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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! 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

0901-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Sep 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Repeated Words … the theme answers contain double words, with the repeated letters written alongside each other, two to a square:
14A. Deprecate : POOH POOH
19A. Auto slogan beginning in 2000 : ZOOM ZOOM
41A. "Stop avoiding responsibility!" : EXCUSES EXCUSES
61A. Looney Tunes sound : BEEP BEEP
70A. Pacific capital : PAGO PAGO
COMPLETION TIME: 24m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0831-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Best of the Beach Boys … all of the theme answers are hits recorded by the Beach Boys:
10A. With 64-Across, 1963 Beach Boys hit : IN MY
64A. See 10-Across : ROOM
17A. 1965 Beach Boys hit : CALIFORNIA GIRLS
23A. With 49-Across, 1965 Beach Boys hit : HELP ME
49A. See 23-Across : RHONDA
57A. 1963 Beach Boys hit : LITTLE SAINT NICK
7D. With 30- and 53-Down, 1964 Beach Boys hit : DON’T
30D. See 7-Down : WORRY
53D. See 7-Down : BABY
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0830-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Aug 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bernice Gordon
THEME: B-rn with All the Vowels … each of the theme answers includes the letters “B-RN” with the dash being replaced by each of the vowels, including “Y”.
18A. Longtime New York theater critic : CLIVE BARNES
23A. Actor in 1960s TV's "77 Sunset Strip" : EDD BYRNES
34A. Popular card game since 1954 : MILLE BORNES
39A. TV/film/stage actor once married to actress Meredith Baxter : DAVID BIRNEY
53A. Big dog : ST BERNARD
59A. Prime cooking spot : FRONT BURNER
COMPLETION TIME: 13m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … RECTOR (LECTOR), LACEY (RACEY)

0829-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Aug 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrea Carla Michaels & Michael Blake
THEME: Bagels … three of the theme answers end with flavors of bagel, and the last theme answer alludes to a SHMEAR that one might put on any of those bagels:
20A. Legendary San Francisco music/comedy club where Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen have performed : THE PURPLE ONION (an onion bagel)
28A. Ali Baba's magic words : OPEN SESAME (a sesame bagel)
46A. Bad place to live when the river rises : FLOOD PLAIN (a plain bagel)
52A. Everything ... or what might cover an everything 62-Across? : THE WHOLE SHMEAR (a bagel with a schmear)
62A. Item whose varieties include the endings of 20-, 28- and 46-Across : BAGEL
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0828-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Aug 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: Pardon “E” Interruption … each of the theme answers is a common term or expression that has been "interrupted" with an “E” sound:
23A. Lively dance performed as a six-pack is being laid to rest? : BEER BURIAL POLKA (from BEER BARREL POLKA)
26A. Canine king's regime? : REIGN OF TERRIER (from REIGN OF TERROR)
41A. Eco-warriors? : BOTANICAL GUARDIANS (from (BOTANICAL GARDENS)
56A. Encounter with an Alaskan bear? : KODIAK MOMENT (from KODAK MOMENT)
76A. Set of shot glasses for Christmas? : PARTYING GIFT (from PARTING GIFT)
89A. Sharpshooter Oakley when she was a charming young musician? : LITTLE ORPHEAN ANNIE (from LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE)
108A. Interstellar valet's job? : PARKING METEORS (from PARKING METERS)
113A. Ship info kept for the Spanish Armada? : MILES PER GALLEON (from MILES PER GALLON)
COMPLETION TIME: 21m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0827-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Aug 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ashton Anderson
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 34m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0826-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Aug 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brendan Emmett Quigley
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 34m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0825-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Aug 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Blindauer & Francis Heaney
THEME: Food Pyramids … the gird contains four PYRAMIDS of circled letters that each spell out a FOOD:
SOUR CREAM
COBB SALAD
SNOW CONES
SWEET ROLL
COMPLETION TIME: 18m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0824-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Aug 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kelsey Blakley
THEME: Beginning with a Vowel … all of the theme answers are well known terms, each with a vowel added in front (AEIOU, in order):
17A. Physical therapist's assignment? : ATROPHY CASE (a-trophy case)
24A. Blackened seafood? : EBONY FISH (e-bony fish)
36A. Castaway's day in court? : ISLANDER TRIAL (i-slander trial)
49A. Lure for Popeye's sweetie? : OLIVE BAIT (o-live bait)
59A. Choosing between pounds and kilos? : UNIT PICKING (u-nit picking)
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 57s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0823-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Aug 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Farabaugh
THEME: Bolts … all the theme answers apply to the same clue: “Bolt”.
20A. Bolt : SPRINTER USAIN
27A. Bolt : METAL FASTENER
43A. Bolt : LIGHTNING UNIT
51A. Bolt : LEAVE SUDDENLY
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0822-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Aug 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Milo Beckman
THEME: Directions To … all of the theme answers are in the format “direction to something”:
18A. Anti-abortion position : RIGHT TO LIFE
24A. Abandoned, in a way : LEFT TO DIE
39A. Not shown in theaters : STRAIGHT TO VIDEO
51A. Satisfactory : UP TO SNUFF
60A. Having no illusions or pretensions : DOWN TO EARTH
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0821-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Aug 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alan Arbesfeld
THEME: Underwater Search … there’s a note that goes with the puzzle that reads:
“When this puzzle is done, look for a name (hinted at by 37-Down) hidden 17 times in the grid, each reading forward, backward, down, up or diagonally, word search-style.”
37D. 2003 Pixar film : FINDING NEMO
There are 17 occurrences of NEMO in the grid. I'm not one for word searches, so I’ll let you find them for yourself!
COMPLETION TIME: 28m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … OCAS (OCIS), CLANTON (CLINTON)

