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0928-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Sep 11, Wednesday





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: Steve Salitan
THEME: CL-OUT … all the theme answers are common terms or expressions that usually start with CL, but that CL has been taken OUT:
20A. Iodine in a barber's first-aid kit? : (CL)EAR-CUT SOLUTION
26A. Doofus given a pink slip? : (CL)ASS DISMISSED
46A. One modifying goals? : (CL)AIMS ADJUSTOR
56A. Cronus and Rhea's barbecue remains? : (CL)ASH OF THE TITANS
65A. Influence ... and a hint to 20-, 26-, 46- and 56-Across : CLOUT (CL OUT!)
COMPLETION TIME: 14m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
6. ___ de Boulogne (Paris park) : BOIS
Bois de Boulogne is a large park located on the western outskirts of Paris, France. It covers over 2,000 acres, making it about 2.5 times the size of Central Park in New York City. Life in the Bois de Boulogne is very wholesome during the day, with the park full of joggers, people on picnics and boaters, but at night the park is a prominent red-light district.

10. Web site with a "Buy It Now" option : EBAY
eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don't want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there's a "Buy It Now" price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

17. Angle symbol, in trigonometry : THETA
The Greek letter theta is commonly used in geometry to represent the angle between two lines (say at the corner of a triangle).

18. Mark in a margin : STET
"Stet" is the Latin word meaning "let it stand". In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word "stet" beside the change and then underscoring the change with a line of dots (or dashes).

19. Have ___ (lose it) : A COW
The phrase "don't have a cow" originated in the fifties, a variation of the older "don't have kittens". The concept behind the phrase is that one shouldn't get worked up, it's not like one is giving birth to a cow.

25. Vamp Negri : POLA
Pola Negri was a Polish actress, the first star to be invited from Europe to develop a career in Hollywood. Most of her success came in the silent era, but she was able to make the transition to the talkies. Her off-screen life attracted the attention of the gossip columnists who rejoiced in her affairs with the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino.

26. Doofus given a pink slip? : (CL)ASS DISMISSED
"Doofus" (also "dufus") is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term "doo-doo".

31. Root used as a soap substitute : AMOLE
Amoles, known familiarly as Soap Plants or Soaproots, are flowering plants native to the western states of North America. Native Americans had many uses for the Soap Plant, baking the bulbs for food and extracting the coarse fibers from the leaves to make brushes. The bulbs could also be crushed to produce a soapy lather that made an effective shampoo (hence the name Soap Plant). The soapy extract was also used to catch fish, would you believe? When the lather was added to slow-moving streams it clogged up the gills of fish so they died from suffocation.

35. Philosopher Mo-___ : TZE
Mozi (also Mo-Tze) was a Chinese philosopher whose positions were often in conflict with Confucianism.

45. Caffeine-laden nuts : KOLAS
The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Of course in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

51. Texas ___ M : A AND
Texas A&M is the seventh largest university in the country, and was the first public higher education institute in the state when it accepted its first students in 1876. The full name of the school was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, and its primary mission used to be the education of males in the techniques of farming and military warfare. That's quite a combination! Because of the agricultural connection, the college's sports teams use the moniker "Aggies".

53. Tokyo, to shoguns : EDO
Edo is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo castle. Some parts of the original castle remain, and today's Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

56. Cronus and Rhea's barbecue remains? : (CL)ASH OF THE TITANS
2010's "Clash of the Titans" is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. It's one of those fantasy movies, based on a Greek myth. It's not my cup of tea …

In Greek mythology Rhea was one of the Titans. She was the sister and husband of Cronus, and together they had six children, the last of which was Zeus. Cronus swallowed all of his children as soon as they were born, except for Zeus, who Rhea managed to hide from her husband.

60. Official proceedings : ACTA
Actum (plural acta) is the Latin word for "deed". It is used in English to describe many official records, including minutes, proceedings etc.

63. Title in an Uncle Remus story : BR’ER
Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. His stories are adaptations of African American folk tales that he collected across the Southern States. "Br'er" of course stands for "brother".

67. Superheroes of comics : X-MEN
X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays they are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier.

