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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

1201-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Dec 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Elizabeth A. Long
THEME: JACK IN THE BOX … this is a rebus puzzle, and some of the “boxes” in the grid contain the letters “JACK” (abbreviated to “JK” in my grid above). The theme answers are:
1A. Table staple, of sorts : BLACKJACK
7A. You might find one at a sawmill : LUMBERJACK
36A. With 39-Across, apt title for this puzzle : JACK IN
39A. See 36-Across : THE BOX
69A. One in a corner : JACK HORNER
70A. Figure often mentioned by meteorologists : JACK FROST
6D. Eschewer of fat : JACK SPRAT
13D. Stick pulled from a pile : JACKSTRAW
46D. Brandy made from cider : APPLEJACK
51D. British standard : UNION JACK
COMPLETION TIME: 18m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1130-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Nov 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Rolf Hamburger
THEME: ONE More to Add … all of the theme answers are common expressions or terms, but with the letters ONE inserted:
18. Team on the receiving end of a prank? : MO(ONE)D SQUAD (from MOD SQUAD)
23. "E," "pluribus" or "unum"? : M(ONE)Y WORD (from MY WORD)
40. Athletic trainer for Neanderthals? : ST(ONE) AGE COACH (from STAGECOACH)
54. West Coast punk rock group? : LA RAM(ONE)S (from LA RAMS)
60. Entered pie-eyed? : G(ONE) IN RUMMY (from GIN RUMMY)
72. Addition to 18-, 23-, 40-, 54- and 60-Across : ONE
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1129-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Nov 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Aimee Lucido
THEME: MONEY, MONEY, MONEY … all of the theme answers start with a slang term for “money”:
17. Like some stickers : SCRATCH AND SNIFF
23. Enemy of Spider-Man : GREEN GOBLIN
38. Navigation aid for Hansel and Gretel : BREADCRUMB TRAIL
50. Degrees of separation in a Hollywood parlor game : BACON NUMBER
59. 1976 Abba song ... or a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across : MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 57s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1128-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Nov 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: How Do I Look? … each of the theme answers starts with some word that describes a person’s appearance:
20. Notorious 1920s-'30s bank robber : PRETTY BOY FLOYD
33. America Ferrera's Emmy-winning role : UGLY BETTY
44. Hardly a beauty queen : PLAIN JANE
54. 1940s-'50s wrestler with golden locks : GORGEOUS GEORGE
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1127-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Nov 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen
THEME: YIN/YANG … the grid is shaded to resemble the yin-yang symbol, and the theme answers in one half of the grid contain words that are the opposites to words in the theme answers in the equivalent spot in the other half of the grid:

24A. Full of strong feelings : HOT AND HEAVY
116A. Started sneezing and sniffling, say : CAUGHT A COLD

31A. Something to enjoy on a beach : SUMMER BREEZE
102A. He might put chills up your spine : OLD MAN WINTER

42D. Weighing hardly anything : LIGHT AS A FEATHER
16D. Suffering from nyctophobia : AFRAID OF THE DARK

37D. Walter Mitty, e.g. : DAYDREAMER
45D. Question asked to one with a hangover : ROUGH NIGHT

43D. Time in Hawaii, maybe : HONEYMOON
48D. Kuomintang co-founder : SUN YAT-SEN

COMPLETION TIME: 20m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1126-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Nov 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brad Wilber
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 41m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … KIT-CAT CLUB (KIT-KAT CLUB), BRACERS (BRAKERS)

1125-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Nov 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe Krozel
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 58m 09s!! (but it’s Thanksgiving evening, if you know what I mean!)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … UPI (EPI), SUE ME (SEE ME!)

1124-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Nov 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Sharon Delorme
THEME: NO-GO … each of the theme answers is a common expression starting with the word “go”, except that the “go” is missing:
17. Try to win : (GO) FOR THE GOLD
27. Not vary from proper procedure : (GO) BY THE BOOK
34. Follow everyone else : (GO) WITH THE FLOW
45. Deteriorate : (GO) TO THE DOGS
57. Take things way too far : (GO) OVER THE TOP
65. Canceled ... or a hint to answering 17-, 27-, 34-, 45- and 57-Across : NO-GO
COMPLETION TIME: 8m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1123-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: GARDEN VARIETY … all of the theme answers start with a word that defines a type of garden:
20. *1982 hit by the Clash : ROCK THE CASBAH (rock garden)
28. *1994 World Cup final site : ROSE BOWL (rose garden)
37. *Fortuneteller's bit : TEA LEAF (tea garden)
45. *Popular drinking game : BEER PONG (beer garden)
55. Ordinary ... or what the beginning of the answer to each starred clue is? : GARDEN VARIETY
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1122-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Nov 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Vic Fleming
THEME: Personal Pronouns … all of the theme answer begin with personal pronouns:
17A. Shout upon reaching a destination : WE MADE IT
26A. "Wouldn't that be nice" : I CAN DREAM
38A. Intro to many an adage : THEY SAY
50A. 1998 Spike Lee joint : HE GOT GAME
63A. "Well, look who's back!" : YOU AGAIN
11D. Wicked women : SHE-DEVILS
34D. "Just my luck" : IT FIGURES
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … MARTHA (BARTHA!), MFA (BFA)

