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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! We had probably the last hike of our trip this morning (strenuous, past beautiful alpine lakes), and then opted for vegging out by the pool for a change this afternoon. Almost home ...

Bill

0617-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jun 12, Sunday





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: Kyle T. Dolan
THEME: Play-a-BLE … each of the theme answers is well-known expression, with the letters BLE added somewhere:
22A. Falter while imitating Jay-Z? : BUM(BLE) RAP
24A. Something thrown in "West Side Story"? : RUM(BLE) PUNCH
36A. Sing high notes? : WAR(BLE) ON DRUGS
54A. Cry upon arriving at an earthquake site? : THERE’S THE RUB(BLE)
77A. What the turnover-prone football player had? : DROPPING TROU(BLE)
92A. Shenanigans at the royal court? : NO(BLE) NONSENSE
110A. Nickname for a hard-to-understand monarch? : QUEEN MUM(BLE)
114A. Lens cover for a large telescope? : HUB(BLE) CAP
COMPLETION TIME: 41m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Grp. with an alphabet : NATO
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Orga
nization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie etc.

5. Message from police HQ : APB
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

13. Tar : SWAB
A Jack Tar, or just "tar", was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor's various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing of clothes and using tar in the hair to slick down a ponytail.

17. Eastern nurse : AMAH
"Amah" is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet it actually comes from the Portuguese "ama" meaning "nurse". Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an "amah".

20. Hoi ___ : POLLOI
"Hoi polloi" is a Greek term, literally meaning "the majority, the many". In English it has come to mean "the masses" and is often used in a derogatory sense.

21. Mammy's place : TARA
Hattie McDaniel was the first African American actor to win an Academy Award. She won her Oscar for playing Mammy in the 1939 classic “Gone With the Wind”.

Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O'Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind". In the book, Tara was founded by Scarlett's father, Irish immigrant Gerald O'Hara. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

22. Falter while imitating Jay-Z? : BUM(BLE) RAP
Jay-Z, as well as being a successful, and very rich, rap artist, is married to singer Beyonce.

24. Something thrown in "West Side Story"? : RUM(BLE) PUNCH
Leonard Bernstein's musical "West Side Story" is of course based on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets falls in love with Maria from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

26. Underworld deity : OSIRIS
Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. He was the son of Geb, the Earth god, and Nut, the sky goddess. His wife, Isis, was also his sister ...

29. Dickensian setting : LONDON
Charles Dickens was an English novelist who achieved great notoriety in his own time, and is still regarded as perhaps the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. Many of his novels explored the plight of the poor in Victorian society, perhaps driven by his own experiences as a child. Dickens had to leave school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into a debtor’s prison. As a result, Dickens had to educate himself, and did so with great success. He is said to have pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, with his first success coning with the 1835 serial publication of “Pickwick Papers”. And everyone’s favorite has to be his 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol”.

30. Trick-taking game : BELOT
Belot is a French card game now very popular in parts of Eastern Europe and Saudi Arabia. Belot has a lot of similarities to the game of bridge.

31. Like pumice : IGNEOUS
Pumice is volcanic rock that is formed by lava cooling, but with bubbles in it due to water and carbon dioxide frothing out of the lava as it cools. Because of the frothy structure, it is relatively light and is a great thermal insulator. As such, it is used in construction to male insulating breeze blocks.

33. Game-ending cry : GIN
Gin rummy is a variant of the slower game of standard rummy and was introduced in 1909 by Elwood Baker and his son.

42. 1970s exile : SHAH
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown by the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

45. Noted 2011 TV retiree, popularly : REGIS
Regis Philbin is an amazingly popular television personality. He is so in demand, and has had such a long career, that he holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera (in excess of 16,000 hours).

48. Kind of column : OP-ED
Op-ed is an abbreviation for "opposite the editorial page". Op-eds started in "The New York Evening World" in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

54. Cry upon arriving at an earthquake site? : THERE’S THE RUB(BLE)
The oft-quoted phrase “there’s the rub”, comes from Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy:
To die — to sleep.
To sleep — perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!
A “rub” is a difficulty or obstruction. The usage predates Shakespeare, and comes from the game of lawn bowls, in which a rub is a fault in the bowling surface.

58. In a frenzy : AMOK
The phrase "to run amok" (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for "attacking furiously", "amuk". The word "amok" was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were "frenzied". Given Malaya's troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy ...

