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0817-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 11, Wednesday

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

THEME: Look Closer … at first glance each of the themed clues is a famous name. Looking closer, the clue is pointing to a pair of items, and gives the first letter of each of those items:
20A. M/C Hammer? : MALLET OR CLAW (MC Hammer: mallet or claw hammer)
39A. W/C Fields? : WRIGLEY AND COORS (W.C. Fields: Wrigley Field and Coors Field)
58A. L/L Bean? : LIMA OR LENTIL (L.L.Bean: lima bean or lentil)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. "Big Brother" host Julie : CHEN
As well as co-anchoring "The Early Show", Julie Chen has been host of the American version of "Big Brother" since it graced our screens in thee year 2000.

Milky Way Candy Bar, 2.05-Ounce Bars (Pack of 36)5. Milky Way maker : MARS
Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, I find the Mars Bar to be the most perplexing of candies! The original Mars Bar is a British confection (and delicious) first manufactured in 1932. The US version of the original Mars Bar is called a Milky Way. But there is candy bar called a Milky Way that is also produced in the UK, and it is completely different to its US cousin, and is more like an American "3 Musketeers". And then there is an American confection called a Mars Bar, something different again. No wonder I gave up eating candy bars ...

14. "The Godfather" score composer Nino : ROTA
Nino Rota was a 20th century Italian composer, best known for composing film scores. He was very productive, composing an average of three scores per year for 46 years, including an incredible 13 scores in 1954. He won a Best Original Score Oscar in 1974 for "The Godfather Part II".

1931 Ad Bristol-Myers Ipana Tooth Paste Dentist Ziratol - Original Print Ad16. Toothpaste brand once advertised with Bucky Beaver : IPANA
Ipana toothpaste was introduced in 1915, and was at the height of its popularity in the forties and fifties. Sales declined in the sixties and the product was withdrawn from the US market in the seventies. Bucky the Beaver was the "spokesman" for Ipana. Bucky Beaver's slogan was "Brusha... Brusha... Brusha. Get the New Ipana - it's dandy for your teeth!"

18. Org. with Spartans and Trojans : NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When President Roosevelt's son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions, leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906 with the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS evolved into the NCAA in 1910.

19. Drug that treats panic attacks : XANAX
Xanax is a brand name of the antianxiety drug alprazolam. Xanax is one of the most commonly misused prescription drugs in the US, with wide acceptance in the illegal, recreational drug market.

U Can't Touch This20. M/C Hammer? : MALLET OR CLAW
Rapper MC Hammer (aka Hammer and Hammertime) was born Stanley Kirk Burrell, and was very popular in the 80s and 90s. Being around that early, MC Hammer is considered to be one of the forefathers of rap. Nowadays, MC Hammer is a preacher, and uses the initials MC to stand for "Man of Christ".

23. Verdi's "___ tu" : ERI
The aria "Eri tu" is from Verdi's opera "Un ballo in maschera" (A Masked Ball). It tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

29. Closing bid? : ADIEU
"Adieu" is the French for "goodbye", or "farewell", from "à Dieu" meaning "to God".

31. Suspense novelist Hoag : TAMI
Tami Hoag is a novelist best known for writing romances and thrillers. She is a prolific writer and once had five consecutive titles on the New York Times bestsellers list, all in a 20-month period.

33. ___ de guerre : NOM
"Nom de guerre" is a French term meaning "name of war". It describes the practice of adopting a pseudonym when in a conflict, perhaps to protect family or to symbolize a separation between one's life in the military and as a civilian. The term originates with the French Foreign Legion, where recruits routinely adopted noms de guerre as they broke with their past lives and started afresh.

34. Literally, "reign" in Hindi : RAJ
The period of colonial rule by the British in South Asia from 1858 to 1947 is referred to as the British Raj. Prior to 1858, the area was ruled by a private enterprise, the British East India Company. “Raj” is the Hindi word for “reign”.

