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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! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

0220-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Feb 12, Monday





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: Samuel A. Donaldson
THEME: PRESIDENTS DAY … all of the theme clues have the names of US Presidents hidden within the answer:
18A. *Some reddish-orange caviar : SAL(MON ROE)
23A. *Major road : TRAFFI(C ARTER)Y
31A. *Nancy Pelosi was the first person ever to have this title in Congress : M(ADAM S)PEAKER
40A. *Parliamentary procedure : RULES O(F ORD)ER
52A. February occasion, some of whose honorees can be found in the answers to the five starred clues : PRESIDENTS DAY
60A. *Really hunger for : LUS(T AFT)ER
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Patriot Allen with the Green Mountain Boys : ETHAN
Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. He was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allan store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot.

6. Things "bursting in air" : BOMBS
Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a poem, inspired by witnessing the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with the Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

15. Sans-serif typeface : ARIAL
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif (using the French word "sans" meaning "without"). Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I'm not so sure though ...

18. *Some reddish-orange caviar : SAL(MON ROE)
James Monroe was the fifth US President, and the last of the Founding Fathers to hold the highest office. Famously, he presided over the Era of Good Feelings, when there was very little partisan strife in Washington. President Monroe racked up a lot of debt while in politics and so when he retired he had to sell off a lot of his property and struggled financially for the remainder of his life.

20. Work unit : ERG
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. "Erg" comes from the Greek word "ergon" meaning "work". A dyne is a unit of force. The name "dyne" comes from the Greek "dynamis" meaning "power, force". Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

23. *Major road : TRAFFI(C ARTER)Y
President Jimmy Carter was the 39th President, and the only US president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after leaving office (Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Barack Obama have also been so honored, but while in office). President Carter's popularity in the country greatly eroded during his term, largely due to the Iran hostage crisis. This led to an unsuccessful attempt by Ted Kennedy to win the Democratic Party nomination for the 1980 presidential election, and Carter's ultimate defeat by Republican Ronald Reagan. Within minutes of President Carter leaving office, the American hostages in Iran were released.

27. Steve of "The Office" : CARELL
The actor Steve Carell has achieved great success on both television and in movies. On the small screen he came to prominence on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and then of course as the lead of the US version of “The Office”. On the big screen he starred in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Evan Almighty” and my personal favorite, ”Dan in Real Life” starring opposite the wonderful Juliette Binoche.

31. *Nancy Pelosi was the first person ever to have this title in Congress : M(ADAM S)PEAKER
John Adams was the second President of the United States. I must admit that I learned much of what I know about President Adams in the excellent, excellent HBO series “John Adams”. Having said that, I also visited his home in Quincy, Massachusetts not too long ago. He was clearly a great man, with a great intellect …

Nancy Pelosi is a former Speaker of the House, the 60th person to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi represents a district not far from here, which covers most of San Francisco. She is the first Californian, the first Italian-American and the first woman to be Speaker of the House. As Speaker, she was also second in line, after the Vice President, to take over if President Obama could not finish his term. That made Nancy Pelosi the highest-ranking female politician in US history.

40. *Parliamentary procedure : RULES O(F ORD)ER
President Gerald Ford was well known for his athletic prowess. He was the star football player both in his high school and later at the University of Michigan. After graduation, President Ford received two offers to play in the NFL, one from the Detroit Lions and one from the Green Bay Packers. He turned down both teams opting instead to take a coaching position at Yale giving him the opportunity to apply to Yale Law School. But young Mr. Ford's plan backfired as Yale Law School turned him down because of his full-time commitment to sports, coaching football, boxing and teaching JV cheer-leading. It took three years for President Ford to make it into Yale Law School but he did finally got there, in 1938.

47. Big supermarket chain : KROGER
The Kroger supermarket chain is the largest grocery store company in the US. It is also the second largest retailer in the country, after Walmart, and the fifth largest retailer in the world. The company was founded in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio by Barney Kroger.

48. See 26-Down : O’NEILL
(26. With 48-Across, leader of the House of Representatives, 1977-87 : TIP)
Tip O’Neill was Speaker of the House from 1977 until he retired in 1987, making him the second-longest serving speaker in history.

