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Greetings from Dromod, County Leitrim in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

0120-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Jan 12, Friday





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: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 18m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Semimonthly tide : NEAP
Tides of course are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon's effect. At spring tides, the sun and the moon's gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

5. Mooring post on a ship : BITT
A bitt is a post mounted on the bow of a boat, used for fastening lines and cables. It is designed to be strong enough to hold a towline if necessary.

9. Head nurse on "Scrubs" : CARLA
The head nurse on the TV series “Scrubs” is a character called Carla Espinosa. Carla is played by Judy Reyes.

“Scrubs” is a comedy-drama TV show set in a fictional hospital. The show’s main character is Doctor J. D. Dorian, played by Zach Braff. “Scrubs” ran from 2001 to 2010.

16. Nautical direction : ABEAM
The beam is the widest part of a vessel. Something pointed out as lying "abeam" is something that it is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words off to the right or the left.

17. Pitcher of the only no-hitter in World Series history : DON LARSEN
Don Larsen is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Larsen pitched the sixth perfect game ever (out of 20 in MLB history) back in game 5 of the 1956 World Series. That perfect game is the only one to have been pitched in a World Series, and was in a game in which the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers.

18. Small truck manufacturer : TONKA
The toy manufacturer today known as Tonka started out as a manufacturer of garden implements in Mound, Minnesota in 1946. By 1955, toys had become the main line for the company. At that time the owners decided to change the company name and opted for “Tonka”, a Dakota Sioux word meaning “great, big”.

19. Highly rated 1997 film with the song "Tupelo Honey" : ULEE’S GOLD
"Ulee's Gold" is a highly respected film from 1997 in which Peter Fonda plays the title role of Ulee. Ulee's "gold" is the honey that Ulee produced. It is a favorite role for Peter Fonda and he has shared that the role brought into mind his father, Henry Fonda, who himself kept a couple of hives. So if you see Peter Fonda in "Ulee's Gold" you're witnessing some characteristics that Peter saw in his father.

22. Like yoga instructors : LITHE
In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

29. ___ lane : HOV
In some parts of the country one sees high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV lanes), but out here in California, we call them carpool lanes.

36. "___ = Politics" (TV slogan) : CNN
CNN (Cable News Network) was launched in 1980, the first television channel in the world to provide news coverage 24 hours a day.

37. Inventor given a gold medal by Titanic survivors : MARCONI
Guglielmo Marconi was an inventor, famous for development of a radio telegraph design that was used across the world. Marconi did a lot of his early radio work in his native Italy, but moved to England as the British government was very interested in supporting his developments.

41. U.K. Triple Crown racecourse site : EPSOM
The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse, at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. You might also have heard of Epsom salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time.

42. Dance trio? : CHA-CHA-CHA
The cha-cha-cha is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

49. Go on : PRATE
"To prate" is to talk idly and at length, a word that comes to us from Middle Dutch "praten", meaning to talk or chatter.

52. Colorful Amazon swimmer : NEON TETRA
The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. It is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

54. Mrs. Charles Lindbergh : ANNE
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was best known as an author although she was also an aviator like her husband, Charles Lindbergh.

55. "The Lucy-___ Comedy Hour" : DESI
Desi Arnaz was of course famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Desi Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolution led by Batista.

Down
2. Name on a famous B-29 : ENOLA
As we all know, the Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of the pilot, Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

3. Mammy's son : ABNER
"Li'l Abner" was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years.

4. Adjective applied to ginger ale : PALE DRY
The brand most closely associated with ginger ale is Canada Dry. "Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale" was first formulated in 1904 by a Canadian chemist called John McLoughlin from Ontario. Prohibition in the United States helped sales of the drink as it was particularly effective in masking the taste of illegally-produced homemade liquor.

7. Certain lymphocyte : T CELL
T cells are a group of white blood cells that are essential components of the body's immune system. T cells are so called because they mature in the thymus, a specialized organ found in the chest.

12. North American home of 30,000 islands : LAKE HURON
Lake Huron takes its name from the Huron Native American people that lived by its shores. Early French explorers often called the lake “La Mer Douce”, meaning “the freshwater sea”.

13. Tiramisu ingredient, often : AMARETTO
Amaretto is an Italian liqueur with a sweet almond flavor. Even though the drink is sweet, it has a bitterness lent to it by the bitter almonds that are often used as a flavoring. The name "amaretto" is a diminutive of the Italian "amaro" meaning "bitter".

Tiramisu is an Italian cake. The name "tiramisu" translates from Italian as "pull me up".

15. Frequent photo prop for Will Rogers : LASSO
Will Rogers was so successful as an actor that he was the highest paid Hollywood star in the 1930s. His career was cut short sadly, when he died in a plane crash in 1935. Piloting the doomed plane was famed aviator Wily Post, the first person to fly solo around the world.

25. "___ furtiva lagrima" (Donizetti aria) : UNA
"L'elisir d'amore" is an opera by Donizetti, the title of which translates as "The Elixir of Love". The opera is performed quite often today, as is the beautiful aria from the work called "Una furtiva lagrima". “Una furtiva lagrima” translates from Italian as “A single furtive tear”.

26. Bourbon enemy : BONAPARTE
Despite having gone through the turmoil of the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte was able to reestablish a hereditary monarchy in France and took the name of Emperor Napoleon I. He crowned himself in Notre Dame de Paris in 1804, and then crowned his wife Josephine as Empress.

