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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

0307-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Mar 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: Elizabeth C. Gorski
THEME: MEET ME ON THE CONGA LINE … there’s a line of circled letters snaking through the grid that spells out MEET ME IN THE CONGA LINE, and a couple of themed answers refer to the conga:
39A. Classic Xavier Cugat song ... or a hint to the invitation in the circled letters : ONE, TWO, THREE, KICK
61A. Snaking, like the arrangement of circled letters in this puzzle : SERPENTINE
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Web programmer's medium : HTML
HTML is HyperText Markup Language, the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

5. Telly network : BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is also known as "the Beeb", a name given to the network by the great Peter Sellers on the classic British radio comedy called "The Goon Show". The BBC was founded in 1922, and was the world’s first national broadcasting organization.

8. Hunter who wrote "The Blackboard Jungle" : EVAN
Evan Hunter was the adopted name of Salvatore Albert Lombino, an author and screenwriter from New York City. Hunter had a pen name that was perhaps more famous, namely Ed McBain. As McBain he wrote a successful string of crime novels starting in 1956. As Evan Hunter he is perhaps most famous for his 1954 novel “The Blackboard Jungle”, which was made into a successful film the following year.

12. Grammy winner India.___ : ARIE
India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer, born India Arie Simpson.

13. Glowing rings : AURAE
An aura (plural: aurae) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a "je ne sais quoi". "Je ne sais quoi" is French for "I don't know".

15. Prop for Houdini : CAGE
Harry Houdini was the stage name of Hungarian-born escapologist and magician Erik Weisz. Many people are under the impression that Houdini died while performing an escape that went wrong, an impression created by the storyline in a couple of movies about his life. The truth is that he died of peritonitis from a burst appendix. It is also true that a few days prior to his death Houdini took a series of punches to his stomach as part of his act, but doctors believe that his appendix would have burst regardless.

16. Subject for a Degas painting : DANCE CLASS
Edgar Degas was a French artist, famous for his paintings and sculptures. Some of his most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

18. Patron saint of Norway : OLAV
Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028, and was known as "Olaf the Big" (or Olaf the Fat) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as "Olaf the Holy".

19. Complete train wreck, in Southern slang : HOT MESS
“A hot mess” is apparently a slang term for someone or something that is in disarray.

26. Prize higher than plata or bronce : ORO
“Oro, plata, bronce” is “gold, silver, bronze” in Spanish.

32. Software prototype : BETA
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the "alpha" version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a "beta" and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as "beta". The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right ...

34. ___ bene : NOTA
Nota bene is the Latin for "note well"

39. Classic Xavier Cugat song ... or a hint to the invitation in the circled letters : ONE, TWO, THREE, KICK
Xavier Cugat was an American bandleader born in Spain, who arrived in the United States via Cuba. He worked in Hollywood on movies, although he was also in charge of the Hotel Orchestra in the Waldorf Astoria in New York City for 16 years. Famously he conducted using just one arm, as he would hold his pet Chihuahua in the other. His fourth marriage was to comic actress Charo, in the first marriage ceremony ever to take place in Caesar's Palace.

42. Field on screen : SALLY
Sally Field first came to the public's attention in the sixties with title roles in the TV shows "Gidget" and "The Flying Nun". She has two Best Actress Oscars; one for "Norma Rae" (1979) and one for "Places in the Heart" (1984).

43. R&B singer Peniston : CECE
CeCe Peniston is a recording artist noted for the prevalence of her music in dance clubs. Her most successful song is “Finally”, released in 1991. Supposedly Peniston wrote the lyrics for “Finally” while she was still at school, during a chemistry class!

49. "Platoon" setting, informally : NAM
"Platoon" is a 1986 movie, written and directed by Oliver Stone. The storyline comes out of Stone's own experiences in Vietnam as an infantryman. It is gritty stuff, and is Stone's response to the more "glamorous" "Green Berets" starring John Wayne. And that lovely music on the soundtrack, it's "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber.

50. Fast-food franchise with a game piece in its logo : DOMINO’S
Domino's Pizza started out as DomiNick's, a pizza store on Ypsilanti, Michigan. The store was purchased by Dominic's founder Tom Monaghan in 1960, along with his brother. Tom bought out his brother a few months later, for the price of a used VW! The store was renamed Domino's Pizza in 1965, and two years later the first franchise store was opened. There are now over 8,000 stores worldwide, including one in Tallaght in Ireland, the town where I lived for many years in my youth. That Tallaght store became the first Domino's outlet in the world to hit a a turnover of $3 million a year. We Irish obviously have terrible taste when it comes to pizza ...

