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I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0409-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Apr 11, Saturday





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: Scott Atkinson
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 24m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … EDNA BEST (ESRA BEST), CANID (CANIS), ALDENS (ALDERS)


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Network since 1998 : BBC AMERICA
BBC America is one of my favorite television networks (as you might imagine!). It is owned by the BBC, although it shows more that just BBC shows, and includes shows bought from other British networks and a little American programming as well. Some of my favorites on BBC America are: “Law and Order UK”, “The Graham Norton Show”, “Top Gear” and “The Tudors”.

11. A bummer for bums : WORK
Terms that are often used interchangeably are hobos, tramps and bums, but they really aren’t the same thing. Hobos differed from "tramps" and "bums", in that "bums" refused to work, "tramps" worked when they had to, while "hobos" traveled in search of work.

Henry Clay: The Essential American15. Like feats of Clay? : ORATORICAL
Henry Clay was a statesman from Kentucky well known for his gift as an orator. He was very persuasive in his arguments in favor of war with Britain resulting in the War of 1812. In 1957, a Senate committee chaired by John F. Kennedy declared Henry Clay one of the five greatest senators in American history.

16. Shakespeare's "temple-haunting martlet" is a good one : OMEN
In Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, when King Duncan comes to Macbeth’s castle, Macbeth’s friend, Banquo, remarks how on how sweet the air is in Macbeth’s estate. He points out that “the temple-haunting martlet” agrees. By this he means that a swallow (martlet) is nesting high on the walls of the castle (temple-haunting).

17. Unclaimed stretch : NO MAN’S LAND
No man’s land is the name given to the unoccupied area between two opposing forces that are in conflict.

18. Champion cyclist Leipheimer : LEVI
Levi Leipheimer is professional road bicycle racer from Butte, Montana who rides for Team RadioShack. Levi is married to another professional cyclist, Odessa Gunn from Canada.

19. Suffix with 43-Across : -ITE
(43. What a crystal ball gazer sees : QUARTZ)
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock. When sandstone is subject to heat and pressure it can turn into the metamorphic rock, quartzite.

20. View from Presque Isle : ERIE
Presque Isle State Park is off the coast of Erie, Pennsylvania, sitting on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie. The name “Presque Isle” translates from French as “peninsula”, or more literally “almost an island”.

Photo Edna Best 190026. "The Man Who Knew Too Much" co-star : EDNA BEST
Alfred Hitchcock made two versions of the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. The first was made in 1934 while Hitchcock still lived in England. It starred Leslie Banks, Edna Best and Peter Lorre in his first English-speaking role. Hitchcock remade the original in 1956, with James Stewart and Doris Day playing the leads. And by the way, in that movie Doris Day sang the Oscar-winning song “Que Sera, Sera”.

Audubon Osprey Bird Art Poster- 11x17 custom fit with RichAndFramous Black 11 inch Poster Hangers28. Seattle sea hawks : OSPREYS
The Osprey is also known as the sea hawk or fish eagle.

30. 1979 negotiation : SALT II
There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between the US and the Soviet Union, that resulted in the treaties SALT I (signed in 1972) and SALT II (signed in 1979).

35. Protruding rock : SCAR
The word scar, meaning a mark on the skin, and scar meaning a bare rocky place or a protruding isolated rock, each has a different etymology. The scar on the skin comes from an Old French word, and the rock scar comes from the Old Norse “sker” meaning a low reef.

38. "War With the Newts" novelist, 1936 : CAPEK
The title of the Karel Čapek story “Válka s mloky” has been translated as “War with the Newts” or “War with the Salamanders”.

Waking Hour40. Singer/songwriter Vienna ___ : TENG
Vienna Teng is the stage name of Cynthia Yih Shih, a Taiwanese American pianist and singer. If you listen to her album “Warm Strangers” there is a hidden track called “Green Island Serenade”, which is performed in Mandarin Chinese.

Genuine 23 KARAT GOLD LEAF - 1 BOOK OF 25 LEAVES41. Items often done in gold leaf : HALOS
Gold leaf is real gold, usually 22-karat yellow gold, that has been hammered out into very thin sheets.

