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0707-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Jul 11, Thrusday

Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

THEME: NO U-TURN (violated!) … there are 12 answers that make TURNS within the grid, and each of the turns is at the letter U:
18A. Disagreeably direct : BRU-TAL
19A. Carry, as a burden : SHOU-LDER
35A. Traffic sign literally violated 12 times in this puzzle : NO U-TU-RN
44A. It's a blessing : GESU-NDHEIT
63A. Birthplace of many stars : NEBU-LA
65A. Winter item sold in pairs : EARMU-FF
4D. Happen again : RECU-R
7D. Result of being left out in the cold : GOOSEBU-MPS
10D. Transmitter, of sorts : NEU-RON
42D. Statistical shape : BELL CU-RVE
49D. Awaken : AROU-SE

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
8. Cause of weather extremes : EL NINO
When the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean rises or falls more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for "the boy" and is a reference to the Christ child. It was given this Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

17. Piece for orchestra and soloist : CONCERTO
Most commonly a concerto is a musical work composed of three movements, and is written for a solo instrument accompanied by an orchestra.

20. (Google competitor) : ASK is a search engine structured so that queries are made in the form of questions, with search results returned as answers. And, by the way, is known as Ask Jeeves over in the UK. Cute …

Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life25. Author Jong : ERICA
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first, “Fear of Flying” published in 1973.

Global Treasures BASILICA OF ST PETER Basiclica Di San Pietro Rome, Italy30. Sight from St. Peter's Square : BASILICA
The Basilica of St. Peter in Rome was built during the late Renaissance and has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, capable of holding 60,000 people. There is a popular misconception that St. Peter's is the cathedral of Rome, but actually it isn't, and instead is a papal basilica. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral church of Rome.

37. Mugger? : HAM
The word "ham", describing a performer who overacts, is apparently a shortened form of "hamfatter" and dates back to the late 1800s. "Hamfatter" comes from a song in old minstrel shows called "The Ham-Fat Man". It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the "acting" qualities of a minstrel done up in black-face.

43. Nephew of Abraham : LOT
Lot is a character appearing in the Book of Genesis. At one point Lot had to flee the doomed city of Sodom with his wife. God gave instructions that the couple should not look back as they left the city, but Lot’s wife disobeyed and she was turned into a pillar of salt.

44. It's a blessing : GESU-NDHEIT
“Gesundheit” is the German word for “health”, and is used in response to a sneeze in Germany, as indeed it is here in the US.

Cheever: A Life (Vintage)54. "Art is the triumph over ___": John Cheever : CHAOS
John Cheever was a very well-respected author, mainly of short stories. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1979.

Royal 30 European Wood International Chess Set59. One's pawns on a chessboard, e.g. : OCTAD
It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India, evolving from a 6th-century game called "caturanga", a Sanskrit word meaning "four divisions". These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:
- Infantry (now "pawns")
- Cavalry (now "knights")
- Elephants (now "bishops")
- Chariots (now "rooks")

63. Birthplace of many stars : NEBU-LA
In astronomical terms a nebula is a cloud of dust and ionized gases (“nebula” is the Latin for “cloud”). Many nebulae form as gases collapse in on themselves under the influence of enormous gravitational forces. Ultimately these collapses can result in the creation of new stars.

Disney Jiminy Cricket Ornament68. Jiminy Cricket declaration : I’M NO FOOL
In the original novel “Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi, there is a talking cricket, a relatively minor character. Walt Disney gave his cricket a much larger role, and the name “Jiminy”, in his big screen adaptation of the story released in 1940.

69. Origami feature : CREASE
The Japanese word “origami” is derived from ori (folding) and kami (paper).

2. Internet shortening to introduce a different view : OTOH
On The Other Hand.

3. 6, for C : AT NO
The chemical element carbon has the atomic symbol “C” and the atomic number of 6.

GP Copy & Print Paper, 8.5 x 11 Inches Letter Size, 92 Bright White, 20 Lb, Ream of 500 Sheets (998067R)5. Paper size: Abbr. : LTR
Like so many things, our paper sizes here in North America don't conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere have some logic behind them, in that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two, each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard sizes of "letter" (8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the "legal" size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been set as the standard, in 1921.

7. Result of being left out in the cold : GOOSEBU-MPS
The term "goosebumps" comes from the fact that skin which is cold can look like the flesh of a plucked goose.

10. Transmitter, of sorts : NEU-RON
A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron, and the long nerve fiber that is part of the neuron is called the axon.

12. Koh-i-___, once the world's largest known diamond : NOOR
The Koh-i-Noor Diamond was once the largest known diamond in the world, and is part of the British Crown Jewels. It is huge, weighing in at 105 carats. The Koh-i-Noor was found in India and was owned by Indian royal families for centuries. It was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850 during the days of the British Raj.

15. Prefix with comic : SERIO-
Something described as "seriocomic" has both serious and comical elements, but generally the comic side predominates.

Signed Richards, Michael 8x10 Photo21. 1990s TV neighbor : KRAMER
Cosmo Kramer is the outrageous character played by Michael Richards on "Seinfeld". "Seinfeld" co-creator, Larry David, introduced Kramer into the story, basing the character on real-life comedian Kenny Kramer who used to live across the hall from him.

24. "American Morning" airer : CNN
“American Morning” is CNN's flagship morning show. It tries to differentiate itself from the competition by avoiding much of the banal "chat" between the news presenters, focusing more on the stories themselves.

