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0125-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 25 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: Gareth Bain
THEME: Three-Lettered Trees … this is a rebus puzzle, with four squares each containng a ring, and each ring containing the name of a tree that has three letters in its name:
38A. Indicators of age ... and a hint to this puzzle's theme : TREE RINGS
- ELM
- ASH
- YEW
- FIR

COMPLETION TIME: 12m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … KREME (creme), KANYE WEST (Canye West)


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Classic sci-fi terror, with "the" : BLOB
The 1958 horror film "The Blob" was the first movie in which Steve McQueen had a leading role. "The Blob" wasn't a success at all, until Steve McQueen became a star that is. Using McQueen's name, the movie was re-released and gained a cult following and was particularly successful at drive-in theaters.

9. Began a triathlon : SWAM
An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the fittest athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were combined to come up with the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finished first "we'll call him the Iron Man". The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now but the Hawaiian Ironman is still the event that everyone wants to win.

13. College in New Rochelle, N.Y. : IONA
Iona College is a Roman Catholic school run by the Christian Brothers in New Rochelle, New York.

15. Afghanistan's Karzai : HAMID
Hamid Karzai is the current President of Afghanistan, coming to power in 2004 after the Taliban were overthrown. He started a second 5-year term as President in 2009.

17. What the annual Dove Awards are awarded for : GOSP(EL M)USIC
The Dove Awards are presented annually by the Gospel Music Association for achievements in the Christian music industry. The awards take their name from the gilded dove that is depicted on each statuette.

19. "The Hot Zone" virus : EBOLA
The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"The Hot Zone" is a 1994 book written by Richard Preston, a non-fiction work describing the history of hemorrhagic fevers (and Ebola in particular).

21. Like winter in Siberia : COLD (AS H)ELL
Siberia is a vast area in Northern Asia. The region's industrial development started with the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway from 1891 to 1916, which linked Siberia to Russia in the west.

23. Game with Skip and Reverse cards : UNO
In my youth I remember being taught a great card game, by a German acquaintance of mine, called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that's used for Mau Mau.

24. Baseball card fig. : RBI
Runs Batted In (RBIs).

27. "The Crow" actress ___ Ling : BAI
Bai Ling is a Chinese actress who moved to the US in 1994. Apparently she claims she is from the moon, and her grandmother still lives there …

“The Crow” is another one of those action movies that is based on a comic book. The film was released in 1994 and stars Brandon Lee. Sadly, this was Lee’s last movie as he was accidentally shot on set with a dummy bullet in the stomach, which then lodged in his spine. Lee died eight days later.

28. Song title for both Fleetwood Mac and Starship : SARA
Fleetwood Mac was founded in 1967 in London. The band was started by Peter Green, and he chose the name from two friends in former bands (named Fleetwood and McVie). This is depite the fact the drummer’s name happens to be Mick Fleetwood.

The sixties folk group called Jefferson Airplane gave rise to two spin-off groups that were founded by former Jefferson Airplane band members. The first was Jefferson Starship, and the second was Starship. Confusing, huh?

32. Phyllis's never-seen TV husband : LARS
Phyllis Lindstrom was played by Cloris Leachman in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". Phyllis was married to a dermatologist, Dr. Lars Lindstrom. Leachman rated a a spin-off show in 1975 called "Phyllis", which was set not in Minneapolis but in San Francisco. Phyllis relocated to San Francisco with her daughter after the death of husband.

38. Indicators of age ... and a hint to this puzzle's theme : TREE RINGS
Growth rings can be seen in a horizontal cross section of a tree trunk. These rings are caused by a change in the rate of a growth of a tree that comes with the seasons, so the rings are more easily discerned in trees that grow in regions with marked seasonal changes.

46. Sing a paean to : LAUD
A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning "song of triumph”.

47. Pursuers of the Sopranos, for short : G-MEN
The nickname “G-men” is short for "Government Men", and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"The Sopranos" is an outstanding television drama that was made by HBO, a story about Italian-American mobsters in New Jersey. "The Sopranos" has made more money than any other television series in the history of cable television. It's "must see TV" ...

49. Drop ___ (start to disrobe) : TROU
“Trou” is short for “trousers”.

50. "Newhart" setting : INN
“Newhart” is a very entertaining sitcom starring Bob Newhart and Mary Frann as innkeepers in rural Vermont. The show is remembered by many for its last episode, which aired in 1990. In that final episode, Bob Newhart wakes up in bed and suggests that the whole of the show’s eight-year run was just a dream. He is lying beside actress Suzanne Pleshette who played his wife in the earlier sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show”. Very, very clever …

51. Tre + tre : SEI
Twice three (tre) is six (sei, in Italian).

52. City of Kyrgyzstan : OSH
Osh is the second largest city in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan. Osh was a center of silk production and lies along the old Silk Road, the trade route that traversed Asia.

