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0218-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Feb 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


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Mitre Soccer Fast Folding Goal (Steel, 6x3-Feet)1. Crossbar supporter : GOALPOST
In soccer for example, the frame that is the goal is made up of a crossbar sitting on top of two goalposts.

9. 2009 "Survivor" setting : SAMOA
"Survivor: Samoa" was the nineteenth series of the reality TV show (19, can you believe it?). It was won by Natalie White.

16. Like wearing socks on your hands : INANE
Something inane is senseless, and somebody that is inane is "empty-headed". The Latin "inanitas" means "emptiness".

Ralph Nader: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies)18. Four-time presidential candidate : NADER
Ralph Nader has run as a third-party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election since 1996. Nader's name was first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if he would agree to run, but Nader declined.

19. "Isn't that so?," to Rousseau : N'EST-CE PAS
"N'est-ce pas" is a French expression, often added to the end of a statement, turning it into a question. It translates into "isn't that so?"

20. Roman leader? : GRECO-
The adjective "Greco-Roman" is usually applied to anything that is associated with, or has been influenced by, the ancient Greek and Roman Empires.

Star Wars Interactive R2D221. Sci-fi beeper : ARTOO
Artoo's proper name is R2-D2, the smaller of the two famous droids from "Star Wars". British actor, Kenny Baker,who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the "Star Wars" movies.

22. Old doctor's supply : LEECHES
The old practice of bloodletting was based on the belief that sickness was caused by imbalance in the bodies "humors". One of these four humors was blood, and bloodletting was an attempt to bring it back into balance with the other humors (black bile, yellow bile and phlegm). Bloodletting was done directly, by slicing into a vein, or indirectly, by applying leeches to the skin.

24. Milquetoast of old comics : CASPAR
Caspar Milquetoast was a character in the comic strip "The Timid Soul". Caspar was a very quiet and unadventurous person, a trait reflected in the name given to him by the strip's creator, H. T. Webster. As a food, milk toast is bland and inoffensive, just like Caspar. Milquetoast had such a cultural impact that to this day someone who is meek and overly sensitive can be described as milquetoast.

32. Venezuela's ___ Margarita : ISLA
Isla Margarita is a large island in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Venezuela. It was on Margarita Island that Simón Bolívar was confirmed as Commander in Chief of the Venezuelan Republic. Subsequently to the confirmation, Bolívar played a key role in the region's successful fight for independence from the Spanish.

All The Best - The Hits33. 2008 greatest hits album that includes the song "Proud Mary" : TINA
Tina Turner is actually a stage name, used by Anna Mae Bullock, the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll. Turner has always loved Europe, and moved there in the eighties. She now splits her time between her homes in England, France and Switzerland.

Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve34. Palindromic name high on the Forbes billionaires list : SOROS
George Soros is a Hungarian-born American financier. In 1992 he correctly anticipated that the British government would devalue the pound sterling, and made himself a billion dollars. Since then he has been known as "the man who broke the Bank of England".

35. Indicator of second thoughts : STET
"Stet" is the Latin word meaning "let it stand". In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word "stet" beside the change and then underscoring the change with a line of dots (or dashes).

53. Unseen "Mork & Mindy" character : ORSON
"Mork & Mindy" was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were first introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams, of course) in a special episode of "Happy Days". The particular episode in question has a bizarre storyline culminating in Fonzie and Mork having a thumb-to-finger duel. Eventually Richie wakes up in bed, and alien Mork was revealed as a character in a dream!

55. Common praenomen among Roman emperors : GAIUS
Gaius was a common Roman name for males. "Praenomen" is the Latin for "given name" (pre-name).

The Guide to Owning Tetras (Aquatic)56. Bright school member : NEON TETRA
The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. It is a very popular aquarium fish, and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia, and very few come from their native South America.

1. African soccer powerhouse popularly known as the Black Stars : GHANA
Soccer was introduced into Ghana (when it was the Gold Coast) at the end of the 19th century, by merchants from Europe.

The term "oater", used for a western movie, comes from the number of horses seen, and horses love oats!

3. Stop order? : AVAST
Avast is a nautical term, used to tell someone to stop, or desist from what they are doing. "Avast" comes from the Dutch "hou vast" meaning "hold fast".

4. Slower than adagio : LENTO
A lento passage in a piece of music has a slow tempo.

5. Bird in a Sean O'Casey title : PAYCOCK
"Juno and the Paycock" is by Sean O'Casey, one of the most often staged plays in his native Ireland. It is the second part of his "Dublin Trilogy", following "The Shadow of a Gunman" and written before the equally celebrated "The Plough and the Stars".

6. Baddie in Perrault's tales : OGRE
Charles Perrault was a French author, famous for fairy tales. Most of his stories were based on existing folk tales, including "Little Red Riding Hood", "Cinderella" and "Puss in Boots". Perrault's stories have been adapted over the years for the stage and the big screen, including the celebrated ballet "Sleeping Beauty" by Tchaikovsky.

8. "Toodles" : TATA
The term "toodles" meaning "goodbye", is a short form of "toodle-oo", which in turn comes from the French "à tout à l'heure" which translates as "see you later".

