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1227-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 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: John Dunn
THEME: WATERCOLORS … each of the theme answers is two words, a body of water preceded by a color:
16A. 1954 monster film setting : BLACK LAGOON
22A. 1948 John Wayne western : RED RIVER
50A. City that's home to the winner of the first two Super Bowls : GREEN BAY
61A. Some Winslow Homer art ... or what five answers in this puzzle are? : WATERCOLORS
10D. It's between Korea and China : YELLOW SEA
32D. Linda Ronstadt hit co-written by Roy Orbison : BLUE BAYOU
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
10. Deviate from a course : YAW
The word “yaw” means to deviate from the line of a course and is used mainly at sea. “Yaw” is derived from the Old Norse word “jaege” which means “to drive, chase”. As such, “yaw” is etymologically related to our word “yacht”.

13. Sprays, as a crowd in a 6-Across : MACES
(6. See 13-Across : RIOT)
Mace is actually a brand name, originally introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture "Chemical Mace", with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray.

14. Petrol amount : LITRE
It’s a little tricky to compare the prices of gasoline at the pump around the world given the different units of measurement and the different currencies. When I bemoan gas prices here in California I sometimes cheer myself up by remembering how expensive the same product is back in Ireland. The average price/gallon here in the US for mid-December 2011 for regular unleaded was $3.21 (although not here in the Bay Area!). The price for the same amount of regular unleaded for the same period in Ireland was $7.32 …

15. A pitcher should have a low one, in brief : ERA
The pitching stat, earned run average (ERA), measures how many runs a pitcher tends to give up per nine innings.

16. 1954 monster film setting : BLACK LAGOON
“Creature from the Black Lagoon” is a “classic” monster movie released in 1954. The movie was actually filmed and shown in 3-D, although polarized 3-D glasses are needed to appreciate that original version.

18. Busiest airport on the West Coast, informally : LAX
Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field, and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA” but, when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

19. Franc replacement : EURO
The European Union today stands at a membership of 27 states. The Euro is the official currency of only 16 of the 27. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

22. 1948 John Wayne western : RED RIVER
“Red River” is a John Wayne western movie directed by Howard Hawks and released in 1948. If you have seen the excellent 1971 film “The Last Picture Show”, you might remember that “Red River” is the final movie that the Texas town's cinema shows before closing down.

24. Frozen waffle brand : EGGO
Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg's. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name "Eggo" was chosen to promote the "egginess" of the batter. "Eggo" replaced the original name chosen, which was "Froffles", created by melding "frozen" and "waffles".

26. Drinker's road offense, for short : DWI
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, where by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

27. It may have an arch or a lintel : DOORWAY
A lintel is a structural beam that spans an opening in a wall, usually a door or a window.

33. Battery terminal : ANODE
The two terminals of a battery are called the anode and the cathode. Electrons travel from the anode to the cathode creating an electric current.

38. Formidable opponents : NEMESES
Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one's nemesis is one's sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

41. ___ Ste. Marie : SAULT
In the summer of 2010 I spent a very interesting afternoon watching ships make their way through the Soo Locks and Soo Canal 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.

43. Baker who sang "Giving You the Best That I Got" : ANITA
Anita Baker is an R&B and soul singer.

44. "___ not what your country ..." : ASK
"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country" is a passage from the famous inaugural address delivered by President John F. Kennedy in January 1961. Although it is generally regarded as one of the best inaugural addresses, it is the fourth shortest, taking just 13m 59s to deliver from start to finish.

45. Brahma, in Hinduism : CREATOR
The Hindu Trinity is composed of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also Siva) the destroyer or transformer.

47. PC's brain : CPU
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main component on the "motherboard" of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

50. City that's home to the winner of the first two Super Bowls : GREEN BAY
When Curly Lambeau founded his small-town football team in Green Bay in 1919, he was working for the Indian Packing Company. He went to his employers looking for sponsorship and was given $250 provided that the team was named for the company. Initially Green Bay was referred to as the Green Bay Indians, but by the time they took to the field for their first game it had changed to the Packers.

59. Ontario tribe : CREE
The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

60. Dartmouth or Brown : IVY
The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

61. Some Winslow Homer art ... or what five answers in this puzzle are? : WATERCOLORS
Winslow Homer was an American landscape painter and illustrator active in the second half of the 19th century. His most famous work is probably the oil painting depicting a man and three boys sailing, which bears the title “Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)”, and which can be seen in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C.

64. Sambuca flavoring : ANISE
Sambuca is an Italian liqueur that is flavored with anise. It is often served straight up with three coffee beans floating on the surface. The beans are said to represent health, happiness and prosperity. A more “saucy” representation for the beans is the husband, wife and mistress.

66. Wildebeest : GNU
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, an antelope native to Africa. Wildebeest is actually the Dutch word for "wild beast".

