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0104-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Jan 12, Wednesday





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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: Brendan Emmett Quigley
THEME: Brendan Behan Said … today’s theme is a quip from the notorious Irish author and playwright Brendan Behan:
18A. Start of a quip by 44-Across : I SAW A NOTICE
28A. Quip, part 2 : WHICH SAID
34A. Quip, part 3 : DRINK CANADA
47A. Quip, part 4 : DRY, AND I’VE
56A. End of the quip : JUST STARTED
44A. Writer Brendan : BEHAN
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Baby docs : OBS
“Ob.” is an abbreviation for "obstetrics".

4. Replay view, often : SLO-MO
Slow motion replay of film (slo-mo).

14. Org. whose logo features the letter pi with an arrow through it : NEA
The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

16. Comic Cheech : MARIN
Cheech Marin is a comedian who made a name for himself in the seventies as half of the double act known as Cheech and Chong. He later gained some renown as an actor, playing Don Johnson’s partner on TV’s “Nash Bridges”.

20. 1980s Salvadoran president : DUARTE
José Napoleón Duarte was elected Mayor of San Salvador from 1964 to 1970. He ran for president in 1972 and lost in a fraudulent election to Arturo Armanda Molina. Soon after the election an abortive coup by military officers tried to put Duarte into office which led to Duarte’s arrest. He was sent into exile in Venezuela where he remained until a junta took control of El Slavador in 1979, marking the start of a civil war. Duarte returned to his country and after a stint as Foreign Minister for the junta, he took over as Head of State. He ruled until 1989, and died a year later. It was later disclosed that Duarte was in fact working for the CIA.

22. Parliament, e.g., in brief : CIG
The Parliament brand of cigarettes has been produced by Philip Morris, since 1931.

23. "That's all ___ wrote" : SHE
No one seems to be very certain of the origin of the phrase “that’s all she wrote”. One popular story though is that it stems from the unfortunate “Dear John” letters that some soldiers received during WWII.

24. Courtier who invites Hamlet to duel with Laertes : OSRIC
In William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet", Osric is the courtier that Claudius dispatches to invite Hamlet to participate in a duel.

25. Key in the middle of the top row : F-SIX
Function keys are usually located on the top row of a computer keyboard.

27. "Oh, c'mon!" : JEEZ
“Jeez” is of course a euphemism for “Jesus”.

31. Nietzsche's "never" : NIE
Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher. Not my cup of tea ...

32. Wood used in making some dartboards : ELM
Darts is a wonderful game often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called "Round the Clock" is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

33. $$$ for later years : IRA
I have to tell you, when I first came to the US from Ireland it was pretty confusing seeing big signs along the freeway advocating IRA contributions. Back in Ireland, contributing to the IRA was pretty illegal (where IRA stands for the outlawed Irish Republican Army!).

39. "___ This, Not That! The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution!" : EAT
“Eat This, Not That!” is a series of diet books that were spawned by the “Eat, This, Not That!” column in “Men’s Health” magazine.

40. "Breaking Bad" network : AMC
AMC, formerly known as American Movie Classics, is one of my favorite television channels. Although the focus has shifted from airing classic movies to other programming, there's still a lot of quality output. AMC’s flagship show is “Mad Men”.

Although I haven’t seen it, I hear good things about the AMC drama “Breaking Bad”. It seems that AMC have a second hit on their hands after the success of “Mad Man”.

41. Bagel accompaniment : LOX
Lox is a a cured salmon fillet, finely sliced. The term "lox" comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, "Lachs".

44. Writer Brendan : BEHAN
Brendan Behan was an Irish writer and playwright. His most famous work is probably "Borstal Boy", an autobiographical novel. Borstal is a term used in the British Isles for juvenile detention. Behan was quite a character, famous for being a heavy drinker ("a drinker with a writing problem", as he described himself). The drink eventually put him in an early grave, at 41 years old. I used to walk to school in Dublin right past the pub where he spent many hours every day.

50. ___-retentive : ANAL
Our use of the word “anal” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology.

51. London jazz duo? : ZEDS
The letter named "zed" has been around since about 1400, and derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation of "zee" used in America today first popped up in the 1670s.

