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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

0628-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Jun 11, Tuesday





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: Tom Baring
THEME: The Numbers … all the theme answers are the names used for famous numbers (given in the equivalent clue):
17A. 3.14159 : PI APPROXIMATION
26A. -273.15°C : ABSOLUTE ZERO
42A. 299,792,458 meters/second : SPEED OF LIGHT
55A. 6.022 x 10^23 : AVOGADRO’S NUMBER
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
The Simpsons ~ Disco Stu ~ The Simpsons Air Freshener ~ Approx. 3"6. Disco ___ of "The Simpsons" : STU
On "The Simpsons" the character of Disco Stu is voiced by Hank Azaria, although he was voiced for a while by Phil Hartman. Disco Stu is described as "a black, wrinkly John Travolta".

15. Coop resident : HEN
An Old English word for basket ("cypa") started to be used in the 14th century as the word "coop", meaning a small cage for poultry, a word we still use today.

Laser Greek Pi Italian Charms17. 3.14159 : PI APPROXIMATION
If you divide the circumference of any circle by its diameter, then the resulting number is always the same, and is denoted by the Greek letter “pi”. It is approximately equal to 22/7, or 3.14159.

The first three digits of the constant pi are 3.14, so Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th, every year since 1988 when it was inaugurated at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In countries where the day is usually written before the month, Pi Day is July 22nd, reflecting the more accurate approximation of pi as 22/7. Interestingly, March 14th is also Albert Einstein's birthday.

20. "Send help!" : SOS
The combination of three dots - three dashes - three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots - pause - three dashes - pause - three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship" are simply mnemonics, introduced after the "SOS" signal was adopted.

21. Spanish muralist José María ___ : SERT
José Maria Sert was a painter of murals from Catalan, and a friend of Salvador Dali.

Signed Aiello, Danny 8x10 B&W Photo22. Danny of "Do the Right Thing" : AIELLO
Danny Aiello is an actor from New York City, famous for playing Italian American roles on the big and small screens. His most successful part was Sal Frangione, the pizza parlor owner in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”. His performance in that film earned him a nomination for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

25. 72, at Pebble Beach : PAR
Pebble Beach Golf Links, located just south of Monterey, California, is a public course. It was the first public golf course to be chosen as the top course in the country by “Golf Digest”.

26. -273.15°C : ABSOLUTE ZERO
Absolute zero is a temperature that can theoretically be reached by removing all the “energy” of the test vehicle that is being “frozen”. This temperature is designated as 0 degrees on the Kelvin scale, equivalent to -273.15 degrees centigrade. Scientists try to get as close to absolute zero as possible because matter has weird and wonderful properties at such cold temperatures, such as superconductivity and superfluidity.

The Searching Spirit33. "Born Free" lioness : ELSA
Elsa's life story was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when she was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book "Born Free" about Elsa, and then "Living Free" which told the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film "Born Free" Adamson is played by actress Virginia McKenna.

36. Island of the Minotaur : CRETE
Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands. It figures prominently in Greek mythology, for example as the birthplace of Zeus, and home to the Minotaur slayed by Theseus. It was also from Crete that Icarus and Daedalus escaped using wings that they constructed for themselves.

Signed Seau, Junior 8x10 Photo39. Former N.F.L. great Junior ___ : SEAU
Junior Seau is a retired NFL linebacker, first playing for the San Diego Chargers, and then the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots.

42. 299,792,458 meters/second : SPEED OF LIGHT
The speed of light is 299, 792, 458 meters/second exactly, when travelling through a vacuum. Light travelling through the likes of glass or air moves a little more slowly.

Poems of Robert Frost. Large Collection, includes A Boy's Will, North of Boston and Mountain Interval45. Frost's "The ___-Repeated Dream" : OFT
The wonderful poet Robert Frost was a native of San Francisco. He was well recognized for his work during his lifetime, and received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

47. Amendment that repealed Prohibition : XXI
The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was a great victory for the temperance movement, and in 1919 ushered in the Prohibition era. Highly unpopular, Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment.

