Top Line

Search by Date


Search by Puzzle Number

e.g. 1225-09, 0704-10, 1025-10 etc.

Daily Solution by Email

Enter your email address

0811-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Aug 11, Thursday

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

THEME: SEQUENCES with VARIABLES … each theme answer is the formula that defines the sequence of numbers in its clue:
17A. 3, 6, 11, 18, 27 ... : X-SQUARED PLUS TWO (1x1+2=3, 2x2+2=6, 3x3+2=11 etc.)
34A. 4, 2, 4/3, 1, 4/5 ... : TWENTY OVER FIVE-X [20/(5x1)=4, 20/(5x2)=2, 20/(5x3)=4/3 etc.)
57A. 8, 1, -18, -55, -116 ... : NINE MINUS X-CUBED 9-(1x1x1)=8, 9-(2x2x2)=1, 9-(3x3x3)=-18 etc.)
3D. Any of the clues for 17-, 34- or 57-Across : SEQUENCE
37D. In the answers to 17-, 34- and 57-Across, it was replaced in turn by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... : VARIABLE

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D5. Princess in a Nintendo game series : ZELDA
“The Legend of Zelda” is a video game. Apparently it’s very successful.

10. Ones trying to increase circulation, for short? : EMTS
Emergency Medical Technicians.

14. So-called Family City U.S.A. : OREM
Orem, Utah was originally known as "Sharon" (a Biblical name), then "Provo Bench", and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator, "Orem". Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and, backing up that claim, in 2010 “Forbes” rated it the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

22. Joint U.S./Canada military org. : NORAD
The North American Defense Command (NORAD) isn’t just a US operation, but is a cooperative arrangement between Canada and the United States. The two countries entered into an agreement to establish NORAD in 1958, mainly due to the concern that there would be little or no warning of a missile attack from the Soviet Union that came over the North Pole.

23. Journalist on a mission? : EMBED
Although journalists have been directly reporting from the front lines in military conflicts for some time, the term “embedded journalism” only came into fashion during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A formal arrangement was made between the US Military and hundreds of reporters allowing the journalists to travel with military units and, under pre-ordained conditions, report directly from those units. Some say that the arrangement was mutually beneficial. On the one hand the journalists had relatively little to worry about in terms of transportation and travel through combat zones. On the other hand, the military had better control over what did and did not get reported.

30. Small, low island : CAY
A "key" (also "cay") is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys for example. Our term in English comes from the Spanish "cayo" meaning "shoal, reef".

31. Totally baked : LOCO
Totally baked and loco, both terms that mean “crazy”.

'Blue And Red Ski Gates Of A Giant Slalom Race' Wall Decal - 48"W x 72"H Removable Graphic41. Part of a slalom run : GATE
Slalom is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word "slalam", meaning "skiing race".

45. Setting for Genesis 2:8-25 : EDEN
According to the Book Of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden "in" Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

48. Aladdin's home : ARABIA
“Aladdin” is a famous tale in the “Arabian Nights”, also called “The Book of One Thousand and One Nights”. However, there is no evidence at all that the story was in the original collection. It is generally believed that one Antoine Galland introduced the tale when he translated the “Arabian Nights” into French in the early 1700s.

Greatest Hits50. Pop's ___ Vanilli : MILLI
Milli Vanilli famously won a Grammy and had it revoked when it was discovered that they didn't even provide the lead vocals for the award-winning recording, and just lip-synced when performing on stage.

60. First major publisher of board games in the U.S. : IVES
W. & S. B. Ives was publishing board games back in the 1830s, from its headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts.

The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book62. Vehicle for Calvin and Hobbes : SLED
The comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes" is still widely syndicated, even though it hasn't been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes a 17th century English political philosopher.

65. Uncle ___ : BEN’S
Uncle Ben's is the famous brand name of rice introduced in 1943. It was the biggest selling rice in the US from the fifties through the nineties. As one might imagine, the name "Uncle Ben" is pretty offensive, and Mars, who owns the brand now, have tried to distance themselves from the African-American slave/domestic servant image. In 2007 there was a TV campaign showing "Uncle Ben" as Chairman of the Board of the company. But, he is still called Uncle Ben ...

1. Classic theater name : ROXY
The original Roxy Theater was opened in 1927 in New York City, designed to be the biggest best "motion picture palace" of the day. To manage the theater, the owners hired the very experienced Samuel Rothafel. As part of the deal to entice Rothafel to take the job, the owners offered to name the theater after him, and as his nickname was "Roxy", that's the name that was used.

