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0223-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Feb 11, Wednesday

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: OUTSIDE CHANCE ... all the theme answers feature the word CHANCE on the "outside":

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
14. State-run revenue source : LOTTO
Originally "Lotto" was a type of card game, with "lotto" being the Italian for "a lot". We've used "lotto" to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.

Iwo Jima World War II Photo U.S. Military American History Photos 8x1015. 1945 flag-raising site, briefly : IWO
Iwo Jima today is an uninhabited volcanic island located south of Tokyo, Japan. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living in the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out, and no one has lived there ever since.

16. Arledge who pioneered Monday night football : ROONE
Roone Arledge was an executive at ABC. He made a name for himself in sports broadcasting, and then took over ABC News in 1977, a position he held until his death in 2002.

Definitive Collection17. Grammy winner James and others : ETTAS
Etta James is best known for her beautiful rendition of the song "At Last". Sadly, as she discloses in her autobiography, James has lived a life ravaged by drug addiction, leading to numerous legal and health problems.

TCM Archives - The Lon Chaney Collection (The Ace of Hearts / Laugh, Clown, Laugh / The Unknown)18. Horror film star Chaney : LON
Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname "the man of a thousand faces". Most famous of all was his portrayal of "The Phantom of the Opera" in 1925.

20. Big Bopper hit : CHANTILLY LACE
The Big Bopper's real name was J.P. Richardson, Jr. He had a big hit in 1959 with the lovely song "Chantilly Lace". On February 3, 1959 he was in a plane crash in Iowa, and died alongside Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. As Don McLean calls it (in "American Pie"), that was "the day the music died".

23. [as printed] : SIC
"Sic" indicates that a quote is written as originally found. "Sic" is Latin for "thus, like this".

24. Common gout site : TOE
Gout is caused by an elevation of the levels of uric acid in the blood. As a result of the high concentrations, the uric acid can crystallize out in tissue causing extreme discomfort. What we tend to call gout occurs when the crystals are deposited in the big toe. But, if the crystals are deposited in the kidney, then we call them kidney stones.

25. Title for Paul McCartney : SIR
Paul McCartney was knighted for services to music, in 1997.

IAN MCSHANE 8X10 PHOTO26. Actor McShane of "Deadwood" : IAN
Ian McShane is an English actor, famous in his homeland (and to PBS viewers in the US) for playing the title role in "Lovejoy". In this country he is perhaps better known for playing the conniving saloon owner on the HBO western drama "Deadwood".

33. Thurman of film : UMA
Uma Thurman's father, Robert Thurman, was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and gave his daughter Uma her name as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name, Dbuma.

My Time with the Catcher Spy, Morris Moe Berg34. Baseballer-turned-spy Berg : MOE
Moe Berg was a mediocre baseball player in the major leagues, known for being the "brainiest man in baseball". He spoke several languages, and read ten newspapers a day. In WWII he worked for the OSS in Yugoslavia and Italy, mainly ferreting out information on the German nuclear program. After the war, he worked occasionally for the CIA, but sadly he spent the last two decades of his life out of work, living off family.

36. Place to get a bucket of balls : RANGE
You can get a bucket of balls to hit at the golf range.

39. In a funk : LOW
"Funk" is ill-humor, a word that dates back to the mid-1700s and probably a term that came from Scottish and northern English.

40. Like some paper and coats : LINED
Paper can be ruled, and coats can have a lining.

43. Mauna ___ :
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed. So, the real height of the volcano is over 33,000 feet, quite a bit higher than Mount Everest (at 29,029 feet).

The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame: Medievalism and the Monsters of Modernity44. Group overseeing Notre Dame Cathedral : CHURCH OF FRANCE
Notre Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle on the River Seine in Paris. Notre Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It's also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them.

49. H.M.S. part : HER
HMS stands for Her Majesty's Ship, a prefix used in the navies of some monarchies, most notably the UK's Royal Navy.

51. California town name starter : LOS
California has quite a few towns and cities with names starting with the word "Los" (Spanish for "the"). Notable examples are Los Gatos ("the cats") and Los Angeles ("the angels").

Signed Rose, Axl 11x14 Photo52. Rock's ___ Rose : AXL
Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N' Roses.

Guns N' Roses is a hard rock band founded in 1985 that is still going strong. The group was pulled together by Axl Rose, the lead vocalist. The lead-guitar player back then was Tracii Guns, and it was the combination of Axl and Tracii's "family" names that led to the band being called Guns N' Roses.

