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0526-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 26 May 11, Thursday





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: Ashish Vengsarkar (or ASXYH VENGSARKAR!)
THEME: XY AND XX … all the theme answers substitute either XY for HIS, or XX for HERS:
17. It's celebrated for 30 days each year beginning September 15 : XYPANIC HERITAGE (HIS-panic heritage)
21. "Take my word for it" : TRUST ME ON TXY (trust me on t-HIS)
38. Matching towel set ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme : XY AND XX (HIS and HERS)
48. Foiled bites? : XXHEY’S KISSES (HERS-hey’s Kisses)
58. Newsmakers of 1903 : THE WRIGHT BROTXX (the Wright brotHERS)
COMPLETION TIME: 31m 25s!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
14. King of wrap? : ANACONDA
Anacondas are native to the tropical regions of South America. The green anaconda is one of the world's largest snakes, growing to 17 feet long and weighing up to 215 pounds! Anacondas are not venomous, and prefer to kill their prey by coiling around it and then squeeeeeezing ...

San Francisco-Golden Gate Bridge in Black and White, Photography Poster Print, 24 by 36-Inch16. Developing agent in photography : AMIDOL
In black and white photography, photographic film and paper both contain tiny silver halide crystals in a layer of emulsion. If the silver ion in the halide is exposed to light then it is converted from an ion into metallic silver. Visually there is no difference at this stage between the light-exposed and unexposed parts of the film/paper. When a liquid developer is applied, then the metallic silver is reduced, turning the silver into metallic crystals which make up the dark areas of the exposed film or paper.

17. It's celebrated for 30 days each year beginning September 15 : XYPANIC HERITAGE (Hispanic heritage)
Hispanic Heritage Month dates back to 1988. The start of the 30-day period was chosen as September 15th as the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all declared independence on September 15th, 1821. Also, Mexico celebrates independence on September 16th, Chile on September 17th, and Belize on September 18th.

Luna Moths: Masters of Change (Insect World)20. ___ moth : LUNA
The lime-green Luna Moth is one of the largest moths found in North America, growing to a wingspan of up to 4½ inches.

Sonia Sotomayor: The True American Dream28. With 8-Across, Sonia Sotomayor, self-professedly : WISE
(8. See 28-Across : LATINA)
In a 2001 speech addressing the need for stronger representation of the Hispanic community in the judiciary, future Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor made the remark:
I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.
That line raised a few eyebrows, and was a topic of some discussion during her confirmation hearing.

31. Is down with : HAS
Is down with, is sick with, has …

Times Of Your Life32. "___ it up and spit it out" ("My Way" lyric) : I ATE
The song “My Way” has lyrics that were written by Paul Anka in 1969, but the tune itself was composed two years earlier by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. The song had been released with completely different lyrics in France, as “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”). When Anka heard the song on television in Paris he sought out and obtained the rights to use it himself, for free. Supposedly, “Comme d’habitude” has been recorded in more languages, by more artists, than any other song in the contemporary repertoire.

33. "___ du lieber!" : ACH
The German exclamation “Ach du lieber” translates as “Oh dear”.

34. Stickle : ARGUE
To stickle is to argue stubbornly, often about something relatively trivial. More often than the verb, we come across the noun, “stickler”, meaning someone who is insistent on something.

36. There are 843 of these in Central Park : ACRES
The man most associated with the decision to develop Central Park in New York City was William Cullen Bryant, the editor of what today is the “New York Post”. He argued that the growing city needed a large, public open space, along the lines of Hyde Park in London and the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Most of the park’s construction took place between 1860 and 1873. Much of the clearing work was accomplished using gunpowder, and it is often noted that more gunpowder was used in Central Park than in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Caribbean Flamingo Chicks Sit in a Nest Photographic Poster Print, 18x2438. Matching towel set ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme : XY AND XX (his and hers)
In most mammalian species, including man, females have two identical sex chromosomes (XX), and males two distinct sex chromosomes (XY). As a result it is the males who determine the sex of the offspring. However, in birds it’s the opposite, so females determine the sex of the chicks.

