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0603-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Jun 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: Jeffrey Wechsler

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Mister Peepers - The TV Series15. Voicer of Underdog on TV : WALLY COX
Wally Cox was a comedian and actor, the voice behind the cartoon character “Underdog”, and the star of the show "Mister Peepers". He was a great friend of Marlon Brando, and apparently when Brando died, some of Cox’s ashes were mixed with his and were scattered in Death Valley and Tahiti.

Loitering With Intent: The Child16. Voicer of Ego in "Ratatouille" : O’TOOLE
"Ratatouille" is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

17. Children's song that's based on an old work song melody : ALOUETTE
The French-Canadian children's song starts with, "Alouette, gentille alouette ..." "Alouette" is the French word for a bird, the "lark". The song is actually pretty gruesome, even though it was used to teach children the names of body parts. The origin of the song lies in the French colonists penchant for eating larks, which they considered to be game birds. So in the song, the singer tells the lark that he/she will pluck off one-by-one the lark's head, nose, eyes, wings and tail.

19. The unwashed : PLEBS
Pleb is probably short for "plebeian", the name given to someone of the common class in ancient Rome (as opposed to a Patrician, one of the elite).

20. She hid Zeus from Cronus : RHEA
In Greek mythology Rhea was one of the Titans. She was the sister and husband of Cronus, and together they had six children, the last of which was Zeus. Cronus swallowed all of his children as soon as they were born, except for Zeus, who Rhea managed to hide from her husband.

Psycho, Collector Bates Motel Sign24. Chilly shower setting? : BATES MOTEL
Bates Motel and house were constructed on the backlot of Universal Studios for the 1960 movie “Psycho”. They are still standing, and for me are the highlight of the backlot tour.

Oat Beverage, Original, Low Fat, Organic, 32 oz.27. Kind of milk : OAT
Oat milk is one of the alternatives to cow’s milk, and is lactose free.

29. "King Richard II" lord : ROSS
Lord Ross is a character in William Shakespeare’s “King Richard the Second”.

30. Subject of a museum in eastern Colorado : UTE
The Ute are a group of American Indian tribes that now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups.

39. Misanthrope who says "We are all born mad. Some remain so" : ESTRAGON
Estragon is one of the two protagonists in Samuel Beckett’s play, “Waiting for Godot”.

An Irishman I may be, but I have sat through so many Samuel Beckett plays (the Irish dramatist) and I have yet to come away feeling satisfied that I spent my time well. Of course, I am in the minority, as his play "Waiting for Godot" was once voted the most significant English language play of the 20th century. Maybe I will try again one day ...

Rich Little Show: Complete Series51. Great ape? : RICH LITTLE
Rich Little is a Canadian-born impersonator, known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. He lives in Las Vegas, and there was sworn in as a US citizen just a few years ago, in 2008.

54. "I think," briefly : IMO
In My Opinion.

55. Literally, "barley" : ORZO
Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, "orzo" is the Italian word for "barley".

Cirrus Clouds, Alaska Photographic Poster Print by Momatiuk & Eastcott , 12x1656. They're no rain-makers : CIRRI
Cirrus clouds are those lovely wispy, white strands that are often called "mare's tail".

59. Wheatworm, e.g. : NEMATODE
A wheatworm is a parasite on wheat, and is very destructive.

63. Chemist's relatives? : ISOTOPES
A chemical element can be found in variants known as isotopes. Different isotopes of the same element have the same chemical properties, as chemical properties are defined by the number of electrons which is identical in isotopes. The difference between isotopes is the number of neutrons in the nucleus, which changes the atomic weight.

2. Ease : PALLIATE
To “palliate” is to relieve the symptoms of a disease or disorder, without effecting any form of a cure. “Palliate” comes from the Latin “palliatus” meaning “cloaked”.

Al Oerter autographed 8x10 Photo (Discus) JSA 4x Olympic Gold, HOF 1983 - Autographed Sports Photos3. Winner of gold in four consecutive Olympics, 1956-68 : AL OERTER
Discus thrower Al Oerter is one of only three competitors to have won a gold medal in four consecutive Olympic Games in the same individual event. The other two sportsmen to have achieved the feat are Carl Lewis in the long jump and Paul Elvstrom in sailing.

11. Gobbledygook : ROT
“Gobbledygook” is pompous, officious talk. The term is the invention of a US Congressman, Maury Maverick from Texas. He said he wanted to come up with a word that is imitative of a turkey.

Doritos Tortilla Chips, Nacho Cheese, 1.75-Ounce Large Single Serve Bags (Pack of 64)12. Tasty triangle : DORITO
Doritos are a brand of flavored tortilla chips launched in 1964. The name "Doritos" means "little bits of gold" in Spanish.

14. They might provide coverage for racecars : DECALS
A decal is a decorative sticker, short for “decalcomania”. The term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

21. Track meet event : HEAT
The term "heat", meaning a qualifying race, dates back to the 1660s. Originally a heat was a run given to a horse to prepare it for a race, to "heat" it up.

Monopoly25. Mediterranean or Baltic: Abbr. : AVE
Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues are the least landed-upon properties in the game of Monopoly.

34. Biblical 912-year-old : SETH
According to the Bible, Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve, coming after Cain and Abel.

