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0324-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Mar 12, Saturday





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: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 20m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Stage Deli staple : HOT PASTRAMI
In the US, pastrami was originally called "pastrama", a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word "pastirma" meaning "pressed". "Pastrama" likely morphed into "pastrami" influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

12. Gas ending : -ANE
The “smaller” alkanes are gases and are quite combustible. Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component. Propane (C3H8) is also found in natural gas and is heavy enough to be readily turned into a liquid, by compression, for ease of transportation and storage. Butane (C4H10) is also easily liquefied under pressure and is used as fuel in cigarette lighters and as a propellant in aerosol sprays. The heavier alkanes are liquids and solids at room temperature.

15. Writer who held 14 honorary doctorates : ISAAC ASIMOV
Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”.

17. Stephen King's next novel after "Christine" : PET SEMATARY
“Pet Sematary” is a horror novel by Stephen King, first published in 1983. King was inspired to write the story after his experiences in a rented house on a busy road. Lots of animals were killed on the road so local children created a pet cemetery in a nearby field.

Stephen King is a remarkably successful author having sold over 350 million copies of his books, many of which have been made into hit movies. I’ve tried reading two or three, but I really don’t do horror …

18. Many a cell product : PIC
On most cell phones you can take a pic (picture), but not on mine. My cell phone is a phone, not a camera …

19. Quito-to-Lima dir. : SSE
The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. It is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.

Lima is the capital city of Peru. It was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem.

21. Melodic passages : ARIOSI
An arioso (plural “ariosi”) is part of an opera with its style lying somewhere between that of a full blown aria and speech-like recitative.

24. Oyster Bay hamlet : SYOSSET
Syosset is a hamlet located on Oyster Bay, an inlet of Long Island Sound on the north shore of Long Island in New York.

25. "Hammerklavier," for one : SONATA
The name "sonata" comes from the Latin and Italian word "sonare" meaning "to sound". A sonata is a piece of music that is played, as opposed to a cantata (from Latin and Italian "cantare" meaning "to sing"), a piece of music that is sung.

The “Hammerklavier” is the more familiar name for Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major. The name comes from the German for “hammer-keyboard”, which is German for the fortepiano, a predecessor of the modern pianoforte.

29. Singer of the 2011 #1 hit "Someone Like You" : ADELE
The English singer Adele Adkins goes by the stage name Adele. She describes her musical style as “heartbroken soul”.

30. Ranee's wear : SAREE
The item of clothing called a sari (also saree) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. It can range from four to nine meters long (that's a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

A ranee (also spelled rani) is the female equivalent of a raja in India.

31. Dreadlocks cover : TAM
A tam o'shanter is a man's cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. "Tams" were originally all blue (and called "blue bonnets") but as more dyes became readily available, they became more colorful. The name tam o'shanter comes from the title character of Robert Burns poem "Tam O'Shanter".

Dreadlocks are matted coils of hair nowadays usually formed intentionally, although if one lets hair grow out without grooming then it naturally forms twisted and matted dreadlocks. The hairstyle is associated with the Rastafarian movement in which the term "dread" is a very positive one, meaning "fear of the Lord".

32. NC-17, maybe : LEWD
The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film-rating system is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new films.

33. Grooved ring on many a ring : BEZEL
A bezel is a groove which is designed to hold a beveled edge. An example would be the groove around the face of a watch, which accepts the beveled edge of a watch crystal.

36. One active in the heat? : RACER
The term "heat", meaning a qualifying race, dates back to the 1660s. Originally a heat was a run given to a horse to prepare it for a race, to "heat" it up.

38. They can answer the question "Who's your daddy?" : DNA TESTS
I've always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

40. Jerboa's home : DESERT
Jerboas are hopping rodents that live in the deserts of Northern Africa and Asia. They look like very small kangaroos apparently.

42. Volstead Act opponents : WETS
The Volstead Act was the law prohibiting the production of intoxicating liquors that ushered in the prohibition era beginning in 1920.

44. Two-wheeled carriage : SHAY
A shay is a light carriage. It is an American design based on the French “chaise”, from which it takes its name. A shay is sometimes called a "whisky", as riders would “whisk” around from stop to stop.

48. Accent reduction may be part of it: Abbr. : ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

53. 1951 Tony winner for "Call Me Madam" : ETHEL MERMAN
Ethel Merman was an actress and singer, one noted for having a very powerful voice. Merman was married and divorced four times, the last time to the actor Ernest Borgnine, albeit for only 32 days in 1964.

54. The idiot brother in "Our Idiot Brother" : NED
“Our Idiot Brother” is a comedy-drama film released in 2011. The movie stars Paul Rudd in the title role of the “idiot brother” Ned.

55. It borders the Land of Lincoln : SHOW-ME STATE
The “Show-Me State” is the unofficial nickname of Missouri. The moniker was given to the state apparently because the population was noted for being conservative and non-credulous.

The State of Illinois is known as “Land of Lincoln” and “The Prairie State”.

Down
1. Disco swingers? : HIPS
Discotheques started up during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) was banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques, where records were often played on just a single turntable. After the war, these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called "Whiskey a Gogo" and its method of operation, with non-stop music from two turntables next to a dance-floor, this concept spread around the world.

2. Plural suffix for conditions : -OSES
The suffix “-osis” is found in medical terms. “-Osis” indicates a disorder in general, with the prefix providing more specificity.

3. Turner Prize institution : TATE
The museum known as "the Tate" is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It's a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

The Turner Prize is awarded annually by the Tate gallery in the UK to visual artists. The prize is named for the painter J. M. W. Turner.

