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0523-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 May 11, Monday





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: Steve Salitan
THEME: GOOD LUCK … all the theme answers are things associated with good luck:
17. Mickey Mantle wore it : NUMBER SEVEN
24. One who's an overnight success : SHOOTING STAR
47. Much-kissed rock : BLARNEY STONE
58. Common key chain adornment : RABBIT’S FOOT
28. With 37-Down, what 17-, 24-, 47- and 58-Across are all said to bring : GOOD
37. See 28-Down : LUCK
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Foamy coffee order : LATTE
The name latte is an abbreviation of the Italian "caffelatte" meaning "coffee (and) milk". Note that in the original spelling of "latte", the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the "e". An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

AIM G-Clef ID Tag6. Treble sign : G-CLEF
Clef is the French word for "key". In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave.

Pam Spray High Yield Canola 17 oz - 4 Unit Pack11. Popular cooking spray : PAM
PAM cooking oil was introduced in 1961 by Leon Rubin and Arthur Meyerhoff. The name “PAM” is an acronym, standing for “Product of Arthur Meyerhoff”.

14. Ness of "The Untouchables" : ELIOT
Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster, Al Capone. When he took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness hand-picked 50 prohibition agents he thought he could rely on, later reducing that to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That 11 earned the nickname "The Untouchables".

15. Tehran native : IRANI
Tehran is the capital of Iran and the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a long time so Tehran is actually the country's 31st national capital. We are only babies over here in the US ...

16. Plains tribe : OTO
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood17. Mickey Mantle wore it : NUMBER SEVEN
Mickey Mantle only played professional baseball for the one team, spending 18 years with the New York Yankees. Mickey Mantle memorabilia is highly prized, especially since he retired from the game in 1969, and even more so since he died in 1995. The only other player memorabilia said to command a higher price is Babe Ruth’s.

19. Crete or Curaçao: Abbr. : ISL
Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands. It figures prominently in Greek mythology, as the birthplace of Zeus for example, and home to the Minotaur slayed by Theseus. It was also from Crete that Icarus and Daedalus escaped using wings that they constructed for themselves.

Curaçao is one of the so-called ABC Islands. "ABC Islands" is the nickname given to the three western-most isles of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

DISNEY HARMONY KINGDOM PETER PAN MR SMEE FIGURINE20. "Peter Pan" pirate : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie's play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook's pirates and his right-hand man. He is described by Barrie as being "Irish" and "a man who stabbed without offence". Nice guy!

21. Online chat components, for short : IMS
Those would be Instant Messages.

22. Sleeper's breathing problem : APNEA
Sleep apnea can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possible due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

Earth Shooting Comet Star Poster Space 118124. One who's an overnight success : SHOOTING STAR
A shooting star is what we call the visible path of a meteoroid as is it enters the earth’s atmosphere. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground, we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

28. Full ranges : GAMUTS
In medieval times, the musical scale was denoted by the notes “ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la”. The term “gamma ut”, shortened to “gamut”, was used to describe the whole scale. By the 1620s, “gamut” was being used to mean the entire range of anything, the whole gamut.

LE CASSE OMAR SHARIF 16X20 PHOTO32. Actor Sharif and others : OMARS
Omar Sharif is the great Hollywood actor from Egypt, who played such memorable roles in the likes of "Doctor Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia". But to me he is my bridge hero (the card game). In his day he was one of the best players in the world.

Abraham Abe Beame Mayor New York Signed Autograph Photo - Autographed College Photos33. Former New York mayor Abe : BEAME
Abraham Beame was mayor of New York City from 1974-1977. Beame was actually born in London, England but grew up in New York. His term as mayor was a rough one, as the main focus back then was staving off bankruptcy for the city.

38. Seine tributary : OISE
The River Oise rises in Belgium and joins up with the River Seine just outside Paris.

40. "Black Swan" attire : TUTU
The word "tutu", a ballet dancer's skirt, is actually a somewhat "naughty" term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French "tutu" is an alteration of the word "cucu", a childish word for "cul" meaning the "bottom, backside".

41. Cavity filler's deg. : DDS
Doctor of Dental Surgery.

42. Irish-born Tony winner Patrick : MAGEE
Patrick Magee was an Irish actor, born in Armagh, Northern Ireland. He won a Tony for his performance in the play “Marat/Sade” by Peter Weiss.

Kissing the Blarney Stone, County Cork, Munster, Eire (Republic of Ireland) Photographic Poster Print by Julia Bayne, 30x4047. Much-kissed rock : BLARNEY STONE
I’m not sure that the Blarney Stone should be included in the list of items associated with “good luck”. Kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bring “the gift of the gab”, not good luck as such …

Blarney is a town in County Cork in the south of Ireland. Blarney is home to Blarney Castle, and inside the castle is the legendary Blarney Stone. "Kissing the Blarney Stone" is a ritual engaged in by oh so many tourists (indeed, I've done it myself!), but it's not a simple process. The stone is embedded in the wall of the castle, and in order to kiss it you have to sit on the edge of the parapet and lean way backwards so that your head is some two feet below your body. There is a staff member there to help you and make sure you don't fall. The Blarney Stone has been labelled as the world's most unhygienic tourist attraction! But once you've kissed it, supposedly you are endowed with the "gift of the gab", the ability to talk eloquently and perhaps deceptively, but without offending. Sure, I wouldn't know ...

