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0607-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Jun 11, Tuesday

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 Liben-Nowell
THEME: Exact Opposites … each of the theme answer is a phrase starting with the name of a celebrity (that is also an adjective), alongside the exact opposite to that adjective:
17A. Comment about comic actor Martin when standing next to a peewee? : SHORT IS TALL
26A. Comment about actor Jack, racially speaking? : BLACK IS WHITE
43A. Comment about well-dressed pop singer James? : BLUNT IS SHARP
57A. Comment about impressionist Rich when playing a packed house? : LITTLE IS BIG

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
7. Part of U.S.M.A.: Abbr. : ACAD
The United States Military Academy (USMA) accepts about 1,300 cadets each year, of which about 1,000 graduate, each with a bachelor of science degree. The graduates are then commissioned with the rank of second lieutenant. The first female candidates entered the USMA in 1976, and today about 15% of all new cadets are women.

Oak Barrique Barrels with Aging Red Wine, Jute Chateau Belingard, Bergerac, Dordogne, France Photographic Poster Print by Per Karlsson, 12x1611. Wood used for wine barrels : OAK
Oak barrels are sometimes used to store wine during fermentation and aging. The oak wood has a profound effect, perhaps changing the wine's color, flavor and texture. Sometimes the same effect is produced less “traditionally” if the wine is kept in stainless steel, by adding oak chips into the liquid.

15. Miss from Marseille: Abbr. : MLLE
Mademoiselle is the French for “Miss”.

16. ___ de France : ILE
Ile de France (literally "Island of France") isn't an island at all. It is the name given to the most populous of France's 26 administrative regions, which is roughly equivalent to the Paris metropolitan area.

Short, Martin Autographed/Hand Signed 8x10 Photo17. Comment about comic actor Martin when standing next to a peewee? : SHORT IS TALL
Martin Short's father emigrated to Canada as a refugee from Ireland during the Irish War of Independence (and indeed I was good friends with one of Martin's cousins back in Ireland). Short started out his career as a comedian with "SCTV" before moving to "Saturday Night Live" where he became one of the show's most celebrated alumni. Back in 1972 Short appeared in a production of "Godspell" alongside Gilda Radner. Short and Radner dated for a while, then Short started going out with Radner's understudy, Nancy Dolman. Dolman and Short married in 1980. Any of you that follow British politics will know of Clare Short, a minister in ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet. Clare and Martin are first cousins.

20. "Tony n' ___ Wedding" (Off Broadway hit starting in 1988) : TINA’S
“Tony n' Tina's Wedding” is described as “environmental theater”, with a lot of audience participation. The play is basically an Italian-American wedding and reception, with the audience playing the guests.

1969 Parliament Cigarette British Guard Print Ad (18439)25. Something found in a Parliament : TAR
The Parliament brand of cigarettes has been produced by Philip Morris, since 1931.

JACK BLACK 8x10 COLOUR PHOTO26. Comment about actor Jack, racially speaking? : BLACK IS WHITE
The actor Jack Black was born in Santa Monica, California and is the son of two satellite engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope program.

34. Architect I. M. ___ : PEI
I. M. Pei (full name Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect, born in China. Of his many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.

39. "___ Poetica" : ARS
The full name of Horace's work is "Ars Poetica, Episula ad Pisones" (The Art of Poetry, Letters to Piso). The work describes the technical aspects of poetry in Ancient Rome, and the term "ars poetica" has come to mean the poetry of that period.

You're Beautiful43. Comment about well-dressed pop singer James? : BLUNT IS SHARP
James Blunt is the stage name of an English singer, whose real family name is “Blount”. Before achieving fame in the world of pop music, Blunt was an officer in a cavalry regiment of the British Army, and served as part of the NATO deployment in Kosovo.

Clue The Classic Edition46. ___ Peacock (Clue character) : MRS
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland, as outside of North America Clue is marketed as "Cluedo". Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer, Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), the weapons are a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it's a fabulous game, a must during the holidays.

47. Irritating sort : TWIT
"Twit" is a word not used very often here in America. It's a slang term that was quite common in England, meaning someone foolish and idiotic.

Mama's Big Ones'48. ___ Cass Elliot : MAMA
Cass Elliot was one of the four singers in the Mamas and the Papas, the sensational group from the sixties. She was performing sold-out concerts in London in 1974 when she was found dead one morning, having had a heart attack. She was only 32 years old. Eerily, she died in the same flat (on loan from Harry Nilsson) in which the Who's drummer, Keith Moon, would die just four years later.

