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0321-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Mar 11, Monday

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: Patrick Blindauer & Steve Salitan
THEME: Absolutely! ... all the theme answers are another way to say "Absolutley!"
17A. "Absolutely!" : YOU BETCHA
34A. "Absolutely!" : RIGHT ON, BROTHER
41A. "Absolutely!" : AIN'T IT THE TRUTH
55A. "Absolutely!" : DARN TOOTIN'

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
The Lost Rolling Stones Photographs: The Bob Bonis Archive, 1964-19661. The Stones' "Sticky Fingers" and "Tattoo You," e.g. : LPS
Even though Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been the driving force behind the Rolling Stones for decades, they didn't start the group. The band was the idea of guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, and it was he who invited Richards and Jagger to join, as well as Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts making an original lineup of six. Jones called the band "Rollin' Stone" back then in 1962, named for the song by Muddy Waters. Jones was the leader, manager and decision maker for the first few years until songs written by Richards and Jagger became hits and he started to lose artistic control. In 1967, Jones was arrested for drug possession, and again in 1968. When his trouble with the law prevented him from getting a US work visa, Jones wasn't able to accompany the Stones on a 1969 US tour. That was the last straw, it seems, and Jones and the Stones parted company. Famously, one month later, Jones was found dead, at the bottom of his swimming pool.

14. Tolkien monster : ORC
According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth. They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

Martin and Lewis Colgate Comedy Hour 16 Classic Episodes (4 DVDs)16. Dean Martin's "That's ___" : AMORE
"That's Amore" is a pop standard written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks in 1952. It became the signature song for Dean Martin after he sang it (with some help from Jerry Lewis) in the 1953 comedy "The Caddy".

ABBA 16X20 PHOTO20. "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" group : ABBA
I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA's music. ABBA was of course the Swedish group that topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed using the first letters of the given names of each of the band members, namely: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.

25. Winter Autobahn hazard : EIS
"Eis" is the German word for "ice".

Lady Gaga Poster Telephone Hat Photo Poker Face RS517226. "Born This Way" singer Lady ___ : GAGA
I've seen Lady Gaga interviewed on television a few times, and she sure is "unique". Her music is of course out of my league, but she does know how to put on a show.

39. Luau instrument, informally : UKE
The ukulele originated in the 1800s, and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

46. Marc who loved Cleopatra : ANTONY
Marc Antony rose to power in Ancient Rome as the very loyal friend of Julius Caesar. Before he was assassinated, Caesar was the lover of Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt, and they had a child together. After Caesar's death, Antony maintained a strong political alliance with Cleopatra, and in time the two became lovers. Antony and Cleopatra sided against Julius Caesar's legal heir (later to be known as Augustus), leading to the Final War of the Roman Republic. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated at the Battle of Actium, and soon after the lovers committed suicide. Antony stabbed himself with his sword, and Cleopatra used a venomous asp.

47. Mark meaning "no change" : STET
"Stet" is the Latin word meaning "let it stand". In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word "stet" beside the change and then underscoring the change with a line of dots (or dashes).

50. Enya's kind of music : NEW AGE
The New Age Movement is a western philosophy with roots back to the early 1800s. The movement focuses on achieving the highest human potential as an individual and embraces many traditionally eastern spiritual practices, but eschews all religious doctrines. New Age music is composed with the intent of supporting this philosophy. It tends to be very minimalistic, very tonal and harmonic. It is often used as a backdrop for relaxation or meditation.

ENYA 20X24 COLOR PHOTOEnya's real name is Eithne Patricia Ni Braonain, which can translate from the Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. Personally, I don't like her music as it all sounds the same to me, but she sure does turn up in crosswords a lot!

62. ___ patch (Uncle Remus setting) : BRIAR
Uncle Remus is the fictional narrator who was chosen by Joel Chandler Harris to tell his collection of African American folktales.

People Weekly September 11, 1989 Leona Helmsley, John Waters, Willie Dixon, Johnny Depp65. Helmsley who had hotels : LEONA
Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes ..."

66. Month when Chile is far from chilly : ENERO
Enero is Spanish for January.

69. Impertinent : SASSY
"Sassy" is an alteration of the word "saucy" that first appeared in English in the 1830s.

70. Word before a maiden name in wedding announcements : NEE
"Née" is the French word for "born", when referring to a female. The male equivalent is "né"

1. True-blue : LOYAL
The use of "true blue" to mean loyal and constant has been around since the days of Chaucer, but no one seems to know its etymology.

