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0427-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Apr 11, Wednesday

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: William I. Johnston
THEME: Unambiguous Beginnings … all the theme answers start with a synonym of “unambiguous” …
20A. Task that stands high on one's list : CLEAR PRIORITY
40A. Words on a parental advisory label : EXPLICIT CONTENT
56A. Shiny shoe material : PATENT LEATHER
7D. Expansionist doctrine : MANIFEST DESTINY

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Signed Lendl, Ivan 8x10 Photo14. Tennis great Lendl : IVAN
Ivan Lendl is a former professional tennis player from Czechoslovakia. Lendl appeared in eight consecutive US Open finals in the eighties, a record that stands to this day.

17. Riviera city : NICE
The city of Nice lies on the Mediterranean coast of France, not far from the Italian border. Although it is only the fifth most populous city, it has the second busiest airport in the country (after Paris), a reflection of the vast number of jet-setting tourists that flock to Nice and environs.

William Penn - A Short Biography18. Quaker State: Abbr. : PENNA
Today “Quaker State” is an unofficial name for Pennsylvania, as it is more correctly known as the Keystone State, and has been so since 1802. However, in colonial times Pennsylvania was known officially as the Quaker Province, recognizing the beliefs and doctrine of the state’s founder, William Penn.

24. Bit of cyberchat shorthand : FWIW
For What It’s Worth.

31. First Nations tribe : CREE
“First Nations” is a term used in Canada describing the ethnicity of Native Americans who are neither Inuit nor M├ętis people.

The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. 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.

37. Exam with a max. score of 180 : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test has been around since 1948.

39. "Dies ___" : IRAE
Dies Irae is Latin for "Day of Wrath". It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, and is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

43. Winter air : NOEL
Noel is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for "birth", "natalis". Noel has come to be used as an alternative name from a Christmas carol.

44. Food stamp? : USDA
The US Department of Agriculture dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Notably, Lincoln referred to the USDA as the "people's department", reflecting the agrarian basis of our economy back then.

The Book of Isiah: The Rise of a Basketball Legend45. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Thomas : ISIAH
Isiah Thomas played his whole professional basketball-playing career with the Detroit Pistons, and he is now the head coach with Florida International University's Golden Panthers. When you're out shopping for popcorn, keep an eye out for the Dale &Thomas brand, as it's co-owned by Thomas.

50. Quattro preceder : TRE
In Italian, tre (three) precedes quattro (four).

Ty Cobb (Sport in American Life)51. Cobb and others : TYS
Ty Cobb was one of the richest baseball players of all times. When he retired he was a major stockholder of the Coca-Cola Corporation, and by the time he passed away in 1961 he had an even bigger investment in General Electric. He left an estate worth about $86m (in 2008 dollars).

52. Turnarounds, slangily : UIES

54. Corrida cry : OLE
Spanish bullfighting is known locally as corrida de toros, literally "race of bulls".

Nine West Women's Flax Pump,Black Patent Synthetic,8.5 M US56. Shiny shoe material : PATENT LEATHER
The traditional process that creates the shine on patent leather was developed in 1818 by Seth Boyden. He used a lacquer coating based on linseed oil. Most patent leather today has a plastic coating.

65. Brit of Fox News : HUME
The TV journalist Brit Hume’s full name is Alexander Britton Hume.

66. Kitchenware brand : EKCO
The EKCO name dates back to 1888 when Edward Katzinger founded his company in Chicago, to make baking pans. The acronym EKCO stands for "Edward Katzinger Co".

Ambiance Unpainted Bisque Ionic Column Outdoor Wall Light - Item 4715W-BIS67. Column order : IONIC
An Ionic column is relatively ornate. It usually has grooves running up and down its length and at the top there is a "scroll" design called a "volute". The scroll design makes it a popular inclusion in academic buildings.

1981 Meredith Baxter Birney Photo Noxzema Skin Cream Print Ad (18191)70. "Family Ties" mother : ELYSE
"Family Ties" was one of the first TV shows that I enjoyed when I arrived in the US back in 1983. I found the situation very appealing, with two ex-hippie parents facing off against an ultra-conservative son. The main characters in the show were Michael J. Fox as Alex, Meredith Baxter-Birney as Alex's mom, Elyse, and Michael Gross as Alex's Dad, Steven. But some future stars had recurring roles as well, including Courtney Cox as one of Alex's girlfriends and Tom Hanks as Elyse's young brother.