Emu, Australia Photographic Poster Print by David Wall, 30x404. Bird whose name is a Midwest school's initials : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the emus. The emus were clever, and broke their usual formation and adopted guerrilla tactics, operating as small units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had won ...

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a public university in Ypsilanti, Michigan, just outside Detroit. Despite the name “EMU”, the school's athletes are called the “Eagles”.

OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Ladle7. Put on : LADE
The verb "lade" meaning "to load" comes from an Old English word "hladan". Lade also used to mean "to draw water" and indeed gave us our word "ladle". So, lade and ladle, are close cousins.

8. Uncool sorts : DIPS
“Dip” is a slang word used to call someone stupid or eccentric. I simply do not like that word …

Epson Artisan 725 Color Inkjet All-In-One (C11CA74201)10. Printer brand : EPSON
Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official time keeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world's first miniprinter and called it EP-101 (EP standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers, and they called it EPSON, “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

12. A language of South Africa : TSWANA
Tswana is a language from South Africa. The Tswana word for "fly" is well known around the world, It's “tsetse”.

19. Org. that won the 1965 Nobel Peace Prize : UNICEF
The United Nations Children’s Fund is known by the acronym UNICEF because its original name when it was founded in 1946 was the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.

24. Hindsights? : MOONS
The first recorded mooning incident took place in 66 AD, during the First Roman-Jewish War. Roman soldiers decided to moon Jewish pilgrims as they traveled to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

1960 Bert Lahr Photo Skippy Peanut Butter Print Ad (13683)25. "The Wizard Of Oz" co-star : LAHR
Bert Lahr's most famous role was that of the cowardly lion in "The Wizard of Oz". Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!"? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called, "Meet the People" in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr.

26. ___-rock : ALT
I’ll be honest. I really don’t know what alt-rock is, and I can’t seem to work it out. Just an old fuddy-duddy …

32. Front for "front" : FORE
“Fore-” is a prefix (front) meaning “front”.

33. Brightest star in Orion : RIGEL
Rigel is the sixth brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest star in the constellation of Orion. If you can imagine the stars in Orion laid out, Rigel is at his left foot. The name “Rigel” is an abbreviated version of the Arabic term for “Left Foot of the Central One”.

RoomMates RMK1402GM Star Wars: the Clone Wars Yoda Glow in the Dark Giant Wall Decal36. Speaker of "Luke, when gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be" : YODA
Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the "Star Wars" series of films. Yoda's voice was provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of "Muppets" fame.

38. Common French word with two accents : ETE
One might spend the summer (été) on the River Seine in Paris.

Catnip Seeds 400 Seeds42. Cause of feline friskiness : CATNIP
About 50% of all cats are affected in some way by the plant catnip. There is a terpenoid in the oil of the plant called nepetalactone that the cat inhales and that can cause anything from drowsiness to anxiety.

44. Down East native : MAINER
The coast of Maine is often referred to as “Down East” by the people of New England.

46. Some spellings? : JINXES
A jinx is a charm or a spell, and the word "jinx" comes from an older word "jyng" from the 17th century. A "jyng" was another word for the wryneck, a type of bird much used in witchcraft.

Monopoly47. Monopoly util. : ELEC
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of "The Landlord's Game" created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips who used it as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord's Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, and he became quite a rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

Wildebeests (Safari Animals)49. Ending with wilde- or harte- : BEEST
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, an antelope native to Africa. Wildebeest is actually the Dutch word for "wild beast".

The hartebeest is a grassland antelope found in West, East and Southern Africa. “hartebeest” comes from the Afrikaans word “hertebeest” meaning “deer”.

55. Gung-ho : KEEN
"Kung ho" is a Chinese expression meaning "work together, cooperate". The anglicized version "gung ho" was adopted by a Major Evans Carlson as an expression of combined spirit for his 2nd Marine Raider Battalion during WWII. From there it spread throughout the Marine Corps and back to America where it persists to this day.

58. Form letters? : IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) came into being during the Civil War, to raise money to pay for war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, taxation was limited to levies on trade and property.

