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0215-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Feb 11, Tuesday




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: Paula Gamache
THEME: An "Ordinary" Puzzle ... all the theme answers start with words that are synonyms, all meaning "ordinary"
- COMMON (KNOWLEDGE)
- AVERAGE (HEIGHT)
- USUAL (SUSPECTS)
- REGULAR (GASOLINE)
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. ___ Picchu (site of Incan ruins) : MACHU
Machu Picchu is known as "The Lost City of the Incas", and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means "old peak".

The Mario Lanza Collection10. "Arrivederci ___" : ROMA
"Arrivederci Roma" is a song from the Italian film of the same name, released in English in 1957 as "Seven Hills of Rome". Star of the movie was Mario Lanza.

16. Designer Cassini : OLEG
Oleg Cassini, the French-born American fashion designer had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he designed the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and e was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood's Gene Tierney, Cassini's second wife.

21. Nincompoop : ASS
The word "nincompoop" meaning an "ass" seems to have been around for quite a while, since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

22. Trojan War hero : AENEAS
The Aeneid is Virgil's epic poem that tells of the journey of Aeneas, a Trojan that traveled to Italy to become the ancestor of all Romans.

Very Best of33. "There's ___ in My Bucket" (children's song) : A HOLE
"There's a Hole in My Bucket" is a children's song that perhaps dates back to 18th century Germany. There is a truly wonderful version of the song that was recorded by Harry Belafonte and Odetta in 1962. It's amazing how entertaining they make such a simple song.

36. Plan that changes courses : DIET
A diet's meal plan changes the courses eaten.

43. Do-it-yourself relocation rental : U-HAUL
U-Haul was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Hail dealers across the country.

Essential45. Orbison who sang "Oh, Pretty Woman" : ROY
Roy Orbison had to be one the sickliest looking performers I've ever seen. He had a very sallow complexion, pock-marked from teenage acne. The yellowy skin tone itself came from a severe bout of jaundice as a child. Perhaps poor nutrition affected him and his siblings, because all of them had very poor eyesight, with Roy almost blind and wearing very thick lenses from a very young age. He was also very ashamed of his head of hair, which was almost a ghostly white, and so he dyed it jet black even when he was young. Despite all this, he was immensely popular in his heyday with teenage girls, particularly in Canada and Ireland for some reason. On a tour of Ireland in 1963, the Irish police had to stop one of his performances in order to pull the Irish girls off poor Mr. Orbison ...

Casablanca Poster 50th Anniversary 27x40 Movie Poster46. They may be rounded up after a crime, with "the" : USUAL SUSPECTS
The film "Casablanca" bequeathed to us some of the most memorable lines in film history. For example, the Claude Rains character, Major Renault, pronounces, "Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects."

49. Exam for an aspiring J.D. : LSAT
J.D. stands for Juris Doctor, and is a graduate law degree.

50. Prefix with sphere : EXO-
The exosphere is the outermost layer of the atmosphere.

51. Buckeye : OHIOAN
Ohio is sometimes referred to as the Buckeye State, taking the name from the state tree. In turn, the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch, thought to resemble a "buck's eye".

56. Mutual fund charge : LOAD
Mutual fund "loads" are percentages levied as a commission. Mutual funds can be classified by the type of load levied, for example, front-end load, back-end load or even no-load.

Sigmund Freud63. Freud's libido : EROS
Libido is a term first popularized by Sigmund Freud. His usage was more general than is understood today, as he used libido to describe all instinctive energy that arose in the subconscious. Freud believed that we humans are driven by two desires, the desire for life (the libido, or Eros) and the desire for death (Thanatos). Personally, I don't think so ...

65. Orange or grape soda brand : FANTA
The soft drink "Fanta" has a very interesting history. As WWII approached, the Coca-Cola plant in Germany had trouble obtaining the ingredients it needed to continue production of the cola beverage, so the plant manager decided to create a new drink from what was available. The new beverage was built around whey (left over from cheese production) and pomace (left over after juice has been extracted from fruit). The inventor asked his colleagues to use their imagination ("Fantasie" in German) and come up with a name for the drink, so they piped up "Fanta!"

68. Alan or Adam of filmdom : ARKIN
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER ALAN ARKIN 16X20 B&W PHOTOThe actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in "Little Miss Sunshine" from 2006, a movie I just did not understand ...

Actor Adam Arkin is the son of Oscar winner Alan Arkin. He played Aaron Shutt on the TX show "Chicago Hope".

