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0420-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Apr 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: Mike Nothnagel
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 18m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. One with a famous opening act? : ALI BABA
There is some controversy about the story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" in that it has been suggested it was not part of the original collection of Arabic tales called "One Thousand and One Nights". The suggestion is that the Ali Baba tale was added by one of its European translators.

In the Arabic tale "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", the magical cave entrance is opened with the words "Open, Simsim", but this mutated into "Open Sesame" in European translations.

13. They get the scoop at work : SODA JERKS
In the halcyon days of yore, a "soda jerk" was usually a young person whose main job was to serve ice cream sodas in a drugstore. The server would "jerk" the handle on the soda fountain to dispense the soda water, giving the job its distinctive name.

16. Run : BLEED
Colors might run or bleed in the wash, say.

23. Old game co. that made D&D : TSR
Dungeons & Dragons is a complex role-playing game first published in 1974, by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). It was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my nerdy son ...

24. Tree with catkins : ALDER
Alder trees are deciduous (i.e. not evergreen), and the fruit of the tree is called a “catkin”. The tree carries both male and female catkins that look very similar to each other, but the male catkin is longer than the female. Alders are pollinated by wind usually, although bees can play a role.

29. "The Sorrows of Young Werther" author : GOETHE
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer (among other things!). His most famous work is probably his play “Faust”. This epic work was published in parts, starting in 1808. The work was only published in toto after his death in 1832.

“The Sorrows of Young Werther” is a novel by Johann Wolfgang von Geothe, first published in 1774. The piece is described as being loosely autobiographical, and it brought fame and success to Goethe as a writer, within his own lifetime.

39. Suffix with Caesar : -EAN
The story that Julius Caesar was born via a Caesarean section seems be unfounded. Although such procedures were indeed carried out in Ancient Rome there are no reports of the mother surviving (and Julius Caesar’s mother did raise her child).

41. Swing wildly : YO-YO
Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. "Yo-yo" is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning "come-come" or simply "return".

46. Part of the intro to a piece of "Champagne Music" : A-TWO
The style of music with which bandleader Lawrence Welk was associated became known as “champagne music”. The term was coined by a dancer in the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh when Welk was appearing there with his band in the thirties.

Lawrence Welk used to count into his performances with "A-one an’ a-two ...". He even had a licence plate "A1ANA2".

52. Allocation of some pork spending? : LOIN
Pork loin is the tissue along the top of the ribs.

53. A.L. East squad, on scoreboards : TOR
The Toronto Blue Jays, founded in 1977, is the only baseball team outside the US to win a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team headquartered outside of the US.

61. Advertiser with a computer-generated mascot : GEICO
GEICO was founded in 1936 with a very specific mission, to provide auto insurance for employees of the federal government and their families. Hence the name, Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). It is a private company, despite the word "government" in its name. The founders' idea was focus on government employees as they believed such a group represented a lower risk profile than the rest of the population. Nowadays anyone can go with GEICO, which is 100% owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet's investment firm.

62. Game that gave rise to the expression "ace in the hole" : STUD POKER
Stud poker is the name given to many variants of the game, all characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing downwards are called "hole cards", cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. That gives rise to the phrase "ace in the hole", a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

63. Thomas Cromwell's earldom : ESSEX
Thomas Cromwell was the 1st Earl of Essex, and a trusted advisor of King Henry VIII of England. Cromwell very much drove the English Reformation, the break with the Catholic Church in Rome. He was also the man who arranged for the annulment of Henry’s first marriage so that the king could marry Anne Boleyn. But, like so many of those close to Henry VIII, Cromwell fell out of favor and was executed. Cromwell’s "crime" was that he arranged Henry’s fourth marriage, to Anne of Cleves, and this turned out to be a terrible match.

Down
1. Fred has one in "Scooby-Doo" cartoons : ASCOT
An Ascot tie is that horrible looking (I think!) wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race, at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, introduced in 1969.

6. Player losing to the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI or XXIII : BENGAL
The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals team was founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). There was an earlier team called the Bengals in the city, which played from 1937 to 1941. The team used the “Bengal” name because Cincinnati Zoo was home to a very rare Bengal tiger.

7. Intl. soccer powerhouse : ARG
Argentina’s national soccer team has won the FIFA World Cup twice, in 1978 and 1986. Argentina and Brazil are the only South American teams to have won the World Cup when the tournament was played outside their continent.

8. Original airer of "The Jetsons" : ABC
“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.

9. ___ Crosley, author of the 2008 best seller "I Was Told There'd Be Cake" : SLOANE
Sloane Crosley is a writer from New York, best known for a collection of essays titled “I Was Told There’d Be Cake”.

15. N.F.L. All-Pro player Chris : SNEE
Chris Snee is a football player for the New York Giants. Snee is married to the daughter of Tom Coughlin, the Giants coach.

21. What a fugue may be written for : ORGAN
A fugue is similar to a round in that it is a piece written for two or more voices, with themes that are introduced and taken up by different voices at different pitches. The most famous composer of fugues has to be Bach.