61. Noir or comedy : GENRE
The expression "film noir" has French origins, but only in that it was "created" by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning "black film" in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be "The Big Sleep" and "D.O.A".

65. Perfumer's compound : ESTER
Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and a type of plastic.

66. "Horrors!" : EGAD
“Egad” developed as a polite way of saying "oh God" in the late 1600s, and is an expression of fear or surprise somewhat like "good grief!".

67. Accelerator particles : IONS
In a particle accelerator, the particles that are accelerated have to have a charge, so are ions. The charged ions are subjected to high magnetic fields that propel them around a circular "racetrack", before being smashed into something, just to see what happens!

68. Drunken spree : TOOT
"Toot" is slang for a binge of drinking, and for a snort of cocaine. Not good either way, I guess ...

70. Cherub at Notre Dame : ANGE
“Ange” is French for “angel”.

Down
2. Ian who won the 1991 Masters : WOOSNAM
I’ve always thought that Ian Woosnam is the most unlikely-looking of golfers. He is just over 5’ 4” tall and yet is noted as a very powerful hitter of the ball. Woosnam is a Welshman, and was ranked the world’s number one golfer for most of 1991.

5. Words on a jacket : BLURB
There is a “blurb” on most book jackets.

10. Indiana river : WAB(ASH)
The Wabash River is the largest northern tributary of the Ohio River. The Wabash is the state river of Indiana and takes its name from the French “Ouabache”. French traders gave it this name after a Miami Indian word meaning “it shines white”.

11. Sights on slides : AMOEBAE
An ameba (or "amoeba" as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek "amoibe", meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

12. President Fillmore : MILLARD
Vice President Millard Fillmore took over the US Presidency when Zachary Taylor died after only 16 months in office. Fillmore was born in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, but grew up around Buffalo. He was one of the founders of the University of Buffalo and served as chancellor there after he left office in 1853.

16. "The Persistence of Memory" and others : DALIS
"The Persistence of Memory" is probably Salvador Dalí’s most famous work, featuring the celebrated "melting clocks". And you can go to see "The Persistence of Memory" in the MoMA in New York City.

18. Name for a bull : (ELM)ER
Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World's Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. Elsie was also given a husband, Elmer the Bull, who eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer's Glue.

25. Trinidad or Tobago : ISLE
Trinidad and Tobago is a republic in the southern Caribbean largely comprising the two main islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago is the birthplace of calypso music.

32. "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer : LISZT
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was a Hungarian composer and a fabulous pianist. Particularly towards the end of his life, he gained a tremendous reputation as a teacher. While he was in his sixties, his teaching profession demanded that he commute regularly between the cities of Rome, Weimar and Budapest. It is quite remarkable that a man of such advanced age, and in the 1870s, could do so much annual travel. It is estimated that Liszt journeyed at least 4,000 miles every year!

34. Part of a slot machine : ARM
Slot machines earned the nickname "one-armed bandits" simply because they had "one arm", the handle pulled to operate the machine, and they robbed you of all your money!

35. Any of the "Stayin' Alive" singers : BEE GEE
The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name "The Bee Gees") were born in England, but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England, and then hit the big time.

"Stayin’ Alive" was one of the songs from "Saturday Night Fever". Terrible film, fabulous music …

40. "Gold Digger" rapper : KAN(YE W)EST
Kanye West is a rap singer from Atlanta, Georgia. That’s all I know ...

45. NASA's Grissom : GUS
Gus Grissom was the second American to fly in space, and the first astronaut at NASA to make two space flights. Sadly, Grissom was one of the three astronauts that died in a terrible launch pad fire 1967.

46. Feudal subject : LIEGE
A liege was feudal lord, one to whom service or allegiance was owed under feudal law.

51. Dog in the funnies : SNERT
Snert is the clever dog who belongs to Hägar the Horrible in the classic comic strip.

"Hagar the Horrible" was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. "Hagar the Terrible" (not "Horrible") was the nickname given to Dik by his sons.

53. Classic Bogart role : SPADE
The classic detective novel "The Maltese Falcon" was written by Dashiell Hammett, and first published in 1930. The main character if of course Sam Spade, famously played by Humphrey Bogart in the third movie adaptation of the book, released in 1941.

54. ___ polloi : HOI
"Hoi polloi" is a Greek term, literally meaning "the majority, the many". In English it has come to mean "the masses" and is often used in a derogatory sense.

57. Palm smartphone : TREO
The Treo is a smartphone that was originally developed by a company called Handspring. Handspring was bought by Palm Inc.