Down
4. 3 minutes 43 seconds for running a mile, e.g. : RECORD
The 4-minute barrier for the mile run was first broken in 1954 by Roger Bannister, when he finished in just over 3m 59s. The record for males now stands at 3m 43s. If you plan on running a 4-minute mile, you should probably be warned that this means you have to run the whole race at an average speed of over 15 mph (do the math!).

8. Start of a cry by Juliet : O ROMEO
In the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet utters the famous line:
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Every schoolkid must have commented with a giggle “he’s down in the garden!” Of course, “wherefore” isn’t an archaic word for “where”, but rather an old way of saying “why”. So Juliet is asking, “Why art thou Romeo, a Montague, and hence a sworn enemy of the Capulets?”

10. It's between Korea and China : YELLOW SEA
The Yellow Sea is a part of the East China Sea, and lies between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. The sea gets its name from the yellow color that the surface sometimes takes on after sand is blown onto the water during Gobi Desert sandstorms.

11. Name on a map of Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan : ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on the environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the original lake's volume gone. Sad ...

17. James of the Met : LEVINE
James Levine is the music director of the Metropolitan Opera and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since starting with the Met in 1971, Levine has conducted thousands of Met performances. He is also well known in Europe where he makes many guest appearances conducting with elite European organizations.

21. Taj Mahal site : AGRA
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth, delivering the couple's 14th child!

27. Arnaz of "I Love Lucy" : DESI
Desi Arnaz was of course famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Desi Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolution led by Batista.

29. Bronx Bomber : YANK
The Bronx Bombers (i.e. the Yankees) I just found out are so called because they are from the Bronx (duh!) and because they are a big hitting team (it says here ...). You'll have to excuse me, as I grew up playing rugby …

30. Pear variety : BOSC
Bosc is a cultivar of the European Pear grown in the northwest of the United States. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck. I always seem to use the potato as my point of reference. How Irish am I ...?

31. Man ___ (A.P.'s Horse of the Century) : O’ WAR
Man o’ War is thought by many to be the greatest thoroughbred racehorse of all time, having won 20 of 21 races in his career just after WWI.

32. Linda Ronstadt hit co-written by Roy Orbison : BLUE BAYOU
“Blue Bayou” is a lovely ballad written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, released in 1963 by Orbison. Although the song never made it to the top of the charts over here in the US, it did in Ireland! Linda Ronstadt recorded a famous cover version in 1977. As a result, in baseball parlance a fastball is sometimes called a “Linda Ronstadt” as it is a pitch that “blew by you …”

34. "ER" actor Epps : OMAR
Omar Epps is the actor who plays Eric Foreman on the excellent television series "House". Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on "ER". And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

42. Neighbor of Thailand : LAOS
The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People's Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the name is "Meuang Lao". The French ruled the country as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of "Lao" entities united into one, the French added the "S" and so today we tend to use "Laos" instead of "Lao".

46. ___ Baiul, 1994 Winter Olympics gold medalist : OKSANA
Oksana Baiul is a Ukrainian figure skater, the 1994 Olympic champion. She had a rough start to her life as her father deserted her and her mother when she was just two years old, and then her mother died when she was thirteen. Her grandparents had died earlier, so she was left as an orphan, sleeping on a cot in her hometown ice rink.

48. Fester and Remus : UNCLES
In the original television version of “The Addams Family”, the character called Uncle Fester was played by Jackie Coogan. In the first two adaptations for the big screen, Uncle Fester was portrayed by the talented Christopher Lloyd.

Uncle Remus is the fictional narrator who was chosen by Joel Chandler Harris to tell his collection of African American folktales.

55. Radar sound : PING
Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, shortened to the acronym RADAR.

58. Stick in a medicine cabinet : Q-TIP
Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name "Baby Gays", but this was changed in 1926 to "Q-Tip", with the Q standing for "quality".

