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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

1101-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Nov 11, Tuesday





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: Kristian House
THEME: SPLIT HAIRS … each of the theme answers features the letters HAIR, but they’re SPLIT, with some letter(s) at the start of the answer, and some letter(s) at the end of the answer:
17A. Do-it-yourselfer's activity : H(OME REP)AIR
23A. With 51-Across, nitpick ... or a hint to 17-, 37- and 60-Across : SPLIT
37A. New York singing group that last performed in 2007 : HA(RLEM BOYS CHO)IR
51A. See 23-Across : HAIRS
60A. Forum cheer : HAI(L, CAESA)R
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
5. Prize won by Obama and Carter : NOBEL
The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics, awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded "in memory of Alfred Nobel". Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.

President Jimmy Carter was the 39th President, and the only US president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after leaving office (Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Barack Obama have also been so honored, but while in office).

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, the fourth US president to be so honored. He is the only one of the four to have been awarded the prize during his first year of office. The Nobel committee gave the award citing President Obama’s work towards a new climate in international relations, particularly in reaching out to the Muslim world.

14. Rogen of "Knocked Up" : SETH
Seth Rogen is a Canadian comedian who got a lot of credit for his supporting role in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin". That led to him being cast as the lead in the 1970 film "Knocked Up". I am afraid that I haven't seen either movie ...

19. Spanish sparkling wine : CAVA
Cava is a sparking wine that comes from Catalonia in the northeast of Spain. A cava has to be produced using the “traditional method” (like champagne), whereas those wines produced using other methods are called “vinos espumosos” (sparkling wines).

29. Last word of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" : DENY
“For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” is the second-most popular song in the English language, according to the “Guinness Book of World Records”. Top of the list is “Happy Birthday to You”, and third comes “Auld Lang Syne”.

31. Altogether it's worth the most bonus troops in Risk : ASIA
Risk is a fabulous board game, first sold in France in 1957. It was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. He called his new game "La Conquête du Monde", which translates into English as "The Conquest of the World". A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house ...

32. Giraffe's cousin : OKAPI
The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can even go back further and clean its ears inside and out.

37. New York singing group that last performed in 2007 : HARLEM BOYS CHOIR
The Boys Choir of Harlem was founded in 1968 by one Dr. Walter Turnbull. The choir gained international renown under his leadership. Sadly, the choir officially closed down in 2009, two years after Turnbull’s death.

41. It's "the word" : MUM
The phrase “mum’s the word” has been around since the early 1700s. “Mum” has been used to mean “silent” for centuries, the idea being that “mum” is the sound made when the lips are tightly sealed.

48. Suffix with Kafka or Zola : -ESQUE
Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, then part of Bohemia, and today the capital of the Czech Republic. He is known as one of the greatest novelists who worked in the German language, and even has an adjective named after him. Something that is "kafkaesque" is senseless, disorienting and may have menacing complexity. As it was for many great artists, Kafka's fame came after his death, when much of his work was published.

The most famous work of French writer Emile Zola is his 1898 open letter "J'Accuse!" written to then French president Félix Faure. It was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down, choosing to let Dreyfus rot away on Devil's Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn't until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

59. Half-pint : RUNT
Back in 1500 a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s "runt" was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed, and ultimately for the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

60. Forum cheer : HAIL, CAESAR
The Roman forum was the public space in the middle of a city, taking it's name from the Latin word "forum" meaning a marketplace.

62. Govt. meat-stamping org. : USDA
The US Department of Agriculture dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Notably, Lincoln referred to the USDA as the "people's department", reflecting the agrarian basis of our economy back then.

63. What "O" stands for in the magazine business : OPRAH
The full name of the publication usually called “O”, is “O: The Oprah Magazine”. Since the magazine’s founding in 2000, Oprah has appeared alone on the cover of each issue, 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.

65. Son of John and Yoko : SEAN
"Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" is a John Lennon song, which was released on the 1980 album "Double Fantasy". Produced with Yoko Ono, it was the last album released before Lennon was murdered. The "beautiful boy" in the song is Sean, the only child that Lennon and Ono had together. The song contains the famous line "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

66. "GoodFellas" Oscar winner Joe : PESCI
Joe Pesci got his big break in movies with a supporting role in "Raging Bull" starring Robert De Niro, earning Pesci an Oscar nomination early in his career. There followed a string of gangster roles played alongside De Niro, namely "Once Upon a Time in America", "Goodfellas" and "Casino". But I like Pesci's comedic acting best of all. He was marvelous in the "Home Alone" films, the "Lethal Weapon" series, and my personal favorite, "My Cousin Vinny". Pesci gets a mention in the stage musical "Jersey Boys", which isn't too surprising as he is one of the show's producers.

