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0816-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 16 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: HIDDEN TEXT … each of the theme answers contains some HIDDEN characters that have been circled, characters that make up abbreviated phrases commonly used in TEXT messaging:
18A. Be rewarded for a pious life, as the devout believe : G(O TO H)EAVEN (On The Other Hand = OTOH)
23A. Stereotypical sitcom greeting : HONEY (I’M HO)ME (In My Humble Opinion = IMHO)
36A. Castle on the Thames : TOWE(R OF L)ONDON (Rolling On Floor Laughing = ROFL)
52A. Pet store purchase : KI(TTY L)ITTER (Talk To You Later = TTYL)
57A. Invisible writing on a computer screen ... or a component of 18-, 23-, 36- and 52-Across? : HIDDEN TEXT

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Apple iMac MC309LL/A 21.5-Inch Desktop5. Big Apple? : IMAC
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple, introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is its "all-in-one" design, with the computer console and monitor integrated.

The Struggle and the Triumph: An Autobiography14. Poland's Walesa : LECH
Lech Walesa used to be an electrician in the Gdansk Shipyards in Poland. He was active in the trade union movement in the days when unions were not welcome behind the Iron Curtain. His efforts resulted in the founding of Solidarity, the first independent trade union in Soviet-controlled territory. For his work, Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and in 1990 he became the first democratically elected President of Poland. He has lost support in Poland in recent years, but he is a very popular booking on the international speaking circuit.

29. U.F.O. crew : ETS
In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reports of UFO sightings, in a program called Project Blue Book. There were two prior USAF studies of the UFO phenomenon, namely Project Sign and Project Grudge. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969 after concluding that there was no threat to national security as there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.

30. Roman "I" : EGO
"Ego" is another word for "the self", and is used to distinguish oneself from others and the world around one. In psychoanalysis, the ego is that division of the psyche that is most in touch with external reality, the part that is conscious. "Ego" is a Latin word meaning "I".

31. Satellite-based car option : XM RADIO
XM Satellite Radio used to be in competition with Sirius Satellite Radio but the FCC allowed the two companies to merge in 2008 forming Sirius XM Radio.

33. Former Japanese capital : KYOTO
The city of Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, and in fact the name “Kyoto” means “capital city” in Japanese.

Westland Giftware The Flintstones Magnetic Fred and Dino Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, 4-Inch35. "The Flintstones" pet : DINO
In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon "The Flintstones", Dino the pet dinosaur was voiced by the famous Mel Blanc, until Blanc passed away in 1989.

The Official Tower of London Guidebook (Official Guidebooks)36. Castle on the Thames : TOWER OF LONDON
The spectacular castle called the Tower of London sits right on the north bank of the River Thames in the center of London. The Tower dates back to the years just following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The victorious William the Conqueror built the Tower’s central keep (called the White Tower) in 1078. The Tower of London has been used for many purposes over the centuries, as a residence, a prison, and was even home to the Royal Mint. Famously it houses the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, and has done so since 1303.

42. Spanish finger food : TAPAS
"Tapa" is the Spanish word for "lid", and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer.

43. A girl was from there in a 1964 hit song : IPANEMA
Ipanema is a beach community in the south of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The name Ipanema is a local word meaning "bad water", signifying that the shore is bad for fishing. The beach became famous on release of the song "The Girl from Ipanema" written in 1965.

47. His big day is in June : DAD
Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the Bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

48. Rx watchdog : FDA
The Food and Drug Administration was in effect created by the Food and Drug Act signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol "Rx", used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter's blessing to help the patient recover.

57. Invisible writing on a computer screen ... or a component of 18-, 23-, 36- and 52-Across? : HIDDEN TEXT
Hidden text on a computer screen is very useful when blogging about crosswords. I use it everyday on my blog for the Irish Times crossword, hiding answers that can be revealed only by people that choose to do so. If you want to see hidden text in action, just highlight the line below this one!
This is hidden text!!

The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition)63. "Doe, ___ ..." : A DEER
The famous song that starts off with “Doe, a deer …” is a show tune from the 1959 musical “The Sound of Music”, by Rogers and Hammerstein. The correct name of the song is "Do-Re-Mi".

64. Les États-___ : UNIS
Les États-Unis, is what French speakers call the United States.

66. Chinese restaurant request : NO MSG
Monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring (and non-essential) amino acid, glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn't be in our food ...

67. Force unit : DYNE
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. "Erg" comes from the Greek word "ergon" meaning "work". A dyne is a unit of force. The name "dyne" comes from the Greek "dynamis" meaning "power, force". Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy need to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

68. Apt rhyme of "aahs" : SPAS
The word "spa" migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a health resort there. The name "Spa" comes from the Walloon word "espa" meaning "spring, fountain".

