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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

0311-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Mar 11, Friday





Quicklinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

CROSSWORD SETTER: Martin Ashwood-Smith
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 21m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin 11x14 Silver Halide Photo Print1. Cosmonaut's craft : SOYUZ
The Russian Soyuz space program started in the early sixties as part of a plan to land a cosmonaut on the moon. The Soyuz program is still alive and kicking, and derivatives of those early spacecraft designs from the sixties are regularly visiting the International Space Station. "Soyuz" is a Russian word meaning "union".

Signed Johnson, Lyndon B 8x10 B&W Photo19. Cabinet dept. since 1965 : HUD
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has its roots in the "Great Society" program of President Lyndon Johnson. HUD's mission is to address the housing needs of the citizenry at the national level. HUD can provide mortgage insurance to help people become homeowners and also provide rental subsidies to lower-income families. HUD also is responsible for enforcement of Federal Fair Housing laws.

25. Cows : SCARES
The verb "cow" means to intimidate, to scare. The exact etymology of the term seems unclear.

28. Designer's deg. : BFA
The degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts is designed for students intent on pursuing a career in the visual or performing arts.

39. Concentration for an English major : LITERARY STUDIES
Literary studies, also called literary criticism, is the evaluation and interpretation of literature.

41. Glamour types, for short : EDS
I'm not sure what "EDS" are in the context of "glamour" ... maybe editors of "Glamour" magazine?

42. Super ___ (1990s video game console) : NES
The acronym Super NES stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The kids probably have one somewhere ...

51. Colorado's ___ Mountain : VAIL
The Vail Ski Resort in Colorado is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the whole country. The resort was opened in 1962, basically in the middle of nowhere. It was given the name Vail after Vail Pass which runs by the mountain (now also called Vail Mountain). The town of Vail, Colorado was established four years later in 1966, and now has a population of about 5,000.

52. Food quality : SAPOR
"Sapor" is another word for a flavor, a quality that can be tasted. "Sapor" is the Latin word for "taste, flavor".

Adult Arabian Dancer Costume, Ladies Standard (Up to Dress size 12)54. Verdi's "___ giardin del bello" : NEI
"Nei giardin del bello" is an aria from Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Don Carlos". The aria is also called the "Song of the Veil", as it tells of a Moorish King who is enraptured by a veiled beauty before him, who turns out to be his wife that he has been neglecting.

56. They may keep you up : ANTIDEPRESSANTS
The top three antidepressants prescribed in the US (in 2007 anyway) are:
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)

61. Long-distance commuter's home, maybe : EXURB
As an extension to the term "suburb", an "exurb" is an area beyond the suburbs at the very outskirts of a city. Often the term exurb is used to denote an area inhabited by more wealthy people.

Down
1. What the narrator "threw up" in "The Night Before Christmas" : SASH
The poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line "'Twas the night before Christmas". Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clark Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr. a poet from Upstate New York.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash ...

Photo Frank Lefty O'Doul, New York AL baseball 19192. Baseball's Lefty : O'DOUL
Lefty O'Doul was from San Francisco. He owned a restaurant in the city that bears his name and which still operates today (near Union Square). There's a bridge near AT&T Park, the Giant's relatively new ball park, that's called Lefty O'Doul Bridge.

4. Columbarium object : URN
The term "columbarium" comes from the Latin "columba" meaning "dove", and originally was used for a structure that had small cages to house pigeons and doves. In modern parlance a columbarium is a place where funeral urns can be stored in perpetuity.

Globe and Mail5. Letter in the Globe and Mail : ZED
"The Globe and Mail" is a Canadian newspaper distributed nationwide. The paper is a descendant of "The Globe", a Toronto publication founded in 1844. "The Globe and Mail" had a significant redesign and relaunch in 2010, a step made necessary I suppose by the global migration to online news reporting.

6. Ben of Ben & Jerry's : COHEN
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield did a correspondence course on ice-cream making in 1977 given by Pennsylvania State University's Creamery. The following year they opened an ice cream parlor in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Today Ben & Jerry's has locations in over 20 countries around the world, and their's was the first brand ice-cream to go into space.

