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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

0527-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 May 11, Friday





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: Ashton Anderson
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 28m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
Pittsburgh Panthers Team Auto Window Decal (12 x 10 -inch)6. The Panthers of the N.C.A.A. : PITT
The University of Pittsburgh chose its nickname for its sporting teams in 1909, and claims that it was the first team in the country to adopt the name "Panthers".

10. Decision-prompting request : RSVP
RSVP stands for "Répondez s'il vous plaît", which is French for "please, answer".

Sophia Style14. "Doctor Zhivago" producer : PONTI
The Italian film producer Carlo Ponti was not quite as famous as his celebrity wife, Sophia Loren. Ponti met Loren as a contestant in a beauty contest he was judging in 1950. Back then she was a budding young actress still using her real name, Sofia Lazzaro. The two married in 1957 even though divorce was illegal at the time in Italy, so Ponti was still married to his first wife.

15. Drama halls : ODEA
In Ancient Greece, an odeon was like a small theater, with "odeon" literally meaning a "building for musical competition". Odea were used in both Greece and Rome, for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

EPEE - Budget Practice Blade16. Electric weapon : EPEE
The French word for sword is épée. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

19. Charity allotment : DOLE
The word "dole", meaning "financial relief", originated as the Old English word "dal", the state of sharing, giving out. Our term "on the dole", relating to institutional relief, dates back to the twenties.

Osama bin Laden: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies)25. Fundamentalist group : AL-QAEDA
Osama bin Laden founded his militant Islamist group called al-Qaeda in the late eighties. “Al-Qaeda” translates as “the base”, and can refer to a military base, and was originally the name of a training camp set up for mujaheddin fighters opposing Russians occupying Afghanistan.

28. "With Reagan" writer : MEESE
Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California, just down the road here, and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I live. After military service he earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as Chief of Staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

33. Where you may be on a French map : ICI
"Ici" is the French word for "here".

34. Meiji prime minister : ITO
The Meiji period in Japan ran from 1868 to 1912, with “meiji” translating as “enlightened rule”.

In the 1880s, Japanese leaders were concerned that their system of government was not defined well enough, leading to ambiguity about areas of responsibility and authority. One of the leaders at the time was Ito Hirobumi, and he took himself and his staff over to Europe to examine the systems of government across that continent, especially those of the British and German Empires. On returning to Japan he lobbied for and was successful in the adoption of a constitution for the country and a modern system of government. Ito became the country's first Prime Minister in 1885.

Calvin Klein Men's 2-Pack Boxer Brief, Black, Medium44. Name on some underwear : KLEIN
Calvin Klein is an American fashion designer, born in the Bronx in New York City. Klein's biography entitled "Obsession", takes its name from one of the most famous brands in his line of fragrances.

46. It exceeds the sum of its parts : GESTALT
Gestalt is a German word meaning “shape”. The principles of gestaltism were developed in Germany in the early 1900s. One of the main tenets is that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.

54. Currency dropped during the French Revolution : ECUS
The ecu was an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640 it was worth three livres (an older coin, called a "pound" in English). The word "ecu" comes from the Latin "scutum" meaning "shield". The original ecu used to have a coat of arms on it, a shield.

Dial Corp. 04303 Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (Pack of 2)55. Scorned kid brother, maybe : TATTLE-TALE
A tattle-tale is someone who tells tales, not a nice person. Fels-Naptha soap brand first used the term to describe a gray tinge that was left after laundering whites, the idea being that the gray indicated that the laundress (yes, it was the wives who were blamed back then!) was using an inferior laundry soap to wash the man's white shirts. Fels-Naptha claimed that “white shirts, meant happy husbands”. Oh boy ...

57. Fizz ingredient : SODA
A cocktail known as a Fizz includes by definition lemon or lime juice, and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water.

I Am Spock59. Player of a stoic crew member : NIMOY
Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock on the original "Star Trek" television series. He has to be the most popular character on the show, and keeps popping up in "Star Trek" spin offs to this day. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (I loved that show!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy, and Shatner an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

60. Gods swear by it : STYX
In Greek mythology, gods would swear oaths on the River Styx, meaning that such an oath was binding.

The River Styx in Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (also called Hades). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferryboat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead "to pay the ferryman".

Modern Souls61. Inits. on some underwear : DKNY
Donna Karan is an American fashion designer, creator of the DKNY clothing label. She was raised in the fashion industry, as her mother was a model and her stepfather a tailor.

Down
1. Religious recession? : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof, and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

Konrad Adenauer: The Father of the New Germany2. Bygone European capital : BONN
After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany, a choice promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the capital was moved to Berlin.

3. Linear : 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.

Cinema Paradiso4. Like "Cinema Paradiso" : ITALIAN
The Italian blockbuster “Cinema Paradiso” won the 1990 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The original name of the film, and the title for the Italian release, is “Nuovo cinema Paradiso” (New Paradise Cinema).

Prince: The Glory Years - A Documentary Review6. Prince, e.g. : POP STAR
The singer Prince was born in Minneapolis, and he lives there to this day. He took his name from his father, a jazz musician who used the stage name Prince Rogers.

7. Periodic table suffix : -IDE
I don’t think the suffix -ide is found in the Periodic Table of the Elements. In chemistry, when a metal combines with a non-metal, the non-metal is often the suffix -ide as in iron sulfide, for example.