60. X, on campuses : CHI
The Greek letter chi is written as "X", although the sound is more like a "j".

62. It may follow "forever and ever" : 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.

67. Region of 70-Across for which a type of wool is named : KASHMIR
Kashmir is a vast region in the northwest of the Indian sub-continent. Kashmir has a long and rich history, but the year that is most significant today is perhaps 1947. In that year, Britain pulled out of the Indian sub-continent and divided the Indian Empire into the independent countries of India and Pakistan, leaving the Maharajah ruling Kashmir free to join either India or Pakistan. When the Kashmiri Maharajah wavered in his decision, Pakistani forces advanced into Kashmir, prompting the the Maharajah to turn to India for assistance. India did indeed help, but only on condition that Kashmir accede to India. India then called in the United Nations to intercede, but no definitive solution was found that brought peace to the region. There has been conflict there ever since.

73. "All systems go" : AOK
Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose in the sixties during the Space Program.

77. What the turnover-prone football player had? : DROPPING TROU(BLE)
“Trou” is short for “trousers”.

85. Ball-shaped part : PEEN
The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the hammer that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (a Ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

90. W.W. I battle locale : YPRES
Ypres is a Belgian city located close to the French border. In WWI is was the scene of three devastating battles resulting in almost a million casualties, including many who suffered in gas attacks.

92. Shenanigans at the royal court? : NO(BLE) NONSENSE
I suppose one could be forgiven for thinking that “shenanigan” is an Irish term. Apparently the word is of uncertain derivation, coined in San Francisco and Sacramento, California in the mid-1800s.

97. Mil. leader : CDR
Commander (Cdr.)

100. Ball partner : ARNAZ
Desi Arnaz was of course famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Desi Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

108. He wrote "Knowledge is the food of the soul" : PLATO
Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle.

114. Lens cover for a large telescope? : HUB(BLE) CAP
The famous Hubble Space Telescope was installed in orbit by the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990. The telescope was named for the astronomer Edwin Hubble, who changed our view of the universe by postulating that the universe is expanding.

119. Blood rival : CRIP
The Crips are a street gang with origins in Los Angeles going back to 1969. It is believed that the Crips have up to 35,000 members today across the country, and there is even a presence in the US military both here and abroad. The main rivals of the Crips are the Bloods.

123. Numbers game : KENO
The name "Keno" has French or Latin roots, with the French "quine" being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin "quini" meaning "five each". However, the game actually originated in China. Keno was introduced to the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

Down
1. Bigwig : NABOB
A nabob is a person of wealth and prominence. "Nabob" derives from the title of a governor in India.

3. Source of the words "mulligatawny" and "catamaran" : TAMIL
Tamil is the main language spoken by the Tamil people of the subcontinent of India. Tamil is described as one of the greatest and oldest classical languages in the world, with Tamil literature having been around for over 2,000 years.

Mulligatawny is a soup with a curry flavor that originated in India. The name “Mulligatawny” comes from the Tamil words for “pepper water”.

A catamaran is a boat that has two hulls. Catamarans have been around along time, with the design having being used by the Ancient Greeks. Notably, the design was used by the locals in the Bay of Bengal and it was this design that was adopted by European boat builders. The name “catamaran” comes from the Tamil language of southeastern India, with “kattu maram” meaning “logs tied together”.

5. Fives : ABES
"Abe" is slang for a five-dollar bill.

7. Fort ___, N.C. : BRAGG
Fort Bragg in North Carolina is a very large Army installation that covers over 250 square miles. The base is named for General Braxton Bragg, the native North Carolinian who commanded the Confederate Army forces during the Civil War.

8. Source of a viral outbreak : YOUTUBE
YouTube is a video-sharing website, launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion ... less than two years after it was founded ...

10. Robe for one tending a flock : ALB
The alb is the white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from "albus", the Latin word for "white".

11. Fa-la connector : SOL
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti. The solfa scale was developed from a six-note ascending scale created by Guido of Arezzo in the 11th century. He used the first verse of a Latin hymn to name the syllables of the scale:
Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.
The "ut" in this scale was changed to "do", as it was a more "open ended" sound, and "si" was added (the initials of "Sancte Iohannes") to complete the seven-note scale. Later again, "si" was changed to "ti" so that each syllable began with a unique letter.

