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0723-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Jul 11, Saturday

I am away on vacation from Sunday, July 17 to Tuesday, August 2. I fully intend to sneak away to do the crossword each day, but probably won’t find time to do many look-ups. Some days I may be a little late posting the solution, and if that should happen, please let me apologize in advance. Email subscribers should check the blog directly at as the solution may be posted by the time they read check their email. Things will be back to normal very shortly! … Bill

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


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. It's a blast for some balloonists : JET STREAM
Jet streams are narrow air currents high in the atmosphere that move very quickly around the earth. The major jet streams surrounding our planet move in a westerly direction.

Drakkar Viking Longship B02816. Like longship sailors : NORSE
Longships were boats used by the Vikings from the Nordic countries of Northern Europe. Characteristically a longship was light, long and thin, made from wood, and had a shallow draft. The boat was also symmetrical and could be sailed in either direction.

19. Maker of life-and-death decisions, briefly : EMT
Emergency Medical Technician.

Free WiFi hotspot store front window decal20. Provider of a hot spot at a coffee shop? : WI-FI
"Wi-Fi" is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with "Wi-Fi" has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

22. Alexander's need : GIN
An Alexander is a cocktail made from gin, a chocolate liqueur and cream. Nowadays one tends to hear of the Brandy Alexander more often than the original gin version.

25. Prohibition : EMBARGO
An embargo differs from a blockade. An embargo is a legal prohibition of trade with a particular country, whilst a blockade is an act of war, a militarily enforced prevention of the movement of goods and services. The term "embargo" came into English from Spanish, in the late 16th century.

30. Town council president, in Canada : REEVE
A reeve was a senior official in the days of Anglo-Saxon England, perhaps a chief magistrate of a town. The term is still in use in Canada, generally for the rural equivalent of a mayor.

Larry Hagman Autographed/Signed 8x10 Photo31. Big mystery during the summer of 1980 : WHO SHOT JR?
The mega-hit TV show “Dallas” started out life as a five-part mini-series in 1978. Who can remember who it was that shot J.R.?

36. Bent to do nothing : SLOTH
"Sloth", meaning "indolence, sluggishness", came from the Middle English word "slowe", the same root for our contemporary word "slow". The animal, the sloth, is named for its slow-moving behavior.

G7th Performance Capo (Six String, Silver)37. String shortener : CAPO
A capo is a clamp-like device that is placed around the neck of a guitar to shorten the strings, and hence raise the pitch. The full name, rarely used these days, is "capo tasto", which is Italian for "head tie".

40. "Friendly" things, in old ads : SKIES
United Airlines used the tagline “Fly the Friendly Skies” in its marketing materials from 1965 to 1996. It was replaced with “It’s time to fly”.

42. "A dish best served cold" : REVENGE
The proverb “revenge is a dish best served cold” appears in literature in various forms dating back at least to the 1841 novel “Mathilde” by Marie Joseph Eugène Sue.

44. A dish best served cold : GAZPACHO
Gazpacho is a cold soup, made with a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

Marshal Ney - Bravest Of The Brave47. Waterloo marshal : NEY
Michel Ney was one of the first 18 Marshals of France created by Napoleon. When Bonaparte was eventually defeated for the last time, Ney was arrested and sentenced to death. He was executed in Paris by firing squad. He refused to wear a blindfold, and demanded that he himself be allowed to give the order to fire.

Edmonton Oilers NHL Sticker Decal Auto Car Wall Vinyl48. N.H.L. team and former N.F.L. team : OILERS
The National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada ... oil country.

51. Pec pic, perhaps : TAT
One might get a tattoo on the skin over one’s pectoral muscles. One might … I wouldn’t …

54. Courier alternative : ARIAL
Both Courier and Arial are fonts.

Lamplight TIKI 1108367 Island King Large Flame Torch55. Bit of décor at Trader Vic's : TIKI TORCH
A tiki torch is a bamboo torch that's very commonly used in Tiki culture. Tiki culture is a modern invention dating from the 20th century and is the experience created in Polynesian-style restaurants. The word "Tiki" is borrowed from Polynesia.

57. Change around the Thames : PENCE
In the UK, the plural of “penny” is “pence”.

Samuel F.B. Morse: Artist With a Message (The Sowers)58. What a ham may use : MORSE CODE
Samuel Morse was a very accomplished and reputable painter (he was engaged to paint a portrait of President John Adams, for example). In 1825 he was in Washington working on a commissioned painting when he received a one-line letter by horse messenger telling him that his wife was ill. He left immediately for his home in New Haven, Connecticut but by the time he arrived she had already died and had been buried. This single event spurred him to move from painting to the development of a rapid means of long distance communication, leading to the single-wire telegraph and Morse code.

1. "Grand" or "petit" dance move : JETE
A jeté is a leap in ballet, coming from the French word "jeter" meaning "to throw".

2. Ancient rival of Assyria : ELAM
The ancient civilization of Elam was located east of Mesopotamia, in what is modern-day southwest Iran.

Samsung Glyde U940 Cell Phone Touchscreen Cell phone for Verizon Wireless with No Contract - Refurbished in Brand New Housing and 30 Day Seller's Warranty3. Cell composition : TEXT
One might compose a text message on a cell phone.