Periodic Table of the Elements White Scientific Chart Poster Print - 18x2436. Like Mendeleev's table : PERIODIC
Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When he classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table, that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Appropriately enough, element number 101, mendelevium, was named after Mendeleev.

Photo W C Fields Smoking a Cigar39. W/C Fields? : WRIGLEY AND COORS
W. C. Fields worked hard to develop the on-screen image of a pretty grumpy old man. In his real life he was fairly grumpy too, and fond of protecting his privacy. He was famous for hiding in the shrubs around his house in Los Angeles and firing a BB gun at the legs of tourists who intruded on his property. Also, Fields often played the drunk on-screen. In real life, Fields didn't touch alcohol at all when he was younger, partly because he didn't want to do anything to impair his skill as a juggler. But later in life he took to heavy drinking, so much so that it affected his health and interfered with his ability to perform.

43. Former Ford minivan : AEROSTAR
The Aerostar was the first minivan released by the Ford Motor Company, and was produced from 1986 to 1997.

58. L/L Bean? : LIMA OR LENTIL
L.L.Bean (note the lack of spaces in the name) was founded back in 1912 as a company selling its own line of waterproof boots. The founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, gave his name to the enterprise. Right from the start, L.L.Bean focused on mail-order and sold from a circular he distributed and then from a catalog. Defects in the initial design led to 90% of the first boots sold being returned, and the company made good on its guarantee to replace them or give back the money paid.

Robert Browning - Poems65. "___ be in England": Browning : OH TO
Robert Browning met Elizabeth Barrett in 1845. Elizabeth was a sickly woman, confined to her parents’ house in Wimpole Street in London, largely due to the conservative, protective nature of her father. The two eventually eloped in 1846, and lived in self-inflicted exile in Italy. Away from the country of his birth, Browning was moved to write his now famous "Home Thoughts, From Abroad", the first line of which is "Oh, to be in England ..."

Abraham Abe Beame Mayor New York Signed Autograph Photo - Autographed College Photos66. Big Apple mayor before Koch : BEAME
Abraham Beame was mayor of New York City from 1974-1977. Beame was actually born in London, England but grew up in New York. His term as mayor was a rough one, as the main focus back then was staving off bankruptcy for the city.

71. Brouhahas : ADOS
"Brouhaha" was a French word that meant back in the 1550s "the cry of the devil disguised as clergy" . Wow ...

1. Yalta's locale : CRIMEA
Considering that the Crimea was the site of the Charge of the Light Brigade as well as the Yalta conference towards the end of World War II, I am ashamed to say that I could not pinpoint the Crimea on a map. I’m even more ashamed to say that I didn’t realize it is an extremely distinctively shaped peninsula, lying south of the Ukraine and jutting into the Black Sea. Well, now I know …

The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 1: 1934-19362. Stooge surname : HOWARD
If you've seen a few of the films starring "The Three Stooges" you'll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as "Moe, Larry and Shemp". Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, "Moe, Larry And Curly". Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then "Curly-Joe" DeRita. When Larry had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

3. List ender : ET ALII
Et alii is the equivalent of et cetera, with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names.

My Life and the Beautiful Game: The Autobiography of Soccer's Greatest Star4. Pelé's org. : NASL
The North American Soccer League (NASL) was formed in 1968, a merger of two competing leagues. The NASL operated until 1984. A new soccer league with the same name has been operating since April 2011.

Pelé is the nickname of Edison de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name Pelé for most of his life. He is now retired, and for my money was the world's greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads. Pelé is a national treasure in his native Brazil.

5. Powerful ray : MANTA
The manta ray is the biggest species of ray, with the largest one recorded at over 25 feet across and weighing 5,100 pounds.

Up (Single-Disc Edition)9. Studio behind "Up" and "Wall-E" : PIXAR
"Up" is the tenth movie released by Pixar studios, featuring wonderful animation as we have come to expect from Pixar. It earned itself two Academy Awards. The main voice actor is Ed Asner, whose animated persona as Carl Fredricksen was created to resemble Spencer Tracy in his last film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.

