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Greetings from Louisburgh, County Mayo in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

1105-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Nov 11, Saturday





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: Kurt Mueller
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 59m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ATHOL (ATHOS), LEHRS (SEHRS)


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. First name in eroticism : ANAIS
Anaïs Nin was a French author, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. She also wrote highly regarded erotica, and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration.

9. Queen ___ (Maryland county) : ANNE’S
Queen Anne’s County is on the east coast of Maryland, and is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The county was established in 1706, when Queen Anne was on the British throne.

14. Relative of a bobolink : BALTIMORE ORIOLE
The Baltimore Oriole is a small blackbird. It is the state bird of Maryland, and of course gives its name to the Baltimore Major League Baseball team.

20. One in a Biergarten? : EIN
“Ein” is an indefinite article in German. Technically, “eins” is the number one.

21. Title role for Omar Sharif or Benicio Del Toro : CHE
Omar Sharif is the great Hollywood actor from Egypt, who played such memorable roles in the movies "Doctor Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia". But to me he is my bridge hero (the card game). In his heyday he was one of the best players in the world.

Benicio Del Toro is an actor from Puerto Rico. He is an Academy Award winner, for the role he played in “Traffic”, released in 2000. He also played the title role in the 2008 movie “Che”.

"Che!" is a 1969 biopic about the life of Che Guevara. It stars Omar Sharif in the title role, and Jack Palance as Fidel Castro. I haven't seen the film, and apparently it wasn't well received. Well, an Egyptian (Sharif) playing an Argentine Marxist, and a Ukrainian American (Palance) playing a Cuban revolutionary ... it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen ...

23. "Ulysses" star, 1967 : O’SHEA
Milo O'Shea is a great Irish character actor, who has appeared in everything from "Romeo and Juliet" to "The West Wing".

Ulysses” is a 1967 movie based on the famous James Joyce novel of the same name. Milo O’Shea played the lead role of Leopold Bloom. The dialogue in the film is lifted almost word for word from the novel, which is probably why “Ulysses” is probably the first film to use the “f***” word.

31. Plays with masks : NOH
Noh is a form of musical drama in Japan that has been around since the 14th century. Many of the performers are masked, allowing all the roles to be played by men, both male and female parts.

33. Current event around Christmas? : EL NINO
When the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean rises or falls more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for "the boy" and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

37. 19th dynasty's founder : RAMSES I
Ramesses (also Ramses) was the name taken by eleven of the Egytian pharoahs. Ramesses translates as “Born of the sun-god Ra”.

40. Composition of some stars : TIN
In the Old West a “tin star” was a sheriff's badge.

41. Symposium offering: Abbr. : LECT
Lecture.

In Ancient Greece a "drinking party" was called a "symposium" (just like today!). Often the drink was a mixture of water and wine that was placed in a large vase, called a krater, in the center of the room. Participants in the symposium would dip a smaller vessel into the krater to refill their drinking cups. And yes, "krater" is the root for our word "crater".

44. Popular tech news site : CNET
c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. In fact, the host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as a host on a c|net show.

45. Massachusetts town near the New Hampshire border : ATHOL
Athol, Massachusetts was originally called Pequoiag, and was settled in 1735. When the township was incorporated in 1762 the name was changed to Athol, reminiscent of the previous home back in Scotland one of the founders, Blair Athol. The L. S. Starrett Company was established there in 1881 manufacturing precision tools. The company is still going strong and is the city's biggest employer. As such, it inspired Athol's nickname of "Tool Town".

48. 1970s radical grp. : SLA
The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) was founded in 1973 by an escapee of the prison system, Donald DeFreeze. The group's manifesto promoted the rights of African Americans although, in the 2-3 year life of the group, DeFreeze was the only black member. Famously, the SLA kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst in 1974.

49. Frittata alternative : CREPE
The word "frittata" is Italian, and comes from "fritto" meaning "fried".

51. Options for building torpedoes : SALAMIS
Salame (note the "e" at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for maybe as long as ten years. The name "salame" comes from "sale", the Italian word for salt, and "-ame", a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word "salami" is actually the Italian plural for "salame".

