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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

1116-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Nov 11, Wednesday





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: Gary Cee
THEME: BEER CHASER … all of the theme answers start with a word that can be followed by “BEER”:
17A. Common result of a lane closing : BOTTLENECK (beer bottle)
23A. Outdoor affair : GARDEN PARTY (beer garden)
39A. Large, fun quantity, in a saying : BARREL OF MONKEYS (beer barrel)
48A. Performer with sinuous moves : BELLY DANCER (beer belly)
62A. Shot follower, often ... and a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 39- and 48-Across : BEER CHASER
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Some undies : BVDS
The men’s underwear known as BVDs are made by the Bradley, Voorhees & Day. The company was started in 1876 to make bustles for women, and is named for its founders.

14. Half court game? : ALAI
“Alai” is “half” of the court game “jai alia”.

Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world (because of the speed of the ball), in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip.

15. Joyful tune : CAROL
The word "carol" came into English via the Old French word "carole", which meant a "dance in a ring". When "carol" made it into English, about 1300, it was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

16. Ibuprofen target : ACHE
Nuprin is one of the brand names under which the drug ibuprofen is sold. Ibuprofen is a shortened version of the drug's name Iso-BUtyl-PROpanoic-PHENolic acid. It's actually an anti-inflammatory, but is good for headaches too apparently.

31. Nondairy dairy aisle item : OLEO
Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name "margarine". The name "oleomargarine" also gives us our generic term "oleo".

36. Abbas's grp. : PLO
The Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964. Its early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923.

Mahmoud Abbas is very much in the news these days. He took over as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 2004 after the death of Yasser Arafat. He is also the President of the Palestinian National Authority, equivalent to the post of "head of state".

43. Baseball star nicknamed Godzilla : MATSUI
Hideki Matsui is a Major League Baseball player from Japan, who has played here in the US since the 2003 season. He is a power hitter and deserves his nickname “Godzilla”. He even got himself a cameo in the 2002 Japanese film “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla”.

44. Missing roll call, say : AWOL
The Military Police go after personnel who are Absent With-Out Leave (AWOL).

45. Avian source of red meat : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the "invading force". The emus were clever, breaking their usual formation and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

55. Stephen of "V for Vendetta" : 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 ...

61. Mozart's "___ Fan Tutte" : COSI
Mozart's comic opera "Così fan tutte" is also known in English as "The School for Lovers". A more literal translation is "Thus do all (women)", or "Women are like that".

64. Blissful spot : EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden "in" Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

Down
1. Cake with a kick : BABA
Rum baba is a small yeast cake saturated in rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream. Rum baba is derived from the recipe for the tall "babka" yeast cake which was introduced to the world by Polish diaspora. The word "baba", and "babka", mean "old woman" or "grandmother" in English. I guess someone must have thought that all grandmothers were saturated in rum!

2. Journal on YouTube, maybe : VLOG
A video blog is perhaps what one might expect, a blog that is essentially a series of video posts. The term “video logging” is often shortened to “vlogging”.

4. ___ bath (therapeutic treatment) : SITZ
A sitz bath is one in which one sits up to the hips, usually for a therapeutic purposes. The term comes from the German word “Sitzbad” meaning “bath in which one sits”.

8. Social contract theorist John : LOCKE
John Locke was the English philosopher who postulated that the mind was a blank slate (or "tabula rasa") and that we filled that slate with our experiences and observations.

9. Fraternal member : ELK
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a "club" in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren't welcome.

10. Penguin's nemesis : BATMAN
Batman is unique among his superhero compatriots in that he has no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets.

11. Earthy tone : OCHER
Ochre is often spelled "ocher" in the US (it's "ochre" where I come from). Ocher is a light, yellowy brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible, such as red ocher and purple ocher.

12. ___ penny (pre-1959 cent) : WHEAT
The wheat cent was a design for the penny that was issued between 1909 and 1958. The penny gets the name from two ears of durum wheat that appear as a design element on the reverse of the coin.

18. Building block brand : LEGO
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934, and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. They were originally sold under the name "Automatic Binding Bricks", but I think today's "Lego" is easier to remember! The name "Lego" comes from the Danish term "leg godt" meaning "play well".

22. Warren ___, baseball's winningest lefty : SPAHN
Warren Spahn was a left-handed pitcher, who won 363 games, more than any other left-handed pitcher in history. The Warren Spahn Award has been presented annually by the Oklahoma Sports Museum since 1999.

24. Heap kudos on : APPLAUD
Our word "kudos" is used to acclaim an exceptional achievement. "Kudos" is not a plural, despite a common misapprehension. It is a singular noun derived from the Greek "kyddos" meaning "glory, fame".

25. Kind of salad made famous by Julia Child : NICOISE
A Niçoise salad is known as a salade Niçoise in its native France, where it was named for the city of Nice in the south of the country. The original contains no cooked vegetables, but here in North America there are almost always included some boiled potatoes.

26. Timber wolf : LOBO
The timber wolf is also known as the gray wolf, tundra wolf or lobo.

27. ___ Freed, 1960s payola figure : ALAN
Alan Freed was an early disk-jockey, who was known by the nickname "Moondog". Based in the US, he also recorded radio shows for broadcast in Europe. He earned quite a reputation promoting African-American rhythm and blues music, and ultimately rock and roll. However, Freed's career came to an abrupt end when it was proven that he was at the receiving end of "payola" payments, profiting from promotion of specific records on his shows.

Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term "payola" comes from the words "pay" and "Victrola", an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

28. ___ Noël (French Santa Claus) : PERE
A central figure on Christmas Day is Father Christmas, or "Père Noël" in French.

29. Rocky hill : TOR
A tor is a high rocky hill. “Tor” comes from the Old English “torr”, the word for a tower or rock, which in turn comes from the Old Welsh “twrr”, meaning a heap or a pile.

35. ___ Darya (river of central 58-Down) : AMU
(58. See 35-Down : ASIA)
The Amu Darya is a major river in Central Asia that empties into the Aral Sea. It is also called the Oxus or Amu River.

37. City on the Rhône : LYON
The city of Lyon in France, is also known as Lyons in English.

38. Nobel Institute city : OSLO
The Norwegian Nobel Institute was established in Oslo in 1904. The main task of the Institute is to assist the Norwegian Nobel Committee in selecting the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and to organize the annual Nobel event.

40. TV honors : EMMYS
The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars in the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name of "Emmy" is a softened version of the word "immy", the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras.

41. Bandleader Kyser : KAY
Kay Kyser was popular bandleader in the thirties and forties.

45. Phenomenon named for the infant Jesus : 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.

47. Keystone's place : ARCH
The keystone of an arch is the last piece put in position, the placement of which allows the arch to bear weight. The keystone sits right at the apex.

48. Muscle strengthened by curls, informally : BICEP
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

50. Shakes, so to speak : LOSES
One loses someone who is tailing, for example, one shakes a tail.

53. Insertion indicator : CARET
The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

59. Monopoly payment : RENT
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of "The Landlord's Game" created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips who used it as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord's Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, making him a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Some undies : BVDS
5. Go unhurriedly : AMBLE
10. January 1 game : BOWL
14. Half court game? : ALAI
15. Joyful tune : CAROL
16. Ibuprofen target : ACHE
17. Common result of a lane closing : BOTTLENECK
19. Pronoun in hymns : THEE
20. Looking intently : AGAZE
21. Symbol of sturdiness : OAK
22. Vilify : SMEAR
23. Outdoor affair : GARDEN PARTY
26. Computer for one who's on the go : LAPTOP
30. Nationality suffix : -IAN
31. Nondairy dairy aisle item : OLEO
32. Address the flock : PREACH
36. Abbas's grp. : PLO
39. Large, fun quantity, in a saying : BARREL OF MONKEYS
42. Word that appears eight times on a dollar bill : ONE
43. Baseball star nicknamed Godzilla : MATSUI
44. Missing roll call, say : AWOL
45. Avian source of red meat : EMU
46. Gives a thumbs-down : SAYS NO
48. Performer with sinuous moves : BELLY DANCER
54. Some golf clubs : IRONS
55. Stephen of "V for Vendetta" : REA
56. Reach the Top 40, say : CHART
61. Mozart's "___ Fan Tutte" : COSI
62. Shot follower, often ... and a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 39- and 48-Across : BEER CHASER
64. Blissful spot : EDEN
65. Anesthetized : UNDER
66. Singles bar delivery : LINE
67. What's tender in Mexican restaurants? : PESO
68. Mean-spirited : NASTY
69. Writing on the wall : FATE

Down
1. Cake with a kick : BABA
2. Journal on YouTube, maybe : VLOG
3. Flash drive filler : DATA
4. ___ bath (therapeutic treatment) : SITZ
5. Breeze through : ACE
6. Lord's home : MANOR
7. Slicer input : BREAD
8. Social contract theorist John : LOCKE
9. Fraternal member : ELK
10. Penguin's nemesis : BATMAN
11. Earthy tone : OCHER
12. ___ penny (pre-1959 cent) : WHEAT
13. Smelling a rat : LEERY
18. Building block brand : LEGO
22. Warren ___, baseball's winningest lefty : SPAHN
24. Heap kudos on : APPLAUD
25. Kind of salad made famous by Julia Child : NICOISE
26. Timber wolf : LOBO
27. ___ Freed, 1960s payola figure : ALAN
28. ___ Noël (French Santa Claus) : PERE
29. Rocky hill : TOR
33. Go to seed : ROT
34. Abysmal grades : EFS
35. ___ Darya (river of central 58-Down) : AMU
36. Hymnals' storage spots : PEWS
37. City on the Rhône : LYON
38. Nobel Institute city : OSLO
40. TV honors : EMMYS
41. Bandleader Kyser : KAY
45. Phenomenon named for the infant Jesus : EL NINO
47. Keystone's place : ARCH
48. Muscle strengthened by curls, informally : BICEP
49. Chip away : ERODE
50. Shakes, so to speak : LOSES
51. Kind of football with eight-player teams : ARENA
52. Requisites : NEEDS
53. Insertion indicator : CARET
57. Soccer segment : HALF
58. See 35-Down : ASIA
59. Monopoly payment : RENT
60. Lineage depiction : TREE
62. Hamburger helper? : BUN
63. Get blubbery : CRY

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3 comments :

Dick Elton said...

I missed the upper left corner words 1 and 2 down and 1, 14 and 20 across but had a couple of hours of good fun.

Anonymous said...

I really like the fact that you explain a lot of the answers.Such as 50 down, loses for shakes, in a way.Even when I looked at the answer it didn't register in my brain until I saw your explanation.

Bill Butler said...

@Dick Elton
It's good to see you're having fun with the puzzle, because that's what it's all about I say :)

@Anonymous visitor
Thanks for the kind words about the explanations. Re LOSES for "shakes", I was lucky to come up with that myself. I've probably read too many detective novels over the years!

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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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