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Greetings from Dromod, County Leitrim 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

1206-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Dec 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: Steven E. Atwood
THEME: -Ish Words … all of the theme clues refer to a noun, and then to an adjective. The answer is the adjective made from the noun by adding the letters “ISH”:
18A. Be healthy, like a type of meal? : FLOURISH (like a FLOUR)
20A. Disappear, like a moving vehicle? : VANISH (like a van)
24A. Obtrusively bright, like a needlefish? : GARISH (like a GAR)
39A. Love, like a popular singer? : CHERISH (like CHER)
49A. Touch up, like a candidate for office? : POLISH (like a POL)
56A. Hurt, like a groan-inducing joke? : PUNISH (like a PUN)
60A. Wave menacingly, like a red-hot iron? : BRANDISH (like a BRAND)
4D. Extravagant, like a W.C.? : LAVISH (like a LAV)
48D. Do away with, like a 1950s car feature? : FINISH (like a FIN)
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. 1862 battle site : SHILOH
The Battle of Shiloh was a major engagement in the Civil War, fought in 1862 at Pittsburg Landing in southwestern Tennessee. The battle started with a surprise attack by Confederate forces led by Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard. The attackers gained the upper hand on the first day, over the Union forces led by Major General Ulysses S. Grant. Union reinforcements arrived during the night and the tide of the battle turned the next day and the Confederates were forced to withdraw. Almost 3,000 men died in the course of the Battle of Shiloh, making it the bloodiest battle in US history up to that point in time.

7. 'Fros, e.g. : DOS
That would be the afro hairstyle.

10. The "A" in SEATO : ASIA
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was set up in 1954, a defense organization with the mission to block communist influence growing in Southeast Asia. The driving force behind the organization's creation was President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Dulles. The list of members included Australia, France, the Philippines, the UK and the US. The organization was never really considered effective, and it fell apart in 1977 largely due to a lack of interest.

14. Fruit named after a town in Turkey : CASABA
A casaba is type of honeydew melon.

15. Menace in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" : 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 ancient Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. Therefore, when the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was her chosen method.

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is, in my humble opinion, the best of the Indiana Jones franchise of movies. This first Indiana Jones film was released in 1981, produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford was Spielberg's first choice to play the lead, but Lucas resisted as he was concerned that he would be too closely associated with the actor (as Ford played Han Solo in "Star Wars", and also appeared in Lucas's "American Graffiti"). Tom Selleck was offered the role but couldn't get out of his commitments to "Magnum, P.I." Eventually Spielberg got his way, and that was a good thing I'd say ...

21. Who said "You are alone now. Last man. You are lone ranger" : TONTO
On the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels.

24. Obtrusively bright, like a needlefish? : GARISH (like a GAR)
The fish known as a gar is very unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What is interesting about gar is that their swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. So many species of gar can be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that must rely on their gills to get oxygen. Indeed, quite interesting …

28. "Gödel, Escher, ___" (Douglas Hofstadter book) : BACH
Douglas Hofstader is an American academic, and a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his book “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid”, first published in 1979.

34. Familiar femme : AMIE
A male friend in France is "un ami", and a female friend is "une amie".

35. "The Star-Spangled Banner" land : USA
Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a poem, inspired by witnessing the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with the Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

36. Magna ___ : CARTA
The Magna Carta is a landmark document issued in England in 1215. It represents the first time that an English king had to submit to the will of his subjects, a group of barons who sought to limit the powers of the monarchy. In particular the Magna Carta calls out that no freeman could be punished except through the law of the land. And of course, the Magna Carta was an inspiration for the United States Constitution.

37. Colorado resort : ASPEN
Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, it was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays of course, it's all about the skiing and the movie stars.

38. Cosmonaut's destination, once : MIR
Mir was a remarkably 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.

39. Love, like a popular singer? : CHERISH (like CHER)
Cher's real name is Cherilyn Sarkasian, born in 1946. In her acting career she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in "Silkwood". She went further in 1998 and won the Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in "Moonstruck".

41. Annapolis inits. : USN
The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland was established in 1845. Its role is to educate officers for the US Navy and the Marine Corps. The Academy’s motto is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates from Latin as “Through Knowledge, Sea Power”.