52. Former drink marketed as "zomething different" : ZIMA
Zima is a clear, alcoholic beverage, about the same strength as beer. It is sold in beer bottles but is marketed as "not" a beer. It has a lemon-lime flavor, and is referred to as an alcopop, a portmanteau word from "alcohol" and "pop".

SIMON LE BON 8X10 COLOR PHOTO55. When doubled, band with the 1984 #1 hit "The Reflex" : DURAN
The English Band Duran Duran’s lead singer is Simon Le Bon. Le Bon is a passionate sailor and garnered a lot of attention when his yacht lost its keel in the 1985 Fastnet race. Before Le Bon and his crew could be rescued, they spent 40 minutes trapped underwater inside the hull. The incident didn't deter Le Bon from sailing though, and not long after he came third in the 1985-1986 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Rich Little Show: Complete Series57. Comment about impressionist Rich when playing a packed house? : LITTLE IS BIG
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.

59. Anthem contraction : O’ER
The words "o'er the land of the free" come from "The Star Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key. The lyrics were written first as a poem by Key, inspired by his witnessing of the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song written by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

60. Baldwin or Guinness : ALEC
ALEC BALDWIN 8X10 PHOTOAlec is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think his big break was playing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan in "The Hunt for Red October", but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin is making a name for himself these days playing Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock", opposite Tina Fey.

ALEC GUINNESS 8X10 PHOTOSir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars".

3. Hotelier Helmsley : LEONA
Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes ..."

4. The record score in this game is 1,049 points : SCRABBLE
The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Moshoer Butts. Butts determined the optimum number of tiles of each letter and the appropriate point value of each tile by analyzing letter distributions in publications like our beloved "New York Times" ...

5. Vittles : EATS
“Vittles” is a variant of the word “victuals”, meaning food fit for human consumption.

6. Holy Hindu's title : SRI
Sri is a title of respect for a male in India.

The Launch of the Acela Express: An Inside Look at America's First High-Speed Train7. Acela operator : AMTRAK
The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, getting up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. The brand name "Acela" was created to evoke "acceleration" and "excellence".

10. N.J. neighbor : DEL
The state of Delaware takes its name from Virginia's first colonial governor, Englishman Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. Delaware is known as the First State as it was the first to ratify the US Constitution, in 1787.

11. Emergency of 1973 or 1979 : OIL CRISIS
The 1973 Oil Crisis started when the Arab members of OPEC imposed an oil embargo. The action was taken as retaliation for the decision by President Nixon to resupply the Israeli military during the Yom Kippur War.

The 1979 Oil Crisis was precipitated by the Iranian Revolution. As the Shah of Iran fled the country the Ayatollah Khomeini took over the leadership of Iran. During the transition oil production fell sharply, leading to widespread panic.

12. Lotion ingredient : 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.

24. Local staffer for Al Jazeera, e.g. : QATARI
Al Jazeera is an independent news service owned by the state of Qatar. Since 2006, Al Jazeera has been broadcasting an English language channel, hiring many top journalists from American news outlets. “Al jazeera” is Arabic for “the island”.

Georges Seurat: Point Counterpoint [VHS]28. Painter who had a point to make? : SEURAT
Georges Seurat was a French Post-Impressionist. His most famous work in the pointillist style can be viewed in the Art Institute of Chicago, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte - 1884". If you've seen the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", it features quite prominently in a wonderful, wonderful scene shot at the gallery.

50 CENT 8x10 COLOR PHOTO38. 50 Cent genre : RAP MUSIC
Rap star 50 Cent's real name is Curtis James Jackson III, and is from South Jamaica in Queens, New York. 50 Cent had a rough life starting out, first dealing drugs at the age of 12. He dropped his illegal activities to pursue a rap career, but still fell victim to an assailant who pumped nine bullets into him. The alleged shooter was himself shot three weeks later, and died. 50 Cent's alleged attacker was a bodyguard and close friend of Mike Tyson.

44. Org. defending the Second Amendment : NRA
The NRA is the National Rifle Association, an organization that has been around since 1871. The group has had some celebrity presidents, including US President Ulysses S. Grant. It's often said that the NRA is the most powerful lobbying group in Washington.

