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0523-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 May 12, Wednesday





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: Eric Williams
THEME: Star Wars … the grid today is full of “Star Wars” references:
36A. With 39-Across, Jedi master first seen on 5/25/77 : OBI-WAN
39A. See 36-Across : KENOBI

20A. Player of 36-/39-Across : ALEC GUINNESS
56A. Player of 36-/39-Across : EWAN MCGREGOR

45A. With 31-Across, favored weapon of 36-/39-Across : LIGHT
31A. See 45-Across : SABER

53D. With 9-Down, villain faced by 36-/39-Across : DARTH
9D. See 53-Down : VADER
COMPLETION TIME: Forgot to start timer (hot whiskey, Irish remedy for the flu …)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … OBI-WAN (Obi-won), Unitas (Unitos)


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Best Picture of 2005 : CRASH
The 2004 Oscar-winning movie “Crash” is a clever piece of work, with several interweaving stories that use a fine cast of characters. Having said that, the fact that “Crash” won the Academy Award in 2005 was very unexpected, as the film had not won any of the other major awards for Best Film that year. The critics' favorite in 2005 was “Brokeback Mountain”.

13. 1978 Nicolette Larson hit "___ Love" : LOTTA
Nicolette Larson was a pop singer from Helena, Montana. Larson was noted for her work with Neil Young in the seventies, and indeed her biggest hit was a cover of the Neil Young song “Lotta Love” released in 1978.

16. Cook like the Colonel : FRY
The famous "Colonel" of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a "Colonel", Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a "character" had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of "Kentucky Colonel". Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel's secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

17. John who's now a Sir : ELTON
Elton John's real name is Reginald Dwight. John was knighted in 1998, not for his music but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.

18. "The Fast and the Furious" co-star : VIN DIESEL
Vin Diesel is the stage name of actor Mark Sinclair Vincent. Vincent was given the nickname of “Diesel” by his friends early in his life, as he was said to have a bottomless supply of energy.

22. Global conquest board game : RISK
Risk is a fabulous board game, first sold in France in 1957. Risk was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game "La Conquête du Monde", which translates into English as "The Conquest of the World". A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house ...

23. Keanu Reeves's character in "The Matrix" : NEO
The 1999 movie sensation "The Matrix" was meant to be set in a nondescript urban environment. It was actually shot in Australia, as one of the co-producers of the film was the Australian company, Village Roadshow Pictures. You can pick up all sorts of clues about the location when watching the film, including a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge in a background shot. Also, traffic drives along on the left and there are signs for the "lift" instead of an "elevator".

Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989), a cop in "Speed" (1994) and the main antagonist in "The Matrix" series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent and the name "Keanu" is Hawaiian for "the coldness".

29. Place for a revolving ball, maybe : DISCO
Discotheques started up during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) was banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques, where records were often played on just a single turntable. After the war these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called "Whiskey a Gogo" and its method of operation i.e. non-stop music from two turntables next to a dance-floor, this concept spread around the world.

36. With 39-Across, Jedi master first seen on 5/25/77 : OBI-WAN
39. See 36-Across : KENOBI
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

41. Tough guy : THUG
There used to be a band of of murderers and robbers in India, famous for their use of the weapon called a garrote. These felons were known locally as "thuggees" (from the Hindi word for "thief"). This gave us our contemporary word "thug" meaning a brute.

47. Father-and-son Hollywood duo : LADDS
American film actor Alan Ladd had a rough end to his life. In 1962 he was found unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet wound in his chest, an abortive suicide attempt. Two years later he was found dead, apparently having died from an accidental overdose of drugs and sedatives. He was 50 years old.

David Ladd is a producer and former actor, the son of Hollywood legend Alan Ladd. David married actress Cheryl Stoppeloor in 1973, and we now know her as Cheryl Ladd.

49. "Rock Center" network : NBC
“Rock Center with Brian Williams” is a news magazine show aired by NBC in primetime.

54. MGM roarer : LEO
There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion name Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However it wasn't until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo and he has been around since 1957.

55. Zhivago's love : LARA
Olga Ivinskaya was the mistress of the writer Boris Pasternak. As such, she was the inspiration for the famous Lara character in Pasternak’s novel “Doctor Zhivago”.

"Doctor Zhivago" is of course the epic novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957. I haven't tried to read it, but the 1965 film version is a must-see, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif in the title role. The story centers on Yuri Zhivago, a doctor and poet, and how he is affected by the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.

65. Vice President John Garner's middle name : NANCE
John Nance Garner was Speaker of the House when he ran against New York Governor, Franklyn Roosevelt for the nomination in the presidential race in 1932. When it was clear that Roosevelt was to win the nomination, Garner cut a deal with FDR and joined the ticket as candidate for Vice President. When the two Democrats won, they were sworn into office on March 4, 1933. As Garner was still Speaker of the House at the time, he is the only person to have held the office of Speaker and Vice President on the same day.