42. Actress Sarah of "Parenthood" : RAMOS
The actress Sarah Ramos is best known for playing Patty Pryor on television’s “American Dreams”, and Haddie Braverman on the show “Parenthood”. I haven’t seen either …

44. Steal : FILCH
“Filch” is a slang term for “steal”.

46. Golden ___ : AGER
A “golden ager” is a senior ciztizen.

47. Most common blood designation : TYPE-O
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-Neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, AB or O, positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

49. Touch up, like a candidate for office? : POLISH (like a POL)
"Pol" is an informal term for a politician.

51. ___ al-Fayed (friend of Diana) : DODI
Dodi Al-Fayed was a film producer from Egypt, and the son of Mohamed Al-Fayed, the billionaire owner of Harrod’s department store in London and the Hôtel Ritz Paris. Famously, Dodi was romantically involved with Princess Diana of the UK, and died with her in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

53. Wyatt and Virgil of the Wild West : EARPS
The famous Earp brothers of the Wild West were Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan. All three brothers participated in what has to be the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn't happen at the O.K. Corral, but took place six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

63. Elevator pioneer Otis : ELISHA
Elevators (simple hoists) had been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the "safety elevator", a design that he showcased at the 1853 World's Fair in New York. At the Fair he would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

64. ___ May, surrogate mother for Spider-Man : AUNT
Aunt May Parker is a character in the spider-Man universe created by Marvel Comics.

67. Citi Field team : METS
Citi Field is the new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets. It sits right next door to Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the name of course comes from sponsor Citigroup.

68. What the "turn on" part refers to in "Tune in, turn on, drop out" : LSD
LSD is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. But it wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that the psychedelic properties of the drug were discovered. Trippy, man ...

"Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out" is a phrase popularized in the sixties by Timothy Leary, the psychologist and writer. Leary was an icon of the sixties counterculture, a promoter of the use of LSD. On his death, some of his ashes were "buried" in space, launched aboard a rocket that contained the ashes of 24 other people including "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry.

Down
1. Onetime "S.N.L."-type show : SCTV
“Second City Television” (SCTV) is a sketch show produced in Canada from 1976 to 1984.

2. ___-kiri : HARA
"Harakiri" translates from Japanese into "cutting the belly", and is a form of ritual suicide. Harakiri is the term used in speech which is equivalent to "seppuku", the term used in writing for the same ritual suicide. The act is carried out by plunging a short blade into the belly and moving it from left to right, slicing through the organs within the abdomen.

3. "The Heat ___" : IS ON
“The Heat Is On” is a song by Glenn Frey that appeared on the soundtrack of the very fun 1984 film, “Beverly Hills Cop”.

4. Extravagant, like a W.C.? : LAVISH (like a LAV)
Our word “lavatory” originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s a "lavatory" became a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure.

6. Rosh ___ : HASHANAH
Rosh Hashanah is loosely referred to as "Jewish New Year". The literal translation from Hebrew is "head of the year".

8. Christiania, today : OSLO
Oslo is an ancient city, founded around 1048. The medieval city was destroyed by fire in 1624 and was rebuilt by the Danish-Norwegian King Christian IV and renamed Christiania. In 1877 there was an official change of the name's spelling to "Kristiania", and then more recently in 1925 the name was restored to the original Oslo. Things have gone full circle as the center of Oslo, the area that would have been contained by the original medieval walls, has recently been named Christiania again.

10. Northern and southern lights : AURORAS
The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

11. ___ Lankan : SRI
The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as "venerable island". Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

19. Actress Hagen : UTA
Uta Hagen was a German-born American actress. She married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

23. Make more refined : RAREFY
"To rarefy" not only means to make less dense or thin, it also means to purify or refine.

26. Sleep en la tarde : SIESTA
“En la tarde” is Spanish for “in the afternoon”.

27. Marilu of "Taxi" : HENNER
As an actress, Marilu Henner’s most celebrated role was as Elaine O’Connor Nardo on “Taxi”. Henner has a condition called a Superior Autobiographical Memory. This means that she can recall information and events that took place on every day of her life, starting from a very early age.

29. Italian cheese : ASIAGO
Asiago is a crumbly cheese, named after the region in northeastern Italy from where it originates.

30. California town where Clint Eastwood was mayor : CARMEL
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a city on the coast of California, on the Monterey Peninsula. It really is quite a lovely little town, although overrun by tourists for much of the year. One of its many claims to fame is having the actor Clint Eastwood as mayor, from 1986 to 1988.

36. Includes in an e-mailing : CCS
I wonder do the kids of today know that "cc" stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?