48. ___ Cruces, N.M. : LAS
Las Cruces (Spanish for "the crosses") is the second largest city in the state of New Mexico, and is the home of New Mexico State University.

51. Lectern's locale : DAIS
Ultimately our word "dais" comes from the Latin "discus" meaning a "disk-shaped object".

55. 6.022 x 10^23 : AVOGADRO’S NUMBER
The Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro postulated that if two different gases have the same volume (at the same temperature and pressure), then each of the gases contains the same number of atoms or molecules. Related to this theory is a constant number, that later became known as Avogadro’s number.

Biography - Vladimir Lenin: Voice of Revolution58. October Revolution leader : LENIN
At the second party congress of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, a split developed. The faction with the most support was led by Vladimir Lenin, and as they were in the majority, they became known as the Bolsheviks, derived from the Russian word for "more" or "majority". Lenin and the Bolsheviks led the October Revolution of 1917, as a result of which Lenin came to power. He headed the new Soviet State during it's formative years.

59. Ararat lander : ARK
Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome).

60. Kids' song refrain : EIEIO
There was an American version of the originally English children's song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm", that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes "Old Macdougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o".

Brent Spiner S. Trek Signed Photo61. Spiner of "Star Trek: T.N.G." : BRENT
Brent Spiner played Lieutenant Commander Data on television’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.

Down
Apple iPhone 4G 16GB Quadband World GSM Phone (Manufacturer Unlocked)1. iPhone programs : APPS
Apple started selling the iPhone at 6 pm local time on June 29, 2007, with hundreds of customers lined up outside stores all over the world. Not me. I use a pay-as-you-go phone from T-Mobile, that cost me less than $45 for the whole of last year for calls and text (including many to Ireland) ...

2. The Stooges, e.g. : TRIO
If you've seen a few of the films starring "The Three Stooges" you'll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers), and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as "Moe, Larry and Shemp". Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, "Moe, Larry And Curly". Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and he stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then "Curly-Joe" DeRita. When Larry had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

Flight of the Enola Gay12. ___ Gay : ENOLA
As we all know, the Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of the pilot, Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

24. Retro art style : DECO
Art Deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s, that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of "30 Rock".

29. "Dancing With the Stars" dance : TANGO
When I was growing up in the British Isles, there was a surprisingly popular BBC television show featuring professional ballroom dancing called "Come Dancing". It ran almost every year from 1949 to 1998, and in 2004 the BBC resurrected it with a new twist, adding celebrities to dance with the professionals. The new show, "Strictly Come Dancing" is a huge success, and has become a worldwide franchise. Over here we watch the American spin-off called "Dancing with the Stars". It really is fun television ...

40. In a pique : VEXED
Our word "pique" meaning a "fit of ill feeling" is a French word meaning a "prick, sting, irritation".

43. Not extinct : EXTANT
Extant ... it's not lost, it's still in existence. “Extant” comes from the Latin "exstare", to stand out.

Dora's Storytime Collection (Dora the Explorer)51. Explorer of kiddie TV : DORA
“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon.

52. Genesis brother : ABEL
The story of Cain and Abel not only appears in the Bible, it also features in the Qur'an. In the Muslim account the brothers are named Kabil and Habil.

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong53. Moonmate of Buzz : NEIL
Neil Armstrong is the most private of individuals. You don't often see him giving interviews, unlike so many of the more approachable astronauts of the Apollo space program. His famous, "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" statement, that was something that he came up with himself while Apollo 11 was making its way to the moon.

54. "Iliad" locale : TROY
Ilion (or in Latin “Ileum”), was the ancient name for the city of Troy. It’s this name for Troy that gives rise to the title of Homer’s epic poem “Iliad”.