11. Trump the jack, e.g. : SPOONERISM
If “trump the jack” is a spoonerism then the speaker meant to say “jump the track”.

Spoonerisms are errors in speech in which letters or sounds are switched from one word to another. Famous examples are, "Three cheers for our queer old dean" (dear old Queen ... Victoria) and "Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?" (customary to kiss). Spoonerisms are named after an Oxford don, William Archibald Spooner, who was notorious for his tendency to pepper his speech with "spoonerisms".

12. Soft palate : VELUM
The soft palate is the soft tissue at the rear of the roof of the mouth, and is also called the velum. The soft palate is muscular and moves to close off the nasal passages while swallowing.

13. Most successful U.S. black golfer before Woods : PEETE
Calvin Peete was the most successful African American golfer on the PGA tour before Tiger Woods hit the circuit. Peete played on the Ryder Cup teams of 1983 and 1985.

18. Obiter dictum : ASIDE
“Obiter dictum” is Latin for something “said by the way”. The term can be used in law to describe a statement made in the opinion of a court that doesn't form a necessary part of the decision. Obiter dicta may be included for illustration, perhaps as examples to support the decision.

26. Gonzo : LOCO
Something “gonzo” is bizarre or unconventional. The term might perhaps come from the Italian “gonzo” meaning “rude, sottish”.

31. Senate censure : ET TU
Shakespeare used the words "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?) in his play "Julius Caesar", but the phrase was around long before he penned his drama. It's not known what Julius Caesar's actual last words were just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

Them Dirty Blues
36. Instrument for Cannonball Adderley : ALTO SAX
Cannonball Adderley was an alto-sax player whose heyday was in the fifties and sixties. He picked up the nickname “Cannonball” in high school as apparently he was a big eater. Go figure …

37. Opposite of spring, tidewise : NEAP
Tides of course are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon's effect. At spring tides, the sun and the moon's gravities act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

42. Pressing : EXIGENT
Something exigent is urgent.

Epcot Center, Disney World, Orlando, Florida, USA Photographic Poster Print by Angelo Cavalli, 9x1247. Future World setting : EPCOT
EPCOT Center (now just called Epcot) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away before that vision could be realized.

52. Natural soother : ALOE
Aloe vera has a number of names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

Curious George (Widescreen Edition)53. Curious George's creators : REYS
Curious George is a character in a series of children’s books written by Hans Augusto and Margaret Rey. The couple wrote the original stories in Paris, taking the manuscripts with them as they fled from the city ahead of the German invasion, in 1940.

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

Across
1. Seething : ABOIL
6. The Panthers of the N.C.A.A. : PITT
10. Decision-prompting request : RSVP
14. "Doctor Zhivago" producer : PONTI
15. Drama halls : ODEA
16. Electric weapon : EPEE
17. Glance : SNEAK A PEEK
19. Charity allotment : DOLE
20. Never wrapping up : ENDLESS
21. Remove forcefully : TEAR OUT
23. Still contending : IN IT
24. "My treat" : IT’S ON ME
25. Fundamentalist group : AL QAEDA
28. "With Reagan" writer : MEESE
29. Fail : GO UNDER
30. Pierced : ENTERED
33. Where you may be on a French map : ICI
34. Meiji prime minister : ITO
35. "Impossible" : NO CAN DO
40. Looks like it does : SEEMS TO
44. Name on some underwear : KLEIN
45. Peak : MAXIMUM
46. It exceeds the sum of its parts : GESTALT
48. Explanatory words : AS IN
49. Good enough : UP TO PAR
50. Bar fixture : REGULAR
54. Currency dropped during the French Revolution : ECUS
55. Scorned kid brother, maybe : TATTLE-TALE
57. Fizz ingredient : SODA
58. Naturalist's subj. : ECOL
59. Player of a stoic crew member : NIMOY
60. Gods swear by it : STYX
61. Inits. on some underwear : DKNY
62. Heard trial evidence : TAPES

Down
1. Religious recession? : APSE
2. Bygone European capital : BONN
3. Linear : ONE-D
4. Like "Cinema Paradiso" : ITALIAN
5. Analogized : LIKENED
6. Prince, e.g. : POP STAR
7. Periodic table suffix : -IDE
8. When a foursome starts : TEE TIME
9. Rest : TAKE TEN
10. Wooer's surprise : RED ROSE
11. Trump the jack, e.g. : SPOONERISM
12. Soft palate : VELUM
13. Most successful U.S. black golfer before Woods : PEETE
18. Obiter dictum : ASIDE
22. Play ___ (do some tennis) : A SET
25. Hostile to, in the hills : AGIN
26. Gonzo : LOCO
27. Fast learner : QUICK STUDY
31. Senate censure : ET TU
32. Make a goner : DOOM
36. Instrument for Cannonball Adderley : ALTO SAX
37. Opposite of spring, tidewise : NEAP
38. Like some pupils : DILATED
39. Following the schedule : ON TRACK
40. With style : SMARTLY
41. One may hold a drawing : EASEL
42. Pressing : EXIGENT
43. Triviality : MINUTIA
46. "___ again!" : GUESS
47. Future World setting : EPCOT
51. Lighting director? : LAMP
52. Natural soother : ALOE
53. Curious George's creators : REYS
56. Large load : TON

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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 answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

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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