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0906-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Sep 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: DOUBLE TIME … each of the theme answers is made up of two words, each of which can be paired with the word TIME:
16A. Ticket usable on more than one trip : TRAVEL CARD (TIME TRAVEL & TIME CARD)
26A. Available if needed : ON CALL (ON TIME & CALL TIME)
39A. Become oblivious to one's surroundings : ZONE OUT (TIME ZONE & TIME OUT)
59A. Fast marching pace ... or a hint to 16- and 39-Across and 10- and 24-Down : DOUBLE TIME (the answer is a hint to 26A as well!)
10D. Interval in which something is tested : TRIAL PERIOD (TIME TRIAL & TIME PERIOD)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Billiards Pool Silver Cup Talc Hand Powder Chalk1. It gets patted on the bottom : TALC
Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days "baby powder" can also be corn starch.

5. Tableland : MESA
"Mesa" is the Spanish for "table" and is of course is how we get the name "mesa", a geographic feature.

"What's the difference between a butte and a mesa?" I hear you cry! Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide. Now we know ...

15. Gershwin and Glass : IRAS
Historic Print (M): [Ira Gershwin, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left]Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs "I got Rhythm" and "Someone to Watch Over Me", and the opera "Porgy and Bess". After his brother died, Ira continued to create great music, working with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

Ira Glass is a well respected presenter on American Public Radio, most noted for his show "This American Life". I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira's first cousin.

SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop18. Basketball hoops : RIMS
Basketball truly is an American sport. It was created in 1891 by a James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first "hoops" were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When you got the ball in the "net", you had to clamber up and get it back out again to continue the game!

19. Gerund's finish : -ING
A gerund is a form of a verb that can be used as a noun. For example, the gerund of the verb “to act” is “acting”, as in the sentence, “We really enjoyed the acting”.

21. ___ accompli : FAIT
Fait accompli is a French term, literally translating as "accomplished fact". It is used in English to mean "a done deal".

29. End-of-list abbr. : ETC
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names.

Industrial Grade 5WUF5 Tarp, PE Tarpaulin, Polyethylene, 35x48Ft31. Diamond cover : TARP
Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The name tarpaulin comes from "tar" and "palling", with "pall" meaning "heavy cloth covering".

Mel Ott: The Little Giant of Baseball38. Mel who batted left and threw right : OTT
At 5' 9", Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don't think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

42. Home of Arizona State University : TEMPE
Arizona State University has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885.

45. Suffix with brigand : -INE
A brigandine is a type of body armour from the Middle Ages. It is a cloth jacket in essence, with small metal plates riveted to the fabric. Basically a brigandine is a precursor to our modern flak jacket.

48. Alternative to .com or .org : .EDU
A domain name is basically the address of a website on the Internet. Not too long ago I moved this website to a new address (from to Like in the real world, one pays for an address. I now own (well rent!) both of the addresses used for this blog, but choose to "do business", publish the blog, at the more memorable address ... It's sort of like preferring to have a Park Avenue address instead of one on say Elm Street. In the Internet world, the address is intended to indicate what type of activity goes on at a particular address. So an address with ".com" implies a "company" website, a ".org" implies a non-profit website and ".edu" implies an education website. But, in reality anyone can rent whatever address they want, as it just goes to the highest bidder. Most folks remember ".com" addresses, so they are the most popular. ".com" is meant to imply a "business address" as I say, but it can even be used to chat about crosswords!

25 Lbs Organic Soybeans - Certified Organic Soy Beans for Soymilk, Tofu, Food Storage & more.49. Bean type : SOYA
What are known as soybeans here in the US are called soya beans in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink "soya milk".

54. Counterparts of dits : DAHS
Dahs and dits are the sound equivalents of dashes and dots in Morse Code.

Samuel F.B. Morse: Artist With a Message (The Sowers)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.

57. Greek H : ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character "H".

64. Dairy Queen purchase : CONE
Soft serve ice cream was developed by John McCullough in 1938, and he was able to get his new dessert carried by a local ice cream store in Illinois. The store owner and McCullough were so swamped with sales that they opened a store specifically built around the product in Joliet, Illinois, and this was the first Dairy Queen outlet. There are now over 5,700 Dairy Queen franchises in 19 countries. We've even got one in Ireland ...

