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Greetings from Tumumcari, New Mexico: BUSINESS AS USUAL

My wife and I are on a summer road trip, a loop from California extending as far east as New Orleans (we hope). While on the road I am continuing to solve and post, although I may not be as prompt in posting or responding to messages as I would like. I hope you can understand! After braving mountain lions and rattlesnakes for the wholetrip, horseflies managed to shoo us off the hiking trails in Palo Dura Canyon today. We also visited Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo (not quite Stonehenge) ... Bill

0809-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Aug 11, Tuesday

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

THEME: Soup! … all of the answers end with a flavor of soup:
17A. "Peanuts" figure ... or some fabulous fall soup? : THE GREAT PUMPKIN
39A. Early 1970s dance ... or some smelly soup? : THE FUNKY CHICKEN
63A. Nickname for snowboarder Shaun White ... or some airborne soup? : THE FLYING TOMATO

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Sale - Desktop - Atlas - Greek Mythology Sculpture - Trinket Box- Ships Immediatly !1. One of the Pleiades : MAIA
The Seven Sisters of Greek mythology are also known as the Pleiades. The Seven Sisters were the daughters of the titan Atlas, who had been forced to carry the heavens on his shoulders. In an act of kindness, Zeus transformed the sisters first into doves, and then into stars so that they could provide comfort for their father. There is indeed a cluster of seven stars in the night sky named for the myth and known as the Pleiades.

5. Q.: When is a door not a door? A.: When it's ___ : AJAR
Our word "ajar" is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which "a char" means "slightly open".

14. ID in a library vol. : ISBN
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was invented by one Gordon Foster, who is now a professor at Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland. The code was originally developed for booksellers, so that they had a unique number (and now a bar code) for each publication.

Cycle Rickshaw, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Southeast Asia Photographic Poster Print by Angelo Cavalli, 30x4016. Three-wheeled Asian cab : CYCLO
“Cycle” is another name for a cycle rickshaw or pedicab.

17. "Peanuts" figure ... or some fabulous fall soup? : THE GREAT PUMPKIN
The Great Pumpkin is a figure dreamed up by Linus van Pelt, the character in the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. To Linus, the Great Pumpkin is the Halloween equivalent of the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. Famously, Linus said:
There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.
25. Much-derided 1980s-'90s car : YUGO
The Yugo was a really unreliable subcompact car built by the Zastava corporation, in Yugoslavia.

Stand and Deliver27. Calif. setting for "Stand and Deliver" : EAST LA
”Stand and Deliver” is a 1988 drama film based on the true story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher in East LA.

30. Words to swear by : MOTTOS
“Motto” came into English directly from Italian, and is ultimately derived from the Latin word “muttire”, meaning “to mutter, mumble”.

Peg Perego Polaris Outlaw - Red34. Off-road wheels, for short : ATV
An all terrain vehicle.

36. Rhyme scheme for Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" : AABA
When I was a school-kid back in Ireland, Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" was our first introduction to American poetry, and what a lovely introduction it was ...

38. Onion-flavored roll : BIALY
Bialy is a Yiddish word for a small onion roll, which takes its name from Bialystok, a city in Poland.

Do the Funky Somethin: Best of39. Early 1970s dance ... or some smelly soup? : THE FUNKY CHICKEN
“Do the Funky Chicken” was a hit in 1970 for the R&B singer Rufus Thomas.

43. Kenyan tribesman : MASAI
The Masai (also known as the Massai) are a semi-nomadic people found in Kenya and Tanzania. They are semi-nomadic in that over the years they have been migrating from the Lower Nile Valley in northwest Kenya, and are moving into Tanzania.

1.07 cttw 14k White Gold Genuine 8mm Heart Shape Opal and Diamond Pendant in 14k White Gold44. Suffix with opal : -ESCE
An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence, known as "opalescence".

45. Key to get out of a jam? : ESC
The escape key was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of other things, especially in gaming programs.

46. At a chop shop, perhaps : STOLEN
After a car is stolen it might be delivered to a “chop shop”, a workshop that can break it up so that it can sold for parts.

Steffi Public Power Private Pain: Public Power, Private Pain (Virgin)48. Tennis's Graf : STEFFI
Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. She won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, more than any other man or woman other than Margaret Court. She is married to another former World No. 1, Andre Agassi.

