Top Line

Search by Date

DD MMM YY or MMDD-YY

Search by Puzzle Number

e.g. 1225-09, 0704-10, 1025-10 etc.

Daily Solution by Email

Enter your email address

Greetings from Dromod, County Leitrim in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

0524-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 May 12, Thursday





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: Derik Moore
THEME: CROSSROADS … each of the theme answers is the US city that is found at the intersection of the interstates named in the clue:
17A. 65 + 20 : BIRMINGHAM
40A. 75 + 20 : ATLANTA
62A. 1969 Cream hit ... or a hint to the seven "mathematical" clues in this puzzle : CROSSROADS
4D. 55 + 40 : MEMPHIS
11D. 5 + 10 : LOS ANGELES
28D. 35 + 10 : SAN ANTONIO
30D. 29 + 80 : OMAHA
44D. 75 + 94 : DETROIT
COMPLETION TIME: 22m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Maker of bonds : ATOM
Atoms are joined by various types of bonds to make up molecules.

5. Oscar nomination, e.g. : HONOR
The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The event is slightly bigger these days ...

14. Ticket option : LOGE
In most theaters today the loge is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. It can also be the name given to box seating.

17. 65 + 20 : BIRMINGHAM
The city of Birmingham, Alabama was founded by the Elyton Land Company in 1871. The company’s idea was to build an industrial center taking advantage of the deposits of valuable minerals in the ground and the transportation infrastructure that was planned for the location. Many of the people living in the area at the time were from England, and so the name of Birmingham was chosen, as Birmingham in the English Midlands was and is a huge industrial center.

20. City of Syria : ALEPPO
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and is located not far from Damascus, the nation's capital. Aleppo owes it size and history of prosperity to its location at the end of the Silk Road, the trade route that linked Asia to Europe (and other locations). The Suez Canal was opened up in 1869 bringing a new route for transport of goods, and so Aleppo's prosperity has declined over the past one hundred years or so.

25. Payment guarantee : LIEN
A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone's property until a debt is paid.

26. Certain pious Jew : HASID
The Hasidic Jewish movement was founded in the 18th century by Baal Shem Tov, a mystical rabbi from Eastern Europe.

35. "___, I am dying beyond my means": Oscar Wilde : ALAS
If you didn't know Oscar Wilde was Irish, you will when you see the name he was given at birth: Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde!

Oscar Wilde died in the Hôtel d’Alsace in Paris (now a 4-star establishment called simply L’Hôtel) in 1900. Famously, Wilde’s last words were “Alas, I am dying beyond my means”.

36. Language with only 14 letters : SAMOAN
Samoan is one of the two official languages of the Samoan Islands, the other being English. Samoan is the first language of most natives in the islands, and there are estimated to be almost 400,000 speakers worldwide.

38. Music genre : EMO
The musical genre of "emo" originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from "emotional hardcore". Not my cup of tea ...

40. 75 + 20 : ATLANTA
The city of Atlanta, Georgia had its beginnings in the late 1830s when the location was chosen as the terminus for a new railroad to be built connecting Georgia with the Midwestern United States. The city’s name was chosen by the Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, apparently after the middle name of the daughter of Governor Wilson Lumpkin: “Atalanta”.

41. London facilities : LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure.

43. Key work? : ANTHEM
Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a poem, inspired by witnessing the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with the Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

45. It may be found on a drum : TONER
The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (called toner) sticks to the unexposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery ...

47. ___ Chex : OAT
The original Chex cereal was introduced in 1937 by Ralston Purina. Ralston Purina had a logo with a checkerboard square on it, which gave the pattern to the cereal, as well as its name. Chex used characters from the "Peanuts" comic strip in its advertising for many years.

48. Signs of amor : BESOS
In Spanish, signs of love (amor) might be kisses (besos).

53. Carpentry item in a common simile : DOORNAIL
No one seems to be too certain of the exact origins of the simile “dead as a doornail”, but it has been around a long time. William Shakespeare used it in his play “King Henry VI, Part 2” in 1592:
Brave thee! ay, by the best blood that ever was
broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I
have eat no meat these five days; yet, come thou and
thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead
as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.

61. Bart's teacher : EDNA
In “the Simpsons” television show, Bart Simpson’s teacher is Edna Krabappel.

62. 1969 Cream hit ... or a hint to the seven "mathematical" clues in this puzzle : CROSSROADS
Eric Clapton arranged a version of the classic song called “Cross Road Blues” which Cream recorded as “Crossroads” in 1968. The “crossroads” in the original song is supposedly the intersection of US Route 61 and US Route 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi where Delta Blues singer Robert Johnson “sold his soul to the devil” in exchange for mastering the blues.

