Top Line

Search by Date


Search by Puzzle Number

e.g. 1225-09, 0704-10, 1025-10 etc.

Daily Solution by Email

Enter your email address

0520-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 May 11, Friday

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: David Levinson Wilk

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Gigi Poster Movie 11x17 Leslie Caron Louis Jourdan Maurice Chevalier Hermione Gingold1. 1958 title role for 21-Across : GIGI
(21. See 1-Across : CARON)
In the lovely musical "Gigi", released in 1958, the title song is sung by Louis Jourdan who plays Gaston. My favorite number though, has to be "Thank Heaven for Little Girls", sung by Maurice Chevalier. Many say that “Gigi” is the last in a long line of great MGM musicals.

5. End of an era? : SCHWA
A “schwa” is an unstressed and toneless vowel found in a number of languages including English. Examples from our language are the “a” in “about”, the “e” in “taken”, and the “i” in pencil.

10. Central knob of a shield : UMBO
That knob on the outside of a shield, in the center, is called a shield boss, or an umbo. It was originally an artifact of the hand grip on the inside of the shield, but eventually became a decorative feature.

Idi Amin (Wicked History)14. Brute of the 1970s : AMIN
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda he joined the military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda, and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country's president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. He died in 2003.

15. Hunting attendant of Artemis : OREAD
The Oreads were the nymphs that accompanied the goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions.

16. Spanish parlor : SALA
“Sala” is the Spanish for “room” or “parlor”.

17. Pike : ROAD
Back in the 15th century a “turnpike” was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travellers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.

18. Reason to line up at a party : CONGA
The conga line is a dance that originated as a Cuban carnival march. It became popular in the US starting in the thirties. The dance is apparently named after the Congo region of Africa, and was originated by slaves who were brought from there to Cuba.

19. Only U.S. state in which the name of the state and its capital share no letters: Abbr. : S DAK
This is an old chestnut in the world of trivia ... what's the only state capital in the Union in which the name of the capital and the name of its state share no common letters? You guessed it ... Pierre, South Dakota ...

Emerson GQ755 CDG Karaoke System iPod Compatible w/ 100 Songs20. It's carried at a karaoke bar : TUNE
Kara-te, means "open hand", and kara-oke, means "open orchestra".

(1. 1958 title role for 21-Across : GIGI)
The beautiful French actress and dancer Leslie Caron has danced with all the great male dancers of the big screen, including Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev. If you are holidaying in France and you want to meet Ms. Caron, plan on staying at the Auberge La Lucarne aux Chouettes in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne about 70 miles south of Paris. That’s a bed and breakfast she owns and operates.

23. Internet start-up? : HTTP
Just in case you aren't aware, "http" are the first letters in most Internet links. “Http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

24. Barely making, with "out" : EKING
To "eke out" means to "make something go further or last longer". So, you can eke out your income by cutting back on expenses. I always have a problem with the definition that “eke out” means to “barely get by”. Close but no cigar, I say ...

Smoke Coming from Volcano Caldera, Mt. Etna, Italy Photographic Poster Print by Bethune Carmichael, 12x1628. Italian peak : ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt Vesuvius.

30. Create a whole new set of problems : OPEN PANDORA’S BOX
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. Pandora is famous for the story of "Pandora's Box". In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora's "Jar", as a 16th-century error in translation created a "box" out of the "jar". In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

Emily Dickinson: A Biography39. "The soul ___ itself": Dickinson : UNTO
On a recent trip around the country, my wife and I had a very disappointing stop in Amherst, Massachusetts intending to visit the home of Emily Dickinson. We hadn't done our homework and failed to note that the home was only open for tours on certain days of the week, and not the day we were there (so be warned!). Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily's younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and they were published in batches over the coming decades. Try this one ...
The Soul unto itself
Is an imperial friend —
Or the most agonizing Spy —
An Enemy — could send —

Secure against its own —
No treason it can fear —
Itself — its Sovereign — of itself
The Soul should stand in Awe —

40. Rectangular paving stone : SETT
A sett is a small rectangular paving stone with a rounded top used to make a road surface. It’s like a cobblestone, I think …

41. Grand Marquis, e.g., briefly : MERC
The Mercury Grand Marquis was the premium model produced by Ford using the Mercury label. The first Grand Marquis rolled off the production line in 1983, and the last in January 2011, when the Mercury brand was retired.

50. Scultura, per esempio : ARTE
“Scultura, per esempio” is the Italian for “Sculpture, for example”, a form of art (“arte”).