50. Home of L. L. Bean : MAINE
L.L.Bean (note the lack of spaces in the company name) was founded back in 1912 as a company selling its own line of waterproof boots. The founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, gave his name to the enterprise. Right from the start, L.L.Bean focused on mail-order and sold from a circular he distributed and then from a catalog. Defects in the initial design led to 90% of the first boots sold being returned, and the company made good on its guarantee to replace them or give back the money paid.

52. Jewish homeland : ZION
The name “Zion” first turns up in the Book of Solomon in the Bible. Zion is commonly used to refer to Jerusalem, and sometimes the Biblical land of Israel.

54. About 4% of a marathon : MILE
The marathon is run over 26 miles and 385 yards, and of course commemorates the legendary messenger run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens. The distance run today was decided in 1921, and matches the route of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway.

57. Escape : LAM
To be "on the lam" is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. It is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word "lam" also means to "beat" or "thrash", as in "lambaste". So "on the lam" might derive from the phrase "to beat it", to scram.

Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens and EOS HD Movie Mode (Black)58. Canon camera : EOS
I've been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

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

1. Signs of life : PULSES
7. Part of U.S.M.A.: Abbr. : ACAD
11. Wood used for wine barrels : OAK
14. Like some accidents or garages : ONE-CAR
15. Miss from Marseille: Abbr. : MLLE
16. ___ de France : ILE
17. Comment about comic actor Martin when standing next to a peewee? : SHORT IS TALL
19. Fireplace wood : LOG
20. "Tony n' ___ Wedding" (Off Broadway hit starting in 1988) : TINA’S
21. Military force : ARMY
22. They outrank kings : ACES
23. Knife wound : STAB
24. Campus area : QUAD
25. Something found in a Parliament : TAR
26. Comment about actor Jack, racially speaking? : BLACK IS WHITE
31. Nimbleness : AGILITY
34. Architect I. M. ___ : PEI
35. "For example ..." : SAY
36. Place for a marquee : CINEMA
37. Still green : UNRIPE
39. "___ Poetica" : ARS
40. Anger : IRE
42. Like ironed pants, often : CREASED
43. Comment about well-dressed pop singer James? : BLUNT IS SHARP
46. ___ Peacock (Clue character) : MRS
47. Irritating sort : TWIT
48. ___ Cass Elliot : MAMA
52. Former drink marketed as "zomething different" : ZIMA
54. Letters : MAIL
55. When doubled, band with the 1984 #1 hit "The Reflex" : DURAN
56. Wash. neighbor : IDA
57. Comment about impressionist Rich when playing a packed house? : LITTLE IS BIG
59. Anthem contraction : O’ER
60. Baldwin or Guinness : ALEC
61. Green, purple or red food : ONIONS
62. Vote to kill a bill : NAY
63. Sieve, essentially : MESH
64. Nothing to write home about? : SECRET

1. Adds to a blog : POSTS
2. Still standing, as a target : UNHIT
3. Hotelier Helmsley : LEONA
4. The record score in this game is 1,049 points : SCRABBLE
5. Vittles : EATS
6. Holy Hindu's title : SRI
7. Acela operator : AMTRAK
8. Seafood-based party food : CLAM DIP
9. Friend : ALLY
10. N.J. neighbor : DEL
11. Emergency of 1973 or 1979 : OIL CRISIS
12. Lotion ingredient : ALOE
13. Fraternity party staples : KEGS
18. Impertinent : SAUCY
22. "That hit the spot!" : AAH
24. Local staffer for Al Jazeera, e.g. : QATARI
25. Hair braider, e.g. : TWINER
27. Puts a cap on : LIMITS
28. Painter who had a point to make? : SEURAT
29. It's on a roll : TAPE
30. Looked over : EYED
31. Hail ___ : A CAB
32. Lady in waiting? : GIRL
33. "Wrapping up ..." : IN SUMMARY
38. 50 Cent genre : RAP MUSIC
41. Settings for mansions : ESTATES
42. Relax, slangily, with "out" : CHILL
44. Org. defending the Second Amendment : NRA
45. On/off ___ : SWITCH
49. Shaded recess : ARBOR
50. Home of L. L. Bean : MAINE
51. Unsettled feeling : ANGST
52. Jewish homeland : ZION
53. Glimmering : IDEA
54. About 4% of a marathon : MILE
55. Have supper : DINE
57. Escape : LAM
58. Canon camera : EOS

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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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