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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

0619-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Jun 12, Tuesday





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: Steven Riley
THEME: All the Os … the grid is replete with the letter O, 69 of them in fact. And there’s not one other vowel.
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. "Don't tase me, ___!" : BRO
The phrase “Don’t tase me, bro!” entered the public consciousness after a clash between a student and University of Florida police officers back in 2007. The student, Andrew Meyer, was being escorted away from a public forum after demanding the right to ask questions after the question period had ended. He resisted the officers and was arrested. After further resistance an officer pulled out his taser and Meyer uttered the words “Don’t tase me, bro!”. As one might expect these days, the whole incident was filmed by onlookers and posted on YouTube. The videos went viral, and “Don’t tase me, bro!” eventually was listed by “The Yale Book of Quotations” as the most memorable quote of the year.

8. Like traditional movies, for short : TWO-D
The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. A line, therefore, is one-dimensional as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

12. Othello, e.g. : MOOR
The most famous Moor in literature has to be Othello, the title character in William Shakespeare's tragedy "Othello, the Moor of Venice". The word "Moor" describes various peoples of North Africa, usually of the Muslim faith. At the height of their geographic influence the Moors occupied much of the Iberian peninsula, calling it Al Andalus (from which modern Andalusia gets its name).

13. Hardly a natty dresser : SLOB
A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly and neatly.

15. Not esto or eso : OTRO
In Spanish, not this (esto) or that (eso) but rather the other (otro).

17. Last movement of a sonata : RONDO
A rondo was often chosen by composers for the last movement of a sonata (or symphony or concerto, for that matter). In rondo form there is a principal theme that alternates with a contrasting theme(s). So, the original theme anchors the whole piece in between secondary digressions.

The name "sonata" comes from the Latin and Italian word "sonare" meaning "to sound". A sonata is a piece of music that is played, as opposed to a cantata (from Latin and Italian "cantare" meaning "to sing"), a piece of music that is sung.

20. Four Holy Roman emperors : OTTOS
The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) existed from 962 to 1806 AD and was a territory of varying size over the centuries that centered on the Kingdom of Germany. The HRE was a successor to the western half of Roman Empire of the ancient Roman civilization.

23. Jolly Green Giant's outburst : HO HO HO
The Jolly Green Giant was introduced by Minnesota Valley Canning in 1925 to help sell the company's peas. He was named after one of the varieties of pea that the company sold, the "Green Giant". The Jolly Green Giant first appeared in a television commercial in 1953, walking through a valley with young boys running around at his feet. That first commercial proved to be so scary for younger viewers that it was immediately pulled off the air.

26. ___ dragon : KOMODO
A Komodo dragon is so named because it is found on the island of Komodo (and others) in Indonesia. It can grow to a length of over 9 1/2 feet, so I guess that explains the dragon part of the name …

29. Treasure in un castillo : ORO
In Spanish, gold “oro” might be found in a castle (castillo).

30. Singer Donny or Marie : OSMOND
The former teen idol Donny Osmond was of course a member of the Osmond Brothers singing group that appeared for years on the “The Andy Williams Show”. At the height of his solo career, Donny teamed up with his younger sister Marie Osmond in their own variety show called “Donnie & Marie”. The pair have been working together ever since and have been appearing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas since 2008.

33. "The Pearl of ___ Island" (Harriet Beecher Stowe novel) : ORR’S
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a novel called “The Pearl of Orr’s Island” which is about a young woman trying to establish herself among the inhabitants of Orr’s Island in the Gulf of Maine.

37. Madrid zoo attraction : OSO
In Spanish, "osa" is a female bear, and "oso" is a male.

39. Somewhat, in music : POCO
“Poco” is an Italian word for “little” and is used in musical notation to mean “to a small degree, a little”.

40. Main thoroughfare through N.Y.C.'s Chinatown : MOTT ST
Mott Street in Manhattan was probably named after a successful butcher and tavern owner who lived in the area. Mott was known for lending support to those fighting the British during the American Revolution.

42. 1969 "bed-in" participant : ONO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a very public honeymoon in a hotels in Amsterdam and then Montreal, when they staged their famous "bed-in" for peace. In answering questions from reporters Lennon found himself often repeating the words "give peace a chance". While still in bed, he composed his famous song "Give Peace a Chance" and even made the original recording of the song in the Montreal hotel room, with reporters present, and with a whole bunch of friends. The song was released later in 1969 and became a smash hit.

