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Vacation Alert

I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0905-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Sep 11, Monday





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


CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Merrell
THEME: TVs … most of the theme answers are made up of two words, one ending in T and the other starting with V, so the theme answer has a TV “hidden” in it:
20A. Charleston is its capital : WEST VIRGINIA
31A. Trumpet's saliva-draining key : SPIT VALVE
48A. Not a unanimous ruling : SPLIT VOTE
60A. Swedish liquor with memorable ads : ABSOLUT VODKA
5D. Venomous snake : PIT VIPER
13D. Off-road transport, briefly : ATV
42D. Permit for leaving a country : EXIT VISA
63D. Appliances hidden in seven answers in this puzzle : TVS
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
Signed Wahlberg, Mark 8x10 Photo7. "Entourage" cable channel : HBO
I haven’t seen the HBO series “Entourage”, but will have to take a look one day as I am a huge fan of HBO productions. “Entourage” is the story of a young movie star from New York City learning about life in Los Angeles. The show is co-produced by the actor Mark Wahlberg and so the storyline is somewhat biographical, based on a few of Wahlberg’s own experiences.

Star Wars E3 BF49 YODA10. Talks like this in "Star Wars" films he does : YODA
Yoda is one of the most beloved characters in the "Star Wars" series of films. Yoda's voice was provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of "Muppets" fame.

15. Dada artist Jean : ARP
Hans Arp was a French artist, renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn't the only medium he used. He was the son of a French mother and German father, and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German, he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French, he called himself Jean Arp. Both "Hans" and "Jean" translate into English as "John". In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing in the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. He was sent home …

Merv Griffin: A Life in the Closet19. Griffin who created "Wheel of Fortune" : MERV
Merv Griffin was quite the entertainer, truly a mogul in the business. He started his career as a singer on the radio during the big band era. In the sixties he hosted his own talk show, and then famously developed such great game shows as “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”.

20. Charleston is its capital : WEST VIRGINIA
The state capitol of West Virginia is the city of Charleston. The city started out as the settlement of Fort Lee in 1787, founded by Colonel George Clendenin of the Virginia Rangers. It is speculated that the name change, first to Charles Town and then to Charleston, was in honor of Col. Clendenin’s father, whose name was Charles.

23. "All seats have been sold" sign : SRO
Standing Room Only.

24. First part of a ski jump : INRUN
In ski jumping, “inrun” is the name given to the long ramp down which skiers gather speed prior to making the jump.

25. Longest river in Deutschland : RHEIN
The river running through Germany that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German.

Kellogg's Rice Krispies Gluten Free Cereal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, 12-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4)29. ___, Crackle and Pop : SNAP
The three elves Snap, Crackle and Pop are the mascots for Kellogg's Rice Krispies. They first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase "snap, crackle and pop" had been used for the cereal before then in radio commercials. By the way, instead of Rice Krispies, the elves promote "Rice Bubbles" in Australia, and the elves are called "Cric!, Crac! and Croc! in Quebec.

Etude ETR-100 Series Student Bb Trumpet Lacquer31. Trumpet's saliva-draining key : SPIT VALVE
The spit valve is a tap on a musical instrument such as a trombone and trumpet, and is used to allow the drainage of accumulated fluid. It is more commonly known as the water key.

35. ___ Paulo, Brazil : SAO
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city streets.

Historic Print (L): Erle Stanley Gardner, 1889-197036. Perry Mason's field : LAW
I must have read all of the Perry Mason books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn't get into the profession the easy way. He went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

Mark Twain: A Life41. Samuel Langhorne ___ : CLEMENS
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was the real name of the author Mark Twain. Twain wasn’t the only pen name used by Clemens. Early in his career he signed some sketches as “Josh”, and signed some humorous letters that he wrote under the name “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass”. The name of Mark Twain came from the days when Clemens was working on riverboats on the Mississippi. A riverboatman would call out “by the mark twain” when measuring the depth of water. This meant that on the sounding line, according to the “mark” on the line, the depth was two (“twain”) fathoms, and so it was safe for the riverboat to proceed.

45. Author Asquith of children's books : ROS
Ros Asquith writes the "Teenage Worrier" books aimed at teens, as well as cartoons for "The Guardian" newspaper in the UK.

