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0503-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 May 11, Tuesday





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: Kevan Choset
THEME: COMIC MAN … all the theme answer start with a word that can preface -MAN to make a famous comic book superhero:
18. Event held on January 26, 1986 : SUPERBOWL XX (giving SUPERMAN)
24. Blue-green gem : AQUAMARINE (giving AQUAMAN)
38. Idly debate : BAT AROUND (giving BATMAN)
53. Long-legged sea animal seen along the Atlantic Coast : SPIDER CRAB (giving SPIDER-MAN)
61. Continental divide, once : IRON CURTAIN (giving IRON MAN)
71. Word that can follow the start of 18-, 24-, 38-, 53- or 61-Across : MAN
COMPLETION TIME: 8m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. OPEC units: Abbr. : BBL
The volume of one oil barrel is equivalent to 42 US gallons. A barrel is correctly abbreviated to "bbl". Barrels aren't really used for transporting crude oil anymore. Instead, it all moves in bulk through pipelines and in oil tankers. Barrel just a quantity these days.

8. Bruckner and Chekhov : ANTONS
The Cambridge Companion to Bruckner (Cambridge Companions to Music)Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer, not a favorite of mine as he embraces the use of dissonances (I'm a sober traditionalist!). His Symphony No. 7 is perhaps his most popular work. He created a slow, mournful movement in recognition of the impending death of Richard Wagner, whom he greatly admired.

Notebook of Anton ChekhovAnton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

15. No longer worth debating : MOOT
To moot is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. The opposite usage (as in this clue) is very common these days, but strictly speaking it isn’t “correct”.

16. "But will it play in ___?" : PEORIA
The phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?” is used to mean, “Will it appeal to the mainstream?” It is believed the expression originated as a corruption of, “We shall play in Peoria”, stated by actors who are characters in an 1890 novel “Five Hundred Dollars” by Horatio Alger, Jr.

PATRICK STEWART 20X24 COLOR PHOTO17. Enterprise captain Jean-___ Picard : LUC
Sir Patrick Stewart is most famous perhaps for playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Stewart’s Hollywood career became so successful that he moved from the UK to Los Angeles, but he returned to his homeland in 2004. He stated at the time he was homesick, and wanted to get back to playing roles in the theater.

18. Event held on January 26, 1986 : SUPER BOWL XX (giving SUPERMAN)
Super Bowl XX was played in 1986 at the Superdome in New Orleans. That year the Chicago Bears won their first ever NFL championship by defeating the New England Patriots.

Superman Child's Costume, SmallSuperman first appeared in the comics in 1938, and really was the original in a long line of superheroes. Superman was so well received that Batman was created soon after.

20. D-Day carriers: Abbr. : LSTS
LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels with doors at either ends, from which tanks and other vehicles could roll off onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off ferries, all inspired by the LST.

22. ___ avis : RARA
A rara avis is anything that is very rare, from the Latin for "rare bird".

24. Blue-green gem : AQUAMARINE (giving AQUAMAN)
The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different, semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. The source of the green color is mainly chromium.

Justice League Series 1: Aquaman Action FigureAquaman is a comic book superhero who first appeared in 1941. Aquaman was inspired by a character in a Russian science-fiction novel called Amphibian Man.

27. Vermont but not New Hampshire, e.g.? : IAMB
An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Robert Frost's "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" consists of lines, each of which is a set of four sequential iambs e.g. "Whose woods / these are / I think / I know". With a sequence of four iambs, the poem's structure is described as iambic tetrameter.

Duke Blue Devils Team Auto Window Decal (12 x 10 -inch)30. Duke's home : DURHAM
Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to woman, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family.

31. In Act I, it begins "Enter Ghost and Hamlet" : SCENE V
In Act I, Scene V of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Prince Hamlet is visited by the ghost of his father. Hamlet learns of the king's murder and is urged to avenge him.

34. Yemen's capital : 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.

Batman Deluxe Muscle Chest Batman Child's Costume, Small38. Idly debate : BAT AROUND (giving BATMAN)
Batman is unique among his superhero compatriots in that he has no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets.

ALEC GUINNESS 8X10 COLOR PHOTO41. ___-Wan : OBI
Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars".