40. Much Apr. mail is addressed to it : IRS
The IRS came into being during the Civil War, to raise money to pay for war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, taxation was limited to levies on trade and property.

43. Conrad of old films : NAGEL
Conrad Nagel was a heartthrob on the silver screen in the silent film era. Nagel starred in a renowned movie from 1927 called “London After Midnight”, alongside Lon Chaney. The last known copy of the film was lost in a fire at MGM in 1967, and it has become the most famous and sought-after lost film in the world.

Daniel Tosh45. Weekly Comedy Central host : TOSH
Daniel Tosh is a stand-up comedian and host of “Tosh.0”, a video clip show on Comedy Central.

46. Nice view : MER
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.

Hershey Kisses Large Bag 5 pounds48. Foiled bites? : XXHEY’S KISSES (Hershey’s Kisses)
The Hershey Company produces over 80 million Kisses each day, and has been making them since 1907.

54. Looped vase handles : ANSAE
Ansa is the Latin word for handle. The term is also used to describe anatomical structures that are shaped like a handle, forming a loop or an arc.

Sterling Biographies: The Wright Brothers: First in Flight58. Newsmakers of 1903 : THE WRIGHT BROTXX (the Wright brothers)
Wilbur was the older of the two Wright brothers, and he was born in 1867 in Millville, Indiana. By the time that Orville was born in 1871, the family was living in Dayton, Ohio. The Wrights spent a few years of their youth back in Richmond, Indiana, before settling in Dayton for the rest of their lives. The brothers both died in Dayton, Wilbur in 1912 and Orville in 1948.

68. Barolo or Marsala : RED
Barolo is a red wine from the Piedmont region in northern Italy. It is considered one of the country’s greatest wines.

Marsala is a seaport lying in the very west of Sicily. If you visit Marsala, you'll find what's called "vintage" Marsala wine, a "regular" red wine. If you buy a bottle of Marsala at your local store though, it will be a fortified wine, wine with a higher alcohol content.

Down
1. ___-Altenburg (former German duchy) : SAXE
The Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg was located south of Leipzig, and existed for centuries until the monarchies ceased to exist in the German Revolution of 1918-19, at the end of WWI.

10k White Gold Oval Onyx Center w/ Diamonds Ring, Size 72. Black : ONYX
Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it's the black version that's used for jewelry. The name "onyx" comes from the Greek word for "fingernail", as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

Captain James Cook: A Biography3. Cook, e.g.: Abbr. : CAPT
The famed British explorer Captain James Cook, made three major voyages of discovery into the Pacific Ocean. Cook was in command of HMS Resolution on his third voyage, and along with his crew he became the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands, in 1778. He landed on Kauai, and named the whole archipelago the Sandwich Islands, in honor of the fourth Earl of Sandwich who was in charge of the British Admiralty at the time. Cook continued his voyage, leaving Hawaii to explore the coast of what is now called Canada and Alaska, and returning to Hawaii the following year. After one month of contact with the native Hawaiians, Cook departed from the islands but was forced to return to repair a broken mast. Relations between the Europeans and the islanders had been good but despite this a dispute developed and got out of control that resulted in Cook being struck on the head and stabbed to death. His body was dragged away by the islanders, and as an apparent sign of respect for the Captain, the natives processed his body according to funeral traditions associated with Hawaiian kings and elders. Eventually, after a petition from the remaining crew, some of Cook's remains were also returned for a formal burial at sea, adhering to British naval tradition.

Garmin Fishfinder 160C4. School locator? : SONAR
SONAR is used as a fish finder.

The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defense demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using "supersonics", but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy's Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the IC from "superson-ic-s" to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology "ASDivite". By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so the name ASDIC was deep-sixed ...

6. SARS monitor, for short : CDC
Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a viral disease in humans that went pandemic in 2002/2003. There were over 8,000 confirmed cases, and 12 confirmed deaths from the disease during that outbreak. There have been no known cases since 2003, although the disease has not yet been declared as "eradicated".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days ...

