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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

0308-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Mar 12, Thursday





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: Bill Thompson
THEME: BROKEN PROMISE … each of the theme answers is another word for PROMISE, but that word is BROKEN, with the first letter at the head of the answer and the remainder at the end:
17A. "Hee Haw," for one : V(ARIETY SH)OW … broken vow
24A. Noted Irish crystal : W(ATERF)ORD … broken word
34A. Moral lapse that is reflected literally by the answers at 17-, 24-, 46- and 54-Across : BROKEN PROMISE
46A. Physician with a D.O. degree : O(STEOP)ATH … broken oath
54A. "When a Man Loves a Woman" singer : P(ERCY S)LEDGE … broken pledge
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Org. whose annual budget is classified information : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname ... "No Such Agency".

11. Part of T.G.I.F. : IT’S
"Thank God It's Friday" (TGIF) is a relatively new expression, originating in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies.

15. Pottery whose high iron content gives it a distinctive hue : REDWARE
“Redware” is another name for terra cotta pottery.

The name "terra cotta" comes to us from Latin via Italian and means "baked earth". Terra cotta is a ceramic made from clay which is left unglazed. Maybe the most famous work in terra cotta is the Terracotta Army, the enormous collection of life-size figures that was buried with the Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China around 210 BC. I had the privilege of seeing some of this collection when it toured the US a few years ago, and just the few pieces on display were so very impressive.

16. Cry heard at Moe's bar : D’OH
"The Simpsons" is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson's catchphrase is "D'oh", now such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001.

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender in "The Simpson" animated TV show. I don't really care for "The Simpsons", but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the character ... him I like.

17. "Hee Haw," for one : V(ARIETY SH)OW … broken vow
The variety show “Hee Haw” aired on CBS from 1969-1971, and then had a 20-year run in syndication. The show was built around country music, although the format was inspired by “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In”.

19. Lennon reportedly described her as looking like "a bloke in drag" : ONO
Yoko Ono was born into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Her father moved around the world for work and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great fire-bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko's father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

24. Noted Irish crystal : W(ATERF)ORD … broken word
The company that today is Waterford Crystal arose out of a crystal business that had been operating in the town since 1783. A Czech immigrant established Waterford Crystal as a company in 1957, restarting a glass-making tradition that had been abandoned almost 100 years earlier, in 1851. Waterford’s business boomed along with its reputation for making a quality product. The company was purchased by Wedgewood in 1986, and Wedgewood ran into financial difficulties in 2009 and went into receivership. After a lot of turmoil, Waterford Crystal closed its doors in early 2010, but happily a new, smaller business opened up again a few months later.

26. "___ does not surpass nature, but only brings it to perfection": Cervantes : ART
The full name of the author of "Don Quixote" was Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. As a young man in 1570, Cervantes was a soldier fighting for the Spanish Navy, stationed in Naples, at that time a possession of Spain. He was injured in battle, receiving three gunshot wounds including two to the chest. His injuries left him without the use of his left arm. After recuperating, he returned to active service, and in 1575 he was captured by Algerian corsairs, and spent the next five years in slavery in North Africa. His parents found him and bought his freedom, and brought him home to his native Madrid.

27. Hägar's daughter in the comics : HONI
"Hagar the Horrible" is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. "Hagar the Terrible" (not "Horrible") was the nickname given to Dik by his sons.

29. Mass exodus of a sort : DIASPORA
The diaspora of a country is a dispersion of its people from the original homeland. Diaspora is a Greek word meaning "a scattering of seeds". I guess I'm one of those seeds ...

32. Air safety org. : FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

38. Cabinet dept. : AGR
The US Department of Agriculture dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the "people's department", reflecting the agrarian basis of our economy back then.

39. Wife of Orpheus : EURYDICE
In Greek mythology Eurydice was an oak nymph, the wife of Orpheus. Eurydice died when she steppped on a venomous snake. Orpheus was so distraught that he sang mournful songs until he was urged by the gods to travel to the Underworld to try to retrieve Eurydice. In the Underworld, Orpheus sang so sweetly he was allowed to take his wife back to the world of the living.

41. One in a prompt box : CUER
The prompt box or prompt corner in a theater is a spot usually to the left of the stage where a stage manager can direct a performance. The stage manager can also provide the actors with prompts if required. In older theaters, the prompt box is below the level of the stage, projecting slightly above it and open at the side facing the actors. This way the person providing prompts is not seen by the audience, and can communicate freely with the cast.

