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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

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! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

0508-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 May 12, Tuesday





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: Lynn Lempel
THEME: S to SH … each of the theme answers is a well known expression, but with an H added after the S, leading to some new meanings:
17A. Winner of a pea-preparing contest? : BEST S(H)ELLER (bestseller)
28A. Lotharios' lines in a singles bar? : PICK-UP S(H)TICKS (pick-up sticks)
48A. One preparing corn for long hours? : ALL-DAY S(H)UCKER (all-day sucker)
62A. Phony wedding? : MARRYIN’ S(H)AM (Marryin’ Sam)
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
11. Program abbr. : TBA
To Be Advised (TBA).

19. Maker of the Soul and Optima : KIA
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.

20. Figure skating jump : AXEL
An Axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. It was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

28. Lotharios' lines in a singles bar? : PICK-UP SHTICKS (pick-up sticks)
A "shtick" is a routine, a bit, a piece of entertainment. It comes from the Yiddish "shtick" which has the same meaning, and derives from the Middle High German word "stücke", the word for "piece".

There is a character Lothario in Don Quixote, and in the "Fair Penitent", a 1703 play by Nicholas Rowe. In both cases the Lothario in question exhibits less than wholesome behavior towards a woman, giving rise to the term “lothario” meaning a "roue".

35. "___, Brute?" : ET TU
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?), in his play "Julius Caesar", although the phrase was around long before he penned his drama. It's not known what Julius Caesar actually said just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

38. Cause of some weaving, for short : DWI
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

39. Early TV star with a biography titled "Schnozzola" : DURANTE
Jimmy Durante was a very talented entertainer, with that wonderful, gravelly voice, as well as that large nose that he used in so much of his humor. Durante appeared in the Broadway stage musical "Jumbo" in 1935. In one scene, he leads a live elephant across the stage, and gets stopped by a police officer who asks, "What are you doing with that elephant?" Durante replies "What elephant?" and brings the house down every night.

42. Western alliance, for short : OAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. All the independent states in the Americas are members of the group, except Honduras which had its membership suspended after the country's 2009 coup.

46. Store featured in "Miracle on 34th Street" : MACY’S
The original Macy’s store was opened by Rowland Hussey Macy in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1851. This store, and several others that Macy opened all failed. Macy picked himself up though, and started over again in New York City. Those early stores all focused on the sale of dry goods, but added departments quickly as the clientele grew. The Macy’s “star” logo has been around since the company was first established. Macy chose the star because it mimicked the star tattoo that he got as a teenager when he was working on a whaling ship out of Nantucket.

48. One preparing corn for long hours? : ALL-DAY SHUCKER (all-day sucker)
An all-day sucker is lollipop on a stick (new to me!).

51. Prince who married Kate Middleton : WILLIAM
Prince William is second in line to the British throne, after his father Prince Charles, with Prince Harry holding the third spot. Prince Harry moves down the list should William and Kate have children. Among the children, the males come before the females regardless of age, although there are moves afoot to change that law.

Kate Middleton is the wife of Prince William of the UK. Middleton is what one might call a commoner, born to parents who were flight attendants. However, as is so often the case in Britain, Kate’s ancestry can be traced back far enough to show that she and William do have common ancestors, dating back to the 1500s on her mother’s side and to the 1400s on her father’s side.

54. Bird with prized plumes : EGRET
At one time the egret was in danger of extinction as it was hunted for its feathers, which were used as plumes in hats.

55. Measure of electrical resistance : OHM
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega), named after Georg Simon Ohm, the German physicist. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit was directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm's Law.

61. U.N. agency for workers : ILO
The ILO (International Labour Organization) is an agency now administered by the UN, but it was established by the League of Nations after WWI. The ILO deals with important issues such as health and safety, discrimination, child labor and forced labor. The organization was recognized for its work in 1969 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

62. Phony wedding? : MARRYIN’ SHAM (Marryin’ Sam)
Marryin’ Sam is a character in the “Li’l Abner” comic strip. Marryin’ Sam is a travelling preacher who is known for performing $2 weddings.

