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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

0630-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Jun 11, Thursday





QuickLinks: David Poole
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:
THEME: ACRONYM … each of the theme answers sounds just like a well-known acronym:
16A. *"Got it! You want me to play Dorothy's aunt!" : I SEE! BE EM! (I.C.B.M.)
25A. *"Get in line, Ms. Gorme!" : QUEUE, EYDIE (Q.E.D.)
40A. *"Ms. Myers, shall I pour?" : DEE DEE, TEA (D.D.T.)
56A. *"Supermodel Macpherson, I presume?" : YOU ARE, ELLE (U.R.L.)
71A. *"Sly insect!" : CAGEY BEE (K.G.B.)
COMPLETION TIME: 31m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
Monty Python's Spamalot7. 2005 Tony winner for Best Musical : SPAMALOT
The hit musical “Spamalot” is a show derived from the 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. In typical Monty Python style, the action starts just before the curtain goes up with an announcement recorded by the great John Cleese:
(You can) let your cellphones and pagers ring willy-nilly … (but) be aware there are heavily armed knights on stage that may drag you on stage and impale you.

15. Horse-drawn vehicle : LANDAU
A landau is a 4-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage. It was quite sophisticated, with metal springs for a comfortable ride, and the smaller version (a lanaulet) had a top that could fold down. Landaus were so called as they were first produced in the German city of Landau.

16. *"Got it! You want me to play Dorothy's aunt!" : I SEE! BE EM! (I.C.B.M.)
In “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (as opposed to a cruise missile) is it is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater that 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff ...

17. Artificial : ERSATZ
Something described as “ersatz” is a copy, and usually not a good one. “Ersatz” comes from the German verb “ersetzen” meaning “to replace”.

Mars Bar Chocolate Candy England (6 Pack)18. Chocolaty treats : MARS BARS
Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, I find the Mars Bar to be the most perplexing of candies! The original Mars Bar is a British confection (and delicious) first manufactured in 1932. The US version of the original Mars Bar is called a Milky Way. But there is candy bar called a Milky Way that is also produced in the UK, and it is completely different to its US cousin, and is more like an American "3 Musketeers". And then there is an American confection called a Mars Bar, something different again. No wonder I gave up eating candy bars ...

20. Federal Reserve, e.g.: Abbr. : SYS
The Federal Reserve System is more usually known simply as "the Fed", and is the central banking system of the US. It was introduced in 1913 in response to a number of financial panics at the beginning of the 20th century. The original role for the Fed was to act as a lender of last resort, in case there was a run on a bank. This can happen as most of the money that is deposited by customers in a bank is reinvested by that bank, so it has very little liquid cash available. If too many customers look for their money at one time, then the bank can be short of cash and this can start a "run". The Fed's responsibilities have broadened since those early days ...

Signed Beatty, Ned 8x10 B&W Photo22. Beatty of "Superman" : NED
Ned Beatty is probably best remembered for the rather disturbing "squeal like a pig" scene in the movie "Deliverance". He also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

23. A-line creator : DIOR
Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped reestablish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

Essence of Eydie [ORIGINAL RECORDINGS REMASTERED]25. *"Get in line, Ms. Gorme!" : QUEUE, EYDIE (Q.E.D.)
Eydie Gorme is best known for her work with her husband, Steve Lawrence. The duo have been recording tradition popular music together since the late fifties.

Q.E.D. is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

Sammy Sosa: A Biography34. Cub #21 of the 1990s-2000s : SOSA
Sammy Sosa was right in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell of out favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

35. "The Rules of the Game" filmmaker, 1939 : RENOIR
Jean Renoir was a very successful French movie director. He was also the son of the famous impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

39. Certain world std. : GMT
Greenwich Mean Time is the time at the Prime Meridian, that runs through Greenwich in London.

A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. It is also called the Greenwich Meridian, as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course, which line of longitude is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.

Why Women Should Rule the World40. *"Ms. Myers, shall I pour?" : DEE DEE, TEA (D.D.T.)
Deedee Myers was a very capable White House Press Secretary in the first two years of the Clinton administration, the first woman to hold that post. After leaving the White House, Myers acted as a consultant on the TV show "The West Wing", and I am sure helped add that touch of authenticity to a great television program.

