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0402-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Apr 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
1. Start of a dogwatch : FOUR PM
In the traditional watch system at sea, the crew is divided into two “teams”, often called the port and starboard watches. Each watch works for four hours, and then rests for four hours, works again for four hours, and rests etc. As there are six 4-hour periods in every day, an even number, the period from midnight to 4 a.m. (also called a watch, to confuse!) would have to be stood by the same crew members. As this is the watch that is considered undesirable to many, then a system was devised to rotate responsibilities for fairness. The “dogwatch” is the 4-hour period between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and it is split into two 2-hour periods, the first dogwatch and second dogwatch. This results in a compliment of seven watches in every 24-hour period, an odd number. Consequently, the team that attends a particular watch in a day, is replaced by the opposite team on the next day.

Adam's Rib7. 1949 comedy about husband-and-wife lawyers on opposing sides of a murder case : ADAM’S RIB
And here it is! My favorite movie of all time. “Adam’s Rib” is a classic romantic comedy starring the powerful duo, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, playing two lawyers married to each other. Inevitably, the married couple have to take opposite sides in a high-profile court case, and hilarity ensues. It is an interesting exploration of the role of men and women in 1949 American society.

Bridget Jones's Diary16. Libertine : RAKEHELL
A "rake" (short for “rakehell”) is defined as a man who is habituated to immoral conduct (isn’t it always the man??!!). The rake is a character who turns up frequently in novels and films, only interested in wine, women and song, and not accepting the responsibilities of life. Wickham in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and Daniel Cleaver (the Hugh Grant part) in the movie "Bridget Jones’s Diary" would be good examples. "Rake" comes from the Old Norse "reikall", meaning "a vagrant or a wanderer".

18. Not foreordained : EVITABLE
Evitable is another word for avoidable, describing something that can be avoided, something that is not foreordained, not predestined.

“Starsky & Hutch” is a fun cop show that ran for four seasons on television in the seventies. The lead roles were played by David Soul (Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson) and Paul Michael Glaser (David Starsky). It was Glaser who really brought the show to a close. He tried to get out of his contract during filming of the third season (even suing to do so). He tried again during the fourth season, and then finally plans to film a fifth season were just dropped.

20. Itch : YEN
The word "yen", meaning "urge", has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word "yin" imported from Chinese. ”Yin” was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

The Complete Songs of Robert Burns 12 Volume Set22. "___ the Water to Charlie" (old ballad) : O’ER
“O’er the Water to Charlie” is a poem written by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns, which he himself also put to music as a ballad. The “Charlie” here is Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Jacobite claimant to the throne who fled from Scotland and lived in exile in France (hence “o’er the water to Charlie”).

DIDO 16X20 PHOTO23. "Thank You" singer, 2001 : DIDO
Dido is an English singer and songwriter. Dido’s real name is Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong, and was born on Christmas Day 1971, and celebrates a second birthday every year on June 25th. In this regard Dido is just like Paddington Bear, with one birthday on December 25th, and another on June 25th.

25. Competed in the Giro d'Italia : BIKED
The Giro d'Italia (in English, the Tour of Italy), is one of the three big touring races in the sport of professional cycling:
- The Tour de France
- The Vuelta a España
- The Giro d’Italia

26. Chum, at sea : BAIT
The word “chum” meaning fish bait, is perhaps derived from the Scottish word “chum” meaning food.

Disney's UP - Promotional Movie Art Card31. Voice of Fredricksen in "Up" : ASNER
"Up" is the tenth movie released by Pixar studios, featuring wonderful animation as one has come to expect from Pixar. It earned itself two Academy Awards. The main voice actor is Ed Asner, whose animated persona as Carl Fredricksen was created to resemble Spencer Tracy in his last film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.

33. Animal whose tongue is long enough to clean its eyelids and ears : OKAPI
The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can even go back further and clean its ears inside and out.

early 1900s photo Cardiff Giant34. New York "find" of 10/16/1869 : THE CARDIFF GIANT
In the 1860s, a New York tobacconist named George Hull ordered a 10-foot long block of gypsum from Iowa and shipped it to Chicago. There he had a German stonecutter carve the block into the likeness of a man, swearing him to secrecy. The “statue” was stained and mechanically aged to make it look weathered. The completed “giant” was transported to the farm belonging to his cousin in Cardiff, New York, and there it was buried. A year later, on the pretext of digging a well, the statue was “discovered”, and was labelled as a petrified giant. The crowds started arriving in droves, paying good money to see the oddity. Very quickly experts deemed the Cardiff Giant to be a fake, but the money kept rolling in, especially after showman P. T. Barnum got involved. If you want to see the Cardiff Man today, it’s on display in the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition (The Legend of Zelda / Zelda II / Ocarina of Time / Majora's Mask)40. "The Legend of ___" : ZELDA
“The Legend of Zelda” is a video game. Apparently it’s very successful.

