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Vacation Alert

I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

1001-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Oct 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Quarfoot
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 47m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … SARAN (SAREN!), NAGANO (NEGANO)

0930-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Sep 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe Krozel
THEME: All the Ks ... there is a diagonal made up of 7 letter Ks that almost bisects the grid from going from the southwest to northeast.
COMPLETION TIME: 20m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0929-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Sep 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ben Fish
THEME: PLUS … There is a blurb (note) accompanying this crossword, “Two hints for 17- and 57-Across and 11- and 26-Down appear somewhere in this puzzle”. The hints are the big PLUS sign at the center of the grid, and the letters P-L-U-S circled in the corners of the grid. All the theme answer are uses for a "+" sign:
17A. [See blurb] : GRADE BONUS (+)
57A. [See blurb] : MATH SYMBOL (+)
11D. [See blurb] : NICE QUALITY (+)
26D. [See blurb] : POSITIVE END (+)
COMPLETION TIME: 23m 58s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0928-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Sep 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Steve Salitan
THEME: CL-OUT … all the theme answers are common terms or expressions that usually start with CL, but that CL has been taken OUT:
20A. Iodine in a barber's first-aid kit? : (CL)EAR-CUT SOLUTION
26A. Doofus given a pink slip? : (CL)ASS DISMISSED
46A. One modifying goals? : (CL)AIMS ADJUSTOR
56A. Cronus and Rhea's barbecue remains? : (CL)ASH OF THE TITANS
65A. Influence ... and a hint to 20-, 26-, 46- and 56-Across : CLOUT (CL OUT!)
COMPLETION TIME: 14m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0927-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Sep 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Hidden Countries … all of the theme answers contain the name of a country hidden away:
17A. *Area in front of a coop : CHIC(KEN YA)RD
23A. *Modern school memento : DIG(ITAL Y)EARBOOK
35A. *Braided floor covering : RO(PE RU)G
37A. *More than enough : TO(O MAN)Y
50A. *Elemental parts of human nature : ANI(MAL I)NSTINCTS
57A. *Discover to be fibbing : CAT(CH IN A) LIE
34D. Sovereign lands ... or what are hidden in the answers to the six starred clues : COUNTRIES
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ROPE RUG (ROPE RUN!), LING (LINN)

0926-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Sep 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Gray
THEME: Starts at the BACK … all of the theme answers start with a word that can go with BACK, all being associated with American football:
20A. Some McDonald's burgers : QUARTER POUNDERS (QUARTERBACK)
38A. Part of a 2005 Harry Potter title : HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (HALFBACK)
50A. 1987 Stanley Kubrick classic : FULL METAL JACKET (FULLBACK)
67A. Word that can follow the start of 20-, 38- or 50-Across : BACK
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 30s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0925-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Sep 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paul Hunsberger,
THEME: ENTWISTED … all the theme answers are well known expressions or terms with an “N” twisted, rotated through 90 degrees so that it appears as a “Z”:
21A. Result of being badly beaned? : GREAT DAZE (from GREAT DANE)
23A. Scraping kitchen gadget with nothing in it? : EMPTY ZESTER (from EMPTY NESTER)
45A. Pale yellow-shelled sea creature? : MAIZE LOBSTER (from MAINE LOBSTER)
60A. View the effects of a big lunch in court? : SEE JUSTICE DOZE (from SEE JUSTICE DONE)
67A. Fluorescent candy? : HIGHLIGHTER PEZ (from HIGHLIGHTER PEN)
92A. "Cheers" spinoff mania? : FRASIER CRAZE (from FRASIER CRANE)
113A. Hapless Roman ruler? : EMPEROR ZERO (from EMPEROR NERO)
115A. Taser for children? : KID ZAPPER (from KIDNAPPER)
COMPLETION TIME: 30m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0924-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Sep 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeremy Horwitz
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 31m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … SLAP ON (SNAP ON), ARLEN (ARNEN).