"Li'l Abner" was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years.

66. Gehrig on the diamond : LOU
Lou Gehrig was known as a powerhouse. He was a big hitter and just kept on playing. He broke the record for the most consecutive number of games played, and he stills holds the record for the most career grand slams. His durability earned him the nickname "The Iron Horse". Sadly, he died in 1941 at 37-years-old suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an illness we now call "Lou Gehrig's Disease".

71. Tree with a namesake ski destination : ASPEN
Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays of course, it's all about skiing and movie stars.

Down
1. Group whose music is heard in "Mamma Mia!" : ABBA
I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA's music. ABBA was of course the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members, namely: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage, that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads, not so much …

2. Fearsome dino : T REX
The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually T. rex) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. Tyrannosaurus comes from the Greek words "tyrannos" (tyrant) and "sauros" (lizard), and the "rex" is of course Latin for "king". They were big boys, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

8. Virtual address : URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com) are Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

18. Barn door fastener : HASP
The "hasp" of a lock might refer to more than one thing. The u-shape loop protruding from a padlock is often called a "lock hasp", for example.

25. Elmer with a big gun : FUDD
Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous of all the Looney Tunes cartoon characters, the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

29. Early stop in a presidential race : IOWA
The Iowa caucuses have been the first major electoral event in the nominating process for President since 1972.

31. Edvard Munch depiction : SCREAM
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian expressionist, most famous for his painting "The Scream", painted in 1893. What a wonderful work that is, a true representation of expressionism. The Munch Museum in Oslo is dedicated to his work and life. In 2004, two of Munch's paintings, "The Scream

32. White with age : HOARY
The Old English word "har" meant "gray, venerable, old", and came into English as "hoar" (and later "hoary") with the same meaning. The term "hoar-frost" dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man's beard.

36. "Rent" actor Diggs : TAYE
Taye Diggs is an actor most associated with the Broadway show “Rent”, in which he played the nasty landlord Benny. He now costars on the television show “Private Practice”.

37. Old NATO target : USSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics.

40. Fed. agency entrusted with food safety : USDA
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the "people's department", reflecting the agrarian basis of our economy back then.

41. Outback sprinters : EMUS
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the "invading force". The emus were clever, breaking their usual formation and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as “the outback” or “the bush”. Although, I think that “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.

44. Magazine whose name sounds like a letter of the alphabet : ELLE
"Elle" magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. "Elle" is the French word for "she".

49. It turns red in acid : LITMUS
Litmus is a mixture of naturally-occurring dyes that responds to acidity by changing color. Litmus has been around a long time, first used around 1300 by the Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova.

51. Kurt who wrote the music for "The Threepenny Opera" : 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 ...

52. Domed home : IGLOO
The Inuit word for house is "iglu", which we usually write as "igloo". The Greenlandic (yes, that's a language) word for "house" is very similar, "igdlo".

55. Like the Sabin polio vaccine : ORAL
Albert Sabin developed the oral polio vaccine. Sabin's vaccine was a "live", controlled vaccine. The equally famous Salk vaccine was a "killed" vaccine.

60. Last part of Handel's "Messiah" : AMEN
George Frideric Handel was the King of the oratorio. His most famous oratorio, "Messiah" was actually performed first in Dublin, Ireland, back in 1742.

64. "His Master's Voice" company : RCA
Nipper is the name of the dog that appeared in the RCA logo. Nipper was a real dog, actually from England. Nipper's owner, Francis Barraud, made a painting of him listening to a gramophone. He then approached several gramophone manufacturers in the hope they would be interested in using the image for advertising. It was indeed picked up, and around that time it was Barraud himself who came up with the slogan "His Master's Voice".

