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0504-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 May 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: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 26m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Goldeneye relative : SMEW
The smew is a beautiful-looking duck found right across northern Europe and Asia.

The goldeneye is a small, black and white seaduck. Before you ask, there's no connection between the duck and Ian Fleming's estate called Goldeneye, nor the James Bond book, nor the movie. I checked ...

5. Emergency extractor : JAWS OF LIFE
Jaws of Life is a trademark, owned by Hurst Performance. Jaws of Life is a hydraulic tool used by rescue crews to extricate victims from automotive accidents. The tool is a relatively new invention, developed in 1963 for use after race car crashes.

17. Jags of the 1960s and '70s : XKES
Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters "SS" in that era.

18. Eggbeater : WHIRLY BIRD
Eggbeater, whirly bird … nicknames for a helicopter.

21. Only one of the 13 Colonies not touching the Atl. Ocean : PENNA
Today “Quaker State” is an unofficial name for Pennsylvania, as it is more correctly known as the Keystone State, and has been so since 1802. However in colonial times, Pennsylvania was known officially as the Quaker Province, recognizing the beliefs and doctrine of the state’s founder, William Penn.

26. They're prepared to sell snake oil : SPIELS
A spiel is a lengthy speech or argument designed to persuade, perhaps a sales pitch. "Spiel" comes to us from German, either directly ("spiel" is the German for "play") or via the Yiddish "shpil".

There is actually a real snake oil, a traditional Chinese medicine made from fat extracted from snakes. You can buy snake oil at traditional Chinese pharmacies and it is supposed to be very efficacious in the treatment of joint pain. Snake oil was introduced into the US by Chinese laborers working on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Medicine salesmen started to ridicule the snake oil as it competed with their own remedies, and in time the term "snake oil" became associated with any cure-all potion.

32. Ferris wheel in Dallas that is the tallest in North America : TEXAS STAR
Texas Star is a Ferris wheel located at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas. Texas Star has an overall height of 212 feet, about 21 stories, making it the tallest Ferris wheel on the continent of North America.

34. Angle in botany : AXIL
The axil is the upper angle between say a leaf stalk and the stem of a plant.

35. Support : AEGIS
Someone is said to be under the aegis of someone else when that other person provides protection or perhaps sponsorship.

36. El ___ : PASO
Although there have been human settlements in the El Paso area for thousands of years, the first European settlement was founded in 1659 by the Spanish. That first community was on the south bank of the Rio Grande, and was called El Paso del Norte (the North Pass). Most of the urban development under Spanish rule took place on the south side of the river, with El Paso del Norte acting as the center of governance for the Spanish for the territory of New Mexico. The Rio Grande was chosen as the border between Mexico and the US in 1848, so most of the city of El Paso del Norte became part of the Mexican state of Chihuahua (and is now called Cuidad Juarez). The area north of the river developed as a US military post, eventually becoming the modern city of El Paso, Texas.

37. Very turbulent situation : MAELSTROM
A maelstrom is a violent or turbulent situation, or a very large whirlpool. “Maelstrom” is derived from the name of a notorious whirlpool located off the northwest coast of Norway.

41. Wrong : TORT
The word "tort" is a French word meaning "mischief, injury or wrong". Tort law is generally about negligence, when the action of one party causes injury to another but that action falls outside of the scope of criminal law.

43. ESPN anchor Kolber : SUZY
Suzy Kolber is a sportscaster for ESPN, noted for her reports from the sidelines of football games.

44. Word before and after "for" : MEASURE
"Measure for Measure" is one of William Shakespeare's plays, ostensibly a comedy. The title "Measure for Measure" is actually a quotation from the Bible found in the Gospel According to Luke.

45. Moolah : BREAD
No one seems to know where the term "moolah"  meaning "money" comes from, but it has been around since the 1920s.

48. Ancient neighbor of Judah : MOAB
In the Bible, Moab was the first son of Lot, and the founder of the Kingdom of Moab.

50. Follower of "Help!" : RUBBER SOUL
“Rubber Soul” is a Beatles album, the sixth one the band released. “Rubber Soul” was listed by “Rolling Stone” magazine as the fifth greatest album in music history.

54. ___ Line (international boundary) : 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.

55. Alfredo sauce brand : RAGU
The Ragu brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name " Ragù" is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is "Ragù" with a grave accent over the "u", but if you look at a jar of the Unilever sauce, it is spelled "Ragú" on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don't try ...

Down
1. Wells Fargo Center event, informally : SIXERS GAME
The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia is an indoor arena that is home to the 76ers of the NBA, as well as the Philadelphia Wings (Lacrosse) and the Philadelphia Soul (Arena Football).

4. Jazzman Montgomery : WES
Wes Montgomery was a jazz guitarist from Indianapolis.

5. The Pink Panther and others : JEWELS
A lot of people think that the Inspector Clouseau character (played originally by Peter Sellers) is "The Pink Panther". It's actually the jewel that was stolen in the original movie. Would you believe there 11 films in the whole series?

7. Certiorari, e.g. : WRIT
A writ of certiorari is an order by a superior court instructing a lower court to send the record in any particular case for review by the higher court.

8. Olympus OM-1, e.g. : SLR
SLR stands for "single lens reflex". Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

9. Olive ___ : OYL
"Thimble Theater" was the precursor comic strip to the famous "Popeye" drawn by E. C. Seger. Before Popeye came into the story, the brother and sister characters Castor Oyl and Olive Oyl were the main protagonists. And then, along comes a sailor ...

13. Shedder of spores : FERN
Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.

14. Mother of the Valkyries : ERDA
In Richard Wagner's (very, very lengthy) Ring Cycle, Erda is the goddess of the Earth (as well as wisdom and fate). The role of Erda is sung by a contralto.