12. Telephone system connectors : TIE LINES
A tie line is a connection between extensions of a private telephone system. A tie line may also be called a tie trunk.

13. Taser, say : STUN
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called "Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle". The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon named their product as a homage to the novel, as TASER stands for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle". Interesting, eh?

15. "Giovanna d'___" (Verdi opera) : ARCO
“Giovanna d'Arco” is an opera by Verdi, the title of which translates as “Joan of Arc”.

16. German train track : BAHN
“Bahn” is the German for track.

20. Record listing : PRIOR
A criminal’s police record lists prior offences.

23. Neighbor of Poland: Abbr. : LITH
Lithuania sits on the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe.

25. The Atlantic, in a common phrase : POND
The Atlantic Ocean has been referred to as “the pond” for quite a long time. The expression dates back to the 1640s.

31. Subject of Newton's first law of motion : INERTIA
Newton’s first law of motion states that a body that is moving maintains the same velocity unless it is acted upon by an external force. That resistance to changing velocity is known as “inertia”.

32. Canon product, for short : SLR
SLR stands for "single lens reflex". Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

37. Most holes in one : EAGLES
The use of the word "eagle" to signify a 2-under-par score on a hole in golf, simply builds on the established use of "birdie" for 1-under-par. An eagle is just a "bigger" bird, and 2-under par is "bigger" and better than 1-under.

39. Baseball's Justin or B. J. : UPTON
Justin and B.J. Upton are two brothers playing Major League Baseball. Justin plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and B. J. plays for the Tampa Bay Rays.

40. Many a Silicon Valley hiree : GEEK
The original “geek” was a sideshow performer, perhaps at a circus.

41. Radical '60s org. : SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day.

42. Genesis son : SETH
According to the Bible, Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve, coming after Cain and Abel. Seth is the only other child of Adam and Eve who is mentioned by name. According to the Book of Genesis, Seth was born after Cain had slain his brother Abel.

44. Some Monopoly properties: Abbr. : AVES
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of "The Landlord's Game" created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord's Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, making him a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

53. "The Magic Flute" protagonist : TAMINO
Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” today is performed more often than any other opera in the repertoire worldwide.

55. Mercedes-Benz luxury line : E-CLASS
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a range of executive-size cars. Originally, the “E” stood for “Einspritzmotor”, the German for “fuel injection engine”.

56. ___ choy (Chinese vegetable) : BOK
Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. “Bok choy” translates as “white vegetable”.

57. Troop grp. : BSA
As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910.

62. Lovingly, to a musician : AMOROSO
Amoroso is the Italian word for "lovingly" and is used as a musical direction on a score.

63. Fairy tale girl : GRETEL
"Hansel and Gretel" is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter. The youngsters are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister can find their way home, which they do. But the children are abandoned again and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds and so the children do indeed become lost. But eventually they do all live happily ever after ...

64. Big game fish : TARPON
Tarpons are large fish with unique swim bladders. A fish’s swim bladder is an internal organ that helps a fish control its buoyancy. In the case of the tarpon, the swim bladder also acts as a pseudo-breathing organ.

65. That, in Tijuana : ESO
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana's growth took place in the twenties, as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar's, in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar's claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

71. G.I.'s address : APO
Army Post Office (APO).

73. Genesis son : ABEL
The story of Cain and Abel not only appears in the Bible, it also features in the Qur'an. In the Muslim account the brothers are named Kabil and Habil.

74. Promise, e.g. : OLEO
Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. In 1869, a French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name "margarine". The name "oleomargarine" also gives us our generic term "oleo".

75. Alter ego who carries a notepad : KENT
Superman’s comic book creators gave their character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

76. Burkina ___ : FASO
Burkina Faso is an inland country in west Africa. The country used to be called the Republic of Upper Volta and was renamed in 1984 to mean “the land of upright people”.

79. Mythical elixir of forgetfulness : NEPENTHE
In Greek mythology, “nepenthe” was an anti-depressant medicine. “Nepenthe” translates as “drug of forgetfulness”.

80. Long-jawed 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 …

88. Spanish bear : OSO
In Spanish, "osa" is a female bear, and "oso" is a male.

93. Nobel Prize subj. : ECON
The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded "in memory of Alfred Nobel". Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.

