green Giant Halloween Costume35. Frozen vegetable icon : JOLLY GREEN GIANT
The Jolly Green Giant was introduced by the Minnesota Valley Canning Company in 1925 to help sell the company's peas. He was named after one of the varieties of pea that the company sold, the "Green Giant". The Jolly Green Giant first appeared in a television commercial in 1953, walking through a valley with young boys running around at his feet. That first commercial proved to be so scary for younger viewers that it was immediately pulled off the air.

43. A.A. and A.A.A. : ORGS
Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A) was founded in 1935, by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. As the organization grew, the guiding principles established by the founders was formatted into a 12-step program that was in place by the time the forties rolled round.

The American Automobile Association is a not-for-profit organization, focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. It was founded in 1902 in Chicago, and published the first of  its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

Amelia Bedelia Collection (I Can Read Book 2)44. Amelia ___, title heroine in children's books : BEDELIA
The "Amelia Bedelia" series of children's books was written by Peggy Parish until she passed away in 1988. Her nephew, Herman Parish took over and has been writing them since 1995. The Amelia character is based on a maid in Cameroon where Parish had lived during her formative years.

Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli, 15-Ounce Units (Pack of 24)47. Spaghetti-in-a-can icon : CHEF BOYARDEE
The Chef Boyardee brand of canned food products was named after Ettore Boiardi who introduced the product line in the twenties. Boiardi was an Italian immigrant who owned an Italian restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. He started the line of canned recipes based on the demand for samples of his dishes from satisfied customers at his restaurant.

51. Labor leader Jimmy who mysteriously disappeared : HOFFA
Jimmy Hoffa headed off to meet with two Mafia leaders at a restaurant in a suburb of Detroit on July 30, 1975. The two men he was supposed to meet denied any appointment was made, and they were seen in public in other locations far from the restaurant. Hoffa was spotted by passers-by in the restaurant parking lot, the last time he was ever seen. His wife reported him missing later that night, and the resulting police investigation failed to find Hoffa or his body. Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982, seven years after he disappeared.

A Shore Thing52. Hairdo for Snooki of "Jersey Shore" : POUF
The pouf hairstyle has a long history, dating back to 18th-century France. It was first worn my Queen Marie-Antoinette in 1774 at the coronation of her husband, Louis XVI. The style involved teasing the hair so that it stood up, and it was often adorned with feathers and other decorations. The style was revived in the sixties when the beehive hairdo was introduced, and apparently it's being worn these days on "Jersey Shore"!

53. Carrier to Oslo : SAS
SAS, formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System, is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Cap'n Crunch, 12-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4)57. Breakfast cereal icon : CAP'N CRUNCH
The first Cap'n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, at the time the product line was launched. The Cap'n's full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe?. His voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.

61. Unit of cloth or lightning : BOLT
A bolt of cloth is a roll of defined length, usually collected directly from the loom.

62. Japanese cartoon style : ANIME
Anime is animation in the style of Japanese Manga comic books.

63. Concordes, briefly : SSTS
SuperSonic Transports, like the Concorde, broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. They're all grounded now.

Skee-Ball Centennial Alley Game64. ___-Ball (game with scores up to 100) : 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.

Down
1. Grand ___ (baseball or bridge feat) : SLAM
A grand slam in baseball is a home run hit when the bases are loaded. A grand slam in bridge is the winning of all thirteen tricks by one player.

3. Bed-and-breakfasts : INNS
An intimate inn (in the US) is a bed & breakfast. A bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic, and is almost always much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

NAT 'KING' COLE 8X10 B&W PHOTO4. "King" Cole's first name : NAT
Nat King Cole's real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. We all remember that beautifully smooth, baritone voice, but he got his start in the music business as a jazz pianist. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, the first time an African-American hosted such a show. The show couldn't pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all - the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole pulled the plug on it himself.

5. Action figures with dog tags : GI JOES
G.I. Joe was the original "action figure", the first toy to carry that description. G.I. Joe first hit the shelves in 1964. There have been a few movies based on the G.I. Joe figure, but, more famous than all of them I would say is the 1997 movie "G.I. Jane" starring Demi Moore in the title role. I think this movie had some potential, to be honest, but it really did not deliver at all.

Gil Elvgren: All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups (Taschen 25th Anniversary Special Editions)8. Pinup's leg : GAM
The American slang term "gams" is used for a woman's legs, but the term goes back to the 18th century "gamb" meaning the leg of an animal on a coat of arms.

9. ___ of Good Feelings : ERA
The Era of Good Feelings lasted from about 1816 to 1824, during the administration of President James Monroe. The name described the feeling of bipartisanship that permeated politics at that time, largely due to President Monroe deliberately downplaying partisanship. One can only dream ...

10. Tricolor cat : CALICO
Domestic cats with a white coat and patches of brown and black are called calico cats in this country. In Ireland, and the rest of the world I think, such cats are called tortoiseshell-and-white. "Calico" is not a breed of cat, simply a coloring.

Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister (Library of Religious Biography Series)12. Old-time evangelist ___ Semple McPherson : AIMEE
Aimee Semple McPherson was a pioneer in the arena of evangelism, being one of the first to use radio to get across her message. In 1926, McPherson disappeared under mysterious circumstances at Venice Beach, California. About a month later her mother received a ransom note, which she says that she tossed away thinking her daughter had drowned. A few days later, McPherson was found wandering around in a Mexican town across the border from Douglas, Arizona, claiming that she had been kidnapped and had escaped. There were many discrepancies in her story though, and five witnesses claimed to have seen her in a seaside cottage in Carmel, California while she was "gone". No one seems to known for sure what exactly happened during that month.

Ringo Starr Photo The Beatles Poster Photo Rock n Roll Star Posters 11x1413. Ringo on drums : STARR
Ringo Starr's real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles (replacing drummer Pete Best), Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with this band that he adopted the name "Ringo Starr" because he were a lot of rings, and he thought it sounded "cowboyish". Back then his drum solos were billed as "Starr Time".

18. Ones dispatched by 911 calls : EMTS
The first use of an emergency phone number nationally was in the UK in 1937, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It's not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that "fit" with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

22. Chinese menu assurance : NO MSG
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. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn't be in our food ...

Charging Bull23. Bronze animal in New York's financial district : BULL
"Charging Bull" is a dramatic, bronze statue that sits in Bowling Green Park near Wall Street in New York City. The statue is an example of "guerrilla art", as the artist Artura di Modica was not commissioned to create the work, and did so on his own dime. He trucked it over to Broad Street in December 1989 and left it as a Christmas gift to the people of New York. The police seized it, but the public outcry led to the city reinstalling it, in its current location off the street and in the park.

24. Colonel Mustard's game : CLUE
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland, as outside of North America Clue is marketed as "Cluedo". Cluedo was introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer, Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), the weapons are a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it's a fabulous game, a must during the holidays.

Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee26. "It's ___ vu all over again" (Yogiism) : DEJA
Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America's most celebrated "author" of malapropisms. Here are some greats:
- "It's ain't over till it's over."
- "90% of the game is half mental."
- "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
- (giving directions) "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
- "It's déjà vu all over again."
- "Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."

William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls27. School on the Thames : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders, including David Cameron who took power in the recent UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming.

31. "Beavis and Butt-head" laugh : HEH
"Beavis and Butt-head" is an animated TV show that aired from 1993 to 1997. I can't stand it ...

Nixon - A Presidency Revealed36. ___ Linda, Calif. (Nixon's birthplace) : YORBA
President Richard Nixon was born in 1913 in a house his father built in Yorba Linda, California. I toured the house a few years ago as it now sits on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda.

37. Kind of dancer at a discotheque : GO-GO
Go-go dancing started in the early sixties. Apparently, the first go-go dancers were women at the Peppermint Lounge in New York City who would spontaneously jump up onto tables and dance the twist. It wasn't long before clubs everywhere started hiring women to dance on tables for the entertainment of their patrons. Out in Los Angeles, the "Whisky a Go Go" club on Sunset Strip added a twist (pun intended!), as they had their dancers perform in cages suspended from the ceiling, creating the profession of "cage dancing". The name "go-go" actually comes from two expressions. The expression in English, "go-go-go" describes someone who is high energy, and the expression in French "a gogo" describes something in abundance.

Jane Eyre (Masterpiece Theatre, 2006)44. "Jane Eyre" writer : BRONTE
"Jane Eyre" is of course the novel written by Charlotte Bronte, and published as "Jane Eyre. An Autobiography" under the pen name Currer Bell. I've been sharing here on the blog that the storyline is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC very recently, and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push the Gothic influences (that depress me) into the background so I really enjoyed the performance. I thoroughly recommend this latest adaptation to fans of the novel.

45. No Child Left Behind dept. : EDUC
The No Child Left Behind Act was proposed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and was signed into law with overwhelming and bipartisan support. The act focuses on standards-based reform of education in public schools. While there is no question about the good intentions, the act has proved to be controversial in implementation. There are plans afoot to replace it, as we learned in President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address.

50. Beatles' record company : APPLE
The Beatles founded their own record label in 1968, Apple Records. When singles were released, the A-side had the image of a Granny Smith on the label, with the B-side label showing the midsection of an apple cut in half. Cute ...

54. Wile E. Coyote's go-to company : ACME
The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it was used mainly in the Road Runner cartoons. Wile E. Coyote was always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always led to his downfall instead.

SPIKE LEE 20X24 COLOR PHOTO55. "___ Gotta Have it" (Spike Lee film) : SHE'S
"She's Gotta Have It" was spike Lee's first feature-length film, released in 1986. Lee shot the film in just twelve days, helping keep the movie within its relatively small budget of only $175,000. It grossed over $7 million ...