I, Claudius54. Character in "I, Claudius" : COMMA
"I, Claudius" is a 1934 novel penned by Robert Graves, written in the form of an autobiography of Emperor Claudius of Rome. He wrote a sequel in 1935, "Claudius the God". Both books were adapted by the BBC into a fabulous television series that went by the name of the first book, "I, Claudius

56. Pier 1 alternative : IKEA
Did you know that IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old??!! IKEA is an acronym that stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don't forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

Technician Manipulating 1 of Hundreds of Dials on Panel of IBM's Room Size Eniac Computer Collections Photographic Poster Print by Francis Miller, 24x3257. Historic mainframe : ENIAC
The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for "Computer"). ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer. It was designed to calculate artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it's not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

LENA OLIN 8x10 Female Celebrity Photo Signed In-Person58. "Bang Bang Orangutang" actress, 2005 : OLIN
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 for her performances in the TV show "Alias".

“Bang Bang Orangutang” is a 2005 Swedish film starring, among an impressive line-up of Swedish actors, Lena Olin from “Chocolat”.

60. Pension, in Paris : RENTE
“Rente” is a French word that can mean “pension”, as in a reitrement payment.

61. Duma disavowal : NYET
A Duma is a representative assembly in Russia. The word “dumat” in Russian means “to think, consider”.

The actress Jennie Garth got her big break in television playing the character Kelly Taylor on “Beverly Hills 90210”. The only time I’ve ever seen her on TV though was on “Dancing with the Stars”, when she did quite well paired with Derek Hough.

3. Loggerheads, e.g. : GIANT SEA TURTLES
The loggerhead sea turtle is a big beast, weighing about 300 pounds when fully grown and measuring up to seven feet long. The loggerhead is the official state reptile of South Carolina.

Independence Day4. 1996 blockbuster with the tagline "Don't make plans for August" : INDEPENDENCE DAY
The 1996 sci-fi action movie "Independence Day" is must-see-TV at our house on or around the 4th of July every year. The movie was supposed to come out in 1996 on July 3rd but there was so much anticipation that many theaters started screening the day before. At one point after release, "Independence Day" was the second-highest grossing movie in history ("Jurassic Park" was number one at the time).

7. Photographer Cartier-Bresson : HENRI
As an amateur photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of my heroes. He was a French photographer, famous for shooting candid shots, many of them just in the street. He was very simple in his use of equipment. He was one of the first professionals to accept the 35mm camera, and mainly used a “normal” 50 mm lens. He only shot in black-and-white, and never bothered with developing his own prints. He focused on taking the photograph.

8. S.U.V. alternative : WAGON
The term SUV, Sports Utility Vehicle was introduced by our marketing friends. Using the term Sports Utility Vehicle was a very clever way to get us to pay a lot of money for what was essentially a station wagon on a truck chassis, at least it was back then.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life9. 1978 Daniel Patrick Moynihan memoir : A DANGEROUS PLACE
Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a Democrat in the US Senate for three terms in the eighties and nineties. Prior to that he served as US Ambassador to the UN and India. My favorite quotation from Moynihan is:
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."
Revell 1:196 USS Constitution10. She performed admirably in the War of 1812 : USS CONSTITUTION
"Old Ironsides" was a nickname given to the USS Constitution, even though it is actually a wooden-hulled ship. She was launched in 1797 and can still be seen at sea today. She is the oldest, commissioned naval vessel in the world. You can visit Old Ironsides at the Boston Navy Yard.

11. Much-performed work set in Nagasaki : MADAMA BUTTERFLY
Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" is the most-performed opera in the US. The opera we see today is actually the second version that Puccini produced. The original version was first staged in 1904 at La Scala in Milan where it received a very poor reception. Puccini reworked the piece, breaking the second act into two new acts and making some other significant changes. The opera was relaunched a few months later and was a resounding success.

Audio Day Dream12. 2007 "American Idol" runner-up ___ Lewis : BLAKE
Blake Lewis is a singer and beatboxer, someone who got his break on “American Idol”. Beatboxing is a performance art featuring “vocal percussion”. Something else that's not my cup of tea ...

27. Left on board : APORT
The left side of a ship used to be called the "larboard" side, but this was dropped in favor of "port" as pronunciation of "larboard" was easily confused with "starboard", the right side of the vessel. The term "port" was chosen as it was customary to dock a ship, for loading in port, with the left side of the vessel against the dock.

29. Afternoon, in Acapulco : TARDE
“Tarde” is the Spanish for “afternoon”.

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

32. Govt. grant giver : NEA
The National Endowment for the Arts is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. It was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark.

