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Greetings from Las Vegas, Nevada (again!)

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 a long and strenuos hike today in Red Rock Canyon outside Vegas in 100-degree weather, complete with a touch of heatstroke (scary), and saw the Cirque de Soleil show "Zarkana" this evening (amazing, as all Cirque shows are).

Bill

0325-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Mar 12, Sunday





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: Patrick Berry
THEME: Two-For-One Special … the theme answers are made up of two related words. The first word is transformed into the second by taking a letter that appears twice in the first word and replacing it with a letter that appears once in the same word, (“two-for-one”):
23A. Ordeal that's no big deal? : TRIVIAL TRAVAIL (I replaces A)
27A. Large cloth sign with nothing on it? : BARREN BANNER (R replaces N)
29A. Toy hammer? : MATTEL MALLET (T replaces L)
50A. Soft yet easily breakable "Star Trek" creature? : BRITTLE TRIBBLE (T replaces B)
66A. Hemispherical computer add-on? : DOMED MODEM (D replaces M)
68A. "Ride 'em, cowboy!," e.g.? : RODEO ORDER (O replaces R)
79A. Big house that's not as big? : SMALLER SLAMMER (L replaces M)
99A. Goddess of gas? : ETHANE ATHENA (E replaces A)
102A. Get part of one's shirt under control? : CORRAL COLLAR (R replaces L)
108A. What the Gorgon Stheno does in Greek myth? : PURSUES PERSEUS (U replaces E)
COMPLETION TIME: 23m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
4. Black cloud formers : GNATS
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

9. Unresponsive state : COMA
"Coma" comes from the Greek word "koma" meaning "deep sleep".

19. Hitchcock thriller set in Brazil : NOTORIOUS
"Notorious" is an interesting Hitchcock film made in 1946 starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. I find it interesting as it is such a different dramatic role for Cary Grant, and a more gritty role for the lovely Ingrid Bergman, and the great Claude Rains is in there for good measure. It's a story of espionage, love and intrigue set in Rio de Janeiro where there is a group of German Nazis hiding out after WWII. Definitely worth a rental if you've never seen it ...

22. Nation bordering Svizzera : ITALIA
In Italian, “Szizzera” (Switzerland) borders “Italia” (Italy).

23. Ordeal that's no big deal? : TRIVIAL TRAVAIL
Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

26. It's much followed in North Africa : ISLAM
In a religious context the word “Islam” translates as “voluntary submission to God”.

29. Toy hammer? : MATTEL MALLET
Mattel is the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Mattel was founded by Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler in 1945, and they chose the company name by combing “Matt” with “El-liot” giving “Matt-el”.

42. Full range : GAMUT
In medieval times the musical scale was comprised of the notes “ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la”. The term “gamma ut”, shortened to “gamut”, was used to describe the whole scale. By the 1620s, “gamut” was being used to mean the entire range of anything, the whole gamut.

46. Gulf of Oman port : MUSCAT
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The capital city of Muscat has a strategic location on the Gulf of Oman and has a history of invasion and unrest. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody attack. The Portuguese held Muscat for much of the next one hundred years until finally ousted by local Omani forces in 1648. A Yemeni tribe invaded the area in 1741 and set up a monarchy that has been in place ever since.

50. Soft yet easily breakable "Star Trek" creature? : BRITTLE TRIBBLE
In the original “Star Trek” series there was a memorable episode that featured a species of aliens called tribbles. The tribbles were cuddly little creatures that were popular with the crew of the Starship Enterprise, but they multiplied “like rabbits” and soon infested the vessel. The tribbles were so fertile that they were actually born pregnant!

57. "Save Me" singer Mann : AIMEE
Aimee Mann is an American rock singer and guitarist.