43. Orbiter of Mars : PHOBOS
Mars has two moons, the larger of which is Phobos and the smaller is Deimos. “Phobos” is the Greek word for “fear”, and “Deimos” is Greek for “dread”.

53. "Still a G Thang" rapper : SNOOP DOGG
The rap star Snoop Dogg's real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus. He is the most famous protege of the notorious rapper Dr. Dre. Sadly, Snoop Dogg has had numerous run-ins with police all round the world, even after he started to live the good life that came with his fame.

59. Booty : LOOT
"Booty", meaning plunder or profit, is derived from the Old French word "butin" which has the same meaning.

60. Spanish skating figures : OCHOS
Eights, in Spanish (ochos).

64. C.I.A. forerunner : OSS
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

65. General ___ chicken : TSO’S
General Tso's chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zontang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

Down
1. Sequel to "Typee" : OMOO
Herman Melville mined his own experiences for his most famous novel, "Moby Dick". Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for "Moby Dick"). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later, and lived with natives (actually cannibals) on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for "Typee"). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate headed for Boston (a source for "Omoo").

2. Wilson's "The ___ Baltimore" : HOT L
“The Hot l Baltimore” is a play by Lanford Wilson about the manager and residents of a dilapidated hotel in Baltimore. The play’s name comes from the establishment’s neon sign which is meant to read “Hotel Baltimore”, but the burnt out “e” was never replaced.

3. Away from l'Antarctique : NORD
In French, when moving away from the Antarctic (l'Antarctique), one moves to the north (nord).

4. Jesse who pitched a major-league record 1,252 games : OROSCO
Jesse Orosco is a former baseball pitcher who played for several teams including the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Orosco had a long playing career, retiring when he was 46 years old. Partly because of that long career, he holds the major league record for career pitching performances: 1,252 games.

6. Chocolatey Hershey candy : ROLOS
Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. It was developed in the thirties in the UK, and is made under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy, whereas the recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft, gooey center.

7. Ancient Greek coin : OBOL
An obol is also known as an obolus. It was a silver coin used in Greece, and worth one sixth of a drachma.

10. Great Seal word : ORDO
The Latin phrase “Novus ordo seclorum” means “New order of the ages”. It appears on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, a device used to authenticate some US federal documents. “Novus ordo seclorum” also appears on the back of one-dollar bills. The phrase itself is lifted from one of the works of the ancient Roman poet Virgil.

11. U.K. decorations : DSOS
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a British military award, usually presented to officers with the rank of Major or higher.

13. Stupid sorts : SCHMOS
“Schmo” is American slang for a dull or boring person, from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

14. Stick between the legs? : BROOM
A witch (or maybe Harry Potter) might fly threw the air on a broom.

19. Some salmon : COHOS
The Coho salmon is silver along the side of its body, but only during the phase of its life while it is in the ocean. When spawning, and heading up into a freshwater river, the Coho has bright red sides.

22. Brick carrier : HOD
A hod is 3-sided box on the the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks (and sometimes mortar) at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.

24. Lowest deck of a ship : ORLOP
The orlop is the lowest deck on the ship, the place where cables and ropes used to be stored. The name “orlop” comes from the Dutch word “overlopen” meaning “to run over”. The idea is that all these ropes "ran over" each other while in storage.

25. Moonshine : HOOCH
In the Klondike gold rush, a favorite tipple of the miners was "Hoochinoo", a liquor made by the native Alaskans. Soon after "hooch" (also "hootch") was adopted as a word for cheap whiskey.

28. Maine university town : ORONO
The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation.

31. Things Old MacDonald hears : MOOS
There was an American version of the English children's song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes "Old Macdougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o".

32. Düsseldorf-to-Dresden direction : OST
“Ost” is German for “east”.

36. Place for a break : POOL ROOM
The more correct name for the game of pool is pocket billiards. The name "pool" came after pocket billiards became a common feature in "pool halls", places where gamblers "pooled" their money to bet on horse races.

38. It makes a cutting edge : STROP
A strop is a strip of leather used to sharpen a razor.

49. Ax and adz : TOOLS
An adze (also adz) is similar to an axe, but different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool's shaft. An axe's blade is set in line with the shaft.

50. One not socializing much with hoi polloi : SNOB
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasised their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

"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.

51. Conan O'Brien's Team ___ : COCO
I guess Coco is a nickname for Conan O’Brien …

Before Conan O'Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host he was a writer. He wrote for both "Saturday Night Live" and "The Simpsons".

