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0228-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Feb 11, Monday

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: Going GAGA with DADA and NANA ... HA-HA! All the theme answers begin with words rhyming with GAGA, DADA, NANA and HA-HA, the across answers in the corners of the grid:

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Out of one's gourd : GAGA
"Gourd" is a slang term for head.

Owen Wilson Color 8x10 Photo14. Wilson of "Starsky & Hutch," 2004 : OWEN
The 2004 film "Starsky & Hutch" is of course an adaptation of the seventies TV cop show of the same name. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson play the leads in the movie, and as you may recall the TV show starred Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul.

20. Nubile maidens : NYMPHETS
The word "nubile" can mean of a marrying age, and also sexually attractive. The word generally applies to young women, and comes from the Latin "nubere" meaning "to take a husband".

23. Rich supply of ore : LODE
A lode is metal ore deposit that's found between two layers of rock or in a fissure.

24. When doubled, a Mazda catchphrase : ZOOM
Mazda is a Japanese car manufacturer based in the Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. The ballpark where the Hiroshima baseball team play was for many years known as the MAZDA Zoom-Zoom Stadium.

Mama's Big Ones26. "Heavyweight" of 1960s folk/pop : MAMA CASS ELLIOT
Cass Elliot was one of the four singers in the Mamas and the Papas, the sensational group from the sixties. She was performing sold-out concerts in London in 1974 when she was found dead one morning, after having a heart attack. She was only 32 years old. Eerily, she died in the same flat (on loan from Harry Nilsson) in which the Who's drummer, Keith Moon, would die just four years later.

Organic Lemon Catnip 100 Seeds - Nepeta citrata-Herb39. What catnip is to a cat : LURE
About 50% of all cats are affected in some way by the plant catnip. There is a terpenoid in the oil of the plant called nepetalactone that the cat inhales that can cause anything from drowsiness to anxiety.

40. Citi Field player : MET
Citi Field is the new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets. It sits right next door to Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the name of course comes from sponsor Citigroup.

41. Four years, for a president : TERM
A candidate can only be elected into the office of US President twice. Indeed, if someone succeeds into office (as did Gerald Ford when President Nixon resigned), then one can only stand for election for one more term. However, in theory one can succeed to the office of President an unlimited number of times.

De Havilland Mosquito (Illustrated History (Crecy))42. Buoyant wood sometimes used in rafts : BALSA
Balsa is a very fast growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes, and rafts. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it "The Wooden Wonder" and "The Timber Terror".

43. Group in a hit 2002 film with "divine secrets" : YA-YA SISTERHOOD
The 2002 film "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" was a screen adaptation of the successful novel of the same name by Rebecca Wells. The Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a secret order created by four little girls from Louisiana, all of whom get together in later life to reassure a potential bride of the wonders of marriage and love.

Antz47. Animated 1998 film set in Central Park : ANTZ
"Antz" was the first feature movie released by Dreamworks SKG, the studio founded by Steven Spielberg and two partners in 1994. "Antz" came out in 1998, and has a stellar cast that includes Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Gene Hackman and many, many other big names. The cartoon is quite unique in that the facial features of the voice actors are reflected in the animated characters.

49. Lex Luthor, to Superman : ENEMY
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. For example, 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.

56. Liquor-soaked cake : BABA AU RHUM
Baba au rhum is the French name for what we usually call rum baba.

Rum baba is a small yeast cake saturated in rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream. The rum baba recipe is derived from the recipe for the tall "babka" yeast cake that was introduced to the world by the Polish communities. The word "baba", and "babka", mean "old woman" or "grandmother" in English. I guess someone must have thought that all grandmothers were saturated in rum!

59. "Mares eat oats and ___ eat oats" : DOES
"Mairzy Doats" is a nonsense song that was first recorded in 1944, and was popular here at home but also with military personnel serving overseas. The first line of the song seems to be nonsensical "Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey". Later in the song there is a line explaining that with a slight change in pronunciation one gets "Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy."

60. Sashimi fish : OPAH
Opah is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I've seen one in the Monterrey Aquarium. It was huge ...

''Carol Heiss autographed Sports Illustrated Magazine (Figure Skating, Olympics)''64. Five-time world champion figure skater Carol : HEISS
Carol Heiss was a very successful American figure skater, winning five World Championships and an Olympic gold in 1960. Heiss was the first female skater to land a double axel jump.

