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0319-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Mar 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: Jeremy Horwitz
THEME: THE GODFATHER … each of the theme answers relates to “The Godfather” movies:
20A. Academy Award winner for playing 46-Across : ROBERT DE NIRO
26A. Academy Award winner for playing 46-Across : MARLON BRANDO
46A. Academy Award-winning role for both 20- and 26-Across : VITO CORLEONE
53A. Academy Award-winning film released in March 1972 : THE GODFATHER
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. From Athens, say : GREEK
Athens is the capital city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that goes back around 3,400 years. In its heyday, Classical Athens was a remarkable center for the arts and philosophical debate, and was home to Plato and Aristotle. Athens is often called “the cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy”. The city is of course named after the Greek goddess Athena.

6. Sharp product from Sharp : HDTV
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.

Sharp Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic goods, headquartered in Osaka. The company takes its name from one of the first inventions of one of its founders, the Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil.

10. Labyrinth : MAZE
“Labyrinth” is another word for maze, and is named after the maze in which the Minotaur was confined in Greek Mythology.

Minos was the king of Crete in Greek mythology, and the son of Zeus and Europa. He had an elaborate labyrinth built under the island, designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus (who famously died trying to escape from the island by "flying" away). In the labyrinth, King Minos kept the Minotaur, a dreadful creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man.

14. "___ Vice" : MIAMI
“Miami Vice” is a detective television show that first aired in 1984-1989. Stars of the show were Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. There was a 2006 film adaptation of “Miami Vice” that starred Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.

17. Image on an Indian pole : TOTEM
Totem is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. So, "totem poles" are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

19. Redding who sang "The Dock of the Bay" : OTIS
Otis Redding is often referred to as the "King of Soul", and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Just three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay".

20. Academy Award winner for playing 46-Across : ROBERT DE NIRO
Robert De Niro played a young Vito Corleone in “The Godfather Part II”.

Robert De Niro is noted for his longtime and highly successful collaboration with the director Martin Scorsese. He is also noted for his commitment as a method actor. Famously, he gained a full 60 pounds in order to play Jake La Motta in the 1980 movie “Raging Bull”.

26. Academy Award winner for playing 46-Across : MARLON BRANDO
Marlon Brando won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Vito Corleone in the 1972 blockbuster "The Godfather" but he turned down the award and didn't attend the ceremony. Instead he sent a Native American rights activist called Sacheen Littlefeather who made a speech protesting the depiction of Native Americans in Hollywood movies. Brando wasn't the first person to refuse an Oscar. George C. Scott did the same thing when he won for playing the title role in 1970's "Patton". Scott just didn't like the whole idea of "competing" with other actors.

30. "Can't Get It Out of My Head" rock grp. : ELO
ELO of course stands for the Electric Light Orchestra, a symphonic rock group from the north of England. The band's manager was Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy).

32. Either the first or last vowel sound in "Alaska" : SCHWA
A “schwa” is an unstressed and toneless vowel found in a number of languages including English. Examples from our language are the “a” in “about”, the “e” in “taken”, and the “i” in pencil.

36. Stratford-upon-___ : AVON
There are actually four rivers called the Avon in England, but "Shakespeare's Avon" lies mainly in Warwickshire. The name "Avon" comes from the Old English word for a river, "abona". Stratford-upon-Avon was of course William Shakespeare's birthplace.

38. Africa's northernmost capital : TUNIS
Tunisia is the most northerly country in Africa. The country takes its name from the capital city, Tunis.

40. Actress Madeline of "Blazing Saddles" : KAHN
Madeline Kahn was an American actress best known for her comedic roles, especially those directed by Mel Brooks.

In the 1974 Mel Brooks Western satire "Blazing Saddles", Madeline Kahn played a German seductress-for-hire called Lili von Shtupp.

43. Guadalajara girls : NINAS
Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the Spanish city of the same name in the center of Spain.

46. Academy Award-winning role for both 20- and 26-Across : VITO CORLEONE
Mario Puzo created the Corleone Mafia family in his 1969 novel "The Godfather". The head of the family is Vito Corleone (whose birth name was Vito Andolini), a native of Corleone in Sicily. He was given the name Corleone by immigration officers at Ellis Island.

