Top Line

Search by Date

DD MMM YY or MMDD-YY

Search by Puzzle Number

e.g. 1225-09, 0704-10, 1025-10 etc.

Daily Solution by Email

Enter your email address

Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth 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

1108-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 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: Scott Atkinson
THEME: All the Bs … each of the theme answers is made up of three words, each of which begins with B:
23A. Reality show featuring Whitney Houston and her then-husband : BEING BOBBY BROWN
50A. Healthy delivery, perhaps : BOUNCING BABY BOY
3D. Rhett and Scarlett's child : BONNIE BLUE BUTLER
11D. Dish often served with franks : BOSTON BAKED BEANS
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. "Mamma Mia" singers : ABBA
I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA's music. ABBA was of course the Swedish group that topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members, namely: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.

5. Sheath of connective tissue : FASCIA
If you’ve seen pieces of meat that are cut relatively roughly, you’ll have noticed thin sheets of whitish, fibrous connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels etc., basically holding everything in place in the body. That connective tissue is called fascia.

14. Object of pity for Mr. T : FOOL
Mr. T's real name is Laurence Tureaud. He is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a night club so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catchphrase comes from the movie "Rocky III". Before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, "No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool". He parlayed the line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called "I Pity the Fool", and produced a motivational video called "Be Somebody ... or Be Somebody's Fool!".

15. Parthenon goddess : ATHENA
The most recognizable building that stands on the Acropolis in Athens is the Parthenon, also known as the Temple of Athena.

17. 1960 Jerry Lewis fairy tale spoof : CINDERFELLA
Cinderfella” is a Jerry Lewis comedy film that is based on the story of “Cinderella”. It was released in 1960.

19. UV ray-blocking stat : SPF
In theory, the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it will take 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn if using lotion, than without it. I say, just stay out of the sun ...

20. Once known as : NEE
"Née" is the French word for "born", when referring to a female. The male equivalent is "né".

21. Stephen of "Still Crazy" : REA
Stephen Rea is an Irish actor, whose most famous role was that of the "retired" IRA man in the brilliant 1992 film "The Crying Game". He also starred in the chilling movie "Stuck", a 2007 film that is based on a true story about a woman who commits a hit and run on a homeless man. The woman leaves the scene of the crime with the victim still "stuck" in her windshield. The woman then leaves the man to die in her garage. Chilling, eh? But as I said, a true story ...

22. Suit to ___ : A TEE
The expression "to a T" can also be written as "to a tee", and has been around at least since 1693.

23. Reality show featuring Whitney Houston and her then-husband : BEING BOBBY BROWN
“Being Bobby Brown” was a reality TV show about the life of R&B singer Bobby Brown. It first aired in 2005 when Brown’s wife was singer Whitney Houston. The show was extremely popular, but only ran for one season as Houston wouldn’t agree to continue filming.

28. Help pull off a crime : ABET
The word "abet" comes into English from the Old French "abeter" meaning "to bait" or "to harass with dogs" (it literally means "to make bite"). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of "abet" to mean aid or encourage someone in a crime.

30. Radius neighbors : ULNAS
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the "thumb-side" of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the "pinkie-side".

32. Poppycock : ROT
It is thought that the apparently “nice” term “poppycock” comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so nice after all …

34. NBC show with skits, in brief : 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 come up with a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he created what we now call "Saturday Night Live".

35. Part of a bray : HEE
A “bray” is the sound of say a donkey: “hee-haw”.

36. Mrs. Gorbachev : RAISA
Raisa Gorbachova was the wife of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. There's no doubt that Raisa's charm and personality helped her husband as he toiled to change the image of the Soviet Union.

37. Eurasian range : URALS
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

39. M.D. concerned with tonsils : ENT
An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist is an ENT.

40. Backyard pond fish : KOI
Koi are also called Japanese carp. They have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored koi found in Japanese water gardens.

43. Great Chicago Fire scapegoat Mrs. ___ : O’LEARY
The Great Chicago Fire blazed for almost three full days in October of 1871. By the time it was extinguished hundreds of people had died and four square miles of the city had been destroyed. It is known that the fire started in or near a small barn owned by an Irish immigrant, a Mrs. Catherine O’Leary. A reporter called Michael Ahern wrote in the “Chicago Tribune” that the fire was ignited when a cow in the barn kicked over a lantern. Years later, Ahern admitted that he made up the story about the cow and the lantern, as he felt it made colorful copy. Supposedly Mrs. O’Leary died a heart-broken woman as she spent the rest of her life with the public blaming her on the tragic loss of life and property.

46. "Hor." neighbor, on old TVs : VERT
That would “horizontal hold” and “vertical hold”. Our kids have no idea what we had to go through …

47. Second offer, as on eBay : REBID
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!

48. Flair : ELAN
Our word "élan" was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours i.e "style" or "flair".

53. Some QB turnovers: Abbr. : INTS
Interceptions.

54. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. He is perhaps as well known for his own singing career as he is for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dog, Eminem and 50 Cent.

