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Vacation Alert

I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0624-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Jun 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: Milo Beckman
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 22m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
Arthur (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)16. Jason who directed 2011's "Arthur" : WINER
Jason Winer is the director of the 2011 remake of the classic 1981 movie “Arthur”. In the new version, Dudley Moore’s title role is played by the wacky English comic Russell Brand. Jennifer Garner is the love interest, taking on the role played by Liza Minnelli in the original. And, in a nice twist, the role of the manservant previously played by Sir John Gielgud, is portrayed by the fabulous Helen Mirren.

John Lennon: The Life17. Beatles song with a complaining title : I’M SO TIRED
“I’m So Tired” is a track written and sung by John Lennon, from “The White Album” recorded by the Beatles. Lennon wrote the song while suffering from insomnia in India, at a Transcendental Meditation retreat.

18. Utah State athlete : AGGIE
Utah State University in Logan, Utah is one of the many schools that calls its sports teams the “Aggies”.

19. I. M. Pei's alma mater, for short : MIT
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.

20. War hero who killed himself with a onetime rival's sword : AJAX
As described in Homer's "Iliad", Hector was a Trojan prince and a great fighter. During the war with the Greeks, in order avoid a bloody battle, Hector challenges any one of the Greek warriors to a duel. Ajax is chosen by the Greeks, and the two fight for an entire day before they declare a stalemate.

21. Rapid descent on skis : SCHUSS
A schuss is a very fast run downhill, not taking any turns to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

24. Where purchases cost 69¢, 99¢ or $1.29 : ITUNES PLUS
Much of the music sold over the Internet is encrypted to control access, in a process known as “digital rights management” (DRM). DRM is designed to prevent copyright infringement. Apple now offers a lot of music that is free of DRM, under arrangements negotiated with producers. This DRM-free offering is marketed under the name iTunes Plus.

31. Honorary deg. for many a writer : DLIT
The degree of D. Lit (or more commonly D. Litt) is known as Doctor of Letters, or Doctor of Literature.

33. End of a flick? : ASH
One might flick the ash off the end of one’s cigarette. I think that’s it.

35. Letters at the beach : SPF
In theory, the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it will take 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn if using lotion, than without it. I say, just stay out of the sun ...

44. Some stars : DIVAS
"Diva" comes to us from Latin, via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". It is used in Italy to mean goddess, or fine lady, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

In Praise of Oxen48. Plot segment : ACRE
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Eventually, this was more precisely delineated as a strip of land one furlong long (660 feet) and one chain wide (66 feet). The word "furlong" is actually derived from the Old English words meaning "furrow long", the length of the furrow plowed by the oxen.

50. Cover : ALIBI
"Alibi" is the Latin word for "elsewhere", as in I claim that I was "elsewhere" when the crime was committed ... I have an "alibi".

My Fair Lady56. Professor 'iggins : ‘ENRY
Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins's speech student in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion". Of course "Pygmalion" was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady". The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name, starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was 'Enry 'Iggins.

64. Suit material : SERGE
Serge is a type of twill fabric with diagonal ridges on both sides. The name "serge" comes from the Greek word for "silken".

Down
3. Fiesta food item : TOSTADA
“Tostada” translates literally from Spanish as “toasted”.

Afta After Shave, Original, 3-Ounces (Pack of 6)5. Old Spice rival : AFTA
Afta Lotion is a brand name belonging to Colgate-Palmolive.

Seiji Ozawa Anniversary6. Conductor Ozawa : SEIJI
Seiji Ozawa is most famous for his work as music director of the Boston symphony Orchestra, although he is also the principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera. He is renowned for wearing a white turtleneck under his dress suit when he conducts, rather than the traditional starched shirt and white tie.

8. Type of reproduction : ASEXUAL
Asexual reproduction differs from sexual reproduction in that only one parent is involved. Asexual reproduction is common among simpler organisms and some plants and fungi. Asexual reproduction is thought be useful in providing a rapid growth of a population, whereas sexual reproduction has the advantage of creating genetic diversity, hence improving the chances of adaptation to a changing environment.

10. ___ plane : AWACS
When the British developed radar in WWII, they also came up with an airborne system that they actually deployed during the war. In 1944 the US Navy commissioned a similar system, and so launched the first American Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system, also before the war was over. The more modern term for the technology is Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS for short.

21. Titillating transmissions : SEXTS
"Sexting" (a portmanteau of "sex" and "texting") is the sending of explicit dialog and perhaps images, between cell phones. The term "sexting" was first coined by the UK's "Sunday Telegraph Magazine" in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is "rampant" among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?

23. One stage of development : BETA TESTING
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the "alpha" version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a "beta" and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as "beta". The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right ...

25. Rapa ___ (Easter Island) : NUI
Rapa Nui is the Polynesian name for what we are more likely to call Easter Island. The European name was given to the island by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who came across it on Easter Sunday in the year 1722. Easter Island is inhabited, and is a location that is remarkably distant from neighboring civilization. The nearest inhabited island is Pitcairn Island, almost 1300 miles away.

