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0109-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Jan 12, Monday





QuickLinks:
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: Michael Dewey
THEME: Like a Bird … all of the theme answers are similes, and each ends with a type of bird:
20A. Soar : FLY LIKE AN EAGLE
38A. Tell everything to the coppers : SING LIKE A CANARY
51A. Carefully guard : WATCH LIKE A HAWK
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
14. Oil ministers' grp. : OPEC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn't in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But you probably knew that already ...

17. Actress Turner : LANA
Lana Turner started work as a Hollywood actress at a very young age, signing up with MGM at only sixteen. Early in her career she earned the nickname "The Sweater Girl" after wearing a pretty tight sweater in the film "They Won't Forget", her film debut. She married eight times, to seven different husbands, the first of which was bandleader Artie Shaw. Shaw and Turner eloped and married on their very first date, when the young actress was just nineteen years old. After divorcing Shaw she married restaurateur Joseph Crane, but had the marriage annulled when she found out that Crane was still married to his first wife. The two had a daughter together, and so remarried when Crane's divorce was finalized. Cheryl Crane was the daughter from the marriage to Joseph and she lived with Turner after her parents split up. When Cheryl was 14-years-old, her mother was romantically involved with a shady character named Johnny Stompanato. One evening Cheryl found her mother engaged in a violent argument with Stompanato, and Cheryl became so scared that she pulled out a gun and killed him in what was deemed to be justifiable homicide. Turner's last marriage was to a nightclub hypnotist, Ronald Pellar, and that union lasted just six months as Pellar disappeared one day with a lot of Turner's money and jewelry. Years later Turner said, "My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out to be the other way around."

19. Dutch bloom : TULIP
We usually associate the cultivation of tulips with the Netherlands, but they were first grown commercially in the Ottoman Empire. The name “tulip” ultimately derives from the Ottoman Turkish word “tulbend” which means “muslin, gauze”.

The world's first ever speculative "bubble" in the financial markets took place in 1637, when the price of tulip bulbs sky-rocketed out of control. The tulip had been introduced into Europe a few years earlier and demand for tulips was so high that single bulbs were selling for ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. The climb in prices was followed quickly by a collapse in the market that was so striking that the forces at play were given the term "tulip mania". To this day, any large economic bubble may be referred to as "tulip mania".

23. They're worth 1 or 11 in blackjack : ACES
The game of "twenty-one" was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing "Don Quixote". He called the game "ventiuna" (Spanish for "twenty-one"). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn't all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker "Blackjack".

25. "On the Origin of Species" author : DARWIN
Englishman Charles Darwin studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland but neglected his studies largely due to his interest in nature and natural history. In the early 1830s, a friend put forward Darwin’s name as a candidate for the post of “collector” on the voyage of HMS Beagle. The Beagle was intending to spend two years at sea primarily charting the coast of South America. The voyage ended up taking five years, during which time Darwin sent back copious letters describing his findings. Back in Britain these letters were published as pamphlets by a friend and so when Darwin eventually returned home in 1836, he had already gained some celebrity in scientific circles. It was while on the Beagle that Darwin developed his initial ideas on the concept of natural selection. It wasn’t until over twenty years later that he formulated his theories into a scientific paper and in 1859 published his famous book “On the Origin of the Species”. This original publication never even mentioned the word “evolution” which was controversial even back then. It was in 1871 that Darwin addressed head-on the concept that man was an animal species, in his book “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”.

The full title of Charles Darwin’s work, which is the basis for the theory of evolution, is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”

34. Nearly sacrificed son of Abraham : ISAAC
According to the Hebrew Bible, Isaac was the only son of Abraham, born to his wife Sarah when she was beyond her childbearing years and when Abraham was 100 years old. Isaac himself lived until he was 180 years old. When Isaac was just a youth, Abraham was tested by Yahweh (God) and told to build an altar on which he was to sacrifice his only son. At the last minute an angel appeared and stopped Abraham, telling him to sacrifice a ram instead.

35. Barcelona's land : SPAIN
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. Barcelona is the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

37. Tierra ___ Fuego : DEL
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southern tip of South America, and is the location of the famed Cape Horn. Tierro del Fuego was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He saw native fires on land as he passed by and originally called the location "Land of Smoke" This was later changed to "Land of Fire", or "Tierra del Fuego" in Spanish.

41. Lynx or puma : CAT
A lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:
- The Eurasian Lynx: the biggest of the four species.
- The Canada Lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
- The Iberian Lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
- The Bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four species.
The mountain lion is found in much of the Americas from the Yukon in Canada right down to the southern Andes in South America. Because the mountain lion is found over such a vast area, it has many different names applied by local peoples, such as cougar and puma. In fact, the mountain lion holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most number of different names, with over 40 in English alone.

42. Rockers Clapton and Burdon : ERICS
Can you believe that Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974 he released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic "I Shot the Sheriff", and ended up selling more copies of the song than Bob Marley did himself.

Eric Burdon is an English singer, a founding member of the sixties rock back The Animals. By 1969 Burdon was living in San Francisco and joined the Californian funk rock band called War.

