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0419-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Apr 11, Tuesday

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: Randall J. Hartman
THEME: BBB … the puzzle is replete with letter Bs, 35 of them in fact

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
10. Rummy cake : BABA
Rum baba is a small yeast cake saturated in rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream. Rum baba is derived from the recipe for the tall "babka" yeast cake which was introduced to the world by the Polish communities. The word "baba", and "babka", mean "old woman" or "grandmother" in English. I guess someone must have thought that all grandmothers were saturated in rum!

15. Medieval treasure chest : ARCA
An arca (plural arcae) was a chest used for valuables in medieval Spain and Italy.

16. Biographer Leon : EDEL
Leon Edel wrote a highly respected biography of author Henry James, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.

Better Bath Deep Water Bath17. Relaxing soak : BUBBLE BATH
Bubble bath has some very practical uses. As well as helping prevent soap scum, the layer of foam on the top of the water is actually an insulator and helps keep the bathwater warm.

19. "___ kleine Nachtmusik" : EINE
Mozart's Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, is better known as "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", which translates into "a little serenade", but the more literal English translation of "a little night music" is often used. It is a delightful piece in four, very recognizable movements, although there is much debate about a "lost" fifth movement.

Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush23. First lady who wrote "Millie's Book" : BARBARA BUSH
The stated author of “Millie’s Book” is Millie, the pet springer spaniel belonging to Barbara and George Bush. Barbara Bush actually wrote the book, but she is only credited as the person to whom Millie "dictated" the story. “Millie’s Book” tells about a day in the Bush White House, told from a dog’s perspective.

30. Capital in Europa : ROMA
In Italian, the city of Rome (Roma) is in Europe (Europa).

32. Degrees held by many C.E.O.'s : MBAS
The world's first MBA degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

[ca. 1939] Dr. Syngman Rhee, Com'l.34. Former South Korean president Syngman ___ : RHEE
Syngman Rhee was born in Korea, but received much of his education in the US, including a Ph.D. from Princeton. The very much westernized Rhee returned to Korea in 1910, a Korea that by then had been annexed by Japan. Soon after he found himself President of a Provisional Government of Korea based in Shanghai, but was eventually ousted for misuse of power. After WWII, Rhee was installed as President, heavily backed by the United States. However, Rhee's rule proved to be more like tyranny, and during the Korean War his relationship with the US Government became very strained. He stayed in power until 1960 when student revolts became popular enough to force him out of office. The CIA flew him out of the country and he went into exile in Hawaii, where a few years later he died of a stroke.

Whitney Houston: Return of the Diva38. Onetime reality show with Whitney Houston : BEING BOBBY BROWN
“Being Bobby Brown” was a reality TV show about the life of R&B singer Bobby Brown. It first aired in 2005 when Brown’s wife was singer Whitney Houston. The show was extremely popular, but only ran for one season as Houston wouldn’t agree to continue filming.

41. The "E" in N.L.E. : EAST
National League East.

44. Mandlikova of tennis : HANA
Hana Mandlikova is a former professional tennis star from Czechoslovakia. She won four Grand Slam titles and then retired in 1990, at the ripe old age of 28.

Selena46. 1997 Jennifer Lopez biopic : SELENA
Selena Quintanilla-Perez, known professionally simply as "Selena", was murdered in 1995 by the president of her own fan club at the height of her career. In a 1997 biopic about Selena's life, Jennifer Lopez played the title role.

Louisville Slugger H2 Fastpitch Bat - Women's ( sz. 32, -10 OZ )47. Louisville Slugger, e.g. : BASEBALL BAT
The Louisville Slugger is a brand of baseball bat manufactured by the Hillerich & Bradsby Company in Louisville, Kentucky. The famous bat is made of Northern White Ash grown on the New York/Pennsylvania border. These ash forests used by the company are threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer which is moving closer and closer every year. There are already plans in place to replace the traditional wood used in the bat as the assumption is that the source of ash will succumb to infestation.

52. Addis ___ : ABABA
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia. The city is relatively young, only being founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II.

53. 401(k) alternative : 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 IRA contributions. Back in Ireland, that was pretty illegal (where IRA stands for the outlawed Irish Republican Army!).

Captain James Cook: A Biography58. Taboo : NO-NO
The word "taboo" was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean". He described the word "tabu" (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

59. Gen Xer's parent : BABY BOOMER
A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is defined as the "baby boom".

The term Generation X originated in the UK, the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture". By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

63. Cartel formed in '60 : OPEC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia), but isn't part of OPEC. One reason America isn't a member is that even though we are one of the big producers we import a lot more than we export. But you probably knew that already ...

