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0514-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 14 May 11, Saturday

Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Organ appendages : PEDALS
The pedal keyboard on an organ is the keyboard that is played using the feet. Usually the pedals control the lower notes, the bass line of a piece of music.

14. Some creepy crawlers : LARVAE
The larval stage of an animal is its early life, before it metamorphoses into an adult. Typically it’s insects and amphibians that go through a larval stage.

18. It can be round or cubed : STEAK
A round steak comes from the rump of a cow, which is why it's called a rump steak back in the British Isles.

19. Job for base pay? : GRUNT WORK
“Grunt” is slang for an infantryman in the US military.

21. One in la famille : FRERE
“Frère” is the French word for “brother”.

22. Chuang ___, Chinese philosopher : TSE
Zhuangzi (also Chuang Tse) was a 4th century BC Chinese philosopher.

Cleopatra23. Animal ordered to "be angry, and dispatch," in Shakespeare : ASP
In William Shakespeare’s play “Antony and Cleopatra”, the heroine of the piece addresses the asp as she uses the snake to commit suicide:
Come, thou mortal wretch,
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and dispatch.
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp's bite was therefore her chosen method.

25. German region known for viticulture : MOSEL
In Germany there are thirteen regions that are officially defined as producers of “quality wines”. The best known of these regions is Mosel, which takes its name from the Moselle River. Mosel is the most prestigious region, but only the third largest in terms of production. And most of that production comes from the Riesling grape.

29. Ghastly : WAN
I would have used the word “ghostly” as a clue for WAN, not “ghastly”, but maybe that’s just me …

37. Weighed down : LADED
The verb "lade" meaning "to load" comes from an Old English word "hladan". Lade also used to mean "to draw water", and gave us our word "ladle". So, lade and ladle, are close cousins.

41. Part of speech?: Abbr. : SYL
A syllable is a “part” of a word, a part of speech as it were.

44. Kind of index : HEAT
The heat index combines air temperature and relative humidity, an attempt to measure the relative temperature that is actually perceived by a person. The idea is that temperatures are perceived by us as being higher if accompanied by high humidity. This is because when humidity is high the body finds it more difficult to cool itself by perspiring.

52. Nissan's first hybrid vehicle : ALTIMA
Nissan has been making the Altima since 1993. In 2007 the company started to produce a hybrid version, Nissan’s first foray into the hybrid market and a successful one by all accounts. Altima hybrids are even used as police cruisers by the New York Police Department.

Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT25 50-inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV, Black1. It's hung on the wall of a sports bar : PLASMA TV
A plasma display television is a flat panel made up of tiny little cells containing a special mix of gases and a little mercury. When a voltage is applied to any cell the gases form a plasma that gives off light, just like a fluorescent bulb. It’s this “plasma” phenomenon that gives this type of television its name.

Dr. Pepper, 12-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)3. Product whose name lost its period in the 1950s : DR PEPPER
Dr Pepper was introduced in 1885 in Waco, Texas, one year before the competing Coca-Cola was released to the market.

4. Some sneakers : AVIAS
The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as "avia" is the Latin word for "to fly", and suggests the concept of aviation.

6. Match, as a contribution? : SEE
In a game of poker say, a contribution to the pot might be matched, and the matching player can say, “I’ll see you.”

DEBBIE REYNOLDS 8X10 PHOTO8. Broadway musical of 1919 and 1973 : IRENE
The Broadway musical “Irene” is based on a play by James Montgomery called “Irene O’Dare”. When the musical opened for the first time, in 1919, it ran for 675 performances, a record for Broadway that stood for nearly 20 years. The show was revived in 1973, with Debbie Reynolds in the title role, and ran for 594 performances.

Touch and Go: A Memoir13. 1985 Pulitzer winner for "The Good War" : TERKEL
Studs Terkel was an author, historian and broadcaster. Terkel won a Pulitzer in 1985 for his book “The Good War”, an oral history of WWII consisting of interviews he conducted with many ordinary people about their experiences during the conflict.

15. Linemen : WIRERS
A lineman is a worker who specializes in the rigging and maintenance of telephone and electric power lines. According to the Glen Campbell hit "Wichita Lineman" from 1968, a lonely lineman can be missing his loved one that he hears "singing in the wire". Presumably, the absent lover can be heard in the vibration caused by the wind blowing through the wires.

21. Top-___ : FLITE
The Top-Flite brand is currently owned by Calloway, picked up when Spalding's golf division went bankrupt in 2003.

Mandy25. Title woman in a 1975 #1 hit : MANDY
“Mandy” is a song recorded by Barry Manilow in 1974, written by Scott English and Richard Kerr. Manilow changed the title from the original “Brandy” for his recording, to avoid confusion with a song called “Brandy” released a couple of years earlier.

26. Pull from the ground, quickly? : ONE-G
The force of gravity that we all feel is referred to as 1G. As gravity is actually an accelerating force, we often measure acceleration in general relative to the force of gravity. So if we are sitting in a vehicle that accelerates at 3G, then we will experience a force that is three times that which we experience from the gravitational pull of the earth.

