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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! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

0501-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 1 May 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Xan Vongsathorn
THEME: THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP … to find the last letter of all the themed answers you have to GO UP at the end of the answer to the line above. And each of the theme answers is something at "the bottom", from where there's nowhere to go but up!
22A. *Most awful thing you could imagine : WORST NIGHTMARE COME TRU-E
36A. *Destination of 1911 : THE SOUTH POL-E
46A. *First rung on a ladder : ENTRY-LEVEL JO-B
64A. *Dunce's place : BOTTOM OF THE CLAS-S
83A. *Destitution : ABJECT POVERT-Y
93A. *Coldest point : ABSOLUTE ZER-O
110A. Optimist's phrase under adverse circumstances ... or a hint to completing the answers to the six starred clues : THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO BUT U-P
COMPLETION TIME: 28m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … PIXY (PIXI), BEY (BEI)

0430-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Apr 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Frederick J. Healy
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 52m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0429-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Apr 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Quarfoot
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 14m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0428-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gary Cee
THEME: ROYAL WEDDING … all the theme answers relate to tomorrow's Royal Wedding in London, as do many of the supporting answers:
17A. Titular jurisdiction of 30-Across : WALES
20A. Event of 4/29/11 : ROYAL WEDDING
26A. Name of six British monarchs : GEORGE
30A. Bridegroom of 4/29/11 : PRINCE WILLIAM
34A. Honor bestowed by 53-Down : OBE
38A. Bride of 4/29/11 : KATE MIDDLETON
51A. 30- and 38-Across someday, presumably : KING AND QUEEN
6D. Westminster Abbey feature : ALTAR
7D. Feature of the Buckingham Palace grounds : POOL
53D. Grandmother of 30-Across, informally : QEII
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0427-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Apr 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: William I. Johnston
THEME: Unambiguous Beginnings … all the theme answers start with a synonym of “unambiguous” …
20A. Task that stands high on one's list : CLEAR PRIORITY
40A. Words on a parental advisory label : EXPLICIT CONTENT
56A. Shiny shoe material : PATENT LEATHER
7D. Expansionist doctrine : MANIFEST DESTINY
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0426-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Apr 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brendan Emmett Quigley
THEME: UNDERWATER BASKET WEAVING … the four theme answers end with a word in the idiomatic expression UNDERWATER BASKET WEAVING, which refers to an easy or worthless college degree course, a so-called “easy A”:
69A. No-brainer class, an example of which is named by combining the ends of 20-, 36-, 42- and 55-Across : EASY A
20A. Consent reluctantly : KNUCKLE UNDER
36A. Is active without making progress or falling behind : TREADS WATER
42A. Main food-supplying region of a country : BREADBASKET
55A. Wizardry : SPELL WEAVING
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0425-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Apr 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joon Pahk
THEME: BOS … all of the theme answers are three words. starting with the letters B, O and S:
72A. Logan Airport luggage letters ... and a hint to 17-, 27-, 49- and 64-Across : BOS
17A. Rossini opera about Figaro, with "The" : BARBER OF SEVILLE
27A. Hollywood headliner : BOX OFFICE STAR
49A. The father in "Dreams From My Father" : BARACK OBAMA SR
64A. Venting : BLOWING OFF STEAM
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0424-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Apr 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER:  Caleb Madison
THEME: USE IT OR LOSE IT … the first half of the theme answers are well-known expressions with the letters IT inserted, and second half are expressions with the letters IT dropped:
23A. Electrical paths in New York City? : BIG APPLE CIRCU(IT)S
33A. Spill a Cuban drink? : LOSE ONE’S MOJ(IT)O
41A. One who says "Beg your pardon" after stepping on your toes? : POL(IT)E DANCER
63A. Preachers' lies? : PULP(IT) FICTION
73A. What a mashed potato serving may have? : CENTER OF GRAV(IT)Y
94A. Hairdresser's first do? : LEARNER’S PERM(IT)
102A. Author Amy's family squabble? : CLASH OF THE T(IT)ANS
117A. The Miracles? : SMOKEY AND THE BAND(IT)
COMPLETION TIME: 25m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0423-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Apr 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mike Nothnagel
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 30m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … PISTONS (PIGEONS!), SRO (GRO), STAX (SEAX)