Down
1. Non-P.C. choices? : MACS
Mac is short for Macintosh, the line of computers from Apple Inc. The first Mac was introduced in 1984, and I remember someone showing me one at work in those early days of personal computing. There was a piece of white plastic connected to the main computer by a cord, and I was amazed when the guy showed me that it controlled where the cursor was on the screen. My colleague told me that the lump of plastic was called "a mouse" ...

2. Oodles : A LOT
It's thought that the term "oodles" comes from "kit and caboodle".

5. Sci-fi sight : UFO
In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reports of UFO sightings, in a program called Project Blue Book. There were two prior USAF studies of the UFO phenomenon, namely Project Sign and Project Grudge. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969, concluding that there was no threat to national security, and that there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.

6. Noted Fifth Avenue emporium : SAKS
Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale's and Nieman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867, and the first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924.

The Mysterious Rays of Dr. Rontgen10. Winner of the first Nobel Prize in Physics, 1901 : ROENTGEN
X-rays were first really studied by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also Roentgen), 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. Shoppe description : OLDE
The word "olde" wasn't actually used much earlier than the 1920s. "Olde" was introduced to give a quaint, antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.

Tom Hanks Forrest Gump 8x10 Photo18. Like the land that includes Monument Valley : NAVAHO
The spectacular Monument Valley, with it's magnificent sandstone buttes, lies within the bounds of the Navajo Nation Reservation near the Four Corners region in the Southwest. The valley has served as a spectacular backdrop in many Hollywood movies. I always remember it as the location where Forrest Gump decided to stop running back and forth across the country.

19. Sainted ninth-century pope : LEO IV
Pope Leo IV succeeded Pope Sergius II in the year 847. After his death in 855 Leo IV was succeeded by Benedict III, although there was a medieval tradition that he was followed by Pope Joan, a woman disguising herself as a man.

24. Elizabethan ___ : ERA
The Elizabethan Era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, is considered by many to be the golden age in English history, the age of Shakespeare and the English Renaissance. Elizabeth I was the last sovereign of the House of Tudor, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

THE TRAIN ROBBERS ANN-MARGRET 11X14 PHOTO25. Sorority members such as Ann-Margret and Laura Bush : THETAS
Ann-Margret is the stage name of Swedish-born American actress, Ann-Margret Olsson. When she isn't on the stage or screen, Ann-Margret is a motorcycle enthusiast, and broke a few bones coming off a motorcycle in 2000.

Spoken from the HeartLaura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, had her memoir "Spoken from the Heart" published in 2010. Born Laura Lane Welch, the former First Lady has a Master's degree in Library Science (as does my wife, my own First Lady!). Given her background, it's not surprising that two causes that Laura Bush focused on while in the White House were education and literacy. She established the annual National Book Festival, first held in Washington, D.C. in 2001, after having co-founded the Texas Book Festival in her home state.

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

29. Yale of Yale University : ELIHU
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

Best of Liza Minnelli30. What the Tin Woodman sought from the Wizard of Oz : HEART
Actor Jack Haley played the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz". Haley was the second choice for the role, as it was originally given to Buddy Ebsen (who later played Jedd Clampett in "The Beverly Hillbillies"). Ebsen was being "painted up" as the Tin Man when he had an extreme, near-fatal reaction from inhaling the aluminum dust makeup that was being used. When Haley took over, the makeup was changed to a paste, but it was still uncomfortable and caused him to miss the first four days of shooting due to a reaction in his eyes. During filming, Haley must have made good friends with the movie's star, Judy Garland, as years later Jack's son married Judy's daughter, Liza Minnelli.

31. The Ghostbusters and the Police : TRIOS
1984's "Ghostbusters" really is a fun movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981's "Stripes"). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Akroyd. Akroyd originally envisioned "Ghostbusters" as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.

STING 8X10 PHOTOThe Police were a trio formed in London in 1977, with Sting being the most famous member and lead singer.

37. Artist Henri de ___-Lautrec : TOULOUSE
The celebrated French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec came from an aristocratic family. This breeding may have made life comfortable for him, but it was the source of his famous disabilities. He had congenital conditions that resulted from the inbreeding that was a tradition in his family (Henri's parents were first cousins).

44. Comics villain ___ Luthor : LEX
Lex Luthor is the arch-nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. He appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series "Atom Man vs. Superman", and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn's Superman.

47. Hawaiian verandas : LANAIS
Named after the Hawaiian island, a lanai is a type of veranda.

52. Subway fare? : HERO
"Hero" is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name "hero" was first coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the New York Herald Tribune when he wrote that one had to be a hero to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

Famous Composers - Igor Stravinsky53. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR
Igor Stravinsky's most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, and brought him into the limelight. The three ballets "The Firebird", "Petrushka" and "The Rite of Spring" were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.