0923-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Sep 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mike Nothnagel
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 32m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0922-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Sep 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Dubner
THEME: DAILY to DULY … each of the theme answers starts with a word beginning with “d” and ending in “ly”, starting with the the vowel “a” sound and ending with a “u” sound:
17A. London newspaper : DAILY MAIL
23A. Turkey's location : DELI COUNTER
33A. Taking one's sweet time : DILLY-DALLYING
44A. Singer with the hit country album "Backwoods Barbie" : DOLLY PARTON
54A. "Gotcha," formally : DULY NOTED
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0921-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Sep 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: INNER CITIES … each of the themed answers is the name of a city, with a second city’s name “inside” the the first, called out by four circled letters:
17A. California home of the Crystal Cathedral : GARDEN GROVE (RENO)
26A. California locale just south of Camp Pendleton : OCEANSIDE (ENID)
38A. California State University campus site : BAKERSFIELD (ERIE)
52A. California's Sonoma County seat : SANTA ROSA (TAOS)
60A. Urban areas (as hinted at by the circled letters in this puzzle's grid) : INNER CITIES
COMPLETION TIME: 14m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0920-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Sep 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Daniel Raymon
THEME: RENT-A-CARS … all of the theme answers start with the name of a rental car company:
17A. Way to reduce spending : BUDGET CUT
23A. Pre-sporting-event songs : NATIONAL ANTHEMS
38A. President Taft's foreign policy : DOLLAR DIPLOMACY
54A. Areas targeted for economic revitalization : ENTERPRISE ZONES
63A. Some vacation expenses ... or a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 38- and 54-Across : RENT-A-CARS
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0919-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Sep 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Julian Lim
THEME: TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY … all of the theme answers are words you might hear on TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY:
1A. Common interjection on 27-/44-Across : ARRR
17A. Where plank-walkers end up on 27-/44-Across : DAVY JONES’ LOCKER
25A. "Hold it!," on 27-/44-Across : AVAST
27A. With 44-Across, annual celebration on 9/19 : TALK LIKE A
44A. See 27-Across : PIRATE DAY
46A. Treasure on 27-/44-Across : BOOTY
57A. "I don't believe it!," on 27-/44-Across : SHIVER ME TIMBERS
65A. Hello, on 27-/44-Across : AHOY
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0918-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Sep 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Josh Knapp
THEME: Don’t! … all of the theme answers are the ends of common warnings that start with the word “Don’t” ...
23A. Don't ...! : PLAY WITH MATCHES
38A. Don't ...! : MESS WITH TEXAS
52A. Don't ...! : BELIEVE THE HYPE
73A. Don't ...! : QUIT YOUR DAY JOB
88A. Don't ...! : QUOTE ME ON THIS
103A. Don't ...! : TALK TO STRANGERS
16D. Don't ...! : MOVE A MUSCLE
62D. Don't ...! : HAVE A COW, MAN
COMPLETION TIME: 34m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … DRAM (GRAM), MADE A DENT (MADE AGENT!)

0917-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Sep 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 48m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0916-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Sep 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe DiPietro
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 42m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0915-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Sep 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Samuel A. Donaldson
THEME: CORNER LOT … this is a rebus puzzle with the word HOUSE occupying the corner squares of the grid (represented by a "house" symbol):
1A. It's better than prison : HOUSE ARREST
8A. #1 on Bravo's all-time "100 Funniest Movies" list : ANIMAL HOUSE
35A. Prominent location to build on (as suggested by this puzzle?) : CORNER LOT
62A. Help : HOUSEKEEPER
63A. Place of learning : SCHOOLHOUSE
1D. Always going outside? : HOUSEBROKEN
14D. Vacationer's help : HOUSE SITTER
37D. Gets rid of everybody, say : CLEANS HOUSE
43D. Place where people work for beans? : COFFEEHOUSE
COMPLETION TIME: 18m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0914-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Sep 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen
THEME: SPY VS SPY … the puzzle starts and ends with a reference to the “Mad” magazine comic strip “Spy vs Spy”, and all of the theme answers are in the format A vs B:
1A. Foe of 71-Across in Mad magazine : SPY
17A. Genetics-or-environment debate : NATURE VS NURTURE
35A. Discovery Channel survival show : MAN VS WILD
45A. Home-seeker's decision : RENT VS BUY
64A. 2004 movie featuring a clash of sci-fi species : ALIEN VS PREDATOR
71A. Foe of 1-Across in Mad magazine : SPY
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0913-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Sep 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick McIntyre
THEME: CON GAME … each of the theme answers is a person whose family name sounds like CON (well, as long as you don't have my Irish accent!):
14. "High Hopes" lyricist : SAMMY CAHN
20. Singer with the #1 R&B hit "I Feel for You" : CHAKA KHAN
37. Scam ... or an apt title for this puzzle? : CON GAME
52. He was Sonny to Marlon Brando's Vito : JAMES CAAN
62. Boxer who almost upset Joe Louis in 1941 : BILLY CONN
COMPLETION TIME: 07m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … HESTA (HOSTA), PRO-KEDS (PRAKEDS!)