45. Small drum : TABOR
A tabor is a portable snare drum, played with one hand. It is usually suspended by a strap from one arm, with the other hand free to beat the drum. It is often played as an accompaniment for a fife or other small flutes. The word "tabor" comes from the Welsh name for the drum, "tabwrdd".

49. Walk with flair : SASHAY
To sashay is to strut along in a showy manner. “Sashay” is an Anglicized form of the French word “chassé”, a sliding step in square dancing.

51. Gambling mecca : MONACO
The Principality of Monaco is on the Mediterranean coast, and is otherwise surrounded by France, even though it is just under 10 miles from Italy. Despite being an independent country, France is responsible for its defence!

Spiderman Toddler - Size: 3T-4T53. Long-legged sea animal seen along the Atlantic Coast : SPIDER CRAB (giving SPIDER-MAN)
Spider-Man is quite new to the comic superhero scene, first appearing in 1962. He was relatively unusual in the genre at that time, as Spider-Man’s alter-ego is a teenager, a young man called Peter Parker.

59. Linear, for short : ONE-D
The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. A line, therefore, is one-dimensional as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

60. Sea eagle : ERNE
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

61. Continental divide, once : IRON CURTAIN (giving IRON MAN)
Sir Winston Churchill Portrait 8x10 Silver Halide Photo PrintThe term “Iron Curtain” was first used in the context of Soviet influence over Eastern Europe in a speech made by Winston Churchill in 1946. He made that address in the US, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

Iron Man 2 Mark 6 Classic Costume, Child S(4-6)Iron Man is another one of those comic book superheroes, created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. The character has become very famous in the last couple of years, since the appearance of the 2008 action movie "Iron Man" starring Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role. "Iron Man 2" was released in May 2010. I'll be skipping both ...

65. Post-W.W. II alliance : OAS
The Organization of American States has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. All the independent states in the Americas are members of the group (except Honduras, suspended after the 2009 coup in that country).

67. Gay Nineties and Roaring Twenties : ERAS
When looking back at the 1890s, here in America we sometimes refer to the era as the Gay Nineties. The term is associated with a time of emerging wealth in the days before income taxes were permanently levied on citizens. Back in the British Isles, the same decade is known as the Naughty Nineties, days of society scandals and the outrageous antics of the likes of Oscar Wilde.

Womens 20s Costume Black Fringe Flapper Girl Dress Womens U.S. M/L (8-12)The 1920s are often called the Roaring Twenties, a period of dynamic change across all aspects of life. Things were finally returning to normal after WWI, jazz became popular, some women “broke the mold” by becoming “flappers”, and Art Deco flourished. The whole decade came to a tragic end with the Wall Street Crash of 1929, followed by the Great Depression.

68. Prefix with meter : ODO-
An odometer measures distance traveled. The word derives from the Greek "hodos" meaning "path" and "metron" meaning "measure".

The King's Speech69. "The King's ___" : SPEECH
The King’s Speech” is a wonderful, wonderful 2010 film about King George VI and his efforts to overcome his speech impediment. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter all do fabulous jobs playing the lead characters. It is an independent film, so was made with a relatively low budget of $15 million, but grossed almost $400 million at box offices worldwide. It is the most successful British independent film of all time.

LENA OLIN 8x10 Female Celebrity Photo Signed In-Person70. Actress Olin : LENA
Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, discovered by Ingmar Bergman. Her most famous performance was in "Chocolat" released in 2000, and then she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting actress in the TV show "Alias".

Down
4. Some chants : OMS
Om is a sacred, mystic word from the Hindu tradition. It is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

6. Like some stock : NO-PAR
In days gone by, when companies first issued a stock, each share would be given a face value (called "par value"). In effect, the company was making a commitment not to issue any more stock under that par value, giving investors confidence that there was no better deal to be had. Nowadays, most stock is issued without such a "guarantee" and is called "no-par stock".

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Cheri Oteri7. Cheri formerly of "S.N.L." : OTERI
Cheri Oteri was the SNL cast member that regularly appeared with Will Farrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

8. Broadcast in a manhunt, in brief : APB
All Points Bulletins.

An APB is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

11. City liberated by Joan of Arc : ORLEANS
Joan of Arc led the French Army successfully into battle a number of times during the Hundred Years War with England. When she was eventually captured she was tried in Rouen, the seat of the occupying English government in France at that time. There she was burned at the stake having been found guilty of heresy. Joan of Arc was canonized some 600 years later, in 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.