94. "Frasier" character : NILES
In the sitcom called “Frasier”, Niles Crane is the brother of the title character Frasier Crane. Fraiser is played by Kelsey Grammar and Niles is played by David Hyde Pierce. Frasier was originally intended to be an only child in the show’s storyline, but the producers decided to add a brother when they noted that David Hyde Pierce looked remarkably like Kelsey Grammar.

96. Outdoor promenade : MALL
A mall is a shaded walkway. The term derives from The Mall in St. James’s Park in London which is indeed a broad, tree-lined promenade.

99. iPod ___ : TOUCH
The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant and gaming console with a WiFi capability. Essentially I think it’s a stripped-down version of an iPhone.

101. Brooch feature, maybe : NACRE
Nacre is another name for mother-of-pearl. Nacre is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it's also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that's how a pearl is formed.

103. One of the Marx Brothers : ZEPPO
The five Marx Brothers were born to "Minnie" and "Frenchy" Marx in New York City. The more famous older boys were Chico, Harpo and Groucho. Zeppo was the youngest brother, and he appeared in the early Marx Brothers movies. The fifth son was called Gummo, and he decided to pursue a different career off the stage.

104. Threw out of a contest, informally : DQED
“DQ” is short for “disqualify”.

105. Prefix with zone : 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.

106. Lowly laborer : PEON
A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish where it has the same meaning.

109. Concerto soloist, perhaps : OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name "oboe" comes from the French "hautbois" which means "high wood". When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you'll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an "A". The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe's "A". Oh, and if you want to read a fun book (almost an "exposé") about life playing the oboe, you might try "Mozart in the Jungle" by oboist Blair Tindall. I heard recently that the folks at HBO are working towards a pilot based on the book, and I can’t wait to see it!

111. Its stem is used in miso soup : UDO
Udo is a perennial plant native to Japan, known taxonomically as Aralia cordata. The stems of udo are sometimes boiled up and served in miso soup.

112. Witticism : MOT
“Bon mot” (sometimes just “mot”) translates from French as "good word", and we use it to mean a quip, a witticism.

113. Cup holder? : BRA
The word "brassière" is of course French in origin, but it isn't the word the French use for a "bra". In France what we call a bra is known as a "soutien-gorge", translating to "supporting a woman's breasts". The word "brassière" is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby's undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. "Brassière" comes from the Old French word for an "arm protector" in a military uniform ("bras" is the French for "arm"). Later "brassière" came to mean "breast plate" and from there the word was used for a type of woman's corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

115. Energy meas. : BTU
In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water's temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Grp. with an alphabet : NATO
5. Message from police HQ : APB
8. It makes bubbly bubbly : YEAST
13. Tar : SWAB
17. Eastern nurse : AMAH
18. Brooklyn, e.g., informally : BORO
20. Hoi ___ : POLLOI
21. Mammy's place : TARA
22. Falter while imitating Jay-Z? : BUM(BLE) RAP
24. Something thrown in "West Side Story"? : RUM(BLE) PUNCH
26. Underworld deity : OSIRIS
27. "Is that clear?" : GET IT
29. Dickensian setting : LONDON
30. Trick-taking game : BELOT
31. Like pumice : IGNEOUS
33. Game-ending cry : GIN
34. See 107-Down : THAN
36. Sing high notes? : WAR(BLE) ON DRUGS
42. 1970s exile : SHAH
45. Noted 2011 TV retiree, popularly : REGIS
47. Reduce marks? : ERASE
48. Kind of column : OP-ED
49. Nesting site : EAVE
50. Wall Street type : TRADER
52. Develops slowly : GESTATES
54. Cry upon arriving at an earthquake site? : THERE’S THE RUB(BLE)
58. In a frenzy : AMOK
59. Dines on : HAS
60. X, on campuses : CHI
61. Bridge locale : NOSE
62. It may follow "forever and ever" : AMEN
63. Didn't conceal one's smugness : GLOATED
67. Region of 70-Across for which a type of wool is named : KASHMIR
69. Animal stomach : CRAW
70. See 67-Across : ASIA
72. Suffix with ball : -OON
73. "All systems go" : AOK
76. Tuition and others : FEES
77. What the turnover-prone football player had? : DROPPING TROU(BLE)
82. Fountain location : MALT SHOP
84. El Pacífico, e.g. : OCEANO
85. Ball-shaped part : PEEN
86. "Hmm ..." : I SEE
87. Knock for ___ : A LOOP
90. W.W. I battle locale : YPRES
91. A bad one may contain holes : PLOT
92. Shenanigans at the royal court? : NO(BLE) NONSENSE
95. Not a lot : SOME
97. Mil. leader : CDR
98. Points in the right direction : ORIENTS
100. Ball partner : ARNAZ
104. Begin a tour : DEPLOY
108. He wrote "Knowledge is the food of the soul" : PLATO
109. Senescence : OLD AGE
110. Nickname for a hard-to-understand monarch? : QUEEN MUM(BLE)
114. Lens cover for a large telescope? : HUB(BLE) CAP
116. Classical bow wielder : EROS
117. Eats up : ADORES
118. Outer: Prefix : ECTO-
119. Blood rival : CRIP
120. Oxford profs : DONS
121. Feature of grocery purchases, often : NO TAX
122. Coral, e.g. : HUE
123. Numbers game : KENO