0422-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Apr 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ashton Anderson
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 20m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0421-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Apr 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Julian Lim
THEME: They’re Not Typos, They’re Homophones!
17A. Solving hint, part 1 : EACH ONE-WORD CLUE
25A. Hint, part 2 : IN THIS PUZZLE
42A. Hint, part 3 : IS A HOMOPHONE
56A. Hint, part 4 : OF ITS ACTUAL CLUE
COMPLETION TIME: 17m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0420-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Apr 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Farabaugh
THEME: MIXED “GREEN SALAD” … all the theme answers are anagrams of “GREEN SALAD”:
39A. Dieter's fare ... or a hint to 17-, 24-, 49- and 62-Across and 10- and 26-Down : MIXED GREEN SALAD
17A. Lee at Appomattox, e.g.? : SAD GENERAL
24A. Portly college figures? : LARGE DEANS
49A. Salutation in an Anaheim baseball fan's letter? : DEAR ANGELS
62A. Cowgirl Evans's hot temper? : DALE’S ANGER
10D. Where to get discount flowers? : GARDEN SALE
26D. Go out with the star of "The Wizard of Oz"? : SEE GARLAND
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 30s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0419-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Apr 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Randall J. Hartman
THEME: BBB … the puzzle is replete with letter Bs, 35 of them in fact
COMPLETION TIME: 8m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0418-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Apr 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: James Tuttle
THEME: GAME, SET and MATCH … the theme answers contain a word that progresses through the score in a game of tennis:
20A. Tricky romantic relationship : LOVE TRIANGLE
28A. Distance on the Erie Canal, in song : FIFTEEN MILES
38A. One approaching middle age : THIRTY SOMETHING
46A. "Arabian Nights" band : FORTY THIEVES
57A. Tennis winner's declaration : GAME SET MATCH
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0417-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Apr 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Ginsberg
THEME: End of the Line … each of the theme answers comes at the END of a sardonic LINE that’s started within the clue itself:
23A. "I used to do drugs. ___": Mitch Hedberg : I STILL DO BUT I USED TO TOO
36A. "The car stopped on a dime. Unfortunately, the dime was ___": Anonymous : IN A PEDESTRIAN’S POCKET
58A. "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it ___": Woody Allen : THROUGH NOT DYING
68A. "Whoever named it necking was ___": Groucho Marx : A POOR JUDGE OF ANATOMY
79A. "You know what I hate? Indian givers. ___": Emo Philips : NO I TAKE THAT BACK
101A. "I don't mean to sound bitter, cold or cruel, but I am ___": Bill Hicks : SO THAT’S HOW IT COMES OUT
120A. "I have the heart of a small boy. It ___": Stephen King : IS IN A GLASS JAR ON MY DESK
COMPLETION TIME: 40m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0416-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Apr 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Robert H. Wolfe
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 37m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ARMETS (ARMATS), SHTETL (SHTATL)

0415-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Apr 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 48s!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0414-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Apr 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Pete Muller
THEME: UMBRELLA … all the theme answers apply to the clue “UMBRELLA” which is spelled out by the circled letters. Joining the circled letters in the order from U-to-A produces a drawing of an UMBRELLA:
21A. [ ] : TRAVELERS LOGO
28A. [ ] : SHADE PROVIDER
44A. [ ] : GENE KELLY PROP
52A. [ ] : HIT FOR RIHANNA
COMPLETION TIME: 32m 15s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0413-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Apr 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Elizabeth C. Gorski
THEME: INTEGRA … all the theme answers contain a word that is an anagram of INTEGRA:
36A. Bygone Acura that's involved in a crackup at 17-, 23-, 45- and 55-Across? : INTEGRA

17A. Wisconsin's state rock : RED GRANITE
23A. City on the Strait of Gibraltar : TANGIER, MOROCCO
45A. 1987 duet by Eric Clapton and Tina Turner : TEARING US APART
55A. Rebuke to a thankless wretch : YOU INGRATE
COMPLETION TIME: 26m 16s!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0412-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Apr 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: Utopia … all the theme answers feature “Utopic” locales:
18A. Protagonist in Kerouac's "On the Road" : SAL PARADISE
27A. 1956 Fats Domino hit : MY BLUE HEAVEN
42A. Highest peak in the Northwest Territories : MOUNT NIRVANA
54A. "I Dream of Jeannie" star : BARBARA EDEN
COMPLETION TIME: 8m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0411-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Apr 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: Villains … all of the theme answers are bad guys in the world of entertainment:
8A. "Star Trek" villain : KHAN
15A. "Batman" villain : THE JOKER
19A. "Superman" villain : LEX LUTHOR
36A. "The Silence of the Lambs" villain : HANNIBAL LECTER
51A. Harry Potter villain : VOLDEMORT
58A. Sherlock Holmes villain : MORIARTY
63A. "The Lion King" villain : SCAR
COMPLETION TIME: 4m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0410-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Apr 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paula Gamache
THEME: ALL-PRO … all the theme answers are well known expressions, but with the letters FOR (meaning "pro") inserted:
23A. Skip Thanksgiving leftovers? : (FOR)GO COLD TURKEY
30A. Say "No," "Never" and "Uh-uh"? : DO ONE’S (FOR)BIDDING
47A. Plea for immediate absolution? : (FOR)GIVE US THIS DAY
63A. Like food that's acceptable to cattle? : (FOR)AGE APPROPRIATE
79A. Memorable theatrical performance? : PLAY HARD TO (FOR)GET
93A. Abstain happily? : GRIN AND (FOR)BEAR IT
108A. Is well-endowed? : CARRIES A (FOR)TUNE
COMPLETION TIME: 31m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 5 … CREOLE, LORGNETTE, SERRA, HOGG, ELON

