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Greetings from Blackrock in Dublin, Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland until October 9th. I plan on doing the puzzle each day (with a pint, no doubt), although I may be a little late due to time zone differences. I am sure that you understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

0618-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 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: Peter A. Collins
THEME: There is a note that goes along with today’s puzzle:
When this puzzle is done, the circled letters, reading from left to right and top to bottom, will reveal who wrote the seven songs in the theme.
Looking at those circled letters we spell out LENNON MCCARTNEY, and today is Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday.
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Piquancy : ZEST
Something that is “piquant” is pleasantly sharp in taste, zesty. “Piquant” is the French word for “prickly”.

8. Sycophants, slangily : KISS-UPS
A sycophant is a selfish person, one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

16. Durham sch. : UNH
The University of New Hampshire is the largest university in the state. It was founded as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts in 1866.

17. South Pacific region : OCEANIA
The part of the Pacific Ocean known as Oceania is roughly equivalent to the tropical islands of the South Pacific. Oceania can be divided into the regions of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

18. Nebraska tribe : OTOE
The Otoe were the first Native American tribe encountered in the West by Lewis and Clark. The explorers met with the Otoe (and Missouria) tribes in 1804 at a spot that became known as Council Bluff. The site is now a National Historic Landmark called Fort Atkinson, Nebraska as a fort was built there on Lewis's recommendation.

19. "___ Beso" (Paul Anka hit) : ESO
"Eso Beso" is Spanish for "That Kiss", and was the name of a hit for Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.

Canadian-born Paul Anka's big hit was in 1957, the song titled "Diana". He was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962, called "Lonely Boy".

20. 1970 song with the lyric "Whisper words of wisdom" : LET IT BE
"Let It Be" was the last song that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The song was written by Paul McCartney, and is clearly one of his own favorites. He says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line "Mother Mary comes to me". Paul's second wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang "Let It Be" at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song ...

21. 1965 song with the lyric "Isn't he a bit like you and me?" : NOWHERE MAN
“Nowhere Man” is an early song by the Beatles, released in 1966. “Nowhere Man” was one of the first songs that John Lennon wrote that was more philosophical than romantic in nature, something that was to stand out in his composing for the rest of his life.

24. Wealthy Brits : NOBS
In UK slang a “nob” is a person with social standing.

28. 1969 song with the lyric "Once there was a way to get back homeward" : GOLDEN SLUMBERS
“Golden Slumbers” is one of two songs recorded as one track on the “Abbey Road” album released in 1969. The second part of the track is the song “Carry That Weight”. John Lennon’s voice was dubbed in after the main recording of “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight”. Lennon was in hospital for the original recording due to an auto accident.

37. Singer DiFranco : ANI
Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. She has also been labeled a "feminist icon" and in 2006 won the "Woman of Courage Award" from National Organization of Women.

38. 1965 song with the lyric "These are words that go together well" : MICHELLE
The beautifully simple ballad “Michelle” was written mainly by Paul McCartney and released by the Beatles in 1965. “Michelle” won the Grammy for Best Song in 1967, beating out such classics as “Born Free”, “Somewhere My Love” and “Strangers in the Night”.

42. Low island : CAY
A "key" (also "cay") is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys for example. Our term in English comes from the Spanish "cayo" meaning "shoal, reef".

43. Election mo. : NOV
Election Day was chosen by congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

45. Heredity unit : GENE
A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

46. 1965 song with the lyric "Think of what you're saying" : WE CAN WORK IT OUT
“Think of what you're saying” is a lyric from the The Beatles 1965 hit “We Can Work It Out”. The song was part of the first record ever to be described as a “double A-side”, and featured alongside “Day Tripper”.

52. Bear: Sp. : OSO
In Spanish, "osa" is a female bear, and "oso" is a male.

54. McCarthy-era attorney Roy : COHN
Roy Cohn was a prominent assistant and associate to Senator Joseph McCarthy in the days when McCarthy was famously investigating Communist activities in the US. Prior to his work with Senator McCarthy, Cohn was a central figure on the prosecuting team in the 1951 espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

57. 1968 song with the lyric "We all want to change the world" : REVOLUTION
The recording and release of the Beatles song "Revolution" was very much driven by John Lennon. John was by then in a committed relationship with Yoko Ono, and well into the “revolutionary” phase of his life. One interesting thing to note about the original recording is the "scream" right at the start of the song. This had to come from Paul rather than John, because John couldn’t catch his breath after the scream in time to start into the song’s lyrics.

61. 1968 song with the lyric "Remember to let her into your heart" : HEY JUDE
"Hey Jude" was originally a song called "Hey Jules", written by Paul McCartney. He wrote the original song for John Lennon's son Julian, as a way of comforting during his parents divorce.

