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0827-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Aug 11, Saturday

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


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. It may be seen in a 3-Down picture : SEXCAPADE
A sexual escapade; a “sexcapade”.

16. Lowest deck on a ship : ORLOP
The orlop is the lowest deck on the ship, the place where cables and ropes used to be stored. The name “orlop” comes from the Dutch word “overlopen” meaning “to run over”. The idea is that all these ropes "ran over" each other while in storage.

20. Google rival : BING
Bing is the search engine from Microsoft. Bing is the latest name for the the engine that used to be called Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search.

21. Scriveners : PENMEN
A scrivener is a professional writer, perhaps a copyist. Our words “scrivener” and “scribe” come from the same Latin roots.

22. Yesterday, to Yvette : HIER
“Hier” is the French for “yesterday”.

JIM NABORS 20X24 COLOR PHOTO24. "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." star : NABORS
Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffth and brought onto "The Andy Griffith Show" as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Of course, Nabors then got his own show, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."

Railroad Ties - 10x10 Iron On Heat Transfer For White Material26. Their lines have ties: Abbr. : RRS
Railroad ties are usually wooden, oblong members used to support and maintain the separation between the rails. Over in Europe we call ties “sleepers”, which I think is a much more colorful term!

29. "Le Roi d'Ys" composer : LALO
“Le Roi d’Ys” (“The King of Ys”) is an opera by the French composer Édouard Lalo, with a libretto by Édouard Blau. The storyline is based on an old Breton legend about Ys, a drowned city.

35. Hedonist's opposite : ASCETIC
A hedonist is someone who seeks to maximise the amount of pleasure in his or her life. “Hedone” is the Greek word for “pleasure”.

FDR42. W.W. II agcy. : OPA
President Franklin D. Roosevelt set up the Office of Price Administration (OPA) during WWII, with the intent of stabilizing prices and rents during the emergency.

50. Offensive time? : TET
The Viet Cong was the name of the political and military organization based in South Vietnam that fought the US and South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War. It was the Viet Cong, as opposed to the North Vietnamese, who launched the famous Tet Offensive in 1968.

Taipei 101 Skyscraper Building In Taiwan 3 D Puzzle Mode51. City that lost its "tallest building" distinction in 2007 : TAIPEI
The building known as Taipei 101, in the capital of Taiwan, is so-called because it has 101 floors. It was the tallest skyscraper in the world from 2004 until 2010 when the Burj Khalifa was completed in Dubai.

53. Not apart, in scores : A DUE
“A due” is a musical term meaning "together", and literally translates from Italian as "by two".

54. Club alternative : REUBEN
There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, a German-Jew who owned Reuben's Deli in New York.

56. ID figures : SSNS
The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, the SSN is looking more and more like an "universal identity number". The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. The IRS suspected that a lot of people were claiming children who did not exist as dependents on their tax forms, so from 1986 onwards it was a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the ago of 5. Sure enough, in the following year's tax returns, seven million dependents "disappeared".

58. ID issuer : DMV
In most states, the government agency responsible for vehicle registration and the issuing of drivers licenses is called the DMV, which usually stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles, but there are "variations on the theme". For example, in Arizona the responsible agency is called the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and in Colorado the familiar acronym DMV stands for "Division" of Motor Vehicles.

Selma's Bloody Sunday (We the People (Compass Point Books Hardcover))64. Bloody Sunday march site : SELMA
The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on March 7, 1965. The 600 marchers were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans trying to register to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day.

1. "The tenth Muse," per Plato : SAPPHO
Plato wrote the following lines:
"Some say the Muses are nine: how careless!
Look, there's Sappho too, from Lesbos, the tenth."
Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet born on the Greek island of Lesbos, She was much admired for her work, although very little of it survives today. Sappho was renowned for writing erotic and romantic verse that dealt with the love of women as well as men. It was because of this poetry that the word “lesbian” (someone from Lesbos) is used to describe a gay woman.

Evil Eclairs: A Donut Shop Mystery (Donut Shop Mysteries)2. Oblong temptation : ECLAIR
The name for the pastry known as an éclair is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious “temptation”.