55. One of the Beverly Hillbillies : JETHRO
On the classic show “The Beverly Hillbillies”, the character of Jethro Bodine is played by Max Baer, Jr. Baer is the son of the boxing champion Max Baer.

60. Awards ceremony rental : TUX
The style of men's evening dress called a "tuxedo" was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket, without tails, became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

66. Chemin ___ Dames (W.W. I battle locale) : DES
Chemin des Dames translates from French as “the ladies’ path”. Chemin des Dames is a 30 km stretch of road that was used by the two daughters of Louis XV as they travelled between Paris and the Château de Boves, home of the former mistress of the French king. So, the "dames" in the name of the route are specifically Princess Marie Adélaïde and Princess Victoire. The road figured in extensive fighting during WWI.

Down
1. You are here : ONE DOWN
Yep, this is the answer for the 1-down clue …

2. Only person to have the #1 movie, #1 album and #1-rated late-night TV show all in the same week : BELUSHI
John Belushi was one of the original members of the “Saturday Night Live” cast. On the occasion of Belushi’s 30th birthday, in 1979, he had the number one film in the country (“Animal House”), the number one album (“The Blues Brothers: Briefcase of Blues”) and he was a star of the highest-rated late night TV show ("Saturday Night Live"). Belushi died in 1982 from a “speedball”, a combined injection of cocaine and heroin.

4. Feature of Dr. Frankenstein's lab : SWITCH
Mary Shelley's Gothic novel has the full title of "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus". The subtitle underscores one of the theme's of the book, a warning about man's expansion into the Industrial Revolution.

8. Tripping : ON ACID
LSD (also known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that the psychedelic properties of the drug were discovered. Trippy, man ...

9. Urban woe : SMOG
"Smog" is of course a portmanteau word formed by melding "smoke" and "fog". It was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s.

11. Van Gogh masterpiece : IRISES
Van Gogh painted his "Irises" while he was in an asylum in the south of France, the year before he committed suicide. The original owner was a French art critic and supporter of Van Gogh who paid 300 francs to purchase the painting. "Irises" was sold for $53.9 million in 1987 making it the most expensive painting sold up to that point. But, the buyer didn't actually have the necessary funds, so it had to be resold in 1990. It was bought by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where you can see it today.

13. Bashful companion : SNEEZY
In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Snow White", the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic animated film from Walt Disney, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". The seven dwarfs are:
- Doc (the leader of the group)
- Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife ...)
- Happy
- Sleepy
- Bashful
- Sneezy
- Dopey

19. Invalidate : NIX
The use of "nix" as a verb, meaning "to shoot down", dates back to the early 1900s. Before that "nix" was just a noun meaning "nothing". It comes from the German "nichts", which also means "nothing".

21. Detroit rapper ___-A-Che : RIC
Ric-A-Che is a rapper. That's all I know. Oh, and I guess he’s from Detroit ...

25. Peter who played Columbo : FALK
"Columbo" is a police drama that aired from 1971-78, with some more episodes made as recently as 2003. Columbo was of course played by Peter Falk, although the character of Columbo was first played by Bert Freed in 1960 in an episode of "The Chevy Mystery Show", . That first appearance was so successful that the episode was adapted for the stage in 1962, with Thomas Mitchell taking on the role. Then the same episode was stretched into a TV movie in 1968, with Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo for the first time.

26. Data holder on a cellphone : SIM CARD
More and more cell phones have SIM cards these days. That’s the card that holds the personal information of the subscriber, with the acronym being short for Subscriber Identity Module.

27. "The Ghost of Tom ___" (1995 Bruce Springsteen album) : JOAD
“The Ghost of Tom Joad” is a 1995 album by Bruce Springsteen. Tom Joad is the protagonist in John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath”.

30. It's held up with a hook : BRA
The word "brassière" is of course French in origin, but it isn't the word the French use for a "bra". In France what we call a bra is known as a "soutien-gorge", translating to "held under the neck". The word "brassière" is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby's undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. "Brassière" comes from the Old French word for an "arm protector" in a military uniform ("bras" is the French for "arm"). Later "brassière" came to mean "breast plate" and from there was used for a type of woman's corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

33. Resident of the ancient city Choquequirao : INCA
The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in part of South America that today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of the continent. The Empire of course fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Tupac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.