MARTY FELDMAN IGOR YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN 11X14 PHOTO52. Role in "Young Frankenstein" : IGOR
Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein, among others. He is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

Absolut: Biography of a Bottle60. Swedish liquor with memorable ads : ABSOLUT VODKA
I must admit, if I ever do order a vodka drink by name, I will order the Absolut brand. I must also admit that I do so from the perspective of an amateur photographer, because I've been swayed by the Absolut marketing campaign that features such outstanding photographic images. I'm sure you've come across examples ...

67. Jack the ___ : RIPPER
Jack the Ripper was one of the names given to a serial killer who terrorized the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The murders were particularly gruesome, and were all directed at female prostitutes that worked the area. The victims had their throats cut and then had their abdominal organs mutilated and sometimes removed. Eleven women were killed, and the murderer was never apprehended.

Viva Las Vegas (Deluxe Edition)68. Elvis's "___ Las Vegas" : VIVA
“Viva Las Vegas” is an Elvis Presley movie released in 1964, considered to be one of his best films. The good reception for the movie was at least in part due to the performance of the female lead, Ann-Margret.

Down
2. Focused-beam emitters : LASERS
The term “laser” comes from an acronym, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn't quite so appealing ... LOSER …

4. 32-card game : SKAT
When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. It originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular game in the country. I haven't played it in decades, but would love to play it again ...

Pit Vipers (Snakes Discovery Library)5. Venomous snake : PIT VIPER
Pit vipers are a subfamily of vipers, so called because they all possess "pits", deep depressions on either side of the head, between the nostril and the eye. These pits are openings to heat sensitive organs that give the snake an ability to detect a prey using its heat signature.

6. Oktoberfest vessel : STEIN
Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I've been there twice, and it really is a great party ...

Blue & White Yamaha Motorcycles Logo Belt Buckle10. Japanese motorcycle maker : YAMAHA
The Japanese company Yamaha started out way back in 1888 as a manufacturer of piano and reed organs. Even though the company has diversified since then, Yamaha's logo still reflects it musical roots. Even on Yamaha motorcycles you can see a logo made up of three intersecting tuning forks.

13. Off-road transport, briefly : ATV
An all terrain vehicle.

21. Four Monopoly properties: Abbr. : RRS
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.

Kup: A Man, an Era, a City22. Chicago columnist Kupcinet : IRV
Irv Kupcinet was a newspaper columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. He wrote "Kup's Column" for six decades starting in 1943. Kupcinet was also a broadcaster, and in 1957 replaced Jack Paar on what would eventually become "The Tonight Show".

26. Fashion magazine founded in France : ELLE
"Elle" magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the biggest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. "Elle" is the French word for "she".

Ivan the Terrible27. ___ the Terrible : IVAN
The Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan IV, became known as Ivan the Terrible. The name "terrible" is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is "Grozny", which is more akin to "strict" and "powerful" rather than "cruel" or "abominable".

28. What literally comes from the north, east, west and south? : NEWS
NEWS is an acronym from North East West South.

Marv Albert Knicks Announcer Signed 8x10 Photo Jsa - Autographed NBA Photos34. Sportscaster Albert : MARV
Marv Albert is television and radio sportscaster, often referred to as "the voice of basketball". Marv has two younger brothers who are also sports announcers, and his son Kenny calls baseball and football for New York Rangers games on FOX radio. In addition, his daughter is a reporter for NBA TV.

37. Bit of Morse code : DASH
Samuel Morse was a very accomplished and reputable painter (he was engaged to paint a portrait of President John Adams, for example). In 1825 he was in Washington working on a commissioned painting when he received a one-line letter by horse messenger telling him that his wife was ill. He left immediately for his home in New Haven, Connecticut but by the time he arrived she had already died and had been buried. This single event spurred him to move from painting to the development of a rapid means of long distance communication, leading to the single-wire telegraph and Morse code.

Airfix A02037 1:72 Scale Mikoyan MiG-15 Military Aircraft Classic Kit Series 243. Russian fighter jet : MIG
The Russian fighter jets that we know as “MiGs” are so called because they were designed by the Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau, and MiG is an acronym for “Mikoyan-and-Gurevich” in Russian.

50. Indenting key : TAB
Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the space bar and the backspace key. So a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to "jump" across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this lever was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

Schuco 1:43 Opel Kadett B Coupe62. German car : OPEL
Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith, and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licencing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we'd say "estate car") called an Opel Kadett.