Autographed/Hand Signed Hof'R Ozzie Smith - St. Louis Cardinals - 8x10 Photo65. Shortstop Smith who won 13 consecutive Gold Glove Awards : OZZIE
Ozzie Smith is a former professional shortstop. He played for the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals.

67. Lollapalooza : ONER
A lollapalooza is something outstanding, one of a kind.

68. "Butt out," briefly : MYOB
Mind Your Own Business!

The Memoirs of Victor Hugo69. Novelist Victor : HUGO
Victor Hugo was a French poet and playwright, known in his native country mainly for his poetry. However, outside of France he is perhaps more closely associated with his novels, such as “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.

1. Bit of body art, for short : TAT
The word "tattoo" was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, he anglicized the Tahitian word "tatau" into our "tattoo".

Apple iMac MC509LL/A 21.5-Inch Desktop5. Apple on a table : MAC
Mac is short for Macintosh, the line of computers from Apple Inc. The first Mac was introduced in 1984, and I remember someone showing me one at work in those early days of personal computing. There was a piece of white plastic connected to the main computer by a cord, and I was amazed when the guy showed me that it controlled where the cursor was on the screen. My colleague told me that this lump of plastic was called "a mouse" ...

6. "My word!" : EGAD
“Egad” was developed as a polite way of saying "oh God" in the late 1600s, and is an expression of fear or surprise somewhat like "Good grief!".

7. Prefix with comic : SERIO-
Something described as "seriocomic" has both serious and comical elements, but generally the comic side predominates.

9. Expedia calculation : AIR FARE
Expedia is one of the largest Internet-based travel companies, and has a site where you can book airline tickets and reserve hotel rooms and rental cars. I use Expedia a lot because I am an AARP member, and the AARP Travel website is powered by the Expedia search engine. In my travels I’ve found by comparison shopping that the AARP Travel site usually has the best prices for hotel rooms.

11. Indian tongue : TAMIL
Tamil is the main language spoken by the Tamil people of the subcontinent of India. Tamil is described as one of the greatest and oldest classical languages in the world, with Tamil literature having been around for over 2,000 years.

El Greco (Meet the Artist)14. Artist born in 30-Down : EL GRECO
"El Greco" ("the Greek", in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

#0719 LACE JABOT VINTAGE CROCHET PATTERN (Single Patterns)22. Frilly neckwear : JABOT
A jabot is a very ornate clothing accessory worn around the neck. Jabots were often made from lace, and were originally worn by upper class males around the mid-1600s, with women adopting the style in the late 1800s. Jabots are still worn today in some official costumes. For example, some of our female Supreme Court justices might be seen wearing jabots.

23. Type of type : ELITE
The type size know as elite, or twelve pitch, has twelve characters to the linear inch.

Stans, Maurice Autographed/Hand Signed 8x10 Photo B&W25. Nixon aide Maurice : STANS
Maurice Stans was Secretary of Commerce in the Nixon administration. He resigned from the cabinet to head up the finance committee of Richard Nixon's reelection campaign. Famously, money raised by this committee was used to finance the Watergate crimes.

27. ___ blanche : CARTE
"Carte blanche" was imported from French in the early 1700s when it was used to mean "blank paper" (in French it means "white paper"). Later in the century the term came to mean "full discretionary power", which is how we use the word today.

30. Minotaur's home : CRETE
Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands. It figures prominently in Greek mythology, for example as the birthplace of Zeus and home to the Minotaur slayed by Theseus. It was also from Crete that Icarus and Daedalus escaped using wings that they constructed for themselves.

Historic Print (M): George Szell, 1897-197033. Former Cleveland Orchestra conductor George : SZELL
The marvelous American conductor George Szell was born in Hungary. He came to the US in 1939 with the outbreak of WWII in Europe. Famously, Szell took over the Cleveland Orchestra in 1946 and built it into one of the world’s most respected orchestras.

Kanye West is a rap singer from Atlanta, Georgia. That’s all I know ...

40. Luau instrument : UKULELE
The ukulele originated in the 1800s, and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

50. Anglo-___ : SAXON
Germanic tribes invaded Great Britain from the early 5th century, and created the nation that we now call England. The Anglo-Saxons, as they came to be called, held sway in the country until 1066, the year of the Norman Conquest. The Anglo-Saxons were descendants of three Germanic tribes:
- The Angles, from Angeln in Northern Germany (and the tribe that gave the name "England").
- The Saxons, from Lower Saxony and Holland.
- The Jutes, from the Jutland peninsula in Denmark.

