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0111-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Jan 12, Wednesday





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: Chuck Deodene
THEME: Add a CH … all of the theme answers are well-known phrases but with the letters CH inserted to give an answer that suits the clue:
17A. Fabric store employees? : SWAT(CH) TEAM
23A. Repair for a torn pullover? : PAT(CH) ON THE BACK
35A. Attend a tennis tournament because one is a fan of? : GO TO THE MAT(CH) FOR
50A. Cookies baked by Satan? : BAT(CH) OUT OF HELL
59A. Arrest made on a side street? : ALLEY CAT(CH)
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Semidomed area : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof, and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

5. Constellation with the star Rigel : ORION
Rigel is the sixth brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest star in the constellation of Orion. If you can imagine the stars in Orion laid out, Rigel is at his left foot. The name “Rigel” is an abbreviated version of the Arabic term for “Left Foot of the Central One”.

14. Mecca for oenophiles : NAPA
Apparently the name "Napa" comes from the Native American Patwin word "napo" meaning “house”.

In Greek mythology Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us "oen-" as a prefix meaning "wine". Oenology, for example, is the study of wine.

15. Like a drag revue : CAMPY
The etymology of the term "drag", as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite's skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn't hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).

16. ___-B : ORAL
The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first "model" was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. And in 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon, traveling on the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

17. Fabric store employees? : SWAT(CH) TEAM
SWAT is an acronym for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

20. "Nixon in China" role : MAO
“Nixon in China” is an opera by John Adams, libretto by Alice Goodman. The piece was of course inspired by President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972.

21. Sculptor Jean : ARP
Hans Arp was a French artist, renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn't the only medium he used. He was the son of a French mother and German father, and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German, he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French, he called himself Jean Arp. Both "Hans" and "Jean" translate into English as "John". In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing in the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. He was sent home …

22. Fed in pursuit of counterfeiters : T-MAN
A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury.

27. ___ esprit (witty one) : BEL
“Bel esprit” is French for “high mind”, and we use it to mean someone who is cultivated and highly intelligent, or perhaps someone who is witty. The plural of “bel esprit” is “beaux esprits”.

30. Org. that oversees American athletes : USOC
The United States Olympic Committee has a federal charter but it doesn’t receive any funds from the US government. As such, it has to engage in fundraising just like any other charitable organization.

41. "La Femme Nikita" director Besson : LUC
Luc Besson is a French film director and producer. One of the movies that he wrote and directed is “Nikita”, released in 1990. The actress who plays the title role in “Nikita” is Anne Parillaud, Besson’s wife.

"La Femme Nikita" is a Canadian action/drama series based on the film “Nikita” that was written and directed by Luc Besson.

42. Serengeti herd member : GNU
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, an antelope native to Africa. Wildebeest is actually the Dutch word for "wild beast".

The Serengeti is a region in Africa, located in northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. The name “Serngeti” comes from the Maasai language and means “Endless Plains”.

43. Vostok 1's Gagarin : YURI
Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space when his spacecraft, Vostok I, made one orbit of the Earth in 1961. Sadly, Gagarin died only seven years later, in a plane crash.

44. Slanted columns? : OP-EDS
Op-ed is an abbreviation for "opposite the editorial page". Op-eds started in "The New York Evening World" in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

47. Dallas is in it, for short : NFC
The Dallas Cowboys play in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the NFL. The Cowboys are famous for a lengthy streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons, from 1966 to 1985. They are the highest valued sports franchise in the country. The only team in the world that's worth more money is the UK’s Manchester United soccer team.

55. Ocean predator : ORCA
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name "orca", rather than "killer whale", is becoming more and more common. The Latin word "Orcinus" means "belonging to Orcus", with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

56. Back-to-school night grp. : PTA
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).

65. Sierra ___ : LEONE
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, lying on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the "Black Poor" of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent, who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of "a problem", three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were guaranteed British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that's today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

69. Form of fencing : EPEE
The French word for sword is épée. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

Down
1. All of the above, e.g.: Abbr. : ANS
One answer might be “all of the above”.