Lash Larue Autographed/Hand Signed 8x10 Photo8. Lash of westerns : LARUE
Alfred LaRue was an actor who appeared in a lot of western movies in the forties and fifties. He was very adept with the bull whip, earning him the nickname “Lash”. Years after his on screen career ended, LaRue was the guy who trained Harrison Ford how to use a bull whip for his role in the "Indiana Jones" series of films.

9. Part of PABA : AMINO
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), or now its derivatives, is the "active" ingredient in sunscreens in that it absorbs UV radiation. PABA derivatives are used today as PABA itself fell out of favor due to its tendency to stain clothes and to cause an allergic reaction in some users.

11. Moscow's home: Abbr. : IDA
Moscow, Idaho is home to the University of Idaho. In its early days the city was known as Paradise Valley, and the name changed to Moscow in 1875. The choice of “Moscow” seems unexplained, but it is more likely related to Moscow, Pennsylvania than Moscow, Russia.

12. Yule quaff : NOG
It's not really clear where the term nog comes from, although it might derive from the word "noggin", which was originally a small wooden cup long associated with alcoholic drinks.

"Yule" celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words "Christmas" and "yule" have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name "yule" comes from the Old Norse word "jol" that was used to describe the festival.

RiteBrew - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone - 5 Gallon Beer Kit13. Sierra Nevada, for one : ALE
The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is powered almost exclusively by solar energy, and even has a charging station for electric vehicles at its brewery. The company also uses the cooking oil from its restaurant as biodiesel for its delivery trucks. Discarded yeast is used to make ethanol fuel, and spent grain is used as food for livestock. For its efforts to preserve the environment, Sierra Nevada won the EPA's “Green Business of the Year” award for 2010.

15. Bistro offering : CARTE
"Bistro" was originally a Parisian slang term for a "little wine shop or restaurant".

Carte is a word sometimes used in French for a menu. Menu items that are "à la carte" are priced and ordered separately, as opposed to "table d'hôte" which is a fixed price menu with limited choice.

18. Slippery ___ : ELM
The Slippery Elm is a species of elm native to North America, also known as the Red Elm.

Driving Miss Daisy (Keepcase)22. Alfred who wrote "Driving Miss Daisy" : UHRY
The 1989 movie "Driving Miss Daisy" is based on the 1987 play by Alfred Uhry. Not only did Uhry win the Pulitzer for the play, he also won an Academy Award for the screenplay for the movie. In a famous scene, when Hoke, Miss Daisy's driver takes her from Atlanta to Mobile for her brother's 90th birthday party, Hoke reveals to his passenger that the journey marked the first time he had ever left his home state of Georgia.

Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos23. Astronomy figure : SAGAN
Carl Sagan was a brilliant astrophysicist, and a great communicator. He was famous for presenting obscure concepts about the cosmos in such a way that we mere mortals could appreciate. He also wrote the novel "Contact" which was adapted into a fascinating 1997 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster.

24. Seaquake sequel : TSUNAMI
“Tsunami” is the Japanese word for “harbor wave”.

26. Nissan S.U.V. : XTERRA
The Xterra is a compact SUV built in Smyrna, Tennessee (and in Brazil).

Starr: A Reassessment28. Baylor U. locale : WACO, TX
Remember Ken Starr of Whitewater fame? He is now the President of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

36. ___ Rose : AXL
Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N' Roses.

Guns N' Roses is a hard rock band founded in 1985 that is still going strong. The group was pulled together by Axl Rose, the lead vocalist. The lead-guitar player back then was Tracii Guns, and it was the combination of Axl and Tracii's "family" names that led to the band being called Guns N' Roses.

39. Gen ___ (thirtysomethings) : XERS
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.

42. Williams's paint partner : SHERWIN
The Sherwin-Williams Company is a big producer of paints, as well as related products for the construction industry. It was founded by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams in Cleveland, Ohio in 1866.

Radiohead Singer Thom Yorke 8"x10" Color Concert Photo49. Radiohead frontman Thom : YORKE
Radiohead is an alternative rock band from England, formed in 1985.

52. Court figures : EARLS
The rank of earl has meant many different things over the centuries. In Britain today an earl ranks above a viscount but below a marquess. There is no female form for earl, so a woman with the equivalent female title is called a countess.