0820-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Aug 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Byron Walden
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 27m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0819-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Aug 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 16m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0818-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Aug 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevan Choset
THEME: SIX DEGREES … There are SIX squares in the grid containing multiple letters, and each of those sets of letters is an academic DEGREE:
40A. Often-cited distance between things ... or what's hidden in this puzzle : SIX DEGREES
COMPLETION TIME: 29m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0817-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Black
THEME: Look Closer … at first glance each of the themed clues is a famous name. Looking closer, the clue is pointing to a pair of items, and gives the first letter of each of those items:
20A. M/C Hammer? : MALLET OR CLAW (MC Hammer: mallet or claw hammer)
39A. W/C Fields? : WRIGLEY AND COORS (W.C. Fields: Wrigley Field and Coors Field)
58A. L/L Bean? : LIMA OR LENTIL (L.L.Bean: lima bean or lentil)
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0816-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Aug 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: HIDDEN TEXT … each of the theme answers contains some HIDDEN characters that have been circled, characters that make up abbreviated phrases commonly used in TEXT messaging:
18A. Be rewarded for a pious life, as the devout believe : G(O TO H)EAVEN (On The Other Hand = OTOH)
23A. Stereotypical sitcom greeting : HONEY (I’M HO)ME (In My Humble Opinion = IMHO)
36A. Castle on the Thames : TOWE(R OF L)ONDON (Rolling On Floor Laughing = ROFL)
52A. Pet store purchase : KI(TTY L)ITTER (Talk To You Later = TTYL)
57A. Invisible writing on a computer screen ... or a component of 18-, 23-, 36- and 52-Across? : HIDDEN TEXT
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0815-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Aug 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Stanley Newman
THEME: ZIP … the letters ZERO are hidden in each of the theme answers, and if you count them, there are an impressive 24 occurrences of “O” in the grid:
20A. Buffalo wings or bruschetta, e.g. : APPETI(ZER O)RDER
35A. Pittsburgh Pirates hero of the 1960 World Series : BILL MA(ZERO)SKI
52A. Music source on many an old fairground : WURLIT(ZER O)RGAN
56D. Nothing ... or a hint to what's hidden in 20-, 35- and 52-Across : ZIP
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0814-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Aug 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paula Gamache
THEME: HACK SAWS … each of the them clues is the beginning of an old saying or SAW, but the answer provides a whimsical or perhaps banal (HACK) ending to replace the original:
27A "A penny saved is ..." : NOT ENOUGH TO RETIRE ON (... a penny earned)
35A. "Where there's a will, there's ..." : GOING TO BE A RELATIVE (... a way)
56A. "Where there's smoke, there's ..." : AIR POLLUTION (... fire)
66A. "People who live in glass houses ..." : LET IT ALL HANG OUT (... shouldn’t throw stones)
80A. "He who laughs last ..." : FINALLY GOT IT (... laughs longest)
99A. "If at first you don't succeed ..." : REDEFINE THE MISSION (try, try again)
108A. "Don't bite the hand ..." : THAT HASN’T BEEN WASHED (... that feeds you)
COMPLETION TIME: 28m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … NOLITA (NOLETA), NADINE (NADENE)

0813-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Aug 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tim Croce
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 37m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … NINA (NINO), TSE (TSY), NOT ONE (NOT ANY)

0812-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Julian Lim
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 39m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 ... EL GRECO (EL GRELA … don’t ask!), FOR ONCE (FOR ONLY), NECCO (NELLA), GROENING (GRAY NING)