3. 2005 Broadway hit based on a 1974 film : SPAMALOT
The hit musical “Spamalot” is a show derived from the 1974 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. In typical Monty Python style, the action starts just before the curtain goes up with an announcement recorded by the great John Cleese:
(You can) let your cellphones and pagers ring willy-nilly … (but) be aware there are heavily armed knights on stage that may drag you on stage and impale you.

8. Eye-straining exhibit : OP ART
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

9. Young termite, e.g. : NYMPH
A nymph is an immature form of some insects.

12. President after George : BARACK
President Obama’s first name, Barack, is Swahili with roots in an old Arabic word meaning “blessed”. Barack was the President’s father’s name. President Obama's middle name is Hussein, an Arabic word meaning “good” or “handsome one”. Hussein was the name of the President’s grandfather on the paternal side. His surname "Obama" doesn’t really have a translation, but is common among the Luo tribe of Kenya.

13. Toy consisting of 80 feet of wire : SLINKY
The marvelous Slinky toy was invented in the early forties by a naval engineer called Richard James. James was developing springs for the navy that could stabilize sensitive instruments in rough seas. One day he accidentally knocked one of his experimental coils off a shelf and watched it "step' onto a stack of books, then onto a table, and onto the floor, where it recoiled itself very neatly. The Slinky was born ...

25. Plains native : OTOE
The Otoe were the first Native American tribe encountered in the West by Lewis and Clark. The explorers met with the Otoe (and Missouria) tribes in 1804 at a spot that became known as Council Bluff. The site is now a National Historic Landmark called Fort Atkinson, Nebraska as a fort was built there on Lewis's recommendation.

27. Flu : BUG
Influenza is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.

33. Text messager's "Wow!" : OMG
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! Or any other G words you think of …

36. Heinie : TUSH
“Tush”, a word for the backside, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

The slang term “heinie” is probably a contraction of “hind end”.

37. ___ Domini : ANNO
The designations Anno Domini (AD, "year of Our Lord") and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC, without a year "0" in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays, a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) replacing BC.

39. Oka River city : OREL
Orel (also Oryol) is a city lying on the Oka River, just over 200 miles SSW of Moscow. Orel was one of the cities occupied by Germany during WWII. It was liberated in 1943, but had been almost completely destroyed.

44. Wind section player : OBOIST
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name "oboe" comes from the French "hautbois" which means "high wood". When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you'll note (pun intended!) the oboe starts off the process by playing an "A". The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe's "A". Oh, and if you want to read a fun book (almost an "exposé") about life playing the oboe, you might try "Mozart in the Jungle" by oboist Blair Tindall. I heard recently that HBO are working towards a pilot based on the book. I can’t wait to see it!

48. Fashionable : CHIC
"Chic" is a French word meaning "stylish".

51. Milky gems : OPALS
An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence, known as "opalescence".

52. Five-time All-Star second baseman Chase ___ : UTLEY
Chase Utley is a second baseman who currently plays for the Philadelphia Phillies.

60. S.A.S.E., for one : ENC
One type of enclosure (ENC) in a letter might be a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE).

61. "Getting to ___" (best-selling business book) : YES
“Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” is a business book designed to explain the “art of the deal”. According to the book, the four steps to a successful negotiation are:
- Separate the people from the problem.
- Focus on interests, not positions.
- Invent options for mutual gain.
- Insist on using objective criteria.