58. Break in logic : LEAP
A break in logic might be a “leap of faith”, I guess.

59. Fire starter? : AIM
Take aim, and then fire!

60. Magic, for instance : NBA TEAM
The Orlando Magic were formed in 1989 as an NBA expansion team. A local paper was asked to run a competition to suggest names for the new team and the community came up with its four top picks of "Heat", "Tropics", "Juice" and "Magic". A committee then opted for the "Orlando Magic". A good choice I think ...

64. European of the Iron Age : CELT
The Celts were a very broad group of people across Europe, linked by common languages. The Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the "Celtic identity" is alive and well in the British Isles. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales.

Ancient societies can be classified by the "three-age system", which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:
- The Stone Age
- The Iron Age
- The Bronze Age
The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

66. Hemispherical computer add-on? : DOMED MODEM
A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode the the digital information, and at the other end a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

68. "Ride 'em, cowboy!," e.g.? : RODEO ORDER
"Rodeo” is a Spanish word, which is usually translated as “round up”.

72. Perpetually, to Pope : E’ER
Alexander Pope was an English poet, famous for his own compositions as well as for a translation of Homer's works. One of Pope's most notable poems is "Ode on Solitude" that opens with:
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
Pope wrote that when he was just twelve years old!

73. What only one Best Picture winner has had : X-RATING
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 movies.

The 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy” is a Hollywood adaption of a novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It’s a pretty depressing story about a young Texan (played by Jon Voight) who heads to New York City to make money as a hustler, hiring himself out to women for sex. Pretty soon the young man ends up selling his body for sex with males as well. Prior to release the MPAA give the movie an R-rating, but the United Artists studio took advice and decided to release it with an X-rating. When “Midnight Cowboy” won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1969, it became the only X-rated film to be so honored.

74. In the distance : YON
"Yon" is a variant of "yonder".

78. "___ Eyes" (1969 hit for the Guess Who) : THESE
The Guess Who is a rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Guess Who were particularly successful in the late sixties and early seventies, and I’d say their most famous hit is “American Woman”, released in 1970.

79. Big house that's not as big? : SMALLER SLAMMER
The “big house” and the “slammer” are both slang terms for prison.

82. Site of one of the Seven Wonders : RHODES
A colossus (plural colossi) is an exceptionally large statue, the most famous of which was the Colossus of Rhodes. This was a statue of the god Helios that stood over 100 feet tall, on the Greek island of Rhodes. New York's Statue of Liberty was designed to have similar dimensions. The Emma Lazarus poem that is inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is in fact titled "The New Colossus".

84. "I hate the Moor" speaker : IAGO
Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare's "Othello". Iago is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. He hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdomona, Othello's wife. By the end of the play it's Iago himself who is discredited and Othello (before committing suicide) apologizes to Cassio for having believed Iago's lies. Heavy stuff ...

85. Young builder's supply : LEGOS
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name "Automatic Binding Bricks" but I think today's "Lego" is easier to remember! The name "Lego" comes from the Danish term "leg godt" meaning "play well".

96. "Entourage" agent Gold : ARI
Ari Gold is a fictional character in the HBO series "Entourage". "Entourage" tells the story of a rising film star, Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier), a native of New York but now learning to handle himself in Hollywood. Vincent's Hollywood agent is Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven.

99. Goddess of gas? : ETHANE ATHENA
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.

The Greek goddess Athena is often associated with wisdom (among other attributes). In many representations she is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today's perception of the owl as being "wise".

108. What the Gorgon Stheno does in Greek myth? : PURSUES PERSEUS
In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the monstrous female creatures known as Gorgons. Anyone who gazed directly at her would turn into stone. She was eventually killed by the hero Perseus, who beheaded her. Perseus was pursued by Medusa’s two sisters, Stheno and Euryale, but he escaped wearing a helm of darkness. Perseus carried Medusa’s head and used its powers as a weapon before giving it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield.

114. Dressage gait : TROT
The equestrian sport of dressage involves demonstration of how well as horse responds to training. “Dressage” is a French word meaning “training”.