Peter's Walking Rabbit Jacket58. Common key chain adornment : RABBIT’S FOOT
The belief that a rabbit’s foot brings luck to the owner is thought to date back to an ancient hunting tradition. In pre-Celtic times young males were introduced to hunting using rabbits as a relatively safe prey. When a young boy or man was successful and made a kill, one of the hind feet would be presented to him in a ceremony marking his right of passage as a male within the tribe.

Billy Blanks - Tae Bo - Billy's Favorite Moves62. ___ Bo (exercise system) : TAE
Tae Bo isn't an ancient martial art, but was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s. It was introduced by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of taekwondo and boxing.

64. Kind of column : 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.

65. Spot concealed by makeup, maybe : ZIT
The slang term “zit”, meaning a pimple, came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

66. Ear features : LOBES
Whether an earlobe is free or attached is an example of genetic dominance at play. The dominant gene calls for free earlobes, and the recessive for attached. Among cultural groups, the Japanese and Chinese have a relatively high incidence of attached earlobes, running at about 65% of the population.

Down
2. '10 grad now, e.g. : ALUM
An alumnus (plural ... alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is alumna (plural ... alumnae). The word comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil.

5. Summer on the Seine : ETE
On the River Seine in Paris, one might spend the summer (été).

6. Thingamajig : GISMO
The word "gizmo" (also “gismo”) was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps, but the exact origin seems unknown. Nowadays, "gizmo" is a general term used for a device or a part when the correct name escapes us (so I use it a lot ...).

8. John : LAV
The use of "john" as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. It probably comes from the older slang term of "jack" or "jakes" that has been around since the 16th century. In Ireland we still refer to a toilet as "the jacks".

11. Bridge hand assessment : POINT COUNT
The point count is a tool widely used in the card game of bridge to assess the strength of one’s hand. For the basic count, an ace is worth 4 points, a king 3, a queen 2 and a jack just 1So, in total there are 40 points in a complete deck.

12. Bamboozled : AT SEA
It's thought that the lovely word "bamboozle" came into English from the Scottish "bombaze" meaning "perplex". We've been using "bamboozle" since the very early 1700s.

18. Amazon and Orinoco, to natives : RIOS
“Rio” is the Spanish word for “river.

The Amazon River of South America is the world’s largest in terms of volume, and accounts for an amazing one-fifth of the world’s total river flow. Also amazingly, there are no bridges across the Amazon, not one, mainly because the river flows through tropical rainforest where there are few roads and cities.

The Orinoco is a major river in South America, flowing through Venezuela and Colombia.

Body Candy Italian Charms Laser PSI Greek Letter UPPER CASE23. Pitchfork-shaped letter : PSI
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

25. Shaker ___, O. : HTS
Shaker Heights is a city very close to the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. It takes its name from the United Society of Believers (more commonly known as "Shakers"), as the church formerly owned the land on which the city was founded.

Finding Nemo [VHS]27. Pixar's "Finding ___" : NEMO
"Finding Nemo" is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar, winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, "Finding Nemo" is the best-selling DVD of all time, and until 2010's "Toy Story 3", it was the highest-grossing G-rated movie.

33. One over par : BOGEY
The term "Bogey" originated at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England in 1890, and was used to indicate a total round that was one over par (and not one over par on a particular hole, as it is today). The name Bogey came from a music hall song of the time "Here Comes the Bogey Man". In the following years it became popular for players trying to stay at par to be "playing against Colonel Bogey". Then, during WWI, the marching tune "Colonel Bogey" was written and named after the golfing term. If you don't recognize the name of the tune, it's the one that's whistled by the soldiers marching in the great movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai".

39. Smog, e.g. : HAZE
"Smog" is of course a portmanteau word formed by melding "smoke" and "fog". It was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s.

42. 20 Questions category : MINERAL
The parlor game of Twenty Questions originated in the US and really took off in the late forties as it became a weekly quiz show on the radio. Am I the only one who thinks that there aren’t enough quiz shows on the radio these days? I have to resort to listening to the BBC game shows over the Internet …

43. AOL alternative : MSN
MSN was originally called The Microsoft Network, introduced in 1995 as an integral part of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system. MSN is a whole bundle of services including email, instant messaging, and the MSN.com portal (the 9th most visited site on the Internet).

Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, America Online changed its name in 1989. As the company went international, the acronym AOL was used in order to shake off the "US-centric" sound to "America Online". During the heady days of AOL's success, the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That's when users called AOL "Always Off-Line".

45. Country sharing a long border with Chile: Abbr. : ARG
Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and geographically is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” of course comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

46. Civil wrong : TORT
The word "tort" is a French word, meaning "mischief, injury or wrong". Tort law is generally about negligence, when the action of one party causes injury to another, in an action that is outside of the scope of criminal law.

