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Vacation Alert

I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0208-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Feb 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: Lynn Lempel
THEME: An Extra S … all of the theme answers are common two-part terms, each with an S inserted after the first part:
17A. Throat lozenge for low-voiced opera stars? : BAS(S) RELIEF
25A. Cause of a sexual harassment complaint? : MID-AS(S) TOUCH
35A. Talk about pitchers and quarterbacks? : DISCUS(S) THROWERS
49A. Pub with no karaoke? : SINGLES(S) BAR
57A. Admission provider for a kissing booth? : BUS(S) TICKET
COMPLETION TIME: 15m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Flimflam : FRAUD
Flimflam is another word for a confidence trick. The term has been in use since the 1500s, would you believe?

15. SeaWorld performer : 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.

SeaWorld was started in San Diego in 1964. The original plan was build an underwater restaurant with a marine life show. Eventually the founders dropped the idea of the eating establishment and just went with a theme park.

17. Throat lozenge for low-voiced opera stars? : BAS(S) RELIEF
In bas-relief an image projects just a little above the background, as in perhaps a head depicted on a coin.

19. See 43-Across : NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President 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 to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

22. Course with many unknowns: Abbr. : ALG
Algebra (alg.).

25. Cause of a sexual harassment complaint? : MID-AS(S) TOUCH
I am not sure I like this clue and answer combination being in the puzzle, but then I'm an old fuddy duddy …

King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold ... the Midas touch. Of course, the power that he was given became be a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink, and even his children.

32. Its logo includes its name in blue letters in a yellow oval : IKEA
Did you know that IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 when he was just 17-years-old??!! IKEA is an acronym that stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don't forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

41. Pullman features : BERTHS
Pullman cars were sleeping cars used by railroads, so called because they were manufactured by the Pullman Company. Back in Europe the Pullman Company made dining cars and lounge cars as well, so the term is used more broadly over there.

42. Class with a skeleton in the closet?: Abbr. : ANAT
Anatomy (anat.) class.

43. The Cavaliers of the 19-Across : UVA
The University of Virginia (UVA) was of course founded by Thomas Jefferson, who sat on the original Board of Visitors with former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus sat on land that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

The University of Virginia Cavalier colors of orange and navy blue were adopted in 1888, and were deliberately chosen as the same colors of Oxford University in England.

49. Pub with no karaoke? : SINGLES(S) BAR
"Kara-te", means "open hand", and the related word "kara-oke", means "open orchestra".

54. Dodges, perhaps : AUTOS
The Dodge brand of automobile started life as the Dodge Brothers Company in 1900. The Dodge Brothers first made parts for the auto industry, and turned to making their own cars in 1915.

57. Admission provider for a kissing booth? : BUS(S) TICKET
“Buss” is a slang term for “kiss” apparently …

62. Flair : ELAN
Our word "élan" was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours i.e "style" or "flair".

63. 1968 winner of the 43-Down : ASHE
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth he found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African America player to be so honored. He continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

65. Eliot who pursued Capone : NESS
Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster, Al Capone. When he took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness hand-picked 50 prohibition agents he thought he could rely on, later reducing that to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That group of 11 earned the nickname "The Untouchables".

67. Home of Middle East University : AMMAN
Amman is the capital city of Jordan, and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called it Philadelphia, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.

Middle East University (MEU) is is a non-profit school in Amman, Jordan that was founded 2005.

Down
1. Terrif : FAB
Terrific, fabulous …

2. Coded material : RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up all of the body's proteins. Amino acids are delivered in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA and then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

4. Red state, once : USSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics.

5. "The Sound of Music" tune : DO-RE-MI
The famous song that starts off with “Doe, a deer …” is a show tune from the 1959 musical “The Sound of Music”, by Rogers and Hammerstein. The correct name of the song is "Do-Re-Mi".

7. Co-anchor Hill of "The Early Show" : ERICA
Erica Hill is the co-anchor of “CBS This Morning”. Prior to her current position she was co-anchor of CBS’s “The Early Show”.