63. Bygone Eur. realm : HRE
Pepin the Short was the Duke of the Franks from 751 to 768. He expanded the Frankish Empire, and then law dictated that he had to leave the Empire divided between his two sons, Carloman I and Charlemagne. Carloman I was given lands that were centered around Paris, and Charlemagne was given lands that completely surrounded his brothers territory. So it fell to Charlemagne to defend and extend the borders of the empire, and because of this it is Charlemagne that we read about today, not Carloman I. It was Emperor Charlemagne who in effect founded the Holy Roman Empire.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Semidomed area : APSE
5. Constellation with the star Rigel : ORION
10. Smidgens : DABS
14. Mecca for oenophiles : NAPA
15. Like a drag revue : CAMPY
16. ___-B : ORAL
17. Fabric store employees? : SWAT(CH) TEAM
19. "Me neither" : NOR I
20. "Nixon in China" role : MAO
21. Sculptor Jean : ARP
22. Fed in pursuit of counterfeiters : T-MAN
23. Repair for a torn pullover? : PAT(CH) ON THE BACK
27. ___ esprit (witty one) : BEL
28. Set of parts awaiting assembly : KIT
29. Bothersome : PESKY
30. Org. that oversees American athletes : USOC
32. Gunk : GOO
34. Bro's sibling : SIS
35. Attend a tennis tournament because one is a fan of? : GO TO THE MAT(CH) FOR
41. "La Femme Nikita" director Besson : LUC
42. Serengeti herd member : GNU
43. Vostok 1's Gagarin : YURI
44. Slanted columns? : OP-EDS
47. Dallas is in it, for short : NFC
49. Kicker : LEG
50. Cookies baked by Satan? : BAT(CH) OUT OF HELL
55. Ocean predator : ORCA
56. Back-to-school night grp. : PTA
57. E.M.T. hookups : IVS
58. Mineral suffixes : -ITES
59. Arrest made on a side street? : ALLEY CAT(CH)
64. Online destination : SITE
65. Sierra ___ : LEONE
66. Grumpy : DOUR
67. Muscular jerks : TICS
68. Harmonizes, as digital devices : SYNCS
69. Form of fencing : EPEE

Down
1. All of the above, e.g.: Abbr. : ANS
2. Claw holder : PAW
3. 2005 Broadway hit based on a 1974 film : SPAMALOT
4. Vex : EAT AT
5. Edinburgh exclamation : OCH
6. Turncoat : RAT
7. "To clarify ..." : I MEAN
8. Eye-straining exhibit : OP ART
9. Young termite, e.g. : NYMPH
10. Advice to an introvert : DON’T BE SHY
11. Airborne stimuli : AROMAS
12. President after George : BARACK
13. Toy consisting of 80 feet of wire : SLINKY
18. One making a wake-up call? : COCK
23. Money across the border : PESO
24. Feat for a soprano : HIGH C
25. Plains native : OTOE
26. Monumental : EPIC
27. Flu : BUG
31. Dead-ended investigations : COLD CASES
33. Text messager's "Wow!" : OMG
34. Cram : STUFF
36. Heinie : TUSH
37. ___ Domini : ANNO
38. Period : FULL STOP
39. Oka River city : OREL
40. Semi : RIG
44. Wind section player : OBOIST
45. Trilogy's midsection : PART II
46. Yadda, yadda, yadda : ETC ETC
48. Fashionable : CHIC
51. Milky gems : OPALS
52. Five-time All-Star second baseman Chase ___ : UTLEY
53. Avian gripper : TALON
54. Sidestep : EVADE
60. S.A.S.E., for one : ENC
61. "Getting to ___" (best-selling business book) : YES
62. What a walk-on awaits : CUE
63. Bygone Eur. realm : HRE

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4 comments :

Jim said...

What does 'ANS' in 1 down mean?

Bill Butler said...

Jim,

I probably should have been clearer in how I explained this clue:

One "answer" might be “all of the above”. Ans. is s common abbreviation for the word "answer".

Hope that helps.

Tita said...

Hey there Bill - Happy New Year!

Thanks to your siple exlpanation, I am sure I will from now on be able to differentiate btwn T-men and G-men.
Thanks!!

Bill Butler said...

Hey there, Tita!

Happy New Year to you too.

I hope it's a "puzzling" year for you :)

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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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