47. Sudden charge in football : BLITZ
"Blitz", as it is used in English, means a fast-moving and overwhelming attack. It is a shortened version of the German word "blitzkrieg". The blitzkrieg was a tactic used by Germany running up to and during WWII. In the original German blitzkrieg, the army and air-force threw everything into a rapid penetration of enemy lines without stopping to reinforce its flanks. The word "blitz" means "lightning" (and "krieg" means "war").

48. Hawaiian veranda : LANAI
Named after the Hawaiian island, a lanai is a type of veranda.

49. Valuable fur : SABLE
Sables are small mammals about two feet long, found right across northern Europe and northern Asia. The sable’s pelt is highly prized in the fur trade. It is unique among furs in that it feels smooth no matter which direction it is stroked.

Oona Chaplin (French Edition)54. Mrs. Chaplin : OONA
Oona O'Neill dated J. D. Salinger and Orson Welles in her teens, but ended up marrying Charlie Chaplin. She was still pretty young when she married Chaplin, much to the dismay of her famous father, the playwright Eugene O'Neill. After the marriage, Eugene disowned Oona as he was pretty upset that 54-year-old Chaplin could marry his 18-year-old daughter.

55. Clark's gal in "Superman" : LOIS
Lois Lane has been the love interest of Superman/Clark Kent since the comic series was first published in 1938. Lois and Clark both work for the big newspaper in the city of Metropolis called "The Daily Planet". Lois and Clark finally got hitched in the comics (and on television's "Lois and Clark") in 1996. But never mind all that ... one has to wonder what the crossword is like in "The Daily Planet" ...

Summer Infant Bibbity, Blue60. Baby's dinner wear : BIB
The word "bib" comes form the Latin "bibere" meaning "to drink", as does our word "imbibe". So, maybe it's less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze ...

61. Command to Fido : SIT
The name used for a dog, "Fido", is the Latin word for "I trust".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Foamy coffee order : LATTE
6. Treble sign : G-CLEF
11. Popular cooking spray : PAM
14. Ness of "The Untouchables" : ELIOT
15. Tehran native : IRANI
16. Plains tribe : OTO
17. Mickey Mantle wore it : NUMBER SEVEN
19. Crete or Curaçao: Abbr. : ISL
20. "Peter Pan" pirate : SMEE
21. Online chat components, for short : IMS
22. Sleeper's breathing problem : APNEA
24. One who's an overnight success : SHOOTING STAR
28. Full ranges : GAMUTS
31. Archaeological find : RELIC
32. Actor Sharif and others : OMARS
33. Former New York mayor Abe : BEAME
35. Petroleum : OIL
38. Seine tributary : OISE
39. Do-it-yourselfer's genre : HOW TO
40. "Black Swan" attire : TUTU
41. Cavity filler's deg. : DDS
42. Irish-born Tony winner Patrick : MAGEE
43. Frenzied : MANIC
44. Indian corn : MAIZE
46. "For shame!" : TSK TSK
47. Much-kissed rock : BLARNEY STONE
51. The "L" in XXL : LARGE
52. Airport monitor abbr. : ARR
53. Only : SOLE
57. Common breast-pocket stain : INK
58. Common key chain adornment : RABBIT’S FOOT
62. ___ Bo (exercise system) : TAE
63. Able to dance a jig, say : AGILE
64. Kind of column : IONIC
65. Spot concealed by makeup, maybe : ZIT
66. Ear features : LOBES
67. Garbage : TRASH

Down
1. Microscope part : LENS
2. '10 grad now, e.g. : ALUM
3. A metronome keeps it : TIME
4. "No doubt" : TO BE SURE
5. Summer on the Seine : ETE
6. Thingamajig : GISMO
7. Peak of a wave : CREST
8. John : LAV
9. Reverse of WSW : ENE
10. Achieve through trickery : FINAGLE
11. Bridge hand assessment : POINT COUNT
12. Bamboozled : AT SEA
13. Back biter? : MOLAR
18. Amazon and Orinoco, to natives : RIOS
23. Pitchfork-shaped letter : PSI
25. Shaker ___, O. : HTS
26. Really ticked : IRATE
27. Pixar's "Finding ___" : NEMO
28. With 37-Down, what 17-, 24-, 47- and 58-Across are all said to bring : GOOD
29. Surrounded by : AMID
30. Not a niche audience : MASS MARKET
33. One over par : BOGEY
34. Ram's mate : EWE
36. "Really?" : IT IS?
37. See 28-Down : LUCK
39. Smog, e.g. : HAZE
40. Supposes to be : TAKES FOR
42. 20 Questions category : MINERAL
43. AOL alternative : MSN
45. Country sharing a long border with Chile: Abbr. : ARG
46. Civil wrong : TORT
47. Sudden charge in football : BLITZ
48. Hawaiian veranda : LANAI
49. Valuable fur : SABLE
50. Hears, as a case : TRIES
54. Mrs. Chaplin : OONA
55. Clark's gal in "Superman" : LOIS
56. Make an impression? : ETCH
59. Long, long ___ : AGO
60. Baby's dinner wear : BIB
61. Command to Fido : SIT

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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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