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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth 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

0611-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Jun 12, Monday





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: Andrea Carla Michaels & Michael Blake,
THEME: FALL to FULL … the puzzle progresses alphabetically through the words FALL, FELL, FILL, FOLL and FULL as these four-letter combinations start the themed answers:
18A. One knocked off a pedestal : (FALL)EN IDOL
24A. Paid postgraduate position at a university : (FELL)OWSHIP
39A. Solve a crossword, e.g.? : (FILL) IN THE BLANKS
55A. Put a spade atop a spade, say : (FOLL)OW SUIT
63A. Illegal wrestling hold : (FULL) NELSON
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Fiona, e.g., in "Shrek" : OGRESS
Before "Shrek" was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children's picture book called "Shrek!" authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title "Shrek!" came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning "fear" or "terror".

11. Hula-Hoops or Furbys, once : FAD
Hula hoops were a big craze in the 1950s, but they have been around in various forms at least since the year 500 BCE!

Furbys are little electronic robot toys that were all the rage around Christmas 1998 and the following year. Furbys retailed at about $35 but folks often paid several hundred dollars to get hold of one.

14. 500 sheets of paper : REAM
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a "short ream".

15. Geronimo's tribe : APACHE
Cochise and Geronimo were perhaps the two most famous Apache leaders to resist intrusions by the European Americans in 1800s. Both lived lives full of conflict, but both also lived relatively long lives. Cochise eventually entered into a treaty putting an end to the fighting, and retired onto a new reservation. Cochise died of natural causes in 1874, at the age of 69. Geronimo surrendered, and spent years as a prisoner of war. He spent his last years as a celebrity, and even rode in the inaugural parade for President Theodore Roosevelt. Geronimo died of pneumonia in 1909 at the age of 79.

29. Morocco's capital : RABAT
Rabat is the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. After WWII, the United States maintained a major Air Force Base in Rabat, part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). Responding to pressure from the Moroccan government of King Mohammed V, the USAF pulled out in 1963.

31. "Much ___ About Nothing" : ADO
"Much Ado About Nothing" is a favorite of mine, a play of course by William Shakespeare. It is a comedic tale of two pairs of lovers with lots of mistaken identities and double meanings. I once saw it performed in the fabulous Globe Theatre in London ... by an all-female cast!

36. Beethoven's "Für ___" : ELISE
"Fur Elise" is a beautiful piece of music written by Beethoven, and is also known as "Bagatelle in A Minor". "Fur Elise" means simply "For Elise" but sadly, no one knows the identity of the mysterious Elise.

45. ___-lacto-vegetarian : OVO-
A lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat or fish, but does eat eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto) products.

46. Old Navy alternative : GAP
Old Navy is a store brand founded and owned by The Gap. The name Old Navy was taken from the Old Navy Cafe in Paris.

The Gap is a San Francisco-based clothing retailer founded in 1969. The name “the Gap” was a homage to the popular sixties term “the generation gap”.

47. Harnessed, as oxen : YOKED
The yoke is that wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

50. Mother of Don Juan : INEZ
Lord Byron wrote the poem "Don Juan" based on the legend of Don Juan the libertine. In the poem, he created the character Donna Inez, Don Juan's mother. Supposedly Inez was based on Byron's own wife, Annabella Milbanke.

53. "You said it, sister!" : AMEN
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

61. Miami locale: Abbr. : FLA
The city of Miami in Florida takes its name from the nearby Miami River, which is itself named for the Mayaimi Native American people who lived around nearby Lake Okeechobee.

62. Cake words in "Alice in Wonderland" : EAT ME
In Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", Alice follows the white rabbit down a rabbit hole and finds a bottle labelled "DRINK ME". When she drinks the contents, it causes her to shrink. She also sees a cake adorned with the words "EAT ME", and when she does so she grows so big she finds it hard to stand up. After eating the cake, she says the famous words, "Curiouser and curiouser".

63. Illegal wrestling hold : (FULL) NELSON
The full nelson and half nelson are wrestling holds in which one wrestler secures the opponent by encircling his or her arms under the armpits and around the neck. Some say the hold is named after Admiral Nelson, who was renowned for using encircling tactics in battle.

67. Newswoman Paula : ZAHN
Paula Zahn resigned as an anchor with CNN in 2007. Outside of her work in journalism, Zahn is an accomplished cellist and has played at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra.

68. "___ You Experienced" (Jimi Hendrix's first album) : ARE
Many of his contemporaries regarded Jimi Hendrix as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. Hendrix was from Seattle and didn't really have a really stellar start to his working life. He failed to finish high school and fell foul of the law by getting caught in stolen cars, twice. The courts gave him the option of the army or two years in prison. Hendrix chose the former and soon found himself in the famous 101st Airborne. In the army, his less-than-disciplined ways helped him (as he would have seen it) because his superiors successfully petitioned to get him discharged after serving only one year of his two-year requirement, just to get him out of their hair.