64. Suffix with zinc : -ITE
Zincite is the mineral form of zinc oxide.

65. "Amos 'n' ___" : ANDY
"Amos 'n' Andy" was originally a radio sitcom that was on the air from the twenties right up to the fifties. It was about Amos Jones and Andy Brown, two farm workers from outside Atlanta, who head to Chicago to make good for themselves. They eventually start up the Fresh Air Taxi Company. The show was somewhat groundbreaking for the time, as it depicted African Americans for the first time in positions of influence as business owners. There was a TV adaptation that aired from 1951 to 1953, and in syndication right up to 1966. I have never seen/heard the show, but it sounds like it is a classic ...

68. Some HDTV screens : LCDS
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens. They basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

In the digital world, resolution of a display, television, image etc. is defined by the number of pixels that can be displayed in a standard area (say a square inch). The emphasis today is on producing larger area displays/televisions, i.e increasing the number of pixels simply by increasing the size of the screen. In the past couple of decades the emphasis was on adding more pixels within the same screen size to increase resolution. That would just be wasted effort these days as further increases in resolution cannot be perceived by the eye. Now that TVs are capable of displaying such high resolutions, broadcasters are responding by producing a video signal of "higher resolution" that they call high-definition television, HDTV.

70. Car rte. displayer : GPS
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. He was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because it accidentally strayed into Soviet airspace.

Down
1. Jewish homeland : ZION
The name “Zion” first turns up in the Book of Solomon in the Bible. Zion is commonly used to refer to Jerusalem, and sometimes the Biblical land of Israel.

3. Garbage boat : SCOW
A scow is that flat-bottomed boat with squared off ends that's often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

5. "C'est la ___" : GUERRE
C’est la guerre is French for “that’s war”, and means “it can’t be helped”.

7. Cartoonist Nast : THOMAS
Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. He was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party's donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today.

8. German cathedral city : KOLN
Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is called “Koln” in German.

11. Jeanne d'Arc, e.g. : SAINTE
Joan of Arc (also Jeanne d’Arc) led the French Army successfully into battle a number of times during the Hundred Years War with England. When she was eventually captured she was tried in Rouen, the seat of the occupying English government in France at that time. There she was burned at the stake having been found guilty of heresy. Joan of Arc was canonized some 600 years later, in 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.

13. Mr. ___ (soft drink) : PIBB
The soft drink called Pibb Xtra used to be known as Mr Pibb, and before that was called Peppo. Peppo was introduced in 1972 as a direct competitor to Dr Pepper.

14. Mailing encls. : SAES
Stamped addressed envelope (SAE).

26. Disney's "___ and the Detectives" : EMIL
“Emil and the Detectives” is a novel first published in 1929. It was originally written in German and was titled “Emil und die Detektive”. The Disney company released a screen adaptation in 1964.

28. First Moody Blues hit : GO NOW
The Moody Blues are an English rock band that was first formed in 1964. The Moody Blues were noted in the early days for fusing classical musical with rock and released a famous 1967 album in that style called “Days of Future Passed”.

29. Martini garnish : OLIVE
The name "martini" probably takes it name from the "Martini & Rossi" brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear, is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US.


31. Houston sch. : RICE U
William Marsh Rice University is a private school in Houston, Texas. Rice had made a will endowing the funds for the establishment of the school at the time of his death. When he was found dead one morning in his bed, his lawyer announced that his will had been changed, with the bulk of Rice’s estate actually going to the lawyer making the announcement. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the lawyer had paid Rice’s valet to murder his employer using chloroform and a fake will was written. Eventually the original will was deemed valid, and the funds were disbursed so that the school could be built.

36. Soapmaking stuff : LYE
Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

38. Unaccounted-for G.I.'s : MIAS
Missing in action (MIA).

41. Physicist with a law : HOOKE
Robert Hooke was an Englishman, very much an expert in a number of disciplines ranging from science and architecture to philosophy. Hooke spent part of his working life as assistant to the 17th century scientist Robert Boyle.

Hooke’s Law states that the amount a spring extends is directly proportional to the load that is applied.

50. Archipelago bits : ISLETS
“Archipelago” is a name often used for a group or chain of islands. “Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. “Arcipelago” was the proper name for the Aegean Sea in Greek, a word that was eventually used for the Aegean Islands.

51. Letter after sigma : TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman "T". Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

Sigma is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is the one used for an “ess” sound.

54. Common bait fish : CHUB
There is a whole family of fish called "chubs" including, European chubs, lake chubs, hornyhead chub, creek chubs, and a host of others.

55. Wine: Prefix : OENO-
In Greek mythology Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us "oen-" as a prefix meaning "wine". Oenology, for example, is the study of wine.

