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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

0531-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 31 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: Elizabeth C. Gorski
THEME: BANDBOXES … today’s crossword is a rebus puzzle, with the letters ELO in some squares. With ELO being a BAND, and each square being a BOX, then the puzzle’s theme is BAND BOXES.
COMPLETION TIME: 30m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Massage treatment : SHIATSU
“Shiatsu” is a Japanese word meaning “finger pressure”.

16. Banking aid : AILERON
In traditional aircraft designs, pitch is controlled by the elevator and roll is controlled by the aileron. On some newer aircraft these two functions are combined into single control surfaces called "elevons".

18. Future atty.'s exam : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

21. Lead-in to "ops" : SYS
System Operator (sysop).

22. "Holiday" actor Ayres : LEW
The Hollywood actor Lew Ayres got his big break in "All Quiet On the Western Front". Famously, he was a pacifist during WWII and served with the Medical Corps. His private life wasn't too dull. He was married three times, Lola Lane and Ginger Rogers being wives one and two. Lew Ayres was also the man for whom actress Jane Wyman left her husband, Ronald Reagan, although that relationship did not go very far.

“Holiday” is charming 1938 romantic comedy film starring the classic pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. The movie is based on a play of the same name by Philip Barry. Katharine Hepburn was actually the understudy for the female lead role in "Holiday" on Broadway, and even played the part for a single performance.

23. Bird with a mythological name : RHEA
The rhea is a flightless bird native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek titan Rhea, an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

27. Amount of space in a paper to be filled with journalism : NEWS HOLE
“News hole” is a slang term for the space left in a newspaper for the actual news, the small amount of space left after all of the advertisements have been placed ...

32. A Trump : IVANA
Ivana Winklmayr was born in Czechoslovakia. She was an excellent skier, and was named as an alternate for the 1982 Czech Olympic Team. She was promoting the Montreal Olympics in New York in 1976 when she met Donald Trump. Ivana and Donald's marriage was very public and well-covered by the media, but not nearly so well as their very litigious divorce in 1990.

35. Year Christopher Columbus died : MDVI
Christopher Columbus had a contract with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella before he set off on his voyages of discovery. According to the terms, he not only received a percentage of the revenue earned from any discovered lands, but he was also appointed Viceroy and Governor of the new territories. After his first voyage he therefore earned the title of Viceroy and Governor of the Indies (the land that he wrongly assumed was part of Asia, the goal of his travels).

37. N.L. home run king until Willie Mays surpassed him in 1966 : MEL OTT
At 5' 9", Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don't think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

Willie Mays' nickname was the "Say Hey Kid", although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as "Buck". When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he'd ever seen in the game. He replied, "I don't mean to be bashful, but I was."

38. Ancient measure : CUBIT
The ancient unit of length called a cubit was chosen as the length of the forearm. In some cultures a cubit was divided into 7 palms, the width of the hand excluding the thumb.

39. Certain wildcat : OCELOT
The ocelot is found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn't look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he brought with him everywhere.

45. ___-de-Calais (French department) : PAS
Pas-de-Calais is a department in the very north of France, home to the coastal city of Calais. It was a key location in the Allied plan to invade Europe in WWII in that there was a deceptive plan developed to invade Pas-de-Calais, to take away attention from the actual target, the beaches of Normandy.

46. Keyboard key : TAB
Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious as it involved lots of tapping on the space bar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to "jump" across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

52. Wee amphibian : EFT
Newts wouldn't be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world, living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants unlike the eggs of frogs and toads which float freely. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

57. Noodle ___ : RONI
Noodle Roni was a derivative product of Rice-A-Roni based on the classic recipe of Noodles Alfredo. Noodle Roni was renamed to Pasta Roni in 1995. Never tried it …

58. Onetime White House family : REAGANS
Ronald Reagan was the oldest person to be inaugurated as US President, at the age of 69. He was also the oldest person to hold the office, at 77 years of age.

64. Hybrid articles of apparel : SKORTS
Skorts are a hybrid between shorts and a skirt.

65. Green, in a way : ENVIOUS
William Shakespeare was one of the first to associate the color green with envy. He called jealousy the "green-eyed monster" in his play, "Othello".

Down
1. Trivial : SMALL
Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

2. Provider of hints : HELOISE
Today we read the second generation of the "Hints from Heloise" advice column. The current author is Poncé Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans (would you believe?). She took over the column when her mother passed away in 1977. The original column was started back in 1959 by Heloise Bowles. It first appeared in the "Honolulu Advertiser" under the name "Readers Exchange".

4. Help in wrongdoing : ABET
The word "abet" comes into English from the Old French "abeter" meaning "to bait" or "to harass with dogs" (it literally means "to make bite"). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of "abet" meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

7. Parts of arms : ULNAE
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the "thumb-side" of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the "pinkie-side".

8. Dorothy Parker attribute : SHARP WIT
Dorothy Parker was a poet and satirist, a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. After the famed meetings at the Algonquin Hotel ceased, Parker headed to Hollywood where she became a successful screenwriter, earning two Oscar nominations. However she ended up on the Hollywood blacklist for being involved in left-wing politics.

11. Nile deity : ISIS
Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children.

15. "Evita" role : CHE
"Evita" was the followup musical to "Jesus Christ Superstar" for Andrew Lloyd Weber and Time Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). For the original album's cast of "Evita" they chose Irish singer Colm Wilkinson (or C. T. Wilkinson, as we know him back in Ireland) to play "Che", the narrator of the piece.