Black 4-Port High Speed USB 2.0 Hub59. Kind of port : USB
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect, and communicate and deal with electrical power through those connections.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Took off : ROSE
5. Princess in a Nintendo game series : ZELDA
10. Ones trying to increase circulation, for short? : EMTS
14. So-called Family City U.S.A. : OREM
15. It might have an attachment : EMAIL
16. One who 26-Across : PEST
17. 3, 6, 11, 18, 27 ... : X-SQUARED PLUS TWO
20. "Caught ___!" : YOU
21. Ship's doctor, in slang : BONES
22. Joint U.S./Canada military org. : NORAD
23. Journalist on a mission? : EMBED
25. Jacket part : LINING
26. Bugs : ANNOYS
28. Some chip dip, informally : GUAC
30. Small, low island : CAY
31. Totally baked : LOCO
32. Casting director? : FISHER
34. 4, 2, 4/3, 1, 4/5 ... : TWENTY OVER FIVE-X
40. Supports, with "up" : SHORES
41. Part of a slalom run : GATE
42. Lens holder, for short : CAM
45. Setting for Genesis 2:8-25 : EDEN
46. Scoffed : JEERED
48. Aladdin's home : ARABIA
50. Pop's ___ Vanilli : MILLI
51. Isn't lazy, say : TRIES
52. Gem : STONE
54. Alias : AKA
57. 8, 1, -18, -55, -116 ... : NINE MINUS X-CUBED
60. First major publisher of board games in the U.S. : IVES
61. Instruction sometimes followed by "repeat" : RINSE
62. Vehicle for Calvin and Hobbes : SLED
63. Smart : PERT
64. Neuters : SPAYS
65. Uncle ___ : BEN’S

1. Classic theater name : ROXY
2. Thereabouts : OR SO
3. Any of the clues for 17-, 34- or 57-Across : SEQUENCE
4. Bird whose name is a Midwest school's initials : EMU
5. Complete losers : ZEROES
6. Improve : EMEND
7. Put on : LADE
8. Uncool sorts : DIPS
9. "___ right" : ALL
10. Printer brand : EPSON
11. Standard of assessment : METRIC
12. A language of South Africa : TSWANA
13. Fuddy-duddy : STODGY
18. Apt name for a nun? : ABBY
19. Org. that won the 1965 Nobel Peace Prize : UNICEF
24. Hindsights? : MOONS
25. "The Wizard Of Oz" co-star : LAHR
26. ___-rock : ALT
27. The time for action, often : NOW
28. Presumption, in math : GIVEN
29. Inhales, perhaps : USES
32. Front for "front" : FORE
33. Brightest star in Orion : RIGEL
35. Belief in something bigger than oneself : THEISM
36. Speaker of "Luke, when gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be" : YODA
37. In the answers to 17-, 34- and 57-Across, it was replaced in turn by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... : VARIABLE
38. Common French word with two accents : ETE
39. Signed as an illiterate would : XED
42. Cause of feline friskiness : CATNIP
43. Show up : ARRIVE
44. Down East native : MAINER
46. Some spellings? : JINXES
47. Monopoly util. : ELEC
49. Ending with wilde- or harte- : BEEST
50. Old-fashioned : MOSSY
52. Do some barbering : SNIP
53. ___ salad : TUNA
55. Gung-ho : KEEN
56. Contributes : ADDS
58. Form letters? : IRS
59. Kind of port : USB

Return to top of page


Greg P. said...

Alt-rock would include bands like Green Day, R.E.M., and the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

Bill Butler said...

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the info, about alt-rock. Sadly, knowing that the list of alt-rock bands includes Green Day, R.E.M. and Red Hot Chili Peppers doesn't help me much, because I don't think I've ever heard any of their music (never ever heard of Green Day). Like I said, a real fuddy-duddy!

Going to have to wake up before it's too late!

Thanks again for stopping by, Greg, and offering an old man a hand :)

Unknown said...

enjoy your commentary on 0811. I do the NYX xwd on paper in Seattle and we just get it today. I blew the middle (angler / ante) UNICEF/UNESCO also failed me so I sought shelter in your site. I'm forwarding your comment on catnip to a friend. Thnx. And I'm 63 (how'd that happen?) GD, REM, RHCP etal are worth a listen. Green Day's "American Idiot" is on Broadway so alt-rock is also pop money. Wake me when september's over.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there in Seattle,

Glad you were able to find a little "shelter" here on the blog :)

My hat's off to you keeping up with the alt-rock scene. You must have more energy than me. Maybe I need to work on my blood sugar levels :)

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's nice to know that someone's out there reading the drivel I write up every evening! :)

Adsense Wide Skyscraper

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

Blog Archive