25. "Passage to Marseille" actor, 1944 : LORRE
The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. His real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. He found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.

“Passage to Marseille” is a war film that was released in 1944. It is noted as the movie that reunited many actors from the cast of 1942’s “Casablanca”, including Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. The female lead is played by Michèle Morgan, a French actress who was the original choice for the lead in “Casablanca”, but her studio would not release her for the 1942 film so Ingred Bergman got the job.

27. Valve opening? : VEE
The letter V (vee) is the first letter in “valve”.

50. "Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)" artist, 1876 : HOMER
Winslow Homer was an American landscape painter and illustrator active in the second half of the 19th century. His most famous work is probably the oil painting depicting a man and three boys sailing, which bears the title “Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)”, and which can be seen in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C.

51. When to celebrate el Día de los Reyes : ENERO
In Spanish, a year (año) starts in January (Enero) and ends in December (Diciembre).

The holiday in the Christian tradition known as the Epiphany falls on January 6th. In many Spanish-speaking countries, the Epiphany is called Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings).

55. "Outside the Lines" airer : ESPN
ESPN is the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day. It was launched back in 1979.

58. Boat navigator, informally : COX
The coxswain of a boat is one in charge, particularly of its steering and navigation. The name is shortened to "cox" particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

60. "___ Yu" (collection also known as "The Analects of Confucius") : LUN
“The Analects” or “Linyu” is a collection of the sayings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. It wasn’t Confucius who wrote down his thoughts though, but rather his pupils, some 40 or so years after his death in 479 BC.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. One with a famous opening act? : ALI BABA
8. Invite out for : ASK TO
13. They get the scoop at work : SODA JERKS
16. Run : BLEED
17. Trying to win a radio contest, say : CALLING IN
18. Figure in a doctor's office : COPAY
19. Light breakfast : ONE EGG
20. Liberal opening? : NEO-
22. Notes come out of them : ATMS
23. Old game co. that made D&D : TSR
24. Tree with catkins : ALDER
26. Temporary retirements? : NAPS
27. Intrepidity : VALOR
29. "The Sorrows of Young Werther" author : GOETHE
31. Runs out of energy : DIES
33. Fix up : REHAB
35. "Holy cow!" : BOY
36. Frustratingly difficult : LIKE HERDING CATS
39. Suffix with Caesar : -EAN
40. Excrete : EGEST
41. Swing wildly : YO-YO
42. 11-Down, usually : GLOSSY
44. Argument : POINT
46. Part of the intro to a piece of "Champagne Music" : A-TWO
47. Area in front of a basketball net, informally : PAINT
49. ___-bear : SHE
52. Allocation of some pork spending? : LOIN
53. A.L. East squad, on scoreboards : TOR
54. Quickly mount : LEAP ON
57. Bit of funny business : ANTIC
59. Fools around : KILLS TIME
61. Advertiser with a computer-generated mascot : GEICO
62. Game that gave rise to the expression "ace in the hole" : STUD POKER
63. Thomas Cromwell's earldom : ESSEX
64. Positive or negative : NON-ZERO

Down
1. Fred has one in "Scooby-Doo" cartoons : ASCOT
2. Assistance for short people? : LOANS
3. Thumb twiddler : IDLER
4. Roll in a field : BALE
5. Do ___ (celebrate, sort of) : A JIG
6. Player losing to the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI or XXIII : BENGAL
7. Intl. soccer powerhouse : ARG
8. Original airer of "The Jetsons" : ABC
9. ___ Crosley, author of the 2008 best seller "I Was Told There'd Be Cake" : SLOANE
10. Held back : KEPT AT BAY
11. Item in a trophy case : TEAM PHOTO
12. Cross-country trips, perhaps : ODYSSEYS
14. Soul mate : KINDRED SPIRIT
15. N.F.L. All-Pro player Chris : SNEE
21. What a fugue may be written for : ORGAN
25. "Passage to Marseille" actor, 1944 : LORRE
27. Valve opening? : VEE
28. Some flakes : ASHES
30. Specialty doc : OB/GYN
31. Connection indicators : DIAL TONES
32. "You're telling me!" : I KNOW IT IS
34. Discover, as a solution : HIT ON
36. 21, often : LEGAL AGE
37. 2011 revolution locale : EGYPT
38. Item in a tent, maybe : COT
43. "Ooh-la-la!" : SO NICE
45. "Better than nothing" : IT’LL DO
48. Informal approvals : A-OKS
49. Shoot up : SPIKE
50. "Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)" artist, 1876 : HOMER
51. When to celebrate el Día de los Reyes : ENERO
55. "Outside the Lines" airer : ESPN
56. Comprehensive : A TO Z
58. Boat navigator, informally : COX
60. "___ Yu" (collection also known as "The Analects of Confucius") : LUN

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2 comments :

Dick Elton said...

My first job was as a soda jerk (13across) at a drug store when I was 15 years old (30 cents an hour?), but I never thought about what the term "jerk" meant.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Dick,

Not having being raised in this country, and never having come across a real life "soda jerk", I always thought the term quite rude!

Now I know better :)

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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 everyday 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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