20. Cylindrical cardboard containers apropos for this puzzle? : BANDBOXES
A bandbox is a lightweight cylindrical box used for holding small articles, especially hats.

28. 1960s singer Sands : EVIE
Evie Sands is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. Sands is also a noted songwriter, having penned songs that have been recorded by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt and Dusty Springfield.

31. Tolkien tree creatures : ENTS
Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, in his series of books "The Lord of the Rings". “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

35. Conductor Riccardo : MUTI
Ricardo Muti is an Italian conductor, the current music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

44. Canada's largest brewery : LABATT
The Labatt Brewing Company is the largest brewer in Canada. The company was founded by John K. Labatt in London, Ontario in 1847.

45. Engine part : PISTON
In an internal combustion engine, pistons move up and down in cylinders and turn a crankshaft and create motion. The pistons are a fairly tight fit in the cylinders, but still there needs to be a reasonable gap in order for a piston not to jam. The gap is sealed by piston rings, metal rings that are split and compressed in order to fit in the space. The rings act as seal so that gas doesn’t escape through the gap between the piston and the cylinder.

49. Trunk : TORSO
"Torso" is an Italian word meaning the "trunk of a statue", which we imported into English.

50. Poet with a role in "Roots" : ANGELOU
Maya Angelou is an African-American autobiographer and poet. She recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1983.

54. ___ Bell : TACO
Taco Bell was founded by a former US Marine, 25-year-old Glen Bell. His first restaurant was Bell’s Drive-In, located in Southern California. After opening that first establishment, Bell bought up some more restaurants including four named El Taco. He sold off the El Taco restaurants but used the name in part when he opened his first Taco Bell in 1962. Bell sold then sold franchises, with the 100th Taco Bell opening in 1967. The ex-Marine sold off the whole chain to PepsiCo in 1978, and I am guessing he made a pretty penny.

57. Eastern royal : RANI
A ranee (also spelled rani) is the female equivalent of a raja in India.

59. Air-gulping fish : GAR
The fish known as a gar is very unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What is interesting about gar is that their swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. So many species of gar can be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that must rely on their gills to get oxygen. Indeed, quite interesting …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Massage treatment : SHIATSU
8. Intense conflict : STRIFE
14. Fruit salad item : MELON BALL
15. Rich, cheddary party food : CHEESE LOG
16. Banking aid : AILERON
17. Wall art : HANGING
18. Future atty.'s exam : LSAT
19. Charges may be made with these : SABERS
21. Lead-in to "ops" : SYS
22. "Holiday" actor Ayres : LEW
23. Bird with a mythological name : RHEA
24. Some people kneel in front of it : PEW
26. Numbing, in a way : ICY
27. Amount of space in a paper to be filled with journalism : NEWS HOLE
32. A Trump : IVANA
35. Year Christopher Columbus died : MDVI
36. "Hey, what's going ___ there?" : ON IN
37. N.L. home run king until Willie Mays surpassed him in 1966 : MEL OTT
38. Ancient measure : CUBIT
39. Certain wildcat : OCELOT
40. It may get in a jam : AUTO
41. Nebraska county whose seat is Nebraska City : OTOE
42. Shoots out : SPEWS
43. Snack on the go : TRAIL MIX
45. ___-de-Calais (French department) : PAS
46. Keyboard key : TAB
47. Grand : EPIC
49. Water source : TAP
52. Wee amphibian : EFT
55. Tendencies : BIASES
57. Noodle ___ : RONI
58. Onetime White House family : REAGANS
60. Not yet caught : AT LARGE
62. Moves : RELOCATES
63. Camp employee : COUNSELOR
64. Hybrid articles of apparel : SKORTS
65. Green, in a way : ENVIOUS

Down
1. Trivial : SMALL
2. Provider of hints : HELOISE
3. Many a holiday visitor : IN-LAW
4. Help in wrongdoing : ABET
5. Blacken : TAR
6. Like water in a moving tank : SLOSHY
7. Parts of arms : ULNAE
8. Dorothy Parker attribute : SHARP WIT
9. Sometimes they're perfect : TENSES
10. Rule, briefly : REG
11. Nile deity : ISIS
12. It's a crime : FELONY
13. Bakers' supply : EGGS
15. "Evita" role : CHE
20. Cylindrical cardboard containers apropos for this puzzle? : BANDBOXES
23. Record company with a lightning bolt in its logo : RCA
25. "My bad!" : WHOOPS
26. Really digging something : INTO IT
28. 1960s singer Sands : EVIE
29. Some time ago : ONCE
30. Hide out : LIE LOW
31. Tolkien tree creatures : ENTS
32. "___ the end of my rope!" : I’M AT
33. Velvety pillow cover : VELOUR
34. Start for boy or girl : ATTA
35. Conductor Riccardo : MUTI
38. Farm machines : COMBINES
42. Pollen holder : SAC
44. Canada's largest brewery : LABATT
45. Engine part : PISTON
48. "Shalom" : PEACE
49. Trunk : TORSO
50. Poet with a role in "Roots" : ANGELOU
51. Fishing spots : PIERS
52. Goes astray : ERRS
53. "You all right?" : FEEL OK
54. ___ Bell : TACO
56. Fool : ASS
57. Eastern royal : RANI
59. Air-gulping fish : GAR
61. Hon : LUV


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

I *HATE* rebuses. The lowest form of crossword puzzle.

Bill Butler said...

I'm not a huge fan of rebus puzzles myself, but I've learned to live with them. I will say that rebus puzzles always, always lead to negative comments here on the blog and/or negative emails.

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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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