56. Parody singer Yankovic : WEIRD AL
Weird Al Yankovich is famous for his parodies of songs, like "Eat It", his parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It".

60. Rebuke to a traitor : ET TU
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?), in his play "Julius Caesar", although the phrase was around long before he penned his drama. It's not known what Julius Caesar actually said just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

65. Rudolph and kin : DEER
We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple over the years. The full list is:
- Dasher
- Dancer
- Prancer
- Vixen
- Comet
- Cupid
- Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
- Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)
Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that they could hand out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May came up with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

66. Paraffin-coated Dutch imports : EDAMS
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps it travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. This means that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

67. Periodic table info: Abbr. : AT NO
The atomic number of an element is also called the proton number, and is the number of protons found in the nucleus of each atom of the element.

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Appropriately enough, element number 101, mendelevium, was named after Mendeleev.

68. Dover delicacy : SOLE
Dover sole is the name given to two different species of flatfish. The common sole found in the Atlantic is called "Dover sole" in Europe, taking its names from the fishing port of Dover on the English coast where a lot of the fish was landed. The second species found in the Pacific is known as "Dover sole" on the Pacific coast of America. The Pacific species is called "Dover sole" just because it resembles the European species.

70. Host Mike of the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" : ROWE
Mike Rowe is the host of the successful reality show called “Dirty Jobs” that is broadcast by “Discovery Channel”. Rowe is also a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company in a series of television commercials. He is quite the singer too, as he sang professionally with the Baltimore Opera for a while.

Down
4. Milk, to Manuel : LECHE
“Leche” is Spanish for “milk”.

5. Scottish slope : BRAE
"Brae" is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.

6. Banquo, in Verdi's "Macbeth" : BASSO
Banquo is a character in William Shakespeare's "Macbeth". Banquo is the thane of the Scottish province of Lochaber. Macbeth has him murdered, only to have Banquo's ghost return and haunt him.

7. Aircraft division of Textron : CESSNA
The Cessna Aircraft manufacturing company was founded in 1911 by Clyde Cessna, a farmer from Kansas. Cessna is headquartered in Wichita and today has over 8,000 employees.

10. Tequila source : AGAVE
The agave is a succulent plant found mainly in Mexico. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), the agave is unrelated to the cactus, and isn’t related to the aloe plant either.

Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave. It takes its name from the city of Tequila, located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara.

14. German city on the Danube : ULM
Ulm is in the south of Germany and sits on the River Danube. Ulm is famous as home to the tallest church in the world, Ulm Minster, a Gothic building with a steeple that is 530ft tall, with 768 steps to climb. Ulm is also the birthplace of Albert Einstein, and is the site of the surrender of the entire Austrian army to Napoleon in the Battle of Ulm in 1805.

21. University of New Mexico team : LOBOS
The University of New Mexico is a school in Albuquerque, founded in 1889. The sports teams of UNM are called the Lobos, and there are two mascots who work the crowds called Lobo Louie and Lobo Lucy.

22. Grantorto's victim in "The Faerie Queene" : IRENA
"The Faerie Queene" is an epic poem by Edmund Spenser, one of the longest poems written in the English language.

25. "The wearin' ___ green" : O’ THE
"The Wearing of the Green" is an Irish ballad that dates back to the Irish Rebellion of 1798. At that time it was a gesture of rebellion against British rule to wear shamrock in one's hat. However, wearing of revolutionary insignia was a crime, punishable by hanging.

28. Queen of Thebes, in myth : INO
Ino was a mortal queen of Orchomenus (but also of Thebes?) through her marriage to King Athamas. In Greek mythology, Ino became the goddess Leukothea after her death.

29. Sgt.'s program : ROTC
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be a part of the new school's curriculum.

30. Bluesy Waters : ETHEL
Ethel Waters was a singer and actress. Waters was the second African American to be nominated for an Academy Award (after Hattie McDaniel).

35. "With the bow," to a violinist : ARCO
“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

37. Razzle-dazzle : ECLAT
Éclat can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French "éclater" meaning "to splinter, burst out".

40. Vegas casino magnate Steve : WYNN
Steve Wynn is a businessman who made most of his fortune building and refurbishing casinos during the resurgence of Las Vegas in the 1990s. Today Wynn is quite the art collector and has paid record prices for paintings by both Turner and Rembrandt.

48. Gangbuster : G-MAN
The nickname “G-men” is short for "Government Men" and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

50. Some Monopoly cards : DEEDS
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of "The Landlord's Game" created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. She used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord's Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

58. 45 letters : RPM
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33 1/3 rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm "single" the following year, in 1949.