52. February occasion, some of whose honorees can be found in the answers to the five starred clues : PRESIDENTS DAY
What many of us know today as “Presidents Day” started out life as Washington’s Birthday in 1879. It was originally only observed in the District of Columbia, and on the actual birthday of President Washington, February 22. The holiday was moved to the third Monday in February by Congress in 1971. Paradoxically, this shift means that the holiday takes place between February 15-21, and never on Washington's actual birthday, the 22nd.

60. *Really hunger for : LUS(T AFT)ER
William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents, Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929).

64. Buckeyes' sch. : OSU
The athletic teams of Ohio State University are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a "buck's eye".

67. Mind-reading skill, for short : ESP
Extra Sensory Perception (ESP).

68. Part of the body above the waist : TORSO
"Torso" is an Italian word meaning the "trunk of a statue", which we imported into English.

Down
2. ___ del Fuego : TIERRA
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southern tip of South America and is the location of the famed Cape Horn. Tierro del Fuego was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He saw native fires on land as he passed by and originally called the location "Land of Smoke" This was later changed to "Land of Fire", or "Tierra del Fuego" in Spanish.

3. Where airplanes are repaired : HANGAR
“Hangar” is a French word for “shed”. The French first started using the term for a “shed for airplanes” in the very early 1900s.

4. "A work of ___ is a confession": Camus : ART
Albert Camus was a French author, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Sadly, Camus died in a car accident just two years after he received the prize, at only 46 years of age.

5. "If I Ruled the World" rapper : NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. He released "Illmatic", his first album, in 1994. Not my cup of tea, I would say ...

7. Commercial suffix akin to "à go-go" : -ORAMA
The term “à gogo” is French in origin, in which language it means “in abundance”.

10. Ljubljana dweller : SLOVENE
The Republic of Slovenia is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Given its geographic location, the country has been part of various realms over the centuries, most recently being part of Yugoslavia. Slovenia declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991, and is now a member of the European Union.

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, a status the city was awarded on the creation of the Republic in 1991 following the break up of Yugoslavia.

11. Dish marinated in sweetened soy sauce : TERIYAKI
Teriyaki is a Japanese technique of cooking in which the foods are grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade. The marinade may or may not include ginger.

19. "___ Rae" (Sally Field film) : NORMA
"Norma Rae" is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called "Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance".

29. Turner who founded CNN : TED
Ted Turner's big initiative in the word of business was the founding of CNN, the first 24-hour cable news channel. Turner never graduated from college as he was expelled from Brown University for having a female student in his dormitory room. Years later, in 1989, Brown awarded him an honorary B.A.

34. Francis Drake, Isaac Newton or Mix-a-Lot : SIR
Sir Francis Drake was a Vice-Admiral in the Elizabethan navy, and second in command when the Royal Navy defeated the Spanish Armada. He was also a sanctioned pirate for the Queen and reeked havoc on the Spanish merchant fleet. His most famous ship was the Golden Hind, in which he circumnavigated the world between 1577 and 1580.

Sir Isaac Newton was of course one of most influential people in history, the man who laid the groundwork for all of classical mechanics. The story about an apple falling on his head, inspiring him to formulate his theories about gravity, well that's not quite true. It probably didn't hit him on the head, but Newton himself often told the story about observing an apple falling in his mother's garden and how this made him acutely aware of the Earth's gravitational pull.

Sir Mix-a-Lot is the stage name of the the record producer and rap artist Anthony Ray.

36. PETA target : FUR
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:
- factory farming
- fur farming
- animal testing
- use of animals in entertainment

41. White-feathered wader : EGRET
At one time the egret was in danger of extinction as it was hunted for its feathers, which were used as plumes in hats.

46. Hi-___ monitor : RES
In the digital world, resolution of a display, television, image etc. is defined by the number of pixels that can be displayed in a standard area (say a square inch). The emphasis today is on producing larger area displays/televisions, i.e increasing the number of pixels simply by increasing the size of the screen. In the past couple of decades the emphasis was on adding more pixels within the same screen size to increase resolution. That would just be wasted effort these days as further increases in resolution cannot be perceived by the eye. Now that TV's are capable of displaying such high resolutions, broadcasters are responding by producing a video signal of "higher resolution", that they call high-definition television, HDTV.

50. Texas city on the Rio Grande : LAREDO
Laredo is a border city in Texas, situated on the banks of the Rio Grande across the border from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.