44. Better-than-you type : SNOB
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasised their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

46. Tattoo fluid : INK
The word "tattoo" was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, he anglicized the Tahitian word "tatau" into our "tattoo".

48. Navy vessel initials : USS
The acronym "USS" stands for "United States Ship". The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

50. Faux pas : SLIP
The term "faux pas" is French in origin, and translates literally as "false step" (or "false steps", as the plural has the same spelling).

58. Doha is its capital : QATAR
Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East, occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world and in 2010 had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry.

Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar located on the Persian Gulf. The name "Doha" translates from Arabic as "the big tree".

59. Lone Star State sch. : UTEP
The University of Texas at El Paso was founded in 1914, originally as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. To this day there is a mineshaft on the campus.

60. Number after a © symbol : YEAR
The term “copyright” really derives from the concept of giving another party the “right to copy”. Usually “copyright” gives the holder the power to financially benefit from any copies made. Copyright was invented in essence soon after the development of the printing press, with the first legal statutes put in place in Britain in the early 18th century.

62. Politico Gingrich : NEWT
Newt ... what a name! Newt Gingrich was born Newton Leroy McPherson in 1943, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Newt's mother remarried when he was very young and his new father, Robert Gingrich, adopted Newt giving him the Gingrich name.

Down
1. "The Three Little Pigs" antagonist : WOLF
The fairy tale of “The Three Little Pigs” has been around for centuries, although it first appeared in print in the 1840s.

2. October birthstone : OPAL
Here is the "official" list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:
January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl or Moonstone
July: Ruby
August: Sardonyx or Peridot
September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

3. "___, meeny, miney, mo" : EENY
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

4. Rapscallion : SCALAWAG
Scallywag is actually a term we use in Ireland to describe a rogue, usually one that is harmless, and it comes from the Irish word "sgaileog" meaning a farm servant. The American use of "scalawag" as a rogue was borrowed as a nickname for southern white people that supported reconstruction after the Civil War.

We might call a little imp a rapscallion, an evolution from “rascallion”, which in turn comes from “rascal”.

7. MasterCard rival : VISA
Did you know that Visa doesn't issue any credit cards? Visa just sells the electronic systems and infrastructure to banks who then put the Visa logo on their own cards so that both the customer and merchant know to use the VISA system when making a transaction.

Mastercard is a financial services company, headquartered in Harrison, New York. It was originally called Master Charge and was set up by a group of California banks to compete with BankAmericard (which later became Visa).

8. James Bond's school : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders, including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself, in the Fleming novels).

9. Fragrance of roses : ATTAR
Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers, and may particularly refer to attar of roses.

11. Like Dubai's Burj Khalifa : TALL
Burj Khalifa is a spectacular skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest man-made structure in the world, and has been so since the completion of its exterior in 2009. The space in the building came onto the market at a really bad time, during the global financial crisis. The building was part of a US$20 billion development of downtown Dubai that was backed by the city government which had to go looking for a bailout from the neighboring city of Abu Dhabi. The tower was given the name Burj Khalifa at the last minute, apparently as a nod to the UAE president Khalifa bi Zayed Al Nahyan who helped to broker the bailout.

12. Emmy winner Falco : EDIE
Edie Falco won her three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano in HBO's outstanding drama series, "The Sopranos".

25. The chocolate parts of Oreos, e.g. : DISCS
The Oreo was the biggest selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been produced since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added to give a different taste.

26. Like about 60% of the world's population : ASIAN
Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

29. Actor Lukas of "Witness" : HAAS
Lucas Haas is an American actor, best known for the role he played as an 8-year-old child in the excellent 1985 film “Witness”. In "Witness" Haas played a young Amish boy, alongside Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. Although Haas still acts today, he is also a musician and plays drums and piano for a band called The Rogues.

36. Fantasy realm of C. S. Lewis : NARNIA
Apparently it's not certain how C. S. Lewis came to choose Narnia as the name of the fantasy world featured in his series of children's books, including "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". There was an ancient city in Umbria that the Romans called Narnia, but there is no evidence of a link.

39. Dubliners, e.g. : IRISH
The city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is known as Baile Átha Cliath in Irish (“town of the hurdled ford”). However, the name “Dublin” is an anglicized form of the older Irish name for the city, “Dubh Linn” meaning “black pool”.

45. Gas in lighters : BUTANE
The “smaller” alkanes are gases, and are quite combustible. Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas, with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component. Propane (C3H8) is also found in natural gas and is heavy enough to be readily turned into a liquid by compression for ease of transportation and storage. Butane (C4H10) is also easily liquefied under pressure and can be used as the fuel in cigarette lighters or as the propellant in aerosol sprays. The heavier alkanes are liquids and solids at room temperature.

47. Thief, in brief : KLEPTO
Kleptomania is the compulsion to steal, whether or not one is need of what is stolen. The term derives from the Greek word for “to steal”, “kleptein”, with the suffix “-mania”.

49. Catch of the day, say, in New England : SCROD
Scrod is the name given to fish that has been “scrawed” i.e. split open, dried and then broiled.