116. Old Soviet naval base site : ODESSA
The city of Odessa in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name, as "Odessa", so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

117. Vodka brand : SKYY
Skyy Vodka is produced in the US, although the operation is own by the Campari Group headquartered in Italy. Skyy first hit the shelves in 1992 when it was created by an entrepreneur from San Francisco, California.

118. "Borrow" : CADGE
“To cadge” is to get something by begging.

Down
5. Actress Vardalos : NIA
Not only was the delightful Nia Vardalos the star of the 2002 hit movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", she also wrote the screenplay. The film never made it to number one at the box office, but it still pulled in more money than any other movie in history that didn't make it to number one. That record I think reflects the fact that the film wasn't a blockbuster but rather a so-called "sleeper hit", a movie that people went to see based on referrals from friends. The big fat mistake came when a spin-off TV show was launched, "My Big Fat Greek Life". It ran for only 7 episodes.

8. Belarus, once: Abbr. : SSR
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located east of Poland and north of Ukraine. Belarus didn’t exist as an entity until the Russian Revolution when it was created as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics (SSR) that made up the USSR. The Republic of Belarus was formed soon after the USSR dissolved in 1990, but unlike many of the former Soviet Republics, Belarus has retained many of the old Soviet policies. Alexander Lukashenko is the country’s president and he believes in state ownership of the economy. Belarus and Russia have formal agreements in place that pledge cooperation.

9. Venae ___ (large blood vessels) : CAVAE
The superior vena cava is a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood from the upper part of the body to the right atrium of the heart. The inferior vena cava does the same thing for the lower part of the body.

10. It can make you dizzy : OP ART
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

11. Yom Kippur War politician : MEIR
Golda Meir was known as the "Iron Lady" when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before the term came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921 when she was in her twenties. She had been active in politics in the US and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country she had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974 saying that was what the people wanted.

The Yom Kippur War started on 6 October 1973 with a surprise move by Syria and Egypt into the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. The conflict quickly escalated into a confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union, as both superpowers rushed arms to the opposing states. Within a week Israeli forces had regained the land that had been lost, and two weeks later had advanced within striking range of both Cairo and Damascus. A UN-brokered ceasefire brought the war to and end on October 25, after just 19 days of fighting.

13. Longtime Redskins coach Joe : GIBBS
Joe Gibbs is a former football coach, most famously for the Washington Redskins. After Gibbs retired, he turned his attention to his second sport, NASCAR. He runs his own team called Joe Gibbs Racing.

14. The Andrea Doria, for one : STEAMSHIP
The SS Andrea Doria was an Italian ocean liner with the home port of Genoa. She was named after Andrea Doria, a 16th-century general from the city. As always seems to be the case with ships that go down, the Andrea Doria was the pride of the fleet and was deemed to be the biggest, fastest and safest of Italy's ships in the fifties. Her end came in 1956 when she collided with the MS Stockholm off the coast of Nantucket Island. Such was the damage to the side of the vessel that she quickly and severely listed to starboard, rendering half her lifeboats unusable. Nonetheless, 1,660 crew and passengers were rescued by vessels that came to her aid. Only 46 lives were lost, mainly in the collision itself. The Andrea Doria capsized and sank eleven hours after the collision.

15. Chemistry Nobelist Otto : HAHN
Otto Hahn was a German chemist, someone who rigorously opposed the anti-Jewish policies of Nazi Germany. Hahn was one of a small group of scientists who discovered nuclear fission, pointing out that uranium atoms could be split into barium atoms when bombarded with neutrons. Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for this discovery, although he probably got the credit for work that was actually shared with others.

16. King of Naples in "The Tempest" : ALONSO
In William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”, Alonso is the King of Naples. Alonso helps Antonio to depose his brother Prospero as Duke of Milan and set him adrift in a boat with Prospero’s young daughter Miranda.

William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. Prospero learns sorcery while castaway, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island's shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio).