10. Onetime owner of Sheraton Hotels : ITT
The Sheraton Hotel chain was started by Ernest Henderson and Robert Moore in 1937. The pair bought a hotel that already had a lighted sign on its roof saying "Sheraton Hotel", and as it was too big and expensive to change, they decided to adopt the name for the whole chain.

Ginger Pye (Young Classic)14. Children's author Eleanor : ESTES
Eleanor Estes started writing children's books when she was bedridden, recovering from tuberculosis. By the time she died in 1988, she had written 20 books, including one novel for adults. Her most lauded title is "Ginger Pye" published in 1951.

1800's ARABIA ARABIC MOUNT SINAI MAP VINTAGE POSTER REPRO18. Egyptian expanse : THE SINAI DESERT
The Sinai Peninsula is the eastern part of Egypt, the triangular peninsula bounded by the Mediterranean to the north, and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egypt that lies in Asia as opposed to Africa. The eastern land border of the peninsula is shared with Israel, allowing Israel to occupy the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Six Day War of 1967.

23. Etiolate : WHITEN
One can etiolate a plant by preventing exposure to sunlight. Without light, the plant does not produce chlorophyll so the it is white instead of green. One example of a crop grown this way is asparagus. White asparagus shoots are highly prized in northern Europe, and command a hefty premium in price.

26. Hi-tech auto device : CARPUTER
I remember the days when I used to be able to fix my own car, and then along came carputers, computers installed in automobiles ...

29. ___ Pinto (Texas county or its seat) : PALO
The town of Palo Pinto was founded at the geographic center of Palo Pinto County when it was established in 1856. The community started to grow but was dealt a devastating blow when the railroad bypassed the town in 1880. Today Palo Pinto is one of the smaller towns in the county with a population of just over 400, but it is still the county seat.

LENA OLIN 16X20 COLOR PHOTO30. Lena of "Havana" : OLIN
Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, discovered by Ingmar Bergman. Her most famous performance was in "Chocolat" released in 2000, and then she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting actress in the TV show "Alias".

"Havana" is a movie starring Robert Redford and Lena Olin that is set in Cuba on the eve of the Cuban Revolution.

31. French novelist Pierre : LOTI
Pierre Loti was a French writer, and also an officer in the French Navy.

Note-Book of Anton Chekhov33. Daughter in "The Cherry Orchard" : ANYA
"The Cherry Orchard" was Anton Chekhov's last play. Chekhov wrote the play as a comedy, but when it was first staged in Moscow in 1904 it was directed as a tragedy!

34. Cain, e.g. : ELDEST
According to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, after Cain murdered his younger brother Abel he fled to the Land of Nod, located "east of Eden", which is the source for the title of John Steinbeck's celebrated novel "East of Eden".

Nair Hair Removal Kit, Microwave Wax for Legs, Body, and Bikini Area, Fresh Peach Melon (Pack of 2)35. Shaving alternative : NAIR
Nair is a hair removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide ("slake lime") and sodium hydroxide ("caustic soda"). The balance of the ingredients seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name "Nair" probably comes from combining "no" and "hair".

43. Sailor's stopper : 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".

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Dry Mix, Original Buttermilk, 0.4-Ounce Packets (Pack of 24)44. Russian alternative : RANCH
Ranch dressing has been the best selling salad dressing in the country since 1992. The recipe was developed in Alaska by Steve Henson, who introduced it in the fifties to the guests on his dude ranch, Hidden Valley Ranch in Northern California. His ranch dressing was so popular he opened a factory to produce packets of ranch seasoning that could be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk. Henson sold the brand for $8 million in 1972.

45. Bartlett, notably : CITER
"Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" is a famous reference work containing tons of quotations. Bartlett's was first issued in 1855, and as such is the longest-lived collection of quotations that we have available to us todqay. The book started as a private list of quotes gathered by John Bartlett who ran the University Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He kept the list as he was always being asked  by customers, "Who said ...?".

47. Part of a stage : APRON
The apron of a stage (if it has one) is that part which projects out into the audience.

48. Good earth : LOESS
Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. The word is German in origin and was first used to describe the silt along the Rhine Valley.