51. Exam for an aspiring Esq. : LSAT
The title "esquire" is of British origin, and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK it is a term of gentle respect, reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

Signed Liotta, Ray 8x10 Photo53. Ray of "GoodFellas" : LIOTTA
The actor Ray Liotta is best known for playing Henry Hill in the Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas”.

The Martin Scorsese classic “Goodfellas” is a 1990 adaptation of a non-fiction book by Nicholas Pileggi called “Wiseguy”. The film tells the story of a mob family that succumbs to the FBI after one of their own becomes an informant.

56. Ways to the Web: Abbr. : ISPS
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the 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 in which end users are connected to the ISP's 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 ...

ESPN: Shaun White: Don't Look Down63. Nickname for snowboarder Shaun White ... or some airborne soup? : THE FLYING TOMATO
Professional snowboarder Shaun White has won Olympic gold twice, in 2006 and 2010. White is a red-headed Irish American, and is often referred to as “The Flying Tomato”.

68. Old camera settings, for short : ASAS
ASA stands for the American Standards Association, and is a term used for the “speed” of a photographic film. Film speed is a measure of its sensitivity to light. High speed film is used in very low light conditions, but it tends to be very “grainy”.

Hydra of Lerna69. Many-headed challenge for Hercules : HYDRA
In Greek mythology, the Lernaean Hydra was a sea snake that had multiple heads. Heracles had to slay the Hydra of Lerna as the second of his Twelve Labors.

70. Like flicks seen without special glasses : TWO-D
Characters in 3D movies appear to jump of the screen, moving in three dimensions. In a regular film the characters move around on the flat screen, in just two dimensions.

71. Instrument played with a plectrum : LYRE
A lyre is a stringed instrument, most closely associated with Ancient Greece.

Angela Merkel4. German chancellor Merkel : ANGELA
The formidable politician Angela Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany, the country's head of state. Merkel is the first female German Chancellor, and when she chaired the G8 in 2007 she became only the second woman to do so, after the UK’s Margaret Thatcher. Merkel grew up in East Germany under Communist rule.

HENRY FONDA 20X24 PHOTO6. "The Grapes of Wrath" family name : JOAD
Tom Joad is a character in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". The role of Joad is played by Henry Fonda in the 1940 film adaptation directed by John Ford. Ford's movie has a place in history, as it was one of the first 25 movies selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in the US National Film Registry.

7. The "a" in a.m. : ANTE
The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently than us, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

9. Channel for old films : TCM
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels, delivering what its name promises, classic movies.

Elie Wiesel: A Religious Biography12. "Night" author Wiesel : ELIE
Elie Wiesel is a holocaust survivor, best known for his book "Night" which tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

19. "One" on a penny : UNUM
From 1776, "e pluribus unum" was the unofficial motto of the United States. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress made "In God We Trust" the country's official motto.

Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book24. Lee of Marvel Comics : STAN
Stan Lee did just about everything at “Marvel Comics” over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board.

26. Mongolian desert : GOBI
The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity, and the Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called "Green Wall of China".

28. Okeechobee, e.g. : LAKE
Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in Florida, and the second largest freshwater lake contained completely within the 48 contiguous states (after Lake Michigan). It is a very shallow lake, perhaps more like a swamp, with an area about half the size of Rhode Island.

32. Shouts at a fútbol game : OLES
"Fútbol" is the Spanish word for football, soccer.

The Navy Midshipmen football team went undefeated during the 1910 season, and didn't even have a point scored against them. They didn't win every game though .. their record included one scoreless draw.

49. Relative of Rex : FIDO
The name used for a dog, "Fido", is the Latin word for "I trust".

The name used for a dog, “Rex”, is the Latin for “king”.

Charles Bronson Collection (Telefon / St. Ives)54. One of a Turkic people : TATAR
Tatars are an ethnic group of people, mainly residing in Russia (a population of about 5 1/2 million). Actor Charles Bronson had a Tatar heritage. His real name was Charles Buchinsky.

57. One-horse carriage : SHAY
A shay is a light carriage. It is an American design based on the French “chaise”, from which it takes its name. A shay is sometimes called a "whisky", as riders would “whisk” around from stop to stop.

60. Author C. P. ___ : SNOW
C. P. Snow was an English novelist, physicist and even a minister in the UK government.

Eggo Nutri Grain Waffles,Whole Wheat, 10-Count Boxes (Pack of 12)61. Frozen waffle brand : EGGO
Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogs. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name "Eggo" was chosen to promote the "egginess" of the batter. "Eggo" replaced the original choice for a brand name, "Froffles", created by melding "frozen" and "waffles".