Down
1. Children's writer Beverly : CLEARY
Beverly Cleary is an American author of children’s books.

2. Relief pitcher Fingers : ROLLIE
Rollie Fingers is a former MLB relief pitcher, only the second relief pitcher to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Fingers is noted for his waxed handlebar moustache. He originally grew it along with other players to get a bonus payment while playing for the Oakland Athletics, but he still sports it to this day.

6. Combatants at Trafalgar : NAVIES
The Battle of Trafalgar was fought between the British Navy led by Admiral Lord Nelson, and the combined navies of France and Spain led by French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve. The engagement took place off the southwest coast of Spain near Cape Trafalgar, hence the battle’s name. At the end of the day Admiral Lord Nelson was dead, but twenty-two Franco-Spanish ships were lost without one sinking of a British vessel.

7. River past Ciudad Bolívar : ORINOCO
The Orinoco is a major river in South America, flowing through Venezuela and Colombia.

Cuidad Bolivar is the capital city of Bolivar State in southeastern Venezuela. Cuidad Bolivar used to be called Angostura, and gave its name to the Angostura tree and Angostura Bitters which is used in many cocktails.

8. Home state of Andrew Johnson: Abbr. : TENN
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the US, the man who came to power after the assassination of President Lincoln. As well as being Lincoln's successor, Johnson is remembered as the first sitting president to be impeached. Johnson fell foul of the so-called "Radical Republicans" due to his efforts to quickly incorporate the southern states back into the Union. His political opponents chose the Tenure of Office Act as their "weapon" for impeachment. The Act prevented a president from removing an appointee of a past-president without the consent of the Senate. Johnson had removed the sitting Secretary of War without consulting Congress creating the opportunity for an impeachment trial in Congress. He was acquitted though, as his opponents fell one vote shy of the majority needed. The impeachment of President Johnson was the only presidential impeachment until that of President Clinton in 1999.

11. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is perhaps as well known for his own singing career as he is for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dog, Eminem and 50 Cent.

12. Castor ___ of the comics : 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 ...

15. Reacts to leaven : RISES
A substance that leavens creates a froth of carbon dioxide bubbles in batter and dough. The bubbles create holes in the dough which remain during baking resulting in a lighter product. The word leaven comes from the Latin "levare", to raise.

19. Univision interviews are conducted in it : ESPANOL
Univision is a Spanish-language television broadcaster based in New York City, with production facilities in Doral, Florida.

21. The Colts retired his #19 : UNITAS
Footballer Johnny Unitas was nicknamed "the Golden Arm" as well as "Johnny U". Unitas played in the fifties through the seventies, mainly for the Baltimore Colts. He holds the record for throwing touchdown passes in consecutive games (47 games).

26. Caesar's "I came" : VENI
The oft-quoted "Veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered") is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BC and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

27. The "E" in B.C.E. : ERA
The designations Anno Domini (AD, "year of Our Lord") and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year "0" in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

29. Styrofoam maker : DOW
Styrofoam is an extruded polystyrene foam made by The Dow Chemical Company. Styrofoam has loads of applications, including home insulation and use as a buoyancy aid.

34. Blitz, in football : RED DOG
In football, a blitz (also called “red dog”) is a maneuver by players in the line of scrimmage designed to quickly overwhelm the opposing quarterback.

"Blitz", as it is used in English, means a fast-moving and overwhelming attack. It is a shortened version of the German word "blitzkrieg". The blitzkrieg was a tactic used by Germany running up to and during WWII. In the original German blitzkrieg, the army and air-force threw everything into a rapid penetration of enemy lines without stopping to reinforce its flanks. The word "blitz" means "lightning" (and "krieg" means "war").

36. Answer to the old riddle "What's round on the sides and high in the middle?" : OHIO
What’s round on the sides (the letters “O”) and high in the middle (HI).

38. ___ pros. (court record abbr.) : NOL
"Nolle prosequi" is a Latin phrase that translates literally as "to be unwilling" (nolle) "to pursue" (prosequi). In the arena of law, a declaration of nolle prosequi (shortened to nol. pros.) by a plaintiff or prosecutor is a declaration that all or part of the case will be dropped.

41. Mom's "healing touch" : TLC
Tender loving care (TLC).

43. World's largest retailer : WALMART
Walmart (previously "Wal-Mart") takes in more revenue than any other publicly-traded company in the world. Over in my homeland, Walmart operates under the name Asda. Walmart's worldwide headquarters are in Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Sam Walton's original Five and Dime. You can actually go into the original store, as it is now the Walmart Visitor Center.

46. Lauren of "The Love Boat" : TEWES
Lauren Tewes is an actress from Braddock, Pennsylvania best known for playing the Cruise Director on television’s “The Love Boat”, a character called Julie McCoy. Unfortunately, Tewes had to be replaced in the series in 1984 after a much-talked about battle with drug abuse.