42. Steinbeck novel : EAST OF EDEN
John Steinbeck considered "East of Eden" his magnus opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of where I live in the Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

According to the Bible's Book of Genesis, after Cain murdered his brother, Abel, he fled to the Land of Nod located "east of Eden" (the source for the title of John Steinbeck's celebrated novel "East of Eden").

48. Atacama Desert export : NITER
Even deserts get 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.

49. Wallis and Futuna : ILES
Wallis and Fotuna is a French territory in the South Pacific. The island group was first landed on by the Dutch and then the British, but it was French missionaries who were the first Europeans to settle there.

51. DVD precursor : VHS
The video standard known as VHS is more fully referred to as the Video Home System. VHS was one of many standards touted by various manufacturers in the seventies. The biggest rival to VHS was of course Betamax, but we all knew who won the final round in that fight.

52. Dweller in a 59-Across : CREE
(59. Home for a 52-Across : TEEPEE)
The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans in North America. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

Zinfandel: A History of a Grape and Its Wine53. Cab alternative : ZIN
Zinfandel is my favorite red wine varietal. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel varietal.

Doubt55. "Doubt" co-star, 2008 : STREEP
“Doubt” is a 2008 film adaptation of a stage play by John Patrick Shanley, for which he won a Pulitzer. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a priest accused of wrongdoing with a young boy, and Meryl Streep as a nun who takes up the cause of holding the priest accountable. It’s a powerful and disturbing tale.

59. Home for a 52-Across : TEEPEE
(52. Dweller in a 59-Across : CREE)
A tepee (also written as tipi and teepee) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides, and used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure, and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be more permanent. The wigwam can also be covered with hides, but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

2011 BRAND NEW Maple FUNGO Bat 36 inch 20 oz BY VIKRAM SPORTS1. Pop-up generator : FUNGO BAT
A fungo bat is lighter and shorter than a regular baseball bat, and tends to be used by coaches during practices. The lighter bat allows for more hits without tiring out the poor coach!

3. Devil dog : US MARINE
Apparently the US Marines were nicknamed “dogs from Hell” (Teufel Hunden) by German soldiers during WWI, although this has been disputed. But the name is still used today by the Marines, and with pride.

Charles de Gaulle : message pour la libération de Paris, 28 août 1944 (Enregistrement historique en mauvais état)4. Ways of Charles de Gaulle? : RUES
Charles de Gaulle was a Brigadier General early in WWII and led one of the few successful counter-attacks against invading German forces during the Battle of France in 1940. He escaped to Britain, and from there encouraged the French populace to resist the occupation. By the end of the war he was leading the French government in exile, and when France was retaken he was named Prime Minister in the French Provisional Government. He resigned his position in 1946. Over a decade later he was elected as Prime Minister in 1958, and then President in 1959, an office he held until 1969. The main airport of Paris is named in his honor, as is the French navy’s only nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

8. Writer Eggers : DAVE
American writer Dave Eggers’ most famous work is “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”.

9. Sharing common alleles : AKIN
A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color. We have two copies of each gene, one copy from each of our parents, with each one known as an allele.

10. Sat : MET
The committee sat, it met …

OMAR SHARIF 8X10 PHOTO11. Guevara portrayer : SHARIF
"Che!" is a 1969 biopic about the life of Che Guevara. It stars Omar Sharif in the title role, and Jack Palance as Fidel Castro. I haven't seen the film, but apparently it wasn't well received. Well, an Egyptian (Sharif) playing an Argentine Marxist, and a Ukrainian American (Palance) playing a Cuban revolutionary ... it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen ...

Kilroy Was Here Small Pin24. Kilroy, e.g. : DOODLE
The omnipresent doodle and graffiti “Kilroy was here”, dates back to WWII, although the exact origins are in doubt. A similar character exists in other countries, with a different name. In Australia, “Foo was here” and in Britain “Chad was here”. It’s felt that Chad might have been the original, and he probably pre-dated the Second World War.

27. Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, e.g. : TEC
Sue Grafton writes detective novels, and her "alphabet series" features the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with "A Is for Alibi" in 1982, and published "U is for Undertow" in 2009. What a clever naming system!

29. San ___, Calif. : RAFAEL
San Rafael isn’t far from here, and is the county seat of Marin County in the North San Francisco Bay. Like many cities in California, San Rafael owes its name to a Spanish mission, Mission San Rafael Arcángel.

30. Cover letters? : SPF
In theory, the Sun Protection Factor, is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it will take 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn if using lotion, than without it. I say, just stay out of the sun ...

Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: Sixth Edition35. O.E.D., e.g. : REF
The "Oxford English Dictionary" contains over 300,000 "main" entries, and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb "set". When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb "put".

38. Whopper request : NO CHEESE
If you were in Japan at the end of 2009 and went to Burger King, you might have ordered a Windows 7 Whopper, a promotion for the Windows 7 Operating System. The sandwich was 5 inches in height, and contained seven beef patties!

Schwinn Midmoor Men's Hybrid Bike (700c Wheels)39. Like some Schwinns : TWO-SPEED
Schwinn is an American bicycle company, founded in Chicago in 1895. The founder was Ignaz Schwinn, a German-born mechanical engineer. Schwinn dominated the market for domestic bicycles in the fifties, helped along by hefty tariffs imposed on imported cycles by the Eisenhower administration.

