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 Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! We had probably the last hike of our trip this morning (strenuous, past beautiful alpine lakes), and then opted for vegging out by the pool for a change this afternoon. Almost home ...

Bill

1226-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 26 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: Gary Cee
THEME: SEASON FINALE … each of the theme answers is two words, the second being the name of a season:
17A. What a slippery sidewalk might cause : NASTY FALL
24A. "Last Dance" singer, 1978 : DONNA SUMMER
39A. With 41-Across, good time for a cliffhanger ... or what each of 17-, 24-, 50- and 63-Across has? : SEASON
41A. See 39-Across : FINALE
50A. Albino rocker with a 1973 #1 hit : EDGAR WINTER
63A. Spa locale : HOT SPRING
COMPLETION TIME: 06m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Beaver constructions : DAMS
Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

15. Household goods retail chain founded in Sweden : IKEA
Did you know that IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 when he was just 17-years-old??!! IKEA is an acronym that stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don't forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

19. Woody Allen's "___ Hall" : ANNIE
I suppose if there is any Woody Allen movie that I enjoy watching, it's "Annie Hall" from 1977. I think Diane Keaton is a great actress and she is wonderful in this film. You'll see Paul Simon as well, making a rare movie appearance, and even Truman Capote playing himself. The film is also famous for sparking a movement in the fashion world to adopt the "Annie Hall" look, that very distinctive appearance championed by Diane Keaton as the Annie Hall character.

21. Actress Gardner : AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of "Mogambo" (1953), "On the Beach" (1959), "The Night of the Iguana" (1964) and "Earthquake" (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

24. "Last Dance" singer, 1978 : DONNA SUMMER
Donna Summer is known as "The Queen of Disco", with great hits like "Love to Love You, Baby", "I Feel Love" and "Hot Stuff". In the late sixties and early seventies, LaDonna Gaines (her real name) lived and worked in Germany. There she met and married an Austrian actor called Helmuth Sommer. They divorced not long after the marriage, but Donna kept his family name, just changing the "o" to "u" to give her the stage name of "Donna Summer".

33. Double-disc cookie : 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. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA
The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant at La Brea is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirst. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It's well worth a visit if you are ever in town …

46. Future atty.'s exam : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

49. Longings : YENS
The word "yen", meaning "urge", has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word "yin" imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

50. Albino rocker with a 1973 #1 hit : EDGAR WINTER
Edgar Winter is a singer and multi-talented instrumentalist. He played in the seventies with his band, The Edgar Winter Group. As the clue notes, Winter has albinism.

“Albino”, meaning an organism lacking normal pigmentation, comes from “albus” Latin for “white”.

56. Jockey Arcaro : EDDIE
Eddie Arcaro was a very successful jockey, the only rider to win the US Triple Crown twice. He also won more American classic races than any other jockey.

61. Saint ___ fire : ELMO’S
St. Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo's fire. The "fire" is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), often observed during electrical storms.

63. Spa locale : HOT SPRING
The word "spa" migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name "Spa" comes from the Walloon word "espa" meaning "spring, fountain".

66. Kagan of the Supreme Court : ELENA
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States, and not too long ago replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the fourth female US Supreme Court justice (there have been 108 men!). I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread "Pride and Prejudice" once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I'd say ...

67. Backside : TUSH
“Tush”, a word for the backside, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

68. Killer whale : ORCA
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name "orca", rather than "killer whale", is becoming more and more common. The Latin word "Orcinus" means "belonging to Orcus", with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

69. "Beetle Bailey" character : SARGE
Sgt. Snorkel (“Sarge”) is Beetle Bailey's nemesis in the cartoon strip that bears his name. Snorkel has a dog called Otto that he dresses up to look just like himself. Otto started off as a regular dog, but artist Mort Walker decide to draw him more like his owner, and he became a big hit.

Down
3. Lock securer : HASP
The "hasp" of a lock might refer to more than one thing. The u-shape loop protruding from a padlock is often called a "lock hasp", for example.

4. 1964 album "___ James Rocks the House" : ETTA
Etta James is best known for her beautiful rendition of the song "At Last". Sadly, as she discloses in her autobiography, James has lived a life that has been ravaged by drug addiction, leading to numerous legal and health problems.

7. Olio : MELANGE
“Mélange” is the French word for “mixture”.

Olio is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish "olla", the name of the clay pot used when cooking the stew.

9. Some Caribbean music : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties, and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term "ska", but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

11. Clothing material that may have rivets : DENIM
Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France (with "de Nimes", meaning "from Nimes", giving the fabric its name). The French phrase "bleu de Genes" meaning "blue of Genoa", gives us our word "jeans".

12. Skip over in pronouncing : ELIDE
To elide is to pass over, omit or slur a syllable when speaking.

18. Stock listings abbr. : YTD
Year To Date …

25. Actress Lena : OLIN
The lovely Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Lena Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin's breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.

26. Letters before xis : NUS
The Latin equivalent of the Greek letter nu is "N". An uppercase nu looks just like the Latin capital N, however, the lowercase nu looks like our lowercase "v". Very confusing ...

The Greek letter xi, despite the name, is not the precursor of our letter X. Our X comes from the Greek letter chi.

27. Furrowed fruit : UGLI
The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine, first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today.

