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Vacation Alert

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

0418-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Apr 11, Monday





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: James Tuttle
THEME: GAME, SET and MATCH … the theme answers contain a word that progresses through the score in a game of tennis:
20A. Tricky romantic relationship : LOVE TRIANGLE
28A. Distance on the Erie Canal, in song : FIFTEEN MILES
38A. One approaching middle age : THIRTY SOMETHING
46A. "Arabian Nights" band : FORTY THIEVES
57A. Tennis winner's declaration : GAME SET MATCH
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Thailand, once : SIAM
Siam was the official name of Thailand up to 1939 (and from 1945 to 1949).

Black Judo/Jujitsu uniform Cahill series - Size 89. Karate schools : DOJOS
The Japanese word dojo literally means "place of the way". Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, however, in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

18. Jason's ship, in myth : ARGO
In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The vessel was called the "Argo" in honor of the ship's builder, a man named Argus.

William Pitt the Younger19. English P.M. William and others : PITTS
William Pitt was Prime Minister of Britain from 1766 to 1768. He lent his name to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

23. Inscribed pillar : STELA
Stelae were used all over the world, sometimes as territorial markers, and sometimes to commemorate military victories. In later times stelae were commonly erected as commemorative markers in graveyards or other religious sites.

BATMAN ADAM WEST BURT WARD 16X20 PHOTO24. Batman and Robin, e.g. : DUO
The television show "Batman" aired from 1966-1968. Burt Ward played Robin opposite Adam West's Batman. Supposedly, Burt Ward was offered the part taken by Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate", but Ward couldn't get out of his contract for the "Batman" television series.

28. Distance on the Erie Canal, in song : FIFTEEN MILES
The song "Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal" was written in 1905. The lyrics are nostalgic, and look back to the days when traffic on the canal was pulled by mules, and bemoans the introduction of the fast-moving engine-powered barges. The first line is "I've got an old mule and her name is Sal".

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS - Major League Baseball - Sticker Decal - #S10033. Cardinals' home: Abbr. : STL
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the "Brown Stockings", changing their name to the "Perfectos" in 1899. That obviously didn't go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

36. "Arabian Nights" bird : ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants.

37. Computer data acronym : ASCII
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) lists codes for 32 "control" characters, as well as the 95 printable characters (like a, A, b, B, 1, 2, etc). These binary ASCII codes are the way that our computers can understand what we mean when we type say a letter or a number.

Kenny Baker Autographed/Hand Signed 8X10 Photo43. ___-Detoo ("Star Wars" droid) : ARTOO
Artoo's proper name is R2-D2, the smaller of the two famous droids from "Star Wars". British actor, Kenny Baker, who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the "Star Wars" movies.

Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G Broadband Router (Compatible with Linux)44. PC linkup : LAN
You may have a Local Area Network (LAN) in your house. If you've got a PC and a router or switch, likely attached to some modem, then you have a LAN.

46. "Arabian Nights" band : FORTY THIEVES
There is some controversy about the story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" in that it has been suggested it was not part of the original collection of Arabic tales called "One Thousand and One Nights". The suggestion is that it was added by one of its European translators.

52. Kentucky Derby month : MAY
The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, a race modelled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, it was run over 1½ miles. The American race was shortened in 1896, and is now run over 1¼ miles.

Gone With the Wind [VHS]65. "Gone With the Wind" plantation : TARA
Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O'Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind". In the book, Tara was founded by Scarlett's father, Irish immigrant Gerald O'Hara. He named his new home after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

67. Stratford-upon-___ : AVON
William Shakespeare is known as the Bard of Avon, as he was born and raised in the lovely town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

68. Leprechaun's land : ERIN
Erin is an anglicized version of "Eirinn", the Irish word for Ireland, with "Eirinn" being the dative case of "Eire".

71. Coin with a torch on the back : DIME
The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

Down
3. Excedrin alternative : ALEVE
Aleve is an anti-inflammatory drug, Naproxen sodium.

TERI HATCHER 11X14 COLOR PHOTO6. Actress Hatcher : TERI
Teri Hatcher's most famous role these days is as Susan Meyer in "Desperate Housewives". I've never seen more than a few minutes of that show, but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in "Tomorrow Never Dies".

MARILYN MONROE LIPS - 24x36 - ART PRINT / POSTER8. Marilyn Monroe, e.g., hairwise : BLONDE
Marilyn Monroe was born in 1926 in LA County Hospital, the child of Gladys Pearl Baker. The young girl was given the name of Norma Jeane Mortensen on her birth certificate, but her mother changed this to Norma Jeane Baker almost immediately. She and her estranged husband, Martin Edward Mortenson, had separated before Baker became pregnant so it is suggested that the Mortensen name was used to just to give Norma Jeane "legitimacy". Norma Jeane married a Jim Dougherty when she 16 years old, and took his name to become Norma Jeane Dougherty in 1932. During WWII she was discovered by a photographer and became quite a successful model. The modelling earned her a screen test, at which time it was suggested that Norma Jean change her name yet again. The first name chosen for her by studio executives was Carole Lind (after Carole Lombard and Jenny Lind), but then Norma Jeane chose "Jeane Monroe" for herself, using her mother's maiden name. It didn't take long before the studio intervened again, suggesting that they had too many "Jeans" already. The name Marilyn Monroe was floated as it had a nice ring to it. Along with the new name Marilyn changed from a brunette to a blonde, and a star was born ...

TY Odie The Dog Plush Beanie Baby 9 Inch Toy [Toy]10. "Garfield" dog : ODIE
Odie is Garfield's best friend, and is a slobbery beagle.

Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics11. Boeing 757, e.g. : JET
The first Boeing 757 went into service in 1983 and, after 1,050 had been built, production was stopped in 2004. The US Air Force has four 757s that have been fitted out for VIP travel, most often used to transport the US Vice President under the call sign “Air Force Two”.

12. Muesli ingredient : OAT
"Meusli" is a Swiss-German term describing a breakfast serving of oats, nuts, fruit and milk. Delicious ...

21. ___ chi (martial art) : TAI
More properly called tai chi chuan, tai chi is a martial art mostly practiced to improve overall health and increasing longevity.

25. Conqueror of Valencia in 1094 : EL CID
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as "The Champion" or perhaps "The Lord, Master of Military Arts". El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, making it is headquarters and home. He died there, quite peacefully in 1099.

31. Rod-shaped bacteria : E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria, found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

41. Fannie ___ : MAE
The Federal National Mortgage Association is commonly called Fannie Mae, a play on the acronym FNMA.

Vintage Knitting PATTERN to make - Knitted Boys or Girls Toddler Size 2 Child Tam Hat Beret. NOT a finished item. This is a pattern and/or instructions to make the item only.47. Scottish cap : TAM
A tam o'shanter is a man's cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. They were originally all blue (and called "blue bonnets") but as dyes became more available, they became more colorful. The name tam o'shanter comes from the title character of Robert Burns poem "Tam O'Shanter".

Atari Anniversary Edition54. Classic name in arcades : ATARI
At one point Atari was the fastest growing company in US history, but the company never really recovered from the video game crash of 1983.

55. Theater backdrop : SCRIM
“Scrim” is the name given to that transparent fabric that hangs down onto a stage, often used with special lighting for various effects.

56. Feudal baron : THANE
Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thane has to be the Thane of Fife, Macduff, the fictional character that is killed by Macbeth in Shakespeare's play. Other thanes in "Macbeth" are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.

Beautiful SHIVA NATRAJ Yoga BATIK 30 X 43 Inches58. One of the Hindu trinity : SIVA
The Hindu Trinity is composed of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also Siva) the destroyer or transformer. Shiva is a Sanskrit word meaning "auspicious, kind, gracious".

62. Letter before sigma : RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter "p".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Thailand, once : SIAM
5. Attack with a knife : STAB
9. Karate schools : DOJOS
14. How doodles are usually drawn : IDLY
15. Inform : TELL
16. Creative thoughts : IDEAS
17. Prevarications : LIES
18. Jason's ship, in myth : ARGO
19. English P.M. William and others : PITTS
20. Tricky romantic relationship : LOVE TRIANGLE
23. Inscribed pillar : STELA
24. Batman and Robin, e.g. : DUO
25. Spanish "that" : ESA
28. Distance on the Erie Canal, in song : FIFTEEN MILES
33. Cardinals' home: Abbr. : STL
36. "Arabian Nights" bird : ROC
37. Computer data acronym : ASCII
38. One approaching middle age : THIRTY SOMETHING
43. ___-Detoo ("Star Wars" droid) : ARTOO
44. PC linkup : LAN
45. Room with a mounted deer's head, maybe : DEN
46. "Arabian Nights" band : FORTY THIEVES
51. Finder's charge : FEE
52. Kentucky Derby month : MAY
53. Minimum : LEAST
57. Tennis winner's declaration : GAME SET MATCH
61. Sound of an unsound floor : CREAK
64. Well-mannered : NICE
65. "Gone With the Wind" plantation : TARA
66. "___ you're satisfied now!" : I HOPE
67. Stratford-upon-___ : AVON
68. Leprechaun's land : ERIN
69. Dead duck : GONER
70. NaCl : SALT
71. Coin with a torch on the back : DIME

Down
1. Places to cool pies : SILLS
2. Dodo : IDIOT
3. Excedrin alternative : ALEVE
4. "I'll do it ___" : MYSELF
5. The sun, e.g. : STAR
6. Actress Hatcher : TERI
7. Bit of plankton : ALGA
8. Marilyn Monroe, e.g., hairwise : BLONDE
9. Worker at the United Nations : DIPLOMAT
10. "Garfield" dog : ODIE
11. Boeing 757, e.g. : JET
12. Muesli ingredient : OAT
13. Draft org. : SSS
21. ___ chi (martial art) : TAI
22. Item in a holster : GUN
25. Conqueror of Valencia in 1094 : EL CID
26. Paris divider : SEINE
27. "It's ___ of the times" : A SIGN
29. Cook, as onion rings : FRY
30. How-___ (books for handy types) : TOS
31. Rod-shaped bacteria : E COLI
32. Kind of: Suffix : -ISH
33. Personnel : STAFF
34. Pang : THROE
35. Petrol measure : LITRE
39. Decompose : ROT
40. Hasbro or Fisher-Price : TOY MAKER
41. Fannie ___ : MAE
42. Card holder: Abbr. : ENV
47. Scottish cap : TAM
48. "Laughing" animals : HYENAS
49. Tree with seeds that whirl like helicopter blades : ELM
50. Ushered : SEATED
54. Classic name in arcades : ATARI
55. Theater backdrop : SCRIM
56. Feudal baron : THANE
57. Display awe : GAPE
58. One of the Hindu trinity : SIVA
59. Environmental subj. : ECOL
60. Camper's shelter : TENT
61. Item bummed from a pack : CIG
62. Letter before sigma : RHO
63. Years and years and years : EON


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2 comments :

Gene said...

Macduff kills Macbeth, not the other way around. I'm sure you know that and have just reversed the names.

Bill Butler said...

Gene,

Oops! We'll have to call that one a typo.

Thanks so much for taking the time to watch my back! I appreciate it, Gene.

All fixed now ...

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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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