1. Overused expression : CLICHE
“Cliché” is a word that comes from the world of printing. In the days when type was added as individual letters into a printing plate, some oft-used phrases and words were created as one single slug of metal. The word “cliché” was used for these groupings of letters. It’s easy to see how the same word would become a term to describe any overused phrase or term. Supposedly, “cliché” comes from French, from “clicher” meaning “to click”. The idea is that when a matrix of letters was dropped in molten metal to make a cliché, it made a clicking sound.

George Clooney: A Biography3. "___ Eleven" : OCEAN’S
“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead.

Mao Zedong (Biography (a & E))6. Chinese chairman : MAO
Mao Zedong was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As he was the son of a peasant farmer his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsa, the provincial capital. In the years following he continued his education in Beijing, and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

8. Laundry brand : CLOROX
Clorox bleach was first produced by a business called the Electro-Alkaline Company in 1913, just a few miles from where I live here on the east side of San Francisco Bay. I use a generic version of Clorox as the source of chlorine for my swimming pool. It’s the same chemical solution as that sold for pools, just half as concentrated and a lot cheaper!

10. "Dies ___" : IRAE
"Dies Irae" is Latin for "Day of Wrath". It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, and is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

American Standard 2002.014.020 Champion-4 Right Height Elongated Two-Piece Toilet, White11. Restroom, informally : LAV
Our word “lavatory” originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s a lavatory was a washroom, in the 1920s a toilet.

When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term water closet was used because in the 1800s when people began to install toilets indoors they often displaced clothes in a "closet", as a closet was just the right size to take the commode.

Mia Hamm (Sports Heroes)19. Soccer great Mia : HAMM
Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player, a forward who played in the US national team that won the FIFA women's World Cup in 1991. Mia Hamm is quite the player and has scored 158 international goals, more than other player in the world, male or female.

21. "Balderdash!" : MY EYE
"Balderdash" is a senseless jumble of words, and was originally (back before the late 1600s) a jumbled mix of liquids (like maybe beer and wine, or even beer and milk!).

Vanity Fair Igor Sikorsky Entering a Plane Photograph, Framed Print (18x24-inch)24. Inventor Sikorsky : IGOR
Igor Sikorsky was a Russian pioneer in the world of aviation. He designed and indeed piloted the world’s first multi-engine, fixed-wing aircraft in 1913. He moved to the US in 1919 and set up his own aircraft manufacturing business. In the thirties he made the magnificent flying boats that were used by Pan Am in their Clipper era. Sikorsky also developed the world’s first mass-produced helicopter, in 1942.

Mr. Moto Collection, Vol. 1 (Mr. Moto Takes A Chance / Mysterious Mr. Moto / Thank You Mr. Moto / Think Fast Mr. Moto) (4DVD)25. Mr. ___, Japanese sleuth : MOTO
The mysterious Mr. Moto is a Japanese secret agent who appears in six novels by American author, John P. Marquand. In the movies, Mr. Moto was famously played by Peter Lorre in a series of eight films from the 1930s.

28. ___ Canals : SOO
In the summer of 2010 I spent a very interesting afternoon watching ships make their way through the Soo Locks and Soo Canal that allow ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great lakes. The name "Soo" comes from the US and Canadian cities on either side of the locks, both called Sault Ste. Marie.

Michelle Kwan: My Story - Heart Of A Champion33. Skater Michelle : KWAN
Michelle Kwan is perhaps the most successful American figure skater in history.

37. Muscat's land : OMAN
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The capital city of Muscat has a strategic location on the Gulf of Oman, and has a history of invasion and unrest. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody attack. The Portuguese held Muscat for much of the next century until finally ousted by local Omani forces in 1648. A Yemeni tribe invaded the area in 1741 and set up a monarchy that has been in place ever since.

Lady and the Tramp [VHS]38. Disney dog : LADY
"Lady and the Tramp" is a classic animated feature from Walt Disney, released in 1955. Who can forget the scene where the Tramp and Lady are "on a date" and eat that one strand of spaghetti? So cute!

39. Memorable 1995 hurricane with a gem of a name? : OPAL
Hurricane Opal was a Category 4 hurricane that inflicted severe damage in 1995, causing devastating flooding in Florida and Alabama, as well as in Guatemala and Mexico. 50 deaths in Central America and 13 deaths in the United States were attributed to the storm. The hurricane was so significant that the name “Opal” was retired in 1996.

40. Low point : NADIR
The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

41. Cambridge univ. : MIT
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology moved into its magnificent mile-long campus on the Cambridge side of the Charles River in 1906. The campus was built largely with funds donated by George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.

