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0802-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Aug 11, Tuesday



Thank you, everyone, for your patience over the past couple of weeks while I was on vacation. Visiting with both my family and my wife's family, I had so much fun that I had very little time to devote to crosswords. But I am back, and the blog is back to "normal".



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: Albert R. Picallo
THEME: DC COMICS … all of the theme answers are comics with the initials DC:
17A. Performer with a self-titled HBO special in 2006 : DANE COOK
25A. Performer with a self-titled ABC series in 1996 : DANA CARVEY
37A. Performer with a self-titled Comedy Central series from 2003 to 2006 : DAVE CHAPPELLE
50A. Performer with a self-titled PBS series from 1977 to 1982 : DICK CAVETT
60A. "Captain Marvel" publisher ... and a hint to 17-, 25-, 37- and 50-Across : DC COMICS
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
The Lion Habitat At MGM Grand Las Vegas 96 Piece Puzzle1. "Ars gratia artis" studio : MGM
It seems that the phrase "art for art's sake" has its origins in France in the nineteenth century, where the slogan is expressed as "l'art pour l'art". The Latin version "Ars gratia artis" came much later, in 1924 when MGM's publicist chose it for the studio's logo, sitting under Leo the lion. Who'd o' thunk it?

8. Attack via plane, in a way : STRAFE
We’ve been using “strafe” to mean an attack on a ground position from low-flying aircraft since WWII. Prior to that, the word was used by British soldiers to mean any form of attack. It was picked up from the German word for “punish” as it was used in “Gott strafe England” meaning, “May God punish England”.

14. Fair-hiring letters : EEO
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Commission was set up by the Civil Rights Act.

15. Toast topper : OLEO
Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, something that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name "margarine".

1981 Fleer #3 Manny Trillo16. Manny of 1970s-'80s baseball : TRILLO
Manny Trillo is a retired professional baseball player from Venezuela, who played second base for a number of different teams in a career that spanned the seventies and eighties.

DANE COOK 20X24 COLOR PHOTO17. Performer with a self-titled HBO special in 2006 : DANE COOK
Dane Cook is a stand-up comedian who has had a number of roles in movies as well. He had a set back handling the income he was earning from his work though back in 2008. His half-brother had been his business manager up to that point and it was discovered that he had embezzled millions of dollars from Dane. The half-brother, and his wife, are now in prison for the crime.

19. Fire & Ice cosmetics company : REVLON
Revlon was founded in the depths of the Great Depression in 1932, by Charles and Joseph Revson. The “S” in the Revson name was replaced by the “L” from Charles Lachman, a chemist who partnered with the two brothers.

20. Tabriz native : IRANI
Tabriz is a large city in the very northwest of Iran.

21. Yalie : ELI
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

23. Part of E.U.: Abbr. : EUR
The European Union.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Dana Carvey25. Performer with a self-titled ABC series in 1996 : DANA CARVEY
Dana Carvey, along with the likes of Phil Hartman and Kevin Nealon, was part of the new breed of "Saturday Night Live" comedians accredited with resurrecting the show in the late eighties. One of Carvey's most popular characters was the Church Lady, and he became so associated with her that, among fellow cast members, Carvey was often referred to simply as "the Lady". Carvey had open-heart surgery in 1997 to clear a blocked artery, but the surgical team operated on the wrong blood vessel. To recover, he had to have five more procedures, so ended up suing for medical malpractice, and donated the $7.5 million compensation payment to charity.

29. Bottom of a crankcase : OIL PAN
In most internal combustion engines, the pistons that move up and down are arranged in a line, and connected to a crankshaft that runs along the bottom of the engine. The up and down motion of the pistons turns the crankshaft, which turning motion is "transmitted" (via the transmission) to the wheels. The case surrounding the crankshaft is called the crankcase. The crankcase contains a lot of oil that is squirted onto the crankshaft to lubricate it. Excess oil falls to the bottom of the crankcase and into a reservoir called the oil pan.

31. "Senses Working Overtime" band : XTC
XTC were a band from Swindon in the UK, whose most famous hits were “Making Plans for Nigel” from 1979, and “Senses Working Overtime” from 1982.

Chappelle's Show Movie Poster (11 x 17 Inches - 28cm x 44cm) (2003) Style L -(Dave Chappelle)(Liz Beckham)(Anthony Berry)(Sophina Brown)(Billy Burr)(Kiran Merchant)37. Performer with a self-titled Comedy Central series from 2003 to 2006 : DAVE CHAPPELLE
Dave Chapelle is a stand-up comedian who has also had some roles in big movies, like “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Con Air”. He lives on a 65-acre farm outside Yellow Springs, Ohio, the town where his father lived when Dave was growing up in Washington, D.C.

