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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

0209-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Feb 11, Wednesday




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


CROSSWORD SETTER: Victor Barocas
THEME: SKIPJACK ... all of the theme clues are missing the word "JACK":
16A. *Cracker JACK feature : TOY SURPRISE
33A. *Union JACK, e.g. : FLAG
40A. *It's bad when it JACKknifes : SEMI
56A. *FlapJACK : GRIDDLECAKE
10D. *JACK Daniel's home : TENNESSEE
12D. *NatterJACK, e.g. : TOAD
22D. *Start of the name JACK: CAPITAL J
24D. *JACK Necessitator : FLAT TIRE
32D. *BlackJACK : TWENTY-ONE
51D. *Distant relative of Monterey JACK: BRIE
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
Evenings With Cary Grant: Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best1. Grant for a movie? : CARY
The wonderful, wonderful actor Cary Grant was born in Bristol in England, and was given the name Archibald Leach. In the 1949 Howard Hawks film "His Girl Friday", there's a line where Grant describes the fate suffered by someone who crossed him. He names that person "Archie Leach", an ad-lib using his real name.

5. Painter's preparation : GESSO
Gesso is the Italian word for "chalk", and gives it name to the powdered calcium carbonate that is used as a primer coat under artistic panel paintings. The gesso is mixed with a glue, and when applied to wood it acts as an absorbent surface for paint.

10. Make lace : TAT
One is "tatting" when one is making lace. The word "tatting" has been around since the 1830s, but no one seems to have discovered its etymology.

Richard Burton: Prince of Players14. Richard nominated for seven Oscars : BURTON
At one time, Richard Burton was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. I used to live just a stone's throw from the village of his birth in South Wales, Pontrhydyfen. Burton's original name was Richard Jenkins, the son of a coal miner. His mother died when he was just two years old, giving birth to her 13th child ...

15. Writer Umberto : ECO
Umberto Eco is an Italian writer, probably best known for his novel "The Name of the Rose" published in 1980. "The Name of the Rose" was adapted for the big screen in 1986 into a movie with the same title, starring Sean Connery.

Cracker Jack Original Bag, 7-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 9)16. *Cracker (JACK) feature : TOY SURPRISE
Cracker Jack snack food was introduced to the public at the 1893 Chicago World Fair. It didn't get the name "Cracker Jack" until a few years later when someone declared to the producers that the candied snack was "crackerjack!". Prizes were introduced into each box staring in 1912.

19. When repeated, a dance : CHA
The cha-cha-cha is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

25. Scottish hillside : BRAE
"Brae" is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.

The Simpsons - The Complete Sixth Season27. Springfield family name : SIMPSON
"The Simpsons" television show is meant to be set in "anytown, USA", so the creators chose the name Springfield as it is one of most common town and city names in the country.

30. Essential oil : ATTAR
Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers, and may particularly refer to attar of roses.

British Union Jack (UK Great Britain) Country Flag: 3x5ft poly33. *Union (JACK), e.g. : FLAG
The Union Jack is a "jack" (a flag) representing the "Union" (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). The flag is made up of three crosses:
- The St. George's Cross of England, a red cross (+) on a white background.
- The St. Andrew's Cross of Scotland, a white cross (x), on a blue background.
- The St. Patrick's Cross representing Northern Ireland, a red cross (x) on a white background.

37. Otologist's focus : EAR
Otology is a branch of medicine dealing with the ear.

38. Bethlehem ___ : STEEL
Bethlehem Steel used to be the second-largest steel producer in the country, after Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel. The company shut down its steel plants in 1995, and went bankrupt in 2001. The land where the main plant stood was purchased in 2007 and is now the site of a casino. Iron-ically (pun intended!), the developers building the casino had problems acquiring enough steel for construction due to a worldwide steel shortage ...

Veet Hair Removal Gel Cream, Sensitive Skin Formula 13.5 fl oz (400 ml)39. Onetime hair-removal name : NEET
The hair removal product "Neet" was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as "Immac". Today it is sold under the name "Veet".

40. *It's bad when it (JACK)knifes : SEMI

41. Much-advertised exercise program : TAE BO
Tae Bo isn't an ancient martial art, but was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s. It was introduced by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks, who gave it the name tae bo, a melding of taekwondo and boxing.

Signed Kilmer, Val 8x10 Photo44. Actor Kilmer : VAL
Val Kilmer's first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's 1991 biopic "The Doors". A few years later he was chosen for the lead in another big production, "Batman Forever". Things haven't really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I'd say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as a Governor? Would never happen ...

46. Certain tuna ... or what this puzzle's 10 starred clues do : SKIPJACK
Skipjack tuna would be described as medium-sized, growing to about three feet long. Albacore tuna is a little larger.

53. "The Threepenny Opera" composer : WEILL
"The Threepenny Opera" ("Die Dreigroschenoper") is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that was first performed in Berlin in 1928, an adaptation of "The Beggar's Opera" written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. The most famous song from the show is "Mack the Knife", which was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. He had a hit with it in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version. I love it ...