48. Issuance of Pontius Pilate, e.g. : DECREE
Pontius Pilate was the judge at the trial of Jesus Christ and the man who authorized his crucifixion. Over the years, many scholars have suggested that Pilate was a mythical character. However in 1961 a block of limestone was found in the modern-day city of Caesarea in Israel, and in the block was an inscription that included the name of Pontius Pilate, citing him as Prefect of Judea.

49. 1998 Winter Olympics site : NAGANO
Nagano is a city on Japan’s largest island, Honshu. Nagano was host to the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

50. Mile High player : BRONCO
The Denver Broncos were a charter member of the AFL and so were formed in 1959 and first played in 1960.

51. OPEC, e.g. : CARTEL
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn't in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But you probably knew that already ...

53. With 9-Down, villain faced by 36-/39-Across : DARTH
9. See 53-Down : VADER
Anakin Skywalker is the principal character in all six of the "Star Wars" movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:
- Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
- Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
- Episode IV: Anakin, as Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
- Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
- Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor's evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after ...

55. Renault model of the 1970s-'80s : LE CAR
French auto-maker Renault made the "mini-like" Renault 5 and sold it as the Renault "Le Car" in North America. My Dad had a Renault 5 back in Ireland ...

57. Final Four org. : NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions, leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

59. So-called "Gateway to the Pacific Rim," informally : LAX
Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field, and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA” but, when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Best Picture of 2005 : CRASH
6. Homework-time prohibition : NO TV
10. Vow words : I DO
13. 1978 Nicolette Larson hit "___ Love" : LOTTA
14. To the back : AREAR
16. Cook like the Colonel : FRY
17. John who's now a Sir : ELTON
18. "The Fast and the Furious" co-star : VIN DIESEL
20. Player of 36-/39-Across : ALEC GUINNESS
22. Global conquest board game : RISK
23. Keanu Reeves's character in "The Matrix" : NEO
24. Fix, as a drive : REPAVE
28. So far : YET
29. Place for a revolving ball, maybe : DISCO
31. See 45-Across : SABER
32. Sitter's charge : TOT
33. Paddle : OAR
35. Grandma, affectionately : NANA
36. With 39-Across, Jedi master first seen on 5/25/77 : OBI-WAN
39. See 36-Across : KENOBI
41. Tough guy : THUG
42. Scatter, as seed : SOW
44. Currency board abbr. : DOL
45. With 31-Across, favored weapon of 36-/39-Across : LIGHT
47. Father-and-son Hollywood duo : LADDS
49. "Rock Center" network : NBC
52. Figured the price of : COSTED
54. MGM roarer : LEO
55. Zhivago's love : LARA
56. Player of 36-/39-Across : EWAN MCGREGOR
59. Temporary transport from a garage : LOANER CAR
62. Pessimist's plaint : I CAN’T
63. Not to mention : AND
64. Gawk : STARE
65. Vice President John Garner's middle name : NANCE
66. Crossed (out) : XED
67. Not go for at all : HATE
68. What a napkin may catch : DROOL

Down
1. Children's writer Beverly : CLEARY
2. Relief pitcher Fingers : ROLLIE
3. Swear : ATTEST
4. Cattle, e.g. : STOCK
5. Pend : HANG
6. Combatants at Trafalgar : NAVIES
7. River past Ciudad Bolívar : ORINOCO
8. Home state of Andrew Johnson: Abbr. : TENN
9. See 53-Down : VADER
10. Hypothetical cases : IFS
11. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
12. Castor ___ of the comics : OYL
15. Reacts to leaven : RISES
19. Univision interviews are conducted in it : ESPANOL
21. The Colts retired his #19 : UNITAS
25. Simple rhyme scheme : ABAB
26. Caesar's "I came" : VENI
27. The "E" in B.C.E. : ERA
29. Styrofoam maker : DOW
30. Barrel material : OAK
32. Constrict : TIGHTEN
34. Blitz, in football : RED DOG
36. Answer to the old riddle "What's round on the sides and high in the middle?" : OHIO
37. Perturbs : BUGS
38. ___ pros. (court record abbr.) : NOL
40. Figs. : NOS
41. Mom's "healing touch" : TLC
43. World's largest retailer : WALMART
46. Lauren of "The Love Boat" : TEWES
48. Issuance of Pontius Pilate, e.g. : DECREE
49. 1998 Winter Olympics site : NAGANO
50. Mile High player : BRONCO
51. OPEC, e.g. : CARTEL
53. With 9-Down, villain faced by 36-/39-Across : DARTH
55. Renault model of the 1970s-'80s : LE CAR
57. Final Four org. : NCAA
58. Watermelon hull : RIND
59. So-called "Gateway to the Pacific Rim," informally : LAX
60. Undivided : ONE
61. Put on : ADD

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

We do wish you luck. Take it easy and don't worry.
Manxie

Bill Butler said...

Thanks, Manxie.

I appreciate the sentiment!

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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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