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0330-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Mar 11, Wednesday

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

THEME: REDSHIFTED … all the theme answers are common expressions containing a color, with the color “shifted” by adding a little RED to the mix:
29A. *Like a baby girl's laundry? : PINK-WASHED (from “whitewashed”, red + white = pink)
11D. *Newspapers read by royalty? : PURPLE-PRINT (from “blueprint”, red + blue = purple)
25D. *Illness caused by eating Cheetos? : ORANGE FEVER (from “yellow fever”, red + yellow = orange)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Star Wars 2010 Clone Wars Animated Action Figure CW No. 05 Yoda6. Yoda, for one : JEDI
Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the "Star Wars" series of films. Yoda's voice was provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of "Muppets" fame.

10. Altar locale : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half dome as a roof, and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

EMMA THOMPSON 8x10 Photo Signed In-Person14. Thompson and Watson : EMMAS
Emma Thompson is one of my favorite English actresses, someone who has appeared in many of my favorite films. She probably first came to attention in the US when she won an Oscar for her role in "Howards End", which she followed up with "Remains of the Day" and "In the Name of the Father". Perhaps my favorite production of hers is her own adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility", which won her Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress. Emma Thompson went to Cambridge University and was good friends with a host of successful British actors and entertainers, including her ex-boyfriend Hugh Laurie, famous in the US for playing the title role in television's "House".

EMMA WATSON 8x10 COLOUR PHOTOEmma Watson is the English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movies. Watson is continuing her education while pursuing her acting career, and is currently enrolled at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

15. Two eighth notes, for iTunes, e.g. : ICON
What are known as eighth notes in the US and Canada, are called quavers in the other English-speaking countries around the world.

16. Empty, in math : NULL
An empty set of numbers in math is called a null set.

18. Oater fare : GRUB
Grub is slang for food. The word “grub” has been used in this sense since way back in the 1600s, possible derived from birds eating grubs.

19. Understand, slangily : GROK
To grok is to understand, a slang word really only used in "techie" circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined the term in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

OMAR EPPS 16X20 COLOR PHOTO22. Foreman portrayer on "House" : EPPS
Omar Epps is the actor who plays Eric Foreman on the excellent television series "House". Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on "ER". And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

23. Typewriter keyboard format : DVORAK
There is an alternative to the annoying QWERTY keyboard layout. Dr. August Dvorak came up with a much simpler and more efficient layout in 1936. The Dvorak layout is supposed to allow faster typing rates and to reduce repetitive strain injuries.

28. Use one's scull : OAR
A scull is a rowing boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell.

37. Corrida wear : CAPES
Spanish bullfighting is known locally as corrida de toros, literally "race of bulls".

42. Theocratic state : IRAN
In a theocratic country, God is recognized as the head of state (“theocracy” means “rule of God”). Theocracies are typically run with strong clerical influence, and with divine guidance. Iran’s political system has elements of a modern Islamic theocracy melded with democratic principles.

The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History43. Often-mocked cars of the past : YUGOS
The Yugo was a really unreliable, subcompact built by the Zastava corporation, in Yugoslavia.

Titanic (10th Anniversary Edition)45. Jack's love in "Titanic" : ROSE
When James Cameron made his epic movie “Titanic”, released in 1997, it was the most expensive film ever made, costing about $200 million. It was a good investment for the studio as it became the highest-grossing film of all time, bringing in over $1.8 billion. “Titanic” remained the highest-grossing film until 2010, when Cameron eclipsed the prior record with “Avatar”.

46. Possessing many pesos : RICO
Rico is the Spanish for “rich”.

47. Like light from stars moving away from us ... or like the answers to this puzzle's starred clues? : REDSHIFTED
Just as sound changes to lower frequency when its source moves away from you (the Doppler effect), so too does light change its frequency as the source moves. A star moving away from the Earth is seen to have a shift in color towards red, whereas a star moving towards the Earth is seen to have a blueshift.

54. Vista part: Abbr. : AMER
I think the reference here is to VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America created by President Lyndon Johnson, the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps. However if I’m right, the acronym is usually capitalized. So, maybe I’m wrong …

A Life of Picasso: The Prodigy, 1881-190656. He had a Blue Period : PICASSO
Pablo Picasso's full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Got that?