55. Norma ___ (Sally Field role) : RAE
"Norma Rae" is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called "Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance".

62. Suffix with ethyl : -ENE
An alkene is an organic compound made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It differs from an alkane in that it has at least one C=C double bond. The simplest alkene is the gas ethylene, a major raw material used in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).

63. Got back, as hair by a Rogaine user : REGREW
Rogaine is a brand name for the drug Minoxidil. It was developed as an oral medication to treat high blood pressure, but was found to have an exploitable side-effect. It caused an increased in the rate of hair growth. A topical solution was marketed to promote growth of hair especially in balding men. The drug seems to work well, but when the application is stopped, things go back to normal in about 60 days. Wouldn’t dream of touching the stuff myself …

64. Nephew of Abel : ENOS
Enos, as the son of Seth, was the grandson of Adam.

65. ___ Bingle (Crosby) : DER
During WWII, Bing Crosby performed lots of live shows in Europe for American troops. He also read propaganda broadcasts in German that were directed towards German forces. In Germany he became known as “Der Bingle”, a name that was eventually picked up by many of his English-speaking fans.

67. Invitation letters : RSVP
RSVP stands for "Répondez s'il vous plaît", which is French for "please, answer".

Down
1. N.Y. Jets' org. : AFC
Just like the New York Giants, the New York Jets are based in New Jersey, headquartered in Florham Park. The Jets and the Giants have a unique arrangement in the NFL in that the two teams share the same stadium, the New Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets were an AFL charter team, formed in 1959 as the Titans of New York. They changed their name to the Jets in 1963.

2. Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er ___" : BOI
"Sk8er Boi" was released as a single in 2002 by Avril Lavigne. I'm probably not going to buy this one ...

3. Rhett and Scarlett's child : BONNIE BLUE BUTLER
In the original story of “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler had just one child together, a young girl called Bonnie Blue.

4. Firm, as pasta : AL DENTE
The Italian expression "al dente" literally means "to the tooth" or "to the bite" and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender yet still crisp.

6. Antismuggling org. : ATF
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is today part of the Department of Justice. The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. "Explosives" was added to the ATF's name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice as part of the government reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

8. People profiled in People : CELEBS
There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, that we now call “People” magazine.

12. Suspended ore conveyor, e.g. : ROPEWAY
“Ropeway” is another name for an aerial tramway.

18. Brain wave monitor, briefly : EEG
An electroencephalogram is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is "brain dead".

22. Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" setting : ARLES
Sunflowers” was the name of two series of paintings by Vincent van Gogh. In the first series, the flowers are lying on the ground and in the second more famous series, painted in Arles, the flowers are in a vase. Famously, a Japanese insurance magnate purchased “Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers” in 1987 in an auction, paying just under $40 million. This price outstripped the previous record price paid for a work of art by a wide, wide margin, one that stood at $12 million.

24. Black, in poetry : EBON
Ebony is another word for the color black (often shortened to "ebon" in poetry). Ebony is a dark, black wood that is very dense, and is one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand, so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It's in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned ...

26. High-pitched double-reeds : OBOES
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name "oboe" comes from the French "hautbois" which means "high wood". When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance, you'll note (pun intended!) the oboe starts off the process by playing an "A". The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe's "A". Oh, and if you want to read a fun book (almost an "exposé") about life playing the oboe, you might try "Mozart in the Jungle" by oboist Blair Tindall. I heard recently that HBO are working towards a pilot based on the book. I can’t wait to see it!

33. Daiquiri fruit : BANANA
Daiquirí is a small village on the coast near Santiago, Cuba and a key location in the American invasion of Cuba in the Spanish-American War. Supposedly, the cocktail called a Daiquiri was invented by American mining engineers in a bar in nearby Santiago.

35. Corporate head? : HARD C
That first letter in the word “corporate” is a hard C.

38. Claude of "Casablanca" : RAINS
Claude Rains was an English actor, famous for playing some classic roles on the Hollywood screen. His most recognized part has to be that of Captain Renault in 1942’s “Casablanca”.

41. Cookie with creme in the middle : OREO
The Oreo was the biggest selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been produced since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added to give a different taste.

43. Traveled like Sputnik : ORBITED
The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower made his move, creating the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

44. Like Simba or Nala : LEONINE
Simba is the main character in the Disney animated feature, "The Lion King". "Simba" is the Swahili word for "lion".

In "The Lion King", Nala is a lioness, the childhood friend of Simba.