The House of Bourbon is a royal house in Europe that ruled France right up until the French Revolution. Famous French kings such as Louis XIV and Louis XVI all belonged to the House of Bourbon.

30. The Village ___ (musical group with the 1963 hit "Washington Square") : STOMPERS
The Village Stompers was a dixieland jazz group from Greenwich Village, New York (hence the group’s name). They had a big hit in 1963 with an instrumental called “Washington Square”.

32. Star of Ang Lee's "Hulk" : ERIC BANA
Eric Bana is an Australian actor who enjoyed a successful career in his home country before breaking into Hollywood playing an American Delta Force sergeant in "Black Hawk Down". A couple of years later he played the lead in Ang Lee's 2003 movie "The Hulk", the role of Dr Bruce Banner. More recently he played the Romulan villain Nero, in the 2009 "Star Trek" movie.

38. Leroux who created the Phantom : GASTON
Gaston Leroux was a French author and journalist best known for writing “The Phantom of the Opera”, first published in 1910. As a journalist, Leroux was involved in an investigation into the Paris Opera. The basement of the opera house contained a cell that was used to hold prisoners in 1871, something that Leroux featured in his most famous novel.

39. Premium number : OCTANE
The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition, it's resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called "knocking".

40. What a dickey simulates : SHIRT
A dickey is a false shirt-front that can be worn with a tuxedo. Dickeys were popular in the late 1800s and were actually made of celluloid plastic. The advantage to a dickey was that it was waterproof and stain resistant.

43. Lady of Paris : HELEN
In Greek mythology, Helen of Sparta was the daughter of Zeus and Leda. She became known as Helen of Troy, as the Trojan War started when she was abducted by Paris and taken from Sparta to Troy.

In Greek legend, Paris was the son of the king of Troy. He eloped with Helen, the queen of Sparta, and this act was a major trigger for the Trojan War. Also, it was Paris who fatally wounded Achilles by shooting him in the heel with an arrow.

46. "We're Madly for ___" (old campaign song) : ADLAI
Adlai Stevenson ran for president unsuccessfully against Eisenhower in 1952. Some years later he served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. He was always noted for his eloquence, and had a famous exchange in a Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. He bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba, saying. "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!" and then followed up with, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!"

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Semimonthly tide : NEAP
5. Mooring post on a ship : BITT
9. Head nurse on "Scrubs" : CARLA
14. If you add up the pros and cons : ON BALANCE
16. Nautical direction : ABEAM
17. Pitcher of the only no-hitter in World Series history : DON LARSEN
18. Small truck manufacturer : TONKA
19. Highly rated 1997 film with the song "Tupelo Honey" : ULEE’S GOLD
20. Take in, possibly : ALTER
21. Flogs : HARD SELLS
22. Like yoga instructors : LITHE
23. Pink shade : ROSE
24. Secures every share from : BUYS OUT
26. Early man? : BOY
28. Had some inventory problems : RAN SHORT
29. ___ lane : HOV
30. Berate profanely : SWEAR AT
33. Court : WOO
34. What mansions rarely are : ONE-STORY
36. "___ = Politics" (TV slogan) : CNN
37. Inventor given a gold medal by Titanic survivors : MARCONI
38. "Goodness me!" : GOSH
41. U.K. Triple Crown racecourse site : EPSOM
42. Dance trio? : CHA-CHA-CHA
47. Suddenly took interest : SAT UP
48. Motivated : BESTIRRED
49. Go on : PRATE
50. Communion place : ALTAR RAIL
51. Abject : UTTER
52. Colorful Amazon swimmer : NEON TETRA
53. They're indispensable : NEEDS
54. Mrs. Charles Lindbergh : ANNE
55. "The Lucy-___ Comedy Hour" : DESI

Down
1. "Well, of course" : NO, DUH
2. Name on a famous B-29 : ENOLA
3. Mammy's son : ABNER
4. Adjective applied to ginger ale : PALE DRY
5. Things towed along towpaths : BARGES
6. Expanse beneath an arch? : INSOLE
7. Certain lymphocyte : T CELL
8. Works behind a counter : TENDS BAR
9. Prompter : CATALYST
10. Get rid of : ABOLISH
11. Like some store furniture : RENT TO OWN
12. North American home of 30,000 islands : LAKE HURON
13. Tiramisu ingredient, often : AMARETTO
15. Frequent photo prop for Will Rogers : LASSO
25. "___ furtiva lagrima" (Donizetti aria) : UNA
26. Bourbon enemy : BONAPARTE
27. Blow out of proportion : OVERSTATE
28. Flat fish : RAY
29. Pleasantly rustic : HOMESPUN
30. The Village ___ (musical group with the 1963 hit "Washington Square") : STOMPERS
31. Walked away with : WON
32. Star of Ang Lee's "Hulk" : ERIC BANA
35. Looked for a phenomenon, maybe : SCOUTED
36. Blackened : CHARRED
38. Leroux who created the Phantom : GASTON
39. Premium number : OCTANE
40. What a dickey simulates : SHIRT
43. Lady of Paris : HELEN
44. Junk car : CRATE
45. Some funeral attendees : HEIRS
46. "We're Madly for ___" (old campaign song) : ADLAI

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2 comments :

Dick Elton said...

Well, I ordered "Ulee's Gold" from Netflix. Should be a good movie.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Dick,

You must tell me how you get on with "Ulee's Gold". That's one I haven't actually seen myself. I've been meaning to put it on my list.

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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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