7. Conniptions : FITS
A conniption, or more commonly a conniption fit, is a bout of violent anger or panic.

EVA LONGORIA 8x10 Photo Signed In-Person8. Actress Longoria : EVA
Eva Longoria is a fashion model and an actress with a regular role on "Desperate Housewives", playing Gabrielle Solis.

10. Start of the musical scale : DO RE MI
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti. The solfa scale was developed from a six-note ascending scale created by Guido of Arezzo in the 11th century. He used the first verse of a Latin hymn to name the syllables of the scale:
Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.
The "ut" in this scale was changed to "do", as it was a more "open ended" sound, and "si" was added (the initials of "Sancte Iohannes") to complete the seven-note scale. Later again, "si" was changed to "ti" so that each syllable began with a unique letter.

The Devil Wears Prada (Full Screen Edition)11. Fashion style-setter Wintour : ANNA
Anna Wintour is fashion editor in Britain, and is also the editor-in-chief of American "Vogue". Lauren Weisberger wrote the book "The Devil Wears Prada", with the tyrannical main character apparently based on Wintour.

12. Fashion designer Christian : DIOR
Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942, and for the duration of the war designed clothes for the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped reestablish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

13. No. on a periodic table : AT WT
The Atomic Weight of an element is the mass of one atom of the element, relative to the mass of an atom of carbon (which is assumed to have an atomic weight of 12).

19. "___ Night" (Christmas carol) : O HOLY
"O Holy Night" was the second piece of music ever to be broadcast on radio. The Canadian-American inventor Reginald Feesenden made what is thought to be the first AM radio broadcast on Christmas Eve 1906. He included some music, starting with a piece by Handel, followed by "O Holy Night" played on the violin.

21. Take to a pawnshop : HOCK
The term "in hock" is an American invention. Back in the mid-19th century it meant both "in debt" and "in prison". The work "hock" came from the Dutch "hok" meaning "jail".

25. Automaker Ransom Eli : OLDS
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom E. Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan.

LIFE The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton27. Westminster ___ : ABBEY
The correct name for the Gothic church we know as Westminster Abbey is the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster. The Abbey is a favored location for coronations and royal weddings and burials. The last royal wedding in the Abbey was the marriage of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson in 1986, and the next planned wedding is between Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011.

Malta National Country Flag - 3 foot by 5 foot Polyester (New)28. Its coat of arms has a cross, but no falcon : MALTA
The "falcon" reference in this clue is the Dashiell Hammett novel "The Maltese Falcon".

The island of Malta is relatively small, but with a large population, making it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta's strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire, and was an important fleet headquarters for Britain. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta its independence in 1964.

30. Eye: Prefix : OCULO-
The Latin word for eye is "oculus".

31. Neck-to-waist area : TORSO
"Torso" is an Italian word meaning the "trunk of a statue", that we imported into English.

35. Bit of wampum : BEAD
Wampum are sacred shell beads of North American tribes in the Eastern United States. The early European colonists often used wampum as a trading device with the native peoples.

39. Highfalutin : LAH-DI-DAH
The expression "high falutin'" dates back to the mid-1800s. some suggest that it may be a mutation from "high flying", as high falutin' of course means "haughty" or "pretentious".

Definitive Collection41. Country singer Tucker : TANYA
Country singer Tanya Tucker's first hit was "Delta Dawn" in 1972, which she recorded at only 13 years of age.

42. ___ Rabbit : BR'ER
Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. His stories are adaptations of African American folk tales that he collected across the American South. The "Br'er" of course stands for "brother".

Blue & White Yamaha Motorcycles Logo Belt Buckle44. Kawasaki competitor : YAMAHA
The Japanese company Yamaha, started out way back in 1888 as a manufacturer of piano and reed organs. Even though the company has diversified since then, Yamaha's logo still reflects it musical roots. Even on Yamaha motorcycles you can see a logo made up of three intersecting tuning forks.

46. One of four singing brothers of the 1950s : ED AMES
Mingo was a Native American character in the TV show "Daniel Boone", played by Ed Ames (opposite Fess Parker). Ames was also a popular singer in the fifties, one of "The Ames Brothers".