69. Sean who wrote "Juno and the Paycock" : O’CASEY
"Juno and the Paycock" is by Sean O'Casey, one of the most often staged plays in his native Ireland. It is the second part of his "Dublin Trilogy", along with "The Shadow of a Gunman" and the equally celebrated "The Plough and the Stars".

Down
3. Breakfast order with a hole in it : BAGEL
The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

7. Kramden of "The Honeymooners" : RALPH
The classic sitcom “The Honeymooners” only aired for 39 episodes, with the last being broadcast in September of 1956. However, the sitcom itself was based on a recurring sketch that appeared on “Cavalcade of Stars” and then “The Jackie Gleason Show” from 1951-1955.

8. Cream-filled pastry : ECLAIR
The name for the pastry known as an éclair is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious “temptation”.

9. Mount Everest guide : SHERPA
In the Tibetan language, Sherpa means "eastern people" (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

10. McCain or McConnell: Abbr. : SEN
John McCain went into the US Naval Academy in 1958, following a family tradition as his father and grandfather were both four-star admirals. The younger McCain did not achieve the same rank, retiring from the Navy as a captain in 1981, but his career development was interrupted by almost six years spent as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Senator Mitch McConnell is a Republican Senator and is currently the Minority Leader in the US Senate. McConnell is married to Elaine Chao who served as Secretary of Labor in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush.

13. Shoulder muscles, for short : DELTS
The deltoid muscle is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoid is triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

19. African antelope or Chevrolet : IMPALA
The Chevrolet Impala was first introduced in 1957, and you can still buy one today.

"Impala" is the Zulu word for "gazelle".

21. Jane or John in court : DOE
Though the English court system does not use the term today, John Doe first appeared as the "name of a person unknown" in England in 1659, along with another unknown, Richard Roe. Joe Blow is just a variant of John Doe, and Jane Doe is an unknown female.

30. ___ Paese cheese : BEL
Bel Paese is a mild Italian cheese that was developed in 1906. The name "bel paese" means beautiful country in Italian, and is taken from the title of a book written by Antonio Stoppani.

31. C.I.O.'s partner : AFL
The American Federation of Labor was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time, the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades, until finally merging in 1955.

33. 1957 Disney dog movie : OLD YELLER
We all know the 1957 film "Old Yeller", but the movie is actually made from a book of the same name written by Fred Gipson.

35. "___ Let the Dogs Out" : WHO
The Baha Men are so called because they hail from ... the Bahamas. Their big hit was "Who Let the Dogs Out?" which has been ranked as third in a list of the world's most annoying songs!

37. Cousin of calypso : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties, and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term "ska", but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

The musical style of calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but there seems to be some debate about which influences were most important as the genre developed. It is generally agreed that the music was imported by African slaves from their homeland, but others emphasize influences of the medieval French troubadours. To me it sounds more African in nature. Calypso reached the masses when it was first recorded in 1912, and it spread around the world in the thirties and forties. It reached its pinnacle with the release of the famous "Banana Boat Song" by Harry Belafonte.

38. Mind reading, for short : ESP
Extra Sensory Perception (ESP).

40. Big name in toy trains : LIONEL
Lionel is the name most associated with toy trains in the US. The first trains rolled off the production line in 1901 and they are still produced today, although the original Lionel Corporation is long gone. In 1995, the brand was bought by an investment company that included train enthusiast Neil Young (the singer), and operated as Lionel, LLC. Neil Young's financial involvement ended after a 2008 reorganization of the company following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, but the company is still producing and selling.

41. Tattoos, slangily : INK
The word "tattoo" was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, he anglicized the Tahitian word "tatau" into our "tattoo".

43. Pro ___ (like some law work) : BONO
The Latin term “pro bono publico” means “for the public good”, and is usually shorted to “pro bono”. The term applies to professional work that is done for free or at a reduced fee as a service to the public.

49. Avis rival : DOLLAR
Dollar Rent A Car was founded in 1965. Chrysler acquired the company in 1990 and merged it with Thrifty Car Rental, which Chrysler had purchased a year earlier.

Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

52. One of the Gabor sisters : ZSA ZSA
Zsa Zsa Gabor is a Hungarian American actress, born in Budapest as Sári Gábor (the older sister of the actress Eva). Zsa Zsa Gabor has been married a whopping nine times, including a 5-year stint with Conrad Hilton and another 5 years with George Sanders. One of Gabor's famous quips was that she was always a good housekeeper as after every divorce, she kept the house! At 94 years of age, Zsa Zsa is pretty sick right now. She had a hip replacement in 2010 and has been in and out of hospital ever since. In January 2011 she had to have her right leg amputated.