58. Army NCO : SSGT
Staff Sergeant is a rank of Non-Commissioned Officer in the army.

60. 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
Apparently the song "Adia", co-written by Sarah McLachlan, was intended as an apology to her best friend ... for stealing her ex-boyfriend and then marrying him!

63. Scotland's Firth of ___ : TAY
The Firth of Tay is an inlet on the east coast of Scotland into which empties Scotland's largest river, the Tay. The city of Dundee lies on the Firth, and the city of Perth just inland on the Tay.

64. Mao ___-tung : TSE
Mao Zedong was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As he was the son of a peasant farmer his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsa, the provincial capital. In the years following he continued his education in Beijing, and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gulp from a flask : SWIG
5. Classic sci-fi terror, with "the" : BLOB
9. Began a triathlon : SWAM
13. College in New Rochelle, N.Y. : IONA
14. Running behind : LATE
15. Afghanistan's Karzai : HAMID
17. What the annual Dove Awards are awarded for : GOSP(EL M)USIC
19. "The Hot Zone" virus : EBOLA
20. Source of T-bones : STEER
21. Like winter in Siberia : COLD (AS H)ELL
23. Game with Skip and Reverse cards : UNO
24. Baseball card fig. : RBI
26. Followers of lambdas : MUS
27. "The Crow" actress ___ Ling : BAI
28. Song title for both Fleetwood Mac and Starship : SARA
30. Kind of aerobics : STEP
32. Phyllis's never-seen TV husband : LARS
33. Open to suggestion : AMENABLE
36. Coming-clean words : I LIED
38. Indicators of age ... and a hint to this puzzle's theme : TREE RINGS
40. Sweet filling, in commercial names : KREME
42. Inviting a blessing? : SNEEZING
46. Sing a paean to : LAUD
47. Pursuers of the Sopranos, for short : G-MEN
49. Drop ___ (start to disrobe) : TROU
50. "Newhart" setting : INN
51. Tre + tre : SEI
52. City of Kyrgyzstan : OSH
55. Tricky turn : ESS
56. One at a crime scene : E(YEW)ITNESS
59. Take illegally : POACH
61. Noir or comedy : GENRE
62. Place for iodine : (FIR)ST AID KIT
65. Perfumer's compound : ESTER
66. "Horrors!" : EGAD
67. Accelerator particles : IONS
68. Drunken spree : TOOT
69. Staph-caused irritation : STYE
70. Cherub at Notre Dame : ANGE

Down
1. Autograph: Abbr. : SIG
2. Ian who won the 1991 Masters : WOOSNAM
3. Yet to come : IN STORE
4. Act starstruck, say : GAPE
5. Words on a jacket : BLURB
6. Chorus syllables : LAS
7. Ear-related : OTIC
8. Look good on : BECOME
9. Gets rid of : SHEDS
10. Indiana river : WAB(ASH)
11. Sights on slides : AMOEBAE
12. President Fillmore : MILLARD
16. "The Persistence of Memory" and others : DALIS
18. Name for a bull : (ELM)ER
22. Wolfish : LUPINE
23. Team ___ : USA
25. Trinidad or Tobago : ISLE
29. Chipped in : ANTED
31. Like telegrams, typically : TERSE
32. "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer : LISZT
34. Part of a slot machine : ARM
35. Any of the "Stayin' Alive" singers : BEE GEE
37. Apparel abbr. : LGE
39. ___ uncertain terms : IN NO
40. "Gold Digger" rapper : KAN(YE W)EST
41. Chance upon : RUN INTO
43. "Suppose so" : I RECKON
44. Having chips, say : NOSHING
45. NASA's Grissom : GUS
46. Feudal subject : LIEGE
48. Rifle problems : MIS(FIR)ES
51. Dog in the funnies : SNERT
53. Classic Bogart role : SPADE
54. ___ polloi : HOI
57. Palm smartphone : TREO
58. Army NCO : SSGT
60. 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
63. Scotland's Firth of ___ : TAY
64. Mao ___-tung : TSE

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3 comments :

Anonymous said...

please, stop the puzzles with multiple letters crammed into one box!! everyone I know that does crosswords hates it!!
thank you so much.

Dick Elton said...

I've only been doing crosswords for a year or so but I'm just beginning to get the hang of the circles. I think I like them. They give a certain variety to the puzzle.

Bill Butler said...

@Anonymous
I can understand your frustration, as a rebus puzzle (as it's called) is one of those things that we either lover or hate, it seems. But, you'd be better directing your comments directly to the NYTimes rather than leaving a message here as this site has no affiliation with the publication. I'm just a fan of the crossword ...

@Dick
I have to say that I like rebus puzzles too. It can take a while to spot a rebus puzzle, unless there's a circle provided like the helpful setter today! As you say, a little variety is a good thing.

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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 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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