52. Roman emperor of A.D. 69 : OTHO
Otho was Emperor of Rome for only three months, before he committed suicide.

56. Classic muscle cars : GTOS
GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Don't say it!" : OH NO
5. "Don't tase me, ___!" : BRO
8. Like traditional movies, for short : TWO-D
12. Othello, e.g. : MOOR
13. Hardly a natty dresser : SLOB
14. Rude sorts : BOORS
15. Not esto or eso : OTRO
16. Home of the Rockies: Abbr. : COLO
17. Last movement of a sonata : RONDO
18. Traditional : OLD SCHOOL
20. Four Holy Roman emperors : OTTOS
21. Guest passes : COMPS
22. Boiling : HOT
23. Jolly Green Giant's outburst : HO HO HO
26. ___ dragon : KOMODO
29. Treasure in un castillo : ORO
30. Singer Donny or Marie : OSMOND
33. "The Pearl of ___ Island" (Harriet Beecher Stowe novel) : ORR'S
35. Spills (over) : SLOPS
37. Madrid zoo attraction : OSO
38. Stage item accompanying many a stand-up comic : STOOL
39. Somewhat, in music : POCO
40. Main thoroughfare through N.Y.C.'s Chinatown : MOTT ST
42. 1969 "bed-in" participant : ONO
43. Orbiter of Mars : PHOBOS
45. Intro material : PROLOG
47. Blue : LOW
48. Didn't fall : STOOD
50. Turn up one's nose at : SCORN
53. "Still a G Thang" rapper : SNOOP DOGG
57. Against the rules : NOT OK
58. Catchy musical phrase : HOOK
59. Booty : LOOT
60. Spanish skating figures : OCHOS
61. Ones taking night flights? : OWLS
62. Vision: Prefix : OPTO-
63. Film set item : BOOM
64. C.I.A. forerunner : OSS
65. General ___ chicken : TSO’S

Down
1. Sequel to "Typee" : OMOO
2. Wilson's "The ___ Baltimore" : HOT L
3. Away from l'Antarctique : NORD
4. Jesse who pitched a major-league record 1,252 games : OROSCO
5. Arcing hit : BLOOP
6. Chocolatey Hershey candy : ROLOS
7. Ancient Greek coin : OBOL
8. [Out of my way!] : TOOT TOOT
9. Refuses to : WON’T
10. Great Seal word : ORDO
11. U.K. decorations : DSOS
13. Stupid sorts : SCHMOS
14. Stick between the legs? : BROOM
19. Some salmon : COHOS
22. Brick carrier : HOD
23. Ambulance's destination: Abbr. : HOSP
24. Lowest deck of a ship : ORLOP
25. Moonshine : HOOCH
26. Part of a tied tie : KNOT
27. Reason for a bib : DROOL
28. Maine university town : ORONO
31. Things Old MacDonald hears : MOOS
32. Düsseldorf-to-Dresden direction : OST
34. Trudge : SLOG
36. Place for a break : POOL ROOM
38. It makes a cutting edge : STROP
40. Cut (down) : MOW
41. Spies, slangily : SPOOKS
44. Knocks on the noggin : BONKS
46. Certain stock sale : ODD LOT
48. Fools but good : SNOWS
49. Ax and adz : TOOLS
50. One not socializing much with hoi polloi : SNOB
51. Conan O'Brien's Team ___ : COCO
52. Roman emperor of A.D. 69 : OTHO
53. "Git!" : SHOO
54. Boo-boo follower : OOPS
55. Attend : GO TO
56. Classic muscle cars : GTOS

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

O look, lots of Os. But, this puzzle must hold the world's record for the number of very obscure clues and words. I circled over 15 clues, the answers to which I'd never heard of. 15A, 13D, 17D and 32D were in foreign languages. 53A was the name of a Rap artist. 4D was a baseball player. 11D, DSOS, is, allegedly, some kind of U.K. decorations. 24D is ORLOP (Well, of course). And so on. I'd never want to play Scrabble with this guy.

Bill Butler said...

I know what you mean. When a setter gives himself or herself restrictions (like avoiding the vowels a,e,i and u), then I find myself having a schizoid response to puzzle. On the one had, I have to admire the setter's ingenuity. On the other hand, the resulting puzzle is less satisfying to solve (for me), as the palette of available answers has been drastically reduced.

The question for me is, does admiration of the puzzle's design offset the loss of satisfaction in the actual solving? Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't ...

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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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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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