53. Beeb comedy : AB FAB
“Absolutely Fabulous” (sometimes called "Ab Fab") is a cult-classic sitcom produced by the BBC. The two stars of the show are Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley.

54. Actress Tierney of "ER" : MAURA
Maura Tierney is an actress from Boston, Massachusetts. She is best known for playing Lisa Miller on television’s “NewsRadio” and Abby Lockhart on “ER”.

56. Catch, as a dogie : LASSO
Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

“Dogie” is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

57. Salt Lake City native : UTAHN
A Utahn or Utahan is someone from Utah.

Salt Lake City was of course founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as "Great Salt Lake City" up until 1868.

65. Brit. reference work : OED
The "Oxford English Dictionary" (OED) contains over 300,000 "main" entries, and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb "set". When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb "put". Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

66. Bill the Science Guy : NYE
That would be "Bill Nye the Science Guy". Bill's show ran on Disney for 4 years from 1993-97. I was surprised to learn that Bill Nye was married briefly to Blair Tindall, the author of "Mozart in the Jungle". That's a great book, if anyone is interested ...

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Chews the fat : GABS
5. Fiona, e.g., in "Shrek" : OGRESS
11. Hula-Hoops or Furbys, once : FAD
14. 500 sheets of paper : REAM
15. Geronimo's tribe : APACHE
16. Fury : IRE
17. Hankering : URGE
18. One knocked off a pedestal : (FALL)EN IDOL
20. Pasture : FIELD
22. Course guide? : PAR
23. C.E.O.'s job: Abbr. : MGMT
24. Paid postgraduate position at a university : (FELL)OWSHIP
27. Black-eyed ___ : PEAS
28. Cry after hitting a hammer on one's thumb, say : YEOW
29. Morocco's capital : RABAT
31. "Much ___ About Nothing" : ADO
34. Uncooked : RAW
36. Beethoven's "Für ___" : ELISE
39. Solve a crossword, e.g.? : (FILL) IN THE BLANKS
44. Greeted and seated : LED IN
45. ___-lacto-vegetarian : OVO-
46. Old Navy alternative : GAP
47. Harnessed, as oxen : YOKED
50. Mother of Don Juan : INEZ
53. "You said it, sister!" : AMEN
55. Put a spade atop a spade, say : (FOLL)OW SUIT
60. Barn dance seat : BALE
61. Miami locale: Abbr. : FLA
62. Cake words in "Alice in Wonderland" : EAT ME
63. Illegal wrestling hold : (FULL) NELSON
67. Newswoman Paula : ZAHN
68. "___ You Experienced" (Jimi Hendrix's first album) : ARE
69. Sean who wrote "Juno and the Paycock" : O’CASEY
70. Like show horses' feet : SHOD
71. Tavern : BAR
72. Walked purposefully : STRODE
73. Tiny hill dwellers : ANTS

Down
1. Harsh and brusque : GRUFF
2. Eaglet's nest : AERIE
3. Breakfast order with a hole in it : BAGEL
4. Like gym socks : SMELLY
5. Dunderhead : OAF
6. 4.0 is a great one: Abbr. : GPA
7. Kramden of "The Honeymooners" : RALPH
8. Cream-filled pastry : ECLAIR
9. Mount Everest guide : SHERPA
10. McCain or McConnell: Abbr. : SEN
11. Squirming : FIDGETING
12. Kitchen magnet? : AROMA
13. Shoulder muscles, for short : DELTS
19. African antelope or Chevrolet : IMPALA
21. Jane or John in court : DOE
25. Threadbare : WORN
26. Hit, as a fly : SWAT
30. ___ Paese cheese : BEL
31. C.I.O.'s partner : AFL
32. Repeated cry when sticking a stake in a vampire : DIE
33. 1957 Disney dog movie : OLD YELLER
35. "___ Let the Dogs Out" : WHO
37. Cousin of calypso : SKA
38. Mind reading, for short : ESP
40. Big name in toy trains : LIONEL
41. Tattoos, slangily : INK
42. Dastardly : EVIL
43. Pro ___ (like some law work) : BONO
48. Cause's partner : EFFECT
49. Avis rival : DOLLAR
51. Ram's mate : EWE
52. One of the Gabor sisters : ZSA ZSA
53. Beeb comedy : AB FAB
54. Actress Tierney of "ER" : MAURA
56. Catch, as a dogie : LASSO
57. Salt Lake City native : UTAHN
58. "Can we turn on a fan or something?!" : I’M HOT
59. Manages, as a 71-Across : TENDS
64. Denials : NOS
65. Brit. reference work : OED
66. Bill the Science Guy : NYE

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

That theme is completely unitelligible, and not even worth mentioning; was the title of it given in the original printing?

Bill Butler said...

No, there's no title given to the puzzles during the week, just on Sunday. I add the title myself when I write it up, so you'll have to blame me if it's inapt ...

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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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