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1024-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 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: Lynn Lempel
THEME: Let’s Get Together … all of the theme answers are well-known phrases, clued somewhat whimsically to mean places where certain people “get together”:
17A. Where sad trash collectors get together? : IN THE DUMPS
28A. Where future motorists get together? : DOWN THE ROAD
49A. Where elderly picnickers get together? : OVER THE HILL
63A. Where stranded canoeists get together? : UP THE CREEK
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Elba or Capri : ISLE
I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won't be going back again ...

The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that's colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

15. Trojan War epic : ILIAD
The Iliad is the epic poem by the Greek poet Homer, which tells the story of the siege of Ilium during the Trojan war.

16. Pro ___ (proportionately) : RATA
"Pro rata" is a Latin phrase meaning "in proportion".

19. Savings options for the golden yrs. : IRAS
I have to tell you, when I first came to the US from Ireland it was pretty confusing seeing big signs along the freeway advocating IRA contributions. Back in Ireland, contributing to the IRA was pretty illegal (where IRA stands for the outlawed Irish Republican Army!).

23. The "P" of PT boat : PATROL
PT Boats were motor torpedo boats: small, speedy vessels that used torpedoes as their primary weapon against large surface ships. The "PT" stands for "Patrol Torpedo". The most famous PT Boats that served during WWII were probably PT-41, which carried General Douglas MacArthur and his family from Corregidor to Mindanao in his escape from the Philippines, and PT-109 commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, future President of the United States.

27. Rock's ___ Rose : AXL
Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N' Roses.

31. Architect I. M. ___ : PEI
I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect, born in China. Of his many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.

32. Fencer's sword : EPEE
The French word for sword is épée. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

33. End of a student's e-mail address : EDU
A domain name is basically the address of a website on the Internet. Not too long ago I moved the website for this blog to a new address (from puzzle.paxient.com to NYTCrossword.com). 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 ... NYTCrossword.com. It's sort of like preferring to have a Park Avenue address instead of one on say Elm Street. In the Internet world, elements of the domain name are 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 for somewhere to chat about crosswords!

36. Smidgen : BIT
Our word “smidgen”, meaning a small amount, might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or "a small insignificant person".

38. Org. for a Big Apple cop : NYPD
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is the largest municipal police force in the country. The department's roots go back as far at 1625, when there was an eight-man night watch in the days when New York was still known as New Amsterdam. Several disparate forces with policing responsibility were amalgamated in 1844 to form the New York City Police Department, signalling the end of the night watch force that had existed for over 200 years.

Apparently the first published use of the term "Big Apple" to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book "The Wayfarer in New York":
"Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap."

42. Sir ___ McKellen : IAN
Sir Ian McKellen is a marvelous English actor, someone who is comfortable playing anything from Macbeth on stage and Magneto in an X-Men movie. On the big screen he is very famous for playing Gandalf in "The Lord of Rings". In the UK Sir Ian is noted for being at the forefront of the campaign for equal rights for gay people, a role he has enthusiastically embraced since the eighties.

54. Holey brewing gadget : TEA BALL
A tea ball or tea egg is more usually called a tea infuser. It is basically a ball, made of perforated metal or mesh, into which loose tea is placed. It has been superseded by the modern tea bag. I drink an awful lot of tea, and have a tea ball here at the house. Trust me, life is a lot easier using tea bags …

55. Spa treatment that might include two cucumber slices : FACIAL
Slices of cucumber placed on the eyes are supposed to reduce puffiness. Maybe it’s true (but I doubt it). Some folks say that the water in the cucumber helps hydrate the skin, and others that the coldness of the chilled cucumber reduces puffiness.

62. Soul singer Redding : OTIS
Otis Redding is often referred to as the "King of Soul", and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Only three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay".

69. Basic work units : ERGS
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. "Erg" comes from the Greek word "ergon" meaning "work". A dyne is a unit of force. The name "dyne" comes from the Greek "dynamis" meaning "power, force". Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy need to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

70. Colorado skiing town : ASPEN
Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, it was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays of course, it's all about the skiing and the movie stars.

71. Yankee superslugger, to fans : A-ROD
Poor old Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called "the Cooler" by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves. He has also been called "A-Fraud" by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding.

Down
1. Coup leader ___ Amin : IDI
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda he joined the military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda, and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country's president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which time it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. He died in 2003.

4. Once-popular anesthetic : ETHER
Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

5. Offer on eBay : BID
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!

6. Grad : ALUM
An "alumnus" (plural ... alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is "alumna" (plural ... alumnae). The word comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil.

7. Chauffeur-driven auto : LIMO
The word "limousine" actually derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather, while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a "limousine". Well, that's how the story goes anyway ...

11. Hispanic neighborhood : BARRIO
"Barrio" is the name given to an urban district in Spanish-speaking countries.

12. One of four for "The Star-Spangled Banner" : STANZA
Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a poem, inspired by witnessing the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with the Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

23. Elderly Smurf : PAPA
The Smurfs were little blue men created by a Belgian cartoonist in 1958. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children's cartoon series. The Smurfs were largely a group of males, originally with just one female character, Smurfette, who was wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix, Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.

26. French tea : THE
“Thé” is the French word for “tea”.

37. Prefix with athlete : TRI-
An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the fittest athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. These events that were combined to come up with the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finished first "we'll call him the Iron Man". The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is still the event that everyone wants to win.

39. Boo Boo's buddy in Jellystone Park : YOGI BEAR
Yogi Bear made his debut for Hanna-Barbera in 1958, on the Huckleberry Hound Show before he was given his own series. Do you remember that collar that Yogi wore around his neck? That was a little trick from the animators. By using the collar, for many frames all they had to do was redraw everything from the collar up, saving them lots and lots of time.