65. Cryptologists' org. : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname ... "No Such Agency".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cornered : AT BAY
6. "Quiet!" : SHUSH
11. Program abbr. : TBA
14. Prop up : BRACE
15. Canned pumpkin, e.g. : PUREE
16. Spot for a band : ARM
17. Winner of a pea-preparing contest? : BEST SHELLER (bestseller)
19. Maker of the Soul and Optima : KIA
20. Figure skating jump : AXEL
21. Shoemaker's tool : AWL
22. Portents : OMENS
24. Hypotheticals : IFS
26. Names on fake IDs, perhaps : ALIASES
28. Lotharios' lines in a singles bar? : PICK-UP SHTICKS (pick-up sticks)
33. Waxed enthusiastic, say : OOHED
34. "Neato!" : COOL
35. "___, Brute?" : ET TU
38. Cause of some weaving, for short : DWI
39. Early TV star with a biography titled "Schnozzola" : DURANTE
42. Western alliance, for short : OAS
43. Build up a nest egg : SAVE
45. Desertlike : SERE
46. Store featured in "Miracle on 34th Street" : MACY’S
48. One preparing corn for long hours? : ALL-DAY SHUCKER (all-day sucker)
51. Prince who married Kate Middleton : WILLIAM
53. F1 neighbor on a PC : ESC
54. Bird with prized plumes : EGRET
55. Measure of electrical resistance : OHM
57. Campus near Beverly Hills, briefly : UCLA
61. U.N. agency for workers : ILO
62. Phony wedding? : MARRYIN’ SHAM (Marryin’ Sam)
66. Gehrig on the diamond : LOU
67. Take the lid off : UNCAP
68. Commandeer : SEIZE
69. The "L" in 57-Across : LOS
70. Past its sell-by date : STALE
71. Tree with a namesake ski destination : ASPEN

Down
1. Group whose music is heard in "Mamma Mia!" : ABBA
2. Fearsome dino : T REX
3. First, second, third or home : BASE
4. Mimic : ACT LIKE
5. "You're right!" : YES
6. Gush : SPEW
7. Ship's framework : HULL
8. Virtual address : URL
9. Meet with : SEE
10. Valiant : HEROIC
11. Assesses one's options carefully : TAKES STOCK
12. Pickling solution : BRINE
13. Accumulate : AMASS
18. Barn door fastener : HASP
23. Fabricate : MAKE
25. Elmer with a big gun : FUDD
26. Makes up (for) : ATONES
27. Light, rhythmic cadence : LILT
28. Seed containers : PODS
29. Early stop in a presidential race : IOWA
30. Gallant : CHIVALROUS
31. Edvard Munch depiction : SCREAM
32. White with age : HOARY
36. "Rent" actor Diggs : TAYE
37. Old NATO target : USSR
40. Fed. agency entrusted with food safety : USDA
41. Outback sprinters : EMUS
44. Magazine whose name sounds like a letter of the alphabet : ELLE
47. Charges in court : ACCUSES
49. It turns red in acid : LITMUS
50. Spheric opener? : HEMI-
51. Kurt who wrote the music for "The Threepenny Opera" : WEILL
52. Domed home : IGLOO
55. Like the Sabin polio vaccine : ORAL
56. Extravagant publicity : HYPE
58. Part of a poker player's pile : CHIP
59. Take it easy : LAZE
60. Last part of Handel's "Messiah" : AMEN
63. One often on the march : ANT
64. "His Master's Voice" company : RCA
65. Cryptologists' org. : NSA

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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

45A: SERE - Some days, I learn new words. 61A: ILO - Okay, if you say so. 62A: MARRYINSHAM - Okay. It was not apparent to me. I've never heard the phrase "Marrying Sam." Who was Sam? 7D: HULL: I would not have described the hull of a ship as its "framework." I would say the hull encases the framework. You build the framework before you put the hull on it. 11D: TAKESSTOCK - To take stock is to assess, to be sure. But it is to assess your position, and your assets. 36D: TAYE - I'm sure he's a fine actor. But, I've never heard of him. I don't live in New York. 51D: WEILL - The name is vaguely familiar, but not one I would recall for a crossword.

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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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