65. Palindromic girl : AVA
The three most famous palindromes in English are:
- Able was I ere I saw Elba
- A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
- Madam, I'm Adam
One of my favorite words is "Aibophobia", although it doesn't appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. It is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix "-phobia". I would call it a "real" word though in one sense, as it was introduced in the early eighties and has been around ever since.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Necklace fasteners : CLASPS
7. "Entourage" cable channel : HBO
10. Talks like this in "Star Wars" films he does : YODA
14. Cut the mustard : HACK IT
15. Dada artist Jean : ARP
16. Landed : ALIT
17. Property with a mansion : ESTATE
18. "Fat chance, laddie" : NAE
19. Griffin who created "Wheel of Fortune" : MERV
20. Charleston is its capital : WEST VIRGINIA
23. "All seats have been sold" sign : SRO
24. First part of a ski jump : INRUN
25. Longest river in Deutschland : RHEIN
29. ___, Crackle and Pop : SNAP
31. Trumpet's saliva-draining key : SPIT VALVE
33. Skirt's edge : HEM
35. ___ Paulo, Brazil : SAO
36. Perry Mason's field : LAW
37. Kitchen cleanup cloth : DISHRAG
41. Samuel Langhorne ___ : CLEMENS
44. Simile's center : AS A
45. Author Asquith of children's books : ROS
47. 511, in old Rome : DXI
48. Not a unanimous ruling : SPLIT VOTE
52. Role in "Young Frankenstein" : IGOR
55. "Laughing" animal : HYENA
56. Biblical word with "thou" : DIDST
58. Deposit, as an egg : LAY
60. Swedish liquor with memorable ads : ABSOLUT VODKA
63. Melt : THAW
66. Qty. : AMT
67. Jack the ___ : RIPPER
68. Elvis's "___ Las Vegas" : VIVA
69. Doctor's charge : FEE
70. Log-in info : USER ID
71. Fix, as a cat : SPAY
72. Finish : END
73. Eagle's grabbers : TALONS

Down
1. Masticates : CHEWS
2. Focused-beam emitters : LASERS
3. Takes steps in response to : ACTS ON
4. 32-card game : SKAT
5. Venomous snake : PIT VIPER
6. Oktoberfest vessel : STEIN
7. Abrupt finishes to phone conversations : HANG-UPS
8. Genius : BRAINIAC
9. Ready for business : OPEN
10. Japanese motorcycle maker : YAMAHA
11. Bullfight cheer : OLE
12. North, east, west or south: Abbr. : DIR
13. Off-road transport, briefly : ATV
21. Four Monopoly properties: Abbr. : RRS
22. Chicago columnist Kupcinet : IRV
26. Fashion magazine founded in France : ELLE
27. ___ the Terrible : IVAN
28. What literally comes from the north, east, west and south? : NEWS
30. "Feels great!" : AHH
32. Informed : TOLD
34. Sportscaster Albert : MARV
37. Bit of Morse code : DASH
38. Look-for-it children's game : I SPY
39. Common event the day after Thanksgiving : SALE
40. Favorable sign : GOOD OMEN
42. Permit for leaving a country : EXIT VISA
43. Russian fighter jet : MIG
46. Stiffly phrased : STILTED
49. Sort of : IN A WAY
50. Indenting key : TAB
51. College Web site suffix : EDU
53. One who knows the ropes : OLD PRO
54. Earn tons of, as dough : RAKE IN
57. Walk proudly : STRUT
59. Distance units on a football field : YARDS
61. Not threatened : SAFE
62. German car : OPEL
63. Appliances hidden in seven answers in this puzzle : TVS
64. It's rotated when doing the twist : HIP
65. Palindromic girl : AVA

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2 comments :

Sara said...

I don't believe there is an expression 'cut the mustard'; I thought it was a mispronunciation of 'cut the muster'. Am I incorrect?

Sara

Bill Butler said...

Hi Sara,

I think that there is indeed an expression "cut the mustard", meaning to "meet expectations".

My research shows that the origins of the expression are unclear, but some suggest it may come from the phrase that you mention "cut the muster". But "cut the muster" has a very different meaning, to "not turn up for a military parade".

I've also heard people use "cut the mustard" and "not pass muster" interchangeably.

It's all so confusing!

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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 answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

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.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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