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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

0331-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Mar 11, Thursday





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: Jeremy Horwitz & Tyler Hinman
THEME: PERFECT PITCH … each of the theme answers is both the name of a baseball pitcher and a singer, both of whom might aim for that PERFECT PITCH:
19D. Something the eight people at 3-, 9-, 28- and 30-Down have all strived for? : PERFECT PITCH
3D. Yankees hurler (1996 champs) / Solo singer of "Lady" (#1 in 1980) : KENNY ROGERS
9D. A's hurler (1989 champs) / Eurythmics musician on "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (#1 in 1983) : DAVE STEWART
28D. Orioles hurler (1966 champs) / Solo crooner of "Oh! My Pa-Pa" (#1 in 1954) : EDDIE FISHER
30D. Giants hurler (2010 champs) / Beach Boys vocalist on "Help Me, Rhonda" (#1 in 1965) : BRIAN WILSON
COMPLETION TIME: 21m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
MICHIGAN OFFICIAL STATE FLAG1. Animal on the Michigan flag : ELK
The Michigan State Flag is made up of the state’s coat of arms on a dark blue background. The coat of arms consists of a shield, supported on the left by an elk, and on the right by a moose.

4. Crawl space? : PUB
A pub crawl (not that I’ve ever been on one!) is a tour of a selection of local public houses, usually taking one drink at each stop.

Pedicab, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Photographic Poster Print by Alison Wright, 9x127. Way around Shanghai : PEDICAB
A pedicab is also known as a cycle rickshaw.

14. Parisian life : VIE
“Vie” is the French word for “life”, as in “La Vie en Rose”. The literal translation of "La Vie en Rose" is "Life in pink", but a better translation would be "Life through rose-colored glasses".

JOHNNY CARSON 8X10 PHOTO15. Weekly show starting at 11:30 p.m. E.T. : SNL
NBC first aired a form of "Saturday Night Live" in 1975, under the title "NBC's Saturday Night". The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from "The Tonight Show". Back then "The Tonight Show" had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to pull together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he come up with what we now call "Saturday Night Live".

17. Longfellow's "Tales of a Wayside ___" : INN
“Tales of a Wayside Inn” is a collection of poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, first published in 1863. Longfellow originally intended to call the anthology “The Sudbury Tales”, but thinking this sounded too similar to Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”, he opted to make the change.

20. 140 pounds, in Britain : TEN STONE
Over here we tend to buy our potatoes in five or ten pound bags. Back in Ireland (before we went metric) we used to buy them in seven or fourteen pound bags, as fourteen pounds made up a stone.

ENYA 20X24 COLOR PHOTO23. "May It Be" singer, 2001 : ENYA
Enya'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!

29. Garamond, e.g. : FONT
The Garamond group of typefaces is named after Parisian publisher Claude Garamond. He was a leading designer of type in the 1500s, and is credited with the introduction of the apostrophe, accent and cedilla into the French language.

35. ___ signum (look at the proof: Lat.) : ECCE
“Ecce signum” translates literally from Latin as “behold the sign”, but it is used to mean “here is the proof”.

36. One-third of baseball's Triple Crown, for short : RBI
In baseball, a player can earn the Triple Crown when he is the leader in three specific statistics. The pitching Triple Crown includes wins, strikeouts and earned run average (ERA). The batting Triple Crown includes home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and batting average.

38. It's a mouthful : CHAW
“Chaw” is a slang tern for a chew, often a plug of tobacco.

39. + or - thing : ION
As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation, and a negative ion an anion. The name "cation" comes from the Greek word "kation" meaning "going down", and "anion" comes from the Greek "anion" meaning going up.

40. Garden lady : EVE
According to the Book Of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden "in" Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

Tequila Blue Agave Cactus - 4.5" Clay Pot -Easy to Grow44. Tequila source : AGAVE
Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave. It takes its name from the city of Tequila, located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara.

Revenge47. 1994 Costner title role : EARP
Kevin Costner attributes some of his motivation to pursue an acting career to the great Welsh actor, Richard Burton. Back when Costner was taking acting classes, and undecided about whether to continue chasing his dream, he ran into Burton on a flight from Puerto Vallarta. Burton agreed to chat with him for a little while, and so Costner was able to ask him if acting meant tolerating the kind of personal drama that had plagued Burton’s own life. Burton told him, “You have green eyes. I have green eyes. I think you’ll be fine”.