55. Fraternity letter : RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter "p".

56. *Flap(JACK) : GRIDDLECAKE

60. Nasdaq company with an asterisk in its name : E*TRADE
E*Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E*Trade runs those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a web-cam.

Orel Hershiser Autographed/Hand Signed Cleveland Indians 8x10 Photo61. Pitcher Hershiser : OREL
Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. He lives in Las Vegas, and when he isn't working for ESPN, apparently he is at the poker tables at least five times a week.

The Eye of Ra (Horus) Wall Hang Tapestry #5262. Image on the back of a dollar bill : EYE
If you look at the back of a one-dollar bill there is an eye sitting above a pyramid. This is known as the Eye of Providence, and is similar to the Eye of Horus that we see so often in Ancient Egyptian designs and hieroglyphs. The Eye of Providence is a common Christian emblem from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Conspiracy theorists love to point out "suspicious" symbols on the dollar bill. The pyramid on the bill is unfinished, with 13 steps. The number 13 has been associated with the occult, but it is also the number of original colonies which declared independence from Britain forming the United States. Not so suspicious after all ...

Down
2. It may accompany waves on a Hawaiian beach : ALOHA
Aloha has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently it has come to mean "hello" and "goodbye", but only since the mid-1800s.

Cheating Death5. CNN's "Sanjay ___ MD" : GUPTA
Sanjay Gupta is an American neurosurgeon, and is best known as the CNN's chief medical correspondent. In 2009, Gupta was offered the post of Surgeon General in the Obama administration, but he declined.

7. Make a mistake preparing James Bond's martini : STIR
Why have a vodka martini shaken and not stirred (as does James Bond, 007)? Well, for one thing the shaken drink tends to be colder. And with more melted ice in the drink, it isn't as strong. These are my personal observations ... no need to write in ...

STING 16X20 PHOTO8. "Sending out an ___" (repeated Police lyric) : SOS
The Police were a trio formed in London in 1977, with Sting being the most famous member and lead singer. The band released "Message in a Bottle" in 1979, a song telling of a castaway "sending out an SOS" by sending off a "message in a bottle".

9. Physical feature of Britain's Lord Nelson : ONE ARM
Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar was HMS Victory. The battle was a decisive win for the British during the Napoleonic Wars, fought against the combined fleets of France and Spain. Nelson was fatally wounded by a marksman from one of the French ships, but as he was conscious he continued to monitor the battle, dying three hours after he was shot. Nelson was much revered by his crew, who felt that his body had to be returned to England. The body was placed in a barrel full of brandy, and the barrel lashed to the mainmast of the Victory and placed under guard. The damaged flagship was towed to Gibraltar where the the body transferred to a lead-lined coffin, and the brandy replaced by aqua vitae, spirits of wine. While the body continued its journey home, dispatches reporting the outcome of the battle were carried to England on a ship called ... HMS Pickle!

Jack Daniel's (Label) 24'' x 36'' Poster10. *(JACK) Daniel's home : TENNESSEE
I used to live in Tennessee, and one weekend took a tour of the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg. After watching all the whiskey being produced, we were brought to a room for "refreshments". We were given lemonade, because the distillery is located in Moore County, Tennessee, a dry country ...

11. One of a thousand in a Jane Smiley title : ACRE
"A Thousand Acres" is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Jane Smiley. The novel is a retelling of William Shakespeare's "King Lear". Just as in "King Lear", the plot features a father with three rival daughters.

12. *Natter(JACK), e.g. : TOAD

14. Dalmatian or Pomeranian : BREED
The Dalmatian breed of dog originated in Dalmatia, in the Republic of Croatia. Here in the US Dalmatians are known as "firehouse dogs:. This association dates back to use of Dalmatians in firehouses to guard the valuable horses that were used to pull the fire engines.

Pomeranians 2011 Square 12X12 Wall Calendar (Multilingual Edition)The Pomeranian is a breed of small dog, named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch's pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen's admittedly long reign, the size of the average "pom" was reduced by 50% ...

22. *Start of the name (JACK): CAPITAL J

24. *(JACK) Necessitator : FLAT TIRE

Big (Extended Edition)25. 1988 Tom Hanks film : BIG
"Big" is a fun movie, released in 1988. It is a romantic comedy with an unusual plot involving a young boy who is aged to adulthood overnight (played by Tom Hanks). Who can forget the scene where Hanks and the owner of a toy store hop around on a giant piano keyboard. Remember what they played? "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks" ...

27. Bollywood costume : SARI
Bollywood is an informal name given to the huge film industry based in Mumbai in India. The term "Bollywood" is a melding of "Bombay", the old name for Mumbai, and of course Hollywood.

29. ___ contendere : NOLO
"Nolo contendere" is a legal term that translates from the Latin as "I do not wish to contend". That is, it's the plea of "no contest", an alternative to "guilty" or "not guilty", meaning that one doesn't admit guilt but nor does not dispute the charge.

30. Start of many dates : ANNO
Anno is the Latin for "year".

32. *Black(JACK) : TWENTY-ONE
The game of "twenty-one" was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing "Don Quixote". He called the game "ventiuna" (Spanish for "twenty-one"). Cervantes wrote his story just after 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn't all that popular so bonus payouts were introduced to create more interest. One of more noted bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker "Blackjack".

