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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

1205-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Dec 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: Kenneth J. Berniker
THEME: NAT, NET, NIT, NOT, NUT … all of the theme answers start with a 3-letter word beginning with N and ending in the T. The middle letter of the word is a different vowel, supplied in alphabetical order i.e. A, E, I, O and U:
18A. "Ramblin' Rose" singer, 1962 : NAT KING COLE
23A. Earnings after expenses : NET PROFITS
38A. Knuckleheads : NITWITS
49A. "Fuhgeddaboudit!" : NOT ON A DARE
56A. Christmastime productions : NUTCRACKERS
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Triangular sail : JIB
A jib is a triangular sail that is set at the bow of a sailboat.

4. Mrs. Eisenhower : MAMIE
Mamie Eisenhower has to have been one of the most charming of all the First Ladies of the United States. Ms. Eisenhower suffered from an inner ear disease called Ménière's disease which caused her to lose her balance quite often. Because she was unsteady on her feet there were unfounded rumors floating around Washington that she had a drinking problem. People can be very unkind ...

14. Shipping magnate Onassis : ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost their fortune during WWI and Onassis had to start in business from the bottom. Onassis worked with his father and built up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957 he founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They had two children, including the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis though, on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

17. Candy that comes in a dispenser : PEZ
PEZ is an Austrian brand name for a particular candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. The name PEZ comes from the first, middle and last letters of "Pfefferminz", the German word for "peppermint".

18. "Ramblin' Rose" singer, 1962 : NAT KING COLE
Nat King Cole's real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn't pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all - the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

20. "___ of robins in her hair" : A NEST
The American journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer is primarily known for his 1913 poem “Trees”. The original text of the poem is:
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Kilmer died a few years after writing “Trees”, a casualty of the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918, aged 31.

22. Founder of the Persian Empire : CYRUS
Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Persian Empire and ruled from 559BC to 530BC. Some say that Cyrus’s legacy is that he established the concept of an empire that was ruled centrally, but which operated for the welfare and benefit of its subjects.

27. Song word repeated after "Que" : SERA
As Doris Day told us, “que sera sera” is Spanish for "whatever will be, will be".

Alfred Hitchcock made two versions of the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. The first was made in 1934 while Hitchcock still lived in England. It starred Leslie Banks, Edna Best and Peter Lorre in his first English-speaking role. Hitchcock remade the original in 1956, with James Stewart and Doris Day playing the leads. And by the way, in that movie Doris Day sang the Oscar-winning song “Que Sera, Sera”.

30. Features of Venice : CANALS
The city of Venice in northeast Italy is built in a saltwater lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, on 117 small islands. The classic transportation along the waterways is the gondola, but this is really only used for tourists these days, as well as on ceremonial occasions. The locals rely on the motorized waterbuses.

32. Designer Schiaparelli : ELSA
Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian fashion designer, a great rival of the perhaps more famous Coco Chanel. Schiaparelli was most successful between the two World Wars, but her business closed in 1954 as she failed to adapt to changing tastes after WWII.

35. Night school subj. : ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

37. Beatles hairdo : MOP
The classic Beatles haircut was called the mop-top. Apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw someone wearing the style in Hamburg, and they liked it. The pair hitchhiked from Hamburg to Paris, and once at their destination had their hair cut that way for the first time.

44. Barristers' degs. : LLDS
The honorary degree of Legum Doctor (LL.D.) translates from the Latin as Doctor of Laws, a plural. This practice of using the plural originated in Cambridge University in England, as one was awarded an LL.D. after having been taught both Canon Law and Civil Law.

45. Sea eagles : ERNES
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

46. Galoot : BIG APE
"Galoot" is an insulting term meaning an awkward or boorish man, an ape. It comes from the nautical world, where it was originally a sailor's word for a soldier or marine.

55. Pago Pago whereabouts : SAMOA
The official name for the South Pacific country is the Independent State of Samoa. "Samoa" is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, and name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa in the South Pacific. The island was used by the US Navy during WWII and it managed to escape most of the conflict. The only military incident of consequence was the shelling of the city's harbor by a Japanese submarine. A more devastating event was the tsunami that hit Pago Pago and surrounding areas in 2009, causing widespread damage and numerous deaths.

56. Christmastime productions : NUTCRACKERS
Decorative nutcrackers have be around since the 15th century. They are traditionally wood carvings of figures like soldiers, knights and kings. My wife is a collector and has about 60 of them from all over the world and denoting many different professions.

62. Philosopher who wrote the "Republic" : PLATO
Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle.

The greatest work of the Greek philosopher Plato is said by most to be his treatise called “The Republic”. The work takes the form of a Socratic dialogue, meaning that it features Plato’s teacher, Socrates, in dialogue with others discussing the subject matter. Much of the text deals with justice and various forms of government.