45. Capital of Australia: Abbr. : DOL
Australia used the old British system LSD system of currency (pounds, shillings and pence) until 1966 when a decimal system was introduced. Just prior to the new unit of currency’s introduction, the name of that unit was the “royal”. This proved to be unpopular with the public and so it was dropped in favor of the “dollar”.

51. Mason's creator : GARDNER
I must have read all of the Perry Mason books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn't get into the profession the easy way. He went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

52. Targets of some animal rights activists : RODEOS
"Rodeo” is a Spanish word, which is usually translated as “round up”.

53. Supermarket inits. : IGA
IGA stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA's headquarters is in Chicago.

54. "When a Man Loves a Woman" singer : P(ERCY S)LEDGE … broken pledge
Percy Sledge is an R&B singer, most famous for recording the great song “When a Man Loves a Woman” in 1966.

“When a Man Loves a Woman” is the most famous song recorded by Percy Sledge, released in 1966. Credit for writing the song was given to the bass player and organist on the recording although it was actually written by Sledge himself. Sledge wrote the song when his girlfriend left him after he lost his job on a construction site.

57. Pal of Marshall, Lily, Robin and Barney on "How I Met Your Mother" : TED
“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show, looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

58. "Got one's money's worth" at the smorgasbord : OVERATE
A smorgasbord is a buffet-style meal that originated in Sweden. “Smörgåsbord” is a Swedish word comprised of “smörgås” meaning "open-faced sandwich" and “bord” meaning "table".

60. Sugar suffix : -OSE
The sugar we consume as "table sugar" is mainly sucrose that is extracted from sugar cane and sugar beet. We also consume lactose, naturally occurring in milk, and fructose, naturally occurring in fruit. But most of the sugar we eat or drink tends to be prepared commercially, the most famous being high-fructose corn syrup that is glucose that is industrially processed into a glucose/fructose mix. Don't get me started on the politics of food ...

62. Old IBM products : PCS
IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. It changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name of International Business Machines (IBM) was given first to the Canadian subsidiary, and then the South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice ...

Down
1. "Feliz ___" : NAVIDAD
“Feliz Navidad” is Spanish for “happy Christmas”.

2. Rack unit : SPARE RIB
Spare ribs are so called because "spare" can indicate the absence of fat.

3. Ford's first minivan : AEROSTAR
The Aerostar was the first minivan released by the Ford Motor Company, and was produced from 1986 to 1997.

4. Ontario natives : CREES
The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

5. Like the SST fleet: Abbr. : RETD
Retired (retd.)

The most famous Supersonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that's no longer flying. Concorde had that famous "droop nose". The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

6. Big name in the freezer aisle : EDY
Dreyers' ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy's in the Eastern states. The company's founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

8. Faa'a International Airport location : TAHITI
Although Captain Cook landed in Tahiti in 1769, he wasn't the first European to do so. However, Cook's visit was the most significant in that it heralded a whole spate of European visitors, who brought with them prostitution, venereal disease and alcohol. Paradoxically, they also brought Christianity. Included among the subsequent visitors was the famous HMS Bounty under the charge of Captain Bligh.

Faa'a is the largest commune on the island of Tahiti, part of French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Faa'a is in effect a suburb of Papeete, French Polynesia's capital city.

10. "Ratatouille" setting : SEWER
"Ratatouille" is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

12. Laser printer supplies : TONERS
The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (called toner) sticks to the unexposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into it by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery ...

25. One of four in "'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house" : ANAPEST
Anapest is the name given to a metrical foot in poetry, which has two short syllables followed by one long syllable. Indeed, the name "anapest" is a good example, when pronounced an-a-pest. Here is a better example of a verse using anapest, so let's all say it out loud together! "'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house".

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 ...

31. U.P.S. delivery: Abbr. : PKG
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky.

33. Actress Adams : AMY
Amy Adams is an American actress. My favorite film of hers so far is the outstanding "Julie & Julia" in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

40. Champs-___ : ELYSEES
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. It is the main thoroughfare in Paris, home to the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name “Champs-Élysées” is French for Elysian Fields, a place where righteous went after death accroding to Greek mythology.

41. Start of a line ending in a sum? : COGITO
The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement, in Latin, "Cogito ergo sum" ... "I think, therefore I am".

43. Brokerage firm with talking baby ads : E*TRADE
E*Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E*Trade produces those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a web-cam.

44. Got a 3 on the 17th at Sawgrass, e.g. : PARRED
The Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass is home to the headquarters of the PGA Tour. The Sawgrass golf courses are located in Pente Vedra Beach in Florida. The Stadium Course at Sawgrass is home to the annual Players Championship. The most famous hole on the Stadium Course is the tricky par-3 17th, known as the “Island Green”.