30 x 20 Stretched Canvas Poster Single-Hand Yawl Rig & Construction58. Yawl's pair : MASTS
A yawl is a two-masted sailing vessel. There is a main mast forward, and a smaller mizzen mast close to the stern.

60. "No dice!" : NIX
Our word "nix" is a German word, a variant of "nichts" meaning "nothing".

62. Russian pancakes : BLINI
A blintz is a thin pancake, similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

63. First Liston/Clay fight result, in brief : TKO
In boxing (and other sports), a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can't get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly "knocked out". A referee, fighter, or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter's safety. In this case, the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

64. Republican-turned-Democrat Specter : ARLEN
Arlen Specter was the US Senator for Pennsylvania, famous for switching from the Republicans to the Democratic Party in 2009. In 2010 he lost the Democratic primary, and his seat went to Pat Toomey, a Republican. Spector developed a reputation for himself of being hard to work with over the years, earning the nickname "Snarlin' Arlen".

American Flag 3ft x 5ft Cotton66. Anthem contraction : O'ER
The words "o'er the land of the free" come from "The Star Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key. The lyrics were written first as a poem by Key, inspired by his witnessing of the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song written by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

1. Smart guys? : ALECS
Apparently the original "smart Alec" was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

St. George & The Dragonet4. Satirist Freberg : STAN
Stan Freberg is an American satirist and author who took over for Jack Benny on CBS radio. His career as a broadcaster suffered though, largely because he refused to take on manufacturers of alcohol and tobacco as sponsors for his show.

6. Jewish campus group : HILLEL
Hillel International is the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. The group takes its name from Hillel the Elder, famous for expressing the "Golden Rule" i.e. "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow".

7. M.P.'s quarry : AWOL
The Military Police go after personnel who go Absent With-Out Leave.

8. Press secretary under George W. Bush : TONY SNOW
Tony Snow was the third White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, following Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. The year before Snow took the post at the White House he was diagnosed with colon cancer, and returned to work after having surgery. While working as Press Secretary he had to take repeated leaves of absence due to a recurrence of the disease. Sadly, Snow passed away in 2008, at 53 years of age.

Boac: An Illustrated History (Revealing History)10. Old U.K. carrier : BOAC
British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was one of the two airlines that were merged in 1974 to form British Airways (the other was British European Airways).

21. Inner Hebrides isle : IONA
Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by an monk from Ireland, Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland, and settled in Iona, which at that time was part of one of the Irish kingdoms. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades, founding other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells, now housed in Trinity College, Dublin, may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona.

22. ___ button (Facebook icon) : LIKE
An online "Like" button is something a reader can press to indicator that what was read was "enjoyable".

27. Oxy 5 target : ACNE
Oxy 5 is a brand name for a medication with the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is used as an acne treatment, dyeing hair, whitening teeth, and is even used in the preparation of flour.

60 Minutes - Elian (October 2, 2005)32. ___ González affair of 2000 : ELIAN
The immigration status of young Cuban boy Elian González was all over the news in 2000. Elian's mother drowned while trying to enter the US illegally, whereas Elian and his mother's boyfriend survived the journey. The INS placed Elian in the care of paternal relatives in the US who then petitioned to have the boy stay with them permanently, against the wishes of Elian's father back in Cuba. After court proceedings, the federal authorities forcibly removed Elian from his relatives in the US, and he was returned to his father who took him back to Cuba. Back in Cuba, Fidel Castro stepped in and befriended Elian, so he has influential sponsorship now in his homeland as a result of his ordeal. Elian is now attending a military school in Cuba.

Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World [VHS]37. 1975 Wimbledon winner : ASHE
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth he found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African America player to be so honored. He continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993, due to complications from AIDS.

Biography - Ray Kroc: Fast Food McMillionaire43. Ray who built McDonald's into a giant : KROC
Ray Kroc didn't found the McDonald's restaurants, as he joined the corporation in 1954 and the chain had been around since 1940. What Kroc did was introduce the idea of assembly-line preparation of the meals, and standardization of ingredients so that a Big Mac tasted the same no matter where in the world it was ordered. His "recipe" for the restaurant turned it into the (sad) success it is today.

53. 1974 title role for Dustin Hoffman : LENNY
The 1974 movie called "Lenny" is a biopic, about the life of comedian Lenny Bruce (played by Dustin Hoffman). It's a pretty sad tale, as Lenny Bruce died of a morphine overdose in 1966.

Utne (1-year auto-renewal)55. ___ Reader (alternative magazine) : UTNE
The "Utne Reader" is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other alternative sources of media. It was founded in 1984, with "Utne" being the family name of the couple that started the publication.