0912-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Sep 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Keith Talon
THEME: GOOD DOG … all the theme answers start with commands given to a dog:
17A. Unused parts of a cell phone plan : ROLL OVER (MINUTES)
28A. Formal meal at a table : SIT (DOWN DINNER)
45A. Question that's a classic pickup line : COME HERE (OFTEN?)
59A. Death row inmate's hope : STAY (OF EXECUTION)
57D. With 65-Across, comment that might be heard after the start of 17-, 28-, 45- or 59-Across : GOOD
(65A. See 57-Down : DOG)
COMPLETION TIME: 07m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0911-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Sep 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kay Anderson
THEME: Cornered … all of the themed answers “turn a corner” and need to be read across to the “corner” and then down, or else down and then across:
1A. Nitty-gritty, as of negotiations : BRASS/TACKS
6A. Boater : STRAW/HAT
14A. Title figure in an Aesop fable : GRASS/HOPPER
58A. Work on at a desk, say : HUNCH/OVER
77A. Bracket shape : RIGHT/ANGLE
35D. Ernest and Julio Gallo product : MERLOT/WINE
57D. Usual amount to pay : GOING/RATE
95D. Part of a boxer's training : JUMPING/ROPE
107D. It's pitched for a large audience : CIRCUS/TENT
117D. Common secret : PASS/WORD
COMPLETION TIME: 31m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … UNITARD (UNATARD), MERIDIA (MERADIA)

0910-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Sep 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Quarfoot
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 66m 10s!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ZAC (MAC), AMOS OZ (AMOS OM!)

0909-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Sep 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe Krozel
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 17m 16s!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0908-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Sep 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Ginsberg, Pete Muller
THEME: ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST … all of the theme answers relate to the Tom Wolfe book, the name of which is spelled out by the circled letters around the edge of the grid:
25. Author of the 1968 work named in the circled letters (reading clockwise) : WOLFE
35. Subject of the 1968 work : MERRY PRANKSTERS
44. Leader of the 35-Across : KESEY
COMPLETION TIME: 23m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0907-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Sep 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jim Hilger
THEME: FOLLOW … each of the theme answers is a common expression with that usually starts with FOLLOW, but the FOLLOW is missing:
17A. Sing-along direction : (FOLLOW) THE BOUNCING BALL
23A. Obey : (FOLLOW) ORDERS
29A. Children's game : (FOLLOW) THE LEADER
40A. Chase scene shout : (FOLLOW) THAT CAR
47A. Pursue a passion : (FOLLOW) ONE’S HEART
54A. Word missing from the answers to 17-, 23-, 29-, 40-, 47- and 62-Across : FOLLOW
62A. Do as a mentor did, say : (FOLLOW) IN ONE’S FOOTSTEPS
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0906-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Sep 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Susan Gelfand
THEME: DOUBLE TIME … each of the theme answers is made up of two words, each of which can be paired with the word TIME:
16A. Ticket usable on more than one trip : TRAVEL CARD (TIME TRAVEL & TIME CARD)
26A. Available if needed : ON CALL (ON TIME & CALL TIME)
39A. Become oblivious to one's surroundings : ZONE OUT (TIME ZONE & TIME OUT)
59A. Fast marching pace ... or a hint to 16- and 39-Across and 10- and 24-Down : DOUBLE TIME (the answer is a hint to 26A as well!)
10D. Interval in which something is tested : TRIAL PERIOD (TIME TRIAL & TIME PERIOD)
24D. Las Vegas staple : SLOT MACHINE (TIME SLOT & TIME MACHINE)
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0905-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Sep 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Merrell
THEME: TVs … most of the theme answers are made up of two words, one ending in T and the other starting with V, so the theme answer has a TV “hidden” in it:
20A. Charleston is its capital : WEST VIRGINIA
31A. Trumpet's saliva-draining key : SPIT VALVE
48A. Not a unanimous ruling : SPLIT VOTE
60A. Swedish liquor with memorable ads : ABSOLUT VODKA
5D. Venomous snake : PIT VIPER
13D. Off-road transport, briefly : ATV
42D. Permit for leaving a country : EXIT VISA
63D. Appliances hidden in seven answers in this puzzle : TVS
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0904-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Sep 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Dana Delaney & Matt Ginsberg
THEME: That’s Disgusting … each of the theme answers sounds like a well-know term, with an “ick” sound added:
22D. Heads-up in Ireland? : GAELIC WARNING (from GALE WARNING)
29D. Superman's attire, e.g.? : CLASSIC ACTION SUIT (from CLASS ACTION SUIT)
40D. Farm pails? : RUSTIC BUCKETS (from RUST BUCKETS)
64D. "I feel the earth move under my feet," e.g.? : KING LYRIC (from KING LEAR)
70D. Fancy garb for Caesar? : FINE TUNIC (from FINE TUNE)
83D. Antisthenes, notably? : ORIGINAL CYNIC (from ORIGINAL SIN)
98D. Something talked about on "Today"? : TOPIC OF THE MORNING (from TOP OF THE MORNING)
111D. Extremely occult? : GREATLY MYSTIC (from GREATLY MISSED)
3A. Vacation spot that's crazily busy? : THE ISLE OF MANIC (from THE ISLE OF MAN)
51A. Prank involving a hammer and nails? : CARPENTER ANTIC (from CARPENTER ANT)
COMPLETION TIME: 34m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0903-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Sep 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter Wentz
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: Did not finish!
ANSWERS I MISSED: Too many to list!

0902-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Sep 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tim Croce
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 17m 52s
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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