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1224-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Dec 11, Saturday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ned White
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 48m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
15. What may be visualized via a bumper sticker? : WHIRLED PEAS
Apparently there is a famous bumper sticker that says “Visualize Whirled Peas”, a play on “visualise world peace”, I guess.

16. Is for a few? : ARE
One is, and a few are …

18. "When 2 ___ Love" (1988 Prince song) : R IN
“When 2 R in Love” is a track on the 1988 album by Prince called “Lovesexy”.

The singer Prince was born in Minneapolis, and he lives there to this day. He took his stage name from his father, a jazz musician who used the name Prince Rogers when performing.

19. Motivator for Manolete : OLE
Manolete (real name Manuel Sanchez) was a famous bullfighter in Spain. A bull got his own back one day in 1947 when Manolete was just 30-years-old. After the bullfighter killed four bulls one day, the fifth managed to defend himself and fatally gored his tormentor.

20. Things you can bear : ARMS
As in “the right to bear arms …”

23. Mexican cacti : PEYOTES
The peyote is a small spineless cactus that is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. When ingested, the peyote is known to have a psychoactive effect. One of the psychoactive alkaloids in peyote is mescaline, a drug of choice for the likes Aldous Huxley and Pablo Picasso.

25. Dessert served in a bowl : TAPIOCA
The cassava plant is a woody shrub native to South America grown largely for its carbohydrate-rich tubers. In fact, the cassava is the third largest food source of carbohydrates (for humans) in the world. Ordinarily, the carbohydrate is extracted from the plant and dried as flour, and called tapioca.

26. 2006 Newbery winner Lynne ___ Perkins : RAE
Lynne Rae Perkins is an author and illustrator of children’s books. In 2006 she won the Newbery Medal for her novel “Criss Cross”.

27. It replaced Apple's Quadra line : POWER MAC
Apple made a line of workstation personal computers called Power Macintosh (and then simply Power Mac). The line was introduced in 1994 and last produced in 2006.

31. Tennis's Zvonareva and others : VERAS
Vera Zvonareva is a Russian tennis player who made it to the number-two world ranking in 2000.

32. Spaghetti end? : AN I
There is “an I” at the end of the word “spaghetti”.

33. Old Testament shepherd : AMOS
Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. Before becoming a prophet, Amos was sheep herder and a fig farmer.

34. Magnate who wrote "How to Be Rich" : GETTY
Jean Paul Getty was famous as an industrialist, but also as a grandfather who had a grandson kidnapped for ransom. John Paul Getty III was 16 years old when he was taken in Rome in 1973. The ransom demand to his father was for $17 million, a sum that he had to ask from the child's grandfather, as he was the one with all the money. Jean Paul Getty refused to pay and 4 months later an envelope was delivered to the family containing a lock of hair and an ear. The grandfather then entered into negotiation with the kidnappers, beat them down to $2 million, and the boy was released. Getty's grandson never really recovered. He got into drugs and an overdose left him speechless, blind and paralyzed. Sad story …

37. Mrs. Rajiv Gandhi : SONIA
Sonia Gandhi is the president of one of the major political parties in India, the Indian National Congress. She is the widow of the former Prime Minister of the country, Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991.

43. Where rails come together : MARSHES
Rails are birds of the family Rallidae (hence their name). Outside of America, the name "rail" tends to be reserved for long-billed species, the term "crake" is used for short-billed species.

47. Many stand-up lines : AD LIBS
"Ad libitum" is a Latin phrase meaning "at one's pleasure". In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to "ad lib". On the stage the concept of an "ad lib" is very familiar. For example, an actor who substitutes his own words for forgotten lines uses an ad lib, or a director may instruct an actor to use his or her own words at a particular point in a performance to promote a sense of spontaneity.

48. Drainer of most of Switzerland : AARE
The Aar (also called the Aare in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. A famous spot along the river is the Reichenbach Falls in the center of the country, actually a series of waterfalls near the city of Meiringen. The falls are celebrated in the world of literature as it was here that Sherlock Holmes fell to his supposed doom with his nemesis Professor Moriarty (in "The Adventure of the Final Problem").