ANITA EKBERG 11X14 PHOTO44. Anita of "La Dolce Vita" : EKBERG
Anita Ekberg is a Swedish model and actress, famous for her role on the big screen in the 1960 Fellini classic, "La Dolce Vita

45. Appearance : MIEN
One's mien is one's bearing or manner. Mien shares the same etymological root as our word "demeanor".

46. Available for breeding : AT STUD
The word "stud", meaning "a male horse kept for breeding", is derived from the Old English word "stod" which described a whole herd of horses.

F Troop: The Complete Second Season48. Farcical 1960s sitcom with the Indian character Roaring Chicken : F TROOP
Relatively few people outside of the US saw the American sitcom “F Troop”, which was made in the sixties. I remember watching the show as a young lad because it was picked up by the Irish national television service. The only other country that showed “F Troop” was Australia.

MARINA SIRTIS 16X20 COLOR PHOTO49. Troi on "Star Trek: T.N.G." : DEANNA
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.

Photo James Arness Star of TV Show Gunsmoke50. "Gunsmoke" star James : ARNESS
James Arness played the role of Matt Dillon, Marshall of Dodge City, on "Gunsmoke" for twenty years. If you count the occasions when he reprised the role for specials, he actually performed as Matt Dillon over five decades. And, did you know that Peter Graves, the actor who played Jim Phelps on "Mission: Impossible", his real name was Peter Arness? He and James were brothers.

57. Solo of "Star Wars" : HAN
Han Solo was the space smuggler in "Star Wars" played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for "Star Wars", and over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

59. Those people, in Brooklyn : DEM
The New York dialect of English is sometimes called Brooklynese, I believe.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Cut down, as a photo : CROP
5. Big Apple? : IMAC
9. Like many bathroom floors : TILED
14. Poland's Walesa : LECH
15. It gets hammered : NAIL
16. Rub out : ERASE
17. Brainstorm : IDEA
18. Be rewarded for a pious life, as the devout believe : GO TO HEAVEN
20. Abyss : CHASM
22. Shipping container : CRATE
23. Stereotypical sitcom greeting : HONEY I’M HOME
26. Hypotheticals : IFS
29. U.F.O. crew : ETS
30. Roman "I" : EGO
31. Satellite-based car option : XM RADIO
33. Former Japanese capital : KYOTO
35. "The Flintstones" pet : DINO
36. Castle on the Thames : TOWER OF LONDON
41. Doll call : MAMA
42. Spanish finger food : TAPAS
43. A girl was from there in a 1964 hit song : IPANEMA
47. His big day is in June : DAD
48. Rx watchdog : FDA
51. Finger count : TEN
52. Pet store purchase : KITTY LITTER
55. Big, big, big : OBESE
56. Aired again : RERAN
57. Invisible writing on a computer screen ... or a component of 18-, 23-, 36- and 52-Across? : HIDDEN TEXT
62. All's counterpart : NONE
63. "Doe, ___ ..." : A DEER
64. Les États-___ : UNIS
65. Puts on : DONS
66. Chinese restaurant request : NO MSG
67. Force unit : DYNE
68. Apt rhyme of "aahs" : SPAS

1. Overused expression : CLICHE
2. In very high demand : RED HOT
3. "___ Eleven" : OCEAN’S
4. Developmental period : PHASE
5. Suffix with seem or teem : -ING
6. Chinese chairman : MAO
7. Gee follower : AITCH
8. Laundry brand : CLOROX
9. Be on the brink of toppling : TEETER
10. "Dies ___" : IRAE
11. Restroom, informally : LAV
12. WNW's opposite : ESE
13. Room for trophies, maybe : DEN
19. Soccer great Mia : HAMM
21. "Balderdash!" : MY EYE
24. Inventor Sikorsky : IGOR
25. Mr. ___, Japanese sleuth : MOTO
26. Peculiar: Prefix : IDIO-
27. Neighbor of a Swede : FINN
28. ___ Canals : SOO
32. Tacks on : ADDS
33. Skater Michelle : KWAN
34. Frequently, to a bard : OFT
36. Mending aid : TAPE
37. Muscat's land : OMAN
38. Disney dog : LADY
39. Memorable 1995 hurricane with a gem of a name? : OPAL
40. Low point : NADIR
41. Cambridge univ. : MIT
44. Anita of "La Dolce Vita" : EKBERG
45. Appearance : MIEN
46. Available for breeding : AT STUD
48. Farcical 1960s sitcom with the Indian character Roaring Chicken : F TROOP
49. Troi on "Star Trek: T.N.G." : DEANNA
50. "Gunsmoke" star James : ARNESS
53. Minuscule : TEENY
54. Minds, as a fire : TENDS
55. Laudatory poems : ODES
57. Solo of "Star Wars" : HAN
58. Vow at an altar : I DO
59. Those people, in Brooklyn : DEM
60. Mark, as a ballot : X IN
61. Syllable after 6-Down : TSE

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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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