5. Quatrain scheme : ABAB
A quatrain is a group of four lines of poetry.

America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag6. Author of "America by Heart" : PALIN
When John McCain selected Sarah Palin as candidate for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she became the first Alaskan to go on the national ticket for a major party. She also became the first woman nominated for Vice President by the Republicans.

7. Missing a key? : ATONAL
Atonal music is not written in any particular key, and therefore does not have a key signature.

The word “dingbat” has been used to mean a “fool” since the early 1900s. It became very popular after it was used repeatedly by Archie Bunker in the seventies TV show “All in the Family”.

9. Lines coming from the heart, briefly? : ECG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram, a brain scan.

20th Century Boy: The Ultimate Collection12. 1970s music genre : GLAM ROCK
I remember the days of glam rock so well, as it was a hugely popular genre of music in the British Isles during the early seventies. Artistes wore the wildest of clothes, big hair, shiny outfits and really high platform boots. Names associated with glam rock are T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter.

13. What the Faroe Islands were granted in 1948 : HOME RULE
The Faroes are a group of islands lying halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are part of the Kingdom of Denmark and were granted the power of self-governance in 1948.

21. "Now!" : PRONTO
The Spanish, Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

32. Magick worker : WICCAN
“Magick” is an old variant spelling of “magic” that was used back in the 1600s, and these days is associated with Wiccan beliefs.

Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon, a Neopagan religion that developed in the twentieth century. A follower of Wicca is called a Wiccan or a Witch.

34. It causes lights to go out : TAPS
"Taps" is played nightly by the US military, indicating "lights out". It's also known as "Butterfield's Lullaby" as it is a variation of an older bugle call named the "Scott Tattoo", arranged during the Civil War by the Union Army's Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield. The tune is called "taps", from the notion of drum taps, as it was originally played on a drum, and only later adapted for the bugle.

Smoked: Why Joe Camel is Still Smiling (The Read & Resist Series)35. Camels' resting places : ASHTRAYS
The advertising mascot for Camel cigarettes was officially known as "Old Joe", but was popularly known as "Joe Camel". Joe originated in the seventies, in an advertising campaign that ran only in Europe where sometimes he was depicted wearing a French Foreign Legion cap. He was imported to the US in 1988 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Camel brand. The big controversy surrounding the use of the camel character was that a 1991 study found that 5-6 year old children could recognize Joe Camel more readily than either Mickey Mouse or Fred Flintstone. Also, soon after Old Joe was introduced in the US, the Camel brand's share of the illegal market to underage smokers went up from 1% to just under 33%.

Quickie Mfg Home Pro Shwr Squeegee 313-3/72 Squeegees Window36. Sponge alternative : SQUEEGEE
The first squeegee was known as a “squilgee”, and was used to wash fish blood and scales off the decks of fishing vessels.

38. Title locale in a 1998 Notorious B.I.G. hit : CALI
“Going Back to Cali” is a 1997 song by the rap artist known as the Notorious B.I.G.

Hypnotize [Explicit]41. The Notorious B.I.G., e.g. : RAP STAR
The Notorious B.I.G. was the stage name of rap star Christopher Wallace. While at the height of his fame Wallace was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, a murder case that has never been solved. There is 2009 biopic, called "Notorious", about Wallace's life starring fellow rap artist Jamal Woolard (aka Gravy) in the title role.

45. Tabloid nickname : NESSIE
The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings were reported that year. They don't seem to have stopped since, with photographs really helping to capture the interest of the public at large.

47. Ripley's love : ODDITY
Norbert Pearlroth was a native of Poland who arrived in America in 1920. He took a job with Robert Ripley as a linguist, as Pearlroth knew eleven languages. He set about researching foreign papers and other publications locating material for Ripley’s “Believe It or Not!” pictorial panel that was widely syndicated in newspapers. Pearlroth worked almost exclusively in New York Public Library, ten hours a day, six days a week, for 52 years. The library estimates that he examined about 7,000 books a year, and over 350,000 books in his time working for Ripley, believe it or not …

Lovergirl51. Singer ___ Marie : TEENA
Teena Marie is very successful R&B singer, born Mary Christina Brockert.