Choquequirao is a ruined city in south Peru that is apparently very similar to Machu Pucchu in terms of architecture and remaining structures. The name “Choquequirao” translates as “Cradle of Gold”.

36. Actor McKellen : IAN
Sir Ian McKellen is a marvelous English actor, someone who is comfortable playing anything from Macbeth on stage and Magneto in an X-Men movie. On the big screen he is very famous for playing Gandalf in "The Lord of Rings". In the UK Sir Ian is noted for being at the forefront of the campaign for equal rights for gay people, a role he has enthusiastically embraced since the eighties.

37. ___ Kitchen (organic frozen food company) : AMY’S
Amy’s Kitchen is a company making organic and easy-to-prepare frozen food. The company was founded in 1987 by Andy and Rachel Berliner, and Amy is their daughter.

42. Make a cliché : OVERUSE
“Cliché” is a word that comes from the world of printing. In the days when type was added as individual letters into a printing plate, for efficiency some oft-used phrases and words were created as one single slug of metal. The word “cliché” was used for such a grouping of letters. It’s easy to see how the same word would become a term to describe any overused phrase. Supposedly, “cliché” comes from French, from the verb “clicher” meaning “to click”. The idea is that when a matrix of letters was dropped in molten metal to make a cliché, it made a clicking sound.

43. Some duplicates : XEROXES
Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York and originally made photographic paper and equipment. Real success came for the company in 1959 when it introduced the first plain-paper photocopier. Xerox named Ursula Burns as CEO in 2009, the first African American woman to head up a S&P 100 company, as well as being the first woman to succeed another female CEO (replacing Anne Mulcahy).

44. Relatives of ukuleles : BANJOS
The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

The ukulele originated in the 1800s, and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

47. "Gracias" reply : DE NADA
"Nada" is the Spanish word for "nothing". "De nada" translates literally from the Spanish as "of nothing", and is used to mean "you're welcome" or "don't mention it". The French have the same expression "de rien", also translating to "of nothing" and used the same way.

49. Subj. of the 1948 Nobel in Physiology or Medicine : DDT
DDT is dicholorodiphenyltricholoroethane (don't forget now!). It was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book "Silent Spring", suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

The 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Paul Hermann Müller for his discovery of the efficacy of using DDT to control insects that carried diseases such as malaria and yellow fever.

51. Small blemish, in slang : ZIT
The slang term “zit”, meaning "a pimple", came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

55. Razz : JEER
The verb "razz" is a shortened form of "raspberry".

Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles "blowing a raspberry" is a way of insulting someone (I think it's called "a Bronx cheer" here in the US).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Baby docs : OBS
4. Replay view, often : SLO-MO
9. Plays, as records : SPINS
14. Org. whose logo features the letter pi with an arrow through it : NEA
15. Like wickerwork : WOVEN
16. Comic Cheech : MARIN
17. Pipe joint : ELL
18. Start of a quip by 44-Across : I SAW A NOTICE
20. 1980s Salvadoran president : DUARTE
22. Parliament, e.g., in brief : CIG
23. "That's all ___ wrote" : SHE
24. Courtier who invites Hamlet to duel with Laertes : OSRIC
25. Key in the middle of the top row : F-SIX
27. "Oh, c'mon!" : JEEZ
28. Quip, part 2 : WHICH SAID
30. Overly assertive : BOSSY
31. Nietzsche's "never" : NIE
32. Wood used in making some dartboards : ELM
33. $$$ for later years : IRA
34. Quip, part 3 : DRINK CANADA
39. "___ This, Not That! The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution!" : EAT
40. "Breaking Bad" network : AMC
41. Bagel accompaniment : LOX
44. Writer Brendan : BEHAN
47. Quip, part 4 : DRY, AND I’VE
50. ___-retentive : ANAL
51. London jazz duo? : ZEDS
52. Greenskeeper's tool : EDGER
53. Rejections : NOS
54. Campaign freebie : PIN
55. One of the Beverly Hillbillies : JETHRO
56. End of the quip : JUST STARTED
60. Awards ceremony rental : TUX
61. Watches like a wolf : OGLES
62. Holder for a toilet paper roll : DOWEL
63. Pittsburgh-to-Baltimore dir. : ESE
64. Word with cookie or rap : SHEET
65. Flip over : ADORE
66. Chemin ___ Dames (W.W. I battle locale) : DES