50. Two key points on an ellipse's major axis : FOCI
One way to envision the two foci of an ellipse is to imagine two nails sticking up out of a board, placed a small distance apart. A loop of string is placed on the board, with the nails in the middle. A pen is then placed inside the loop, and moved as far away from the nails as possible, confined by the string. The pen is then run around the nails, stretching out the string so that it is taut. The pen will draw an ellipse, and the point where the nails are, they are the ellipse's two foci.

Less Than Zero Poster Movie 11x17 Andrew McCarthy Jami Gertz Robert Downey Jr. James Spader57. "Less Than Zero" novelist : ELLIS
Bret Easton Ellis wrote a trio of novels that were made into very successful movies: "Less Than Zero" (1987, starring Andrew McCarthy), "American Psycho" (2000, starring Christian Bale) and "The Rules of Attraction" (2002, starring James van der Beek).

60. Barbecue side : COLESLAW
The term "coleslaw" is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name "koolsla", which in itself is a shortened form of "Koolsalade" meaning "cabbage salad".

62. Dojo discipline : TAI CHI CHUAN
More properly called tai chi chuan, tai chi is a martial art mostly practiced for improving overall health and increasing longevity.

John DeLorean's DMC67. Car co-created and named by John DeLorean : GTO
John DeLorean was an American engineer and executive who worked at General Motors for many years, and was responsible for the design of the Pontiac GTO in particular. His career in the automotive industry really took off, and he began to lead the jet-setter lifestyle. DeLorean left GM in 1973 and formed his own company, eventually manufacturing the famous “DeLorean” car in Northern Ireland. The DeLorean was a V6 with a distinctive stainless steel body and two gull wings (and was chosen as the car for the “Back to the Future” movies). But the DeLorean was a flop, and the company went in receivership. In a bid to save his company, DeLorean spent three months trying to set up a deal that involved smuggling cocaine. He fell foul of an FBI sting operation and was arrested. He was found not guilty though, due to entrapment.

70. "For ___ a ..." : HE’S
“For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” is the second-most popular song in the English language, according to the “Guinness Book of World Records”. Top of the list is “Happy Birthday to You”, and third comes “Auld Lang Syne”.

Down
1. Modern party aid : EVITE
An "evite" is an "electronic invitation".

3. Yankees hurler (1996 champs) / Solo singer of "Lady" (#1 in 1980) : KENNY ROGERS
2008 Topps Heritage High Number #704 Kenny Rogers SP - Detroit Tigers (Short Print)(Baseball Cards)Kenny Rogers is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Rogers pitched the fourteenth perfect game in Major League history in 1994, for the Texas Rangers against the California Angels. When he retired in 2008, he was the oldest player in the American League.

21 Number OnesKenny Rogers is a country singer who has had a lot of success in the world of popular music. Off stage he is an exceptional photographer. I own a book of his images, and they are really beautiful and expertly executed.

6. Some pancakes : BLINI
A blintz is a thin pancake, similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

8. Roxy Music co-founder : ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, his most oft played composition (by far!) is Microsoft's "start-up jingle", the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system starts up.

9. A's hurler (1989 champs) / Eurythmics musician on "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (#1 in 1983) : DAVE STEWART
1988 Donruss # 472 Dave Stewart Oakland Athletics Baseball CardDave Stewart is a retired pitcher who played in the eighties and nineties. Stewart was born in Oakland, California and even got to play for his hometown Oakland Athletics from 1986 to 1992.

Eurythmics (Annie Lennox / David A. Stewart) Autographed 8x10 PhotoDave Stewart was the male half of the British pop duo Eurythmics, his female partner being Annie Lennox. As there are quite a few musicians in the industry called Dave Stewart, he prefers to be credited as David A. Stewart.

11. Mrs. Dithers of the comics : CORA
"Blondie" was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic's son, Dean). The strip spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of Blondie films (1938-1950). Blondie is married to Dagwood Bumstead. Dagwood slaves away at a construction company run by Julius Dithers, whose wife is called Cora.