64. Maiden name preceder : NEE
"Née" is the French word for "born" when referring to a female. The male equivalent is "né".

67. "You've got mail" co. : AOL
Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983 the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As the company went international the acronym AOL was used in order to shake off the "America-centric" sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL's success, the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That's when users called AOL "Always Off-Line".

Down
1. Land of the Rising Sun : JAPAN
The Japanese names for “Japan” are “Nippon” and “Nihon”. These translate literally as “the sun’s origin”, but the more ornate translation of “Land of the Rising Sun” is often cited.

2. "Goodnight, ___" (#1 hit of 1950) : IRENE
"Goodnight, Irene", also known as "Irene, Goodnight", is a lovely American folk song that was first recorded commercially back in 1932 by blues singer Lead Belly. The song made it to number one in the charts for the Weavers in 1950, and for Frank Sinatra in the same year.

3. "Carmen" composer : BIZET
Georg Bizet was a French composer active in the Romantic era. Bizet's most famous work has to be his opera "Carmen". "Carmen" received a lukewarm reception from the public, even though his fellow composers had nothing but praise for it. Sadly Bizet died very young, at only 36, before he could see "Carmen's" tremendous success.

4. "Om," e.g. : MANTRA
Om is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. It is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

5. Doctors' org. : AMA
The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The first female member was allowed to join in 1868, but the first African American members weren't admitted until one hundred years later, in 1968.

7. Squid's defense : INK
Octopuses and squid have the ability to release a dark pigment into the water as a means of escape. The dark pigment is called cephalopod ink (the squid and octopus belong to the class cephalopod). The dark color is created by melanin, the same substance that acts as a pigment in human skin.

9. Roman Cath. title : MSGR
"Monsignor" is a form of address used when speaking to some high ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church. The word "monsignor" comes from the Italian "monsignore" which in turn comes from the French "mon seignor" meaning "my lord".

12. Online "ha-ha" : LOL
LOL is an abbreviation used in Instant Messages and phone texting, an abbreviation of "Laughing Out Loud".

13. Sault ___ Marie : STE
In the summer of 2010 I spent a very interesting afternoon watching ships make their way through the Soo Locks and Soo Canal situated between Lake Superior and the lower Great lakes. The name "Soo" comes from the US and Canadian cities on either side of the locks, both called Sault Ste. Marie.

19. Albany is its capital: Abbr. : NYS
New York’s state capital of Albany was founded as a Dutch trading post called Fort Nassau in 1614. The English took over the settlement in 1664 and called it Albany, naming it after the future King of England James II, whose title at the time was the Duke of Albany.

21. Pet adoption agcy. : SPCA
Unlike in other countries there is no "umbrella" organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

24. TV newsman Roger : O’NEIL
Roger O’Neil is a newsman working for NBC.

29. Rand McNally product : ATLAS
Rand McNally is a company long associated with the city of Chicago. Its roots go back to 1856 when William Rand opened a printing shop in the city. Two years later he hired an Irish immigrant call Andrew McNally and the pair turned to printing tickets and timetables for the railroad industry. They diversified into "railroad guides" in 1870, a precursor of what was to be their big success, the road atlas. When automobile travel started to become significant, Rand and McNally turned their attention to roads and they published their first road map, of New York City, in 1904. Rand and McNally really popularized the use of highway numbers, and indeed erected many roadside highway signs themselves, long before the state and federal authorities adopted the idea.

33. Peter of "Casablanca" : LORRE
The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. His real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna, when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. He found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.

34. Mock rock band in a 1984 film : SPINAL TAP
“This Is Spın̈al Tap” is a rock musical mockumentary about the fictional band Spinal Tap, directed by the great Rob Reiner. I love Rob Reiner’s work, but this movie … not so much …

36. One of filmdom's Coen brothers : ETHAN
I think it's great to see two brothers working together and being so successful. Joel and Ethan Coen are two movie producers and directors who both live in New York City. They do love the movie-making business and they even married "insiders". Ethan's wife is film editor Tricia Cooke, and Joel is married to one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Frances McDormand.

38. "Illmatic" rapper : NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. He released "Illmatic", his first album, in 1994. Not my cup of tea, I would say ...

39. "Othello" villain : IAGO
Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare's "Othello". Iago is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio, by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdomona, Othello's wife. By the end of the play, it's Iago himself who is discredited, and Othello (before committing suicide) apologizes to Cassio for having believed Iago's lies. Heavy stuff ...

42. In reality : DE FACTO
Conceptually, "de jure" and "de facto" are related terms, one meaning "concerning law" and the other meaning "concerning fact".

44. Mother of Castor and Pollux : LEDA
In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. She produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into the beautiful Helen, later to be known as Helen of Troy over whom the Trojan War was fought. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda's earthly husband, and so he was a mortal.