9. U.K. military arm : RAF
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on April 1, 1918, a composite of two earlier forces: the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF's "finest hour" has to be the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill's memorable words:
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

10. Main section of a long poem : CANTO
A canto is a section of a long poem, a term first used by Dante. "Canto" is the Italian for "song.

12. Precursor to a memorable Boston party : TEA ACT
The famous destruction of tea in Boston Harbor to protest against the Tax Act took place on December 16, 1773. The action was referred to as the “destruction of the tea” for decades, and it wasn’t until 1834 that the term “Boston Tea Party” first appeared in print.

18. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE
Elie Wiesel is a holocaust survivor, best known for his book "Night" which tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

21. Exec's note taker : STENO
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek "steno" (narrow) and "graphe" (writing).

23. Crafty Norse god : LOKI
Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki was bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing causes the earthquakes that we poor humans have to endure.

26. Foes of the Jedi : SITH
The Sith are characters in "Star Wars" that use the "dark side" of "the Force", and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. The last of the six "Star Wars" movies made is called "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith".

The Jedi are the "good guys" in the "Star Wars" series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Won Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they're my favorites anyway ...

29. Ceremonial rod : MACE
A ceremonial mace is a very ornamental staff. The ceremonial mace evolved from the old weapon.

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence, a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on one's opponent's body.

34. Start of a Clement Moore classic : ‘TWAS
The poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line "'Twas the night before Christmas". Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clark Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr. a poet from Upstate New York.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash ...

36. Range extending from the Arctic to Kazakhstan : URALS
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

38. "___ the Boss" (Mick Jagger album) : SHE’S
“She’s the Boss” is the first album that Mick Jagger made as a solo artist. It was released in 1985, after he had already been performing with the Rolling Stones for about 20 years. The fact that Jagger brought out an album by himself caused some friction with fellow band member Keith Richards, and it took a couple of years for the songwriting team to resolve their differences.

40. Fred Astaire move : STEP
As you may well know, Fred Astaire's real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister, Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

43. Annual tournament played in N.Y.C. : US OPEN
The US Open Tennis Championships really started out in 1881, when it was known as the US National Championship. It is the fourth of the Grand Slam tournaments played each year, following the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. The US Open is unique among the Grand Slam tournaments in that all set are resolved with tie-breaks if necessary, whereas no tie-break applies to the final sets in the other tournaments.

44. Manly : VIRILE
“Vir” is the Latin word for “man”.

47. James with an electrical unit named after him : WATT
James Watt was a Scottish inventor, a man who figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, named in his honor.

48. Beethoven's Third, popularly : EROICA
Beethoven originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven admired the principles of the French Revolution and as such respected Bonaparte who was "born" out of the uprising. When Napoleon declared himself Emperor, however, Beethoven (and much of Europe) saw this as a betrayal to the ideals of the revolution so he changed the name of his new symphony from "Bonaparte" to "Eroica", meaning "heroic" or "valiant".

51. One of the Obamas : SASHA
Sasha is the younger of the two Obama children, born in 2001. She is the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant. Sasha's Secret Service code name is "Rosebud", and her older sister, Malia, has the code name "Radiance".

59. Alphabetic trio for fliers : KLM
The acronym KLM stands for “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij”, which translates from Dutch as “Royal Aviation Company”. KLM is the flag carrier for the Netherlands, and is the oldest airline in the world still operating with its original name. It was founded in 1919.

60. Powerful Perón : EVA
Nowadays, President Juan Perón of Argentina is perhaps less well known than his second wife, Eva Perón of "Evita" fame. Juan and Eva Perón were overthrown in a military coup in 1955, although Juan Perón was returned to power in 1973, only serving for nine months before he passed away. He was succeeded in office by his third wife, Isabel Perón.