The Martin Scorsese classic “Goodfellas” is a 1990 adaptation of a non-fiction book by Nicholas Pileggi called “Wiseguy”. The film tells the story of a mob family that succumbs to the FBI after one of their own becomes an informant.

Down
1. ___ Stadium (Big Apple tennis locale) : ASHE
The Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and is the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium is sometimes criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather.

2. Vegas gas : NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube the neon gas “glows”, giving off the familiar light.

3. Dinero dispensers : ATMS
Dinero is the Spanish word for money, as well as a slang term for money here in the US.

4. Bar habitué's order, maybe : THE USUAL
A “habitué” is someone who frequents a particular spot. “Habituer” is the French word for “to accustom”.

6. Antonym: Abbr. : OPP
An antonym is an “anti-synonym”. A synonym is word having the same sense as another, and an antonym the opposite.

9. Vega's constellation : LYRA
Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.

Because the direction of the Earth's axis moves, albeit very slowly, the position of north relative to the stars changes over time. The bright star that we see in our lifetimes that is closest to true north is Polaris, and so we call Polaris the pole star. 14,000 years ago, the nearest bright star to true north was Vega, and it will be so again in about 12,000 years time.

10. Big name in underwear : JOCKEY
Jockey was the company that invented the Y-Front brief, in 1934.

12. Show with skits : REVUE
“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

22. Critic of the selfless : CYNIC
Antisthenes was a Greek philosopher and a pupil of Socrates. He was one of the founders of the school of Cynicism, a group that believed that one should live a life of virtue in harmony with nature. The name “cynic” comes from the Greek for “dog”, and it was originally applied to the Cynics as an insult.

24. Weathercaster's pressure line : ISOBAR
An isobar is a line on a weather map connecting points of equal barometric pressure.

26. Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM
The current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama's offer to become the White House Chief of Staff.

27. Jacob's twin : 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).

30. Short albums, for short : EPS
An extended play record (or CD) contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

33. "___-Tiki" : KON
Thor Heyerdahl was a noted Norwegian adventurer famous for his Kon-Tiki expedition in which he sailed a raft over 4,000 miles from South America to the Tuamotu Archipelago in the South Pacific. He also sailed a boat made from papyrus called Ra II from Morocco, across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados.

34. With 57-Down, memorable "Seinfeld" character, with "the" : SOUP
(57. See 34-Down : NAZI)
“The Soup Nazi” is a famous episode of the hit show “Seinfeld”. The story is all about a soup stand owned by an excessively strict man referred to as the “Soup Nazi”. Believe it or not, the “Soup Nazi” character is based on a real soup vendor in New York City.

35. Charlie Brown toy that's often "eaten" by a tree : KITE
The characters in the cartoon series "Peanuts" were largely drawn from Charles Schultz's own life, with shy and withdrawn Charlie Brown representing Schultz himself.

36. Steel component : IRON
Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.

38. Show host : EMCEE
"Emcee" come from "MC", an abbreviation for the Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

39. ___ culpa : MEA
Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase "mea culpa" meaning "my fault", as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term "mea maxima culpa" would translate as "my most grievous fault".

40. TV's Clampetts, e.g. : HAYSEEDS
"Hayseed" is a slang term for a country bumpkin, a yokel. None of these terms is very flattering, I'd say.

"The Beverly Hillbillies" was a rags-to-riches sitcom that aired from 1962 to 1971, a creation of writer Paul Henning. Buoyed by the success of "Hillbillies", Henning created another sitcom in 1965, one that was a complete opposite in terms of plot, the riches-to-rags story of "Green Acres".

44. Mideast bigwig : SULTAN
Sultan is an Islamic title, with the word "sultan" originally meaning "strength" or "power". The word then became a title for some Muslim rulers who claimed to have extensive authority. Sultans ruled over "sultanates", and were married to "sultanas".

46. Nutlike Chinese fruit : LITCHI
Litchis are better known in English as lychees. One can't eat the skin of the lychee fruit, which is why you'll notice that you are only served the sweet flash. If you've never tried them, you should do so as they're delicious. Even thought there is a nut-like seed within the edible flesh of the lychee fruit, I wouldn't eat it as it is poisonous ...

48. Hosiery shades : ECRUS
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".

49. Drunk : SOUSE
The word "souse" dates back to the 14th century, meaning "to pickle, steep in vinegar". In the early 1600s the usage was applied to someone "pickled" in booze, a drunkard.