59. ___ Moines : DES
The city of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French "Riviere des Moines", meaning "River of the Monks". It looks like there isn't any "monkish" connection to the city's name per se. "Des Moines" was just the name given to the river by French traders who corrupted "Moingona", the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that the French Trappist monks, who lived fully 200 miles away from the river, somehow influenced the name.

63. San Antonio-to-Amarillo dir. : NNW
San Antonio, Texas was named by a Spanish expedition that stopped in the area in 1691. The name honors  the Portuguese saint, Anthony of Padua.

Amarillo in the Texas panhandle is known as "The Yellow Rose of Texas" because Amarillo is the Spanish for "yellow". The city was originally called Oneida.

64. Abbr. in a job ad : EOE
An Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Web programmer's medium : HTML
5. Telly network : BBC
8. Hunter who wrote "The Blackboard Jungle" : EVAN
12. Grammy winner India.___ : ARIE
13. Glowing rings : AURAE
15. Prop for Houdini : CAGE
16. Subject for a Degas painting : DANCE CLASS
18. Patron saint of Norway : OLAV
19. Complete train wreck, in Southern slang : HOT MESS
20. "Gimme ___!" : FIVE
21. Bedsheets and such : LINEN
24. Not in stock, but coming : ON ORDER
26. Prize higher than plata or bronce : ORO
27. Stable father figure? : SIRE
31. ___ lot (gorged oneself) : ATE A
32. Software prototype : BETA
34. ___ bene : NOTA
36. Has no stomach for : HATES
39. Classic Xavier Cugat song ... or a hint to the invitation in the circled letters : ONE, TWO, THREE, KICK
42. Field on screen : SALLY
43. R&B singer Peniston : CECE
44. Unaccompanied performances : SOLI
45. Impart : LEND
47. Like some vowels and pants : LONG
49. "Platoon" setting, informally : NAM
50. Fast-food franchise with a game piece in its logo : DOMINO’S
53. Locales for crow's-nests : MASTS
55. Those, to Teodoro : ESOS
56. Parody singer Yankovic : WEIRD AL
60. Rebuke to a traitor : ET TU
61. Snaking, like the arrangement of circled letters in this puzzle : SERPENTINE
65. Rudolph and kin : DEER
66. Paraffin-coated Dutch imports : EDAMS
67. Periodic table info: Abbr. : AT NO
68. Dover delicacy : SOLE
69. Prefix with functional : DYS-
70. Host Mike of the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" : ROWE

Down
1. Feasted on : HAD
2. "La-la" lead-in : TRA
3. Least fig. : MIN
4. Milk, to Manuel : LECHE
5. Scottish slope : BRAE
6. Banquo, in Verdi's "Macbeth" : BASSO
7. Aircraft division of Textron : CESSNA
8. Green nuts? : ECO FREAKS
9. Parking amenities : VALIDATIONS
10. Tequila source : AGAVE
11. "In your dreams!" : NEVER
13. Malfunction, with "up" : ACT
14. German city on the Danube : ULM
17. Time immemorial : EONS
21. University of New Mexico team : LOBOS
22. Grantorto's victim in "The Faerie Queene" : IRENA
23. Secret rendezvous point : NO-TELL MOTEL
25. "The wearin' ___ green" : O’ THE
28. Queen of Thebes, in myth : INO
29. Sgt.'s program : ROTC
30. Bluesy Waters : ETHEL
33. Idle : AT LEISURE
35. "With the bow," to a violinist : ARCO
37. Razzle-dazzle : ECLAT
38. Removes cream from : SKIMS
40. Vegas casino magnate Steve : WYNN
41. Bard's nightfall : E’EN
46. Used a divining rod : DOWSED
48. Gangbuster : G-MAN
50. Some Monopoly cards : DEEDS
51. Prefix with arthritis : OSTEO-
52. Zero-star, say : SEEDY
54. Wedding day destination : ALTAR
57. Some investments, for short : IRAS
58. 45 letters : RPM
59. ___ Moines : DES
62. "What am ___ do?" : I TO
63. San Antonio-to-Amarillo dir. : NNW
64. Abbr. in a job ad : EOE

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2 comments :

Dick Elton said...

I'm still with you. Bill. I do as much of the puzzle as I feel I have time for, then go to your solution and finish it off and read your fine comments.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Dick.

Glad to see that the blog is still serving a purpose. Thanks for the kind words.

Happy puzzling!

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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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