20. Three-time All-Star pitcher Pappas : MILT
Milt Pappas is retired professional baseball pitcher. Pappas pitched for the Orioles, Reds, Braves and Cubs. Sadly, Pappas’ wife disappeared back in 1982, and four men were accused of her ritual killing. After five years the alleged victim’s body was found in a shallow pond. Apparently she had driven into the pond, perhaps under the influence, just a few blocks from her home.

23. "Mack the Knife" composer : WEILL
"The Threepenny Opera" ("Die Dreigroschenoper") is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that was first performed in Berlin in 1928, an adaptation of "The Beggar's Opera" written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. The most famous song from the show is "Mack the Knife", which was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. Armstrong had a hit with the song in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version. I love that song ...

24. Annual "Hot 100" publisher : MAXIM
"Maxim" is an international men's magazine featuring revealing photo spreads (non-nude in the US) of female celebrities and models.

28. Cardinal for 22 years : STAN MUSIAL
Stan Musial is a retired baseball player who went by the nickname "Stan the Man", a moniker he was awarded by the Brooklyn Dodgers fans in 1946. Apparently, off the field Stan is quite the harmonica player.

29. Newark suburb : EAST ORANGE
East Orange, New Jersey is a suburb of Newark. The list of famous former residents includes Whitney Houston (as a girl) and Janis Ian (also as a girl).

42. Crack investigator's target? : DEALER
Crack cocaine is manufactured from powdered cocaine in a simple process. The powder is dissolved in an aqueous solution of baking soda, and the liquid is boiled off leaving a solid residue. The residue is broken up into chunks, and sold as crack. Apparently the crack is smoked, delivering an awful lot of cocaine into the body very quickly though the lungs. Sounds like nasty stuff ...

43. Buffalo pro : SABRE
The Buffalo Sabres joined the NHL in the 1970-71 season. The team took the name "Sabres" following a fan contest.

46. Designer Gernreich : RUDI
Rudi Gernreich was fashion designer, born in Austria. Gernreich fled Austria due to Nazi influence, and ended up in Los Angeles. He is noted for design of the monokini, the first topless swimsuit.

47. "___ Holden" (Irving Bacheller novel) : EBEN
Irving Bacheller was an American journalist and writer. His novel "Eben Holden" was published in 1900.

51. "Still Crazy" star, 1998 : REA
Stephen Rea is an Irish actor, whose most famous role was that of the "retired" IRA man in the brilliant 1992 film "The Crying Game". He also starred in the chilling movie "Stuck", a 2007 film that is based on a true story about a woman who commits a hit and run on a homeless man. The woman leaves the scene of the crime with the victim still "stuck" in her windshield. The woman leaves the man to die in her garage. Chilling, eh? But as I said, a true story ...

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Goldeneye relative : SMEW
5. Emergency extractor : JAWS OF LIFE
15. "Must've been something ___" : I ATE
16. No night owl : EARLY RISER
17. Jags of the 1960s and '70s : XKES
18. Eggbeater : WHIRLY BIRD
19. Election extension? : -EER
20. Wrestling event : MEET
21. Only one of the 13 Colonies not touching the Atl. Ocean : PENNA
22. Go crazy : RUN WILD
24. Board provision : MEAL
26. They're prepared to sell snake oil : SPIELS
27. Stock keeper : BARN
28. Third qtr. closer : SEP
31. See : GET IT
32. Ferris wheel in Dallas that is the tallest in North America : TEXAS STAR
34. Angle in botany : AXIL
35. Support : AEGIS
36. El ___ : PASO
37. Very turbulent situation : MAELSTROM
39. Slopes : CANTS
40. Lifesaving squad: Abbr. : EMS
41. Wrong : TORT
42. Collector of dust bunnies : DRY MOP
43. ESPN anchor Kolber : SUZY
44. Word before and after "for" : MEASURE
45. Moolah : BREAD
48. Ancient neighbor of Judah : MOAB
49. Bladder : SAC
50. Follower of "Help!" : RUBBER SOUL
53. Feature of some lenses : TINT
54. ___ Line (international boundary) : ODER-NEISSE
55. Alfredo sauce brand : RAGU
56. One concerned with bouquets : WINE TASTER
57. Buzz producers : ALES

Down
1. Wells Fargo Center event, informally : SIXERS GAME
2. 38-Down's second chance : MAKE-UP EXAM
3. They never end : ETERNITIES
4. Jazzman Montgomery : WES
5. The Pink Panther and others : JEWELS
6. Showed delight, in a way : AAHED
7. Certiorari, e.g. : WRIT
8. Olympus OM-1, e.g. : SLR
9. Olive ___ : OYL
10. Browning equipment : FRY PANS
11. Smearing in ink? : LIBEL
12. "The fix ___" : IS IN
13. Shedder of spores : FERN
14. Mother of the Valkyries : ERDA
20. Three-time All-Star pitcher Pappas : MILT
23. "Mack the Knife" composer : WEILL
24. Annual "Hot 100" publisher : MAXIM
25. They're historically significant : ERAS
27. Generated : BEGOT
28. Cardinal for 22 years : STAN MUSIAL
29. Newark suburb : EAST ORANGE
30. Security account? : PROSPECTUS
32. Robe material : TERRY
33. Fixes at an animal hospital : SPAYS
35. Complete : A TO Z
38. Person making a mark : STUDENT
39. Grouch : CRAB
42. Crack investigator's target? : DEALER
43. Buffalo pro : SABRE
44. Quiet type : MOUSE
45. It's often knitted : BROW
46. Designer Gernreich : RUDI
47. "___ Holden" (Irving Bacheller novel) : EBEN
48. Very : MOST
51. "Still Crazy" star, 1998 : REA
52. Family nickname : SIS
53. Singsong syllable : TRA

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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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