1121-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Nov 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Eye Tunes … all of the theme answers are songs containing the word “eye”:
1A. With 10- and 65-Across, 1971 hit by the Who : BEHIND
10A. See 1-Across : BLUE
65A. See 1-Across : EYES
28A. 1967 hit by Van Morrison : BROWN EYED GIRL
44A. 1970 hit by Sugarloaf : GREEN-EYED LADY
67A. Where to find the songs in this grid ... or an appropriate title for this puzzle? : ITUNES
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1120-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Nov 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Trip Payne
THEME: Figure It Out … there is a note that goes along with today’s puzzle:
In the circled squares of this crossword, the Across and Down answers do not actually cross. Write both parts in those squares. Then use the central Across answer to interpret them properly to spell an appropriate final word.
So, it turns out that each of the circled squares contains a number from one answer, and a letter from the crossing answer. When you write the letters down in the order dictated by the corresponding numbers, 1 through 9, you get:
NWODTNUOC
If you write this backward, from numbers 9 through 1, you get:
COUNTDOWN
23A. Computer animation option : 3D GRAPHICS
63A. How to get this puzzle's final word : PUT NINE LETTERS IN ORDER108A. "My sources say no" source : MAGIC 8-BALL
2D. Dinner date request : TABLE FOR 2
14D. Fruit-flavored soft drink : CHERRY 7UP
35D. Sci-fi series set in the 23rd century : BABYLON 5
39D. It was first broken in 1954 : 4-MINUTE MILE
58D. One step up from a four-cylinder : V6 ENGINE
74D. Oscar-nominated sci-fi film of 2009 : DISTRICT 9
79D. Thiamine : VITAMIN B1
COMPLETION TIME: 43m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1119-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Nov 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Allan E. Parrish
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 34m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1118-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Nov 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe DiPietro
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 22m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1117-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Nov 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Merrell
THEME: LETTER SORTING … each of the theme answers is an anagram of its clue:
17A. Roof detour : OUT OF ORDER
26A. Duplex mail : ALL MIXED UP
35A. "Stronger title" for this puzzle : LETTER SORTING
49A. Rear garden : REARRANGED
57A. Mad manager : ANAGRAMMED
COMPLETION TIME: 26m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1116-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Nov 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gary Cee
THEME: BEER CHASER … all of the theme answers start with a word that can be followed by “BEER”:
17A. Common result of a lane closing : BOTTLENECK (beer bottle)
23A. Outdoor affair : GARDEN PARTY (beer garden)
39A. Large, fun quantity, in a saying : BARREL OF MONKEYS (beer barrel)
48A. Performer with sinuous moves : BELLY DANCER (beer belly)
62A. Shot follower, often ... and a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 39- and 48-Across : BEER CHASER
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1115-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Nov 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: FISHERMEN … all of the theme answers end with the name of a fish:
18D. *Former 'N Sync member : LANCE BASS
37D. *Bygone Hollywood star known for tough-guy roles : ALDO RAY
3A. *Explorer of the Rockies : ZEBULON PIKE
25A. *Classical guitarist with four Grammys : JULIAN BREAM
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1114-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Nov 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark Feldman
THEME: Let’s Go Bowling … all of the theme answers start with a word that is used in ten pin bowling:
17A. Acquire sudden riches : STRIKE GOLD
29A. Help out a panhandler : SPARE SOME CHANGE
44A. What multiple winners of a lottery must do : SPLIT THE JACKPOT
61A. Absolutely amazed : BOWLED OVER
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.
COMPLETION TIME: 06m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1113-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Nov 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeremy Newton & Tony Orbach
THEME: Either Way … each of the theme answers is a palindrome, and reads the same from left-to-right as right-to-left:
22A. Students err? : PUPILS SLIP UP
31A. Medusa killer takes his agent to court? : PERSEUS SUES REP
46A. Reinforced ice cream container? : BUTTRESSED DESSERT TUB
58A. Inferior tour vehicle for Snoop Dogg? : SUBPAR RAP BUS
68A. Recollection from a winter tourist in Poland? : WARSAW WAS RAW
79A. Disparaging Argentine leader badly injured? : DEROGATIVE EVITA GORED
97A. One-on-one job for a ladies' man? : GIGOLO’S SOLO GIG
110A. "Son of Darius, please confirm my dog is male"? : XERXES, SEX REX
One of my favorite words is "Aibophobia", although it doesn't appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. It is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix "-phobia". I would call it a "real" word though in one sense, as it was introduced in the early eighties and has been around ever since.
COMPLETION TIME: 24m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1112-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Nov 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 22m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ALEGRE (ALENRE!), AGNES (ANNES)