Down
1. Party spread : PATE
Pâté is a rich, spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version is pâté de fois gras, made from the fattened livers of geese ("fois gras" means "fat liver" in French).

2. One of the Coens : ETHAN
I think it's great to see two brothers working together and being so successful. Joel and Ethan Coen are two movie producers and directors who both live in New York City. They do love the movie-making business, and even married "insiders". Ethan's wife is film editor Tricia Cooke, and Joel is married to one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Frances McDormand.

3. Argus-eyed : ALERT
Argus Panoptes was a monster of Greek mythology. "Panoptes" means "all-seeing", so over time Argus has been described as having many, many eyes. Argus was noted for being alert, always keeping some eyes open when sleeping. This characteristic led to the term "Argus" being used for a vigilant person, and being adopted as the name for many newspapers. After Argus died, Hera transferred his eyes to the tail of the peacock.

5. Son of Isaac : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother, Rebekah, gave birth to the twins "the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)". As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father's wealth (it was his "birthright"). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a "mess of pottage" (a meal of lentils).

7. Germane : ON TOPIC
Something that is “germane” is relevant. “Germane” originally meant “having the same parents”, but it was used more figuratively as “on topic” by William Shakespeare in “Hamlet”. And that’s the way we’ve been using it ever since "Hamlet" was first performed in the 1600s.

8. Home of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano: Abbr. : ICEL
The Eyjafjallajökull volcano of Iceland was the one that spewed ash into the atmosphere over Europe in 2010, disrupting air travel for weeks.

9. Eighth-inning hurler, often : SETUP MAN
In baseball a setup pitcher is usually brought on after a starting pitcher is taken out of the game, but before calling on a closing pitcher.

12. In a bit : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once”, and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon”, apparently just because the word was misused over time.

13. Bow wood : YEW
Yew is the wood of choice for the longbow, a valued weapon in the history of England. The longbow is constructed with a core of yew heartwood (as the heartwood resists compression) that has a sheath of yew sapwood (as the sapwood resists stretching). The yew was in such demand for longbows that for centuries yew trees were in short supply in Britain and the wood had to be imported from all over Europe.

28. Curative locale : SPA
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".

29. Cornell of Cornell University : EZRA
Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment, and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was rewarded by having the institute named after him.

30. 2012 Charlotte conventioneers: Abbr. : DEMS
When the city of Charlotte hosts the 2012 Democratic National Convention it will mark the first time that North Carolina has hosted a nominating convention for a major political party.

31. Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
Apparently the song "Adia", co-written by Sarah McLachlan, was written as an apology to her best friend ... for stealing her ex-boyfriend, and then marrying him!

32. Bond that's often tax-free, for short : MUNI
A municipal bond is one that is issued by a city or local government, or some similar agency. "Munis" have an advantage over other investments in that any interest earned on the bond is usually exempt from state and federal income taxes.

33. Rembrandt, notably : OLD MASTER
The celebrated Dutch painter's full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (sometimes Ryn). He is perhaps most appreciated for his portraits, and left the world a remarkable collection of self-portraits.

37. Player of a TV junkman : REDD FOXX
Redd Foxx was the stage name of John Elroy Sanford, best known for starring in "Sanford and Son". "Sanford and Son" was an American version of a celebrated hit BBC sitcom that I grew up with in Ireland, called "Steptoe and Son".

38. Hoopster Erving, to fans : DR J
Julius Erving is a retired professional basketball player who was known as Dr. J, a nickname he picked up in high school. Dr. J was a trailblazer in many ways, being the first player associated with slam dunking, as well as other moves above the rim.

40. End-of-fight letters : TKO
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can't get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly "knocked out". A referee, fighter, or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter's safety. In this case, the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

44. "The Satanic Verses" novelist : RUSHDIE
Salman Rushdie is a famous British novelist, born in India. His most celebrated novel is “The Satanic Verses”, published in 1988, a Booker Prize finalist. However, the book attracted unfavorable attention from many in the Muslim faith who labelled it as blasphemy. Such was the outrage that a fatwā was issued in 1989 by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the faithful to kill Rushdie. He remains under police protection provided by the UK government and has not been harmed, although others associated with the book have been injured and even killed.

