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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! We had probably the last hike of our trip this morning (strenuous, past beautiful alpine lakes), and then opted for vegging out by the pool for a change this afternoon. Almost home ...

Bill

0217-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 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: Ian Livengood
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 23m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Stud, say : BABE MAGNET
No experience with this one!

11. Court defendant: Abbr. : RESP
A respondent (resp.) in a legal proceeding is the defendant.

15. He played Don Altobello in "The Godfather Part III" : ELI WALLACH
Eli Wallach has been appearing consistently and making great performances on the big and small screens since the 1950s. His most famous role was probably as “the ugly” in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. More recently he gave a very strong performance in 2006’s “The Holiday”.

"The Godfather" series of films is of course based on "The Godfather" novel by Mario Puzo, first published in 1969. Francis Ford Coppola worked with Puzo in partnership to adapt his novel into the screenplay for the first film, and to write the screenplays for the two sequels. Coppola holds that there are really only two films in "The Godfather" series, with "The Godfather Part III" actually being the epilogue.

20. Eric of "Funny People," 2009 : 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.

21. It's gradually shrinking in the Arctic : SEA ICE
Sea ice is formed by the freezing of seawater. Because of the salinity of seawater, it freezes at -1.8C. Note that icebergs are not sea ice, because they are formed from frozen show (freshwater) that has broken away and fallen into the ocean.

25. Kitchen dusting aid : SIFTER
A sifter might be used to dust sugar onto the top of a cake.

29. They might be left hanging : CHADS
We are all familiar with "hanging chads" after the famous Florida election recounts of 2000. A chad is any piece of paper punched out from a larger sheet. So, those round bits of paper we've all dropped over the floor when emptying a hole punch, they're chads.

31. 1990s Indian P.M. : RAO
P. V. Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. Rao is seen by most as the leader who transformed his country’s economy into the market-driven engine that it is today.

32. "Youth With a Skull" 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”.

The painting by Frans Hals called “Youth With a Skull” depicts Shakespeare’s Hamlet holding the skull of his deceased court jester, Yorick. “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio …”

34. Carpenter's groove : DADO
In the world of joinery, a dado is a slot cut into a piece of wood, across the grain. On the other hand, a “groove” is a slot that is cut with the grain.

35. Some E.M.T. cases : ODS
An emergency medical technician (EMT) might have to deal with an overdose (OD).

37. Kind of nut : BETEL
The betel nut is something that is chewed, especially in parts of Asia. “Betel nut” is a bit of misnomer, as the nut in question is actually an Areca nut from the Areca palm. For chewing, the Areca nut is wrapped in betel leaves, with the whole thing called a “betel nut”.

45. Ray blockage no. : SPF
In theory, the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it will take 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn if using lotion, than without it. I say, just stay out of the sun ...

48. Month whose zodiac sign is a fish : ADAR
Adar is a month in the Hebrew calendar.

49. "Lady Baltimore" novelist, 1906 : OWEN WISTER
The novelist Owen Wister earned himself the nickname of “father” of western fiction. He was a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt and spent a lot time with him out west. Wister's most famous book is “The Virginian” which was published in 1902. “The Virginian” is dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt, and is regarded as the world’s first cowboy novel.

52. Prefix with 3-Down : TERA-
The prefix tera- signifies a trillion and comes from the Greek word "teras" meaning "monster".

Down
2. Two before Charlie : ALFA
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie etc.

3. Computing 0s and 1s : BITS
In the world of computers, a "bit" is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A "byte" is a small collection of bits (usually 8) and is the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text.

5. Sense, slangily : MARBLES
To have one’s “marbles” is to have one’s mental faculties, to have common sense. The term is American slang dating back to the 1920s.

6. Aquila's brightest star : ALTAIR
Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila (the Eagle). Altair is also one of the three vertices of the Summer Triangle, the others being Deneb and Vega.

8. Mariner's grp. : NASA
The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower made his move, creating the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA’s Mariner program was a series of probes launched into space to investigate Mars, Venus and Mercury. There were ten Mariner probes launched in all (three were lost, though), and Mariner 11 and 12 evolved into the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft.

10. Postapocalyptic best seller of 1978 : THE STAND
“The Stand” is a novel by Stephen King, first released in 1978 and them re-released in 1990 as “The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition”.

24. Veers sharply : SLUES
"To slue" (also "slew) is to turn sharply, or to rotate on an axis.

28. "Faded Love" singer, 1963 : CLINE
Patsy Cline was a country music singer who managed to cross over into the world of pop music where she enjoyed great success. Cline is one of a long list of musical legends who died in plane crashes. Cline was 30 years old when she was killed in 1963 in a Piper Comanche plane piloted by her manager, Randy Hughes. Hughes and Cline decided to make that last flight despite warnings of inclement weather, and it was a severe storm that brought down the plane in a forest outside Camden, Tennessee.

