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0203-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Feb 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: Joel Kaplow
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME:19m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Title matchmaker of early 19th-century literature : EMMA
"Emma" is just a wonderful novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1815. I had the privilege a few years ago of attending the premiere of "Emma", a delightful musical adaptation for the stage. If you ever get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it ...

5. Drifting type : HOBO
No one seems to know for sure how the term "hobo" originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that "hobo" comes from the first letters in the words "ho-meward bo-und", but it doesn't seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS's "Car Talk" (a great source!) "hobo" comes from "hoe boy". Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from "tramps" and "bums", in that "bums" refused to work, "tramps" worked when they had to, while "hobos" traveled in search of work.

15. Britain's Douglas-Home : ALEC
Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the Prime Minister of the UK from 1963 to 1964. Nowadays the British Prime Minister is chosen from the membership of the House of Commons, and Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the last Prime Minster to be chosen from the House of Lords. He had to give up his peerage though (he was the Earl of Home) in order to take up the post.

20. Fluoride, e.g. : ANION
As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names "cation" and "anion" come from Greek, with "kation" meaning "going down", and "anion" meaning "going up".

22. Spots for rubs and scrubs : SPAS
The word "spa" migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name "spa" comes from the Walloon word "espa" meaning "spring, fountain".

25. "Oedipe" opera composer, 1936 : ENESCO
Geroge Enescu (aka Georges Enesco) was a Romanian composer and performer. His most popular works are two “Romanian Rhapsodies” (1901-2) and the opera “Oedipe” (1936).

32. Moo ___ : SHU
Moo shu pork is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg.

36. N.F.L. QB Kyle : ORTON
Kyle Orton is a quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.

37. Revolutionary Tribunal casualty : MARIE ANTOINETTE
Marie Antoinette was the wife of Louis XVI, the last king of France. She was the fifteenth of sixteen children born to the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. The marriage to Louis, Marie Antoinette's second cousin once removed, was arranged while the two were very young. The prospective bride was "handed over" to the French at a border crossing in 1770 and two weeks later she was married to the future king. Marie Antoinette was just 14 years of age, and Louis only a year her senior.

The Revolutionary Tribunal was a court that tried political offenders during the French Revolution. At one point the tribunal was condemning to death almost 30 people per day.

40. Verdugo of "Marcus Welby, M.D." : ELENA
Elena Verdugo is a film and television actress. She played the office assistant called Consuelo Lopez on the TV show “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

41. Oxford attachment? : -SHIRE
Oxfordshire is a country in the southeast of England. As one might expect, the main city in the county is Oxford. If you are visiting Oxfordshire, don’t forget to go see the magnificent Blenheim Palace in Woodstock. Among other things, Blenheim was the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.

42. Automne follows it : ETE
In France “Automne” (autumn) follows “été” (summer).

43. Fort's steep slope : ESCARP
An escarp or escarpment is a steep slope or cliff. The term is also used for the inner wall of a ditch that is dug around a fortification.

45. Click beetle : ELATER
The click beetle belongs to the family Elateridae, and is also called an elater. The click beetle is so called because it can snap a spine on its back into a notch created a “click” which launches the beetle into the air. This click serves as a means of escape from predators, and also allows the beetle to right itself should it end up on its back.

49. 98.6°, say : NORMAL
When Gabriel Fahrenheit first defined his temperature scale he set 0 degrees as the temperature of a mixture ice, water and salt. He defined 100 degrees as the temperature under his wife's armpit! Using this scale he determined that water boiled at 210 degrees. Later refinements moved the boiling point of water up to 212 degrees, and as a result "body temperature" was shifted downwards to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

52. Korean War outbreak year : MCML
The Korean War took place from 1950 to 1953 and was fought between the Republic of Korea (the South) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the North). The war came about because, at the end of WWII, Korea was divided by the allies along the 38th Parallel, with the Soviet Union controlling territory north of the line, and the US occupying the south. North Korean troops invaded the south in 1950, which started the armed conflict. An armistice was signed in 1953 which restored the border, but there are outbreaks of fighting to this very day, as we all well know.

56. African antelope : ORIBI
Oribi are small antelope that inhabit the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa.

57. Discovery of Vitus Bering before his shipwreck : ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

Vitus Bering was a Danish navigator who worked for the Russian Navy. He was the first European to discover Alaska, which he did in 1741. Bering died on the same voyage of discovery and was buried on the largest of the Commander Islands, now called Bering Island in his honor.

