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1010-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Oct 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: Ian Livengood
THEME: 10CC … all ten of the theme answers are two-word terms, with each of those words beginning with C:
17A. Stogie holder : CIGAR CASE
21A. Florida city on the Gulf : CAPE CORAL
27A. What a TV host often reads from : CUE CARD
33A. Place to hang a jacket : COAT CLOSET
43A. Sign of alien life, some say : CROP CIRCLE
49A. Army do : CREW CUT
59A. Fessed up : CAME CLEAN
66A. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament played on this : CLAY COURT
8D. Bit of razzing : CAT CALL
44D. Auto maintenance : CAR CARE
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
8. Football team with a blue horseshoe on its helmet : COLTS
The Indianapolis Colts professional football team has been in Indiana since 1984. The team traces its roots back to the Dayton Triangles, one of the founding members of the NFL created in 1913. The Dayton Triangles relocated and became the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1930, and then the Brooklyn Tigers in 1944. The team merged with the Boston Yanks in 1945, playing in Boston. The Yanks were moved to New York in 1949, and then to Dallas in 1952 as the Dallas Texans. The Texan franchise moved to Baltimore in 1953, forming the Colts. The Colts made their last move, to Indianapolis, in 1984. Whew!

13. ___-Wan Kenobi : OBI
Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars".

17. Stogie holder : CIGAR CASE
A “stogie” is both a “rough, heavy shoe” and a “long, cheap cigar”. Both items were favored by the drivers of the covered wagons called “Conestogas” that wended their way across the Midwest in days gone by. The term “stogie” is derived from the name of the wagon, which itself is named after the area in which the wagons were built: Conestoga, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

19. Letter after eta : THETA
The Greek letter theta is commonly used in geometry to represent the angle between two lines (say at the corner of a triangle).

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

21. Florida city on the Gulf : CAPE CORAL
Cape Coral is very much a planned community in Florida, founded in 1957. The intention of the developers was to create a Waterfront Wonderland. The result is a city with 400 miles of navigable waterways, more than any other city on the planet!

23. Singer Horne : LENA
Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of her starring roles was in the 1943 movie "Stormy Weather" for which she also performed the title song.

25. "___ the Explorer" (Nickelodeon show) : DORA
Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon.

26. NBC skit show since '75 : SNL
NBC first aired a form of "Saturday Night Live" in 1975, under the title "NBC's Saturday Night". The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from "The Tonight Show". Back then "The Tonight Show" had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to pull together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call "Saturday Night Live".

32. "The buck stops here" pres. : HST
The phrase "passing the buck" supposedly comes from poker. The marker that indicated whose turn it was to deal was called the buck, and it was passed from player to player. The expression of course came to mean the passing of responsibility (or usually blame!). President Harry S. Truman popularized the derivative phrase "the buck stops here" by placing a sign bearing those words on his desk in the Oval Office. That same sign was still on the desk when President Carter was in office.

Harry Truman wanted to go to West Point, having served with the Missouri Army National Guard on active duty in WWI, but he couldn't get in because of his poor eyesight. He didn't have the money to get into college anywhere else. He did, however, study for two years towards a law degree at the Kansas City Law School in the twenties, but never finished. So, Harry S. Truman was the only US President who did not have a college degree.

41. Thurman of Hollywood : UMA
Uma Thurman's father, Robert Thurman, was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and called his daughter Uma as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name, Dbuma.

42. Pet lovers' org. : SPCA
Unlike in other countries, there is no "umbrella" organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

43. Sign of alien life, some say : CROP CIRCLE
Don't believe what you hear. Crop circles are hoaxes ...

47. Chihuahua's bark : ARF
Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico, sharing a border with Texas and New Mexico. It is the largest state in the country, so has the nickname "El Estado Grande". The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. And of course the Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.

48. Tiny amount : TAD
Back in the 1800s "tad" was used to describe a young child, and this morphed into our usage meaning a small amount in the early 1900s. The original use of "tad" for a child is very likely a shortened version of "tadpole".

49. Army do : CREW CUT
The term “crew cut” probably originated in Yale in the 1890s. The Yale football players were noted for wearing their hair relatively long, as it helped protect their heads inside the flimsy leather football helmets of the day. In contrast, the rowing team wore their hair relatively short, in a style that came to be known as the “crew cut”.