58. Parts of bowls, for short : TDS
There are touchdowns in all those bowl games, well, most of them anyway …

59. Quaint school event : HOP
Sock hops were high school dances typically held in the school gym or cafeteria. The term "sock hop" originated because the dancers were often required to remove their shoes to protect the varnished floor in the gym.

The Book of Eli [Blu-ray]60. "The Book of ___" : ELI
"The Book of Eli" is one of those "end of the world" type movies, with Denzel Washington playing a tough guy traveling across what is left of the United States after some apocryphal event.

Behind The Scenes Photo Shoot61. Seaside ___, N.J. : HTS
Seaside Heights is on the Jersey Shore, and indeed it is the location used in the MTV show “Jersey Shore”.

63. Luncheonette order : BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:

Across
1. Coll. major : SOC
4. "___ is life" : SUCH
8. See 28-Across : LATINA
14. King of wrap? : ANACONDA
16. Developing agent in photography : AMIDOL
17. It's celebrated for 30 days each year beginning September 15 : XYPANIC HERITAGE (Hispanic heritage)
19. Plus : EXTRA
20. ___ moth : LUNA
21. "Take my word for it" : TRUST ME ON TXY (trust me on this)
28. With 8-Across, Sonia Sotomayor, self-professedly : WISE
31. Is down with : HAS
32. "___ it up and spit it out" ("My Way" lyric) : I ATE
33. "___ du lieber!" : ACH
34. Stickle : ARGUE
36. There are 843 of these in Central Park : ACRES
37. 2.0 : CEE
38. Matching towel set ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme : XY AND XX (his and hers)
40. Much Apr. mail is addressed to it : IRS
41. Really big : OBESE
43. Conrad of old films : NAGEL
44. It might be casual: Abbr. : FRI
45. Weekly Comedy Central host : TOSH
46. Nice view : MER
47. Miles off : AFAR
48. Foiled bites? : XXHEY’S KISSES (Hershey’s Kisses)
53. Part of a bell tower : ROPE
54. Looped vase handles : ANSAE
58. Newsmakers of 1903 : THE WRIGHT BROTXX (the Wright brothers)
64. Imitate : DO LIKE
65. Yarn : TALL TALE
66. Features of hedgehogs : SPINES
67. Company leaders: Abbr. : SGTS
68. Barolo or Marsala : RED

Down
1. ___-Altenburg (former German duchy) : SAXE
2. Black : ONYX
3. Cook, e.g.: Abbr. : CAPT
4. School locator? : SONAR
5. Cycle starter : UNI-
6. SARS monitor, for short : CDC
7. "Fat chance!" : HAH
8. Lash of westerns : LARUE
9. Part of PABA : AMINO
10. Really big : TITANIC
11. Moscow's home: Abbr. : IDA
12. Yule quaff : NOG
13. Sierra Nevada, for one : ALE
15. Bistro offering : CARTE
18. Slippery ___ : ELM
22. Alfred who wrote "Driving Miss Daisy" : UHRY
23. Astronomy figure : SAGAN
24. Seaquake sequel : TSUNAMI
25. Duty : TARIFF
26. Nissan S.U.V. : XTERRA
27. Private aye? : YES, SIR
28. Baylor U. locale : WACO, TX
29. Cooler : ICEBOX
30. "Oh, man" : SHEESH
34. Can : AXE
35. Lips : EDGES
36. ___ Rose : AXL
39. Gen ___ (thirtysomethings) : XERS
42. Williams's paint partner : SHERWIN
47. Often ___ : AS NOT
49. Radiohead frontman Thom : YORKE
50. Fears of some paranoiacs : SPIES
51. Powder site : KEG
52. Court figures : EARLS
55. Astronomy figure : STAR
56. Turning point : AXLE
57. Deleted : EXED
58. Parts of bowls, for short : TDS
59. Quaint school event : HOP
60. "The Book of ___" : ELI
61. Seaside ___, N.J. : HTS
62. Handle : TAG
63. Luncheonette order : BLT

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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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