53. Academy Award-winning film released in March 1972 : THE GODFATHER
"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.

57. ___ Major (constellation) : URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for "Larger Bear") is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that's what we usually call it back in Ireland, the "plough".

58. Actress Skye of "Say Anything ..." : IONE
Ione Skye is an American actress, born in Hertfordshire in England. She is best known for portraying the character Diane Court in the 1989 high school romance movie "Say Anything ...", starring opposite John Cusack. Skye is the daughter of the Scottish folk singer Donovan.

66. Rose of the diamond : PETE
Pete Rose was a talented baseball player and holds the record for all-time Major League hits. In recent years of course his reputation has been tarnished by admissions that he bet on games in which he played and managed.

Down
1. World clock std. : GMT
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time at the Prime Meridian, the meridian that runs through Greenwich in London.

A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. It is also called the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course which line of longitude is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided in 1884 to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.

2. ___ de Janeiro : RIO
The name Rio de Janeiro translates as "January River". The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on January 1, 1502.

4. Lagasse in the kitchen : EMERIL
Emeril Lagasse is an American chef, born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved notoriety as executive chef in Commander's Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous, "Bam!" catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.

5. Japanese robes : KIMONOS
The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

6. Ballyhoo : HYPE
"Balyhoo", meaning hype or publicity, was originally circus slang dating back to the early 1900s. No one really knows where the term comes from, but I can tell you there is a village in Co. Cork in Ireland called Ballyhooly!

7. "Let's Make a Deal" choice : DOOR
The game show "Let's Make a Deal" first aired way back in 1963. For many years of course, it was hosted by Monty Hall. There's a version airing right now hosted by Wayne Brady.

9. W.W. I's longest battle : VERDUN
Verdun-sur-Meuse is a city in northeastern France. The WWI Battle of Verdun took place just north of the city, and lasted for almost the whole of the year 1916. The battle was fought between the French and Germans, with loss of life being about equal between the two factions, the total death toll being about 700,000 men. The Battle of Verdun was primarily an artillery engagement, and some of those overlapping artillery craters are still visible today.

10. Object retrieved on an Apollo mission : MOON ROCK
The Apollo program is of course very much associated with President Kennedy, as he gave NASA the challenge to land men on the moon by the end of the sixties. However, the Apollo program was conceived during the Eisenhower administration as a follow-up to Project Mercury that put the first Americans in space.

11. Clarinetist Shaw : ARTIE
Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and a jazz clarinetist. Shaw's real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. Of his many claims to fame is the fact that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then.

12. Congo, from 1971 to 1997 : ZAIRE
The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war's fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

13. Spanish-language newspaper that brings "light" to its readers : EL SOL
"El sol" is Spanish for "the sun" in España (Spain).

“El Sol” is the name of a number of newspapers around the world, including one here in the US published in Stamford, Connecticut.

21. Author Stephen Vincent ___ : BENET
Stephen Vincent Benét is an author best known for his lengthy narrative poem “John Brown’s Body” which was first published in 1928 and for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. Benét also wrote the story “The Sobbin’ Women” which was later adapted into the musical “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”.

23. Blast from the side of a warship : SALVO
A salvo is a simultaneous discharge of guns. Ironically, “salvo” comes from the Latin “salve” meaning “be in good health!” Salvo was originally the name given to the firing of guns in the air as a sign of respect or greeting for an important visitor.

27. Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego : BRUNO
“Brüno” is another mockumentary from British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, the man behind the 2006 hit movie “Borat”.

28. Ancient kind of alphabet : RUNIC
A rune is a character in an alphabet (including the Viking alphabet), believed to have mysterious powers.

29. Protein-building acid : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

33. Vietnam's capital : HANOI
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state and Saigon, the larger city, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City.

39. Politico Palin : SARAH
When John McCain selected Sarah Palin as candidate for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she became the first Alaskan to go on the national ticket for a major party. She also became the first woman nominated for Vice President by the Republican Party.