12. Veto : NIX
The use of nix as a verb, meaning "to shoot down" dates back to the early 1900s. Before that it was just the noun, meaning "nothing". This comes from the German "nichts", which also means "nothing".

The word "veto" comes directly from Latin, and means "I forbid". The word was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

Saxophone Manual: Choosing, Setting Up and Maintaining a Saxophone13. Jazz instrument, for short : SAX
The saxophone was invented by Belgian, Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if that was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax's grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

21. Sir, in colonial India : SAHIB
Sahib is actually an Arabic word, which translates to "owner" or "proprietor", or it can also mean "friend". It is perhaps most recognized as a term of address used in India, where it is used in much the same way as we use "mister" in English.

25. Procrastinator's mantra : MANANA
“Mañana” is the Spanish for “tomorrow”.

26. Biblical twin : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother, Rebekah, gave birth to the twins "the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)". As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father's wealth (it was his "birthright"). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a "mess of pottage" (a meal of lentils).

Bustle Dress Size 10 Halloween or Theatre Costume29. Hanes alternative : BVD
The men’s underwear known as BVDs are made by the Bradley, Voorhees & Day. The company was started in 1876 to make bustles for women, and is named for its founders.

34. Carrier to Copenhagen : SAS
SAS, formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System, is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Just Jackie: Her Private Years35. Jackie's #2 : ARI
Jackie Kennedy Onassis was born into a privileged family, the daughter of a Wall Street stock broker, John Vernou Bouvier III. Ms. Bouvier moved in the same social circles as the Kennedy clan, and first met the then-US Representative John Kennedy at a dinner party hosted by mutual friends. After she saw her husband assassinated, and then her brother-in-law (Bobby Kennedy) suffer the same fate, she declared that she feared for the life of her children as they bore the Kennedy name. She left the country, eventually meeting and marrying Aristotle Onassis. Reportedly she was very satisfied that the Greek shipping magnate was able to provide privacy and security for her children.

41. W.W. II spy org. : OSS
The Office of Strategic Services was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. Within a few years of the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency, chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition)(B/W & Color)42. "___! Humbug!" : 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 "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!".

43. Member of a fictional Springfield baseball team : ISOTOPE
On television’s “The Simpsons”, Homer Simpson works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. The town’s baseball team is called the Springfield Isotopes, probably a nod to the power plant.

Cheers: The Complete First Season46. "Cheers" setting : BARROOM
The wonderful sitcom "Cheers" ran for eleven seasons on NBC, from 1982 to 1993. It spawned an equally successful spin-off show "Frasier", which also ran for eleven seasons and often featured guest appearances of characters from "Cheers". The Cheers bar was styled on the Bull & Finch Pub in Boston (in which I've had a pint of Guinness!). The owner of the Bill & Finch cleverly agreed to the initial interior and exterior shots, charging only one dollar. Since then he has made millions from selling "Cheers" memorabilia, and also from increased trade.

47. Song words followed by "Terre de nos aïeux" : O CANADA
Canada’s national anthem was commissioned in 1880 by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, so the original words are in French. The first English translation was made in 1906. The current English lyrics have been revised a few times, but the French version remains the same as it did back in 1880.

Paul Robeson - Here I Stand48. Actor/singer/athlete/activist Paul : ROBESON
Paul Robeson was a concert singer with a remarkable voice, most famous perhaps for his moving rendition of the song “Ol’ Man River” from “Showboat”. Offstage, Robeson gained a lot of notoriety for his political views, which won his the Stalin Peace Prize (the USSR’s equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize). Those same views got him blacklisted during the Cold War at home in the US.

50. Rear : HEINIE
The slang term “heinie” is probably a contraction of “hind end”.

51. Mean alternative : MEDIAN
In a set of numbers, the mean is the average value of those numbers. The median is the numeric value at which half the numbers have a lower value, and half the numbers a higher value.

55. "___ Inside" (ad catchphrase) : INTEL
Intel is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips. The company was founded in 1968, and the name “Intel” is a derived from INT-egrated EL-ectronics Corporation.