12. Midwest college town : AMES
The city of Ames Iowa is famous for holding the Ames Straw Poll in advance of most presidential elections. The poll is used to gauge the level of support for two or more Republican candidates, although non-Republicans are allowed to cast a vote. To vote one has to be an Iowa resident and one must buy a ticket to the fundraising dinner at which the vote is taken. It is a very successful fundraiser for the Republican Party in Iowa as well, but the usefulness of the straw poll in predicting the eventual winner of the nomination is less clear. There have been five straw polls since 1979, and just 2 out of 5 times the poll winner went on to capture the party's nomination.

21. Meccan, e.g. : SAUDI
Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia, and is the holiest city in Islam. Several million Muslims every year perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

Koch, Ed Autographed/Hand Signed 8x10 Photo B&W25. Mayor who later served as judge on "The People's Court" : KOCH
Ed Koch was a Democratic Representative in the US Congress from 1969-73, and then Mayor of New York City from 1978-89. From 1997 to 1999 Koch was a “judge” in the TV show “The People’s Court”. And in 2004, he collaborated with his sister, Pat Koch, and wrote a children's book called "Eddie, Harold's Little Brother", a tale about Ed's own childhood experiences.

26. Member of a mountain empire : INCA
The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in what today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of South America. The Empire of course fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Tupac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.

28. Orioles hurler (1966 champs) / Solo crooner of "Oh! My Pa-Pa" (#1 in 1954) : EDDIE FISHER
1961 Topps #366 Eddie Fisher EX - Excellent or BetterEddie Fisher was a relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. He appeared in 690 games in his career, only starting in 63.

In Concert Series: Eddie FisherEddie Fisher was a very successful singer, but perhaps these days is better known for his life off the stage. His first wife was the actress and singer Debbie Reynolds. Together Fisher and Reynolds are the parents of Hollywood actress Carrie Fisher. Reynolds and Fisher were close friends Elizabeth Taylor and her third husband Michael Todd. After Todd died, Fisher started an affair with Taylor, resulting in the couple marrying after he was able to divorce Reynolds.

30. Giants hurler (2010 champs) / Beach Boys vocalist on "Help Me, Rhonda" (#1 in 1965) : BRIAN WILSON
2009 O-Pee-Chee Baseball Card # 123 Brian Wilson Giants Mint Condition - Shipped In Protective ScrewDown Display Case!!Brian Wilson is a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, known as a closer. He is known as being a little eccentric compared to his compatriots.

BRIAN WILSON 11X14 COLOR PHOTOAs Mike points out in a comment below, Brian Wilson was "a" vocalist on "Help Me, Rhonda", but not "the" lead vocalist. In fact, "Help Me, Rhonda" marked the first time that the Beach Boys featured Al Jardine on lead vocals.

Brian Wilson is mainly known as the leader and the main songwriter for The Beach Boys. Wildly successful, Wilson fell foul to drug abuse in the seventies, as well as mental illness. Wilson is no longer part of The Beach Boys, who still tour, and has been having limited success with his solo career.

34. Records, in a way : TIVOS
TiVo was introduced in 1999, the world's first commercially successful DVR (Digital Video Recorder). If you don't have a DVR, you might want to consider getting one. If you like television, it's very liberating.

42. New Mexico's ___ Ski Valley : TAOS
Taos Ski Valley is a resort village in New Mexico, founded in 1955. About twelve families live there, making up thirty or so households and a population of about 60 people. It is said to very much resemble a Swiss village, and even includes an elected village council.

Arco Corporate Logo Nylon Flag43. BP subsidiary : ARCO
ARCO stands for Atlantic Richfield Company. One of ARCO's claims to fame is that it is responsible for the nation's largest Superfund site. Mining and smelting in the area around Butte, Montana polluted the region's water and soil, and ARCO have agreed to pay $187 million to help clean up the area.

Ravensburger Van Gogh, Café Terrace at Night - 1500 Piece Puzzle52. Affluent, in Arles : RICHE
A few years ago I had the privilege of living just a short car ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although it has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city's design. It has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place that Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous "Cafe Terrace at Night", as well as "Bedroom in Arles".

Bea Arthur Autographed/Signed 8x10 Photo55. 1970s sitcom that ended with the title character in Congress : MAUDE
Bea Arthur played Maude Findlay on TV's "All in the Family" and then on the spin-off sitcom "Maude".