4. Part of une danse : PAS
In French “un pas” (a step) is part of “une danse” (a dance).

5. Collectible record : ACETATE
An acetate disc is a special type of gramophone record that is used as an “instantaneous” disc (or it used to be anyway). The technology is such that the disc can be played back straightaway without the processing needed for vinyl discs.

6. Chutney-dipped appetizer : SAMOSA
A samosa is quite a nice appetizer, usually a triangular-shaped savory that often has a vegetarian filling. The word "samosa" is primarily used on Indian menus, and the name comes from "sanbosag", the name for the dish in Persia.

7. Pre-Soviet succession : TSARS
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word, and was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. "Czar" is derived from the word Caesar, which was synonymous with emperor at that time.

9. Health care grp. : AMA
The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The first female member was allowed to join in 1868, but the first African American members weren't admitted until one hundred years later, in 1968.

10. Crevice-lurking predator : MORAY EEL
Morays are a large group of about 200 species of eels found across the world's oceans. They are carnivorous and look pretty scary but they're quite shy when confronted and present no threat to humans. One interesting thing about morays is that they will sometimes work in cooperation with the grouper fish found in reefs, the two helping each other hunt for food.

11. 1957 hit for Perry Como : IVY ROSE
Perry Como is still my mother’s favorite singer. Como was born about 20 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Famously, his first career was barbering. He learned the trade from a local hairdresser and soon had his own shop in a Greek coffee house, at the age of 14!

12. Like some blood : AB-POSITIVE
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

26. ___ Line (German/Polish border) : ODER-NEISSE
The Oder-Neisse line is the border between Germany and Poland, a border that was established at the end of WWII. The border runs along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers.

30. Mennonites and others : SECTS
The Mennonites are a group of religious sects that originated in the Friesland region of the Low Countries. The various denominations are named for Menno Simons who was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers who followed Martin Luther.

33. Diamond lane : BASE PATH
In baseball the base path is the area within which a runner has to stay while running between bases.

39. French pronoun : TES
In French "tes" means "your", when referring to a single individual. The plural of "tes" is "votre".

45. Damage control grp. : FEMA
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

46. "Ev'rybody Wants to Be ___" (Disney film tune) : A CAT
“Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat” is a tune from the 1970 Disney feature “The Aristocats”.

“The Aristocats” is an animated feature film released by Disney in 1970. The lead voice actors in the movie are Eva Gabor and Phil Harris. “The Aristocats” was the last film to be approved for production by Walt Disney himself, as he passed away in 1966.

47. Novelist Bazin : RENE
René Bazin was a French novelist active at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

50. "___ nuff!" : SHO’
"Sho'nuff" is a slang expression meaning "sure enough".

51. N.Y.C. commuting debut of 1904 : IRT
The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Stage Deli staple : HOT PASTRAMI
12. Gas ending : -ANE
15. Writer who held 14 honorary doctorates : ISAAC ASIMOV
16. Deliver hooks, e.g. : BOX
17. Stephen King's next novel after "Christine" : PET SEMATARY
18. Many a cell product : PIC
19. Quito-to-Lima dir. : SSE
20. Bolted : TORE
21. Melodic passages : ARIOSI
23. Bottom part : BASS
24. Oyster Bay hamlet : SYOSSET
25. "Hammerklavier," for one : SONATA
28. Is in the can : DOES TIME
29. Singer of the 2011 #1 hit "Someone Like You" : ADELE
30. Ranee's wear : SAREE
31. Dreadlocks cover : TAM
32. NC-17, maybe : LEWD
33. Grooved ring on many a ring : BEZEL
34. It may be open at a comedy club : MIKE
35. Sound that a muzzle muffles : ARF
36. One active in the heat? : RACER
37. Black scavenger : RAVEN
38. They can answer the question "Who's your daddy?" : DNA TESTS
40. Jerboa's home : DESERT
41. Origins : GENESES
42. Volstead Act opponents : WETS
43. Throws together : RIGS UP
44. Two-wheeled carriage : SHAY
45. Away's partner : FAR
48. Accent reduction may be part of it: Abbr. : ESL
49. Great work : MASTERPIECE
52. Computer add-on? : -ESE
53. 1951 Tony winner for "Call Me Madam" : ETHEL MERMAN
54. The idiot brother in "Our Idiot Brother" : NED
55. It borders the Land of Lincoln : SHOW-ME STATE

Down
1. Disco swingers? : HIPS
2. Plural suffix for conditions : -OSES
3. Turner Prize institution : TATE
4. Part of une danse : PAS
5. Collectible record : ACETATE
6. Chutney-dipped appetizer : SAMOSA
7. Pre-Soviet succession : TSARS
8. One may provide passage : RITE
9. Health care grp. : AMA
10. Crevice-lurking predator : MORAY EEL
11. 1957 hit for Perry Como : IVY ROSE
12. Like some blood : AB-POSITIVE
13. One passed out on New Year's Eve : NOISEMAKER
14. What many fans generate : EXCITEMENT
22. Ending for 23-Across : -IST
23. Having nothing to part with? : BALD
24. More likely to go off : SORER
25. Choice for a bed made in the kitchen : SALAD GREEN
26. ___ Line (German/Polish border) : ODER-NEISSE
27. Novel : NEWFANGLED
28. Staggers : DAZES
30. Mennonites and others : SECTS
33. Diamond lane : BASE PATH
34. Gravitation consideration : MASS
36. They have job listings : RESUMES
37. Does over, as a document : RETYPES
39. French pronoun : TES
40. Hand wringer's words : DEAR ME
42. Overpower : WHELM
44. Be unsettled : STEW
45. Damage control grp. : FEMA
46. "Ev'rybody Wants to Be ___" (Disney film tune) : A CAT
47. Novelist Bazin : RENE
50. "___ nuff!" : SHO’
51. N.Y.C. commuting debut of 1904 : IRT

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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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