43. What a crystal ball gazer sees : QUARTZ
Early crystal balls were made out of beryl, and then the more transparent "rock crystal" (quartz). The cheaper, modern crystal balls are usually made of glass.

45. Source of "coffee" and "cotton" : ARABIC
It’s possible that “coffee” comes from the Arabic “qahwah”, a word that may have meant coffee, or even wine.

Our word “cotton” comes to us via Old French from the Arabic “qutn”.

58. "___ Boys" (1886 sequel) : JO’S
The full title to Louisa May Alcott's sequel to "Little Men" (in turn a sequel to "Little Women") is "Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to 'Little Men'". It is the final book in the trilogy.

60. Cooler in the summer : ITALIAN ICE
A sno-cone (also "snow cone") is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice in a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with ice that is flavored before the water is frozen.

64. Japanese folk music with a swing feel : ONDO
Ondo is a type of Japanese folk music. The word “ondo” means “sound head” and probably refers a kind of beat pattern. Most ondo music has a 2/2 “swing” rhythm.

GOLDFINGER SEAN CONNERY 8X10 PHOTO66. Roger's predecessor as 007 : SEAN
Sean Connery wasn’t the first choice for the role of James Bond. Six potential actors were selected for a screen test, after which a 28-year-old model was chosen called Peter Anthony. It turned out that Anthony wasn’t up to the part, and so second-choice Connery was given a call.

Winfield Scott: The Quest for Military Glory67. "Holy mackerel!" : GREAT SCOTT
One possible origin of the exclamation “great Scott!” is a commander-in-chief of the US Army during the Civil War, Winfield Scott. Scott was “great” in the sense that he was a big man, weighing over 300 pounds in his later years, and apparently too heavy to ride a horse.

Down
1. Mackerel family member : BONITO
Bonito is the name given to several species of fish, intermediate in size between mackerel and tuna. The name comes directly from the Spanish word for “pretty”. In some parts of Spain, tuna is known as "Benito del Norte".

Streits Matzo Ball Mix, Whole wheat, 4.5-Ounce (Pack of 6)2. Matzo balls soak them up : BROTHS
Matzo is a unleavened bread, that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.

WILL SMITH 24x36 COLOR POSTER PRINT5. When "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" aired: Abbr. : MON
In the late eighties Will Smith was a successful rapper, but he ran foul of the IRS. When he was faced with an IRS-imposed penalty of $2.8 million he was close to becoming bankrupt. Fortunately, along came NBC with a proposal to build a sitcom around him, and “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was born.

9. Jackal, e.g. : CANID
A canid is a carnivorous mammal of the family Canidae, which includes foxes, wolves, dogs, jackals and cayotes.

10. "The Courtship of Miles Standish" couple : ALDENS
“The Courtship of Miles Standish” is a narrative poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It tells of the Mayflower Pilgrims and their early settlement, Plymouth Colony. The poem focuses on Miles Standish, Priscilla Mullens and John Alden, and the love triangle that existed between them.

Charlie Rose (April 7, 2003)11. Emmy-winning U.S. journalist born in Germany : WOLF BLITZER
Wolf Blitzer is the son of Jewish refugees from Poland. He was born in Augsberg in Germany and was given the name “Wolf” in honor of his maternal grandfather. Wolf came with his family to live in the US, and he was raised in Buffalo, New York.

14. Madame Defarge's sinister craft : KNITTING
Madame Thérèse Defarge is a character in the Charles Dickens novel "A Tale of Two Cities". As part of her role in the story, Mme. Defarge sits knitting while observing the guillotine doing its macabre work.

The Graduate Sexy Movie Poster 8"x10"23. "Here's to you" recipient : MRS ROBINSON
When Mike Nichols was making the 1967 film "The Graduate", by all accounts he became obsessed with the music of Simon and Garfunkel who were just coming into the limelight. Nichols made a deal with Paul Simon to write three songs that he could use on the soundtrack of his new movie. Simon and Garfunkel were touring constantly around that time, so Nichols had to badger Simon to hold up his end of the bargain. When he was ready to lay down the film's soundtrack, there was only one commissioned song available, so Nichols had to basically beg Paul Simon for anything. Simon mentioned that he was finishing up one new song, but it wasn't written for the film, and was more a celebration former times, with lyrics about baseball great Joe DiMaggio and former First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt. Nichols informed Simon that the song was no longer about Mrs. Roosevelt. It was about Mrs. Robinson ...