30. Film with the tagline "Borat was so 2006" : BRUNO
“BrĂ¼no” is another mockumentary from Sacha Baron Cohen, the man behind the 2006 hit movie “Borat”.

34. Shoulder press target, briefly : DELT
The deltoid muscle is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoid is triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

39. Colorful additions to tanks : TETRAS
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.

42. Name in seven Shakespeare titles : HENRY
The consensus seems to be that William Shakespeare wrote 38 plays in all. Seven of the plays are about kings called “Henry”:
- Henry IV, Part 1
- Henry IV, Part 2
- Henry V
- Henry VI, Part 1
- Henry VI, Part 2
- Henry VI, Part 3
- Henry VIII

45. They may be prayed to in Fr. : STES
Female saints in France are called “saintes” (Stes.).

46. Graceful fairy : PERI
In Persian mythology, peris are fairy-like creatures who are descended from fallen angels and so must do penance before entering paradise. Over time, peris came from being regarded as evil beings and were instead welcomed as benevolent spirits.

47. Part of a long neck : FRET
A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument like a guitar. The fingers press on the frets, shortening the strings and hence changing the note played by the strings. The note increases by one semitone as the the fingers shorten each string by one fret.

51. "___ being Brand" (Cummings poem) : SHE
The American poet Edward Estlin Cummings was fond of ignoring accepted English syntax and punctuation in his poems. He also left some of his poems untitled so that they are known by just their first lines (e.g. "anyone lived in a pretty how town"). Because of the Cummings "style", he was quite often referred to as e.e. cummings, with all the letters of his name written in lower case.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Stud, say : BABE MAGNET
11. Court defendant: Abbr. : RESP
15. He played Don Altobello in "The Godfather Part III" : ELI WALLACH
16. Fair : EXPO
17. Side effect? : AFTERTASTE
18. Hillbilly's plug : CHAW
19. More, to a 37-Down : MAS
20. Eric of "Funny People," 2009 : BANA
21. It's gradually shrinking in the Arctic : SEA ICE
23. Lost traction : SLID
24. One punched in an office : STAPLER
25. Kitchen dusting aid : SIFTER
28. Admirable person : CLASS ACT
29. They might be left hanging : CHADS
30. Not pussyfooting : BLUNT
31. 1990s Indian P.M. : RAO
32. "Youth With a Skull" painter : HALS
33. Didn't use a high enough 45-Across, maybe : FRIED
34. Carpenter's groove : DADO
35. Some E.M.T. cases : ODS
36. They stand for things : NOUNS
37. Kind of nut : BETEL
38. Evenly matched : ONE TO ONE
40. Employees at a ritzy hotel : VALETS
41. Is routed by : LOSES TO
42. Whiff : HINT
43. Hand holder? : MITTEN
44. Grain, e.g. : FEED
45. Ray blockage no. : SPF
48. Month whose zodiac sign is a fish : ADAR
49. "Lady Baltimore" novelist, 1906 : OWEN WISTER
52. Prefix with 3-Down : TERA-
53. "It'll be O.K." lead-in : THERE THERE
54. Tummy filler : EATS
55. "Whoa, not so fast!" : EASY DOES IT

Down
1. Appear thrilled : BEAM
2. Two before Charlie : ALFA
3. Computing 0s and 1s : BITS
4. Milk source : EWE
5. Sense, slangily : MARBLES
6. Aquila's brightest star : ALTAIR
7. Secretive body part : GLAND
8. Mariner's grp. : NASA
9. Outer: Prefix : ECT-
10. Postapocalyptic best seller of 1978 : THE STAND
11. Wraps up : RECAPS
12. Send : EXHILARATE
13. Flighty type : SPACE CADET
14. Drills, e.g. : POWER TOOLS
22. League division : EAST
23. Criteria: Abbr. : STDS
24. Veers sharply : SLUES
25. Friend one grows up with, often : SCHOOLMATE
26. "News to me!" : I HAD NO IDEA
27. Reason for a track delay : FALSE START
28. "Faded Love" singer, 1963 : CLINE
30. Film with the tagline "Borat was so 2006" : BRUNO
33. Where following a star might lead you : FOOTNOTE
34. Shoulder press target, briefly : DELT
36. It's in front of the cockpit : NOSE
37. South-of-the-border bad guy : BANDITO
39. Colorful additions to tanks : TETRAS
40. Beheld : VIEWED
42. Name in seven Shakespeare titles : HENRY
44. Charges from counsel : FEES
45. They may be prayed to in Fr. : STES
46. Graceful fairy : PERI
47. Part of a long neck : FRET
50. "Huh?" : WHA?
51. "___ being Brand" (Cummings poem) : 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 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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