50. California wine valley : NAPA
Apparently the name "Napa" comes from the Native American Patwin word "napo" meaning house.

Abba Eban Israeli diplomat Judaica Signed Photo .51. Nonmusical Abba : EBAN
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town. While working at the United Nations after WWII he changed his name to "Abba", the Hebrew word for "father", reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

AFTER THE THIN MAN 11X14 B&W PHOTO53. Nick's partner in "The Thin Man" : NORA
High on the list of my favorite movies of all time is "The Thin Man" series starring William Powell and the incredibly attractive Myrna Loy. Powell and Loy played the characters Nick and Nora.

55. Job conditions agcy. : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector. OSHA regulates just one government agency, the US Postal Service.

58. ___ v. Wade : ROE
Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman's constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state's interest in protecting an unborn child, and a mother's health. The Court further defined that the state's interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester, the woman's right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester, the state's interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester, the viability of the fetus dictated that the state's interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother's life was in danger. I'm no lawyer, but that's my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision ...

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Out of one's gourd : GAGA
5. Send somewhere else : REFER
10. Father, to a baby : DADA
14. Wilson of "Starsky & Hutch," 2004 : OWEN
15. ___ and kicking : ALIVE
16. Words after step or sleep : ON IT
17. Suspicious : WARY
18. "Till next time!" : TATA FOR NOW
20. Nubile maidens : NYMPHETS
22. Valentine symbol : HEART
23. Rich supply of ore : LODE
24. When doubled, a Mazda catchphrase : ZOOM
26. "Heavyweight" of 1960s folk/pop : MAMA CASS ELLIOT
32. Taken ___ (surprised) : ABACK
33. Gent's partner : LADY
34. What corn kernels attach to : COB
36. Up to the job : ABLE
37. Prisons : JAILS
39. What catnip is to a cat : LURE
40. Citi Field player : MET
41. Four years, for a president : TERM
42. Buoyant wood sometimes used in rafts : BALSA
43. Group in a hit 2002 film with "divine secrets" : YA-YA SISTERHOOD
47. Animated 1998 film set in Central Park : ANTZ
48. Fingered, for short : IDED
49. Lex Luthor, to Superman : ENEMY
52. Rip open : TEAR INTO
56. Liquor-soaked cake : BABA AU RHUM
59. "Mares eat oats and ___ eat oats" : DOES
60. Sashimi fish : OPAH
61. Flip out : GO APE
62. Bridge shape : ARCH
63. Grandmother, affectionately : NANA
64. Five-time world champion figure skater Carol : HEISS
65. "Funny strange or funny ___?" : HA-HA

1. Wedding dress, e.g. : GOWN
2. Not at home : AWAY
3. It may be what ails you : GERM
4. Wherever you like : ANY PLACE
5. First-class : RATED A
6. Makes very, very happy : ELATES
7. Conniptions : FITS
8. Actress Longoria : EVA
9. Official in a striped shirt : REF
10. Start of the musical scale : DO RE MI
11. Fashion style-setter Wintour : ANNA
12. Fashion designer Christian : DIOR
13. No. on a periodic table : AT WT
19. "___ Night" (Christmas carol) : O HOLY
21. Take to a pawnshop : HOCK
24. Ardor : ZEAL
25. Automaker Ransom Eli : OLDS
26. Sir's counterpart : MA'AM
27. Westminster ___ : ABBEY
28. Its coat of arms has a cross, but no falcon : MALTA
29. Successfully diets : SLIMS
30. Eye: Prefix : OCULO-
31. Neck-to-waist area : TORSO
35. Bit of wampum : BEAD
37. Pull one's leg : JEST
38. Phoenix's home: Abbr. : ARIZ
39. Highfalutin : LAH-DI-DAH
41. Country singer Tucker : TANYA
42. ___ Rabbit : BR'ER
44. Kawasaki competitor : YAMAHA
45. Gridlocks : TIE UPS
46. One of four singing brothers of the 1950s : ED AMES
49. Dark black : EBON
50. California wine valley : NAPA
51. Nonmusical Abba : EBAN
52. Bangkok citizen : THAI
53. Nick's partner in "The Thin Man" : NORA
54. Word after Georgia or Virginia in school names : TECH
55. Job conditions agcy. : OSHA
57. "Blech!" : UGH
58. ___ v. Wade : ROE

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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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