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0301-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Mar 11, Tuesday

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: SPOT OF TEA ... all the theme answers feature the letters TEA together:

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Dollars (Welcome Books)9. Lots and lots : SCADS
The origin of the word "scads", meaning "lots and lots", is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s, scads was used to mean "dollars".

14. Indian housemaid : AMAH
"Amah" is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture, and yet it actually comes from the Portuguese "ama" meaning "nurse". Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when it was used to describe a wet-nurse, an amah.

15. Hefty volume : TOME
Tome first came into English from the Latin "tomus" which means "section of a book". The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century "tome" had come to mean "a large book".

16. Women's area in a palace : HAREM
"Harem" is a Turkish word, derived from an Arabic word meaning "forbidden place". Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.

Apollo 15 James Irwin at Lunar Rover w/ LEM 8x10 Silver Halide Photo Print17. LEM maker : NASA
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named "Spider", and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called "Snoopy", and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11's LEM was of course called "Eagle", and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon's surface.

20. Church's percentage : TITHE
A tithe is traditional payment of one tenth of one's annual income often given to one's church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults actually donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

22. Silk-producing region of India : ASSAM
Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea, as well as its silk.

Eddie Albert Eva Gabor Green Acres 8x10 Photo23. Jed Clampett's find on "The Beverly Hillbillies" : OIL
"The Beverly Hillbillies" was a rags-to-riches sitcom that aired from 1962 to 1971, a creation of writer Paul Henning. Buoyed by the success of "Hillbillies", Henning created another sitcom in 1965, one that was a complete opposite in terms of plot, the riches-to-rags story of "Green Acres".

Fred and Adele Astaire, when children, full-length portrait in costume, facing right / White, N.Y. p28. Fred's dancing sister : ADELE
As you may well know, Fred Astaire's real name is Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister, Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

30. Act the pawnbroker : LEND
I remember the bad old days growing up in Dublin, Ireland, when my mother had to go to the pawn shop (I hope she doesn't read this!). I'd wait outside with my brother, looking up at the pawnbroker's sign, three gold balls hanging down from a metal bar. This traditional sign used by pawnbrokers is said to date back to the Medici family as the sign had symbolic meaning in the province of Lombardy where the Medici family reigned supreme. Because of this connection, pawn shop banking was originally called Lombard banking.

38. Nautical "Stop!" : AVAST
Avast is a nautical term, used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch "hou vast" meaning "hold fast".

Photos of My Irish Wolfhound Photo Album42. Greyhound, e.g. : BUS
Speaking as someone who lived much of my life outside of the US, I have to say that the Greyhound bus is real symbol of America, famous from so many old movies. In Ireland the official provincial bus service "stole" the famous logo that gracefully adorns the sides of these buses, and uses an Irish Wolfhound in place of the iconic greyhound.

44. Cousin of an emu : RHEA
Rheas are native to South America, and named after Rhea from Greek mythology, one of the Titans and "the mother of the gods".

Palmetto Egret Art Print Poster by Steve Hunziker46. Plumed wader : EGRET
At one time the egret was in danger of extinction as it was hunted for its feathers, which were used as plumes in hats.

51. Kimono accessory : OBI
An obi is a sash worn in some forma of dress in Japan, both by men and women, although the styles for women tend to be more ornate.

54. "___ on parle français" : ICI
Here (ici) one speaks French.

RCA ANT121 Indoor Antenna58. Old TV antenna : RABBIT EARS
Remember the television antenna called a "rabbit ears"? I don't recall being told this when I was younger, but to get the best reception the length of the "ears" needs to be set at about one half of the wavelength of the signal for the channel to picked up. If only I had known ...

64. Allot, with "out" : METE
To "mete out" is to distribute by allotments. The verb comes from the Old English word "metan" meaning "to measure", likely to be the same root as our word "meter".

66. Garbage hauler : SCOW
A scow is that flat-bottomed boat with squared off ends that's often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

67. Mouth off to : SASS
"Sass", meaning "impudence", is a back formation from the word "sassy". "Sassy" is an alteration of the word "saucy" that first appeared in English in the 1830s.

Manta Ray Ocean Sea Life Animal Wildlife Picture Art Print1. Powerful ray : MANTA
The manta ray is the largest species of ray, with the largest one recorded as over 25 feet across and weighing 5,100 pounds.