0409-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Apr 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Scott Atkinson
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 24m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … EDNA BEST (ESRA BEST), CANID (CANIS), ALDENS (ALDERS)

0408-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Apr 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe Krozel
THEME: 1961 … the black squares in the grid form the digits 1961, and the puzzle is full of references to the Cold War, including a FENCE (from the Berlin Wall) dividing the East side of the puzzle from the West. The main theme answers are:
9A. With 44-Down, conflict between 7-Down and the 34-Down : COLD
(44D. See 9-Across : WAR)
7D. 1961 leader : KENNEDY
27D. The Berlin Wall started as one in 1961 : FENCE
34D. Adversaries of 7-Down : SOVIETS
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0407-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Apr 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Henry Hook
THEME: After the letters THE … all the theme answers need to be preceded by the letters (not the word) THE to make sense:
19A. Churchill subject, with "The" : (THE)IR FINEST HOUR
30A. Rodgers and Hart song, with "The" : (THE)RE’S A SMALL HOTEL
36A. George C. Scott movie with a rock band namesake, with "The" : (THE)Y MIGHT BE GIANTS
48A. Hit movie of 1991, with "The" : (THE)LMA AND LOUISE
COMPLETION TIME: 26m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0406-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Apr 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: DOUBLEHEADERS ... the themed answers are composed of two words (i.e. DOUBLE), both of which can be paired with the word HEAD:
16A. Thor, for one : THUNDER GOD
THUNDERHEAD (a cloud) & GODHEAD (aka "godhood")
24A. Ones often marrying in a hurry : WAR BRIDES
WARHEAD & BRIDESHEAD (as in "Brideshead Revisited")
46A. Calypso instrument : STEEL DRUM
STEELHEAD (a type of trout) & DRUMHEAD (the membrane of a drum)
57A. It's undeliverable : DEAD LETTER
DEADHEAD (a Grateful Dead fan) & LETTERHEAD
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0405-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Apr 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: E. J. Masicampo
THEME: It’s Raining … the circled letters spell out the word RAIN, and form “raindrops” raining down from NIMBUS CLOUDS at the top of the grid and going PITTER PATTER when they hit the bottom of the grid.
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0404-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Apr 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Lynn Lempel
THEME: Body Part Rhymes … all the theme answers are body parts with a word following that rhymes:
17A. Mass exodus of expertise : BRAIN DRAIN
25A. Hiker's carryall : BACKPACK
37A. Upside-down maneuver : HANDSTAND
53A. Salon work : HAIRCARE
63A. Recommended by cardiologists : HEART SMART
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0403-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Oliver Hill & Eliza Bagg
THEME: TRIPLE BONDS … each of the theme answers is comprised of three words, let's call them A-B-C. The clue is also in three parts, with the first part of the clue referring  to words A-B in the answer, the second part to words B-C, and the third part to words A-C. It’s easier to understand than it sounds, I think:
23A. Chinese restaurant offering / Wonderland affair / Group on the left? : GREEN/TEA/PARTY
GREEN TEA / TEA PARTY / GREEN PARTY
27A. Baltimore specialty / Effortless task / Move on all fours with the belly up : CRAB/CAKE/WALK
CRAB CAKE / CAKEWALK / CRAB WALK
43A. Plunging / Play hooky / Vulgar : LOW/CUT/CLASS
LOW CUT / CUT CLASS / LOW-CLASS
52A. Northern flier / Mixer maker / Put on the line : AIR/CANADA/DRY
AIR CANADA / CANADA DRY / AIR DRY
67A. Yellowish brown / Bit of "dumb" humor / Many a forwarded e-mail : DIRTY/BLONDE/JOKE
DIRTY BLONDE / BLONDE JOKE / DIRTY JOKE
87A. Cause of congestion / Detective's challenge / Loony : HEAD/COLD/CASE
HEAD COLD / COLD CASE / HEADCASE
94A. Winnie-the-Pooh possession / Baked entree / Sweetie : HONEY/POT/PIE
HONEYPOT / POTPIE / HONEY PIE
106A. Fancy Feast product / Cafeteria outburst / "Mean Girls" event : CAT/FOOD/FIGHT
CAT FOOD / FOOD FIGHT / CAT FIGHT
119A. Democratic territory / Cardinal, e.g. / "Over the Rainbow" flier : BLUE/STATE/BIRD
BLUE STATE / STATE BIRD / BLUEBIRD
COMPLETION TIME: 28m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0402-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Apr 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark Diehl
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 41m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

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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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