47. Doped up, in a way : ON POT
“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

50. "Fables in Slang" humorist George : ADE
George Ade was a writer and newspaper columnist from Indiana. Ade wrote very popular pieces in a humorous style. His popularity was enough to make him a millionaire in the early 1900s.

55. Dernier ___ : CRI
The French phrase "dernier cri" translates literally as "the latest cry or scream", but is used to denote the latest fashion.

56. Ming of the N.B.A. : YAO
Yao Ming is from Shanghai, and plays for the Houston Rockets. At 7'6" he is the tallest man playing in the NBA.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Org. whose annual budget is classified information : NSA
4. Establishes : CREATES
11. Part of T.G.I.F. : IT’S
14. Parrot : APE
15. Pottery whose high iron content gives it a distinctive hue : REDWARE
16. Cry heard at Moe's bar : D’OH
17. "Hee Haw," for one : V(ARIETY SH)OW … broken vow
19. Lennon reportedly described her as looking like "a bloke in drag" : ONO
20. Attended to pressing matters? : IRONED
21. Thought : IDEATED
23. Classroom array : DESKS
24. Noted Irish crystal : W(ATERF)ORD … broken word
26. "___ does not surpass nature, but only brings it to perfection": Cervantes : ART
27. Hägar's daughter in the comics : HONI
28. Looking up : ROSY
29. Mass exodus of a sort : DIASPORA
32. Air safety org. : FAA
34. Moral lapse that is reflected literally by the answers at 17-, 24-, 46- and 54-Across : BROKEN PROMISE
38. Cabinet dept. : AGR
39. Wife of Orpheus : EURYDICE
41. One in a prompt box : CUER
44. "Hey ... over here!" : PSST
45. Capital of Australia: Abbr. : DOL
46. Physician with a D.O. degree : O(STEOP)ATH … broken oath
49. Come from behind : RALLY
51. Mason's creator : GARDNER
52. Targets of some animal rights activists : RODEOS
53. Supermarket inits. : IGA
54. "When a Man Loves a Woman" singer : P(ERCY S)LEDGE … broken pledge
57. Pal of Marshall, Lily, Robin and Barney on "How I Met Your Mother" : TED
58. "Got one's money's worth" at the smorgasbord : OVERATE
59. One-eighty : U-IE
60. Sugar suffix : -OSE
61. Tiresome : TEDIOUS
62. Old IBM products : PCS

Down
1. "Feliz ___" : NAVIDAD
2. Rack unit : SPARE RIB
3. Ford's first minivan : AEROSTAR
4. Ontario natives : CREES
5. Like the SST fleet: Abbr. : RETD
6. Big name in the freezer aisle : EDY
7. Reactions to puppies : AWS
8. Faa'a International Airport location : TAHITI
9. Undermine : ERODE
10. "Ratatouille" setting : SEWER
11. "Likewise" : I DO TOO
12. Laser printer supplies : TONERS
13. Poorly made : SHODDY
18. Sign : INK
22. Lily-livered : AFRAID
24. Threadbare : WORN
25. One of four in "'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house" : ANAPEST
27. Earth mover : HOER
30. Rode a thermal current : SOARED
31. U.P.S. delivery: Abbr. : PKG
32. Old fur trader's locale : FORT
33. Actress Adams : AMY
35. Thrill : RUSH
36. Approached furtively : SIDLED UP
37. Environment-related : ECOLOGIC
40. Champs-___ : ELYSEES
41. Start of a line ending in a sum? : COGITO
42. Linguists' concerns : USAGES
43. Brokerage firm with talking baby ads : E*TRADE
44. Got a 3 on the 17th at Sawgrass, e.g. : PARRED
47. Doped up, in a way : ON POT
48. Pet ___ : PEEVE
49. Cameos, e.g. : ROLES
50. "Fables in Slang" humorist George : ADE
52. Queue after Q : RSTU
55. Dernier ___ : CRI
56. Ming of the N.B.A. : YAO

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5 comments :

Anonymous said...

U-IE is quite a bit of a stretch. Isn't this commonly expressed as U-EY? A quick look at dictionary.com confirms this. The solution's version of this isn't found, but the other is.

Bill Butler said...

Yes, I agree. I think that's one of the problems with using slang terms in a crossword. Spelling can be brought into question. I would have imagined that "uies" might be a plural for "uey", but "uie", I just don't know ...

Anonymous said...

Please explain
45.
Capital of Australia: Abbr. : DOL What does DOL mean?

Bill Butler said...

Hi there.

The capital (currency) of Australia is the Australian dollar, or "dol" for short.

I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - DOH!!!!

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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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