DDT is dicholorodiphenyltricholoroethane (don't forget now!). It was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book "Silent Spring", suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

53. Peeler's target, informally : SPUD
The term "spud" used as a slang term for a potato was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness55. Whitman's dooryard bloomer : LILAC
Walt Whitman wrote his famous poem “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” as an elegy following the violent death of President Lincoln.

Signed Macpherson, Elle 8x10 Photo56. *"Supermodel Macpherson, I presume?" : YOU ARE, ELLE (U.R.L.)
Elle Macpherson is an Australian supermodel. She appeared six times on the cover of the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue”, more than any other model.

60. 1966 gold album by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass : SRO
Herb Alpert still plays the trumpet today, but he is also a talented painter and sculptor. His works are seen regularly in exhibitions all around the world.

63. Bolivian president Morales : EVO
Evo Morales has been President of Bolivia since 2006. His is a socialist agenda, and as such his government is a close ally to the regimes of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Fidel Castro in Cuba.

64. "Six Feet Under" creator : ALAN BALL
"Six Feet Under" is reportedly a great TV drama aired on HBO, one that I fully intend to take a look at one day. The "six feet under" is a reference to the show's storyline which features a family funeral business.

The Queen69. "The Queen" Oscar winner : MIRREN
I watched the 2006 movie "The Queen" again not too long ago. What a great film it is, and what a superb performance from Helen Mirren in the title role of Queen Elizabeth II. It must have been a difficult film for Queen Elizabeth to watch, as it rehashes the PR disaster that surrounded her following the death of Princess Diana. But, she was gracious enough to invite Helen Mirren around to the Palace for dinner after the film was released. Mirren declined however, citing filming commitments in the US. Mirren was invested as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire back in 2003, an honor presented to her by Prince Charles.

Gorbachev71. *"Sly insect!" : CAGEY BEE (K.G.B.)
The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved at that time after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d'├ętat designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Down
LARAINE NEWMAN 11X14 PHOTO2. Newman of early "S.N.L." : LARAINE
Laraine Newman is a comedian, one of the original members of the “Saturday Night Live” team. On the show she played several recurring characters including Sheri the Valley Girl and Connie Conehead.

4. Its approval is often sought: Abbr. : FDA
The Food and Drug Administration was in effect created by the Food and Drug Act signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

5. Domino, e.g. : FATS
Fats Domino was born and raised in New Orleans, with Creole as his first language. He made it into the big time in 1949 when he recorded an early rock and roll record called “The Fat Man”. That record sold over a million copies, the first rock and roll record to achieve that milestone.

6. Snack cake since 1961 : SUZY Q
Suzy Q is a line of snack cakes from Hostess.

A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition)(B/W & Color)7. Noted Scrooge portrayer : SIM
As far as I am concerned, the definitive screen adaptation of the Charles Dickens novella "A Christmas Carol", is the 1951 film of the same name starring the wonderful actor Alistair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. If you don't own it, you have got to buy it for next Christmas!

8. "Don't do drugs!" ad, e.g., for short : PSA
Public Service Announcement.

GeminiJets Aer Lingus BAC 111 Series 208AL9. ___ Lingus : AER
Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn't great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with Aer Lingus being a phonetic spelling of the Irish "aer-loingeas" meaning "air fleet". These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland's oldest airline as it's no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline, Ryan Air.

10. Intermediate, at law : MESNE
Mesne is a legal term describing perhaps an intermediate or intervening step in a process.

Bard of Erin: The Life of Thomas Moore. Ronan Kelly13. Thomas Moore's "Come ___ the Sea" : O’ER
Thomas Moore was an Irish poet and songwriter, best known for writing the lyrics of “The Minstrel Boy” and “The Last Rose of Summer”.

14. They often accompany logos: Abbr. : TMS
Trademarks often accompany logos.

24. Crucifix : ROOD
A rood is a crucifix that specifically symbolizes the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Ulee's Gold27. 1997 Oscar-nominated title role : ULEE
"Ulee's Gold" is a highly respected film from 1997 in which Peter Fonda plays the title role of Ulee. Ulee's "gold" is the honey that Ulee produced. It is a favorite role for Peter Fonda, and he has shared that the role brought into mind his father, Henry Fonda, who himself kept a couple of hives. So if you see Peter Fonda in "Ulee's Gold", you're witnessing some characteristics that Peter saw in his father.