58. Ancient Peruvian : INCA
The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in part of South America that today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of the continent. The Empire of course fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Tupac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.

60. Big Board inits. : NYSE
The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement.

62. Troop-entertaining grp. : USO
The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR "to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces". A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

63. "In excelsis ___" : DEO
"Gloria in excelsis Deo" is the title of a Latin hymn, which translates as "Glory to God in the highest".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Piquancy : ZEST
5. Feel in one's ___ : GUT
8. Sycophants, slangily : KISS-UPS
15. 1/12 of a ruler : INCH
16. Durham sch. : UNH
17. South Pacific region : OCEANIA
18. Nebraska tribe : OTOE
19. "___ Beso" (Paul Anka hit) : ESO
20. 1970 song with the lyric "Whisper words of wisdom" : LET IT BE
21. 1965 song with the lyric "Isn't he a bit like you and me?" : NOWHERE MAN
24. Wealthy Brits : NOBS
25. Fictitious : UNREAL
26. Chow down : EAT
28. 1969 song with the lyric "Once there was a way to get back homeward" : GOLDEN SLUMBERS
33. Common people : FOLK
34. Lament loudly : WAIL
35. Sick : ILL
37. Singer DiFranco : ANI
38. 1965 song with the lyric "These are words that go together well" : MICHELLE
42. Low island : CAY
43. Election mo. : NOV
44. "Am ___ late?" : I TOO
45. Heredity unit : GENE
46. 1965 song with the lyric "Think of what you're saying" : WE CAN WORK IT OUT
52. Bear: Sp. : OSO
53. Nebraska neighbor : KANSAS
54. McCarthy-era attorney Roy : COHN
57. 1968 song with the lyric "We all want to change the world" : REVOLUTION
61. 1968 song with the lyric "Remember to let her into your heart" : HEY JUDE
64. Suffix with zinc : -ITE
65. "Amos 'n' ___" : ANDY
66. Candid, as a photo : UNPOSED
67. Pecan or cashew : NUT
68. Some HDTV screens : LCDS
69. Slip-ups : BOO-BOOS
70. Car rte. displayer : GPS
71. Comfort : EASE

Down
1. Jewish homeland : ZION
2. Inner: Prefix : ENTO-
3. Garbage boat : SCOW
4. One of filmdom's Avengers : THE HULK
5. "C'est la ___" : GUERRE
6. Invisible : UNSEEN
7. Cartoonist Nast : THOMAS
8. German cathedral city : KOLN
9. Cold cube : ICE
10. Sink, as the sun : SET
11. Jeanne d'Arc, e.g. : SAINTE
12. "Do ___ others ..." : UNTO
13. Mr. ___ (soft drink) : PIBB
14. Mailing encls. : SAES
22. Conclusion : END
23. "For ___ know ..." : ALL WE
26. Disney's "___ and the Detectives" : EMIL
27. Up to the task : ABLE
28. First Moody Blues hit : GO NOW
29. Martini garnish : OLIVE
30. Delta competitor: Abbr. : UAL
31. Houston sch. : RICE U
32. Bias : SLANT
33. Enthusiast : FAN
36. Soapmaking stuff : LYE
38. Unaccounted-for G.I.'s : MIAS
39. "Pay ___ mind" : IT NO
40. Mooer : COW
41. Physicist with a law : HOOKE
45. Lose freshness : GO STALE
47. Scam : CON JOB
48. Stark ___ mad : RAVING
49. Get tense and hard, as a muscle : KNOT UP
50. Archipelago bits : ISLETS
51. Letter after sigma : TAU
54. Common bait fish : CHUB
55. Wine: Prefix : OENO-
56. Syringe, for short : HYPO
57. Cherry and ruby : REDS
58. Ancient Peruvian : INCA
59. Bookies give them : ODDS
60. Big Board inits. : NYSE
62. Troop-entertaining grp. : USO
63. "In excelsis ___" : DEO

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2 comments :

Jan said...

What do you MEAN, the circled letters spell out Lennon and McCartney from left to right AND from top to bottom? They do from left to right, but top to bottom is nothing more than the jumbled letters of their names in no particular lrder, ALSO, a mailing enclosure is commonly assumed to be SASE for Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Jan,

The note that comes with the puzzle reads:

When this puzzle is done, the circled letters, reading from left to right and top to bottom, will reveal who wrote the seven songs in the theme

I take this to mean that one reads the circled letters in order starting from the top-left and moving to the bottom-right. I hope that makes sense.

Also, I agree that the abbreviation more commonly used for an enclosure with a letter is SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). I mistakenly assumed that the less common abbreviation SAE stood for "self-addressed envelope" when in fact it stands for "stamped addressed envelope". Apologies for that slip!

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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.

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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.

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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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