Flying in a Hot Air Balloon (Carolrhoda Photo Books)13. Balloon, e.g. : AEROSTAT
An aerostat is a type of aircraft that doesn't derive its lift from forward motion like a fixed wing airplane. Instead, the lift comes from buoyancy, as in a balloon or a dirigible.

Nebula Plasma Ball15. Early radio transmitter : TESLA COIL
A Tesla coil is used to create the high voltages needed to ionize air in those pyrotechnic shows where sparks jump from globe to globe. The same technology was used up to the twenties in sparkgap radio transmitters which were central to wireless telegraphy back then.

23. 1974 Billboard hit with Spanish lyrics : ERES TU
We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That's how ABBA got their big break, when the group won in 1974 with "Waterloo". In 1972, Spain's entry was "Eres tu" sung by the band Mocedades. "Eres tu" is the Spanish for "you are". It came second in the competition but should have won, in my humble opinion.

Anastasia30. 1997 animated film set in Russia : ANASTASIA
"Anastasia" is an animated musical from Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. The storyline is based on the urban myth that Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, survived the family's execution by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

33. More than a quarter of native Filipinos, ethnically : TAGALOGS
Most of the people in the Metro Manila area are of the Tagalog ethnic group. The name Tagalog comes from "taga-" (coming from) "ilog" (river).

ARMAND ASSANTE 11X14 COLOR PHOTO38. "The Mambo Kings" co-star : ASSANTE
The 1992 drama "The Mambo Kings" tells the story of brothers César and Nestor Castillo, played by Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas.

44. Mixer maker : OSTER
The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women's hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed an Osterizer, and was a big hit. Oster was bought up by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

William Shatner James Kirk Star Trek 8x10 Photo46. Word in Kansas' motto : ASTRA
The motto of the State of Kansas is "ad astra per aspera", a Latin expression meaning "to the stars through difficulties". Kansas shares the same motto with quite a few other institutions, including an English grammar school, an Australian high school, and even Starfleet, the service to which the USS Enterprise belongs in the "Star Trek" series.

50. ___ Research Center (NASA lab in Silicon Valley) : AMES
The Ames Research Center is just down the road here, located at Moffet Field, at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay. Joseph Ames was a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics when it was formed in 1915, and chairman of the committee from 1919-1939.

52. Make less sharp, maybe : TUNE
If an instrument is playing a note incorrectly (more sharp than it should be perhaps), then one might tune it.

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Crossbar supporter : GOALPOST
9. 2009 "Survivor" setting : SAMOA
14. Attempt : HAVE A GO AT
16. Like wearing socks on your hands : INANE
17. "Be that as it may ..." : AT ANY RATE
18. Four-time presidential candidate : NADER
19. "Isn't that so?," to Rousseau : N'EST-CE PAS
20. Roman leader? : GRECO-
21. Sci-fi beeper : ARTOO
22. Old doctor's supply : LEECHES
24. Milquetoast of old comics : CASPAR
28. Stop order? : HALT
29. Return a letter, say : BACKSPACE
32. Venezuela's ___ Margarita : ISLA
33. 2008 greatest hits album that includes the song "Proud Mary" : TINA
34. Palindromic name high on the Forbes billionaires list : SOROS
35. Indicator of second thoughts : STET
36. Statement of resignation : ALAS
37. Peevish : IRRITATED
39. Knife injury : GASH
40. Touch screen toucher : STYLUS
41. Certifies : ATTESTS
43. They support TV viewers : SOFAS
48. Take temporarily : LEASE
49. Creator of strange worlds : FANTASIST
53. Unseen "Mork & Mindy" character : ORSON
54. Totals : AMOUNTS TO
55. Common praenomen among Roman emperors : GAIUS
56. Bright school member : NEON TETRA
57. Blank ___ : SLATE
58. Considers beneath one's notice : SNEERS AT

1. African soccer powerhouse popularly known as the Black Stars : GHANA
2. Gun show? : OATER
3. Stop order? : AVAST
4. Slower than adagio : LENTO
5. Bird in a Sean O'Casey title : PAYCOCK
6. Baddie in Perrault's tales : OGRE
7. It may be found in a dish : SOAP
8. "Toodles" : TATA
9. Expose to flame : SINGE
10. Disorderly sort? : ANARCHIST
11. Got a move on : MADE HASTE
12. Like early life : ONE-CELLED
13. Balloon, e.g. : AEROSTAT
15. Early radio transmitter : TESLA COIL
23. 1974 Billboard hit with Spanish lyrics : ERES TU
25. Run interference for, e.g. : ASSIST
26. Game animal? : SPORTS FAN
27. Evasive answer : PARRY
29. Involving both sides : BILATERAL
30. 1997 animated film set in Russia : ANASTASIA
31. Quits gambling : CASHES OUT
33. More than a quarter of native Filipinos, ethnically : TAGALOGS
38. "The Mambo Kings" co-star : ASSANTE
42. Somehow know : SENSE
44. Mixer maker : OSTER
45. Handmade things? : FISTS
46. Word in Kansas' motto : ASTRA
47. Fur source : STOAT
50. ___ Research Center (NASA lab in Silicon Valley) : AMES
51. It comes before one : NOON
52. Make less sharp, maybe : TUNE

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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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