36. Spinning device giving the illusion of motion : ZOETROPE
A zoetrope is a drum-like device with a series of images on the inside, and slits through which the images can be viewed. As the drum is rotated, the images appear to move when viewed through the slits.

Arden, Eve Show - Volume 137. Principal player in "Grease" : EVE ARDEN
Eve Arden's most famous role early in her career was playing the high school teacher in the 1950's radio and television show "Our Miss Brooks". Years later she played the Principal of Rydell High School in the movies "Grease" (great!) and "Grease 2" (terrible!).

Ritz Crackers, 16-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)41. Brand of munchables : RITZ
I've always liked Ritz crackers. They've been around since 1934 when they were introduced by Nabisco. The name Ritz was chosen because the marketing folks felt that the association with Ritz-Carlton would evoke images of wealth and the high life.

42. Composer Vivaldi : ANTONIO
Antonio Vivaldi was one of the great composers of the Baroque period. He achieved  fame and success within in his own lifetime, notoriety that faded soon after he died. His music has reemerged in recent decades, and I am sure everyone is familiar with at least part of his most famous composition, his violin concerto called “The Four Seasons”.

Sinnerman47. She had a 1959 hit with "I Loves You, Porgy" : SIMONE
Nina Simone was the stage name of Eunice Waymon. She was very much associated with jazz music, although she really wanted to be a classical musician early in her career, inspired by a love for the music of Bach.

48. Wall fixture : SCONCE
A sconce is a light fixture that today uses electric bulbs, but in the past used candles and torches. The defining feature of a sconce is that it is supported by a wall and does not have a base that stands on the ground. Usually the light is indirect, projected upwards towards the ceiling.

52. Laissez-faire : LOOSE
Laissez-faire is a French term that we use to describe non-interference in the affairs of others. The literal translation is “to let to allow”.

56. Foe of Caesar : CATO
Cato the Younger was a politician in the late Roman Republic, noted for his moral integrity. He is also remembered for an extended conflict with Julius Caesar.

58. What a floozy might show off : GAM
The American slang term "gams" is used for a woman's legs, but the term goes back to the 18th century "gamb" meaning the leg of an animal on a coat of arms.

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

1. Launch time? : SPACE AGE
9. Found to be legal, in a way : CARDED
15. Voicer of Underdog on TV : WALLY COX
16. Voicer of Ego in "Ratatouille" : O’TOOLE
17. Children's song that's based on an old work song melody : ALOUETTE
18. Like many countries' rulers : METRIC
19. The unwashed : PLEBS
20. She hid Zeus from Cronus : RHEA
22. Suffix with señor : -ITA
23. Generic addressees : SIRS
24. Chilly shower setting? : BATES MOTEL
27. Kind of milk : OAT
28. Set upon : HAVE AT
29. "King Richard II" lord : ROSS
30. Subject of a museum in eastern Colorado : UTE
31. Is no longer : USED TO BE
33. Without any embroidery : TERSE
35. Passes out slowly : OOZES
39. Misanthrope who says "We are all born mad. Some remain so" : ESTRAGON
45. In ___ (embryonic) : OVO
46. Alternative to being tapped : PSST
49. It might make drinkers blush : WINERY
50. Convention lengthener? : -EER
51. Great ape? : RICH LITTLE
53. It often goes out with a bang : STAR
54. "I think," briefly : IMO
55. Literally, "barley" : ORZO
56. They're no rain-makers : CIRRI
57. Many a khan : MONGOL
59. Wheatworm, e.g. : NEMATODE
62. Crate : ENCASE
63. Chemist's relatives? : ISOTOPES
64. Thought : DEEMED
65. Other side : OPPONENT

1. Exchanges : SWAPS OUT
2. Ease : PALLIATE
3. Winner of gold in four consecutive Olympics, 1956-68 : AL OERTER
4. Set for juggling : CLUBS
5. They're seen on both sides of bridges : EYES
6. More than talk : ACT
7. Confounded : GOT
8. Like effort and influence : EXERTED
9. Wakes : COMES TO
10. Superior group : A-TEAM
11. Gobbledygook : ROT
12. Tasty triangle : DORITO
13. Superior groups : ELITES
14. They might provide coverage for racecars : DECALS
21. Track meet event : HEAT
24. Coll. acquisitions : BAS
25. Mediterranean or Baltic: Abbr. : AVE
26. Kind of pie or cake : OREO
28. They can be saturated : HUES
32. Really thin : BONY
34. Biblical 912-year-old : SETH
36. Spinning device giving the illusion of motion : ZOETROPE
37. Principal player in "Grease" : EVE ARDEN
38. Superlatively sad : SORRIEST
40. Spun : TWIRLED
41. Brand of munchables : RITZ
42. Composer Vivaldi : ANTONIO
43. Do stuff : GEL
44. Part of the underground economy? : ORE
46. Ready : PRIMED
47. She had a 1959 hit with "I Loves You, Porgy" : SIMONE
48. Wall fixture : SCONCE
52. Laissez-faire : LOOSE
53. Keep hush-hush : SIT ON
56. Foe of Caesar : CATO
58. What a floozy might show off : GAM
60. Picking up power? : ESP
61. Job for a barber : MOP

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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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