Wreck of the Mary Deare [VHS]56. "The Wreck of the Mary ___" : DEARE
“The Wreck of the Mary Deare” is a novel by Hammond Innes, as well as a 1959 movie adaptation of the book, starring Gary Cooper.

58. "Highway to Hell" band : AC/DC
Heavy Metal band AC/DC was formed by two brothers in Australia. The group is usually called "Acca Dacca" down under.

61. Recipient of much Apr. 15 mail : IRS
April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

64. Subj. of the book "The Puzzle Palace" : NSA
The National Security Agency was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization's nickname ... "No Such Agency".


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. OPEC units: Abbr. : BBL
4. ___ concern : OF NO
8. Bruckner and Chekhov : ANTONS
14. "My lips ___ sealed" : ARE
15. No longer worth debating : MOOT
16. "But will it play in ___?" : PEORIA
17. Enterprise captain Jean-___ Picard : LUC
18. Event held on January 26, 1986 : SUPER BOWL XX
20. D-Day carriers: Abbr. : LSTS
22. ___ avis : RARA
23. L.A.-to-Butte direction : NNE
24. Blue-green gem : AQUAMARINE
27. Vermont but not New Hampshire, e.g.? : IAMB
30. Duke's home : DURHAM
31. In Act I, it begins "Enter Ghost and Hamlet" : SCENE V
33. Welcome at the door : SEE IN
34. Yemen's capital : SANA’A
37. Avg. : STD
38. Idly debate : BAT AROUND
41. ___-Wan : OBI
44. Polite refusal : NO, SIR
45. Small drum : TABOR
49. Walk with flair : SASHAY
51. Gambling mecca : MONACO
52. It's a little longer than a foot : SHOE
53. Long-legged sea animal seen along the Atlantic Coast : SPIDER CRAB
57. Mexican aunt : TIA
59. Linear, for short : ONE-D
60. Sea eagle : ERNE
61. Continental divide, once : IRON CURTAIN
65. Post-W.W. II alliance : OAS
66. White water : RAPIDS
67. Gay Nineties and Roaring Twenties : ERAS
68. Prefix with meter : ODO-
69. "The King's ___" : SPEECH
70. Actress Olin : LENA
71. Word that can follow the start of 18-, 24-, 38-, 53- or 61-Across : MAN

Down
1. Sentimental songs : BALLADS
2. Short : BRUSQUE
3. Seminar alternative : LECTURE
4. Some chants : OMS
5. Closing hour for most N.Y.C. bars : FOUR AM
6. Like some stock : NO-PAR
7. Cheri formerly of "S.N.L." : OTERI
8. Broadcast in a manhunt, in brief : APB
9. Extra-bright, as a color : NEON
10. Community resident not affiliated with its local college : TOWNIE
11. City liberated by Joan of Arc : ORLEANS
12. Veto : NIX
13. Jazz instrument, for short : SAX
19. Headed up : RAN
21. Sir, in colonial India : SAHIB
25. Procrastinator's mantra : MANANA
26. Biblical twin : ESAU
28. Intersected : MET
29. Hanes alternative : BVD
32. Rabbi's co-worker : CANTOR
34. Carrier to Copenhagen : SAS
35. Jackie's #2 : ARI
36. "... ___ a lender be" : NOR
39. Santa's bagful : TOYS
40. School social : DANCE
41. W.W. II spy org. : OSS
42. "___! Humbug!" : BAH
43. Member of a fictional Springfield baseball team : ISOTOPE
46. "Cheers" setting : BARROOM
47. Song words followed by "Terre de nos aïeux" : O CANADA
48. Actor/singer/athlete/activist Paul : ROBESON
50. Rear : HEINIE
51. Mean alternative : MEDIAN
54. ___ favor : POR
55. "___ Inside" (ad catchphrase) : INTEL
56. "The Wreck of the Mary ___" : DEARE
58. "Highway to Hell" band : AC/DC
61. Recipient of much Apr. 15 mail : IRS
62. Bum ___ : RAP
63. Seat, informally : USH
64. Subj. of the book "The Puzzle Palace" : NSA

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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 bill@paxient.com.

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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