64. Upper atmosphere layer : OZONE
Ozone gets its name from the Greek word ozein, meaning "to smell". It was given this name as ozone's formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas's distinctive smell.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Facebook67. Contacted on Facebook, in a way : POKED
When you “poke” someone on Facebook, an icon shows up on the poked person’s Facebook page telling they have been “poked” and by whom. I guess it’s a way of saying “hi”, but I am very much a Facebook neophyte.

1. Spareribs eaters' wear : BIBS
Spare ribs are so called because "spare" can indicate the absence of fat.

2. N.E.A. part: Abbr. : EDUC
The National Education Association is the largest labor union in the country, mainly representing public school teachers.

Before the Dawn (Dark Angel)3. Jessica of "Good Luck Chuck" : ALBA
Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsular cyst. On top of all that she acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. It seems that she has really turned her life around ...

5. Fashion monogram : YSL
Yves Saint-Laurent was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. He started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from prison, managed to pull his life back together, and started his own fashion house. Remarkable ...

Babar - King Of The Elephants6. Kid-lit elephant : BABAR
Babar the Elephant originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was "Histoire de Babar", a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father's work.

7. Big name in dental care : ORAL-B
The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first "model" was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. And in 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon, traveling on the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition)(B/W & Color)9. Cry from Scrooge : BAH
The classic 1843 novella "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase "Merry Christmas", and secondly it gave us the word "scrooge" meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Scrooge uttered the famous line "Bah! Humbug!".

11. Parting word à Paris : ADIEU
"Adieu" is the French for "goodbye", or "farewell", from "à Dieu" meaning "to God".

Julia Louis Dreyfus Signed Photo GA Certified12. Elaine ___ ("Seinfeld" character) : BENES
The character of Elaine Benes, unlike Jerry, Kramer and George, did not appear in the pilot episode of "Seinfeld". NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show, citing that the situation was too "male-centric".

13. Letter before beth : ALEPH
The Hebrew letter, aleph, has the same root as the Greek "alpha", and hence our Latin A.

18. Abba of Israel : EBAN
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town. While working at the United Nations after WWII he changed his name to "Abba", the Hebrew word for "father", reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

London - Red Bus Poster Print, 24x3623. Sound from Big Ben : BONG
As most people know these days, Big Ben is the nickname for the large bell in the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament). Big Ben's official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of its nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who oversaw the bell's installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day, Benjamin Caunt.

24. Dubai denizens : ARABS
Dubai is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members (geographically) of the UAE are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven that have veto power over UAE policy.

Rubik's TouchCube26. Shape for Rubik : CUBE
What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as the Rubik’s Cube, named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. It is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

32. Lesson from Aesop : MORAL
Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. He was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but apparently insulted the Delphians instead. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, was sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

33. Grp. that battles consumer fraud ... or a hint to some much-repeated letters in this puzzle : BBB
The Better Business Bureau is a private concern (nope, it is not a government agency), founded in 1912. It operates like a franchise, with local BBB's managed independently but operating to a set of "corporate" guidelines.

Ace of Spades Embroidered Patch Iron-On Poker Card Emblem35. Place for an ace : HOLE
Stud poker is the name given to many variants of the game, all characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing downwards are called "hole cards", cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. That gives rise to the phrase "ace in the hole", a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

EWAN MCGREGOR 8x10 COLOUR PHOTO36. McGregor of "Star Wars" films : EWAN
Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, who got his break in the 1996 film "Trainspotting". His first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the "Star Wars" prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York, via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as "Long Way Round" on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called "Long Way Down" which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

ENYA 20X24 COLOR PHOTO37. 1987 album later rereleased as "The Celts" : ENYA
Enya's real name is Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin, 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. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

39. ___ fide : BONA
Bona fide(s), translates from the Latin as "in good faith", and is used to indicate honest intentions.

A Tramp Through the Bret Harte Country40. Author Harte : BRET
Bret Harte was a storyteller noted for his tales of the American West, even though he himself was from back East, born in Albany, New York.

45. Defunct hoops org. : ABA
The American Basketball Association.

Saab JAS 39A Gripen Swedish AF 1-48 Model Airplane by Italeri46. Volvo rival : SAAB
SAAB stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. So yes, SAAB was and still is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you will often find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automobile division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000.

47. Hardly a chain hotel, informally : B AND B
An intimate inn (in the US) is a bed & breakfast. A bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic, and is almost always much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

49. Capital of Yemen : SANA’A
Sana (also Sana’a) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today's metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site.