51. Baylor University's home : WACO
In recent years, Waco is perhaps most famous as the site of a siege and shootout between ATF agents and members of the Protestant sect known as the Branch Davidians. Shortly after ATF agents tried to execute a search warrant, shots were fired and at the end of the fight six people inside the Branch Davidian compound were dead, as were four agents. A fifty-day siege ensued at the end of which a final assault resulted in members of the community setting fire to the compound. Only nine people walked away from that fire. 50 adults and 25 children perished.

Remember Ken Starr of Whitewater fame? He is now the President of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

52. The gamut : A TO Z
In medieval times, the musical scale was denoted by the notes “ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la”. The term “gamma ut”, shortened to “gamut”, was used to describe the whole scale. By the 1620s, “gamut” was being used to mean the entire range of anything, the whole gamut.

53. Goddess of the moon : LUNA
“Luna” is the Latin word for “moon”, and is the name given to the Roman moon goddess. The Greek equivalent of Luna was Selene. Luna had a temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome but it was destroyed during the Great Fire that raged during the reign of Nero.

57. Kringle or Kristofferson : KRIS
“Kris Kringle” is the name sometimes used here in North America for Santa Claus. “Kris Kringle” is an anglified form of “Christkind”, the bringer of gifts in may other countries including Austria, the Czech Republic and parts of Germany. “Christkind” is German for “Christ-child”.

The singer Kris Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas and was the son of a USAF Major General. Indeed, Kristofferson’s paternal grandfather was also a military officer, but in the Swedish Army. Kristofferson himself went into the US Army and served in West Germany, achieving the rank of Captain.

58. Math proof ending : QED
Q.E.D. is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Misfortunes : WOES
5. A surfboard rides it : WAVE
9. "... lived happily ever ___" : AFTER
14. Oil ministers' grp. : OPEC
15. Lighted sign near a stairway : EXIT
16. Swap : TRADE
17. Actress Turner : LANA
18. Too : ALSO
19. Dutch bloom : TULIP
20. Soar : FLY LIKE AN EAGLE
23. They're worth 1 or 11 in blackjack : ACES
24. ___-la-la : TRA
25. "On the Origin of Species" author : DARWIN
28. "Quiet!" : SHH
30. Science class sessions : LABS
34. Nearly sacrificed son of Abraham : ISAAC
35. Barcelona's land : SPAIN
37. Tierra ___ Fuego : DEL
38. Tell everything to the coppers : SING LIKE A CANARY
41. Lynx or puma : CAT
42. Rockers Clapton and Burdon : ERICS
43. Turn away : REPEL
44. Better-than-you type : SNOB
46. Tattoo fluid : INK
47. Gnarled, as a tree trunk : KNOTTY
48. Navy vessel initials : USS
50. Faux pas : SLIP
51. Carefully guard : WATCH LIKE A HAWK
58. Doha is its capital : QATAR
59. Lone Star State sch. : UTEP
60. Number after a © symbol : YEAR
61. Money-saving brand prefix : ECONO-
62. Politico Gingrich : NEWT
63. Doughnut shapes, mathematically speaking : TORI
64. Slept lightly : DOZED
65. "Are not!" playground retort : AM SO
66. Finishes : ENDS

Down
1. "The Three Little Pigs" antagonist : WOLF
2. October birthstone : OPAL
3. "___, meeny, miney, mo" : EENY
4. Rapscallion : SCALAWAG
5. Undermine : WEAKEN
6. Car rods : AXLES
7. MasterCard rival : VISA
8. James Bond's school : ETON
9. Fragrance of roses : ATTAR
10. Penny-pinching : FRUGAL
11. Like Dubai's Burj Khalifa : TALL
12. Emmy winner Falco : EDIE
13. Member of the House: Abbr. : REP
21. One with a freezing point? : ICICLE
22. Moral standard : ETHIC
25. The chocolate parts of Oreos, e.g. : DISCS
26. Like about 60% of the world's population : ASIAN
27. Totaled, as a bill : RAN TO
28. Particle : SPECK
29. Actor Lukas of "Witness" : HAAS
31. Evolve (per 25-Across) : ADAPT
32. French cap : BERET
33. With cunning : SLYLY
35. Dermatologist's study : SKIN
36. Fantasy realm of C. S. Lewis : NARNIA
39. Dubliners, e.g. : IRISH
40. Beginner : NEOPHYTE
45. Gas in lighters : BUTANE
47. Thief, in brief : KLEPTO
49. Catch of the day, say, in New England : SCROD
50. Distorts, as data : SKEWS
51. Baylor University's home : WACO
52. The gamut : A TO Z
53. Goddess of the moon : LUNA
54. Thingy : ITEM
55. Very long time : AEON
56. Fend (off) : WARD
57. Kringle or Kristofferson : KRIS
58. Math proof ending : QED

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3 comments :

Anonymous said...

How does 'ran to' mean totaled as a bill?

Phylis Sophical said...

What Anonymous said.
Also, great to have you back.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Phylis and Anonymous.

When at say a restaurant one can run up a tab, and by totaling up the charges one finds out what the tab/bill "runs to".

At least, I think that's the explanation!

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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.

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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.

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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 everyday 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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