33. Surfing option, for short : DSL
DSL originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

Woman: The Incredible Life of Yoko Ono35. Performer who's the descendant of a Japanese emperor : ONO
Yoko Ono was born into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Her father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi, and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great fire-bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war, the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko's father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

36. Many a Nam vet's kid : XER
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.

Complete Recorded Works 141. Pioneering blues singer Smith : MAMIE
Mamie Smith was a vaudeville singer famous for her jazz and blues numbers. She was the first African American to to make vocal blues recordings, in 1920.

Erika Mann: Eine Biographie (German Edition)42. Thomas Mann's daughter who married W. H. Auden : ERIKA
Erika Mann was a German actress and writer, and the daughter of the novelist Thomas Mann (famous for “Death in Venice”). Mann married W. H. Auden in 1935, although given that Auden was homosexual, this was a marriage of convenience. The two never lived together, but the arrangement allowed Mann to obtain British citizenship.

44. Herman's Hermits frontman : NOONE
Peter Noone is a great personality in the entertainment world, most famous as the “Herman” in the sixties group Herman’s Hermits. Noone was only 15-years-old when he started as lead singer with the band.

45. "___ Home Baby" (1962 Mel Tormé hit) : COMIN’
“Comin’ Home Baby” is 1962 single and album by Mel Tormé.

49. Coronary ___ : STENT
In the world of medicine and surgery, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say a blood vessel, so that it reduces the effects of a local restriction in the body's conduit.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. 1958 title role for 21-Across : GIGI
5. End of an era? : SCHWA
10. Central knob of a shield : UMBO
14. Brute of the 1970s : AMIN
15. Hunting attendant of Artemis : OREAD
16. Spanish parlor : SALA
17. Pike : ROAD
18. Reason to line up at a party : CONGA
19. Only U.S. state in which the name of the state and its capital share no letters: Abbr. : S DAK
20. It's carried at a karaoke bar : TUNE
21. See 1-Across : CARON
22. Wedding reception need : CAKE
23. Internet start-up? : HTTP
24. Barely making, with "out" : EKING
25. Take it as a sign : OMEN
26. Cauterize : SEAR
28. Italian peak : ETNA
30. Create a whole new set of problems : OPEN PANDORA’S BOX
37. Take a person's hand, perhaps : READ ONE’S FORTUNE
38. Watchdog in the house? : INTERNAL AUDITOR
39. "The soul ___ itself": Dickinson : UNTO
40. Rectangular paving stone : SETT
41. Grand Marquis, e.g., briefly : MERC
43. Take the top off : UNCAP
47. Some chase scene maneuvers, slangily : UEYS
50. Scultura, per esempio : ARTE
51. Certain salad orderer's request : NO OIL
52. Go briskly : TROT
53. Not so hot : MILD
54. Character in "I, Claudius" : COMMA
55. "___ put our heads together ..." : IF WE
56. Pier 1 alternative : IKEA
57. Historic mainframe : ENIAC
58. "Bang Bang Orangutang" actress, 2005 : OLIN
59. "Let's not do anything crazy" : EASY
60. Pension, in Paris : RENTE
61. Duma disavowal : NYET

1. TV actress Jennie : GARTH
2. Statement when a hand stinks : I’M OUT
3. Loggerheads, e.g. : GIANT SEA TURTLES
4. 1996 blockbuster with the tagline "Don't make plans for August" : INDEPENDENCE DAY
5. One who may comment on a beautiful head shot : SOCCER ANNOUNCER
6. Marsh sound : CROAK
7. Photographer Cartier-Bresson : HENRI
8. S.U.V. alternative : WAGON
9. 1978 Daniel Patrick Moynihan memoir : A DANGEROUS PLACE
10. She performed admirably in the War of 1812 : USS CONSTITUTION
11. Much-performed work set in Nagasaki : MADAMA BUTTERFLY
12. 2007 "American Idol" runner-up ___ Lewis : BLAKE
13. Sturdy, in a way : OAKEN
27. Left on board : APORT
29. Afternoon, in Acapulco : TARDE
30. Mouth: Prefix : ORI-
31. Some folks are in it for life : PEN
32. Govt. grant giver : NEA
33. Surfing option, for short : DSL
34. ___ mind : OF A
35. Performer who's the descendant of a Japanese emperor : ONO
36. Many a Nam vet's kid : XER
41. Pioneering blues singer Smith : MAMIE
42. Thomas Mann's daughter who married W. H. Auden : ERIKA
44. Herman's Hermits frontman : NOONE
45. "___ Home Baby" (1962 Mel Tormé hit) : COMIN’
46. Shoot for : AIM AT
48. Smart reaction : YOWIE
49. Coronary ___ : STENT

Return to top of page

No comments :

Tell a Friend About

Facebook Twitter Google Email

Adsense Wide Skyscraper

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

Blog Archive