52. Fond ___, Wis. : DU 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 ...

54. Pitchfork-shaped letters : PSIS
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

57. "___ Dead?" (Mark Twain play) : IS HE
“Is He Dead” is a play written by Mark Twain in 1898, although it didn’t get published in book form until 2003. Twain wrote the play in Vienna, and the action is set in Paris.

58. A son of Noah : SHEM
The word “Semitic” comes from the Greek for Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. A Semite is a one of a large list of peoples, from the Assyrians and Babylonians to the Hebrews.The term “anti-Semite” however, almost always refer to anti-Jewish sentiment.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 1862 battle site : SHILOH
7. 'Fros, e.g. : DOS
10. The "A" in SEATO : ASIA
14. Fruit named after a town in Turkey : CASABA
15. Menace in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" : ASP
16. Holders of some dry bouquets : URNS
17. Valuable discoveries : TROVES
18. Be healthy, like a type of meal? : FLOURISH (like a FLOUR)
20. Disappear, like a moving vehicle? : VANISH (like a van)
21. Who said "You are alone now. Last man. You are lone ranger" : TONTO
22. Burn on the outside : SEAR
24. Obtrusively bright, like a needlefish? : GARISH (like a GAR)
28. "Gödel, Escher, ___" (Douglas Hofstadter book) : BACH
31. Raunchy : NASTY
34. Familiar femme : AMIE
35. "The Star-Spangled Banner" land : USA
36. Magna ___ : CARTA
37. Colorado resort : ASPEN
38. Cosmonaut's destination, once : MIR
39. Love, like a popular singer? : CHERISH (like CHER)
41. Annapolis inits. : USN
42. Actress Sarah of "Parenthood" : RAMOS
44. Steal : FILCH
45. Hwy. : RTE
46. Golden ___ : AGER
47. Most common blood designation : TYPE-O
48. Phobia : FEAR
49. Touch up, like a candidate for office? : POLISH (like a POL)
51. ___ al-Fayed (friend of Diana) : DODI
53. Wyatt and Virgil of the Wild West : EARPS
56. Hurt, like a groan-inducing joke? : PUNISH (like a PUN)
60. Wave menacingly, like a red-hot iron? : BRANDISH (like a BRAND)
63. Elevator pioneer Otis : ELISHA
64. ___ May, surrogate mother for Spider-Man : AUNT
65. Golfer's concern : LIE
66. Bacon amount : RASHER
67. Citi Field team : METS
68. What the "turn on" part refers to in "Tune in, turn on, drop out" : LSD
69. Plan : SCHEME

Down
1. Onetime "S.N.L."-type show : SCTV
2. ___-kiri : HARA
3. "The Heat ___" : IS ON
4. Extravagant, like a W.C.? : LAVISH (like a LAV)
5. Fat : OBESE
6. Rosh ___ : HASHANAH
7. Nutty : DAFT
8. Christiania, today : OSLO
9. Soft and absorbent : SPONGY
10. Northern and southern lights : AURORAS
11. ___ Lankan : SRI
12. Maze accesses : INS
13. Cigar tip : ASH
19. Actress Hagen : UTA
23. Make more refined : RAREFY
25. Adulterated : IMPURE
26. Sleep en la tarde : SIESTA
27. Marilu of "Taxi" : HENNER
28. Unjustified accusation : BUM RAP
29. Italian cheese : ASIAGO
30. California town where Clint Eastwood was mayor : CARMEL
32. Unclothe : STRIP
33. Followed : TAILED
36. Includes in an e-mailing : CCS
37. "Feels so good!" : AHH
40. Aids for dog-walkers : SCOOPERS
43. Points in the right direction : ORIENTS
47. Excitation : THRILL
48. Do away with, like a 1950s car feature? : FINISH (like a FIN)
50. Down : SAD
52. Fond ___, Wis. : DU LAC
54. Pitchfork-shaped letters : PSIS
55. Molt : SHED
57. "___ Dead?" (Mark Twain play) : IS HE
58. A son of Noah : SHEM
59. Big-eared hopper : HARE
60. Kapow! : BAM
61. Regret : RUE
62. Cupboard crawler : ANT

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2 comments :

Dick Elton said...

Didn't finish the puzzle but I enjoyed your comments.

Bill Butler said...

Thanks, Dick.

I managed to finish, but it did take me longer than usual for a Tuesday.

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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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