31. Womanizers : GOATS
Womanizing men have been known as “goats” since the late 1600s.

Basenjis (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)32. Barkless dogs : BASENJIS
The Basenji is a breed of dog that originated in central Africa. The Basenji has an unusually shape to its larynx resulting in a “bark” that has been described as a yodel, more usually called a “barroo”. So the Basenji is known as the “Barkless Dog”.

AMY ADAMS 8x10 COLOUR PHOTO33. "Doubt" co-star, 2008 : AMY ADAMS
Amy Adams is an American actress. The best movie I've seen her in is the outstanding "Julie & Julia" in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful film.

34. Emission in a cloud chamber : DELTA RAY
A cloud chamber is used for the visual detection of ionizing radiation. It consists of a sealed container (with a glass wall) with a saturated vapor inside. When alpha or beta radiation passes through the vapor, particles of the vapor are ionized causing localized condensation to take place (formation of a cloudy streak) and the track of the radiation can be seen. Sometimes the main track, particularly for a large alpha particle, can have small branches coming off it. These branches indicate that the alpha radiation has knocked electrons out of some atoms in the vapor, and these electrons create their own small tracks. Such secondary radiation is known as a delta ray.

Steve Jobs: The Brilliant Mind Behind Apple (Life Portraits)43. Entertainment giant with a 1995 I.P.O. : PIXAR
Pixar Animation Studios started out as part of Lucasfilm in 1979, George Lucas’s production company. Lucas sold what was to become Pixar to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 1986. Pixar produced its first feature film in 1995, the fabulous “Toy Story”, and followed up with a string of hits. The company was then sold to Walt Disney in 2006, when valued at $7.4 billion. That transaction resulted in Steve Jobs becoming the biggest shareholder in Walt Disney.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Organ appendages : PEDALS
7. Holds tight : SITS PAT
14. Some creepy crawlers : LARVAE
15. Opening words from a TV news reporter : WE’RE LIVE
16. Seek, with "to" : ASPIRE
17. Makes negotiating difficult, in a way : ICES OVER
18. It can be round or cubed : STEAK
19. Job for base pay? : GRUNT WORK
20. Prepares a course for : MAPS
21. One in la famille : FRERE
22. Chuang ___, Chinese philosopher : TSE
23. Animal ordered to "be angry, and dispatch," in Shakespeare : ASP
24. Loudspeaker's sound : BLARE
25. German region known for viticulture : MOSEL
27. Items of jewelry : TIE CLIPS
29. Ghastly : WAN
30. Mix : VARIETY
31. Spoiled : GONE BAD
35. Rec room attire : TEE
36. Finish line? : GOOD GAME
37. Weighed down : LADED
40. Not making sense : CRAZY
41. Part of speech?: Abbr. : SYL
42. What unsettled people do? : OWE
43. Believer's trait : PIETY
44. Kind of index : HEAT
45. Words said in disbelief : WHAT GIVES?
48. In a way, informally : KINDA
49. Way out of a dangerous situation : FIRE EXIT
50. Where singles congregate in a bar? : TIP JAR
51. Targets of fact-finding missions? : ALMANACS
52. Nissan's first hybrid vehicle : ALTIMA
53. Shows signs of instability : TEETERS
54. Item in an actor's portfolio : GLOSSY

1. It's hung on the wall of a sports bar : PLASMA TV
2. Home to 1 1/2 billion people : EAST ASIA
3. Product whose name lost its period in the 1950s : DR PEPPER
4. Some sneakers : AVIAS
5. Caper : LARK
6. Match, as a contribution? : SEE
7. Encrypted, perhaps : SECURE
8. Broadway musical of 1919 and 1973 : IRENE
9. Give a whirl : TEST
10. ___ burn : SLOW
11. Some revolutions : PIVOTS
12. Somewhat hostile : AVERSE
13. 1985 Pulitzer winner for "The Good War" : TERKEL
15. Linemen : WIRERS
19. Inferior, as some wines : GRAPY
21. Top-___ : FLITE
24. Not be fast : BLEED
25. Title woman in a 1975 #1 hit : MANDY
26. Pull from the ground, quickly? : ONE-G
28. Name : CITE
29. Lightheaded : WOOZY
31. Womanizers : GOATS
32. Barkless dogs : BASENJIS
33. "Doubt" co-star, 2008 : AMY ADAMS
34. Emission in a cloud chamber : DELTA RAY
36. Receives : GREETS
37. Diet, maybe : LOW FAT
38. Some time : AWHILE
39. "Oh my stars!" : DEAR ME
40. High-school class : CIVICS
43. Entertainment giant with a 1995 I.P.O. : PIXAR
44. Savvy about : HIP TO
46. Milk source : TEAT
47. Means of inheritance : GENE
48. Block passage of : KILL
50. Make it? : TAG

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Anonymous said...

Keep it coming -- I enjoy your commentary.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, anonymous visitor.

Thanks for the encouraging words. I am still enjoying writing up the puzzle each night, so there's no sign of stopping :)

bayusjoseph said...

Can you tell me why this puzzle was a "best of"?

Bill Butler said...

I am afraid that I can't, Joseph. I didn't know that it qualified as a "best of".

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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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