41. Texas computer giant started in a dorm room : DELL
Dell, the computer manufacturer, is named after the company’s founder, Michael Dell. Michael Dell started his company in his dorm room at college, shipping personal computers that were customized to the specific needs of his customers. He dropped out of school in order to focus on his growing business, a decision that I doubt he regrets. Michael Dell is now one of the richest people in the world.

43. Not much : A 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".

44. Stanley Cup org. : NHL
The Stanley Cup is named for Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893. Lord Stanley’s sons became avid fans of ice hockey while in Canada, and so he donated the trophy in 1909, originally as a challenge cup for the country’s best amateur club.

46. Furry extraterrestrial in a 1980s sitcom : ALF
“ALF” was a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. ALF was a hand-puppet, supposedly an alien that crash-landed in a suburban neighborhood. “ALF” stands for “alien life form”.

47. Mel with "1,000 voices" : BLANC
Mel Blanc is known as "The Man of a Thousand Voices". We've all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc's tombstone are ... "That's All Folks".

49. Actor Peter of "Becket" : O’TOOLE
Irish actor Peter O'Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film "Laurence of Arabia". But my favorite of his movies is much lighter fare, "How to Steal a Million" in which he starred opposite Audrey Hepburn.

56. French president Nicolas Sarkozy's wife : CARLA
The very glamorous Carla Bruni is the wife of French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. She is Sarkozy’s third wife, and in turn, this is the first marriage for Bruni. The couple met at a dinner party in November 2007, and were married just three months later. Bruni was born in Italy, and was granted French nationality not long after the marriage.

59. URL starter : HTTP
"http" are the first letters in most Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com) are Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

60. Pump or loafer : SHOE
A pump is a woman's shoe that doesn't have a strap. Such shoes are probably called "pumps" because of the sound they make while walking in them.

The type of slip-on shoe called a "loafer" dates back to 1939, when it originally was a brand name introduced by the store Fortnum and Mason's in London.

63. "Kill Bill" co-star Thurman : 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".

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (so I haven’t seen it!). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There are now plans to make “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

65. Elizabethan dramatist Thomas : KYD
Thomas Kyd's most famous work is "The Spanish Tragedy", written in the mid to late 1580s. Even though Kyd was a recognized dramatist within his own lifetime, he fell foul of the standards of the Privy Council of the day and was imprisoned and tortured for allegedly being an atheist. He died soon after, impoverished.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Elba or Capri : ISLE
5. Pleasant, weatherwise : BALMY
10. Measure of sugar: Abbr. : TBSP
14. Reduction of sugar intake, e.g. : DIET
15. Trojan War epic : ILIAD
16. Pro ___ (proportionately) : RATA
17. Where sad trash collectors get together? : IN THE DUMPS
19. Savings options for the golden yrs. : IRAS
20. Stadium area : TIER
21. Cow sound : MOO
22. Mends, as socks : DARNS
23. The "P" of PT boat : PATROL
25. Put to good effect : UTILIZE
27. Rock's ___ Rose : AXL
28. Where future motorists get together? : DOWN THE ROAD
31. Architect I. M. ___ : PEI
32. Fencer's sword : EPEE
33. End of a student's e-mail address : EDU
34. Living off the land? : ASEA
36. Smidgen : BIT
38. Org. for a Big Apple cop : NYPD
42. Sir ___ McKellen : IAN
45. Snap up : GRAB
48. Rousing cry at a ring : OLE
49. Where elderly picnickers get together? : OVER THE HILL
53. Hair spiffer-upper : GEL
54. Holey brewing gadget : TEA BALL
55. Spa treatment that might include two cucumber slices : FACIAL
57. Group of eight : OCTAD
58. Cries of surprise : OHS
61. Arrests : NABS
62. Soul singer Redding : OTIS
63. Where stranded canoeists get together? : UP THE CREEK
66. Lacking company : LONE
67. "I feel the same" : ME TOO
68. Gentleman's partner : LADY
69. Basic work units : ERGS
70. Colorado skiing town : ASPEN
71. Yankee superslugger, to fans : A-ROD

Down
1. Coup leader ___ Amin : IDI
2. Extra costs of smoking and drinking : SIN TAXES
3. "Just forget about this" : LET IT LIE
4. Once-popular anesthetic : ETHER
5. Offer on eBay : BID
6. Grad : ALUM
7. Chauffeur-driven auto : LIMO
8. Plan, as an itinerary : MAP OUT
9. Fabric amts. : YDS
10. Preliminary test : TRIAL RUN
11. Hispanic neighborhood : BARRIO
12. One of four for "The Star-Spangled Banner" : STANZA
13. Got a D or better : PASSED
18. Wash away, as soil : ERODE
22. Conked out : DIED
23. Elderly Smurf : PAPA
24. Cut (off) : LOP
26. French tea : THE
29. Spider's creation : WEB
30. Whinny : NEIGH
35. Sites for military flights : AIRBASES
37. Prefix with athlete : TRI-
39. Boo Boo's buddy in Jellystone Park : YOGI BEAR
40. "Go right ahead" : PLEASE DO
41. Texas computer giant started in a dorm room : DELL
43. Not much : A TAD
44. Stanley Cup org. : NHL
46. Furry extraterrestrial in a 1980s sitcom : ALF
47. Mel with "1,000 voices" : BLANC
49. Actor Peter of "Becket" : O’TOOLE
50. Course taken by a plane or missile : VECTOR
51. Dining : EATING
52. Gets hitched in haste : ELOPES
56. French president Nicolas Sarkozy's wife : CARLA
59. URL starter : HTTP
60. Pump or loafer : SHOE
63. "Kill Bill" co-star Thurman : UMA
64. Seemingly forever : EON
65. Elizabethan dramatist Thomas : KYD

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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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