Samsung T369 Prepaid Phone (T-Mobile)2. iPhone capability : EMAIL
Apple started selling the iPhone at 6 pm local time on June 29, 2007, with hundreds of customers lined up outside stores all over the world. Not me. I use a pay-as-you-go phone from T-Mobile, that cost me less than $45 for the whole of last year for calls and text (including many to Ireland)  ...

4. Deposed Iranian ruler : SHAH
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown by the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

8. Income statement figure : NET SALES
Gross sales is the total value of all goods or services sold in a period. Net sales is the same number, reduced by the amount of credits given for goods returned for refunds and perhaps any discounts that have been given beyond a reduced sales price.

9. Tribal healer : SHAMAN
A shaman is a supposed intermediary between the human world and the spirit world.

10. Pokey : CAN
"The pokey, poky" is a slang term for prison, possibly a corruption of "pogie", a term for a "poorhouse".

11. Most common inert gas in the atmosphere : ARGON
Air is mainly composed of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%) and argon (1%). We hear a lot about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It makes up (or should make up!) about 0.04%.

12. Places to get Reubens : DELIS
There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, a German-Jew who owned Reuben's Deli in New York.

13. Remove impurities from : SMELT
Metal is present in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, it is heated and the oxides reduced (the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting.

A&E Biography - Tennessee Williams: Wounded Genius [VHS]29. Tennessee Williams "streetcar" : DESIRE
Desire is the name of a neighborhood in New Orleans, a destination for a streetcar line. The name "Desire" appears on the front of streetcars bound for that neighborhood, hence the title, "A Streetcar Named Desire".

31. Skedaddle : 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.

"Skedaddle " is a slang term meaning "run away" that dates back to the Civil War.

Mikasa Antique White 7-Piece Tea Set35. 4 p.m. British refreshment ... or what can be found in 18-, 25-, 47- and 58-Across and 3-Down? : SPOT OF TEA
The reference here is to the oft-quoted English phrase "a spot of tea". I've only ever heard that said in jest mind you ...

36. International writers' org. with appropriate initials : PEN
The worldwide association of writers was founded in London in 1921, and is now called International PEN. The acronym PEN originally stood for Poets, Essayists and Novelists, but that meaning has been dropped as the association now includes writers in other fields e.g. journalists and historians. It is the oldest international writers organization and, as it fights for writers who are harassed for voicing their views. it is also the world's oldest human rights group.

Tin Sign John Wayne - Man's Gotta Do42. Special Forces cap : BERET
The US Army Special Forces are known as the Green Berets because they wear ... green berets. The Green Beret is also worn by the Royal Marines of the British Army. When US Army Rangers and OSS operatives were trained by the Royal Marines in Scotland during WWII, graduates of the gruelling training program were awarded green berets by their British instructors. The US soldiers, although proud of their new headgear, were not allowed to wear it as part of their uniform and had to wait until 1961 when President Kennedy authorized the green beret for exclusive use by US Special Forces.

First Sunday in April: The Masters: A Collection of Stories and Insights from Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Rick Reilly, Ken Venturi, Jack Nicklaus, ... About the Quest for the Famed Green Jacket43. Masters org. : PGA
Golf's Masters Tournament is the first of the four major championships in the annual calendar, taking place in the first week of April each year. It is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and has a number of traditions. One is that the winner is awarded the famous "green jacket", but he only gets to keep it for a year and must return it to the club after twelve months.

47. Turkish money : LIRAS
The name "lira" is used in a number of countries for currency. It comes from the Latin word for a pound, and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. The Turkish lira has been around since the mid 1870s.

49. Neighbor of the fibula : TIBIA
The tibia is larger of the two bones below the knee, and is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. "Tibia" is the Roman name for a Greek flute called an "aulos". It is thought that the shin bone was given the name "tibia" because often flutes were fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

Black Moses50. Hayes or Newton : ISAAC
Isaac Hayes was a soul singer and songwriter. Hayes wrote the score for the 1971 film "Shaft", and the enduring "Theme from 'Shaft'" won him an Academy Award in 1972.