61. Sum of the first three prime numbers : TEN
Because the number 1 is “special”, it is not included in a list of prime numbers. So, the first three primes are 2, 3 & 5 which add up to 10.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Flimflam : FRAUD
6. Char, as a steak : SEAR
10. Handy roll-outs at sleepovers : COTS
14. ___ on (sentence shortener) : AND SO
15. SeaWorld performer : ORCA
16. Some : A FEW
17. Throat lozenge for low-voiced opera stars? : BAS(S) RELIEF
19. See 43-Across : NCAA
20. Museum piece : RELIC
21. Certain weasel : STOAT
22. Course with many unknowns: Abbr. : ALG
25. Cause of a sexual harassment complaint? : MID-AS(S) TOUCH
28. Dorm-mates, e.g. : ROOMIES
30. Social finale? : -ITE
31. Way to go: Abbr. : RTE
32. Its logo includes its name in blue letters in a yellow oval : IKEA
33. Is miserly : STINTS
35. Talk about pitchers and quarterbacks? : DISCUS(S) THROWERS
41. Pullman features : BERTHS
42. Class with a skeleton in the closet?: Abbr. : ANAT
43. The Cavaliers of the 19-Across : UVA
45. Mate's approval : AYE
46. "Far out!" : AWESOME
49. Pub with no karaoke? : SINGLES(S) BAR
52. Kitchen meas. : TSP
53. Grad students' grillings : ORALS
54. Dodges, perhaps : AUTOS
56. Woodsy scent : PINE
57. Admission provider for a kissing booth? : BUS(S) TICKET
62. Flair : ELAN
63. 1968 winner of the 43-Down : ASHE
64. Give birth, as a whale : CALVE
65. Eliot who pursued Capone : NESS
66. Top dog : HEAD
67. Home of Middle East University : AMMAN

Down
1. Terrif : FAB
2. Coded material : RNA
3. Some Super Bowl highlights : ADS
4. Red state, once : USSR
5. "The Sound of Music" tune : DO-RE-MI
6. Some foods for growing babies : SOLIDS
7. Co-anchor Hill of "The Early Show" : ERICA
8. Crackerjack pilot : ACE
9. U.K. military arm : RAF
10. Main section of a long poem : CANTO
11. "No way!" : OF COURSE NOT
12. Precursor to a memorable Boston party : TEA ACT
13. Wrap in bandages : SWATHE
18. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE
21. Exec's note taker : STENO
22. Lifeless : ARID
23. Crafty Norse god : LOKI
24. Loses it : GOES BANANAS
26. Foes of the Jedi : SITH
27. Commotion : STIR
29. Ceremonial rod : MACE
33. Urban grid: Abbr. : STS
34. Start of a Clement Moore classic : ‘TWAS
36. Range extending from the Arctic to Kazakhstan : URALS
37. Eye annoyance : STYE
38. "___ the Boss" (Mick Jagger album) : SHE’S
39. Crashes into : RAMS
40. Fred Astaire move : STEP
43. Annual tournament played in N.Y.C. : US OPEN
44. Manly : VIRILE
46. Mistreated : ABUSED
47. James with an electrical unit named after him : WATT
48. Beethoven's Third, popularly : EROICA
50. Valleys : GLENS
51. One of the Obamas : SASHA
55. Con game : SCAM
57. Cantankerous cry : BAH
58. "What's the ___?" : USE
59. Alphabetic trio for fliers : KLM
60. Powerful Perón : EVA
61. Sum of the first three prime numbers : TEN

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3 comments :

Jim said...

Is 25A correct?

I've never seen such an anatomical reference in the puzzle.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Jim,

Yes, the 25a answer correct (I checked). As I said in my commentary, I don't really think this one should have gotten through the quality control department. I'm no prude by any means, but I think some things should be avoided in the NYTCrossword.

But, I know that others enjoyed the reference and got a kick out of it. Maybe I am just getting old ... :)

Thanks for stopping by, Jim.

Jim said...

Thanks!!
The NYTimes is loosening up.

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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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