Down
1. Bigwig : NABOB
2. Put a smile on : AMUSE
3. Source of the words "mulligatawny" and "catamaran" : TAMIL
4. "Are you kidding me?!" : OH, BROTHER
5. Fives : ABES
6. ___ favor : POR
7. Fort ___, N.C. : BRAGG
8. Source of a viral outbreak : YOUTUBE
9. American ___ : ELM
10. Robe for one tending a flock : ALB
11. Fa-la connector : SOL
12. Telephone system connectors : TIE LINES
13. Taser, say : STUN
14. Airport security item : WAND
15. "Giovanna d'___" (Verdi opera) : ARCO
16. German train track : BAHN
19. Dentist's directive : OPEN WIDE
20. Record listing : PRIOR
23. Neighbor of Poland: Abbr. : LITH
25. The Atlantic, in a common phrase : POND
28. Quick preview : TEASER
31. Subject of Newton's first law of motion : INERTIA
32. Canon product, for short : SLR
33. "Have a look!" : GO SEE
35. Where pieces are put together? : ART SHOW
37. Most holes in one : EAGLES
38. Nomad : ROAMER
39. Baseball's Justin or B. J. : UPTON
40. Many a Silicon Valley hiree : GEEK
41. Radical '60s org. : SDS
42. Genesis son : SETH
43. "Ver-r-ry funny!" : HA HA
44. Some Monopoly properties: Abbr. : AVES
46. Exasperated outburst : GAH
51. Cry just before disaster strikes : RUN
53. "The Magic Flute" protagonist : TAMINO
55. Mercedes-Benz luxury line : E CLASS
56. ___ choy (Chinese vegetable) : BOK
57. Troop grp. : BSA
62. Lovingly, to a musician : AMOROSO
63. Fairy tale girl : GRETEL
64. Big game fish : TARPON
65. That, in Tijuana : ESO
66. Fiesta bowl? : DIP
68. Sex appeal : HOTNESS
69. A tabloid keeps tabs on one : CELEB
71. G.I.'s address : APO
73. Genesis son : ABEL
74. Promise, e.g. : OLEO
75. Alter ego who carries a notepad : KENT
76. Burkina ___ : FASO
77. Sorrow : DOLOR
78. Arctic waters, on historical maps : ICY SEA
79. Mythical elixir of forgetfulness : NEPENTHE
80. Long-jawed fish : GAR
81. Where cheap seats are in a baseball stadium : UPPER DECK
82. Part of r.p.m.: Abbr. : MIN
83. Useful husband, say : HANDYMAN
88. Spanish bear : OSO
89. Befuddle : PERPLEX
93. Nobel Prize subj. : ECON
94. "Frasier" character : NILES
96. Outdoor promenade : MALL
99. iPod ___ : TOUCH
101. Brooch feature, maybe : NACRE
102. Over : AGAIN
103. One of the Marx Brothers : ZEPPO
104. Threw out of a contest, informally : DQED
105. Prefix with zone : EURO
106. Lowly laborer : PEON
107. With 34-Across, what "<" means : LESS 109. Concerto soloist, perhaps : OBOE 111. Its stem is used in miso soup : UDO 112. Witticism : MOT 113. Cup holder? : BRA 115. Energy meas. : BTU

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Anybody ever heard of dropping trou?
Scottish trousers?

Bill Butler said...

I've only heard the term "dropping trou" in crosswords here. I believe it's US slang, and a tad rude ...

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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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