1111-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Nov 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Vratsanos
THEME: None ... although there is a big number "11" in the middle of the grid. It's there in recognition of the date the puzzle is appearing in the New York Times, on 11.11.11 ... 11 Nov 2011. And it's Veterans Day, so our thoughts go out to all who have served this country in the Military. Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and this particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
COMPLETION TIME: 15m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1110-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Nov 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tim Croce
THEME: CAPITAL LETTER Replacement … all the themed clues start with a lower case “l” instead of the expected capital “L”:
20A. lago : LAKE IN SPANISH (Lago)
26A. lon : ACTOR CHANEY (Lon)
35A. lams, say : FLEES FROM PRISON (Lams, say)
47A. lamb's place : PASTURELAND (Lam’s place)
55A. Feature replaced in four clues in this puzzle : CAPITAL LETTER
COMPLETION TIME: 26m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1109-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Nov 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paula Gamache
THEME: INNKEEPER … all of the theme answers are common terms or expressions, with the word INN inserted inside:
20A. Like a successful marathoner? : W(INN)ING-FOOTED (from “wing-footed”)
28A. Helsinki hoosegow? : F(INN)ISH TANK (from “fish tank”)
36A. Accommodating person? ... or a hint to 20-, 28-, 48- and 57-Across : INNKEEPER48A. Call of a siren? : S(INN)ING SONG (from “sing-song”)
57A. Jaded ale drinker's question? : GU(INN)ESS AGAIN? (from “guess again”)
COMPLETION TIME: 17m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1108-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Nov 11, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Scott Atkinson
THEME: All the Bs … each of the theme answers is made up of three words, each of which begins with B:
23A. Reality show featuring Whitney Houston and her then-husband : BEING BOBBY BROWN
50A. Healthy delivery, perhaps : BOUNCING BABY BOY
3D. Rhett and Scarlett's child : BONNIE BLUE BUTLER
11D. Dish often served with franks : BOSTON BAKED BEANS
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1107-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Nov 11, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: PX Something … each of the theme answers starts with two letters, followed by a word:
17A. 1964 Beatles hit : PS I LOVE YOU
19A. Part of school that includes push-ups and situps : PE CLASS
23A. Showman associated with the quote "There's a sucker born every minute" : PT BARNUM
44A. Chinese restaurant chain : PF CHANG’S
48A. Acidity or alkalinity : PH LEVEL
52A. Rating of "Avatar" : PG THIRTEEN
23D. U.S. mail holders : PO BOXES
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1106-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Nov 11, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Elizabeth C. Gorski
THEME: Baker’s Dozen … a dozen of the “down” answers are types of cakes, and each of them is written in reverse order, bottom to top, “UPSIDE DOWN”:
1D. Not having quite enough money : SHORT
3D. Schokolade : GERMAN CHOCOLATE
5D. Manna, according to the Bible : ANGEL FOOD
12D. The "mode" of "à la mode"? : ICE CREAM
15D. Canine shelter : POUND
40D. Wooded area near the Rhine Valley : BLACK FOREST
47D. Pastry chef creations ... and a hint to 12 other answers in this puzzle : UPSIDE DOWN CAKES
50D. Squishy dish cleaner : SPONGE
61D. Word before republic or seat : BANANA
84D. Girl's holiday party dress fabric : RED VELVET
87D. Cause for bringing out candles : BIRTHDAY
103D. Coat of paint : LAYER
110D. Bed cover : SHEET
COMPLETION TIME: 31m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … GAGE (WADE), BRAGE (BRAWA), ONEGA (ONEDA)

1105-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Nov 11, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kurt Mueller
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 59m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ATHOL (ATHOS), LEHRS (SEHRS)

1104-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Nov 11, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 22m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1103-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Nov 11, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Parker Lewis
THEME: It’s Literally in There … each of the theme answers is a common expression with the structure “A in a B-C”. The expressions are rearranged for the answers so that the “A” is literally placed in the “B-C”, giving the answer structure of B(A)C:
20A. Nearly impossible target, literally : HAY(NEEDLE)STACK (a needle in a haystack)
25A. One who's enraptured, say, literally : CANDY(KID)STORE ( kid in a candy store)
46A. Inadvertently destructive sort, literally : CHINA(BULL)SHOP (a bull in a china shop)
52A. Something rapidly deteriorating goes to it, literally : HAND(HELL)BASKET (Hell in a handbasket)
COMPLETION TIME: 17m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

1102-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Nov 11, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry Franklin, Sara Kaplan
THEME: SPLIT INFINITIVE … each of the theme answers is an infinitive, and a term or word meaning “to split”:
17A. See 37-Across : TO DIVORCE
23A. See 37-Across : TO PULL UP STAKES
37A. Grammatical infelicity ... or what 17-, 23-, 48- or 60-Across is? : SPLIT INFINITIVE
48A. See 37-Across : TO GO FIFTY-FIFTY
60A. See 37-Across : TO SHATTER
COMPLETION TIME: 26m 12s!!
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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