28. Head of costume design : EDITH
Edith Head was a Hollywood costume designer. She won eight Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work on movies that include 1951’s “All About Eve”, 1954’s “Roman Holiday” and 1955’s “Sabrina”. Head won more Oscars than any other woman in history, in any category.

32. Property lawyer's concern : LIEN
A lien is the right that one has to retain/secure someone's property until a debt is paid.

MICHAEL BIEHN 8X10 PHOTO36. Kyle ___, "The Terminator" hero : REESE
We sometimes forget that “the terminator” wasn’t the main character in the first “Terminator” film. The story revolved around Kyle Reese, played by Michael Biehn. Reese is sent back from the future to protect Sarah Connor from the Terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Osama bin Laden: A Biography38. Bin Laden hunter : SEAL
SEAL is an acronym, used by the US Navy's SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy's special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy's speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

42. Alamo rival : AVIS
Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency, after Hertz. It has the distinction of being the first company to locate a branch at an airport. The third largest car rental company right now is Alamo, a relative newcomer founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun intended!) into the market by popularizing the idea of "unlimited mileage".

Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe52. Eliot's Silas : MARNER
"Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe" was written by George Eliot and published in 1861. There's an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role.

57. Rocker Hitchcock : ROBYN
Robyn Hitchcock is English singer-songwriter, formerly with the band The Soft Boys.

58. Horror movie locale, for short : ELM ST
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher, horror film, released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” nor “horror” I only learned recently that Johnny Depp was in the movie, his feature film debut.

de Witt & Lila Wallace (Community Builders)62. Reader's Digest co-founder ___ Wallace : LILA
Lila Wallace founded the "Reader's Digest" along with her husband in 1922, operating out of a basement office in New York City. The initial print runs were limited to about 5,000 copies. Today, "Reader's Digest" has about 100 million readers in 163 countries worldwide.

65. ___ Noticias (New York Hispanic paper) : LAS
“Las Noticias” is a Hispanic publication serving the Latino community in Kingston, New York.

66. Law grp. : ABA
The American Bar Association was founded back in 1878, and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The main focus of the ABA is setting academic standards for law schools, and setting ethical codes for the profession.

67. Old NASA vehicle : LEM
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named "Spider", and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called "Snoopy", and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11's LEM was of course called "Eagle", and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon's surface.

Bruce Lee: The Celebrated Life of the Golden Dragon (Bruce Lee Library)68. Actor Bruce : LEE
Bruce Lee was born not far from here in San Francisco although he was raised in Hong Kong, returning to the US to attend college. Sadly, Bruce Lee died when he was only 32 years old, due to cerebral edema (a swelling of the brain) attributed to adverse reactions to the pain killing drug Equagesic.

The Ren and Stimpy Show - Seasons Three and a Half-ish70. Stimpy's TV pal : REN
“The Ren and Stimpy Show” ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. Not my cup of tea ...

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. They may be called : BLUFFS
7. 2005 Tony winner for Best Musical : SPAMALOT
15. Horse-drawn vehicle : LANDAU
16. *"Got it! You want me to play Dorothy's aunt!" : I SEE! BE EM!
17. Artificial : ERSATZ
18. Chocolaty treats : MARS BARS
19. Slangy turndown : NAH
20. Federal Reserve, e.g.: Abbr. : SYS
22. Beatty of "Superman" : NED
23. A-line creator : DIOR
25. *"Get in line, Ms. Gorme!" : QUEUE, EYDIE
31. Register : ENROL
33. Unlocked? : BALD
34. Cub #21 of the 1990s-2000s : SOSA
35. "The Rules of the Game" filmmaker, 1939 : RENOIR
37. Uno y dos y tres : SEIS
39. Certain world std. : GMT
40. *"Ms. Myers, shall I pour?" : DEE DEE, TEA
43. Is down with : HAS
46. Nine, in Nice : NEUF
47. Good smoke : HAVANA
51. To whom God said "You are dust, and to dust you shall return" : ADAM
53. Peeler's target, informally : SPUD
55. Whitman's dooryard bloomer : LILAC
56. *"Supermodel Macpherson, I presume?" : YOU ARE, ELLE
59. Ruckus : STIR
60. 1966 gold album by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass : SRO
61. "___ bite" : I’LL
63. Bolivian president Morales : EVO
64. "Six Feet Under" creator : ALAN BALL
69. "The Queen" Oscar winner : MIRREN
71. *"Sly insect!" : CAGEY BEE
72. Like some winter weather : SLEETY
73. Surfer's handle : USERNAME
74. Oxen may pull plows in this : TANDEM