24. It means little to Lisette : PEU
“Un peu” is the French for “a little”.

The Best Of Shaquille O'Neal29. Center in size 22 shoes : SHAQ
Shaquille O'Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he's a big guy ... 7 foot 1 inch. He is also the oldest player active in the NBA today, pushing 40 years old.

32. "The ___ Trilogy" (1955-59 film series) : APU
Satyajit Ray was a Bengali film maker, famous for directing "The Apu Trilogy". These were three Bengali films that were released between 1955 and 1959. They featured music composed by Ravi Shankar, and are considered to be some of the greatest movies of all times by international critics, yet they were filmed on tiny budgets.

Caroline Kennedy Biography : A&E36. Camelot girl : CAROLINE
The early days of the presidency of John F. Kennedy earned the nickname "Camelot". This was largely due to the charisma exhibited by the First Family, and the relatively good times enjoyed by the country in the opening year of the Kennedy administration.

Caroline Bouvier Kennedy is the only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Caroline's elder sister, Arabella, was stillborn; younger brother John Jr. died in a small-plane crash off Martha's Vineyard in 1999; youngest brother Patrick died at only two days old.

ALAN ALDA SIGNED AVIATOR 8X10 PHOTO COA/PIC PROOF37. "The Aviator" Oscar nominee : ALAN ALDA
"The Aviator" is a great film from 2004, a biographical piece about much of the life of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the title role, with Cate Blanchett playing a very credible Katharine Hepburn, Hughes' lover with whom he lived for quite some time. Blanchett won a very much deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Alan Alda received an Oscar nomination as a supporting actor, playing Senator Owen Brewster, a thorn in the side for Howard Hughes.

CHERYL LADD 8X10 PHOTO39. TV "angel" Munroe : KRIS
In the fun TV show from the late seventies and early eighties, “Charlie’s Angels”, Farrah Fawcett-Majors played Jill Munroe. When Fawcett-Majors decided to move on, a new character was introduced to fill her spot, her younger sister, Kris Munroe, played by Cheryl Ladd.

44. It gets you in the house: Abbr. : TKT
A ticket will get you into the “house”.

46. DNA's function : CODING
I've always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine if individuals are close family relations.

48. Highball with white rum : MOJITO
A Mojito is a Cuban cocktail, although the exact origins appear to be unclear, as does the derivation of the name. Want one? Put 4 mint leaves in a glass, and add the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Muddle the ingredients, smashing them together with a muddler or a spoon. Add some crushed ice, two ounces of white rum and stir. Top with a couple of ounces of club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint. Cheers!

American Avocet Photographic Poster Print, 18x2449. Pied wader : AVOCET
The avocet is found in warm climates, usually in saline wetlands where it uses its up-curved bill to sweep from side-to-side in water searching for aquatic insects on which it feeds. Avocets, and other similar species, may go by the common name of "stilts", a moniker applied to them because of their long legs.

Revell 1:48 AH64 Apache Helicopter52. Apache topper : ROTOR
The 4-bladed Apache helicopter was introduced in 1975 as a replacement for the 2-bladed Cobra.

53. ___ Street (road from London Bridge to Chichester) : STANE
Stane Street is the modern name given to an old Roman road that ran between London and Chichester, a distance of almost sixty miles. The name “Stane” is an old spelling of the word “stone”, a reference to the fact that the Roman road was paved, as opposed to the muddy tracks that were used before the Roman conquest of Britain.

Elsa Benitez Color Matte Photograph - 12x12 Inches57. Supermodel Benitez : ELSA
Elsa Benítez is a Mexican model, known for her appearances in the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue”. For a few years she was married to NBA player Rony Seikaly, someone I remember watching play for Syracuse when I lived there.

