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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

0325-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 25 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: Mike Nothnagel
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 ... TREF (BREF), YERTLE (YERBLE)


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
18. R-rated, maybe : STEAMY
The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film-rating system is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

20. Digs for peanuts? : HOSTEL
"Digs" is short for "diggings" meaning "lodgings", but where "diggings" came from, no one seems to know for sure.

22. Not allowed on certain diets : TREF
According to Jewish dietary law, kosher food is "fit" to eat, and food that is not kosher is called treif (or tref).

Carrie Fisher Autographed Star Wars Princess Leia with Blaster Studio 8x10 Photo25. ___ drive (engine in "Star Wars") : ION
Ion drives featured in the "Star Wars" series of movies, but actually ion drives (or ion thrusters) aren't science fiction. Various space agencies have used them since the sixties. Ion drives produce very little thrust but they make very efficient use of the propellant. They are only work in space though, outside of any atmosphere.

Green Giant Costume Adult29. Green Giant bagful : PEAS
The Jolly Green Giant was introduced by Minnesota Valley Canning in 1925 to help sell the company's peas. He was named after one of the varieties of pea that the company sold, the "Green Giant". The Jolly Green Giant first appeared in a television commercial in 1953, walking through a valley with young boys running around at his feet. That first commercial proved to be so scary for younger viewers that it was immediately pulled off the air.

30. She "espied their tails side by side, / All hung on a tree to dry" : BO PEEP
The lines that are most commonly quoted for the rhyme about "Little Bo Peep" don't actually include the lines cited above:
Bo Peep Deluxe Child - Size: Child M(7-8)Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can't tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, And they'll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them.
But, there are actually four more verses, including this one:
It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.

31. Rush drummer/lyricist Neil : PEART
Rush is a Canadian rock band that has been around since 1968. The band has three members: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart.

Oreck XL 2000 Upright Commercial 8 lb Vacuum Hypo Filtration37. Hoover rival : ORECK
The Oreck Corporation was named after founder David Oreck, and makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The company started out selling vacuum cleaners by mail, a new concept in 1963. David Oreck appears regularly as a spokesman in the company's ads and infomercials.

Beer Keg College Graduation Cap38. It gets a new position upon graduation : TASSEL
Mortarboards, or square academic caps, are associated with school graduations all over the world, although traditions do differ. For example in Ireland (where I come from), mortarboards are only worn by female graduates.

41. Haw : GO LEFT
"Haw!" is a command given to a trained animal that is hauling something (like a horse or an ox). "Haw" is used to instruct the animal ti turn to the left. The equivalent command for a right turn is "Gee!"

42. Pier grp. : ILA
The International Longshoremen's Association.

45. Opponent of Luther during the Protestant Reformation : ECK
During the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries, as Martin Luther was attacking the policies of the Catholic Church, Johann Eck was one of the leading defenders of Catholicism. The two had public debates, with Luther generally coming out ahead.

Richard Gere Autographed Photo46. "Sommersby" star, 1993 : GERE
The 1993 romantic drama "Sommersby" stars Richard Gere and Jodie Foster. It's all about an imposter who returns after the Civil War and moves in with a woman while claiming to be her husband. The real husband returns, and things get very rancorous. I know it sounds implausible, but the storyline is based on true events that took place in France in the 1500s.

So Much In Love47. Group with the 1963 #1 hit "So Much in Love," with "the" : TYMES
The Tymes are a vocal soul group from America, who enjoyed just as much success in the UK as they did in the US. The Tymes topped the US charts with "So Much in Love" in 1963, although the song didn't do at all well in the UK. On the other hand their only other big hit, the 1975 single "Ms Grace", made it to number one in the UK, and only reached #91 in the US charts.

54. François's farewells : ADIEUX
"Adieu" is the French for "goodbye" or "farewell", from "à Dieu" meaning "to God". The plural of "adieu" is "adieux".

The Best of Pat Boone: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection55. Onetime General Motors spokesman : PAT BOONE
The singer Pat Boone endorsed a lot of products in his career, but he is most associated with his TV spots for Chevrolet in the late fifties and early sixties.

56. Schlock : SLEAZE
Schlock is trash, something shoddy. It comes from the American Yiddish word "shlak", with the same meaning.

59. Where some jets originate : GEYSERS
The Great Geysir is the first known geyser to have been discovered and documented. The name "Geysir" comes from the Icelandic and Old Norse word "geysa" meaning "to gush". It is the Great Geysir that gives us our English word "geyser".

Down
6. Nincompoop : TWIT
The word "nincompoop" meaning an "ass" seems to have been around for quite a while, since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

"Twit" is a word not used very often here in America. It's a slang term that used to be quite common in England, meaning someone foolish and idiotic.

10. Uintah and Ouray Reservation tribe : UTES
The Ute are a group of American Indian tribes that now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified group as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic tribes.

11. Help in a dangerous situation : SWAT TEAM
SWAT is an acronym for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Widescreen Edition)12. Dance in which "you bring your knees in tight" : TIME WARP
"The Time Warp" is a song and dance from the 1973 rock musical "The Rocky Horror Show" (filmed as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in 1975).

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" has to have the most devout cult following of any movie ever made. Famously, fans attending a midnight show of the film will dress up in the outrageous costumes used in the movie, and bring props with them. The props bear little relation to the storyline, but a tradition of using certain props in a particular way has been established. For example, at one point a character proposes a toast, and the audience throws toast around the theater. Go figure ...

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories15. Blue-backed Dr. Seuss character : YERTLE
"Yertle the Turtle" is a story by Dr. Seuss. The book is noted for the inclusion of the word "burp", which back in 1958 when it was published, was considered to be vulgar. But, no one seemed to mind!