31. Amble : MOSEY ALONG
Mosey is American slang for "amble", of unknown origin.

37. One of the men on "Two and a Half Men" : ALAN
The TV sitcom “Two and a Half Men” has been consistently successful in terms of ratings since it was first broadcast in 2003. It has of course benefited in the latter years from controversy off-screen surrounding the behavior of the show’s first star, Charlie Sheen. Sheen was eventually fired by the producers, killed off in the story-line and replaced by Ashton Kutcher.

40. Baltic Sea feeder : ODER
The Oder rises in the Czech Republic and forms just over a hundred miles of the border between Germany and Poland, before eventually emptying into the Baltic Sea.

45. M.D. who may examine the sinuses : ENT
An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist is an ENT.

50. Fencing swords : EPEES
The French word for sword is épée. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

51. Actress Reese : DELLA
Della Reese is the stage name of the actress, singer and all-round entertainer Delloreese Patricia Early. Her career that started as a singer in the fifties and was revived in the nineties when she played the lead character in the TV show “Touched by an Angel”.

52. World of Warcraft fan, e.g. : GAMER
“World of Warcraft” is an online role-playing game. My son beside me just told me it’s not that great. Like I would know …

57. Physician with a daily talk show : DR OZ
Mehmet Oz is a Turkish-American physician who hosts the television show called “The Dr. Oz Show”. I think it’s fair to say that Oprah Winfrey has a lot to do with his success.

59. Ancient Peruvian : INCA
The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in part of South America that today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of the continent. The Empire of course fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Tupac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.

60. Alike: Fr. : EGAL
"Egal" is the French word for "equal, alike", and a word we sometimes use in English. The national motto of France is of course "Liberté, égalité, fraternité", meaning "Liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood).

62. Letter encl. to facilitate a reply : SAE
Self-addressed envelope.

64. Grp. doing pat-downs : TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was of course created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Longing : ACHE
5. Beaver constructions : DAMS
9. Entree add-ons : SIDES
14. Jacket : COAT
15. Household goods retail chain founded in Sweden : IKEA
16. Prepared to be knighted : KNELT
17. What a slippery sidewalk might cause : NASTY FALL
19. Woody Allen's "___ Hall" : ANNIE
20. National who lives overseas, informally : EX-PAT
21. Actress Gardner : AVA
23. Deputy : AIDE
24. "Last Dance" singer, 1978 : DONNA SUMMER
28. Injury : HARM
32. It's found on an airport carousel : LUGGAGE
33. Double-disc cookie : OREO
34. "Hmm, yes ..." : I SEE
35. Train that doesn't skip a stop : LOCAL
39. With 41-Across, good time for a cliffhanger ... or what each of 17-, 24-, 50- and 63-Across has? : SEASON
41. See 39-Across : FINALE
42. Not live, as on TV : TAPED
43. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA
46. Future atty.'s exam : LSAT
47. December, say : YEAR-END
49. Longings : YENS
50. Albino rocker with a 1973 #1 hit : EDGAR WINTER
54. Ring, as bells : PEAL
55. Lb. or oz. : WGT
56. Jockey Arcaro : EDDIE
61. Saint ___ fire : ELMO’S
63. Spa locale : HOT SPRING
66. Kagan of the Supreme Court : ELENA
67. Backside : TUSH
68. Killer whale : ORCA
69. "Beetle Bailey" character : SARGE
70. "Don't go!" : STAY
71. Fervor : ZEAL

Down
1. Reason to use Clearasil : ACNE
2. Wheedle : COAX
3. Lock securer : HASP
4. 1964 album "___ James Rocks the House" : ETTA
5. "What's the ___?" : DIF
6. Letters before an alias : AKA
7. Olio : MELANGE
8. Rescue : SALVAGE
9. Some Caribbean music : SKA
10. Titularly : IN NAME ONLY
11. Clothing material that may have rivets : DENIM
12. Skip over in pronouncing : ELIDE
13. Have the wheel : STEER
18. Stock listings abbr. : YTD
22. Drunk ___ skunk : AS A
25. Actress Lena : OLIN
26. Letters before xis : NUS
27. Furrowed fruit : UGLI
28. Party thrower : HOST
29. Word after rest or gray : AREA
30. Harvest : REAP
31. Amble : MOSEY ALONG
36. Detective's assignment : CASE
37. One of the men on "Two and a Half Men" : ALAN
38. "___ Make a Deal" : LET’S
40. Baltic Sea feeder : ODER
41. What colors do over time : FADE
43. High beams : BRIGHTS
44. Lease : RENT OUT
45. M.D. who may examine the sinuses : ENT
48. "So-o-o cute!" : AWW
50. Fencing swords : EPEES
51. Actress Reese : DELLA
52. World of Warcraft fan, e.g. : GAMER
53. Not Dem. : REP
57. Physician with a daily talk show : DR OZ
58. In ___ straits : DIRE
59. Ancient Peruvian : INCA
60. Alike: Fr. : EGAL
62. Letter encl. to facilitate a reply : SAE
64. Grp. doing pat-downs : TSA
65. Reticent : SHY

Return to top of page

2 comments :

Dick Elton said...

Not too bad. I learned how to pronounce xi ('zai or in the plural xis would be 'zais). So the plural of nu would be nus. Many of these crosswords are "all Greek to me" anyway.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Dick,

Good one ... Greek crosswords indeed :)

I learned some Latin in school, and was about to do take up Greek when I changed schools. The two languages were a common offering at school back in the British Isles back then (less so these days). A controversial subject I think, learning the classic languages, but I tend to favor yes rather than no.

Glad to see you're still plowing through those puzzle :)

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