65. Cold war flashpoint : KOREA
A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is usually a border between two countries where military activity is banned according to some treaty between interested parties. The most famous DMZ today has to be the buffer zone between North and South Korea. The Korean DMZ snakes right across the Korean peninsula near the 38th parallel. The center line of the DMZ is where the front was when the ceasefire came into effect in 1953 after the Korean War. According to the armistice signed, all troops had to move back 2,000 meters from the front line on both sides, creating the DMZ that is in place today. Paradoxically perhaps, the areas on either side of the DMZ form the most heavily militarized border in the world.

67. Hot corner Yank : A-ROD
Poor old Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called "the Cooler" by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves. He has also been called "A-Fraud" by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding.

68. Youngest golfer to shoot his age (67) in a P.G.A. Tour event : SNEAD
Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball, by teeing off from home plate.

Down
1. Jessica of "Fantastic Four" : ALBA
Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsular cyst. On top of all that she acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. It seems that she has really turned her life around ...

4. 55 + 40 : MEMPHIS
The area now occupied by the city of Memphis, Tennessee had been settled by Native Americans for centuries. The city was founded in 1819 by three men, one of whom was Andrew Jackson, the future US President. The name was chosen after the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis that sat on the Nile River.

5. Capital known in literature as Thang Long : HANOI
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state and Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City.

The city of Hanoi in Vietnam was formerly known as Thăng Long, which translates as “Rising Dragon”.

7. ___ Grape : NEHI
"Nehi Corporation" was the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955 RC Cola was the company's flagship product, so the "Nehi Corporation" became the "Royal Crown Company". In 1954, RC Cola became the first company to sell soft drinks in cans.

9. Of a branch : RAMAL
A ramus is a branch, say of a tree or a blood vessel. “Ramus” is the Latin word for branch.

10. Tackle box item : SCALER
One might find a scaler, a tool for removing the scales of a fish, in a box containing fishing tackle.

11. 5 + 10 : LOS ANGELES
The city of Los Angeles, California takes its name from a pueblo called “La Reyna de los Angeles”, which was named for Our Lady Queen of the Angels. The pueblo was settled in 1781.

12. "Trinity" novelist : URIS
Leon Uris as an American writer. His most famous books are "Exodus" and "Trinity", two excellent stories, in my humble opinion …

18. Apple tablet : IPAD
The very exciting iPad isn't Apple's first foray into the world of tablet computing. Apple created great buzz by introducing the Newton MessagePad way back in 1993. This innovative machine was fraught with problems and really died a very slow death, finally being withdrawn from the market in 1998.

22. Apple on iTunes : FIONA
Fiona Apple is a sing-songwriter and pianist from New York City.

24. Commercial district : RIALTO
The Rialto is the financial and commercial center of Venice, and has been so for centuries. One of the most famous features of the area is the Rialto Bridge that spans the Grand Canal.

27. Thrifty competitor : ALAMO
The third largest car rental company right now is Alamo, a relative newcomer founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun intended!) into the market by popularizing the idea of "unlimited mileage".

Thrifty Car Rental was founded back in 1958. Thrifty became part of Chrysler in 1989 and was merged by Chrysler with Dollar Rent A Car the following year.

28. 35 + 10 : SAN ANTONIO
San Antonio, Texas was named by a Spanish expedition that stopped in the area in 1691. The name honors the Portuguese saint, Anthony of Padua.

30. 29 + 80 : OMAHA
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. When Nebraska was still a territory, Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

33. Bygone gas brand : AMOCO
Amoco is an abbreviation for the American Oil Company. Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting ...?

40. Man with a rod, in the Bible : AARON
In the Bible and the Qur’an, Aaron was the older brother of Moses and a prophet. Aaron became the first High Priest of the Israelites.

44. 75 + 94 : DETROIT
Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan. Detroit was founded in 1701 by the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. The city takes its name from the Detroit River, which in French is called “le détroit du Lac Érié” meaning “the strait of Lake Erie”.

52. Syrian strongman : ASSAD
Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the current President of the Syrian Arab Republic, and is the son of the former President, Hafez al-Assad, whom he replaced in 2001. President Assad is a medical doctor, speaks fluent English and conversational French. Assad was studying ophthalmology in London when he met his wife, an Englishwoman.

53. ___ vu : DEJA
“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

54. Effluvium : ODOR
An effluvium is an invisible emanation, usually an odorous gas coming from waste material. The term has the same root as our word “effluent”, namely “effluere”, the Latin for “to flow out”.