42. What may give pause to couch potatoes? : TIVO
TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world's first commercially successful DVR (Digital Video Recorder). If you don't have a DVR, you might want to consider getting one. For those who enjoy television, it's very liberating ...

44. What tank tops lack : SLEEVES
“Tank top” is another one of those terms that always catches me out, as it has a different meaning on each side of the Atlantic. In the US a tank top is a sleeveless shirt, something we would call a “vest” back in Ireland (and the US “vest” is what we call a “waist coat”). A tank top in Ireland is a sleeveless sweater, which further adds to the confusion. The name “tank top” is derived from “tank suit”, an old name for a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. The use of “tank” for the bathing suit came from “swimming tank”, an obsolete term used in the 1920s for a swimming pool.

54. Golfer's cry : FORE
No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term "fore!" comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and has always been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry "Faugh a Ballach!" (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!

55. "___ and the King of Siam" : ANNA
“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam”, first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the King’s wives.

62. Links peg : TEE
The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. "Hlinc" was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. From Athens, say : GREEK
6. Sharp product from Sharp : HDTV
10. Labyrinth : MAZE
14. "___ Vice" : MIAMI
15. Days long past : YORE
16. ___ contraceptive : ORAL
17. Image on an Indian pole : TOTEM
18. Destitute : POOR
19. Redding who sang "The Dock of the Bay" : OTIS
20. Academy Award winner for playing 46-Across : ROBERT DE NIRO
23. Backbone : SPINE
25. Let out, as a fishing line : UNREEL
26. Academy Award winner for playing 46-Across : MARLON BRANDO
30. "Can't Get It Out of My Head" rock grp. : ELO
31. Clear part of blood : SERUM
32. Either the first or last vowel sound in "Alaska" : SCHWA
36. Stratford-upon-___ : AVON
38. Africa's northernmost capital : TUNIS
40. Actress Madeline of "Blazing Saddles" : KAHN
41. Lite : LO-FAT
43. Guadalajara girls : NINAS
45. Pedantic quibble : NIT
46. Academy Award-winning role for both 20- and 26-Across : VITO CORLEONE
49. Vie (for) : STRIVE
52. Eagle's home : AERIE
53. Academy Award-winning film released in March 1972 : THE GODFATHER
57. ___ Major (constellation) : URSA
58. Actress Skye of "Say Anything ..." : IONE
59. Place for gold to be stored : VAULT
63. Encounter : MEET
64. Large coffee holders : URNS
65. Follow : ENSUE
66. Rose of the diamond : PETE
67. Butcher's stock : MEAT
68. Wild West transport : STAGE

Down
1. World clock std. : GMT
2. ___ de Janeiro : RIO
3. Consume : EAT
4. Lagasse in the kitchen : EMERIL
5. Japanese robes : KIMONOS
6. Ballyhoo : HYPE
7. "Let's Make a Deal" choice : DOOR
8. Gait not as fast as a canter : TROT
9. W.W. I's longest battle : VERDUN
10. Object retrieved on an Apollo mission : MOON ROCK
11. Clarinetist Shaw : ARTIE
12. Congo, from 1971 to 1997 : ZAIRE
13. Spanish-language newspaper that brings "light" to its readers : EL SOL
21. Author Stephen Vincent ___ : BENET
22. Termini : ENDS
23. Blast from the side of a warship : SALVO
24. Homework problem in geometry : PROOF
26. Brunch or dinner : MEAL
27. Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego : BRUNO
28. Ancient kind of alphabet : RUNIC
29. Protein-building acid : AMINO
33. Vietnam's capital : HANOI
34. Complain annoyingly : WHINE
35. Initial stake : ANTE
37. Steer : NAVIGATE
39. Politico Palin : SARAH
42. What may give pause to couch potatoes? : TIVO
44. What tank tops lack : SLEEVES
47. Ho-humness : TEDIUM
48. Straying : ERRANT
49. Tree remnant : STUMP
50. Number of little pigs or blind mice : THREE
51. Put back to zero, say : RESET
54. Golfer's cry : FORE
55. "___ and the King of Siam" : ANNA
56. Examination : TEST
60. Anytown, ___ : USA
61. Schlep : LUG
62. Links peg : TEE

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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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