71. Rabid dog in a Stephen King story : CUJO
"Cujo" is a Stephen King horror novel, which means that I have never read it (I don't do horror). The character Cujo is a rabid St. Bernard dog which besieges a young couple for three days in their stalled car. King tells us that he lifted the dog's name from real life, as Cujo was the nickname of Willie Wolfe, one of the men responsible for the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

1. 97.5% of a penny : ZINC
The official name of our smallest denomination coin is a “cent”, and our use of the word “penny” is just a colloquialism derived from the British coin of the same name. However, in the UK the plural of penny is “pence”, whereas we have “pennies” in our pockets.

(I Know I Got) Skillz4. Center of the N.B.A. : O’NEAL
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 tall. He is also the oldest player active in the NBA today, around 40 years old.

LIL WAYNE Signed AUTOGRAPHED 8x10 Photo/Proof W/coa & Hologram5. Lil Wayne, for one : RAPPER
Here’s yet another rapper (oh, joy!). Lil Wayne's real name is ... Dwayne Carter, Jr.

7. Expansionist doctrine : MANIFEST DESTINY
Manifest Destiny was the belief expressed in the 19th century that the United States was “destined” to expand right across North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

21. Lake of "Hairspray" : RICKI
Ricki Lake is perhaps as well known for her "Ricki Lake" talk show, as she is for playing Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 movie "Hairspray".

United States Marine Corps Memorial Tabletop Figurine Replica: Memories Of Honor by The Bradford Exchange22. Pacific battle site, familiarly : IWO
Iwo Jima today is an uninhabited volcanic island located south of Tokyo, Japan. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out, and no one has lived there ever since.

28. Online newsgroup system : USENET
Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in "newsgroups"? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it's still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms "FAQ" and "spam" were both born on Usenet.

29. Leipzig's state : SAXONY
Saxony was the name given at different times in history to states along the Elbe river in central Europe. As the various states broke up, they spawned many duchies that retained the name "Saxe", the most famous probably being Saxe-Coburg and Gothe, two united duchies in Germany that ceased to exist after WWII. A notable branch of the Saxe-Coburg and Gothe House is the British Royal Family, as Queen Victoria was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gothe. King George V changed the name of the family to the House of Windsor in a politically pragmatic move during WWI.

30. Four-dimensional realm : HYPERSPACE
“Hyperspace” is a term used to describe space that has four dimensions, and not just three (i.e. length, breadth and height, plus one). The idea makes my head hurt …

Senator John Kerry Portrait 11x14 Silver Halide Photo Print32. Skull and Bones members : ELIS
Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale University, founded in 1832. The society is well funded, and even owns a 40-acre island in Upstate New York that members and alumni use as a retreat. Noted members of Skull and Bones included William F. Buckley, Jr. and Senator John Kerry.

34. Morse code for "sissies" : DITS
The words “sissies” in Morse Code is a series of dots (or dits) i.e. .../../.../.../.././...

Samuel Morse was a very accomplished painter with quite a reputation (he painted a portrait of President John Adams, for example). In 1825 he was in Washington working on a commissioned painting when he received a one-line letter by horse messenger telling him that his wife was ill. He left immediately for his home in New Haven, Connecticut, but by the time he arrived she had already died and had been buried. This single event spurred him to move from painting to the development of a rapid means of long distance communication, leading to the single-wire telegraph and Morse code.

36. Ceramic vessel : OLLA
An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews.

Nilla Wafers Mini, 12-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4)42. Nabisco wafer : NILLA
As one might expect, Nilla is a shortened from of "vanilla". However, you won't find any vanilla in Nilla cookies or wafers. They always been flavored with vanillin, synthetic vanilla. Is nothing sacred ...?

47. Wall Street option : PUT
A “put option” is the name given to a contract in which the buyer of the put has the option to sell something at a future date should it’s market price fall to a predetermined level. The seller of the put is obliged to purchase the security at that price.

58. Island rings : LEIS
"Lei" is the Hawaiian word for "garland, wreath", although in more general terms a "lei" is any series of objects strung together as an adornment intended to be worn.

