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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

0616-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Jun 12, Saturday





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: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 43m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Mass merchandise? : ORGANS
I am not quite sure how organs can be described as merchandise in a mass, but organs can certainly be heard at many masses.

7. A nerd has a low one : SOCIAL IQ
Dweeb, squarepants, nerd, they're all not-nice terms that mean the same thing: someone excessively studious and socially inept.

18. Far Eastern marinade : TERIYAKI
Teriyaki is a Japanese technique of cooking in which the foods are grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade. The marinade may or may not include ginger.

19. "Les Misérables" feature : ACCENT
The 1980 musical "Les Miserables" is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London's West End. My wife and I saw "Les Miz" in the Queen's Theatre in London quite a few years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The theater seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even having a cigarette. On cue they would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor that had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn't really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the storyline just didn't seem to hang together for me.

20. Avian abductors : ROCS
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants.

21. One goes along the 38th parallel, briefly : DMZ
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.

23. 49-Across maker : AMANA
The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa.

28. Don Diego de la Vega, familiarly : ZORRO
The character Zorro was created by Johnston McCulley in 1919 for a series of stories and pulp fiction. The name “Zorro” is the secret identity of a Spanish colonial nobleman called Don Diego de la Vega. “Zorro” is Spanish for “fox”.

29. Dir. from 30-Across to Norfolk : SSE
Norfolk, Virginia is home to the largest naval base in the world (Norfolk Naval Base). It is also home to the defense headquarters of NATO.

30. See 29-Across : ERIE
Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania, right on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area.

31. Some change in Russia : KOPEKS
One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks.

32. Ab follower : ELUL
Elul is a month in the Hebrew calendar occurring in August-September.

34. Brown drawer : SCHULZ
The characters in the cartoon series "Peanuts" were largely drawn from Charles Schulz's own life, with shy and withdrawn Charlie Brown representing Schulz himself.

38. Alternative to mushrooms : LSD
Someone looking to “trip” might choose LSD instead of magic mushrooms.

LSD (also known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

42. Youngest member of a 1990s girl group : BABY SPICE
The five members of the English pop group the Spice Girls are:
- Scary Spice (Melanie Brown, or Mel B)
- Baby Spice (Emma Bunton, and my fave!)
- Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell)
- Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham)
- Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm, or Mel C)

46. Like anatomical anvils : OTIC
The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles' job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their common names: the hammer, anvil and stirrup.

47. ___ Tech : ITT
ITT Technical Institute is a private educational establishment with over 130 campuses all over the US.

48. Lightsaber user : JEDI
The Jedi are the "good guys" in the "Star Wars" series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Won Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they're my favorites anyway ...

53. Chao of George W. Bush's cabinet : ELAINE
When President George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor, he made a bit of history as Chao then became the first Chinese American in history to hold a cabinet post. It turned out that Chao became the only cabinet member to hold her post for President Bush's full eight years in office. In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the US Senate.

54. Characteristic of salts : MARITIME
“Salt” is a slang word for a sailor.

56. Thriller killer? : SUSPENSE
The suspense might be killing you as you watch a thriller.

Down
2. Like many a juke joint : RAUCOUS
Although coin-operated music players had been around for decades, the term "juke box" wasn't used until about 1940. The term derives from a Gullah word, the language of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. In Gullah, a "juke joint", from "juke" or "joog" meaning "rowdy, wicked", was an informal establishment where African Americans would gather and for some music, dancing, gambling and drinking. The coin-operated music players became known as "juke boxes".

4. Subject of I.R.S. Form 8949 : ASSETS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

5. It's noble : NEON
The noble gases are those elements over on the extreme right of the Periodic Table. Because of their "full" complement of electrons, noble gases are very nonreactive. The noble gases are helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon.

6. Natural Bridges State Beach locale : SANTA CRUZ
Natural Bridges State Beach is a state park in Santa Cruz, California. There is a rather spectacular natural bridge on the beach made from mudstone. The bridge was formed by millions of years of erosion by the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

8. Some classic theaters : ODEONS
In Ancient Greece an odeon was like a small theater, with "odeon" literally meaning a "building for musical competition". Odea were used in both Greece and Rome, for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

9. Around : CIRCA
"Circa" is a Latin word meaning "around, near, about the time of". We use it directly in English, as well as derivative words such as "circle" and "circus".

11. Tan in a bookstore : AMY
Amy Tan lives not too far from here in Sausalito, just north of San Francisco. She is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is "The Joy Luck Club". "The Joy Luck Club" was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

12. Material for a slag furnace : LEAD ORE
The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The "waste" from this process is called "slag". Slag does contain some lead, and it can be processed further in a "slag furnace" to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also take poorer lead ores as a raw material.

14. Chain serving Torpedoes and Bullets : QUIZNOS
Quiznos is one the finer fast food joints in my humble opinion. The main meal served is a toasted submarine sandwich.

31. About whom Obama said "He is a jackass. But he's talented" : KANYE WEST
Kanye West is a rap singer from Atlanta, Georgia. That’s all I know ...

32. New circulator of 2002 : EURO
The European Union today stands at a membership of 27 states. The Euro is the official currency of only 16 of the 27. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

33. All-Century Team member : COBB
Ty Cobb was one of the richest baseball players of all times. When he retired he was a major stockholder of the Coca-Cola Corporation, and by the time he passed away in 1961 he had an even bigger investment in General Electric. He left an estate worth about $86m (in 2008 dollars).