56. Flood barrier : DIKE
A dike is an embankment usually made of earth and rock, used to prevent floods.

Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Series57. Rhine feeder : AARE
The Aar (also called the Aare in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. A famous spot along the river is the Reichenbach Falls in the center of the country, actually a series of waterfalls near the city of Meiringen. These falls are celebrated in the world of literature as it was here that Sherlock Holmes fell to his supposed doom with his nemesis Professor Moriarty (in "The Adventure of the Final Problem").

58. Wharton deg. : MBA
Wharton is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

59. Capp and Capone : ALS
The cartoonist Al Capp's real name was Alfred Gerald Caplin. His most famous strip is "Li'l Abner", but he also wrote "Abbie an' Slats" and "Long Sam".

Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted GangsterWhen Al Capone was a young man, he worked as a bouncer in night clubs and saloons. He was working the door of a Brooklyn nightspot one evening when he apparently insulted a woman, sparking off a fight with her brother. In the tussle, Capone's face was slashed three times. Capone wasn't too proud of the incident, nor the "Scarface" moniker that his wound earned him. He always hid the imperfection as best he could when being photographed, and was fond of telling people that the scars were from old war wounds.

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Audibly in shock : AGASP
6. Rack item : HAT
9. Can't stomach : ABHOR
14. State-run revenue source : LOTTO
15. 1945 flag-raising site, briefly : IWO
16. Arledge who pioneered Monday night football : ROONE
17. Grammy winner James and others : ETTAS
18. Horror film star Chaney : LON
19. Widely known : FAMED
20. Big Bopper hit : CHANTILLY LACE
23. [as printed] : SIC
24. Common gout site : TOE
25. Title for Paul McCartney : SIR
26. Actor McShane of "Deadwood" : IAN
29. Barrier with a diamond pattern : CHAIN-LINK FENCE
33. Thurman of film : UMA
34. Baseballer-turned-spy Berg : MOE
35. Unaccompanied : LONE
36. Place to get a bucket of balls : RANGE
39. In a funk : LOW
40. Like some paper and coats : LINED
41. "Understood" : I SEE
42. Sock-in-the-gut reaction : OOF
43. Mauna ___ : KEA
44. Group overseeing Notre Dame Cathedral : CHURCH OF FRANCE
49. H.M.S. part : HER
50. Just fine : AOK
51. California town name starter : LOS
52. Rock's ___ Rose : AXL
54. Remote possibility ... or a hint to 20-, 29- and 44-Across : OUTSIDE CHANCE
58. Yawl's pair : MASTS
60. "No dice!" : NIX
61. Weighed down : LADEN
62. Russian pancakes : BLINI
63. First Liston/Clay fight result, in brief : TKO
64. Republican-turned-Democrat Specter : ARLEN
65. It's a plus : ASSET
66. Anthem contraction : O'ER
67. Like a neglected lawn : WEEDY

1. Smart guys? : ALECS
2. Notre Dame's architectural style : GOTHIC
3. Tack on : ATTACH
4. Satirist Freberg : STAN
5. When racehorses are at the gate : POST TIME
6. Jewish campus group : HILLEL
7. M.P.'s quarry : AWOL
8. Press secretary under George W. Bush : TONY SNOW
9. Kennel outburst : ARF ARF
10. Old U.K. carrier : BOAC
11. Follow a signal to : HOME IN ON
12. Admit ___ : ONE
13. Badly chafed : RED
21. Inner Hebrides isle : IONA
22. ___ button (Facebook icon) : LIKE
27. Oxy 5 target : ACNE
28. ___-to-know basis : NEED
30. Boring tool : AUGER
31. "Bye for now!" : I'M OFF
32. ___ González affair of 2000 : ELIAN
36. Rolling in it : RICH
37. 1975 Wimbledon winner : ASHE
38. Phobic disorder, e.g. : NEUROSIS
39. Check out : LOOK INTO
40. Ordinance aimed at pet owners : LEASH LAW
42. Shouts of surprise : OHOS
43. Ray who built McDonald's into a giant : KROC
45. Watch a kitty : CAT-SIT
46. Limb-bending muscle : FLEXOR
47. Thing to snuff : CANDLE
48. Go over : EXCEED
53. 1974 title role for Dustin Hoffman : LENNY
55. ___ Reader (alternative magazine) : UTNE
56. Flood barrier : DIKE
57. Rhine feeder : AARE
58. Wharton deg. : MBA
59. Capp and Capone : ALS

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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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