55. 1930 Laurel and Hardy film : ANOTHER FINE MESS
Laurel and Hardy’s short film “Another Fine Mess” was released in 1930. It was a remake, with sound, of a silent movie the comedy duo made in 1927 called “Duck Soup”. In turn, “Duck Soup” was based on a play called “Home from the Honeymoon” written in 1908 by none other than Arthur J. Jefferson, Stan Laurel’s father.

59. Gives a "Yoo-hoo!" on Facebook : POKES
When you “poke” someone on Facebook, an icon shows up on the poked person’s Facebook page telling them they have been “poked” and by whom. I guess it’s a way of saying “hi”, but I am very much a Facebook neophyte.

60. Vous, over the Rhine : SIE
“Sie” is a German word for “you”.

61. Part of a beehive : TRESS
That distinctive "beehive" hairstyle is also called a B-52, because the round beehive-shape also resembles the bulbous nose of a B-52 bomber! The style originated in 1958 and is credited to Margaret Vinci Heldt, the owner of a hair salon in downtown Chicago. I'm not a fan of the beehive, but I do have to say that Audrey Hepburn carried it off in "Breakfast at Tiffany's", as did Dusty Springfield in her heyday.

Down
1. "Take ___" (1994 Madonna hit) : A BOW
“Take a Bow” is a 1994 hit for Madonna, her second number one in the US.

Madonna’s real name is Madonna Louise Ciccone. She has sold more records worldwide than any other female artist.

3. Creator of much suspense : ALFRED HITCHCOCK
Alfred Hitchcock makes a cameo appearance in 39 of his 52 movies. My favorite, and perhaps the most innovative, is in the movie "Lifeboat". In the film, there is a limited cast, just the people in a lifeboat and no extras. Hitchcock managed to make his appearance in a print ad in a newspaper read by one of the survivors in the boat.

4. Biased, in a way : ITALIC
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as "italic" because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

5. Kinsman of Jesus : SIMON
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was not the only child of Mary. Jesus had brothers named Simon, James the Just, and Joses.

6. Visa offering : GOLD CARD
Did you know that Visa doesn't issue any credit cards? Visa just sells the electronic systems and infrastructure to banks who then put the Visa logo on their own cards so that both the customer and merchant know to use the VISA system when making a transaction.

9. Half of a sci-fi name : ARTOO
Artoo's proper name is R2-D2, the smaller of the two famous droids from the "Star Wars" movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the "Star Wars" movies.

10. TV producer's concern : NIELSENS
Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series "Becker", in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air, there's a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called "Nielsen". He looks at the lab results and announces "I don't know what everyone is talking about ... these numbers aren't so bad!" Great stuff ...

11. 1960s-'70s foe : NORTH VIETNAMESE
North Vietnam was more correctly known as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. It was the communist state ruling the northern part of Vietnam from 1954 until the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

12. Wahoo, for one : ELM
The tree called the Wahoo is also known as the Winged Elm.

13. 22-Down, in Dijon : SES
Dijon is a city in eastern France, in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn't protect the name "Dijon" so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

15. It was last inhabited in 2000 : MIR
Mir was a very successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of its life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth's atmosphere in 2001.

22. Matching pair designation : HIS
Like His ‘n Her bath towels, perhaps.

25. Apply chrism to : ANOINT
“Chrism” is a Greek word meaning “anointing”. It is an anointing oil, perhaps better known as “Myrrh”.

Frankincense and myrrh are both tree resins, exuded when certain species of tree are damaged. The harvested resins are used to make essentials oils for perfumes, and are also burned to give off a pleasant fragrance.

26. Tony's boss on "Who's the Boss?" : ANGELA
Who’s the Boss?” is a sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992. The title refers to the fact that the character known as Angela was the boss, and the character called Tony (played by Tony Danza) was the stay at home homemaker. Back in the eighties that arrangement of male and female roles was a big deal (said the stay-at-home crossword blogger …).

27. Armstrong blew it : CORNET
Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1900. He had a poor upbringing, and only stayed in school till he was 11 years old. When he died in 1971, the honorary pallbearers at his funeral included Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson. What a talent that man had …

32. KO connection maker : ALI
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali was presented with a gold medal during those '96 Games, a replacement for the medal he won at the 1960 Olympics. He had thrown the original into the Ohio River as a gesture of disgust after being refused service at a "whites only" restaurant.