52. Fireplace : INGLE
An ingle is a name for a hearth or fireplace. The word "ingle" probably comes from the Scottish word "aingeal" meaning "fire".

55. Shoulder : BERM
A berm is narrow ledge, usually at the top or bottom of a slope. The name “berm” is also used as the shoulder of a road in some parts of the United States.

Beethoven (Master Musicians (Paperback Oxford))60. Like Beethoven's Sixth : IN F
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 is also known as the Pastoral Symphony.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. It may be seen in a 3-Down picture : SEXCAPADE
10. Times up? : HIGHS
15. Like bending over backward : ACROBATIC
16. Lowest deck on a ship : ORLOP
17. Feign concurrence : PLAY ALONG
18. Words of concurrence : SO AM I
19. Bit of consolation : PAT
20. Google rival : BING
21. Scriveners : PENMEN
22. Yesterday, to Yvette : HIER
24. "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." star : NABORS
26. Their lines have ties: Abbr. : RRS
27. It's taken while waiting : ORDER
29. "Le Roi d'Ys" composer : LALO
30. Lumpkin : LOUT
31. Bible supporter, often : PEW
33. One may be suckered : TENTACLE
35. Hedonist's opposite : ASCETIC
39. Unwanted tail? : STALKER
40. Black-and-white : SQUAD CAR
42. W.W. II agcy. : OPA
43. Bottom of the ocean? : HULL
44. Group sharing a coat of arms : CLAN
46. Feeds on the farm, maybe : SLOPS
50. Offensive time? : TET
51. City that lost its "tallest building" distinction in 2007 : TAIPEI
53. Not apart, in scores : A DUE
54. Club alternative : REUBEN
56. ID figures : SSNS
58. ID issuer : DMV
59. Match : AGREE
60. "Let's roll!" : IT’S GO TIME
62. Long : YEARN
63. Very close game, e.g. : NAIL-BITER
64. Bloody Sunday march site : SELMA
65. Like some skiing and swimming : FREESTYLE

1. "The tenth Muse," per Plato : SAPPHO
2. Oblong temptation : ECLAIR
3. Beyond suggestive : X-RATED
4. Far from forward : COY
5. Quatrain scheme : ABAB
6. Author of "America by Heart" : PALIN
7. Missing a key? : ATONAL
8. Dope : DINGBAT
9. Lines coming from the heart, briefly? : ECG
10. Gardeners' aids : HOSES
11. One letting off steam : IRON
12. 1970s music genre : GLAM ROCK
13. What the Faroe Islands were granted in 1948 : HOME RULE
14. Frumpy loner, stereotypically : SPINSTER
21. "Now!" : PRONTO
23. Undo : REPEAL
25. Accented cries : OLES
28. Out of practice?: Abbr. : RETD
30. Line forgetter's substitute : LA LA LA
32. Magick worker : WICCAN
34. It causes lights to go out : TAPS
35. Camels' resting places : ASHTRAYS
36. Sponge alternative : SQUEEGEE
37. Kind of awareness : CULTURAL
38. Title locale in a 1998 Notorious B.I.G. hit : CALI
41. The Notorious B.I.G., e.g. : RAP STAR
45. Tabloid nickname : NESSIE
47. Ripley's love : ODDITY
48. Pound : PUMMEL
49. Very bad : SEVERE
51. Singer ___ Marie : TEENA
52. Fireplace : INGLE
55. Shoulder : BERM
57. Displays disconsolation : SOBS
60. Like Beethoven's Sixth : IN F
61. Black-throated ___ : TIT

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Fishmael said...

Referring to #55 down: "berm". It seems that most dictionaries do not really recognize the dominant use of this term (at least to my knowledge). Rather than the flat space, between a ditch and the ridge of excavated dirt that was removed, the berm now is used to refer to the ridge of dirt. [See the examples given at "Wordnik":]

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Fishmael.

"Berm" is a term that I've always considered to be somewhat "quaint" (rightly or wrongly). I was in the construction business for a few years, and used to come across it at various times, but always to describe a bank of earth.

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

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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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