Bryce Canyon National Park (Amphitheater) Art Poster Print - 11x1751. Utah's ___ Canyon : BRYCE
Bryce Canyon National Park is truly a beautiful part of the America. The strange thing though is that Bryce isn’t a canyon at all, but rather a a natural amphitheater created by erosion of sedimentary rocks that are part of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

54. Dumb cluck : BOZO
A "bozo" is a man with a low IQ, and one who is usually quite muscular. We've been using the word since the early 1900s, and it possibly comes from the Spanish "bozal" that was used to describe someone who speaks Spanish poorly.

55. Totally out of control : AMOK
The phrase "to run amok" has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for "attacking furiously", "amuk". The word "amok" was also used as a noun, to describe Malay natives who were "frenzied". Given Malayan history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy ...

Signed Russo, Rene 8x10 Photo56. Russo of "Major League" : RENE
The lovely and very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. She went to high school with actor/director Ron Howard, but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen she was given the opportunity to train as a model, and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, she made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as she is one of my favorite actresses …

California Costume Women's Flirty Flapper Wig, Black, ADULT59. Short do : BOB
A "bob cut" is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s a "bob" was the name given to a horse's tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their "mop tops", with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women's hair in a bob cut. Personally, I like it ...

61. Alley ___ : OOP
French people, and circus acrobats in particular, use the phrase "allez hop!" as words of encouragement, sort of like our "let's go!". The phrase was anglicized to "alley oop".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Like a rat's eyes : BEADY
6. Dumb cluck : BOOB
10. Rummy cake : BABA
14. Twiddles one's thumbs : IDLES
15. Medieval treasure chest : ARCA
16. Biographer Leon : EDEL
17. Relaxing soak : BUBBLE BATH
19. "___ kleine Nachtmusik" : EINE
20. "Get lost, kitty!" : SCAT
21. Savings acct. figure : BAL
22. Sleazy sort : CREEP
23. First lady who wrote "Millie's Book" : BARBARA BUSH
26. Diamond, essentially : CARBON
30. Capital in Europa : ROMA
31. From the city : URBAN
32. Degrees held by many C.E.O.'s : MBAS
34. Former South Korean president Syngman ___ : RHEE
38. Onetime reality show with Whitney Houston : BEING BOBBY BROWN
41. The "E" in N.L.E. : EAST
42. The sun, moon and stars : ORBS
43. Event with batons : RELAY
44. Mandlikova of tennis : HANA
46. 1997 Jennifer Lopez biopic : SELENA
47. Louisville Slugger, e.g. : BASEBALL BAT
52. Addis ___ : ABABA
53. 401(k) alternative : IRA
54. Stinging remark : BARB
58. Taboo : NO-NO
59. Gen Xer's parent : BABY BOOMER
62. Circle meas. : DIAM
63. Cartel formed in '60 : OPEC
64. Upper atmosphere layer : OZONE
65. Let the cat out of the bag : BLAB
66. Tree trunk : BOLE
67. Contacted on Facebook, in a way : POKED

1. Spareribs eaters' wear : BIBS
2. N.E.A. part: Abbr. : EDUC
3. Jessica of "Good Luck Chuck" : ALBA
4. Red ink : DEBT
5. Fashion monogram : YSL
6. Kid-lit elephant : BABAR
7. Big name in dental care : ORAL-B
8. United Nations Day mo. : OCT
9. Cry from Scrooge : BAH
10. Brewery container : BEER BARREL
11. Parting word à Paris : ADIEU
12. Elaine ___ ("Seinfeld" character) : BENES
13. Letter before beth : ALEPH
18. Abba of Israel : EBAN
22. Piece of video gear : CAM
23. Sound from Big Ben : BONG
24. Dubai denizens : ARABS
25. Like Santa's cheeks : ROSY
26. Shape for Rubik : CUBE
27. Field of study : AREA
28. Diamond stats : RBIS
29. Anti-nuke slogan : BAN THE BOMB
32. Lesson from Aesop : MORAL
33. Grp. that battles consumer fraud ... or a hint to some much-repeated letters in this puzzle : BBB
35. Place for an ace : HOLE
36. McGregor of "Star Wars" films : EWAN
37. 1987 album later rereleased as "The Celts" : ENYA
39. ___ fide : BONA
40. Author Harte : BRET
45. Defunct hoops org. : ABA
46. Volvo rival : SAAB
47. Hardly a chain hotel, informally : B AND B
48. In a tumultuous state : ABOIL
49. Capital of Yemen : SANA’A
50. Defame in writing : LIBEL
51. Utah's ___ Canyon : BRYCE
54. Dumb cluck : BOZO
55. Totally out of control : AMOK
56. Russo of "Major League" : RENE
57. Raised, as cattle : BRED
59. Short do : BOB
60. G.I.'s address : APO
61. Alley ___ : OOP

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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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