World History Biographies: Isaac Newton: The Scientist Who Changed Everything (National Geographic World History Biographies)Isaac Newton was of course one of most influential people in history, the man who laid the groundwork for all of classical mechanics. The story about an apple falling on his head, inspiring him to formulate his theories about gravity, well that's not quite true. It probably didn't hit him on the head, but Newton himself often told the story about observing an apple falling in his mother's garden and how this made him acutely aware of the Earth's gravitational pull.

53. Cays : ISLES
A key is a low island offshore, also known as a cay (as in the Florida Keys). Our term in English comes from the Spanish "cayo" meaning "shoal, reef".

59. Gridder Roethlisberger : BEN
Ben Roethlisberger is an NFL quarterback, playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has the nickname "Big Ben", and even has own line of barbecue sauce you might want to check out, "Big Ben's BBQ".

60. Use a Singer : SEW
Isaac Singer was not only an inventor, but also an actor. For much of his life, profits made from his inventions supported him while he pursued his acting career. Singer didn't actually invent the sewing machine, and never claimed to have done so. What he did do though, was invent a version of the machine that was practical and easily used in the home.

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Kitty cries : MEWS
5. Architect's handiwork : PLAN
9. Lots and lots : SCADS
14. Indian housemaid : AMAH
15. Hefty volume : TOME
16. Women's area in a palace : HAREM
17. LEM maker : NASA
18. It measures less than 90º : ACUTE ANGLE
20. Church's percentage : TITHE
22. Silk-producing region of India : ASSAM
23. Jed Clampett's find on "The Beverly Hillbillies" : OIL
24. Stein filler : ALE
25. Say "nay" to : VOTE AGAINST
28. Fred's dancing sister : ADELE
30. Act the pawnbroker : LEND
31. Cheapest in a line : LOW END
33. Part of r.p.m. : PER
34. Lay eyes on : ESPY
38. Nautical "Stop!" : AVAST
39. Milk amts. : QTS
40. Tartar sauce morsel : CAPER
41. "Please?" : MAY I
42. Greyhound, e.g. : BUS
43. Hoaxes : PUT-ONS
44. Cousin of an emu : RHEA
46. Plumed wader : EGRET
47. One who was detained, maybe : LATE ARRIVAL
51. Kimono accessory : OBI
54. "___ on parle français" : ICI
55. Feature of many a greeting card : VERSE
56. Keepers of jewels : SAFES
58. Old TV antenna : RABBIT EARS
61. "___ be a cold day in ..." : IT'LL
62. Little green man? : ALIEN
63. Do some high-tech surgery on : LASE
64. Allot, with "out" : METE
65. Some teen talk : SLANG
66. Garbage hauler : SCOW
67. Mouth off to : SASS

1. Powerful ray : MANTA
2. iPhone capability : EMAIL
3. Shrivel to nothing : WASTE AWAY
4. Deposed Iranian ruler : SHAH
5. Bake sale org. : PTA
6. Track down : LOCATE
7. Tickle pink : AMUSE
8. Income statement figure : NET SALES
9. Tribal healer : SHAMAN
10. Pokey : CAN
11. Most common inert gas in the atmosphere : ARGON
12. Places to get Reubens : DELIS
13. Remove impurities from : SMELT
19. Raring to go : EAGER
21. Part of a meet : EVENT
26. Long in the tooth : OLD
27. Cook up, so to speak : IDEATE
29. Tennessee Williams "streetcar" : DESIRE
31. Skedaddle : LAM
32. Lab eggs : OVA
33. Milk amts. : PTS
35. 4 p.m. British refreshment ... or what can be found in 18-, 25-, 47- and 58-Across and 3-Down? : SPOT OF TEA
36. International writers' org. with appropriate initials : PEN
37. Soph. and jr. : YRS
39. Heated exchanges : QUARRELS
40. Biceps-strengthening exercises : CURLS
42. Special Forces cap : BERET
43. Masters org. : PGA
45. In possession of : HAVING
46. To a great extent : EVER SO
47. Turkish money : LIRAS
48. "Can't talk now ... I'm expecting ___" : A CALL
49. Neighbor of the fibula : TIBIA
50. Hayes or Newton : ISAAC
52. Sings out loudly : BELTS
53. Cays : ISLES
57. Aligns the crosshairs : AIMS
59. Gridder Roethlisberger : BEN
60. Use a Singer : SEW

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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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