18. Baseball team once owned by Ray Kroc : PADRES
The San Diego Padres were founded in 1969. The Padres took their name from a Minor League team that had been in the the city since 1936. The name is Spanish for “fathers” and is a reference to the Franciscan Friars from Spain who founded San Diego in 1769.

Ray Kroc didn't found the McDonald's restaurants, as he joined the corporation in 1954 and the chain had been around since 1940. What Kroc did was introduce the idea of assembly-line preparation of the meals and standardization of ingredients, so that a Big Mac tasted the same no matter where in the world it was ordered. His "recipe" for the restaurant turned it into the (sad!) success it is today.

20. Like kiwi fruit : OVATE
Something that is “ovate” is egg-shaped.

What we call kiwifruit today used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a "melonette", and then New Zealand producers adopted the name "kiwifruit".

30. Exam administered four times a yr. : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

31. "Lou Grant" production co. : MTM
MTM Enterprises was a television production company founded in 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore, originally to produce the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The company subsequently produced the likes of “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Rhoda”, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere”. That’s a lot of great television ...

Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and on the spin-off drama called "Lou Grant". Off-screen Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When "Lou Grant" was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact one of Asner's activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever), found that his show "WKRP in Cincinnati" was also cancelled ... on the very same day ...

32. Caribbean resort island : ARUBA
Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands. The ABC Islands is the nickname given to the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and CuraƧao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

38. Pledge of Allegiance finisher : ALL
The Pledge of Allegiance of the US was composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and was adopted by Congress in 1942. The actual words used in the pledge have changed over time. Here is the original 1892 version shown in comparison to the current version that was adopted in 1954:
1892: I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
1954: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

44. Took a few seconds? : ATE
One might eat seconds at a meal.

49. Phoebe of "Drop Dead Fred" : CATES
Phoebe Cates is an actress and model, best known for the roles she played in the films “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Gremlins”. Cates retired from acting in the mid-90s to raise her children. Cates is married to fellow actor Kevin Kline.

“Drop Dead Fred” is one of those cult films that I never seem to get into. It was released in 1991 and is billed as a children’s movie, but it has attracted a large number of adult fans.

51. Sunni sermonizer : IMAM
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the one in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

The largest denomination within the Muslim faith is Sunni Islam, with the second largest being Shia Islam.

52. Communication system of old : TELEX
Telex grew out of the world of the telegraph. What Telex brought to telegraphy was the ability to route messages. Instead of instructing an operator at the other end to route a particular message to the intended party, the operator of a telex could route the message directly to another telex machine by using a rotary dial, very similar to that on a telephone.

62. Wisdom tooth, e.g. : MOLAR
Wisdom teeth are an extra set of molars in the back of the jaws. There are usually four wisdom teeth, and they only occur in about 65% of the population.

64. Caesar's first wife : CORNELIA
Julius Caesar's first wife was Cornelia, and she had died one year before he married his second wife Pompeia Sulla. Caesar divorced his second wife a few years later as there were unfounded allegations that she was having an affair. Caesar stated at the time that, "my wife ought not even to be under suspicion", giving rise to the proverb "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion".

68. Print shop unit : REAM
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard size for a ream was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a "short ream".

72. Interrupter of Dagwood's naps : ELMO
"Blondie" was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic's son, Dean). The strip spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of Blondie films (1938-1950). Blondie is married to Dagwood Bumstead. Dagwood slaves away at a construction company run by Julius Dithers, whose wife is called Cora. Another famous character in the strip is Elmo Tuttle, a pesky neighborhood kid who is always bugging Dagwood.

75. Kentucky Derby and Epsom Oaks, for two : FLAT RACES
The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, a race modelled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, it was run over 1½ miles. The American race was shortened in 1896, and is now run over 1¼ miles.

The Epsom Oaks is a horse race that's run at Epson Downs in England in June every year. It is the third of five Classic races run annually in Britain, and one of two of the Classics that is restricted to fillies.