Leisure Pro Scuba Tank, K Valve, 80 cu ft, Aluminum, 3000 psi3. Diver's gear : SCUBA
The SCUBA tank was of course invented by the underwater adventurer Jacques Cousteau.

Jacques Cousteau: The Sea KingJacques-Yves Cousteau started off his career in the French Navy, heading towards a working life in aviation. Because of a car accident, he had to abandon his first career choice and instead went to sea. Famously, he invented the aqualung (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus - SCUBA), and is known as the father of SCUBA diving.

5. Lose the game : GET BEAT
Oh, I would much prefer to hear "get beaten", or better still "lose", but then I used to "get beaten" when I was at school for the incorrect use of grammar! But believe me I have learned that just because it's not the way I was taught, it doesn't mean it's wrong ...

6. Frilly, as lingerie : LACY
"Lingerie" is a French term, but as used in France it just means any underwear, for males and females. We tend to use it to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term "lingerie" comes from the French for the word "wash", so lingerie might be translated as "washables". We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like "lan-zher-ee", as opposed to "lon-zher-ay" (American) and "lon-zher-ee" (British).

7. Org. concerned with workplace injuries : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector, and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

10. French girlfriend : AMIE
A male friend in France is "un ami", and a female friend is "une amie".

Adult Unisex Toga Party Greek Halloween Costume11. Festive "Animal House" wrap : TOGA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made of linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made of wool. The toga could only be worn by men (the female equivalent was called a "stola") and only if they were Roman citizens.

Wilton 3 Inch Green Metal Shamrock Cookie Cutter12. St. Paddy's land : ERIN
Erin is an anglicized version of "Eirinn", the Irish word for Ireland, with "Eirinn" being the dative case of "Eire".

There is a fair amount known about St. Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. He lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. He managed to escape and return home where he studied and entered the Church. He returned to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th, although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

Cincinnati Reds - Logo Decal - Sticker MLB Pro Baseball13. Cincinnati squad : REDS
The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with "Reds".

22. When doubled, cry before "pants on fire" : LIAR
The full rhyme used by children to deride someone not telling the truth is:
"Liar, liar, pants on fire,
Hang them up on the telephone wire."

27. Joint woe that afflicted Benjamin Franklin : GOUT
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. If the same crystals are deposited in the kidney, then we call them kidney stones.

Benjamin Franklin: An American LifeBenjamin Franklin was one of the more famous people noted for suffering gout. In 1776, Franklin was named as one of five members of a committee responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence. Because his gout was playing up, Franklin was unable to attend many of the committee's meetings, although he did make a few changes to a draft of the Declaration sent to him by Thomas Jefferson.

Egyptian Ankh Pendant Collectible Egypt Jewelry Accessory Necklace Art28. Egyptian crosses : ANKHS
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for "eternal life". The ankh wasn't just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world).

30. "___, Brute?" : ET TU
Shakespeare used the words "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?) in his play "Julius Caesar", but the phrase was around long before he penned his drama. It's not known what Julius Caesar's actual last words were.

Men's Star Trek The Next Generation Male Deluxe Klingon, Multi, X-Large32. John who once co-hosted "Entertainment Tonight" : TESH
John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show "Entertainment Tonight". For "ET" he once covered the filming of an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation". As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior and so if you see the "Star Trek: TNG" episode called "The Icarus Factor" in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.

35. "Freedom ___ free" : ISN'T
"Freedom isn't free" is an idiom that expresses the sentiment that freedom only comes with the sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform.

44. They're worth twice as much as fins : TENNERS
Five-dollar bills are called "fins", a term that dates back to the twenties when it came into English from the Yiddish word "finif" meaning "five".

52. Like the eastern part of Russia : ASIAN
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

Adult Arabian Dancer Costume, Ladies Standard (Up to Dress size 12)53. Spirit in a bottle : GENIE
The "genie" in the bottle takes his or her name from "djinn". "Djinns" were various spirits considered lesser than angels, and people who exhibit unsavory characteristics could be said to be possessed by djinn. When the book "The Thousand and One Nights" was translated into French, the word "djinn" was transformed into the existing word "génie", because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This "génie" from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived "genie". The Latin "genius" was a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that translation the word genie has come to mean the "djinn" that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Astronaut Crew 11x14 Silver Halide Photo Print54. "The ___ has landed" : EAGLE
We always seem to remember the phrase "The Eagle has landed", historic words spoken by Neil Armstrong when he put down Apollo 11's Lunar Excursion Module on the surface of the moon. Looking back I have to say that the words preceding "The Eagle has landed" seem to have even more impact. During the descent to the moon's surface Armstrong used the call sign "Eagle", indicating that he was communicating from the LEM. After he killed the engines on touching down, Armstrong's first words home to Earth were "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." That switch of call sign from "Eagle" to "Tranquility Base" always sends shivers down my spine.