Down
1. Bartender's appliance : BLENDER
2. Newman of early "S.N.L." : LARAINE
3. Still woolly : UNSHORN
4. Its approval is often sought: Abbr. : FDA
5. Domino, e.g. : FATS
6. Snack cake since 1961 : SUZY Q
7. Noted Scrooge portrayer : SIM
8. "Don't do drugs!" ad, e.g., for short : PSA
9. ___ Lingus : AER
10. Intermediate, at law : MESNE
11. Sisters' homes : ABBEYS
12. Sled head : LEAD DOG
13. Thomas Moore's "Come ___ the Sea" : O’ER
14. They often accompany logos: Abbr. : TMS
21. Backup : SUB
24. Crucifix : ROOD
26. Affording rest : EASEFUL
27. 1997 Oscar-nominated title role : ULEE
28. Head of costume design : EDITH
29. Doctrine : ISM
30. Tuck away : EAT
32. Property lawyer's concern : LIEN
36. Kyle ___, "The Terminator" hero : REESE
38. Bin Laden hunter : SEAL
41. Con : DUPE
42. Alamo rival : AVIS
43. Allergy source : HAY
44. Ruckus : ADO
45. Chorizo or merguez : SAUSAGE
48. Let out, perhaps : ALTERED
49. Greenness : NAIVETE
50. Basis of the answer to each starred clue, commonly : ACRONYM
52. Eliot's Silas : MARNER
54. Mid sixth-century year : DLI
57. Rocker Hitchcock : ROBYN
58. Horror movie locale, for short : ELM ST
62. Reader's Digest co-founder ___ Wallace : LILA
64. Prefix with puncture : ACU-
65. ___ Noticias (New York Hispanic paper) : LAS
66. Law grp. : ABA
67. Old NASA vehicle : LEM
68. Actor Bruce : LEE
70. Stimpy's TV pal : REN

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6 comments :

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill,
I still don't get SYS as an abbreviation for the FED.
Please advise...

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

The "SYS" is an abbreviation for "system", as in the Federal Reserve SYSTEM.

I should have made that clearer ....

Thanks for stopping by!

Chrissie said...

Hi, Bill!

My husband suffers from a memory disorder, and we love the fact that he can...cheat...a little when stumped. Thank you for doing this! It's helping him in his quest to continue doing crosswords, which he loves. Interestingly, he has no problem with the "Daily Commuter" in the CC Times. But, as we all know, the NY Times is much, much more of a challenge.

Thanks again!
Chris

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Chrissie (and hubby!).

I am truly delighted that your husband finds the blog to be of use. It's nice to know that the little work I put in every evening is worthwhile. I find that doing the look-ups and writing down what I find helps my own memory. I know that it has helped me get better at solving crosswords more completely and faster.

Please give my regards to your husband, Chris.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bill. I'm so glad you're doing this! I like to do crosswords and am also a fact junkie, so if I don't get an entry, or know the answer but not the history of or reason for whatever it is, I like to find out about it. I've only been doing the NYT crossword since I retired -- they take me awhile, ha -- and In googling some of what I thought might be answers in this puzzle, I found your blog.

What fun to not only finally find the answer, but all about the subject, too!! Plus, Google can't help much if I haven't spelled something correctly, LOL, but you have it all. Very satisfying; thanks!!

Kathy.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kathy!

I am very pleased you stumbled across the blog. It sounds like you and I have similar stories. I find more time for my beloved crosswords now that I am retired, and like you, I am a fact junkie. I used to look up words and expressions that interested me in the daily crossword, and then decided to publish what I found on this blog. There is a small cadre of folks that give me encouraging feedback, so I've been doing this for over two years now.

I hope you drop by again soon, Kathy. I am still really enjoying what I do here, so I should be around for while!

Thanks again for the kind words.

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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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