26. Juno, e.g.: Abbr. : ISP
Juno Online Services is an Internet service provider (ISP).

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what its name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way that the end users are connected to the ISPs network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs. I'd go with cable if I were you, if it's available in your area ...

36. Legendary Gaelic bard : OSSIAN
Scottish poet James Macpherson produced a series of poems, published in 1760, that he claimed were translations of ancient poems related by Ossian, a hero of Irish and Scottish folklore. The authenticity of the translations is still debated.

42. Statistical shape : BELL CU-RVE
A “bell curve” shape in a graph is more correctly known as a Gaussian function. The frequency with which many phenomena occur falls into a bell curve shape.

NIA VARDALOS 11X14 COLOR PHOTO46. Vardalos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" : NIA
Not only was the delightful Nia Vardalos the star of the 2002 hit movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", she also wrote the screenplay. The film never made it to number one at the box office, but it still pulled in more money than any other movie in history not to make it to number one. That record I think reflects that the film wasn't a blockbuster but rather a so-called "sleeper hit", a movie that people went to see based on referrals from friends. The big fat mistake came when a spin-off TV show was launched, "My Big Fat Greek Life". It ran for only 7 episodes.

Confessions of a Street Addict54. "Mad Money" airer : CNBC
"Mad Money" started airing in 2005, and is hosted by the ebullient Jim Cramer. Cramer recommends essential funds, such as those reserved for retirement, be safely locked away in conservative investment vehicles. Any money left over (still looking for that here!) is classed as "Mad Money" and can be invested in more risky stocks.

MARINA SIRTIS 8x10 COLOUR PHOTO60. "Star Trek: T.N.G." counselor Deanna : TROI
Deanna Troi, the character on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft, American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

61. "Thou soft-flowing" stream of literature : AVON
“Thou Soft Flowing Avon” is a song composed by Thomas Arne with lyrics by David Garrick. It was written for, and first performed at, the jubilee celebration for William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1769.

66. Genetic material : RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. Amino acids are delivered in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA and then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. What some prices and spirits do : SOAR
5. Delay : LAG
8. Cause of weather extremes : EL NINO
14. Certify : ATTEST TO
16. "Ta-ta" : BYE NOW
17. Piece for orchestra and soloist : CONCERTO
18. Disagreeably direct : BRU-TAL
19. Carry, as a burden : SHOU-LDER
20. (Google competitor) : ASK
22. Anatomical passageways : ITERS
23. Hunter's need: Abbr. : LIC
25. Author Jong : ERICA
27. Use for sustenance : FEED ON
30. Sight from St. Peter's Square : BASILICA
34. "This one's ___" : ON ME
35. Traffic sign literally violated 12 times in this puzzle : NO U-TU-RN
37. Mugger? : HAM
38. Give lots of love : ADORE
40. Fr. holy woman : STE
41. Strip alternative : T-BONE
43. Nephew of Abraham : LOT
44. It's a blessing : GESU-NDHEIT
47. Christian denom. : EPIS
48. Gives the oath : SWEARS IN
50. Sea spots : ISLETS
52. Add some cushioning to, perhaps : REPAD
53. Entirely : ALL
54. "Art is the triumph over ___": John Cheever : CHAOS
57. Grp. of Ducks and Panthers : NHL
59. One's pawns on a chessboard, e.g. : OCTAD
63. Birthplace of many stars : NEBU-LA
65. Winter item sold in pairs : EARMU-FF
67. Skilled hoops player, in slang : BALLER
68. Jiminy Cricket declaration : I’M NO FOOL
69. Origami feature : CREASE
70. ___ Party : TEA
71. Something received with a ticket : FINE

1. Pouches : SACS
2. Internet shortening to introduce a different view : OTOH
3. 6, for C : AT NO
4. Happen again : RECU-R
5. Paper size: Abbr. : LTR
6. Lead-in to boy or girl : ATTA
7. Result of being left out in the cold : GOOSEBU-MPS
8. Flow back : EBB
9. One who has a way with words : LYRICIST
10. Transmitter, of sorts : NEU-RON
11. About, on a memo : IN RE
12. Koh-i-___, once the world's largest known diamond : NOOR
13. Doesn't rent : OWNS
15. Prefix with comic : SERIO-
21. 1990s TV neighbor : KRAMER
24. "American Morning" airer : CNN
26. Juno, e.g.: Abbr. : ISP
27. Newborns in stable condition? : FOALS
28. Bestow : ENDOW
29. Hardly suppress one's feelings : EMOTE
31. "If all goes well ..." : I HOPE
32. Restraining order? : CAN IT
33. Make ___ of things : A MESS
36. Legendary Gaelic bard : OSSIAN
39. Exits : EGRESSES
42. Statistical shape : BELL CU-RVE
45. Medium power? : ESP
46. Vardalos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" : NIA
49. Awaken : AROU-SE
51. A sports highlight may be seen in it : SLO-MO
54. "Mad Money" airer : CNBC
55. When doubled, a cry of approval : HEAR
56. Qualified : ABLE
58. Unconvincing : LAME
60. "Star Trek: T.N.G." counselor Deanna : TROI
61. "Thou soft-flowing" stream of literature : AVON
62. Strike out : DELE
64. Before, in verse : ERE
66. Genetic material : RNA

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Anonymous said...

36 min. my butt

Bill Butler said...

I always tell it as it is ... good or bad. Fast times and slow times, and always list the answers that I missed.

Take it or leave it ...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the best site on the interweb.

Bill Butler said...

How kind! :)

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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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