58. "Welcome Back, Kotter" role : GABE
“Welcome Back, Kotter” is a sitcom from the the late seventies. The title character is a teacher at Buchanan High, one Gabe Kotter who himself had attended the school as a student. Kotter is played by Gabe Kaplan. One of the prominent students in his class is a young John Travolta, playing a role that launched his film career. In recent years you might have seen Gabe Kaplan as co-host of the popular show "High Stakes Poker" on GSN.

59. First place : EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden "in" Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

60. Fast "birds" : SSTS
The most famous Supersonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that's no longer flying. Concorde had that famous "droop nose". The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Maker of bonds : ATOM
5. Oscar nomination, e.g. : HONOR
10. Hardly a high-rent district : SLUM
14. Ticket option : LOGE
15. Bowl : ARENA
16. Part of the earth : CORE
17. 65 + 20 : BIRMINGHAM
19. Unreturnable, in a way : AS IS
20. City of Syria : ALEPPO
21. Very quickly : IN A FLASH
23. Common drain clogger : HAIR
25. Payment guarantee : LIEN
26. Certain pious Jew : HASID
29. 1-Across plus or minus? : ION
32. Pipe holder : ORGAN
35. "___, I am dying beyond my means": Oscar Wilde : ALAS
36. Language with only 14 letters : SAMOAN
38. Music genre : EMO
39. Block : BAN
40. 75 + 20 : ATLANTA
41. London facilities : LOO
42. "___-comin'!" : I’M A-
43. Key work? : ANTHEM
44. Send to the canvas : DECK
45. It may be found on a drum : TONER
47. ___ Chex : OAT
48. Signs of amor : BESOS
49. Bring (out) : TROT
51. See 63-Down : SALT
53. Carpentry item in a common simile : DOORNAIL
57. Swells : SURGES
61. Bart's teacher : EDNA
62. 1969 Cream hit ... or a hint to the seven "mathematical" clues in this puzzle : CROSSROADS
64. Couple : JOIN
65. Cold war flashpoint : KOREA
66. Sarcastic reply : I BET
67. Hot corner Yank : A-ROD
68. Youngest golfer to shoot his age (67) in a P.G.A. Tour event : SNEAD
69. Kind of column : TENS

Down
1. Jessica of "Fantastic Four" : ALBA
2. Slave : TOIL
3. Figure in "Jack and the Beanstalk" : OGRE
4. 55 + 40 : MEMPHIS
5. Capital known in literature as Thang Long : HANOI
6. Society: Abbr. : ORG
7. ___ Grape : NEHI
8. Put ___ act : ON AN
9. Of a branch : RAMAL
10. Tackle box item : SCALER
11. 5 + 10 : LOS ANGELES
12. "Trinity" novelist : URIS
13. Jungle camping supply : MESH
18. Apple tablet : IPAD
22. Apple on iTunes : FIONA
24. Commercial district : RIALTO
26. Something that's often best broken : HABIT
27. Thrifty competitor : ALAMO
28. 35 + 10 : SAN ANTONIO
30. 29 + 80 : OMAHA
31. Fair-sized musical groups : NONETS
33. Bygone gas brand : AMOCO
34. Quiet reading spots : NOOKS
36. RR stop : STN
37. $ dispenser : ATM
40. Man with a rod, in the Bible : AARON
44. 75 + 94 : DETROIT
46. Picking up the dry cleaning, e.g. : ERRAND
48. You can hardly see it : BLUR
50. Tire deflaters : TACKS
52. Syrian strongman : ASSAD
53. ___ vu : DEJA
54. Effluvium : ODOR
55. Wood alternative : IRON
56. Legends : LORE
58. "Welcome Back, Kotter" role : GABE
59. First place : EDEN
60. Fast "birds" : SSTS
63. Potential source of 51-Across : SEA

Return to top of page

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

Bill,
This is the most enjoyable crossword site I have seen! I am not that great a puzzler, seldom making it past Wednesday's NYT puzzle, and to have your interesting and clear explanations for the answers is most refreshing. So often I have no idea what the answer means even when I get it or how it relates to the clue. I especially enjoyed the brief info on each city's origin in this puzzle. Good health to you!

Bill Butler said...

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I hope the content proves to be of service. I find that writing up the short clue commentaries helps me remember clues and answers for later puzzles, should the subject come up again.

Sláinte to you too!

Anonymous said...

I too really appreciated the descriptions along with the answers. I learned a great deal in a fun manner. Keep it coming!

Bill Butler said...

Again, thank you for the endorsement of the blog. I've been doing this for a few years now, and still have a lot of fun writing the posts each evening. So hopefully, they will indeed keep coming :)

Tell a Friend About NYTCrossword.com:

Facebook Twitter Google Email

Adsense Wide Skyscraper

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

Blog Archive