MIA FARROW 16X20 COLOR PHOTO57. Farrow of "Rosemary's Baby" : MIA
Mia Farrow is an energetic, award-winning actress who really hasn't looked back in her career since her first leading role, in "Rosemary's Baby" back in 1968. Her on-screen celebrity is matched by the interest created by her personal life. Her first husband was Frank Sinatra, a wedding in 1966 that received a lot of attention partly due to the couple's age difference (she was 21, he was 50). Her second husband was almost as famous, the magnificent musician André Previn. Farrow then moved in with Woody Allen, a relationship that famously fell apart when Farrow discovered that Allen was having a sexual relationship with Soon-Yi, one of her adopted daughters from the marriage with André Previn.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Opportunity to hit : AT BAT
6. Disco ___ of "The Simpsons" : STU
9. Pool divisions : LANES
14. Top-quality : PRIMO
15. Coop resident : HEN
16. Nonsensical : INANE
17. 3.14159 : PI APPROXIMATION
20. "Send help!" : SOS
21. Spanish muralist José María ___ : SERT
22. Danny of "Do the Right Thing" : AIELLO
23. Jazz aficionado : CAT
24. Talk trash about : DIS
25. 72, at Pebble Beach : PAR
26. -273.15°C : ABSOLUTE ZERO
31. Military aviators, collectively : AIR ARM
32. Sail through : ACE
33. "Born Free" lioness : ELSA
36. Island of the Minotaur : CRETE
37. Phone letters for 6 : MNO
38. Muddies : ROILS
39. Former N.F.L. great Junior ___ : SEAU
40. Laze, with "out" : VEG
41. Source of fine rugs : PERSIA
42. 299,792,458 meters/second : SPEED OF LIGHT
45. Frost's "The ___-Repeated Dream" : OFT
47. Amendment that repealed Prohibition : XXI
48. ___ Cruces, N.M. : LAS
49. Manufacturer's payback : REBATE
51. Lectern's locale : DAIS
52. Creature with elbowed antennae : ANT
55. 6.022 x 10^23 : AVOGADRO’S NUMBER
58. October Revolution leader : LENIN
59. Ararat lander : ARK
60. Kids' song refrain : EIEIO
61. Spiner of "Star Trek: T.N.G." : BRENT
62. Home heating option : GAS
63. Dawdle : DALLY

Down
1. iPhone programs : APPS
2. The Stooges, e.g. : TRIO
3. Pollster's worry : BIAS
4. Part of a public address system : AMP
5. It's first on the leaderboard : TOP SCORE
6. There's one in "puzzle" : SHORT U
7. It's dangerous to do while driving : TEXT
8. Prefix with dimensional : UNI-
9. Be a go-between : LIAISE
10. Minimum poker loss : ANTE
11. Manicurist's supply : NAIL POLISH
12. ___ Gay : ENOLA
13. Sir, abroad : SENOR
18. King's domain : REALM
19. Polenta grain : MAIZE
24. Retro art style : DECO
26. Suffix for the wealthy : -AIRE
27. Sternum : BREASTBONE
28. Partner of "took notice" : SAT UP
29. "Dancing With the Stars" dance : TANGO
30. Corporate shuffle, for short : REORG
31. Window units, briefly : ACS
34. Knife incision : SLIT
35. Cool ___ cucumber : AS A
37. Health plan prefix : MEDI-
38. Released again on CD, say : REISSUED
40. In a pique : VEXED
41. Nothing fancy : PLAIN
43. Not extinct : EXTANT
44. Chemistry lab vessels : FLASKS
45. Power Flosser brand : ORAL-B
46. Flu symptom : FEVER
50. Not "fer" : AGIN
51. Explorer of kiddie TV : DORA
52. Genesis brother : ABEL
53. Moonmate of Buzz : NEIL
54. "Iliad" locale : TROY
56. Use for an old T-shirt : RAG
57. Farrow of "Rosemary's Baby" : MIA

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Please explain MNO as the phone number for STU - Disco --- of "The Simpsons". Thanks.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

I probably should have written a sentence or two explaining this answer. My apologies.

The number "6" isn't a reference to the clue "6-across". Rather, it's a reference to the number 6 button on a phone. If you check the 6 button, you'll see that the same button is used for the letters MNO.

Hope that helps!

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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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