44. The Beatles' "___ Loser" : I’M A
The Beatles song “I’m a Loser” first appeared on the “Beatles for Sale” album in 1964. The first pressing of the album listed the song’s title as “I’m a Losser”. If you have one of those records, I’d say it’s worth a little money …

47. Like Dickens's Dodger : ARTFUL
The Artful Dodger is a marvelous character in “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens. The Dodger’s real name is Jack Dawkins, and he is a talented pickpocket and favorite of the devious Fagin.

Cavett50. Performer with a self-titled PBS series from 1977 to 1982 : DICK CAVETT
Dick Cavett is best known as a talk show host, with a wonderful sense of humor. He had a long career on TV, appearing regularly from the 1960s through the 2000s.

53. Fit to serve : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objectors available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrants who have completed military service) and 4-D (ministers of religion).

57. Big name in pest control : ORKIN
Orkin is a pest-control company. If you want to learn more about insects, you might want to visit the O. Orkin Zoo, a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The exhibit has over 300 live insects, all displayed in their natural habitats.

58. Subject of scientific mapping : GENOME
The genome of an organism is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce that organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Every cell "knows" how to make a whole human being.

60. "Captain Marvel" publisher ... and a hint to 17-, 25-, 37- and 50-Across : DC COMICS
DC Comics takes its name from what used to be a highly popular series called "Detective Comics". The main competitor to DC Comics is Marvel Comics, and between the two companies, they command 80% of comic sales in the US market. Nowadays of course, a lot of company income comes from movies that use the most popular characters from the original comics.

64. The whole kit and caboodle : A TO Z
The idiomatic expression is "the whole kit and caboodle". Caboodle (sometimes spelled "kaboodle") is an informal term for a bunch of people, or sometimes the "the whole lot".

The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War (Step-Into-Reading, Step 5)67. City tricked with a wooden horse : TROY
The story of the Wooden Horse of Troy is told in the Virgil’s poem “The Aeneid”. According to the tale, the city of Troy finally fell to Greeks after a siege that had lasted for ten years. In a ruse, the Greeks sailed away in apparent defeat, leaving behind a large wooden horse. Inside the horse were hidden 30 crack soldiers, and when the horse was dragged into the city as a victory trophy, the soldiers sneaked out and opened the city’s gates. The Greeks returned under cover of night, and entered the open city.

68. Alternative to cable : DSL
DSL originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

Down
3. "My friend," in Marseille : MON AMI
Marseille (often written “Marseilles” in English) is the second largest city in France, after Paris. It’s also the largest commercial port in the country. I used to live nearby, and it’s a lovely, lovely place.

5. "Don't Bring Me Down" band, informally : ELO
ELO of course stands for the Electric Light Orchestra, a symphonic rock group from the north of England. Their manager was Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy).

6. 1-Across's roarer : LEO
1A. "Ars gratia artis" studio : MGM
There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn't until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

7. Straphanger's buy, once : TOKEN
“Straphanger” is a slang term for someone who rides the subway or a bus i.e. stands on the vehicle, hanging onto a strap for balance.

10. Styx, for one : RIVER
The River Styx in Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (also called Hades). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferryboat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead "to pay the ferryman".

11. Like soil in a delta : ALLUVIAL
Alluvial soil is loose and easily moved along by flowing water.

12. City on the Arno : FLORENCE
The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously, the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

25. Ste. Jeanne ___ : D’ARC
Joan of Arc led the French Army successfully into battle a number of times during the Hundred Years War with England. When she was eventually captured she was tried in Rouen, the seat of the occupying English government in France at that time. There she was burned at the stake having been found guilty of heresy. Joan of Arc was canonized some 600 years later, in 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.

26. Literary collection: Abbr. : ANTH
Anthology.

37. Bologna or salami : DELI MEAT
The deli meat "boloney" is an American invention. It was given the name "boloney" because it resemble Italian mortadella sausage, which originated in the city of Bologna in northern Italy.

Salame (note the "e" at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with Italian peasants. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for maybe as long as ten years. The name "salame" comes from "sale", the Italian word for salt, and "-ame", a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word "salami" is actually the Italian plural for "salame".