The Essential Barbra Streisand60. Dolly the matchmaker : LEVI
“Hello, Dolly” is a Broadway musical first produced in 1964, adapted into a hugely successful movie in 1969. The title role of Dolly Levi was of course played by Barbra Streisand in the film, with Gene Kelly directing and a leading part for a young Michael Crawford.

62. ___ de Torquemada, Spanish inquisitor : TOMAS
Tomás de Torquemada was a Dominican friar famous as the Inquisitor General of Spain in the 15th century. As head of the Spanish Inquisition, de Torquemada was responsible for burning at the stake about one person every nine days.

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, all seven volumes in a single file, with active table of contents, improved 8/19/201066. Abe or Ike : PREZ
Abraham Lincoln served as a prairie lawyer for many years, meaning that about every six months he traveled from town-to-town for ten weeks at a time. He worked a lot on disputes involving the operation of river barges under railway bridges, and argued a case before the US Supreme Court involving a canal boat that sank after hitting a bridge. His exposure to river vessels led to him designing a device for buoying vessels over shallow shoals. He was awarded a patent for his design in 1849, making Lincoln the only US president to hold a patent.

Eisenhower Soldier and PresidentThere doesn't seem to be any good reason why President Eisenhower was called "Ike". It is known however, that the nickname dates back to his childhood as that is what his parents called him.

68. City on the Mohawk : UTICA
Today Utica, New York is known as “Second Chance City” due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world, and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped to revitalize the city and reverse a trend of population loss.

69. Like the Atacama : SERE
Even deserts get some rain at some point in the year, with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is the Atacama Desert in South America, which receives no rain at all.

Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Measuring Cup, Clear with Red Measurements71. Material for a baking dish : PYREX
Pyrex glassware is brand name owned by Corning. As well as being used in bakeware and laboratory glassware, Pyrex is often the material of choice for optics in large telescopes used in astronomy.

1. "And that proves it" : QED
Q.E.D. is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

UMA THURMAN 8X10 COLOR PHOTO2. Thurman of "Pulp Fiction" : UMA
Uma Thurman's father, Robert Thurman, was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and gave his daughter Uma her name as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name, Dbuma.

3. Creature on Australia's 50-cent coin : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. The aborigines used emus for food and are very adept at hunting them using a variety of traditional techniques. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in using machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the emus. The emus were clever, and broke their usual formation and adopted guerrilla tactics, operating as small units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored.

7. Color of raw silk : ECRU
The shade of ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word "ecru" comes from French, and means "raw, unbleached", and has the same roots as our word "crude".

9. Still being tested : IN BETA
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is routinely called the "alpha" version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a "beta" and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as "beta". The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right ...

13. Some lodge members : ELKS
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a "club" in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren't welcome.

Sealed With a Kiss21. "Sealed With ___" : A KISS
“Sealed With a Kiss” was a big hit for Brian Hyland, released in 1962.

25. *Illness caused by eating Cheetos? : ORANGE FEVER
Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic disease, transmitted by female mosquitoes. There are about 30,000 deaths each year from yellow fever, with almost all of them occurring in Africa.

Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection31. Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the ___ Life" : KEY OF
“Songs in the Key of Life” is an album released by Stevie Wonder in 1976.

32. Take forcibly : WREST
The verb “to wrest” can mean to obtain by violent twisting and pulling. The word “wrest” derives from the Middle English “wresten” meaning “to twist”. Our word “wrestling” has the same etymology.

44. Ukr., e.g., until 1991 : SSR
The former Soviet Union was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was made up of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics.

1800s photo Mt. Cervin. Matterhorn graphic.54. Matterhorn's locale : ALPS
"Matterhorn" is the German name for the famous Alpine peak that lies on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The Italian name for the same mountain is Monte Cervino, and the French call it Mont Cervin. "Matterhorn" comes from the German words Matte and Horn meaning "meadow" and "peak". Cervino and Cervin come from the Latin name for the mountain, Mons Silvius meaning "Forest Mountain".