43. Ace, e.g. : AIRMAN
A flying ace is an aviator who has shot down a number of enemy planes during combat. The qualifying number of kills seems to vary, but five is common. The first use of "ace" was during WWI when the French newspapers dubbed pilot Adolphe Pegoud "l'as" (French for "the ace") when he shot down his fifth German plane.

Remington Steele - Seasons 4 and 544. 1980s TV private eye : STEELE
The eighties detective show “Remington Steele” stars Stephanie Zimbalist as a private detective, and Pierce Brosnan as the handsome bad boy, who’s really a good boy. The show was unusual in that it melded the detective genre with elements of romantic comedy.

Signed Clark, Dick 8x10 B&W Photo45. "American Bandstand" viewer : TEENER
“American Bandstand” aired from 1952 to 1989, and for the last thirty two years (!) of its run, it was hosted by Dick Clark.

46. Sage : NESTOR
A nestor is a wise old man, named for Nestor, the sage who gives counsel in Homer’s “Iliad”.

50. One who keeps padded accounts? : STENO
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek "steno" (narrow) and "graphe" (writing).

53. Tubes in an oven : ZITI
Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. Ziti is a particularly large and long tube, with square-cut ends.

54. Destructive 1966 hurricane : INEZ
Hurricane Inez in 1966 was one of the deadliest storms on record. About 1,000 people died from Inez-related deaths across the Caribbean. In the US most of the dead were sailors lost in shipwrecks in the Straits of Florida.

The Pee-Wee Herman Show - Live at the Roxy Theater56. "Pee-wee's Playhouse" mail lady : REBA
“Pee-wee’s Playhouse” is a children’s television show that aired from 1986 to 1990. The star was comedian Paul Reubens, playing his character Pee-wee Herman. Included in the cast was Lawrence Fishburne (who played Cowboy Curtis), Phil Hartman (who played Captain Carl) and S. Epatha Merkerson (who played Reba the Mail Lady).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Start of a dogwatch : FOUR PM
7. 1949 comedy about husband-and-wife lawyers on opposing sides of a murder case : ADAM’S RIB
15. Easily shaken : UNSURE
16. Libertine : RAKEHELL
17. "Price be damned!" : NAME IT
18. Not foreordained : EVITABLE
19. Soul's 1970s TV co-star : GLASER
20. Itch : YEN
21. 34-Across, e.g. : RUSE
22. "___ the Water to Charlie" (old ballad) : O’ER
23. "Thank You" singer, 2001 : DIDO
25. Competed in the Giro d'Italia : BIKED
26. Chum, at sea : BAIT
28. Tuition portion : COURSE FEES
31. Voice of Fredricksen in "Up" : ASNER
33. Animal whose tongue is long enough to clean its eyelids and ears : OKAPI
34. New York "find" of 10/16/1869 : THE CARDIFF GIANT
40. "The Legend of ___" : ZELDA
41. Push aside : ELBOW
42. Steinbeck novel : EAST OF EDEN
47. Way off : LOCO
48. Atacama Desert export : NITER
49. Wallis and Futuna : ILES
51. DVD precursor : VHS
52. Dweller in a 59-Across : CREE
53. Cab alternative : ZIN
55. "Doubt" co-star, 2008 : STREEP
57. Editorial work : AMENDING
59. Home for a 52-Across : TEEPEE
60. Irregular, often : SALE ITEM
61. Not yet home : ON BASE
62. Rev up : ENERGIZE
63. Split the eardrums : ROARED

1. Pop-up generator : FUNGO BAT
2. Restrained : ON A LEASH
3. Devil dog : US MARINE
4. Ways of Charles de Gaulle? : RUES
5. Got some leverage on : PRIED
6. Standard : METRIC
7. "Really?!" : ARE YOU KIDDING ME
8. Writer Eggers : DAVE
9. Sharing common alleles : AKIN
10. Sat : MET
11. Guevara portrayer : SHARIF
12. Call on the carpet : REBUKE
13. "Maybe" : I’LL SEE
14. Runs over : BLEEDS
24. Kilroy, e.g. : DOODLE
25. Like desert sand : BEIGE
27. Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, e.g. : TEC
29. San ___, Calif. : RAFAEL
30. Cover letters? : SPF
32. You might purchase this with cream : RAZOR
35. O.E.D., e.g. : REF
36. Bad : ILL
37. Good : ABOVE PAR
38. Whopper request : NO CHEESE
39. Like some Schwinns : TWO-SPEED
42. Surround : ENCASE
43. Ace, e.g. : AIRMAN
44. 1980s TV private eye : STEELE
45. "American Bandstand" viewer : TEENER
46. Sage : NESTOR
50. One who keeps padded accounts? : STENO
53. Tubes in an oven : ZITI
54. Destructive 1966 hurricane : INEZ
56. "Pee-wee's Playhouse" mail lady : REBA
58. Really enjoy : DIG

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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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