58. When repeated, a classic sitcom sign-off : NANU
"Mork & Mindy" was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were first introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams, of course) in a special episode of "Happy Days". The particular episode in question has a bizarre storyline culminating in Fonzie and Mork having a thumb-to-finger duel. Eventually Richie wakes up in bed, and alien Mork was just part of a dream! Oh, and "Nanu Nanu" means "hello" back on the planet Ork. "I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu". Great stuff ...

59. Bluefin, e.g. : TUNA
Bluefin tuna is one of those species (actually there are three species of bluefin) that has been over-fished, and is no longer found in some parts of the world.

64. Tinker with, with "with" : TOY
I do love some quirky wording in a clue!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. The Stones' "Sticky Fingers" and "Tattoo You," e.g. : LPS
4. Like lit lanterns : AGLOW
9. H2O : WATER
14. Tolkien monster : ORC
15. Dog strap : LEASH
16. Dean Martin's "That's ___" : AMORE
17. "Absolutely!" : YOU BETCHA
19. Stiff : RIGID
20. "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" group : ABBA
21. "Absolutely!" : BY ALL MEANS
23. The "L" in N.L. or A.L. : LEAGUE
25. Winter Autobahn hazard : EIS
26. "Born This Way" singer Lady ___ : GAGA
29. Some global treaty subjects, informally : A-TESTS
34. "Absolutely!" : RIGHT ON, BROTHER
38. Spanish for "kiss" : BESO
39. Luau instrument, informally : UKE
40. Chuck : TOSS
41. "Absolutely!" : AIN'T IT THE TRUTH
46. Marc who loved Cleopatra : ANTONY
47. Mark meaning "no change" : STET
48. Smartphone download, briefly : APP
50. Enya's kind of music : NEW AGE
55. "Absolutely!" : DARN TOOTIN'
61. Offshore : ASEA
62. ___ patch (Uncle Remus setting) : BRIAR
63. "Absolutely!" : SURE THING
65. Helmsley who had hotels : LEONA
66. Month when Chile is far from chilly : ENERO
67. Feel under the weather : AIL
68. Stopped lying? : SAT UP
69. Impertinent : SASSY
70. Word before a maiden name in wedding announcements : NEE

1. True-blue : LOYAL
2. Exploratory spacecraft : PROBE
3. Diver's gear : SCUBA
4. Pub drink : ALE
5. Lose the game : GET BEAT
6. Frilly, as lingerie : LACY
7. Org. concerned with workplace injuries : OSHA
8. Blubber source : WHALE
9. Becomes more fond of : WARMS TO
10. French girlfriend : AMIE
11. Festive "Animal House" wrap : TOGA
12. St. Paddy's land : ERIN
13. Cincinnati squad : REDS
18. Baseball base : BAG
22. When doubled, cry before "pants on fire" : LIAR
24. "Gross!" : UGH
27. Joint woe that afflicted Benjamin Franklin : GOUT
28. Egyptian crosses : ANKHS
30. "___, Brute?" : ET TU
31. Amount in a whiskey glass : SHOT
32. John who once co-hosted "Entertainment Tonight" : TESH
33. Sophs., two years later : SRS
34. Bridle strap : REIN
35. "Freedom ___ free" : ISN'T
36. Attend, as a party : GO TO
37. Underground vegetable with edible greens : BEET
38. Ewe's plaint : BAA
42. Snared : IN A TRAP
43. Printing goof : TYPO
44. They're worth twice as much as fins : TENNERS
45. Hwy. : RTE
49. Does some modeling : POSES
51. Crib cry : WAH
52. Like the eastern part of Russia : ASIAN
53. Spirit in a bottle : GENIE
54. "The ___ has landed" : EAGLE
55. Two-base hits: Abbr. : DBLS
56. Vicinity : AREA
57. Bottle-throwing occasion : RIOT
58. When repeated, a classic sitcom sign-off : NANU
59. Bluefin, e.g. : TUNA
60. Angers : IRES
64. Tinker with, with "with" : TOY

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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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