38. Crushing snake : ANACONDA
Anacondas are native to the tropical regions of South America. The green anaconda is one of the world's largest snakes, growing to 17 feet long and weighing up to 215 pounds! Anacondas are not venomous, and prefer to kill their prey by coiling around it and then squeeeeeezing ...

39. Excellent, in slang : PHAT
In hip-hop circles, the term "phat" means excellent or first-rate.

40. Thespian's aim : PART
The term “Thespian” is used for an actor. It derives from the name of the Greek poet of the 6th century, Thespis, known as the father of Greek tragedy.

Leica M9 18MP Digital Range Finder Camera (Steel Gray, Body Only)49. Some German cameras : LEICAS
Leica is a German optics company, famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.

Ansel Adams: A Biography54. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
As an amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. He was famous for the clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed for black & white film primarily, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final image with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

Bernard Shaw (Applause Books)58. "Pygmalion" monogram : GBS
George Bernard Shaw was a very successful Irish playwright. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. Shaw won his Oscar for the adapting his own play "Pygmalion" for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaption of "Pygmalion" that went by the title ... "My Fair Lady".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Ars gratia artis" studio : MGM
4. Had a hunch : FELT
8. Attack via plane, in a way : STRAFE
14. Fair-hiring letters : EEO
15. Toast topper : OLEO
16. Manny of 1970s-'80s baseball : TRILLO
17. Performer with a self-titled HBO special in 2006 : DANE COOK
19. Fire & Ice cosmetics company : REVLON
20. Tabriz native : IRANI
21. Yalie : ELI
23. Part of E.U.: Abbr. : EUR
24. Green machines? : ATMS
25. Performer with a self-titled ABC series in 1996 : DANA CARVEY
29. Bottom of a crankcase : OIL PAN
31. "Senses Working Overtime" band : XTC
32. Suffix with elephant : -INE
33. Main line : AORTA
35. Perform as one : COACT
37. Performer with a self-titled Comedy Central series from 2003 to 2006 : DAVE CHAPPELLE
41. Fundamental belief : TENET
42. Lend ___ (help) : A HAND
43. In the manner of : A LA
44. The Beatles' "___ Loser" : I’M A
47. Like Dickens's Dodger : ARTFUL
50. Performer with a self-titled PBS series from 1977 to 1982 : DICK CAVETT
53. Fit to serve : ONE-A
55. Many a federal holiday: Abbr. : MON
56. Perfection, in some sports : TEN
57. Big name in pest control : ORKIN
58. Subject of scientific mapping : GENOME
60. "Captain Marvel" publisher ... and a hint to 17-, 25-, 37- and 50-Across : DC COMICS
63. Recipient of coal for Christmas : BAD BOY
64. The whole kit and caboodle : A TO Z
65. Scot's refusal : NAE
66. Equilibrium : STASIS
67. City tricked with a wooden horse : TROY
68. Alternative to cable : DSL

Down
1. Newspaper, television, etc. : MEDIA
2. Customize for, as an audience : GEAR TO
3. "My friend," in Marseille : MON AMI
4. Centers of attention : FOCI
5. "Don't Bring Me Down" band, informally : ELO
6. 1-Across's roarer : LEO
7. Straphanger's buy, once : TOKEN
8. Inflexible about rules : STRICT
9. Uno + due : TRE
10. Styx, for one : RIVER
11. Like soil in a delta : ALLUVIAL
12. City on the Arno : FLORENCE
13. Ages and ages : EON
18. Place in shackles : ENSLAVE
22. Flexible about rules : LAX
25. Ste. Jeanne ___ : D’ARC
26. Literary collection: Abbr. : ANTH
27. One way to tell where someone is from : ACCENT
28. As of now : YET
30. Word before license or justice : POETIC
34. Energizer letters : AAA
36. What one might return to after a slump : OLD FORM
37. Bologna or salami : DELI MEAT
38. Crushing snake : ANACONDA
39. Excellent, in slang : PHAT
40. Thespian's aim : PART
41. Tiny bit : TAD
45. Buccaneer's buddies : MATEYS
46. N.Y.C.'s Park or Lex : AVE
48. Mean-spirited : UNKIND
49. Some German cameras : LEICAS
51. Turners on tuners : KNOBS
52. Conclude by : END AT
54. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
57. Like mud between one's toes, say : OOZY
58. "Pygmalion" monogram : GBS
59. Facetious "Who, me?" : MOI
61. Pigskin snapper: Abbr. : CTR
62. Whisper sweet nothings : COO

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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 bill@paxient.com.

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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