Disney Pixar WALL-E Movie Figure Old WALL*E"WALL-E" is a very cute, Pixar movie, released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot called WALL-E, who loves his "Hello Dolly", and who falls in love with another robot called EVE.

Pixar Animation Studios started out as part of Lucasfilm in 1979, George Lucas’s production company. Lucas sold what was to become Pixar to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 1986. Pixar produced its first feature film in 1995, the fabulous “Toy Story”, and followed it with a string of hits. The company was then sold to Walt Disney in 2006, when valued at $7.4 billion. That transaction resulted in Steve Jobs becoming the single largest shareholder in the Walt Disney Company.

11. Chinese dynasty name : HAN
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China and lasted from 206 BC to 220 AD. It came after the Qin Dynasty, and before the Three Kingdoms.

12. Santa ___ winds : ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California, taking its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city. The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because they are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and basically "falls" down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up, so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

22. Scottish landowners : LAIRDS
“Laird” is just the word “lord” in local English dialect in Scotland and the north of England.

26. Intro to Chinese? : INDO-
In the strict sense of the term, Indochina is a region in Southeast Asia that corresponds to the former French territory known as French Indochina. Today this region is made up of the countries of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. However, the term “Indochina” is sometimes used more generally to describe Mainland Southeast Asia, and in this usage it includes Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

27. Film ___ : NOIR
The expression "film noir" has French origins, but only in that it was "created" by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning "black film" in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot, with a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be the movies "The Big Sleep" and "D.O.A".

28. Yukons, e.g. : GMCS
The GMC Yukon is basically the same vehicle as the Chevrolet Tahoe.

30. Hence : ERGO
"Ergo" is the Latin word for "hence, therefore".

35. Tea in Boston Harbor, once : JETSAM
Flotsam and jetsam are both terms used to describe “garbage” in the ocean. Flotsam is floating wreckage from a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is similar to flotsam, except that it is part of a ship or cargo that is deliberately cast overboard, perhaps to lighten a vessel.

Club Pack of 36 Winter White Shatterproof Icicle Christmas Ornaments 5"37. Yule decoration : ICICLE
"Yule" celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words "Christmas" and "yule" have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name "yule" comes from the Old Norse word "jol" that was used to describe the festival.

Oona Chaplin (French Edition)38. A Chaplin : OONA
Oona O'Neill dated J. D. Salinger and Orson Welles in her teens, but ended up marrying Charlie Chaplin. She was still pretty young when she married Chaplin, much to the dismay of her famous father, the playwright Eugene O'Neill. After the marriage, Eugene disowned Oona as he was pretty upset about 54-year-old Chaplin marrying his 18-year-old daughter.

Signed Russo, Rene 8x10 Photo40. Russo of film : RENE
The lovely and very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. She went to high school with actor/director Ron Howard, but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen she was given the opportunity to train as a model, and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, she made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as she is one of my favorite actresses …

41. "Of wrath," in a hymn title : 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.

42. Sail supports : YARDARMS
Yards are the horizontal spars that are attached to a mast and used to support square sails on older sailing vessels. Each end of a yard is known as a yardarm.

L'eggs Sheer Energy Revitalizing Sheer Pantyhose, Sheer Panty Sheer Toe (60927), Off White B51. L'eggs wares : NYLONS
L'eggs is such a clever brand name, I think. L'eggs is a brand of pantyhose (L'eggs = legs), with its product sold, well it used to be, in egg-shaped containers (L'eggs = "the" eggs). The brand was introduced in 1969 and was an instant hit. The inventive marketing of L'eggs pantyhose led to a competitive response by Kayser-Roth who introduced the No Nonsense brand in 1973. The idea behind No Nonsense was that the packaging of L'eggs was just a gimmick, and here was a No Nonsense alternative. L'eggs won the battle though.

Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics54. First Catholic vice president of the U.S. : BIDEN
Vice President Joe Biden twice ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party’s nomination for US President (in 1988 and 2008), before finally joining the 2008 winning ticket alongside then-Senator Barack Obama. When Biden was sworn in as Vice President in January 2009 he became the first Roman Catholic to hold that office.

59. "An ill wind ..." instrument : OBOE
We’ve all probably heard the phrase “‘tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good”. How about the pun, “The oboe: an ill wind nobody blows good”?

60. Director Ephron : NORA
Nora Ephron has many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she writes, she also directs. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like "Sleepless in Seattle", "You've Got Mail" and most recently, the wonderful "Julie & Julia". And, did you know that Nora Ephron's second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame?

A Charge to Keep : My Journey to the White House61. Deg. held by George W. Bush : MBA
President George W. Bush graduated from Yale with an A.B. in history in 1968. He later earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. President Bush is the only person with an MBA to have held the nation's highest office.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. "Big Brother" host Julie : CHEN
5. Milky Way maker : MARS
9. "Oh, get off it!" : PSHAW
14. "The Godfather" score composer Nino : ROTA
15. Riding on : ATOP
16. Toothpaste brand once advertised with Bucky Beaver : IPANA
17. "___ framed!" : I WAS
18. Org. with Spartans and Trojans : NCAA
19. Drug that treats panic attacks : XANAX
20. M/C Hammer? : MALLET OR CLAW
23. Verdi's "___ tu" : ERI
24. ___ in queen : Q AS
25. Raking in : EARNING
29. Closing bid? : ADIEU
31. Suspense novelist Hoag : TAMI
33. ___ de guerre : NOM
34. Literally, "reign" in Hindi : RAJ
36. Like Mendeleev's table : PERIODIC
43. Former Ford minivan : AEROSTAR
44. Risk damnation : SIN
45. ___ tough spot : IN A
46. Mlle., across the Pyrenees : SRTA
48. Summer camp shelter : CABIN
52. Have the blahs : FEEL BAD
55. Emergency contact, often: Abbr. : REL
57. Whichever : ANY
58. L/L Bean? : LIMA OR LENTIL
61. "Oops!" : MY BAD
64. Sac flies produce them : RBIS
65. "___ be in England": Browning : OH TO
66. Big Apple mayor before Koch : BEAME
67. "Outta my way!" : MOVE
68. Jockey's handful : REIN
69. "You're killin' me!" : AW, MAN
70. Goes with : SEES
71. Brouhahas : ADOS

1. Yalta's locale : CRIMEA
2. Stooge surname : HOWARD
3. List ender : ET ALII
4. Pelé's org. : NASL
5. Powerful ray : MANTA
6. For neither profit nor loss : AT COST
7. Have a hearty laugh : ROAR
8. Sci-fi travelers : SPACEMEN
9. Studio behind "Up" and "Wall-E" : PIXAR
10. Engender : SPAWN
11. Chinese dynasty name : HAN
12. Santa ___ winds : ANA
13. You might put your stamp on it : WAX
21. Comes to : EQUALS
22. Scottish landowners : LAIRDS
26. Intro to Chinese? : INDO-
27. Film ___ : NOIR
28. Yukons, e.g. : GMCS
30. Hence : ERGO
32. Not connected : APART
35. Tea in Boston Harbor, once : JETSAM
37. Yule decoration : ICICLE
38. A Chaplin : OONA
39. Ragamuffin : WAIF
40. Russo of film : RENE
41. "Of wrath," in a hymn title : IRAE
42. Sail supports : YARDARMS
47. Hit it big : ARRIVE
49. Took a dip : BATHED
50. Ab ___ (from the start) : INITIO
51. L'eggs wares : NYLONS
53. Andean wool source : LLAMA
54. First Catholic vice president of the U.S. : BIDEN
56. Someone ___ (another's) : ELSE’S
59. "An ill wind ..." instrument : OBOE
60. Director Ephron : NORA
61. Deg. held by George W. Bush : MBA
62. Tree with cones : YEW
63. Kapow! : BAM

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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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