49. Boredom : ENNUI
Ennui is the French word for boredom, that we now readily use in English. It's one of the few French words we've imported that we haven't anglicized and actually pronounce "correctly".

50. Raison follower : D'ETRE
Raison d'etre is a French phrase, meaning "reason for existence".

The Best of Tom T. Hall: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection53. Tom T. Hall's "Mama Bake ___" : A PIE
"Mama Bake a Pie" is a song by country singer Tom T. Hall. Hall is sometimes called "The Storyteller" as his songs tend to have quite the narrative.

55. Novel ID : ISBN
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was invented by one Gordon Foster, who now is a professor at Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland. The code was originally developed for booksellers, so that they had a unique number (and now a bar code) for each publication.

DANIEL DAE KIM 8x10 Male Celebrity Photo Signed In-Person57. Daniel ___ Kim of "Lost" : DAE
Daniel Dae Kim is an American actor, famous for playing Jin-Soo Kwon on "Lost". He now plays one of the leads on the CBS remake of "Hawaii Five-O", portraying the character Chin Ho Kelly.

59. 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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cosmonaut's craft : SOYUZ
6. Runner, of a sort : CANDIDATE
15. Eat up : ADORE
16. Suggestions : OVERTONES
17. Signal withdrawal : SOUND THE RETREAT
19. Cabinet dept. since 1965 : HUD
20. Range rovers : HERDS
21. Mailing courtesy, briefly : SASE
22. Second-rate : LOW-RENT
25. Cows : SCARES
27. Bulls, e.g. : HES
28. Designer's deg. : BFA
29. Fields in which 6-Acrosses are found : POLITICAL ARENAS
38. Much to do : A LOT ON ONE'S PLATE
39. Concentration for an English major : LITERARY STUDIES
40. Close : ON INTIMATE TERMS
41. Glamour types, for short : EDS
42. Super ___ (1990s video game console) : NES
43. Game keeper : ARCADE
47. Tipped off : ALERTED
51. Colorado's ___ Mountain : VAIL
52. Food quality : SAPOR
54. Verdi's "___ giardin del bello" : NEI
56. They may keep you up : ANTIDEPRESSANTS
60. Outlines : SCENARIOS
61. Long-distance commuter's home, maybe : EXURB
62. Pretty good poker hand : THREE TENS
63. Superman, for one : ALIEN

Down
1. What the narrator "threw up" in "The Night Before Christmas" : SASH
2. Baseball's Lefty : O'DOUL
3. "Seriously?" : YOU DO?
4. Columbarium object : URN
5. Letter in the Globe and Mail : ZED
6. Ben of Ben & Jerry's : COHEN
7. Parry : AVERT
8. Square type : NERD
9. Hooks, of a sort : DRESS FASTENERS
10. Onetime owner of Sheraton Hotels : ITT
11. Backs : DORSA
12. Close, poetically : ANEAR
13. One likely to get men's attention : TEASE
14. Children's author Eleanor : ESTES
18. Egyptian expanse : THE SINAI DESERT
23. Etiolate : WHITEN
24. Made a comeback : RETORTED
26. Hi-tech auto device : CARPUTER
28. Hallowed : BLEST
29. ___ Pinto (Texas county or its seat) : PALO
30. Lena of "Havana" : OLIN
31. French novelist Pierre : LOTI
32. Bulblike bases of stems : CORMS
33. Daughter in "The Cherry Orchard" : ANYA
34. Cain, e.g. : ELDEST
35. Shaving alternative : NAIR
36. "Lemme ___!" : AT 'EM
37. Legis. period : SESS
43. Sailor's stopper : AVAST
44. Russian alternative : RANCH
45. Bartlett, notably : CITER
46. Slimming cut : A-LINE
47. Part of a stage : APRON
48. Good earth : LOESS
49. Boredom : ENNUI
50. Raison follower : D'ETRE
53. Tom T. Hall's "Mama Bake ___" : A PIE
55. Novel ID : ISBN
57. Daniel ___ Kim of "Lost" : DAE
58. Main : SEA
59. Rock's ___ Rose : AXL


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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 answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

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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