59. Rwandan group : HUTU
The Tutsi are the second largest population of people in Rwanda, with the Hutu being the largest group. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels the fighting to this very day.

The Story of Bach60. Key of Bach's second violin concerto: Abbr. : E-MAJ
Like so many of the great composers, the extent of Bach's contribution to the repertoire wasn't fully recognized until long after his passing. Johann Sebastian Bach was undoubtedly the greatest composer of the Baroque period, and is ranked by many as the greatest classical composer of all time.

Johann Sebastian Bach raised a very musical family. He had four sons who became famous musicians in their own right. They were:
- Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (aka "the Halle Bach")
- Carl Philipp Bach (aka "the Hamburg Bach")
- Johann Chrisptoph Bach (aka "the Buckeberg Bach")
- Johann Christian Bach (aka "the London Bach")

62. Letters seen during proofreading? : QED
Q.E.D. is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

63. Island strings : UKE
The ukulele originated in the 1800s, and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Sum of opposites : ZERO
5. Send in, as payment : REMIT
10. Surmounting : ATOP
14. Tennis great Lendl : IVAN
15. Not just stirring : AWAKE
16. Dump water overboard : BAIL
17. Riviera city : NICE
18. Quaker State: Abbr. : PENNA
19. Grotesque : UGLY
20. Task that stands high on one's list : CLEAR PRIORITY
23. It may be part of a pack : LIE
24. Bit of cyberchat shorthand : FWIW
25. Photo ___ : OPS
28. Show people to their seats, informally : USH
31. First Nations tribe : CREE
33. Little bump : NODULE
35. Agree verbally : SAY OK
37. Exam with a max. score of 180 : LSAT
39. "Dies ___" : IRAE
40. Words on a parental advisory label : EXPLICIT CONTENT
43. Winter air : NOEL
44. Food stamp? : USDA
45. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Thomas : ISIAH
46. Mesmerized : ENRAPT
48. Return envelope, e.g.: Abbr. : ENCL
50. Quattro preceder : TRE
51. Cobb and others : TYS
52. Turnarounds, slangily : UIES
54. Corrida cry : OLE
56. Shiny shoe material : PATENT LEATHER
62. Campus area : QUAD
64. Buttinsky : PRIER
65. Brit of Fox News : HUME
66. Kitchenware brand : EKCO
67. Column order : IONIC
68. Slanted type: Abbr. : ITAL
69. Pretty low grades : DEES
70. "Family Ties" mother : ELYSE
71. Rabid dog in a Stephen King story : CUJO

1. 97.5% of a penny : ZINC
2. Diabolical : EVIL
3. Political contest : RACE
4. Center of the N.B.A. : O’NEAL
5. Lil Wayne, for one : RAPPER
6. Common still-life subject : EWER
7. Expansionist doctrine : MANIFEST DESTINY
8. "No need to tell me" : I KNOW
9. Attack vigorously : TEAR INTO
10. Touch : ABUT
11. Playground shout : TAG YOU’RE IT
12. Vinaigrette component : OIL
13. Practice, as a trade : PLY
21. Lake of "Hairspray" : RICKI
22. Pacific battle site, familiarly : IWO
26. Flat : PLANAR
27. Do a slow burn : SEETHE
28. Online newsgroup system : USENET
29. Leipzig's state : SAXONY
30. Four-dimensional realm : HYPERSPACE
32. Skull and Bones members : ELIS
34. Morse code for "sissies" : DITS
36. Ceramic vessel : OLLA
38. Open ___ of worms : A CAN
41. Adorable one : CUTIE PIE
42. Nabisco wafer : NILLA
47. Wall Street option : PUT
49. Strong-arm : COERCE
53. Register : ENROL
55. Set of principles : ETHIC
57. Commotions : ADOS
58. Island rings : LEIS
59. Rwandan group : HUTU
60. Key of Bach's second violin concerto: Abbr. : E-MAJ
61. Employee's move, for short : RELO
62. Letters seen during proofreading? : QED
63. Island strings : UKE

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Jim said...

26 Down- Planar?
Where did that come from?

Bill Butler said...

Hi Jim.


Something "flat" resembles a "plane", it is "planar".

Hope that helps!

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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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