27. "Der Ring ___ Nibelungen" : DES
Richard Wagner's "Ring Cycle" is more properly called "Der Ring des Nibelung", and is composed of four very, very long operas. The individual operas are"
- "Das Rheingold"
- "Die Walkure"
- "Siegfried"
- "Gotterdammerung"

Palm Treo 750 Unlocked Phone with 3G, MP3/Video Player, and MiniSD Slot--U.S. Version with Warranty36. Smartphone, e.g., for short : PDA
A device like perhaps an iPhone or Treo, can be termed a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).

43. Sonata maker : HYUNDAI
The Hyundai factory in Ulsan, South Korea is the largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in the world, able to produce 1.6 million vehicles each year.

The Four Seasons: Violin Concerto in E Major, Op. 8/1, RV 269, "Spring": I. Allegro45. Composer known as the Red Priest : VIVALDI
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, the violin concerto called “The Four Seasons”. He was nicknamed “The Red Priest” because he was indeed a priest, and he had red hair.

46. First name of two first ladies : ABIGAIL
Abigail Adams had a unique distinction being married to John Adams. She was the first Second Lady of the US, and became the second First Lady!

Abigail Fillmore, wife of President Millard Fillmore, died of pneumonia just 26 days after she and her husband left the White House. She had the shortest post-Presidential life of any First Lady in the country’s history.

Special pack of 5 PRELL SHAMPOO CLASSIC GREEN 13.5 oz53. Old "Go from flat to fluffy" sloganeer : PRELL
Prell was introduced by Proctor & Gamble in 1947, and was originally a clear, green concentrate sold in a tube (like toothpaste).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Try not to stand out" : ACT CASUAL
10. Call ___ to (stop) : A HALT
15. Words after an insult : NO OFFENSE
16. Jason who directed 2011's "Arthur" : WINER
17. Beatles song with a complaining title : I’M SO TIRED
18. Utah State athlete : AGGIE
19. I. M. Pei's alma mater, for short : MIT
20. War hero who killed himself with a onetime rival's sword : AJAX
21. Rapid descent on skis : SCHUSS
22. Hail ___ : A CAB
24. Where purchases cost 69¢, 99¢ or $1.29 : ITUNES PLUS
26. Burdened : LADED
28. French waters : EAUX
29. "Bloody" : RARE
30. Ticket : SLATE
31. Honorary deg. for many a writer : DLIT
32. They're found in rock bands : ORES
33. End of a flick? : ASH
35. Letters at the beach : SPF
37. Absorbed : RAPT
40. "Here comes trouble!" : UH-OH
44. Some stars : DIVAS
48. Plot segment : ACRE
49. Tons of : MANY
50. Cover : ALIBI
51. Words accompanying an arrow : THIS SIDE UP
54. Kind of twin : EVIL
55. Like some glasses : TINTED
56. Professor 'iggins : ‘ENRY
58. Gray : AGE
59. Admit : LET IN
60. Prepared : MADE A PLAN
62. Levels : EVENS
63. "Told you so!" : I CALLED IT
64. Suit material : SERGE
65. Remedy for a tizzy : CHILL PILL

Down
1. Some cracker shapes : ANIMALS
2. Wacky : COMICAL
3. Fiesta food item : TOSTADA
4. $$$ head : CFO
5. Old Spice rival : AFTA
6. Conductor Ozawa : SEIJI
7. Like a first-time tournament player, usually : UNRATED
8. Type of reproduction : ASEXUAL
9. Was up : LED
10. ___ plane : AWACS
11. Very recognizable : HIGH PROFILE
12. Bony, as a face : ANGULAR
13. Work's opposite : LEISURE
14. Locks : TRESSES
21. Titillating transmissions : SEXTS
23. One stage of development : BETA TESTING
25. Rapa ___ (Easter Island) : NUI
27. "Der Ring ___ Nibelungen" : DES
34. Moist : HUMID
36. Smartphone, e.g., for short : PDA
37. Discombobulates : RATTLES
38. Carry out : ACHIEVE
39. Press user : PRINTER
41. Cheated : HAD
42. Rule for free samples : ONE EACH
43. Sonata maker : HYUNDAI
45. Composer known as the Red Priest : VIVALDI
46. First name of two first ladies : ABIGAIL
47. Calf part : SILENT L
52. Detect : SENSE
53. Old "Go from flat to fluffy" sloganeer : PRELL
57. Term of address in the South : Y’ALL
60. Open ___ : MIC
61. Fire : PEP

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4 comments :

Babs said...

Hi! My firend Nina sent me. I had never heard of AWACS before; has you? Nice to meet you!
Patricia

Babs said...

Ugh! Typos! I meant my FRIEND Nina and HAD you --

Sorry!

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Babs.

Nice of you to drop by and leave a comment. I appreciate it. And say "hi" and "thanks" to Nina for me, for recommending the blog.

To be honest, I had heard of AWACS before, as I am a bit of techie type and love all that military technology.

Nice to meet you too, Babs!

PS: "Babs" was my grandmother's nickname back in Ireland!

Babs said...

What a coincidence about your gradndmother's nickname being Babs. Actually, my name is Patricia, but a new colleague starting calling me Barbara, and would not be corrected, so all my friends at that particular workplace started calling me Babs. Nina knows me only as Patti, though. I think it's great that you had heard of AWACS. :)

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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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