58. "I cannot tell ___" : A LIE
The famous story about George Washington cutting down a cherry tree as a child, has been shown to be fiction. He supposedly was confronted by his father after taking an axe to a tree and confessed with the words, “I’m sorry father, I cannot tell a lie”.

59. Fessed up : CAME CLEAN
“To fess up” means “to come clean”, and comes from the verb “to confess”.

65. Japanese port : OSAKA
The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka some time before 1500. "Osaka" can be translated either as "large hill" or "large slope".

66. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament played on this : CLAY COURT
There are four different surfaces used for playing tennis competitively:
- Clay courts (used for the French Open)
- Hard courts (used for the US Open and the Australian Open)
- Grass courts (used for Wimbledon)
- Carpet courts

69. Completely dead, as an engine : KAPUT
“Kaput”, meaning completely incapacitated, comes to us from French (via German). The word derives from "capot" a term meaning "not having won a single trick" in the French card game called Piquet.

70. "Here ___ Again" (1987 Whitesnake hit) : I GO
Whitesnake is a rock band from England, formed in 1978 by singer David Coverdale when he left Deep Purple.

71. Razz : TEASE
Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles "blowing a raspberry" is a way of insulting someone (I think it's called "a Bronx cheer" in the US). The verb "razz" is a shortened form of "raspberry".

72. Projects for beavers : DAMS
Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

Down
1. Footwear that may be worn with PJs : MOCS
The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by many Native American tribes.

Our word "pajamas" comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where "pai jamahs" were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And "pajamas" is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is "pyjamas".

3. Verdi opera : RIGOLETTO
"Rigoletto" is one of Giuseppe Verdi's most famous and oft-performed operas. The storyline comes from the Victor Hugo play "Le roi s'amuse" (usually translated as "The King's Fool"). Rigoletto is the king's fool, the jester.

4. Venus's sister with a tennis racket : SERENA
Serena Williams is the younger of the two sisters playing professional tennis. Serena has won more prize money in her career than any other female athlete.

5. "The Lord of the Rings" creature : ORC
According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth. They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

6. Bric-a-___ : BRAC
Bric-a-brac was a French phrase that was used as far back as the 16th century, but is no longer used in France. Back then it was a nonsense term meaning "at random" or "any old way". Since Victorian times we have used the phrase in English to mean a collection of curios, statues and the like. Unlike back then, in modern usage bric-a-brac tends to be a selection of cheaper items.

9. Cinco + tres : OCHO
In Spanish; five plus three is eight.

11. Mythical giant : TITAN
The Titans were a group of twelve elder deities in Greek mythology. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the young upstarts, the Olympians, twelve younger gods.

15. Seized vehicle : REPO
Repo: repossessed property.

22. Clapton of rock : ERIC
Can you believe that Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974 he released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic "I Shot the Sheriff", and ended up selling more copies of the song than Bob Marley did himself.

27. Trendy : CHIC
"Chic" is a French word, meaning "stylish".

28. The Beatles' "Back in the ___" : USSR
By the time the Beatles recorded "Back in the U.S.S.R", they were having a lot of problems working with each other. The song was recorded in 1968, with the band formally dissolving in 1970. Tensions were so great during the recording of "Back in the U.S.S.R" that Ringo Starr actually stormed out saying that he had quit, and the remaining three Beatles made the record without him. Drums were played mainly by Paul McCartney, but there are also drum tracks on the final cut by both George Harrison and John Lennon. Interesting, huh?

34. "Mad Men" network : AMC
If you haven't seen the AMC show "Mad Men" then I urge you to go buy the first season on DVD and allow yourself to get addicted. It is a great series set in the sixties, telling all that goes on in and around the advertising business on Madison Avenue in New York City. It brings you right back to the days of three-martini lunches, office affairs, and chain-smoking of cigarettes. Great stuff ...

35. Soft powder : 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.

37. Off-white shade : ECRU
The shade of ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word "ecru" comes from French, and means "raw, unbleached", and has the same roots as our word "crude".

38. President whose father co-founded Yale's Skull and Bones : TAFT
Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale University, founded in 1832. The society is well funded, and even owns a 40-acre island in Upstate New York that members and alumni use as a retreat. Noted members of Skull and Bones included William F. Buckley, Jr., President Bush (both father and son) and Senator John Kerry. And President William Howard Taft was the son of one of the society’s founders.