34. Flight : LAM
To be "on the lam" is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. It is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word "lam" also means to "beat" or "thrash", as in "lambaste". So "on the lam" might derive from the phrase "to beat it", to scram.

46. Four-door, often : SEDAN
The American sedan car, is the equivalent to the British saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating, and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

51. *Distant relative of Monterey (JACK): BRIE
What we now call Monterey Jack cheese was originally made by Franciscan friars in Monterey, California in the 19th century. In the 1800s, a powerful landowner called David Jack started to make the same cheese as the friars in his own dairy, and marketed it as "Jack's Cheese" and later "Monterey Jack".

Route 66 - The Complete First Season57. 66, e.g.: Abbr. : RTE
The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the "Main Street of America". The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole's song "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66", and also because of the sixties TV show "Route 66".

58. Male swan : COB
A female swan is called a pen, and a male a cob. The term "cob" comes from the Middle English "cobbe" meaning "leader of a group".


For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Grant for a movie? : CARY
5. Painter's preparation : GESSO
10. Make lace : TAT
13. Succulent plant : ALOE
14. Richard nominated for seven Oscars : BURTON
15. Writer Umberto : ECO
16. *Cracker feature : TOY SURPRISE
18. 1930s org. with a blue eagle logo : NRA
19. When repeated, a dance : CHA
20. Discourage : DETER
21. Pimply : ACNED
23. How a hangover sufferer might feel : HALF-DEAD
25. Scottish hillside : BRAE
26. Was in charge : LED
27. Springfield family name : SIMPSON
30. Essential oil : ATTAR
33. *Union, e.g. : FLAG
35. "There ___ 'I' in 'team'" : IS NO
36. Some salamanders : NEWTS
37. Otologist's focus : EAR
38. Bethlehem ___ : STEEL
39. Onetime hair-removal name : NEET
40. *It's bad when it knifes : SEMI
41. Much-advertised exercise program : TAE BO
42. Containing many items, as a bill : OMNIBUS
44. Actor Kilmer : VAL
45. "That is correct" : TRUE
46. Certain tuna ... or what this puzzle's 10 starred clues do : SKIPJACK
51. Emulated a wolf : BAYED
53. "The Threepenny Opera" composer : WEILL
54. Got the gold : WON
55. Fraternity letter : RHO
56. *Flap : GRIDDLECAKE
59. Na+, e.g. : ION
60. Nasdaq company with an asterisk in its name : E*TRADE
61. Pitcher Hershiser : OREL
62. Image on the back of a dollar bill : EYE
63. Wee : TEENY
64. Optimal : BEST

Down
1. Cry after "Here!" : CATCH
2. It may accompany waves on a Hawaiian beach : ALOHA
3. Palace-related : ROYAL
4. Word of affirmation : YES
5. CNN's "Sanjay ___ MD" : GUPTA
6. Was off base : ERRED
7. Make a mistake preparing James Bond's martini : STIR
8. "Sending out an ___" (repeated Police lyric) : SOS
9. Physical feature of Britain's Lord Nelson : ONE ARM
10. *Daniel's home : TENNESSEE
11. One of a thousand in a Jane Smiley title : ACRE
12. *Natter, e.g. : TOAD
14. Dalmatian or Pomeranian : BREED
17. Cow features : UDDERS
22. *Start of the name : CAPITAL J
24. *Necessitator : FLAT TIRE
25. 1988 Tom Hanks film : BIG
27. Bollywood costume : SARI
28. First-class aisle seat on most planes : ONE-B
29. ___ contendere : NOLO
30. Start of many dates : ANNO
31. Abound : TEEM
32. *Black : TWENTY-ONE
33. Airfare add-ons : FEES
34. Flight : LAM
38. Rice, for many : STAPLE
40. Go a-courting? : SUE
43. Bad thing to be over : BUDGET
44. Suffix in many place names : -VILLE
46. Four-door, often : SEDAN
47. Kind of pool or ride : KIDDY
48. Alert : AWARE
49. Drinks in red-and-white cans : COKES
50. Genuflected : KNELT
51. *Distant relative of Monterey : BRIE
52. Seafarer's greeting : AHOY
53. Finish line marker : WIRE
57. 66, e.g.: Abbr. : RTE
58. Male swan : COB


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2 comments :

Andy Fox said...

Bill - - for this puzzle - 2/9/11 (Which was published TODAY, 3/16/11 in the Durham News, N. Carolina..... you omitted an explanation for 42 Across. I did not know that "Omnibus" was an adjective also, that meant "assortment" or "collection". I looked it up, being only familiar with the noun. Thanks for your webpage though. It comes in handy in a crunch!

Bill Butler said...

Hi Andy,

Yes, I opted not to write up anything for OMNIBUS. I am afraid sometimes I fall prey to looking at things from an Irish perspective instead of an American one. I think we tend to use the adjective OMNIBUS more often than here in the US, so I assumed I didn't need to expand on it. My bad!

But, thank you for pointing it out, Andy!

And thanks for stopping by :)

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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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