36. 2004-06 Haitian P.M. : LATORTUE
Gérard Latourtue was chosen as the Prime Minister of Haiti soon after the 2004 coup in the country that overthrew the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

39. French key : CLE
“Clé” is the French word for “key”.

46. Glassware ovens : LEHRS
A lehr is a kiln used in glassmaking. Items are annealed in a lehr, meaning that they are cooled slowly so that any stress in the glass is removed. Faster cooling can cause cracks in the work.

50. Bank of China Tower designer : PEI
The Bank of China Tower is a spectacular structure in Hong Kong, designed by 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.

53. Sister of Nephthys : ISIS
Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, and the mother of Horus. The Egyptian pharaohs were supposedly incarnations of Horus.

54. Former high fliers : SSTS
The most famous Supersonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that's no longer flying. Concorde had that famous "droop nose". The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

55. Possible cause of paralysis : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. First name in eroticism : ANAIS
6. Confab : GAB
9. Queen ___ (Maryland county) : ANNE’S
14. Relative of a bobolink : BALTIMORE ORIOLE
17. Friendly : ON FAMILIAR TERMS
18. Minor despot : WARLORD
19. It has a crosspiece for a head : T BOLT
20. One in a Biergarten? : EIN
21. Title role for Omar Sharif or Benicio Del Toro : CHE
23. "Ulysses" star, 1967 : O’SHEA
26. Like some outlets : AC/DC
28. One is often said to be dead : FAINT
30. Not notched : EVEN
31. Plays with masks : NOH
32. Gets out in the open : AIRS
33. Current event around Christmas? : EL NINO
35. With 39-Across, street fair fare : GRILLED
37. 19th dynasty's founder : RAMSES I
38. Take : ENTAIL
39. See 35-Across : CORN
40. Composition of some stars : TIN
41. Symposium offering: Abbr. : LECT
42. Commuter's annoyance : DELAY
44. Popular tech news site : CNET
45. Massachusetts town near the New Hampshire border : ATHOL
47. Like some survey boxes : XED
48. 1970s radical grp. : SLA
49. Frittata alternative : CREPE
51. Options for building torpedoes : SALAMIS
55. 1930 Laurel and Hardy film : ANOTHER FINE MESS
58. What a lessee often gets back less of : SECURITY DEPOSIT
59. Gives a "Yoo-hoo!" on Facebook : POKES
60. Vous, over the Rhine : SIE
61. Part of a beehive : TRESS

Down
1. "Take ___" (1994 Madonna hit) : A BOW
2. Family nickname : NANA
3. Creator of much suspense : ALFRED HITCHCOCK
4. Biased, in a way : ITALIC
5. Kinsman of Jesus : SIMON
6. Visa offering : GOLD CARD
7. Man's name that spells another man's name backward : ARI
8. Like losers : BEATEN
9. Half of a sci-fi name : ARTOO
10. TV producer's concern : NIELSENS
11. 1960s-'70s foe : NORTH VIETNAMESE
12. Wahoo, for one : ELM
13. 22-Down, in Dijon : SES
15. It was last inhabited in 2000 : MIR
16. 15-Down went around one : ORB
22. Matching pair designation : HIS
24. Wee: Var. : EENSIE
25. Apply chrism to : ANOINT
26. Tony's boss on "Who's the Boss?" : ANGELA
27. Armstrong blew it : CORNET
28. Specialty : FIELD
29. Obviously not happy : TEARY
32. KO connection maker : ALI
34. KO connection? : LMN
36. 2004-06 Haitian P.M. : LATORTUE
37. Shoulder holder : ROADSIDE
39. French key : CLE
43. Wields : EXERTS
44. Hullabaloo : CLAMOR
46. Glassware ovens : LEHRS
48. Was quiescent : SLEPT
50. Bank of China Tower designer : PEI
52. The 4th of November? : AN E
53. Sister of Nephthys : ISIS
54. Former high fliers : SSTS
55. Possible cause of paralysis : ASP
56. Liberal leader? : NEO-
57. Memo opener : FYI

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2 comments :

Lori said...

Very nice site. A friend recommended it and I'm glad he did. Thanks.

Bill Butler said...

Thanks so much, Lori. I hope you check it out again soon, and that it proves to be of service.

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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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