60. Paavo ___, track's Flying Finn : NURMI
Paavo Nurmi was one of a group of Finnish runners to earn the nickname “the Flying Finn”. Nurmi dominated middle and long distance running in the 1920s. He was the most successful athlete at the 1924 Paris Olympics, winning five gold medals.

61. "Live at Red Rocks" pianist : TESH
John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an open-air venue for the performing arts near Morrison, Colorado.

63. Some tides : NEAPS
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.

64. City in Padua province : ESTE
Este is a town in the Province of Padua in the north of Italy. The town gave its name to the House of Este, a European princely dynasty.

The House of Este is a princely dynasty in Europe. The House of Hanover that ruled Britain from 1714 to 1901 (when Queen Victoria died) was perhaps the most notable branch of the House of Este.

65. Shakespeare title contraction : ALL’S
“All’s Well That Ends Well” is a play by William Shakespeare, one with elements of both tragedy and comedy.

Down
1. Steele work : ESSAY
Richard Steele was an Irish writer, the co-founder of the magazine “The Spectator”. Steele also founded “The Tatler” magazine, for which he wrote 188 essays.

2. Where "ayuh" is an affirmative : MAINE
“Ayuh” is a word that’s commonly used in Maine to mean “yes”.

3. What 007 might shoot with : MINIATURE CAMERA
James Bond was of course the creation of the writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real life English spy John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized 007 to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”.

4. He declared "The planet has a fever" : AL GORE
Al Gore was born in Washington DC, the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but he decided to serve and even took the "tougher" option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

5. Largest ethnic group in China : HAN
The Han Chinese ethnic group is native to China and is the largest ethnic group on the planet. 20% of the world’s population is Han Chinese, as is 92% of the population of mainland China.

6. Pasternak mistress Ivinskaya : OLGA
Olga Ivinskaya was the mistress of the writer Boris Pasternak. As such, she was the inspiration for the famous Lara character in Pasternak’s epic novel “Dr. Zhivago”.

9. GPS screen abbr. : AVE
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. He was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because it accidentally strayed into Soviet airspace.

10. Curling rink line seven yards from the tee : HOG SCORE
In the sport of curling, the stones that are launched towards the target must come to rest between the back line (behind the target) and the hog line (11 m in front of the backboard).

12. Scholarship-offering org. : NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When President Roosevelt's son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions, leading in 1906 to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) that was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

18. Semicircular canals' locales : INNER EARS
The three semicircular canals in the inner ear are in three different orientations, allowing the brain to sense movements of the head in all directions.

19. Burning solutions : LYES
Today, when we purchase what is labelled as "lye", it is caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job ...

24. 2008 demolition target : SHEA
Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York was named after William A. Shea, the man credited with bringing National League baseball back to the city, in the form of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium was dismantled (not imploded) in 2008-2009, and the site now provides additional parking for the new stadium that's nearby, called Citi Field.

26. Eolith or neolith : STONE TOOL
Eoliths are chipped flint nodules. They were once thought to be the first stone tools, but the general opinion today is that eoliths are produced by natural processes such as glaciation.

A neolith is a stone tool that was produced during the Neolithic Era, the last part of the Stone Age.

28. Fifth of fünf : EINS
In Germany, a fifth of “fünf” (five) is “eins” (one).

30. Glam rock's ___ the Hoople : MOTT
Mott the Hoople was a glam rock band from England that was big in the mid-seventies. The name of the band come from the title of a novel by Willard Manus.

I remember the days of glam rock so well, as it was a hugely popular genre of music in the British Isles during the early seventies. Artistes wore the wildest of clothes, big hair, shiny outfits and really high platform boots. Names associated with glam rock are T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter.

31. Old dagger : SNEE
"Snick or snee" is the name given to cut and thrust while fighting with a knife. The phrase is rooted in a pair of Dutch words, and it gave its name to a "snee", a light sword-like knife.

32. Hook helper : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie's play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook's pirates and is Hook's right-hand man. He is described by Barrie as being "Irish" and "a man who stabbed without offence". Nice guy!

33. Dutch Golden Age painter : HALS
Frans Hals was a painter from the Dutch Golden Age, born in Antwerp but who lived and worked in Haarlem. Hals is best known for his portraits, the most famous of which is probably “The Laughing Cavalier”.

39. Home of Sistan and Baluchestan : IRAN
Sistan and Baluchestan Province is one of 31 provinces in Iran and lies in the very southeast of the country, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan.