65. Thomas Mann's "Der ___ in Venedig" : TOD
Thomas Mann was a German novelist whose most famous work is probably his novella "Death in Venice", originally published in German in 1912 as "Der Tod in Venedig". The story was famously adapted for the big screen in 1971, in a movie starring Dirk Bogarde.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. One of the Pleiades : MAIA
5. Q.: When is a door not a door? A.: When it's ___ : AJAR
9. Pickpocket, e.g. : THIEF
14. ID in a library vol. : ISBN
15. Dunce cap shape : CONE
16. Three-wheeled Asian cab : CYCLO
17. "Peanuts" figure ... or some fabulous fall soup? : THE GREAT PUMPKIN
20. "For rent" : TO LET
21. Figure in academia : DEAN
22. Nein : German :: ___ : Russian : NYET
23. Subway turners : STILES
25. Much-derided 1980s-'90s car : YUGO
27. Calif. setting for "Stand and Deliver" : EAST LA
30. Words to swear by : MOTTOS
34. Off-road wheels, for short : ATV
36. Rhyme scheme for Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" : AABA
38. Onion-flavored roll : BIALY
39. Early 1970s dance ... or some smelly soup? : THE FUNKY CHICKEN
43. Kenyan tribesman : MASAI
44. Suffix with opal : -ESCE
45. Key to get out of a jam? : ESC
46. At a chop shop, perhaps : STOLEN
48. Tennis's Graf : STEFFI
51. Exam for an aspiring Esq. : LSAT
53. Ray of "GoodFellas" : LIOTTA
56. Ways to the Web: Abbr. : ISPS
59. It may be put on a pedestal : VASE
62. Gloomy, in verse : DREAR
63. Nickname for snowboarder Shaun White ... or some airborne soup? : THE FLYING TOMATO
66. Paddled craft : CANOE
67. Canceled : NO GO
68. Old camera settings, for short : ASAS
69. Many-headed challenge for Hercules : HYDRA
70. Like flicks seen without special glasses : TWO-D
71. Instrument played with a plectrum : LYRE

1. Baseball gloves : MITTS
2. "Give it ___!" ("Try!") : A SHOT
3. "Yes, if you ask me" : I BELIEVE SO
4. German chancellor Merkel : ANGELA
5. Score 100% on : ACE
6. "The Grapes of Wrath" family name : JOAD
7. The "a" in a.m. : ANTE
8. Compensate for loss : REPAY
9. Channel for old films : TCM
10. Like a swinging pendulum, say : HYPNOTIC
11. "Eww! Gross!" : ICKY
12. "Night" author Wiesel : ELIE
13. Helvetica, e.g. : FONT
18. Hwys. : RTES
19. "One" on a penny : UNUM
24. Lee of Marvel Comics : STAN
26. Mongolian desert : GOBI
28. Okeechobee, e.g. : LAKE
29. Chasm : ABYSS
31. "Calm down!" : TAKE IT EASY
32. Shouts at a fútbol game : OLES
33. Harmony : SYNC
34. $20 dispensers : ATMS
35. "What's ___?" : THAT
37. No. at a brokerage : ACCT
40. Becomes smitten by : FALLS FOR
41. Sometimes-illegal turns, in slang : UIES
42. Dog command : HEEL
47. The Midshipmen : NAVY
49. Relative of Rex : FIDO
50. Not casual : FORMAL
52. Corrupt : TAINT
54. One of a Turkic people : TATAR
55. Got out of bed : AROSE
56. Allergic reaction : ITCH
57. One-horse carriage : SHAY
58. Be in limbo : PEND
60. Author C. P. ___ : SNOW
61. Frozen waffle brand : EGGO
64. Grazing ground : LEA
65. Thomas Mann's "Der ___ in Venedig" : TOD

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Anonymous said...

Bill, I left this same comment at your June 11 puzzle page (the one with Spamalot, SuzyQ, Mirren, etc.), because the Daily News in Los Angeles didn't have that puzzle until August 4 and I just found your blog an hour ago. I wanted to be sure you knew how much I appreciate your solutions, so I'm repeating it here. Kathy

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!!"


Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kathy.

Yes, I picked up your very kind comment on the other puzzle, and left a reply.

It's very nice to meet you! :)

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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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