76. Old sofa's problem : SAG
"Sofa" is a Turkish word meaning "bench".

80. Can of Newcastle : LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure.

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the North of England is home to the famous Newcastle Brown Ale.

82. ___ Bud, schoolgirl in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" : ROSA
“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. The story itself is centered not on the title character, but on Edwin Drood’s uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper.

86. M.A. seeker's test : GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

87. Director and star of "Looking for Richard" : PACINO
Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on either side of the law. His big break in movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

“Looking for Richard” is a documentary released in 1996, and is the first film to be directed by Al Pacino. The film is a mix of performances of scenes from Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and commentary from actors noted for performing Shakespeare. The film also explores the relevance of Shakespeare in today’s popular culture.

89. Shaw defined it as "insufficient temptation" : VIRTUE
“Virtue is insufficient temptation” is a quotation from Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.

George Bernard Shaw was a very successful Irish playwright. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. Shaw won his Oscar for adapting his own play "Pygmalion" for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaption of "Pygmalion" that went by the title ... "My Fair Lady".

90. Disney subsidiary : ABC
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is the world’s largest broadcaster in terms of revenues. ABC was formed in 1943, created out of the former NBC Blue radio network.

94. How Sam's Club buys goods : IN BULK
Sam’s Club is owned and operated by Walmart and is named after the company’s founder, Sam Walton.

99. George Jetson's boy : ELROY
“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, it was the network’s first ever color broadcast.

101. Outside shot? : THREE
In basketball, a three-point field goal is made from some distance from the basket, beyond the three-point line.

109. "Too many to list" abbr. : ETC
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact "et al." can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

110. Poseidon's domain : SEA
Poseidon was the god of the sea in Greek mythology as well as the “Earth-Shaker”, the god responsible for earthquakes.

112. Record with many beats: Abbr. : EKG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Border-crossing necessities : IDS
4. Black cloud formers : GNATS
9. Unresponsive state : COMA
13. A flat equivalent : G-SHARP
19. Hitchcock thriller set in Brazil : NOTORIOUS
21. It's all downhill from here : APEX
22. Nation bordering Svizzera : ITALIA
23. Ordeal that's no big deal? : TRIVIAL TRAVAIL
25. Gaze upon : BEHOLD
26. It's much followed in North Africa : ISLAM
27. Large cloth sign with nothing on it? : BARREN BANNER
29. Toy hammer? : MATTEL MALLET
34. Ending with sex or symbol : -ISM
35. Seek redress from : SUE
36. "Anything ___?" : ELSE
37. Potential pet : STRAY
38. Smartphone buy : APP
40. Swine's diet : SLOPS
42. Full range : GAMUT
43. For ___ : SALE
45. "So that's your game!" : OHO
46. Gulf of Oman port : MUSCAT
50. Soft yet easily breakable "Star Trek" creature? : BRITTLE TRIBBLE
56. Available : ON TAP
57. "Save Me" singer Mann : AIMEE
58. Break in logic : LEAP
59. Fire starter? : AIM
60. Magic, for instance : NBA TEAM
63. Refresher : NAP
64. European of the Iron Age : CELT
65. In days gone by : ONCE
66. Hemispherical computer add-on? : DOMED MODEM
68. "Ride 'em, cowboy!," e.g.? : RODEO ORDER
70. In its current state : AS IS
71. "As if that weren't enough ..." : PLUS
72. Perpetually, to Pope : E’ER
73. What only one Best Picture winner has had : X-RATING
74. In the distance : YON
75. Dieter's target : FLAB
76. "The cat's meow" or "a dog's life" : SLANG
78. "___ Eyes" (1969 hit for the Guess Who) : THESE
79. Big house that's not as big? : SMALLER SLAMMER
82. Site of one of the Seven Wonders : RHODES
83. Rower's need : OAR
84. "I hate the Moor" speaker : IAGO
85. Young builder's supply : LEGOS
87. Point of rotation : PIVOT
90. Plus : AND
91. Floors : TIERS
92. Casino souvenir : CHIP
96. "Entourage" agent Gold : ARI
97. Back stroke? : RUB
99. Goddess of gas? : ETHANE ATHENA
102. Get part of one's shirt under control? : CORRAL COLLAR
106. Poppies, e.g. : HERBS
107. Undamaged : INTACT
108. What the Gorgon Stheno does in Greek myth? : PURSUES PERSEUS
113. Render unproductive? : NEUTER
114. Dressage gait : TROT
115. Noisy water heater : TEAKETTLE
116. Old Soviet naval base site : ODESSA
117. Vodka brand : SKYY
118. "Borrow" : CADGE
119. Rubber-stamps : OKS