44. Spanish term of endearment : PAPI
“Papi” is Spanish for “Daddy”.

46. Printed slips : ERRATA
Errata is the past participle of the Latin word "errare" meaning "to err". We use “errata” to mean a list of errors that have been noted in some publication.

50. "The X Factor" panelist : ABDUL
Paula Abdul is primarily a singer and dancer, and someone who endeared herself even more to the American public in recent years as a judge on "American Idol". She had a famous husband for a couple of years, as she was married to actor Emilio Estevez from 1992-94.

"The X Factor" is another one of Simon Cowell's TV shows, and now a world-wide franchise, that searches for talented singers. "The X Factor" is in effect a spin-off the the UK show "Pop Idol" (produced as "American Idol" here in the US). And "The X Factor" is here in America now. Oh joy ...

52. "Doctor Faustus" novelist : MANN
Thomas Mann was a German novelist whose most famous work is probably his novella "Death in Venice", originally published in German in 1912 as "Der Tod in Venedig". The story was famously adapted for the big screen in 1971, in a movie starring Dirk Bogarde.

“Doctor Faustus” is a novel by Thomas Mann first published in 1947. It is a retelling of the legend of Faust but set in Germany in the first half of the 20th century.

59. "___ Cried" (1962 hit song) : SHE
“She Cried” was a hit for Jay and the Americans in 1962.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Title matchmaker of early 19th-century literature : EMMA
5. Drifting type : HOBO
9. Some help : A HAND
14. With 21-Across, ship out? : SAIL
15. Britain's Douglas-Home : ALEC
16. Need for a 17-Across : VOICE
17. Special delivery of a sort : SINGING TELEGRAM
20. Fluoride, e.g. : ANION
21. See 14-Across : AWAY
22. Spots for rubs and scrubs : SPAS
23. Is homesick, say : YEARNS
25. "Oedipe" opera composer, 1936 : ENESCO
27. Response to being tickled : TEE-HEE
29. They often have quiet eyes : STORMS
32. Moo ___ : SHU
34. Santa's checking things : REINS
36. N.F.L. QB Kyle : ORTON
37. Revolutionary Tribunal casualty : MARIE ANTOINETTE
40. Verdugo of "Marcus Welby, M.D." : ELENA
41. Oxford attachment? : -SHIRE
42. Automne follows it : ETE
43. Fort's steep slope : ESCARP
45. Click beetle : ELATER
47. Go at : ASSAIL
49. 98.6°, say : NORMAL
52. Korean War outbreak year : MCML
54. Starchy : PRIM
56. African antelope : ORIBI
57. Discovery of Vitus Bering before his shipwreck : ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
60. Paavo ___, track's Flying Finn : NURMI
61. "Live at Red Rocks" pianist : TESH
62. Under tension : TAUT
63. Some tides : NEAPS
64. City in Padua province : ESTE
65. Shakespeare title contraction : ALL’S

Down
1. Steele work : ESSAY
2. Where "ayuh" is an affirmative : MAINE
3. What 007 might shoot with : MINIATURE CAMERA
4. He declared "The planet has a fever" : AL GORE
5. Largest ethnic group in China : HAN
6. Pasternak mistress Ivinskaya : OLGA
7. Implicatively : BETWEEN THE LINES
8. Large quantity : OCEAN
9. GPS screen abbr. : AVE
10. Curling rink line seven yards from the tee : HOG SCORE
11. Destination after a touchdown : AIRPORT TERMINAL
12. Scholarship-offering org. : NCAA
13. 4-Down's grp. : DEMS
18. Semicircular canals' locales : INNER EARS
19. Burning solutions : LYES
24. 2008 demolition target : SHEA
26. Eolith or neolith : STONE TOOL
28. Fifth of fünf : EINS
30. Glam rock's ___ the Hoople : MOTT
31. Old dagger : SNEE
32. Hook helper : SMEE
33. Dutch Golden Age painter : HALS
35. Dirty : SOIL
38. Experiencing down time : IN A SLUMP
39. Home of Sistan and Baluchestan : IRAN
44. Spanish term of endearment : PAPI
46. Printed slips : ERRATA
48. Really put out : IRATE
50. "The X Factor" panelist : ABDUL
51. Things Santa checks : LISTS
52. "Doctor Faustus" novelist : MANN
53. Footprint or fingerprint, say : CLUE
55. Tears can create one : MIST
58. "Indeedy" : ‘TIS
59. "___ Cried" (1962 hit song) : SHE

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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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