46. Part of a freight train : BOXCAR
A “boxcar” is a basic railroad car used to carry freight. It’s the one shaped like a big box, with large doors at each side.

49. Teachers' union, in brief : NEA
The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, mainly representing public school teachers.

50. Big kitchen appliance maker : AMANA
The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa.

51. Cowboys' jamboree : RODEO
"Rodeo” is a Spanish word, which is usually translated as “round up”.

56. "All Things Considered" airer : NPR
National Public Radio (now just called NPR) was launched in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

“All Things Considered” is the flagship news broadcast from NPR, aired for two hours every evening.

58. Sportage maker : KIA
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe and has been remarkably successful.

59. U.K. record label : EMI
EMI is a British music company, with the acronym originally standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Triangular sail : JIB
4. Mrs. Eisenhower : MAMIE
9. Shopping centers : MALLS
14. Shipping magnate Onassis : ARI
15. Change, as the Constitution : AMEND
16. Get a move on : SCOOT
17. Candy that comes in a dispenser : PEZ
18. "Ramblin' Rose" singer, 1962 : NAT KING COLE
20. "___ of robins in her hair" : A NEST
22. Founder of the Persian Empire : CYRUS
23. Earnings after expenses : NET PROFITS
27. Song word repeated after "Que" : SERA
30. Features of Venice : CANALS
31. Counter, as an argument : REBUT
32. Designer Schiaparelli : ELSA
35. Night school subj. : ESL
36. Ultimate thing : END ALL
37. Beatles hairdo : MOP
38. Knuckleheads : NITWITS
40. Shepherd's locale : LEA
41. Kind of gown or shower : BRIDAL
43. Response to a doctor's request, perhaps : AAH
44. Barristers' degs. : LLDS
45. Sea eagles : ERNES
46. Galoot : BIG APE
48. Unable to hear : DEAF
49. "Fuhgeddaboudit!" : NOT ON A DARE
53. Material for a doctor's glove : LATEX
55. Pago Pago whereabouts : SAMOA
56. Christmastime productions : NUTCRACKERS
61. Commercials : ADS
62. Philosopher who wrote the "Republic" : PLATO
63. Girl's name meaning "loved" : AIMEE
64. Maiden name preceder : NEE
65. Move in a greenhouse, say : REPOT
66. Midnight visits to the refrigerator : RAIDS
67. "You've got mail" co. : AOL

Down
1. Land of the Rising Sun : JAPAN
2. "Goodnight, ___" (#1 hit of 1950) : IRENE
3. "Carmen" composer : BIZET
4. "Om," e.g. : MANTRA
5. Doctors' org. : AMA
6. Encountered : MET
7. Squid's defense : INK
8. Despots' decrees : EDICTS
9. Roman Cath. title : MSGR
10. Charged with a crime : ACCUSED
11. It's up for grabs on a court : LOOSE BALL
12. Online "ha-ha" : LOL
13. Sault ___ Marie : STE
19. Albany is its capital: Abbr. : NYS
21. Pet adoption agcy. : SPCA
24. TV newsman Roger : O’NEIL
25. Quick : FAST
26. Sarcastic "Go ahead, keep talking" : I’LL WAIT
28. Governed : RULED
29. Rand McNally product : ATLAS
31. E.R. personnel : RNS
32. Surround firmly : EMBED
33. Peter of "Casablanca" : LORRE
34. Mock rock band in a 1984 film : SPINAL TAP
36. One of filmdom's Coen brothers : ETHAN
38. "Illmatic" rapper : NAS
39. "Othello" villain : IAGO
42. In reality : DE FACTO
44. Mother of Castor and Pollux : LEDA
46. Part of a freight train : BOXCAR
47. Get-out-of-class slips : PASSES
49. Teachers' union, in brief : NEA
50. Big kitchen appliance maker : AMANA
51. Cowboys' jamboree : RODEO
52. Artist's stand : EASEL
54. Gait between walk and canter : TROT
56. "All Things Considered" airer : NPR
57. Suffix with glob : -ULE
58. Sportage maker : KIA
59. U.K. record label : EMI
60. Crimson : RED

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4 comments :

Dick Elton said...

I did this in just under one hour which is a pretty record time for me, but missed 26 down. I just coulcn't get the second "lL or the "A".

Bill Butler said...

I know, Dick. Sometimes the "casual terms" are more difficult to get than the more obscure historical or perhaps technical references.

We fight one :)

Boonie said...

Spinal Tap needs a second look...Such an oft-quoted film, the influence of that "non-band" band is immeasurable...

"This one goes to 11."

Bill Butler said...

Boonie,

I'll take your word for it. I'll keep an eye out for it on TV. I mean, I do like Rob Reiner's stuff usually ...

Thanks for stopping by.

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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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