54. Art ___ : DECO
Art Deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s, which actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of "30 Rock".

Superman - The Movie [Blu-ray]56. "The Godfather" author : PUZO
The novelist and screenwriter Mario Puzo, was best known for his book “The Godfather”, which he also co-adapted for the big screen. His name is less associated with some very famous screenplays that he wrote, including “Earthquake”, “Superman” and “Superman II”.

60. Drool catcher : BIB
The word "bib" comes form the Latin "bibere" meaning "to drink", as does our word "imbibe". So, maybe it's less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze ...

62. O or Cosmo : MAG
O, The Oprah Magazine (1-year auto-renewal)The full name of the publication usually called “O”, is “O: The Oprah Magazine”. Since the magazine’s founding in 2000, Oprah has appeared on the cover of each issue alone, with two exceptions. On the April 2009 cover Oprah was shown with First Lady Michelle Obama, and on the December 2009 cover Oprah shared the limelight with Ellen DeGeneres.

Cosmopolitan (1-year auto-renewal)"Cosmopolitan" magazine was first published way back in 1886! It started out life as a family magazine, then a literary publication, and took it's present form as a women's magazine in the sixties.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. It gets patted on the bottom : TALC
5. Tableland : MESA
9. Lead-in to boy or girl : ATTA
13. Surveyor's calculation : AREA
14. Raring to go : EAGER
15. Gershwin and Glass : IRAS
16. Ticket usable on more than one trip : TRAVEL CARD
18. Basketball hoops : RIMS
19. Gerund's finish : -ING
20. When repeated, cry to a vampire : DIE
21. ___ accompli : FAIT
22. They make a king laugh : JESTERS
26. Available if needed : ON CALL
28. One who's supposed to be available if needed : ALLY
29. End-of-list abbr. : ETC
31. Diamond cover : TARP
32. Life, in short : BIO
33. Neck cover : SCARF
35. Smells bad : REEKS
38. Mel who batted left and threw right : OTT
39. Become oblivious to one's surroundings : ZONE OUT
41. Completely untrained : RAW
42. Home of Arizona State University : TEMPE
44. Stir up, as a fire : STOKE
45. Suffix with brigand : -INE
46. "___ well" : ALL’S
48. Alternative to .com or .org : .EDU
49. Bean type : SOYA
50. Like maps, iguanas and rock walls : SCALED
52. Bad-mouth : SLANDER
54. Counterparts of dits : DAHS
55. Cut with a sweeping motion : LOP
57. Greek H : ETA
58. Theater sign : EXIT
59. Fast marching pace ... or a hint to 16- and 39-Across and 10- and 24-Down : DOUBLE TIME
64. Dairy Queen purchase : CONE
65. Shortstop Smith who won 13 consecutive Gold Glove Awards : OZZIE
66. Cajole : COAX
67. Lollapalooza : ONER
68. "Butt out," briefly : MYOB
69. Novelist Victor : HUGO
1. Bit of body art, for short : TAT
2. Train schedule abbr. : ARR
3. Meadow : LEA
4. Dentist's target : CAVITY
5. Apple on a table : MAC
6. "My word!" : EGAD
7. Prefix with comic : SERIO-
8. Raring to go : ARDENT
9. Expedia calculation : AIR FARE
10. Interval in which something is tested : TRIAL PERIOD
11. Indian tongue : TAMIL
12. Helper: Abbr. : ASST
14. Artist born in 30-Down : EL GRECO
17. WSW's opposite : ENE
22. Frilly neckwear : JABOT
23. Type of type : ELITE
24. Las Vegas staple : SLOT MACHINE
25. Nixon aide Maurice : STANS
27. ___ blanche : CARTE
30. Minotaur's home : CRETE
33. Former Cleveland Orchestra conductor George : SZELL
34. General ___, former maker of Jell-O and Sanka : FOODS
36. Rapper West : KANYE
37. Promise : SWEAR
40. Luau instrument : UKULELE
43. Wall cover : PLASTER
47. Rarely : SELDOM
49. Grab : SNATCH
50. Anglo-___ : SAXON
51. Lollapalooza : DOOZY
53. Noshed : ATE
54. Art ___ : DECO
56. "The Godfather" author : PUZO
60. Drool catcher : BIB
61. Debtor's letters : IOU
62. O or Cosmo : MAG
63. Prefix with skeleton : EXO-

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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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