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0330-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Mar 12, Friday





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: Joe Krozel
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 39m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
20. Enough, to √Čtienne : ASSEZ
“Assez” is the French word for “enough”.

23. Guam-to-Tahiti dir. : ESE
Guam is a US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, the largest of the Mariana Islands. Guam is also the first territory in the United States to see the sun rise on any particular day. As such, the territory has adopted the motto, "Where America's day begins". During WWII, the US territory of Guam was occupied by the Japanese for 31 months until it was liberated in the Battle of Guam in July 1944. Of the 18,000 Japanese men holding the island, only 485 surrendered, so almost all perished in the invasion. One Japanese sergeant hid out on the island for an incredible 28 years, finally surrendering in 1972!

Captain Cook landed in Tahiti in 1769, although he wasn't the first European to do so. But 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.

25. Common canal locale: Abbr. : ISTH
The word "isthmus" (plural “isthmi”) comes the Greek word for "neck". An isthmus is a narrow strip of land that usually connects two large land masses. The most notable examples of the formation are the Isthmus of Corinth in the Greek peninsula, and the Isthmus of Panama, connecting North and South America.

29. Great red spot? : TRIPLE-WORD SCORE
The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Moshoer Butts. Butts determined the optimum number of tiles of each letter and the appropriate point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like our beloved "The New York Times" …

Because of the distribution of letters in the set of Scrabble tiles, the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played is PIZZAZZ. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to the fourth Z.

40. Old English letters : ETHS
The Old English letter "eth" was written like a "D" with a line through it. As the language evolved eth was replaced with the letter "d" or sometimes "dh".

41. "The Black Cat" writer's inits. : EAP
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. He is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn't really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. He died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

“The Black Cat” is a short story written by Edgar Allen Poe, first published in 1843. It is a dark tale about a man who murders his wife and is taunted by the couple’s black cat.

42. "Yesterday," e.g. : BALLAD
“Yesterday” is such a beautiful ballad. It was written by Paul McCartney, who also routinely performed the song as a solo piece. “Yesterday” wasn’t originally released as a single, and first appeared as a track on the 1965 Beatles album, “Help!” In several polls over in the UK, “Yesterday” has been named the number one pop song of all time.

56. 1991 Jackie Chan film : OPERATION CONDOR
“Armour of God II: Operation Condor” is a martial arts film from Hong Kong, released in 1991. The film was released in the US under the title “Operation Condor”.

Jackie Chan is an actor from Hong Kong, noted for his action and martial arts films. When Chan was 17-years-old he featured as a stunt actor in Bruce Lee movies. He also starred in the 1982 Hong Kong action film “Dragon Lord” which includes a fight scene that required an amazing 2900 takes, a record in the movie industry.

61. Megillah book : ESTHER
Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther. During the celebration of Purim, the Book of Esther (or Megillah) is read aloud, once in the evening and once the following morning. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Old Testament that doesn't mention "God".

Down
1. One of the Pointer Sisters : ANITA
The Pointer Sisters started out in 1969 as a pair, June and Bonnie Pointer. They grew to a quartet when sisters Anita and Ruth joined the lineup. Then Bonnie left the group to go solo, and the Pointer Sisters achieved their greatest success as a trio.

3. They're in the first draft : ONE-A’S
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft is held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objectors available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrants who have completed military service) and 4-D (ministers of religion).

4. Kind of porridge : PEASE
Pease pudding or pease porridge, is a very English dish, similar to split pea soup. We used to sing a nursery rhyme as kids "Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold, pease pudding in the pot, nine days old".

6. First name in 1970s tyranny : IDI
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda he joined the military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda, and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country's president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. He died in 2003.

7. Giant among Giants : OTT
At 5' 9", Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don't think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

The San Francisco Giants have won more games than any other team in baseball, partly because they are one of the oldest teams in the league. The Giants started out as the New York Gothams in 1883 and became the New York Giants in 1885. The team moved to California in 1958.

10. Dreaded believer? : RASTA
I must admit that I don't really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a Rasta, like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say it is a religion, some not. It does involve the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

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".

13. Actress Watson : EMMA
Emma Watson is the English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movies. Watson is continuing her education while pursuing her acting career, and is currently enrolled at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

21. Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald and others : ZELDAS
Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, was a novelist in her own right. Her one and only novel is "Save Me the Waltz", a semi-autobiographical account of her life and marriage.

31. N.B.A. great Thomas : ISIAH
Isiah Thomas played his whole professional basketball-playing career with the Detroit Pistons, and he is now the head coach with Florida International University's Golden Panthers. When you're out shopping for popcorn, keep an eye out for the Dale &Thomas brand, as it's co-owned by Isiah Thomas.

32. Pirates' hangout : PITTSBURGH
The Pittsburgh Pirates were an early team in the National Baseball League, joining in 1887 just six years after the league was formed. The Pirates played in the first ever World Series, in 1903, and won their first World Series in 1909.

