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0319-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Mar 11, Saturday

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


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Memoirs19. Pablo Neruda's "___ to Opposites" : ODES
Pablo Neruda was the pen name, and eventually the legal name, used by Chilean writer Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose the name as a homage to Czech poet Jan Neruda.

22. Naval inits. : HMS
HMS stands for Her Majesty's Ship, a prefix used in the navies of some monarchies, most notably the UK's Royal Navy.

24. Underweight delivery, maybe : RUNT
Back in 1500 a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s it was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed, and ultimately for the smallest and often sickest of a litter.

27. Resin used in varnishes : MASTIC
Mastic is a resin taken from the mastic tree. The resin can be dried then chewed like a gum. It is this characteristic that gave the tree its name, as the Greek verb "mastichein" means "to gnash the teeth". This is the same Greek root that gives us our word "masticate", meaning to chew.

Reversi38. Strategy game with disks : REVERSI
The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name Othello was chosen as nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

46. Rockling, e.g. : COD
Rocklings and cods are "cousins", families belonging to the same order of fish, the Gadiformes.

47. See 48-Down : AIR
(48. With 47-Across, it stopped flying to New York in 1979 : IRAN)
Iran Air inaugurated flights between Tehran and New York in 1971. When the US imposed an embargo on Iran in 1979, the last flight scheduled from Tehran to New York never made it to its destination, instead being diverted to Montreal in mid-flight.

50. Whence Romeo : VERONA
William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is set in Verona, a city in northern Italy.

52. Basilica di San Nicola locale : BARI
The Basilica of Saint Nicholas is in the city of Bari, in southern Italy. On the feast of Saint Nicholas, on December 6 each year, the clergy in the church lower a flask into the subterranean tomb containing holy relics that are reputed to exude myrrh, a resin. The myrrh is shipped all over the world and has been cited as the reason for several miracles.

55. Carmine's cousin : CLARET
Carmine is a bright red pigment produced from carminic acid extracted from crushed cochineal insects. Claret is a darker red color, named for the red wine produced in the Bordeaux region.

Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices 7)58. 1951 title role for Mario Lanza : CARUSO
"The Great Caruso" is a biopic released in 1951 that tells the life of the great tenor Enrico Caruso. The title role was played more than ably by Mario Lanza, and his performance helped lift the film to the top spot at the box office that year. Lanza had a very successful, but short career. He struggled with overeating and alcohol abuse, and died in 1959 at only 38 years of age.

59. To a very great degree : IN SPADES
The phrase "in spades" meaning "in abundance" dates back to the late twenties and probably comes from the game of bridge, in which spades are the highest-ranking suit.

Levy, Eugene Autographed/Hand Signed 8x10 Photo3. 2003 Grammy winner for "A Mighty Wind" : EUGENE LEVY
Eugene Levy is a Canadian actor. He is the only actor to have appeared in all seven "American Pie" movies (there are seven of them??!!). He plays the clueless but loving Dad.

7. It's white and wispy : CIRRUS
Cirrus clouds are those lovely wispy, white strands that are often called "mare's tail".

10. They're listed near clubs : BLTS
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

The club sandwich is a double-decker affair with three layers of bread and two layers of fillings. It has been around since the end of the 19th century, and some say it was invented at an exclusive gambling "club" in Saratoga Springs, New York.

21. Geologic succession : ERAS
Geologic time is divided into different units which are, starting from the longest:
- Supereons
- Eons
- Eras
- Periods
- Epochs
- Ages
So, supereons can be divided in eons, and eons divided into eras etc.

Bass and Treble clef heart Decal Sticker - Size:4.0 x 3.2 inches - Color:Black28. Pitch setter : CLEF
Clef is the French word for "key". In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave.

29. Spirit of the Caribbean : JAMAICA RUM
Rum was first distilled by slaves on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 1800s, with the tradition being that the very first production came from Barbados.

33. Abbr. associated with certain shortcuts : CTRL
The control key ...

47. ___ palm : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years as its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

49. Prepares for dragging : REVS
Back in the 18th century drag was slang for a wagon or buggy, vehicles "dragged" along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted drag as slang for a car. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to "drag racing". A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

Bea Arthur Autographed 8x10 Photo50. Bea Arthur's "Mame" role : VERA
Actress Bea Arthur's most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the "All in the Family" spin-off, "Maude", and as Dorothy Zbornak in "The Golden Girls". She also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of "Mame" in 1966.

56. "Knots Landing" actress ___ Park Lincoln : LAR
Lar Park Lincoln's real name is Laurie Jill Park. Her first big role was playing Linda Fairgate on "Knots Landing", a gig that lasted for five years.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Lead follower : SLEUTH
7. They make vehicles very volatile : CAR BOMBS
15. Item removed before showering : TOUPEE
16. "See!" : I TOLD YOU
17. Locations for many pipes : ORGANS
18. Where many people fall asleep at the wheel : REST STOP
19. Pablo Neruda's "___ to Opposites" : ODES
20. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 ..., e.g. : SERIES
22. Naval inits. : HMS
23. Reason to wear earplugs : DIN
24. Underweight delivery, maybe : RUNT
25. "Lemme ___!" : AT 'EM
27. Resin used in varnishes : MASTIC
29. Spout : JET
32. Keeps in order : POLICES
34. Away, in a way : ON LEAVE
36. Heads off : AVERTS
37. Borderline fare? : TEX MEX
38. Strategy game with disks : REVERSI
40. Unwilling to stay in line : DEFIANT
41. Shot : TRY
42. Used a knight stick on? : LANCED
44. It can be bought without money : TIME
45. Big ball : GALA
46. Rockling, e.g. : COD
47. See 48-Down : AIR
50. Whence Romeo : VERONA
52. Basilica di San Nicola locale : BARI
53. Cookware item with low sides : CREPE PAN
55. Carmine's cousin : CLARET
57. It's between 90 and 100 : A AVERAGE
58. 1951 title role for Mario Lanza : CARUSO
59. To a very great degree : IN SPADES
60. Shake : TREMOR

1. Distinguished oneself : STOOD APART
2. Act like the master of : LORD IT OVER
3. 2003 Grammy winner for "A Mighty Wind" : EUGENE LEVY
4. Dress ___ (look like) : UP AS
5. It may be hung on a board : TEN
6. BP competitor : HESS
7. It's white and wispy : CIRRUS
8. Depleted : ATE INTO
9. Optimistic : ROSE-TINTED
10. They're listed near clubs : BLTS
11. Shows no moderation, briefly : ODS
12. One often dispelled : MYTH
13. Business owner's delight : BOOM
14. More than noshes : SUPS
21. Geologic succession : ERAS
26. Plowing problem : MIRE
27. Item next to a phone : MESSAGE PAD
28. Pitch setter : CLEF
29. Spirit of the Caribbean : JAMAICA RUM
30. In yet a greater way : EVEN MORE SO
31. Something to paste in : TEXT EDITOR
33. Abbr. associated with certain shortcuts : CTRL
35. Tollbooth site : EXIT
39. Burning up : IN A RAGE
40. Certain disciplinarian : DEAN
43. Matchmaker's output? : CLONES
47. ___ palm : ACAI
48. With 47-Across, it stopped flying to New York in 1979 : IRAN
49. Prepares for dragging : REVS
50. Bea Arthur's "Mame" role : VERA
51. Thing pulled up in a bank: Abbr. : ACCT
52. Stripped : BARE
54. Bounce : PEP
56. "Knots Landing" actress ___ Park Lincoln : LAR

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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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