49. Shrinks' grp. : APA
American Psychiatric Organization.

54. Loafer letters : EEE
EEE is a designator of the width of a shoe. Shoe widths can be A, B, C, D, E, EE, EEE, EEEE, F or G.

The type of slip-on shoe called a "loafer" dates back to 1939. "Loafer" was originally a brand name introduced by the store Fortnum and Mason's in London.

56. Not automatic: Abbr. : STD
A car that doesn’t have an automatic transmission is probably a standard shift.

Down
2. Follower of Franco? : -PHILE
A Francophile (also a Gallophile) is someone who loves France and all things French.

3. "My Philosofy" poet : RILEY
James Whitcomb Riley spent most of his life in Indianapolis, and earned for himself the moniker "The Hoosier Poet".

4. Ranch extension? : -ERO
A ranchero is one employed on a ranch, a word with Spanish roots.

5. Palestinian group : AL FATAH
Fatah is actually an acronym, formed from the initials (in reverse) of "Palestinian National Liberation Movement". It is the largest political party in the Palestine Liberation Organization.

7. Some Dutch wheels : EDAMS
One cheese that is recognized by its coating is Edam. Edam cheese takes the name after the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. It is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps it travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. This means that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

8. Truth-in-lending figs. : APRS
Annual Percentage Rates.

12. He "spoke" with horns and whistles : HARPO MARX
The five Marx Brothers were born to "Minnie" and "Frenchy" Marx in New York City. The more famous older boys were Chico, Harpo and Groucho. The youngest brother, Zeppo, appeared in the early Marx Brothers movies, but the fifth son, Gummo, he went off to pursue his own career off the stage.

13. The Seneca Chief was the first to travel its full length : ERIE CANAL
The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal, and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825 it had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of "cheap" transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of the Empire State.

22. Onetime Soyuz destination : 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.

The Russian Soyuz space program started in the early sixties as part of a plan to land a cosmonaut on the moon. The Soyuz program is still alive and kicking, and derivatives of those early spacecraft designs from the sixties are regularly visiting the International Space Station. "Soyuz" is a Russian word meaning "union".

24. Foes of Frodo : ORCS
According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth. They are very ugly and dirty and are fond of eating human flesh.

Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". Frodo is a hobbit, and was charged with the quest of destroying Sauron's Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

25. Cake, in Cali : TORTA
In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia. Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Columbia. Apparently, it is a destination for "medical tourists". Surgeons in Cali have a reputation as being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks looking for a "cheap" nose job are apparently heading there.

27. Little, in Lille : PETIT
Lille is a large city in very north of France sitting right on the border with Belgium. The name "Lille" is a derivation of the term "l'isle" meaning "the island".

30. Common sock damage : NOSE BLEED
If someone gets a sock on the nose, it might result in a nose bleed.

34. Mensch : GOOD SORT
Mensch is yet another word that comes to us via Yiddish, ultimately derived from the German "mensch" meaning "human being". We use the term to mean someone of integrity and honor.

35. First, second and third, but not fourth : BAGS
In baseball the first, second and third bases are “bags”, and then there’s home plate.

37. Winter sport vehicles : SKIBOBS
A skibob is a winter vehicle with a bicycle-type frame attached to skis rather than wheels.

40. Cal-Nev-___ : ARI
Cal-Nev-Ari is a town in Nevada, the very south of the state. It is located near to the borders of California and Arizona, hence the name.

41. Annual Jalapeño Festival site : LAREDO
Laredo is a border city in Texas, situated on the banks of the Rio Grande across the border from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.

44. Modern-day locale of the place where the Santa Maria ran aground in 1492 : HAITI
The Caribbean island of Hispaniola was a target for European settlers and ended up being a disputed territory between France and Spain. The two countries divided the island with the French taking control of the western third, which they named Saint-Domingue. Saint-Domingue was later to become the independent, and French-speaking, Republic of Haiti.

When Columbus made his famous voyage of discovery, the largest of his three ships was the Santa Maria. The Santa Maria ran aground on the coast of Hispaniola on Christmas Day in 1492, and was lost. 39 of Columbus’s men were left behind with the permission of the locals. These men stripped the timbers from the Santa Maria and used them to build a settlement they called La Navidad (Spanish for “Christmas”). La Navidad is now the modern town of Môle-Saint-Nicolas in the Republic of Haiti.