51. The "L" of L.B.J. : LYNDON
President Lyndon Johnson is one of only four people to have held all four elected federal offices, namely US Representative, US Senator, US Vice-President and US President. As President he is perhaps best remembered for escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, and for his “Great Society” legislation.

56. ___ gin fizz : SLOE
The ingredients of a Sloe Gin Fizz are sloe gin, lemon juice, sugar, egg white and carbonated water.

A cocktail known as a Fizz includes, by definition, lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water.

61. ___-Jo ('88 Olympics track star) : FLO
The American track and field athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner was also known as Flo-Jo. Her world records for the 100m and 200m were set in 1988, and amazingly, they still stand today. Sadly, Flo-Jo was only 38 years old when she died in her sleep in 1998 due to epilepsy.

62. Meditation sounds : OMS
Om is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. It is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Patriot Allen with the Green Mountain Boys : ETHAN
6. Things "bursting in air" : BOMBS
11. With 17-Across, value of some opinions : TWO
14. Pageant headgear : TIARA
15. Sans-serif typeface : ARIAL
16. Many, many years : EON
17. See 11-Across : CENTS
18. *Some reddish-orange caviar : SAL(MON ROE)
20. Work unit : ERG
21. Silent performer : MIME
22. Renders null : VOIDS
23. *Major road : TRAFFI(C ARTER)Y
27. Steve of "The Office" : CARELL
28. Prisoner : INMATE
31. *Nancy Pelosi was the first person ever to have this title in Congress : M(ADAM S)PEAKER
35. Hypothetical cases : IFS
38. French king : ROI
39. Driver's licenses and such, in brief : IDS
40. *Parliamentary procedure : RULES O(F ORD)ER
47. Big supermarket chain : KROGER
48. See 26-Down : O’NEILL
52. February occasion, some of whose honorees can be found in the answers to the five starred clues : PRESIDENTS DAY
56. Four straight wins to start the World Series, e.g. : SWEEP
58. Tidy : NEAT
59. Ash holder : URN
60. *Really hunger for : LUS(T AFT)ER
62. Had title to : OWNED
64. Buckeyes' sch. : OSU
65. Snoozed : SLEPT
66. World, in Italian : MONDO
67. Mind-reading skill, for short : ESP
68. Part of the body above the waist : TORSO
69. Show of overwhelming love : SWOON

Down
1. "And so on, and so on" : ETC ETC
2. ___ del Fuego : TIERRA
3. Where airplanes are repaired : HANGAR
4. "A work of ___ is a confession": Camus : ART
5. "If I Ruled the World" rapper : NAS
6. Fundamental : BASIC
7. Commercial suffix akin to "à go-go" : -ORAMA
8. Distance runner : MILER
9. Blast sound : BAM
10. Ljubljana dweller : SLOVENE
11. Dish marinated in sweetened soy sauce : TERIYAKI
12. Lumber : WOOD
13. Low bills : ONES
19. "___ Rae" (Sally Field film) : NORMA
21. Not very spicy : MILD
24. Not masc. : FEM
25. State south of Ga. : FLA
26. With 48-Across, leader of the House of Representatives, 1977-87 : TIP
29. Turner who founded CNN : TED
30. Hesitant sounds : ERS
32. Dog sound : ARF
33. Cow sound : MOO
34. Francis Drake, Isaac Newton or Mix-a-Lot : SIR
35. Needle : IRK
36. PETA target : FUR
37. What a ramp does : SLOPES UP
41. White-feathered wader : EGRET
42. Purposely ignore : SEE PAST
43. Surgery sites, for short : ORS
44. Word before know and care : DON’T
45. Suffix with differ : -ENT
46. Hi-___ monitor : RES
49. "No idea" : I DUNNO
50. Texas city on the Rio Grande : LAREDO
51. The "L" of L.B.J. : LYNDON
53. Bury : INTER
54. Areas explored by submarines : DEEPS
55. Keep one's ___ the ground : EAR TO
56. ___ gin fizz : SLOE
57. Scaredy-cat : WUSS
61. ___-Jo ('88 Olympics track star) : FLO
62. Meditation sounds : OMS
63. "Holy moly!" : WOW

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2 comments :

lylebicycle1 said...

15A, is arial a type(name) of typeface? Thanks.

Bill Butler said...

Yes, Lyle, it is indeed. It is very common in the computing world, and was designed in 1982 (I just discovered!).

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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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