Down
1. You are here : ONE DOWN
2. Only person to have the #1 movie, #1 album and #1-rated late-night TV show all in the same week : BELUSHI
3. On the payroll : SALARIED
4. Feature of Dr. Frankenstein's lab : SWITCH
5. Come up short : LOSE
6. Fertility clinic stock : OVA
7. Cry over spilled milk, perhaps? : MEW
8. Tripping : ON ACID
9. Urban woe : SMOG
10. Bit of butter : PAT
11. Van Gogh masterpiece : IRISES
12. Recesses : NICHES
13. Bashful companion : SNEEZY
19. Invalidate : NIX
21. Detroit rapper ___-A-Che : RIC
25. Peter who played Columbo : FALK
26. Data holder on a cellphone : SIM CARD
27. "The Ghost of Tom ___" (1995 Bruce Springsteen album) : JOAD
29. Shipped : SENT
30. It's held up with a hook : BRA
33. Resident of the ancient city Choquequirao : INCA
35. True : REAL
36. Actor McKellen : IAN
37. ___ Kitchen (organic frozen food company) : AMY’S
38. Came down : ALIGHTED
42. Make a cliché : OVERUSE
43. Some duplicates : XEROXES
44. Relatives of ukuleles : BANJOS
45. "All right already!" : ENOUGH
46. Give a hard time : HASSLE
47. "Gracias" reply : DE NADA
48. Thing watched while driving through a speed trap : NEEDLE
49. Subj. of the 1948 Nobel in Physiology or Medicine : DDT
51. Small blemish, in slang : ZIT
54. "Hey!" : PSST
55. Razz : JEER
57. Pipe joint : TEE
58. 62-Across, e.g. : ROD
59. Duo : TWO

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7 comments :

Dick Elton said...

Never heard of Behan before. I read about him and looked up his quip. He was an alcoholic writer and another of his quips was: "Actually I'm a drinker with a writing problem." I don't feel the need to read his works...but, maybe.

Bill Butler said...

Dick,

I've read a little of Behan's work, so am no real expert. There's no doubt the man had a problem with the demon drink, as we'd say. His language was also very colorful. If he'd been in the White House in the Nixon years, there would have been a lot more "expletive deleted" lines in the transcripts of the Oval Office tapes!

lylebicycle1 said...

I've noticed you quit posting your time to finish the puzzle. Why is that? I don't mind feeling like an idiot, I still enjoy trying and I also learn things.

Bill Butler said...

Hi lyle,

I didn't record a time for this puzzle, but it's just an isolated issue. Sometimes I get interrupted and forget to turn on/off the timer.

I am continuing to record times and post them. Even the embarrassing ones!

Anonymous said...

Do you consider it kosher to look up any thing?
I can no imagine doing some puzzles in the times you list without looking up certain things like obscure actor, directors and a few other kinds of clues.

Bill Butler said...

I think everyone has there own "rules" when it comes to solving. Personally I believe in not using any outside references to solve, but then use them once I have finished to better understand a clue or term (which is where this blog content comes from). I sometimes have to declare that a puzzle has defeated me, especially on a Friday or Saturday. But, I wait for that "surrender" moment before I hit the books or the laptop, and record a "did not finish". Even then, I just look up one answer and try to use that to finish the remaining clues unaided.

As far as my times go, well, they are indeed solving times without the help of references. Frankly, the times are very pedestrian when compared to the real experts who solve competitively. My personal times have come down a lot due to practice. That's probably a testament to the sad life that I lead steeped in crosswords! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks.
If you aren't an expert I don't know who would be. I do the puzzles every day but am usually stumped on Friday and Sat. I too only look up one - o r an absolute minimum of clues and try to solve from those.

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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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