57. "Survivor" network : CBS
The reality show "Survivor" is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called "Expedition Robinson".


For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. David's weapon against Goliath : SLING
6. Nose (out) : EDGE
10. I.R.S. experts, you hope : CPAS
14. Hawaiian veranda : LANAI
15. Proximate : NEAR
16. Came to earth : ALIT
17. Pancake syrup icon : AUNT JEMIMA
19. Dalai ___ : LAMA
20. E.R. V.I.P.'s : MDS
21. Fail to mention : OMIT
22. San Francisco footballer, for short : NINER
23. Baking icon : BETTY CROCKER
26. French composer Claude : DEBUSSY
29. "Stretch" car, in brief : LIMO
30. Abbr. at the end of a list : ET AL
31. Color tones : HUES
32. ___ alai : JAI
35. Frozen vegetable icon : JOLLY GREEN GIANT
40. Furthermore ... : AND
41. "Color me impressed!" : OOOH
42. Responds to a dog command : SITS
43. A.A. and A.A.A. : ORGS
44. Amelia ___, title heroine in children's books : BEDELIA
47. Spaghetti-in-a-can icon : CHEF BOYARDEE
51. Labor leader Jimmy who mysteriously disappeared : HOFFA
52. Hairdo for Snooki of "Jersey Shore" : POUF
53. Carrier to Oslo : SAS
56. French "her" : ELLE
57. Breakfast cereal icon : CAP'N CRUNCH
60. Have on, as clothes : WEAR
61. Unit of cloth or lightning : BOLT
62. Japanese cartoon style : ANIME
63. Concordes, briefly : SSTS
64. ___-Ball (game with scores up to 100) : SKEE
65. "Eek!" : YIPES

Down
1. Grand ___ (baseball or bridge feat) : SLAM
2. Heap praise on : LAUD
3. Bed-and-breakfasts : INNS
4. "King" Cole's first name : NAT
5. Action figures with dog tags : GI JOES
6. Bad blood : ENMITY
7. Jupiter or Zeus : DEITY
8. Pinup's leg : GAM
9. ___ of Good Feelings : ERA
10. Tricolor cat : CALICO
11. Pirates may make someone walk it : PLANK
12. Old-time evangelist ___ Semple McPherson : AIMEE
13. Ringo on drums : STARR
18. Ones dispatched by 911 calls : EMTS
22. Chinese menu assurance : NO MSG
23. Bronze animal in New York's financial district : BULL
24. Colonel Mustard's game : CLUE
25. Nothing: Fr. : RIEN
26. "It's ___ vu all over again" (Yogiism) : DEJA
27. School on the Thames : ETON
28. Having no need for a comb : BALD
31. "Beavis and Butt-head" laugh : HEH
32. Prison : JAIL
33. Voting no : ANTI
34. "___ long story" : IT'S A
36. ___ Linda, Calif. (Nixon's birthplace) : YORBA
37. Kind of dancer at a discotheque : GO-GO
38. Pink, as cheeks : ROSY
39. "Ah, yes" : I SEE
43. Things potential homebuyers put in : OFFERS
44. "Jane Eyre" writer : BRONTE
45. No Child Left Behind dept. : EDUC
46. Bear part of, as costs : DEFRAY
47. Scolds, with "out" : CHEWS
48. Targets of golf greens : HOLES
49. D sharp equivalent : E-FLAT
50. Beatles' record company : APPLE
53. Use tiny scissors : SNIP
54. Wile E. Coyote's go-to company : ACME
55. "___ Gotta Have it" (Spike Lee film) : SHE'S
57. "Survivor" network : CBS
58. Thumbs-up response : AOK
59. Prefix with lateral : UNI-


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2 comments :

andrea carla michaels said...

wow! Thank you, Bill! I learned a lot and I wrote the puzzle!
A friend forwarded your blog, and I'm amazed how thorough it is.
I too started puzzles on my dad's knee. Sorry about your dad's passing, but what a lovely tribute!
Grew up in Minnesota and didn't realize all the Minnesota connections of the icons (Betty Crocker, Jolly Green Giant)
Plus I snuck my initials into the lower right corner (ACME)
Do you know about Rex Parker's blog? rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Andrea.

I am delighted you stopped by :) I have admired your puzzles for years now ... you get so many published!

As someone not born in this country I tend to use the puzzle as a great opportunity to learn "stuff", especially about this great country. Hence all the look-ups.

Yes, I know about Rex Parker's blog, and the other excellent puzzle critiques out there. I'm no expert so don't feel qualified to express an opinion about a puzzle here online, and so this blog focuses on just adding a little trivia that crops up when I read around after finishing (hopefully!) the puzzle.

Stop by any time, Andrea, or feel free to chat via email (bill@paxient.com). I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for telling me about your Dad. Great memories, huh? And thanks again for your marvelous puzzles. They make 'em smart in Minnesota!

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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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