Dr. Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Geisel was commander of the Animation Department of the USAF during WWII. He was behind many propaganda films including one called "Our Job in Japan". This propaganda film was used after the war as a basis for the short feature "Design for Death", a study of Japanese culture released in 1947, and winner of an Oscar for best Documentary.

27. News inits. : UPI
United Press International was one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the last century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands of people, still exists but with only a handful of employees.

Sea Change30. One-named rock star of the 1990s-2000s : BECK
Beck is the stage name of Bek David Campbell, an American alternative rock musician.

Idle, Eric Autographed/Hand Signed 8x10 Photo33. "And Now for Something Completely Different" co-star : ERIC IDLE
Eric Idle was one of the founding members of the Monty Python team. Idle was very much the musician of the bunch, and is an accomplished guitarist. If you've seen the Monty Python film "The Life of Brian", you might remember the closing number, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". It was sung by Idle, and was indeed written by him. The song made it to number 3 in the UK charts in 1991.

34. Haberdashery section : NECK TIES
Back in the 14th century a haberdasher was a dealer in small wares. By the late 1800s, the term had evolved to mean a purveyor of menswear, and in particular was associated with the sale of hats.

36. Univ. research grantor : NSF
The National Science Foundation supports research and education in all scientific fields outside of medicine. The NSF was founded in 1950 during the Truman administration. Today it has a budget of almost 7 billion dollars.

39. Largest city in Syria : ALEPPO
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and is located not far from Damascus, the nation's capital. Aleppo owes it size and history of prosperity to its location at the end of the Silk Road, the trade route that linked Asia to Europe (and other locations). The Suez Canal was opened up in 1869 bringing a new route for transport of goods, and so Aleppo's prosperity has declined over the past one hundred years or so.

41. Millennial's parent : GEN-XER
The term Generation X originated in the UK, the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture". By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

Franklin Sports Advanced Horseshoe Set43. "Almost" in horseshoes : LEANER
In the game of horseshoes, a ringer is scored when the tossed shoe lands around the target stake. A leaner is almost as good as a ringer, and is scored when a horseshoe lands upright or leans against the stake.

44. "Wild" flowers in a Sara Teasdale poem : ASTERS
Sara Teasdale was a poet from St. Louis, Missouri, although she spent much of her adult life in New York City. Examples of her most famous poems are "There Will Come Soft Rains" and "I Shall Not Care". Teasdale committed suicide in 1933 by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.

Fritz Lang: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers)52. Filmmaker Fritz : LANG
Fritz Lang was an Austrian-born American filmmaker. His masterpiece "Metropolis" was produced in Germany in 1927, a work of science-fiction that explored the struggle between workers and owners in a capitalist society. It was the most expensive silent movie ever made.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Hurriedly : IN HASTE
8. Renaissance fair sights : JOUSTS
14. Remove forcibly : TEAR AWAY
16. Best in calculating? : OUTWIT
17. Start of a breaking news story : WE'RE LIVE
18. R-rated, maybe : STEAMY
19. Make thin, say : ADD WATER
20. Digs for peanuts? : HOSTEL
21. Animal used in 8-Across : STEED
22. Not allowed on certain diets : TREF
24. What starts off light? : TWI-
25. ___ drive (engine in "Star Wars") : ION
26. Wrapped up : FURLED
29. Green Giant bagful : PEAS
30. She "espied their tails side by side, / All hung on a tree to dry" : BO PEEP
31. Rush drummer/lyricist Neil : PEART
32. No-name : GENERIC
35. Merging locations : ON-RAMPS
37. Hoover rival : ORECK
38. It gets a new position upon graduation : TASSEL
40. Scratch : NICK
41. Haw : GO LEFT
42. Pier grp. : ILA
45. Opponent of Luther during the Protestant Reformation : ECK
46. "Sommersby" star, 1993 : GERE
47. Group with the 1963 #1 hit "So Much in Love," with "the" : TYMES
49. Coal miner : PITMAN
51. Didn't take seriously : PLAYED AT
54. François's farewells : ADIEUX
55. Onetime General Motors spokesman : PAT BOONE
56. Schlock : SLEAZE
57. Used-car ad phrase : ONE OWNER
58. Perfumery employee : TESTER
59. Where some jets originate : GEYSERS

Down
1. Dramatic confession : IT WAS I
2. Must : NEED TO
3. Set : HARDEN
4. "___ ready?" : ARE WE
5. It's used during an introductory course : SALAD FORK
6. Nincompoop : TWIT
7. Builder's projected expense? : EAVE
8. Teased : JOSHED
9. Lacking : OUT OF
10. Uintah and Ouray Reservation tribe : UTES
11. Help in a dangerous situation : SWAT TEAM
12. Dance in which "you bring your knees in tight" : TIME WARP
13. Those involved in cutting class at school? : STYLISTS
15. Blue-backed Dr. Seuss character : YERTLE
23. Sleep : REPOSE
27. News inits. : UPI
28. One paid for services rendered? : RECTOR
29. Ring tone? : PEAL
30. One-named rock star of the 1990s-2000s : BECK
31. Handsome Dan : PRETTY BOY
32. Overtaken : GONE PAST
33. "And Now for Something Completely Different" co-star : ERIC IDLE
34. Haberdashery section : NECK TIES
36. Univ. research grantor : NSF
39. Largest city in Syria : ALEPPO
41. Millennial's parent : GEN-XER
42. "All finished!" : I'M DONE
43. "Almost" in horseshoes : LEANER
44. "Wild" flowers in a Sara Teasdale poem : ASTERS
46. Wrapping material : GAUZE
48. Cries of pain : YEOWS
50. Crux : MEAT
52. Filmmaker Fritz : LANG
53. Exactly, after "to" : A TEE


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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I like this site because u not only get the answers but the reason why so one could learn&improve ones knowledge!

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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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