34. Breaks : SCHISMS
A schism is a split or a division, especially in a religion.

36. They bear arms : HALTERS
I think there might be a mistake here. At first blush I assumed that we were talking about halter tops on women baring the arms, but I made the mistake of mixing up "bear" with "bare". Someone suggested to me that the "halter" might be a guard or a sentry who might "bear arms", but that seems a bit of a stretch to me.

37. Preprandial performance : MATINEE
“Matinée” is a French word for a musical entertainment held during the daytime. It is derived from the word “matin”, meaning “morning”, although here is used in the sense of “daylight”. Theater performances in the US tend to be either in the evening (for the night owls) or in matinees in the afternoon (for "the early-to-bed crowd").

Something “preprandial” is done before dinner. “Prandium” is the Latin for “luncheon”.

38. Big Chilean export : LITHIUM
Lithium is an element, a soft silver-white metal.

42. Obfuscates : BEDIMS
“To obfuscate” is to make something unclear, a word derived from the Latin “obfuscare” meaning “to darken”.

43. Mexican motel : POSADA
“Posada” is Spanish for anything from a cafeteria to a pub or motel.

48. Simple gymnastics move : JETE
A jeté is a leap in ballet, coming from the French word "jeter" meaning "to throw".

50. One way to direct a helm : ALEE
"Alee" is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing "aweather".

52. Casino spot : PIP
The spots on a dice are called pips.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Mass merchandise? : ORGANS
7. A nerd has a low one : SOCIAL IQ
15. Side effect or ride effect? : NAUSEA
16. Where to select Select All : EDIT MENU
17. Won't shut up : RUNS ON
18. Far Eastern marinade : TERIYAKI
19. "Les Misérables" feature : ACCENT
20. Avian abductors : ROCS
21. One goes along the 38th parallel, briefly : DMZ
22. Protective zoo feature : MOAT
23. 49-Across maker : AMANA
25. Wind sound : MOAN
26. Unthreatening sorts : PUSSYCATS
28. Don Diego de la Vega, familiarly : ZORRO
29. Dir. from 30-Across to Norfolk : SSE
30. See 29-Across : ERIE
31. Some change in Russia : KOPEKS
32. Ab follower : ELUL
33. Aid in getting around : CANE
34. Brown drawer : SCHULZ
37. Father figure? : MONK
38. Alternative to mushrooms : LSD
41. Puts some black lines on : CHARS
42. Youngest member of a 1990s girl group : BABY SPICE
44. Sign of spotlessness : HALO
45. Leave : LET BE
46. Like anatomical anvils : OTIC
47. ___ Tech : ITT
48. Lightsaber user : JEDI
49. 23-Across product : WASHER
51. Slowly came through : SEEPED IN
53. Chao of George W. Bush's cabinet : ELAINE
54. Characteristic of salts : MARITIME
55. Try to get off the straight and narrow : SEDUCE
56. Thriller killer? : SUSPENSE
57. Pulling together, say : TEAMED

Down
1. They'll get you going with the flow : ON RAMPS
2. Like many a juke joint : RAUCOUS
3. Good place to lay down arms : GUN CASE
4. Subject of I.R.S. Form 8949 : ASSETS
5. It's noble : NEON
6. Natural Bridges State Beach locale : SANTA CRUZ
7. Fee : SET RATE
8. Some classic theaters : ODEONS
9. Around : CIRCA
10. Reply to "Really?" : IT IS
11. Tan in a bookstore : AMY
12. Material for a slag furnace : LEAD ORE
13. Hard-to-remove stain : INK MARK
14. Chain serving Torpedoes and Bullets : QUIZNOS
24. It's deposited in drops : MAIL
25. Betray dejection : MOPE
27. Roars : YELLS
28. Drops off, with "out" : ZONKS
31. About whom Obama said "He is a jackass. But he's talented" : KANYE WEST
32. New circulator of 2002 : EURO
33. All-Century Team member : COBB
34. Breaks : SCHISMS
35. Nice country house : CHATEAU
36. They bear arms : HALTERS
37. Preprandial performance : MATINEE
38. Big Chilean export : LITHIUM
39. Focus of some fairs : SCIENCE
40. Ordered : DECREED
42. Obfuscates : BEDIMS
43. Mexican motel : POSADA
45. Ushered : LED IN
48. Simple gymnastics move : JETE
50. One way to direct a helm : ALEE
52. Casino spot : PIP

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4 comments :

ben Zvi said...

Bare arms I can agree to, but "bear" arms?

Bill Butler said...

Hi Ben,

Yes, you're quite right. I made the mistake of zipping through this clue and mixing up "bare" and "bear" and assumed that we were talking about a woman's halter top "baring" the arms.

Someone suggested to me that an armed guard might be a a "halter" and hence "bear arms", but that seems a stretch to me.

I guess I can't explain this one. I wonder if someone else can?

Thanks for raising the question, Ben.

Andrew Blais said...

A halter top is an article of clothing which allows its wearer to present, or "bear", her arms.

As to 1-across, definition 1c in the OED suggests an obscure usage meaning something "in extended use".

Andrew

Bill Butler said...

Thanks for the insight, Andrew. Two tough word usages there!

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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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