Gilbert Gottfried 8X10 Original TV Photo #P125057. "Aladdin" parrot : IAGO
In the 1992 Disney feature “Aladdin”, there is a parrot called Iago. Iago is voiced by the comic Gilbert Gottfried.

63. Atlantis docked with it : MIR
Mir was a very successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of its life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so the station was allowed to reenter the Earth's atmosphere in 2001.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis had its first launch in 1985. The shuttle takes its name from the RV Atlantis, a two-masted sailboat that operated from the thirties through the sixties with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the largest independent marine research organization in the country. The "odometer" reading on the Space Shuttle Atlantis after her 32nd flight, was about the same as 505 one-way flights from the Earth to the Moon!

Signed Carrey, Jim 8x10 Photo64. Sleuth Ventura : ACE
Ace Ventura was the title character in two movies, “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” (1994) and “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” (1995). In both films the title role was played by Jim Carrey.

65. Tenor ___ : SAX
The saxophone was invented by Belgian, Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if that was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax's grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Pursuit of a goal : QUEST
6. Yoda, for one : JEDI
10. Altar locale : APSE
14. Thompson and Watson : EMMAS
15. Two eighth notes, for iTunes, e.g. : ICON
16. Empty, in math : NULL
17. Cause to cower : DAUNT
18. Oater fare : GRUB
19. Understand, slangily : GROK
20. What a smudge may indicate : ERASURE
22. Foreman portrayer on "House" : EPPS
23. Typewriter keyboard format : DVORAK
26. Bluffer's undoing, in poker : TELL
28. Use one's scull : OAR
29. *Like a baby girl's laundry? : PINK-WASHED
34. Bag brand : GLAD
36. One going before a judge : SUER
37. Corrida wear : CAPES
39. Done for : GONE
40. Eye problems : STYES
42. Theocratic state : IRAN
43. Often-mocked cars of the past : YUGOS
45. Jack's love in "Titanic" : ROSE
46. Possessing many pesos : RICO
47. Like light from stars moving away from us ... or like the answers to this puzzle's starred clues? : REDSHIFTED
50. Confirm-deny link : NOR
51. Opportunities for discussion : FORA
52. "___ touch!" : MUSTN’T
54. Vista part: Abbr. : AMER
56. He had a Blue Period : PICASSO
60. Dolly the matchmaker : LEVI
61. Grow wearisome : PALL
62. ___ de Torquemada, Spanish inquisitor : TOMAS
66. Abe or Ike : PREZ
67. They may clash : EGOS
68. City on the Mohawk : UTICA
69. Like the Atacama : SERE
70. Scrubbed, as a mission : NO GO
71. Material for a baking dish : PYREX

1. "And that proves it" : QED
2. Thurman of "Pulp Fiction" : UMA
3. Creature on Australia's 50-cent coin : EMU
4. Not so off the wall : SANER
5. Feature of some sandals : T-STRAP
6. Happy people dance them : JIGS
7. Color of raw silk : ECRU
8. Ill-humored : DOUR
9. Still being tested : IN BETA
10. Pasta variety : ANGEL HAIR
11. *Newspapers read by royalty? : PURPLE-PRINT
12. Not stay in the bucket, say : SLOP
13. Some lodge members : ELKS
21. "Sealed With ___" : A KISS
23. Canine, to a tot : DOGGY
24. Bravery, in Britain : VALOUR
25. *Illness caused by eating Cheetos? : ORANGE FEVER
27. Key near F1 : ESC
30. ___-Grain cereal bars : NUTRI
31. Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the ___ Life" : KEY OF
32. Take forcibly : WREST
33. Priest's assistant : DEACON
35. Freshen : DEODORIZE
38. Bull pen sound : SNORT
41. Comes across as : SEEMS
44. Ukr., e.g., until 1991 : SSR
48. Come to pass : HAPPEN
49. Quarrel : DUSTUP
53. Like a chimney sweep : SOOTY
54. Matterhorn's locale : ALPS
55. "A ___ technicality!" : MERE
57. "Aladdin" parrot : IAGO
58. Pipe problem : CLOG
59. Moreover : ALSO
63. Atlantis docked with it : MIR
64. Sleuth Ventura : ACE
65. Tenor ___ : SAX

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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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