57. Listing abbr. : ET AL
Et alii is the equivalent of et cetera, with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names.

63. S&L holding : IRA
I have to tell you, when I first came to the US from Ireland, it was pretty confusing seeing big signs along the freeway advocating contributions to your IRA. Back in Ireland, that was pretty illegal (where IRA stands for the Irish Republican Army!).

64. Funny frame : CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the "cel" its name.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Animal on the Michigan flag : ELK
4. Crawl space? : PUB
7. Way around Shanghai : PEDICAB
14. Parisian life : VIE
15. Weekly show starting at 11:30 p.m. E.T. : SNL
16. Totally out : IN A COMA
17. Longfellow's "Tales of a Wayside ___" : INN
18. Saved, as a seat? : SLIPCOVERED
20. 140 pounds, in Britain : TEN STONE
22. Clear : ERASE
23. "May It Be" singer, 2001 : ENYA
24. Distant sign of affection? : AIR KISS
27. Wished undone : RUED
29. Garamond, e.g. : FONT
30. "Wham ___!" : BAM
33. Fighting : AT ODDS
35. ___ signum (look at the proof: Lat.) : ECCE
36. One-third of baseball's Triple Crown, for short : RBI
37. Uncompromising : RIGID
38. It's a mouthful : CHAW
39. + or - thing : ION
40. Garden lady : EVE
41. Leave ___ that : IT AT
44. Tequila source : AGAVE
46. Scand. land : NOR
47. 1994 Costner title role : EARP
48. Made flatter : IRONED
49. Dummy : ASS
50. Two key points on an ellipse's major axis : FOCI
51. Stash : STOW
52. Creamy dish : RISOTTO
54. Turns down : DIMS
57. "Less Than Zero" novelist : ELLIS
60. Barbecue side : COLESLAW
62. Dojo discipline : TAI CHI CHUAN
65. Go after : SUE
66. "Everything's accounted for" : ALL HERE
67. Car co-created and named by John DeLorean : GTO
68. Dedicated work : ODE
69. Nonforward pass : LATERAL
70. "For ___ a ..." : HE’S
71. Capture : NET

Down
1. Modern party aid : EVITE
2. One might sleep on it : LINEN
3. Yankees hurler (1996 champs) / Solo singer of "Lady" (#1 in 1980) : KENNY ROGERS
4. Hushed "Hey!" : PSST
5. Vents : UNLOADS
6. Some pancakes : BLINI
7. It's a snap : PIC
8. Roxy Music co-founder : ENO
9. A's hurler (1989 champs) / Eurythmics musician on "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (#1 in 1983) : DAVE STEWART
10. They finish cakes : ICERS
11. Mrs. Dithers of the comics : CORA
12. Midwest college town : AMES
13. Ordered : BADE
19. Something the eight people at 3-, 9-, 28- and 30-Down have all strived for? : PERFECT PITCH
21. Meccan, e.g. : SAUDI
25. Mayor who later served as judge on "The People's Court" : KOCH
26. Member of a mountain empire : INCA
28. Orioles hurler (1966 champs) / Solo crooner of "Oh! My Pa-Pa" (#1 in 1954) : EDDIE FISHER
30. Giants hurler (2010 champs) / Beach Boys vocalist on "Help Me, Rhonda" (#1 in 1965) : BRIAN WILSON
31. Topping : ABOVE
32. Got out of the ground : MINED
33. Ring holder : ARENA
34. Records, in a way : TIVOS
42. New Mexico's ___ Ski Valley : TAOS
43. BP subsidiary : ARCO
45. Get the ___ on : GOODS
48. Keep from spreading : ISOLATE
52. Affluent, in Arles : RICHE
53. Gristly : TOUGH
55. 1970s sitcom that ended with the title character in Congress : MAUDE
56. "Ni-i-ice!" : SWEET
57. Listing abbr. : ET AL
58. Singsong syllables : LA LA
59. Cheerful tune : LILT
61. Book in the Book of Mormon : ENOS
63. S&L holding : IRA
64. Funny frame : CEL


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2 comments :

Mike I said...

Al Jardine sang lead on "Help Me Rhonda."
Check at song facts.com

Bill Butler said...

Thanks, Mike.

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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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