46. ___ of Good Feelings : ERA
The Era of Good Feelings lasted from about 1816 to 1824, during the administration of President James Monroe. The name described the feeling of bipartisanship that permeated politics at that time, largely due to President Monroe deliberately downplaying differences between the parties in Washington. One can only dream ...

54. Midwest city whose name is a poker variety : OMAHA
Omaha is a poker card game similar to Texas hold ‘em. The two games differ in that there are four initial hole cards per player in Omaha (as opposed to just two in Texas hold 'em). And in Omaha each player’s hand is made up of exactly three cards from the board and exactly two of the player’s own cards.

60. Just manages, with "out" : EKES
To "eke out" means to "make something go further or last longer". So, you can eke out your income by cutting back on expenses. I always have a problem with the definition that “eke out” means to “barely get by”. Close but no cigar, I say ...

61. California's ___ Valley : NAPA
Apparently the name "Napa" comes from the Native American Patwin word "napo" meaning “house”.

64. School on the Thames : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders, including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself, in the Fleming novels).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Scratch : MAR
4. Cries out loud : SOBS
8. Football team with a blue horseshoe on its helmet : COLTS
13. ___-Wan Kenobi : OBI
14. Annoying computer message : ERROR
16. Nail a test : ACE IT
17. Stogie holder : CIGAR CASE
19. Letter after eta : THETA
20. Kitchen range : STOVE
21. Florida city on the Gulf : CAPE CORAL
23. Singer Horne : LENA
25. "___ the Explorer" (Nickelodeon show) : DORA
26. NBC skit show since '75 : SNL
27. What a TV host often reads from : CUE CARD
30. Type : ILK
32. "The buck stops here" pres. : HST
33. Place to hang a jacket : COAT CLOSET
39. Words in an analogy : IS TO
41. Thurman of Hollywood : UMA
42. Pet lovers' org. : SPCA
43. Sign of alien life, some say : CROP CIRCLE
47. Chihuahua's bark : ARF
48. Tiny amount : TAD
49. Army do : CREW CUT
52. HBO alternative : SHO
55. Fishing sticks : RODS
58. "I cannot tell ___" : A LIE
59. Fessed up : CAME CLEAN
62. Follow : ENSUE
65. Japanese port : OSAKA
66. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament played on this : CLAY COURT
68. "On the ___ hand ..." : OTHER
69. Completely dead, as an engine : KAPUT
70. "Here ___ Again" (1987 Whitesnake hit) : I GO
71. Razz : TEASE
72. Projects for beavers : DAMS
73. Card below a jack : TEN

Down
1. Footwear that may be worn with PJs : MOCS
2. Somewhat : A BIT
3. Verdi opera : RIGOLETTO
4. Venus's sister with a tennis racket : SERENA
5. "The Lord of the Rings" creature : ORC
6. Bric-a-___ : BRAC
7. "'Tis a pity" : SO SAD
8. Bit of razzing : CAT CALL
9. Cinco + tres : OCHO
10. Lecherous looks : LEERS
11. Mythical giant : TITAN
12. Play for time : STALL
15. Seized vehicle : REPO
18. With: Fr. : AVEC
22. Clapton of rock : ERIC
24. Path of a fly ball : ARC
27. Trendy : CHIC
28. The Beatles' "Back in the ___" : USSR
29. Gloomy : DOUR
31. Dramatic boxing results, briefly : KOS
34. "Mad Men" network : AMC
35. Soft powder : TALC
36. Astronaut's attire : SPACESUIT
37. Off-white shade : ECRU
38. President whose father co-founded Yale's Skull and Bones : TAFT
40. Choose (to) : OPT
44. Auto maintenance : CAR CARE
45. One who's worshiped : IDOL
46. ___ of Good Feelings : ERA
50. Chooses for office : ELECTS
51. Excessive lover of the grape : WINO
52. Get a move on : SCOOT
53. Waste maker, in a proverb : HASTE
54. Midwest city whose name is a poker variety : OMAHA
56. All 52 cards : DECK
57. Leafy course : SALAD
60. Just manages, with "out" : EKES
61. California's ___ Valley : NAPA
63. Longing : URGE
64. School on the Thames : ETON
67. "Dee-lish!" : YUM

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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 bill@paxient.com.

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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