47. Much of Libya : SAHARA
The name "Sahara" means "greatest desert" in Arabic, and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa (which is almost the size of the whole of Europe, or the whole of the United States!).

48. Mayo is part of it : ANO
May (mayo) is one of the months in the Spanish year (año).

50. What might make molehills out of a mountain? : TNT
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. The chemical was first produced by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand in 1863, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

54. Willem of "Platoon" : DAFOE
Willem Dafoe is an American actor, from Wisconsin. He was born just plain "William" Dafoe, but didn't like being called "Billy". So, he changed his name to "Willem", which was the pronunciation of his name by his Scottish babysitter. Those Scots ...

58. Machu Picchu builder : INCA
Machu Picchu is known as "The Lost City of the Incas", and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means "old peak".

59. Paving stone : SETT
A sett is a small rectangular paving stone with a rounded top used to make a road surface. It’s like a cobblestone, I think …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 1960s "Bye!" : PEACE
6. ___ de Boulogne (Paris park) : BOIS
10. Web site with a "Buy It Now" option : EBAY
14. Trip planner's aid : ATLAS
15. Way back when : ONCE
16. Miser's cry : MINE
17. Angle symbol, in trigonometry : THETA
18. Mark in a margin : STET
19. Have ___ (lose it) : A COW
20. Iodine in a barber's first-aid kit? : EAR-CUT SOLUTION
23. Ultimate degree : NTH
24. Passbook abbr. : DEP
25. Vamp Negri : POLA
26. Doofus given a pink slip? : ASS DISMISSED
31. Root used as a soap substitute : AMOLE
34. Balancing pro : CPA
35. Philosopher Mo-___ : TZE
36. Dim bulb, so to speak : DULLARD
39. Hobby kit with a colony : ANT FARM
42. Sans affiliation: Abbr. : IND
43. Muff : ERR
45. Caffeine-laden nuts : KOLAS
46. One modifying goals? : AIMS ADJUSTOR
51. Texas ___ M : A AND
52. One with a 6-yr. term : SEN
53. Tokyo, to shoguns : EDO
56. Cronus and Rhea's barbecue remains? : ASH OF THE TITANS
60. Official proceedings : ACTA
61. Municipal laws: Abbr. : ORDS
62. Like some checking accounts : NO-FEE
63. Title in an Uncle Remus story : BR’ER
64. Unlucky number for Caesar? : XIII
65. Influence ... and a hint to 20-, 26-, 46- and 56-Across : CLOUT (CL OUT!)
66. Anti-snakebite supplies, e.g. : SERA
67. Superheroes of comics : X-MEN
68. Well-versed : ADEPT

Down
1. Party spread : PATE
2. One of the Coens : ETHAN
3. Argus-eyed : ALERT
4. Odds-and-ends category : CATCHALL
5. Son of Isaac : ESAU
6. Ordered (around) : BOSSED
7. Germane : ON TOPIC
8. Home of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano: Abbr. : ICEL
9. Eighth-inning hurler, often : SETUP MAN
10. Many résumé submissions, these days : EMAILS
11. Like a New York/Los Angeles romance : BICOASTAL
12. In a bit : ANON
13. Bow wood : YEW
21. Results of most 100-yd. returns : TDS
22. You, to Yves : TOI
27. Serpent's home : SEA
28. Curative locale : SPA
29. Cornell of Cornell University : EZRA
30. 2012 Charlotte conventioneers: Abbr. : DEMS
31. Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
32. Bond that's often tax-free, for short : MUNI
33. Rembrandt, notably : OLD MASTER
37. Player of a TV junkman : REDD FOXX
38. Hoopster Erving, to fans : DR J
40. End-of-fight letters : TKO
41. Predicted : FORETOLD
44. "The Satanic Verses" novelist : RUSHDIE
47. Much of Libya : SAHARA
48. Mayo is part of it : ANO
49. Greets at the door : SEES IN
50. What might make molehills out of a mountain? : TNT
54. Willem of "Platoon" : DAFOE
55. Best : ONE UP
56. Spread unit : ACRE
57. At one's fighting weight, say : TRIM
58. Machu Picchu builder : INCA
59. Paving stone : SETT
60. Gym rat's "six-pack" : ABS

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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 everyday 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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