54. Oath of old : EGAD
Egad was developed as a polite way of saying "oh God" in the late 1600s, and is an expression of fear or surprise, as is, "Good grief!".

57. Piggy plaint : OINK
A plaint is a grouse, a complaint.

Nixon Aide John Dean Listens During Senate Hearings on Watergate Break in with Wife Maureen Artists Premium Photographic Poster Print by Gjon Mili, 24x3259. Watergate figure John : DEAN
John Dean was President Richard Nixon's White House Counsel at the height of the Watergate scandal. Given the depth of his involvement in the affair, he suspected that he was going to me made the "fall guy" by the President and his inner circle, and opted to become the prosecution's star witness instead. He was given a 1-4 year sentence in a minimum security prison, but was taken into custody by US Marshals and kept in a safe house while he continued to help the prosecution in their work. After his cooperation, Dean's sentence was reduced to four months, the time served in the safe house.

Anatomy of a Murder62. "Anatomy ___ Murder" : OF A
"Anatomy of a Murder" is a novel by Robert Traver, the pen name of Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker. The novel's storyline, about a murder trial and rape, is based on a real case that the author participated in as a defense attorney. The novel was famously adapted into a ground-breaking 1959 film starring James Stewart, George C. Scott and Lee Remick.

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. ___ Picchu (site of Incan ruins) : MACHU
6. It's returned by a ticket-taker : STUB
10. "Arrivederci ___" : ROMA
14. Standoffish : ALOOF
15. Topnotch : A-ONE
16. Designer Cassini : OLEG
17. Something everybody is aware of : COMMON KNOWLEDGE
20. Stick with a stick : STAB
21. Nincompoop : ASS
22. Trojan War hero : AENEAS
23. Gun, as an engine : REV
25. Gait faster than a walk : TROT
26. It's not very short and not very tall : AVERAGE HEIGHT
32. 401, in old Rome : CDI
33. "There's ___ in My Bucket" (children's song) : A HOLE
34. Changes course suddenly : VEERS
36. Plan that changes courses : DIET
38. Expiration notices? : OBITS
40. It can scratch an itch : NAIL
41. Attach with needle and thread : SEW ON
43. Do-it-yourself relocation rental : U-HAUL
45. Orbison who sang "Oh, Pretty Woman" : ROY
46. They may be rounded up after a crime, with "the" : USUAL SUSPECTS
49. Exam for an aspiring J.D. : LSAT
50. Prefix with sphere : EXO-
51. Buckeye : OHIOAN
54. Goof up : ERR
56. Mutual fund charge : LOAD
60. Cheapest choice at the pump : REGULAR GASOLINE
63. Freud's libido : EROS
64. Letter-shaped beam : I-BAR
65. Orange or grape soda brand : FANTA
66. Peeved : SORE
67. Fries, to a burger : SIDE
68. Alan or Adam of filmdom : ARKIN

Down
1. Non-P.C. choices? : MACS
2. Oodles : A LOT
3. State it's not good to be in : COMA
4. Man, in Havana : HOMBRE
5. Sci-fi sight : UFO
6. Noted Fifth Avenue emporium : SAKS
7. Oodles : TONS
8. Numero ___ : UNO
9. "Watch out now" : BEWARE
10. Winner of the first Nobel Prize in Physics, 1901 : ROENTGEN
11. Shoppe description : OLDE
12. Huge: Prefix : MEGA-
13. Matures : AGES
18. Like the land that includes Monument Valley : NAVAHO
19. Sainted ninth-century pope : LEO IV
24. Elizabethan ___ : ERA
25. Sorority members such as Ann-Margret and Laura Bush : THETAS
26. "Farewell" : ADIEU
27. Pros and cons : VIEWS
28. Lose one's shirt, in business : GO BUST
29. Yale of Yale University : ELIHU
30. What the Tin Woodman sought from the Wizard of Oz : HEART
31. The Ghostbusters and the Police : TRIOS
32. D.J.'s collection : CDS
35. Cunning : SLY
37. Artist Henri de ___-Lautrec : TOULOUSE
39. Apartment building overseers, informally : SUPERS
42. Twangy-sounding : NASAL
44. Comics villain ___ Luthor : LEX
47. Hawaiian verandas : LANAIS
48. Arrest : COLLAR
51. Lucky strikes? : ORES
52. Subway fare? : HERO
53. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR
54. Oath of old : EGAD
55. Burger order specification : RARE
57. Piggy plaint : OINK
58. Dead set against : ANTI
59. Watergate figure John : DEAN
61. Cleanup hitter's stat : RBI
62. "Anatomy ___ Murder" : OF A


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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 bill@paxient.com.

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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