33. Plains people : OTOE
The Otoe were the first Native American tribe encountered in the West by Lewis and Clark. The explorers met with the Otoe (and Missouria) tribes in 1804 at a spot that became known as Council Bluff. The site is now a National Historic Landmark called Fort Atkinson, Nebraska as a fort was built there on Lewis's recommendation.

35. Part of a Flintstone's yell : DABBA
“Yabba Dabba Doo!”

I once had the privilege of spending an afternoon in the room (Bill Hanna's den) where Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera came up with the idea of "The Flintstones" ...

43. Winged : ALATE
Something that is “alate” has winglike extensions (as in a leaf perhaps), or is actually winged, like a bird.

46. Starbucks has one : AROMA
Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in the Herman Melville book “Moby Dick”.

52. John Paul II, e.g. : POLE
Pope John Paul II led the Catholic Church from 1978 until 2005, over 26 years. That made him the second longest serving Pope in history, after Pius IX who reigned for over 31 years in the mid 1800s. Paradoxically, John Paul II’s predecessor was John Paul I who only ruled for 33 days. John Paul II was a native of Poland, and was the first non-Italian Pope to lead the church since 1523.

53. "Beowulf" or "Gilgamesh" : EPOS
Epos is the Greek word for a story or a poem. We have absorbed it into English as "epic", describing a long, narrative poetic work describing heroic deeds and ventures.

"Beowulf" is an old epic poem from England, although the story is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf fights a battle, defending the Danish King Hrothgar from the ferocious outcast Grendel. Hrothgar had built a great hall for his people in which they could celebrate; singing, dancing and drinking lots of mead. Grendel was angered by the carousing and attacked the hall, devouring many of the incumbent warriors as they slept. A bit of an extreme reaction to noisy neighbors I'd say ...

The “Epic of Gilgamesh” is an epic poem from Mesopotamia. It is one of the earliest known works of literature that has survived. Fragments of the first version of the epic date back to the 18th century BC.

57. "Tell Me More" broadcaster : NPR
National Public Radio (now just called NPR) was launched in 1970, after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

“Tell Me More” is a daytime talk show on NPR hosted by journalist Michel Martin.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pet subject : ADOPTION
9. Presents itself : ARISES
15. "My pleasure" : NO NEED TO THANK ME
17. Dubious claim after crying wolf : I MEAN IT THIS TIME
18. They may be carted around : TEAS
19. Defense option : MAN-TO-MAN
20. Enough, to √Čtienne : ASSEZ
22. Grammar subject : SYNTAX
23. Guam-to-Tahiti dir. : ESE
25. Common canal locale: Abbr. : ISTH
29. Great red spot? : TRIPLE-WORD SCORE
37. Unlikely place to take one's business : RESIDENTIAL AREA
38. Promise, e.g. : IMITATION BUTTER
39. Weeps and wails : BEATS ONE’S BREAST
40. Old English letters : ETHS
41. "The Black Cat" writer's inits. : EAP
42. "Yesterday," e.g. : BALLAD
47. Really tick off : STEAM
52. Funny : PECULIAR
55. Let go to pot? : ANTE
56. 1991 Jackie Chan film : OPERATION CONDOR
60. Sign words often accompanied by an airplane symbol : LONG-TERM PARKING
61. Megillah book : ESTHER
62. One may get printed : ARRESTEE

Down
1. One of the Pointer Sisters : ANITA
2. Some vaults : DOMES
3. They're in the first draft : ONE-A’S
4. Kind of porridge : PEASE
5. With 54-Down, kind of store : TEN
6. First name in 1970s tyranny : IDI
7. Giant among Giants : OTT
8. Words before problem or department : NOT MY
9. Drop ___ (be suggestive) : A HINT
10. Dreaded believer? : RASTA
11. Put under the table : INTOXICATE
12. Not peruse : SKIM
13. Actress Watson : EMMA
14. Admitted to a doctor's office : SEEN
16. More or less follower : THAN
21. Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald and others : ZELDAS
22. Like many monograms on clothing : SEWN IN
24. Arrange for : SEE TO
26. Rather colloquial? : SORTA
27. Much paper, originally : TREES
28. Compassion : HEART
29. 33-Down, for one : TRIBE
30. Formed another congress : REMET
31. N.B.A. great Thomas : ISIAH
32. Pirates' hangout : PITTSBURGH
33. Plains people : OTOE
34. Like many bagged vegetables : RINSED
35. Part of a Flintstone's yell : DABBA
36. Consumes impolitely : SLURPS
43. Winged : ALATE
44. Gas unit : LITER
45. Pirates' hangout : LAIR
46. Starbucks has one : AROMA
48. Gas units : TANKS
49. Get a divorce : END IT
50. Make right : ATONE
51. Sign of a narrowing path : MERGE
52. John Paul II, e.g. : POLE
53. "Beowulf" or "Gilgamesh" : EPOS
54. See 5-Down : CENT
57. "Tell Me More" broadcaster : NPR
58. Runner with a hood : CAR
59. Valuable stuff in a pocket : ORE

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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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