4. Silver ___, Md. (Wash. suburb) : SPR
Silver Spring, Maryland is located at the northern tip of Washington, D.C. The area takes its name from a spring that was discovered there which contained chips of mica in its flow, giving it a silvery appearance.

The Wire: The Complete Third Season5. It was Obama's self-professed favorite TV series : THE WIRE
I didn't watch "The Wire" when it first aired but we ending up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing earlier this year. It's is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.

8. Two of hearts? : ATRIA
The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. They squeeze the blood into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

11. Baloney : HORSE HOCKEY
“Horse hockey” is just a polite way of saying something more crude … “horse ****”.

13. Native of the central Caucasus : OSSET
Ossetia is a region that extends to both sides of the Caucasus Mountains located in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian.

Golda Meir Prime Minister Israel Portrait 8x10 Silver Halide Photo Print26. She resigned after the Yom Kippur War : MEIR
Golda Meir was known as the "Iron Lady" when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before the term came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. She had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, she had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

32. Biblical mount where Aaron died : HOR
In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur’an, Aaron was the brother of Moses.

33. PC image acronym : JPEG
An image file on a computer can be compressed so that it takes up less space. Some time the compression is "lossless" meaning even though the file is compressed, and data it is discarded, the image still looks the same. One example of data that can be discarded without loss of quality, is to not bother recording the color information of pixels that are the same color as others. Just saying "this pixel is the same is that one" takes up less space. One can compress files even more if one allows loss of quality. One well known compression algorithm that is "lossy" is the jpeg format. The person compressing the file can decide how much quality will suffer in jpeg format, with larger, compressed files being of higher quality than the smaller ones.

40. Relatively sylphlike : SVELTER
Svelte comes to English from Latin, via the Italian "svelto" meaning "stretched out". As if I would know anything about svelte ...

46. Giant in astronomy : ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is of course named after the Greek God Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion's "right shoulder", the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. It is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don't want to miss that ...

Jeff Bridges Autographed Photo51. 1982 high-tech film : TRON
Released in 1982, "Tron" was one of the first mainstream films to make extensive use of computer graphics. The starring role is played by Jeff Bridges.

55. "That's more than I wanted to know," in brief : TMI
Too Much Information!

56. Andean vegetable : OCA
The plant called an oca is also known as the New Zealand Yam. The tubers of the oca are used as a root vegetable.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. It's a blast for some balloonists : JET STREAM
10. "This is a disaster!" : OH GOD
15. Asian symbols of wisdom : ELEPHANTS
16. Like longship sailors : NORSE
17. A dodger might cook one : TAX RETURN
18. Begin some revising : ERASE
19. Maker of life-and-death decisions, briefly : EMT
20. Provider of a hot spot at a coffee shop? : WI-FI
21. Responded to wisely : SASSED
22. Alexander's need : GIN
23. They may be shared during a show : ARMRESTS
25. Prohibition : EMBARGO
29. Offices may require them : OATHS
30. Town council president, in Canada : REEVE
31. Big mystery during the summer of 1980 : WHO SHOT JR?
35. Dish component : SIDE
36. Bent to do nothing : SLOTH
37. String shortener : CAPO
38. Become known : TRANSPIRE
40. "Friendly" things, in old ads : SKIES
41. Composition of many sports courts : ZONES
42. "A dish best served cold" : REVENGE
44. A dish best served cold : GAZPACHO
47. Waterloo marshal : NEY
48. N.H.L. team and former N.F.L. team : OILERS
49. Casino action : ROLL
51. Pec pic, perhaps : TAT
54. Courier alternative : ARIAL
55. Bit of décor at Trader Vic's : TIKI TORCH
57. Change around the Thames : PENCE
58. What a ham may use : MORSE CODE
59. Double-___ : EDGED
60. Hypnotized : IN A TRANCE

1. "Grand" or "petit" dance move : JETE
2. Ancient rival of Assyria : ELAM
3. Cell composition : TEXT
4. Silver ___, Md. (Wash. suburb) : SPR
5. It was Obama's self-professed favorite TV series : THE WIRE
6. Place on a scale : RATING
7. Sufficient, informally : ENUF
8. Two of hearts? : ATRIA
9. ___ Explorer (Web browser) : MSN
10. Here : ON EARTH
11. Baloney : HORSE HOCKEY
12. Yard stick? : GRASS STAIN
13. Native of the central Caucasus : OSSET
14. What thoughts may become : DEEDS
21. Ruin ... or great success : SMASH
22. Plagued : GAVE NO PEACE
24. Pig, at times : ROOTER
25. Previously archaic? : ERST
26. She resigned after the Yom Kippur War : MEIR
27. Much too bright : BEDAZZLING
28. Giving a hoot? : OWLISH
32. Biblical mount where Aaron died : HOR
33. PC image acronym : JPEG
34. Beau's buy : ROSE
36. Design info : SPECS
39. Like many a fishing line : SNARLED
40. Relatively sylphlike : SVELTER
43. Get on base? : ENLIST
44. Come unglued : GO APE
45. Hit the waves? : AIRED
46. Giant in astronomy : ORION
50. Soup thickener : OKRA
51. 1982 high-tech film : TRON
52. Plug possibilities : AC/DC
53. What you used to be? : THEE
55. "That's more than I wanted to know," in brief : TMI
56. Andean vegetable : OCA

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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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