46. First spacecraft to reach Uranus and Neptune : VOYAGER
NASA’s Voyager program launched two unmanned probes to explore the outer limits of our solar system. The probes were launched on different dates in 1977, with each date chosen to take advantage of particular alignments of the planets. The two probes are still active to some extent, and will be so for at least another decade. Voyager 1 is now the farthest man-made object from the Earth. Cool …

60. Part of U.S.S.R.: Abbr. : SOV
The former Soviet Union was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. The new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent geographically to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Mamma Mia" singers : ABBA
5. Sheath of connective tissue : FASCIA
11. Buddy, for short : BRO
14. Object of pity for Mr. T : FOOL
15. Parthenon goddess : ATHENA
16. Sock-in-the-gut reaction : OOF
17. 1960 Jerry Lewis fairy tale spoof : CINDERFELLA
19. UV ray-blocking stat : SPF
20. Once known as : NEE
21. Stephen of "Still Crazy" : REA
22. Suit to ___ : A TEE
23. Reality show featuring Whitney Houston and her then-husband : BEING BOBBY BROWN
28. Help pull off a crime : ABET
29. $5 bills, slangily : ABES
30. Radius neighbors : ULNAS
31. Judge's wear : ROBE
32. Poppycock : ROT
33. "Ciao for now!" : BYE-BYE
34. NBC show with skits, in brief : SNL
35. Part of a bray : HEE
36. Mrs. Gorbachev : RAISA
37. Eurasian range : URALS
39. M.D. concerned with tonsils : ENT
40. Backyard pond fish : KOI
43. Great Chicago Fire scapegoat Mrs. ___ : O’LEARY
45. "Just as I suspected!" : AHA
46. "Hor." neighbor, on old TVs : VERT
47. Second offer, as on eBay : REBID
48. Flair : ELAN
49. Poems of praise : ODES
50. Healthy delivery, perhaps : BOUNCING BABY BOY
53. Some QB turnovers: Abbr. : INTS
54. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
55. Norma ___ (Sally Field role) : RAE
56. Up to, in ads : ‘TIL
57. Bowl over : FLABBERGAST
62. Suffix with ethyl : -ENE
63. Got back, as hair by a Rogaine user : REGREW
64. Nephew of Abel : ENOS
65. ___ Bingle (Crosby) : DER
66. Think creatively : IDEATE
67. Invitation letters : RSVP

Down
1. N.Y. Jets' org. : AFC
2. Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er ___" : BOI
3. Rhett and Scarlett's child : BONNIE BLUE BUTLER
4. Firm, as pasta : AL DENTE
5. A way off : FAR
6. Antismuggling org. : ATF
7. Cold dessert : SHERBET
8. People profiled in People : CELEBS
9. Furniture decoration : INLAY
10. Small battery : AAA
11. Dish often served with franks : BOSTON BAKED BEANS
12. Suspended ore conveyor, e.g. : ROPEWAY
13. Side with the ball : OFFENSE
18. Brain wave monitor, briefly : EEG
22. Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" setting : ARLES
23. Granola servings : BARS
24. Black, in poetry : EBON
25. With no room to spare : BARELY
26. High-pitched double-reeds : OBOES
27. Salesman's exhortation : BUY IT
33. Daiquiri fruit : BANANA
35. Corporate head? : HARD C
36. Post-op program : REHAB
38. Claude of "Casablanca" : RAINS
41. Cookie with creme in the middle : OREO
42. ___-bitsy : ITSY
43. Traveled like Sputnik : ORBITED
44. Like Simba or Nala : LEONINE
45. "Solve for x" subject : ALGEBRA
46. First spacecraft to reach Uranus and Neptune : VOYAGER
48. Cause to see red : ENRAGE
51. Sat : IDLED
52. Comment during a cold snap : BRR
57. Popular party day: Abbr. : FRI
58. Vegas action : BET
59. Meadow mother : EWE
60. Part of U.S.S.R.: Abbr. : SOV
61. Recipe amt. : TSP

Return to top of page

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

I'm 62 years old, college educated, and a pretty fair crossword puzzler. However, when you throw in Stephen Rae, Whitney Houston's husband, Avril Lavigne, and a Daiquiri fruit other than lime (I've had them at El Floridita Bar in Havana), then you've lost me. "Bouncing Baby Boy," Boston Baked Beans" and "Bonnie Blue Butler" posed no problem for me. But, "Being Bobby Brown"? Never heard of it. By the way, "celebs" is an abbreviation, and a "banana" does not go in a daiquiri. It goes in a "banana daiquiri," like asparagus goes in an "asparagus daiquiri," I guess.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

You make some interesting comments. That "banana" in the daiquiri was a particularly good catch, I thought. And I am very envious of your daiquiri experiences in Havana!

I empathize with you about certain types of clue. I hadn't heard of Avril Lavigne or Being Bobby Brown either (except in crosswords), but of course being an Irishman am very familiar with Irish actor Stephen Rea.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tell a Friend About NYTCrossword.com:

Facebook Twitter Google Email

Adsense Wide Skyscraper

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

Blog Archive