56. "Vidi," translated : I SAW
The oft-quoted "Veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered") is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BC and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

57. See 34-Down : NAZI

58. Pitcher Maddux with four Cy Young Awards : GREG
Baseball pitcher Greg Maddux won the Cy Young Award for the four consecutive years of 1992 through 1995, a record that wasn't matched until Randy Johnson did the same thing in 1999 through 2002.

61. Fond du ___, Wis. : LAC
"Fond du lac" is French and translates as "bottom of the lake", an apt name for the city of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin located at the foot of Lake Winnebago. If you like to play the lottery, you might want to stop off in Fond du Lac as there is a stretch of South Main Street called "Miracle Mile". Back in 1993, someone bought a ticket there and won $100 million. Then in 2006, another store sold a ticket that won $209 million. These things always come in threes, so buy your tickets now ...

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Course in the biology dept. : ANAT
5. Prize won by Obama and Carter : NOBEL
10. Pickle containers : JARS
14. Rogen of "Knocked Up" : SETH
15. Strong adhesive : EPOXY
16. Black cloud or black cat, to some : OMEN
17. Do-it-yourselfer's activity : HOME REPAIR
19. Spanish sparkling wine : CAVA
20. Came next : ENSUED
21. Compares (to) : STACKS UP
23. With 51-Across, nitpick ... or a hint to 17-, 37- and 60-Across : SPLIT
25. Affirmatives : YESES
26. Turns down : REFUSES
29. Last word of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" : DENY
31. Altogether it's worth the most bonus troops in Risk : ASIA
32. Giraffe's cousin : OKAPI
34. Snowmobile part : SKI
37. New York singing group that last performed in 2007 : HARLEM BOYS CHOIR
41. It's "the word" : MUM
42. Ability : MEANS
43. Digital camera mode : AUTO
44. Reminder of an old wound : SCAR
45. Tot's enclosure : PLAYPEN
48. Suffix with Kafka or Zola : -ESQUE
51. See 23-Across : HAIRS
52. Come together : COALESCE
55. Preparing to drive, with "up" : TEEING
59. Half-pint : RUNT
60. Forum cheer : HAIL, CAESAR
62. Govt. meat-stamping org. : USDA
63. What "O" stands for in the magazine business : OPRAH
64. Knock for a loop : DAZE
65. Son of John and Yoko : SEAN
66. "GoodFellas" Oscar winner Joe : PESCI
67. Gulp from a flask : SWIG

Down
1. ___ Stadium (Big Apple tennis locale) : ASHE
2. Vegas gas : NEON
3. Dinero dispensers : ATMS
4. Bar habitué's order, maybe : THE USUAL
5. Replaceable part of a phonograph : NEEDLE
6. Antonym: Abbr. : OPP
7. Blowhard's claim : BOAST
8. Interstate sign : EXIT
9. Vega's constellation : LYRA
10. Big name in underwear : JOCKEY
11. Pile up : AMASS
12. Show with skits : REVUE
13. Alternatives to buttons : SNAPS
18. Contract negotiators, for short : REPS
22. Critic of the selfless : CYNIC
24. Weathercaster's pressure line : ISOBAR
26. Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM
27. Jacob's twin : ESAU
28. Unwilling to budge : FIRM
29. Place for a facial : DAY SPA
30. Short albums, for short : EPS
33. "___-Tiki" : KON
34. With 57-Down, memorable "Seinfeld" character, with "the" : SOUP
35. Charlie Brown toy that's often "eaten" by a tree : KITE
36. Steel component : IRON
38. Show host : EMCEE
39. ___ culpa : MEA
40. TV's Clampetts, e.g. : HAYSEEDS
44. Mideast bigwig : SULTAN
46. Nutlike Chinese fruit : LITCHI
47. Two-dimensional measure : AREA
48. Hosiery shades : ECRUS
49. Drunk : SOUSE
50. Post-lecture session, informally : Q AND A
51. Ones named in a will : HEIRS
53. Woodworking or metalworking class : SHOP
54. Superman costume part : CAPE
56. "Vidi," translated : I SAW
57. See 34-Down : NAZI
58. Pitcher Maddux with four Cy Young Awards : GREG
61. Fond du ___, Wis. : LAC


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2 comments :

Jim said...

This is not the puzzle that I find in my NYTimes today.

Bill Butler said...

Jim,

I know, my mistake. Thanks for pointing out the error. It's all fixed now.

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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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