0811-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Aug 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Parker Lewis
THEME: SEQUENCES with VARIABLES … each theme answer is the formula that defines the sequence of numbers in its clue:
17A. 3, 6, 11, 18, 27 ... : X-SQUARED PLUS TWO (1x1+2=3, 2x2+2=6, 3x3+2=11 etc.)
34A. 4, 2, 4/3, 1, 4/5 ... : TWENTY OVER FIVE-X [20/(5x1)=4, 20/(5x2)=2, 20/(5x3)=4/3 etc.)
57A. 8, 1, -18, -55, -116 ... : NINE MINUS X-CUBED 9-(1x1x1)=8, 9-(2x2x2)=1, 9-(3x3x3)=-18 etc.)
3D. Any of the clues for 17-, 34- or 57-Across : SEQUENCE
37D. In the answers to 17-, 34- and 57-Across, it was replaced in turn by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... : VARIABLE
COMPLETION TIME: 15m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0810-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Aug 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Elizabeth C. Gorski
THEME: FIVE IRONS … all FIVE themed answers start with words that go with IRON:
17A. Place for a sweater? : STEAM ROOM (STEAM IRON)
24A. Sheets for scribbling : SCRAP PAPER (SCRAP IRON)
45A. Ice cream holder : WAFFLE CONE (WAFFLE IRON)
59A. Fairway clubs ... or a hint to the starts of the answers to 17-, 24- and 45-Across and 10- and 37-Down : FIVE-IRONS
10D. Playground lingo : PIG LATIN (PIG IRON)
37D. Fizzless drink : FLAT SODA (FLAT IRON)
COMPLETION TIME: 8m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0809-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Aug 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tony Orbach
THEME: Soup! … all of the answers end with a flavor of soup:
17A. "Peanuts" figure ... or some fabulous fall soup? : THE GREAT PUMPKIN
39A. Early 1970s dance ... or some smelly soup? : THE FUNKY CHICKEN
63A. Nickname for snowboarder Shaun White ... or some airborne soup? : THE FLYING TOMATO
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0808-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: HIGH SEAS … all of the theme answers end with words that can be used for a “sailor”, found on the HIGH SEAS:
1A. With 69-Across, where to find the ends of 17-, 22-, 32-, 43-, 54- and 61-Across : HIGH
69A. See 1-Across : SEAS
17A. Q-tip, e.g. : (COTTON) SWAB
22A. It points to the minutes : (BIG) HAND
32A. Presidential candidate's #2 : (RUNNING) MATE
43A. Excellent, slangily : (CRACKER-)JACK
54A. Sticky stuff on a baseball bat : (PINE) TAR
61A. Condiment that's O.K. for observant Jews : (KOSHER) SALT
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0807-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Aug 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tony Orbach & Janie Smulyan
THEME: Good to Go … all of the theme answers are common expressions with the word GOOD removed:
23A. Start-press order for a New York daily? : LET THE (GOOD) TIMES ROLL
39A. Flippered animal that runs a maid service? : (GOOD) HOUSEKEEPING SEAL
48A. Request for candy from a kid at camp? : (GOOD) SHIP LOLLIPOP
68A. Congratulatory phrase at a "Peanuts" bar mitzvah? : YOU’RE A (GOOD) MAN, CHARLIE BROWN
88A. Jaded comment from a constantly updated person? : NO NEWS IS (GOOD) NEWS
98A. 1970s, to a schmaltzy wedding band? : THE ERA OF (GOOD) FEELINGS
120A. Amnesiac's vague recollection of having a hobby? : I’M INTO SOMETHING (GOOD)
COMPLETION TIME: 30m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … DULLEA (DULLIE), SOLVENE (SLOVENI), ANSARA (ENSARA)

0806-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Aug 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe Krozel
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 20m 51s!!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0805-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Aug 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 34m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … NOHO (SOHO), STAN (STAS) !!!!

0804-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Aug 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: David J. Kahn
THEME: WENT BAR HOPPING … there are a number of “bars” of three squares in the grid. The themed answers “hop” over these bars:
17A. Some ballpark hits : INFIELD SIN--GLES
23. Provider of some outdoor entertainment : STREET PI--ANO
46A. "Star Wars" and "Battlestar Galactica" : SPA--CE OPERAS
53A. Painted the town red, in a way ... or successfully completed this puzzle? : WENT -- BAR HOPPING
11A. Youthful time : SAL--AD DAYS
31A. Sugar in large crystals : ROCK CA--NDY
COMPLETION TIME: 25m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0803-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Aug 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paul Guttormsson
THEME: All the Ts … the grid is replete with the letter T, and in fact it shows up 51 times. And on top of that, every clue starts with the letter T!
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0802-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Aug 11, Tuesday

Thank you, everyone, for your patience over the past couple of weeks while I was on vacation. Visiting with both my family and my wife's family, I had so much fun that I had very little time to devote to crosswords. But I am back, and the blog is back to "normal".



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Albert R. Picallo
THEME: DC COMICS … all of the theme answers are comics with the initials DC:
17A. Performer with a self-titled HBO special in 2006 : DANE COOK
25A. Performer with a self-titled ABC series in 1996 : DANA CARVEY
37A. Performer with a self-titled Comedy Central series from 2003 to 2006 : DAVE CHAPPELLE
50A. Performer with a self-titled PBS series from 1977 to 1982 : DICK CAVETT
60A. "Captain Marvel" publisher ... and a hint to 17-, 25-, 37- and 50-Across : DC COMICS
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 54s
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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