61. Joker : WAG
A “wag” or a “card” is a very amusing person, often quite eccentric.

62. ___ pro nobis (pray for us: Lat.) : ORA
"Ora pro nobis" translates from Latin as "pray for us". It is a common term used in the Roman Catholic tradition and is often shortened to "OPN".
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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Head off : AVERT
6. See 13-Across : RIOT
10. Deviate from a course : YAW
13. Sprays, as a crowd in a 6-Across : MACES
14. Petrol amount : LITRE
15. A pitcher should have a low one, in brief : ERA
16. 1954 monster film setting : BLACK LAGOON
18. Busiest airport on the West Coast, informally : LAX
19. Franc replacement : EURO
20. Immense, in poetry : ENORM
21. Friend in war : ALLY
22. 1948 John Wayne western : RED RIVER
24. Frozen waffle brand : EGGO
26. Drinker's road offense, for short : DWI
27. It may have an arch or a lintel : DOORWAY
30. What buoys do : BOB
33. Battery terminal : ANODE
36. Course that you waltz through : EASY A
37. It gives a hoot : OWL
38. Formidable opponents : NEMESES
40. Nightfall, in poetry : E’EN
41. ___ Ste. Marie : SAULT
43. Baker who sang "Giving You the Best That I Got" : ANITA
44. "___ not what your country ..." : ASK
45. Brahma, in Hinduism : CREATOR
47. PC's brain : CPU
49. The Bible, e.g. : BOOK
50. City that's home to the winner of the first two Super Bowls : GREEN BAY
55. Pod contents : PEAS
57. Catcher's position : SQUAT
59. Ontario tribe : CREE
60. Dartmouth or Brown : IVY
61. Some Winslow Homer art ... or what five answers in this puzzle are? : WATERCOLORS
63. Prefix with natal : NEO-
64. Sambuca flavoring : ANISE
65. Tighten, as laces : RETIE
66. Wildebeest : GNU
67. Reasons for braces : GAPS
68. Hearth waste : ASHES

Down
1. Color of honey : AMBER
2. Cherish : VALUE
3. Virtual holiday greeting : E-CARD
4. 3 minutes 43 seconds for running a mile, e.g. : RECORD
5. "Ba-a-ad!" : TSK
6. Harshness : RIGOR
7. "Like ___ not ..." : IT OR
8. Start of a cry by Juliet : O, ROMEO
9. Start of the end of a countdown : TEN
10. It's between Korea and China : YELLOW SEA
11. Name on a map of Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan : ARAL
12. Like some crayons : WAXY
14. Swim meet assignment : LANE
17. James of the Met : LEVINE
21. Taj Mahal site : AGRA
23. "Count me in!" : I WANT TO
25. Loses it altogether : GOES APE
27. Arnaz of "I Love Lucy" : DESI
28. Affirmatives : AYES
29. Bronx Bomber : YANK
30. Pear variety : BOSC
31. Man ___ (A.P.'s Horse of the Century) : O’WAR
32. Linda Ronstadt hit co-written by Roy Orbison : BLUE BAYOU
34. "ER" actor Epps : OMAR
35. Room with few or no windows : DEN
39. "Blah, blah, blah ..." : ETC ETC
42. Neighbor of Thailand : LAOS
46. ___ Baiul, 1994 Winter Olympics gold medalist : OKSANA
48. Fester and Remus : UNCLES
50. Take a stab : GUESS
51. Hard to come by : RARE
52. Very thin soup : BROTH
53. Eagle's nest : AERIE
54. Affirmatives : YESES
55. Radar sound : PING
56. Deadlocked : EVEN
58. Stick in a medicine cabinet : Q-TIP
61. Joker : WAG
62. ___ pro nobis (pray for us: Lat.) : ORA

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6 comments :

Matt said...

Thanks for your solves. Today is Jan 31, 2012 and 1227 is the puzzle in my daily paper, The Columbian (Vancouver, WA.) Interesting the timing.
I have not been able to find a way to contact the puzzle builder so in the hope Messrs Shortz and Dunn read your blog, so I will use your forum to pick a nit; RADAR does not make any noise humans can detect. SONAR is the sound based version of RADAR. Sonar broadcasts sound waves, Radar pulses radio waves. If you remember, Microwave ovens were marketed by one manufacturer as "Radar-Ranges".
Great contribution you make here, no way I can solve in under 20 minutes. I don't come here often, but I think I'll start checking in more often.
Matt

Dick Elton said...

Matt, I spend one to two hours on these puzzles and then look to Bill's comments. At age 81 I need to keep my brain active. Enjoyed your comment about radar and sonar.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Matt.

Thanks for the comment, and stopping by to read the blog post.

I agree with you about the RADAR/SONAR confusion. I used to spend a lot of time on boats and we had both. Well, a radar unit and an echo sounder. I tend to think of "ping" as something that a submariner would do with the SONAR system. I don't recall any sound being associated with the RADAR set we had, although I suppose there could have been some "beep" function that we kept switched off!

Thanks again for stopping by, Matt.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Dick,

I think crosswords are a fabulous choice for keeping the brain active. I call them "aerobic exercise for the brain", something we all need. It certainly beats watching mindless reality shows on television!

Anonymous said...

I logged in today to protest the clue for "PING," and was not surprised to see that I was not the first. I was a USAF Navigator for many years, and never heard my radar make a sound. Sonar, however, which those Navy boys use all the time, is not radar, but it does "ping." BTW, "James of the Met" and "ER actor Epps," left me clueless.

Bill Butler said...

Dear anonymous visitor,

It looks like the pinging RADAR set is indeed causing a little consternation. I think with your excellent credentials as an ex-USAF navigator, we've now had the definitive opinion in the case!

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

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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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