Adult Men's Cousin It Halloween Costume Wig61. TV's Cousin ___ : ITT
In the television sitcom "The Addams Family", the family had a frequent visitor, Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man, with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

62. Some remote power sources : AAS
AA batteries might be powering your remote control.

63. Org. concerned with radiation : NRC
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversees most aspects of the safety of nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel in the US. I’d say they’ve been pretty busy since the onset of the tragedy in Japan after the tsunami.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Network since 1998 : BBC AMERICA
11. A bummer for bums : WORK
15. Like feats of Clay? : ORATORICAL
16. Shakespeare's "temple-haunting martlet" is a good one : OMEN
17. Unclaimed stretch : NO MAN’S LAND
18. Champion cyclist Leipheimer : LEVI
19. Suffix with 43-Across : -ITE
20. View from Presque Isle : ERIE
21. Be like a bee : FLIT
22. Beats badly : THUMPS
26. "The Man Who Knew Too Much" co-star : EDNA BEST
28. Seattle sea hawks : OSPREYS
30. 1979 negotiation : SALT II
31. Beachgoer's protection : SUN HAT
34. Drop a line to? : HIT ON
35. Protruding rock : SCAR
38. "War With the Newts" novelist, 1936 : CAPEK
40. Singer/songwriter Vienna ___ : TENG
41. Items often done in gold leaf : HALOS
43. What a crystal ball gazer sees : QUARTZ
45. Source of "coffee" and "cotton" : ARABIC
47. With reckless abandon : LIKE MAD
51. Security office array : MONITORS
54. Took pains : STROVE
55. Not be haphazard : PLAN
56. Be stuck (on) : DOTE
58. "___ Boys" (1886 sequel) : JO’S
59. Mr. Universe contestants' needs : OILS
60. Cooler in the summer : ITALIAN ICE
64. Japanese folk music with a swing feel : ONDO
65. Really lousy idea : NONSTARTER
66. Roger's predecessor as 007 : SEAN
67. "Holy mackerel!" : GREAT SCOTT

Down
1. Mackerel family member : BONITO
2. Matzo balls soak them up : BROTHS
3. Was mentioned : CAME UP
4. Loss leader? : AT A
5. When "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" aired: Abbr. : MON
6. Defib settings : ERS
7. Nettle : RILE
8. Supporting statement : I CARE
9. Jackal, e.g. : CANID
10. "The Courtship of Miles Standish" couple : ALDENS
11. Emmy-winning U.S. journalist born in Germany : WOLF BLITZER
12. It often includes ham : OMELETTE
13. Editor's request : REVISION
14. Madame Defarge's sinister craft : KNITTING
23. "Here's to you" recipient : MRS ROBINSON
24. It means little to Lisette : PEU
25. Short agreement? : SYNC
27. "That's nice" : AAH
29. Center in size 22 shoes : SHAQ
32. "The ___ Trilogy" (1955-59 film series) : APU
33. Relative of turquoise : TEAL
35. Some body enhancers : SHAMPOOS
36. Camelot girl : CAROLINE
37. "The Aviator" Oscar nominee : ALAN ALDA
39. TV "angel" Munroe : KRIS
42. Portraitist's request : SIT
44. It gets you in the house: Abbr. : TKT
46. DNA's function : CODING
48. Highball with white rum : MOJITO
49. Pied wader : AVOCET
50. Prickly pear's place : DESERT
52. Apache topper : ROTOR
53. ___ Street (road from London Bridge to Chichester) : STANE
57. Supermodel Benitez : ELSA
61. TV's Cousin ___ : ITT
62. Some remote power sources : AAS
63. Org. concerned with radiation : NRC


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2 comments :

Bill Sequin said...

The "Like feats of Clay?" (15 across) is not a reference to Cassius Clay but to Henry Clay (1777-1852), American statesman and orator.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Bill.

That's a big "oops!"

I'm afraid the "Louisville Lip" jumped into my mind before I had a chance to dig through my sadly lacking knowledge of American statesmen. An embarrassing mistake!

All fixed now, thanks to your help ...

I appreciate it!

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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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