Down
1. Early enough : IN TIME
2. At the back : DORSAL
3. Ones going on a long walk? : STILTS
4. Old machinery coating : GRIME
5. Actress Vardalos : NIA
6. ___ Mail : AOL
7. "You know better!" : TUT
8. Belarus, once: Abbr. : SSR
9. Venae ___ (large blood vessels) : CAVAE
10. It can make you dizzy : OP ART
11. Yom Kippur War politician : MEIR
12. Revolutionary device? : AXLE
13. Longtime Redskins coach Joe : GIBBS
14. The Andrea Doria, for one : STEAMSHIP
15. Chemistry Nobelist Otto : HAHN
16. King of Naples in "The Tempest" : ALONSO
17. Cheese off : RILE UP
18. Baseball team once owned by Ray Kroc : PADRES
20. Like kiwi fruit : OVATE
24. With proficiency : ABLY
28. Pinch : NIP
30. Exam administered four times a yr. : LSAT
31. "Lou Grant" production co. : MTM
32. Caribbean resort island : ARUBA
33. Army heads : LATRINES
38. Pledge of Allegiance finisher : ALL
39. Like most canned tomatoes : PEELED
41. Defensive return : LOB
42. Reacted to shocking news : GAPED
43. "Watch your ___!" : STEP
44. Took a few seconds? : ATE
45. Podium personage : ORATOR
46. They're not popular in offices : MONDAYS
47. ___ oneself (share private thoughts) : UNBOSOM
48. Workhorse's quality : STAMINA
49. Phoebe of "Drop Dead Fred" : CATES
51. Sunni sermonizer : IMAM
52. Communication system of old : TELEX
53. Exchanged, as words : BANDIED
54. Reckless driver's loss, possibly : LICENSE
55. Becomes clear : EMERGES
61. More copious : AMPLER
62. Wisdom tooth, e.g. : MOLAR
64. Caesar's first wife : CORNELIA
65. Maker of Bug-B-Gon : ORTHO
67. Adds, as to a recording : DUBS IN
68. Print shop unit : REAM
69. Salty language : OATHS
72. Interrupter of Dagwood's naps : ELMO
75. Kentucky Derby and Epsom Oaks, for two : FLAT RACES
76. Old sofa's problem : SAG
77. Concerned about the environment : GREEN
80. Can of Newcastle : LOO
81. Young chap : LAD
82. ___ Bud, schoolgirl in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" : ROSA
86. M.A. seeker's test : GRE
87. Director and star of "Looking for Richard" : PACINO
88. Free of creases : IRONED
89. Shaw defined it as "insufficient temptation" : VIRTUE
90. Disney subsidiary : ABC
91. Drive-___ : THRU
92. Holder of plunder : CHEST
93. Regarding this matter : HERETO
94. How Sam's Club buys goods : IN BULK
95. Free tickets : PASSES
98. Extremist : ULTRA
99. George Jetson's boy : ELROY
100. Scrumptious : TASTY
101. Outside shot? : THREE
103. Cry often made while snapping the fingers : RATS
104. Elects : OPTS
105. Read but never post : LURK
109. "Too many to list" abbr. : ETC
110. Poseidon's domain : SEA
111. Launch platform : PAD
112. Record with many beats: Abbr. : EKG

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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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