45. Oaks Stakes setting : EPSOM
The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse, at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. You might also have heard of Epsom salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time.

46. ___ fire (destructive 2008 blaze in Los Angeles) : SAYRE
The Sayre Fire of 2008 was a wildfire that caused more loss of property than any other fire in the history of Los Angeles. 489 residences were destroyed, although thankfully there were no fatalities.

52. Kung ___ chicken : PAO
Sichuan (also Szechwan) is a province in southwest China. It is noted for its cuisine, which is hot and spicy as it uses plenty of garlic, chili peppers and the Sichuan peppercorn. A famous Szechwan dish in the US is Kung Pao chicken.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. X-ed out? : SPREAD-EAGLE
12. Something turned under : HEM
15. What may be visualized via a bumper sticker? : WHIRLED PEAS
16. Is for a few? : ARE
17. Supplement that might cause a stink : OIL OF GARLIC
18. "When 2 ___ Love" (1988 Prince song) : R IN
19. Motivator for Manolete : OLE
20. Things you can bear : ARMS
21. Suppressed : DAMPED
23. Mexican cacti : PEYOTES
25. Dessert served in a bowl : TAPIOCA
26. 2006 Newbery winner Lynne ___ Perkins : RAE
27. It replaced Apple's Quadra line : POWER MAC
28. Problem with tight shoes : PINCH
31. Tennis's Zvonareva and others : VERAS
32. Spaghetti end? : AN I
33. Old Testament shepherd : AMOS
34. Magnate who wrote "How to Be Rich" : GETTY
35. Angel's antithesis : BRAT
36. Shouts in the 'hood : YOS
37. Mrs. Rajiv Gandhi : SONIA
38. Without circumspection : LAXLY
39. Steal away : SNEAK OUT
41. Ox : LUG
42. It's metered : CAB RIDE
43. Where rails come together : MARSHES
47. Many stand-up lines : AD LIBS
48. Drainer of most of Switzerland : AARE
49. Shrinks' grp. : APA
50. Piece of fiction : LIE
51. Cry over spilled milk? : OOPSIE DAISY
54. Loafer letters : EEE
55. Neurologist : BRAIN DOCTOR
56. Not automatic: Abbr. : STD
57. Doesn't run over : STOPS ON TIME

Down
1. What hawks do : SWOOP
2. Follower of Franco? : -PHILE
3. "My Philosofy" poet : RILEY
4. Ranch extension? : -ERO
5. Palestinian group : AL FATAH
6. Extent : DEGREE
7. Some Dutch wheels : EDAMS
8. Truth-in-lending figs. : APRS
9. Come together : GEL
10. Stored : LAID AWAY
11. Illusionist's repertoire, in part : ESCAPES
12. He "spoke" with horns and whistles : HARPO MARX
13. The Seneca Chief was the first to travel its full length : ERIE CANAL
14. Untruthfulness : MENDACITY
22. Onetime Soyuz destination : MIR
24. Foes of Frodo : ORCS
25. Cake, in Cali : TORTA
27. Little, in Lille : PETIT
28. They're often sliding for workers : PAY SCALES
29. Party comment after "No thanks" : I’M ON A DIET
30. Common sock damage : NOSE BLEED
31. Where the show must go on? : VENUE
34. Mensch : GOOD SORT
35. First, second and third, but not fourth : BAGS
37. Winter sport vehicles : SKIBOBS
38. Tempted : LURED ON
40. Cal-Nev-___ : ARI
41. Annual Jalapeño Festival site : LAREDO
43. Sewer parts : MAINS
44. Modern-day locale of the place where the Santa Maria ran aground in 1492 : HAITI
45. Oaks Stakes setting : EPSOM
46. ___ fire (destructive 2008 blaze in Los Angeles) : SAYRE
48. Take ___ (sample some) : A SIP
52. Kung ___ chicken : PAO
53. Be part of the picture : ACT

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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.

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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 everyday 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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