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I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0704-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Jul 12, Wednesday





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: Caleb Madison
THEME: PIXAR Movies … the theme answers are all movies released by Pixar, including the first and last letters in the grid which are circled, giving “UP”:
17A. 2007 : RATATOUILLE
20A. 1998, with "A" : BUG’S LIFE
40A. Company whose movies, not counting sequels, are all included in this puzzle [Circled Squares (UP): 2009] : PIXAR
57A. 1995 : TOY STORY
61A. 2004, with "The" : INCREDIBLES
11D. 2003 : FINDING NEMO
13D. 2012 : BRAVE
23D. 2001 : MONSTERS, INC
27D. 2006 : CARS
50D. 2008 : WALL-E
COMPLETION TIME: 21m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Case the place for, say : ABET
The word "abet" comes into English from the Old French "abeter" meaning "to bait" or "to harass with dogs" (it literally means "to make bite"). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of "abet" meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

17. 2007 : RATATOUILLE
"Ratatouille" is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

19. "Straight Outta Compton" rap group : NWA
NWA was a hip hop group from Compton, California. The original five group members included rappers who have made a name for themselves as solo acts, including: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.

20. 1998, with "A" : BUG’S LIFE
A Bug's Life” is a 1998 animated feature film from Pixar. The storyline is based on the film “The Seven Samurai” and the fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper”.

21. League unit: Abbr. : DIV
A league can be divided into divisions.

22. Big picture? : IMAX
The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo '67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

24. Rope on a ship : TYE
A tye can be either a chain or a rope, and is used to hoist a spar up a mast.

25. Thomas who was "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination" : PAINE
Thomas Paine was an English author who achieved incredible success with his pamphlet “Common Sense” published in 1776 which advocated independence of colonial America from Britain. Paine had immigrated to the American colonies just two years before his pamphlet was published, and so was just in time to make a major contribution to the American Revolution.

27. Benjamins : C-NOTES
Benjamin Franklin is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill, and Philadelphia's Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous "error" in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the "four" is written in Roman numerals is "IV" as perhaps one might expect. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the "four" is denoted by "IIII".

29. "Pardon the Interruption" presenter : ESPN
ESPN is the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day. It was launched back in 1979.

30. Barack Obama's mother : ANN
Barack Obama, Sr. was first married at the age of 18 in his home country of Kenya, and had two children during that marriage. He left his wife and children back in Kenya when he enrolled in the University of Hawaii in 1959 as the school’s first African foreign student. There Obama met Ann Dunham in a Russian language course. The two entered into a romantic relationship and Dunham became pregnant. Obama told Dunham that he was divorced from his first wife (not true), and the pair were married on Maui in 1961. Six months later Barack Obama II was born, destined to be come the 44th President of the United States. Soon after the birth of their child, Ann Dunham moved with their son to Seattle, Washington. The couple were divorced in 1964.

31. San ___ (Hearst castle) : SIMEON
If you’re ever driving along the Central Coast of California, don’t forget to save a few hours to tour Hearst Castle, the estate that used to belong to the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. It is located near San Simeon.

40. Company whose movies, not counting sequels, are all included in this puzzle [Circled Squares (UP): 2009] : PIXAR
Pixar Animation Studios started out as part of Lucasfilm in 1979, George Lucas’s production company. Lucas sold what was to become Pixar to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 1986. Pixar produced its first feature film in 1995, the fabulous “Toy Story”, and followed it with a string of hits. The company was then sold again, to Walt Disney in 2006, when valued at $7.4 billion. That transaction resulted in Steve Jobs becoming the single largest shareholder in the Walt Disney Company.

"Up" is the tenth movie released by Pixar studios, featuring wonderful animation as we have come to expect from Pixar. The film earned itself two Academy Awards. The main voice actor is Ed Asner, whose animated persona as Carl Fredricksen was created to resemble Spencer Tracy in his last film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.

41. Prefix with -therm : ENDO-
An endotherm is an organism that generates heat internally. Humans are endotherms.

43. Can feature : POP-TOP
I think that pop-top refers to a whole family of designs for opening the top of a soda can. The oldest method is the pull-tab, or ring pull, invented in Canada in 1956. The design was long-lived but it had its problems, so the world heaved a sigh of relief with the invention of the stay-on-tab in 1975. The new design led to less injuries and eliminated all those used pull-tabs that littered the streets.

46. Daytime ___ : EMMY
The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars in the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name of "Emmy" is a softened version of the word "immy", the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras.

48. Reporters on the scene : LEGMEN
“Legman” is an informal term for a reporter whose job it is to get information from the scene of an event.

52. Mauna ___ : LOA
Mauna Loa on the "big island" of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume, not height). The name "Mauna Loa" is Hawaiian for "Long Mountain".

55. Southwestern art mecca : TAOS
The city of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo.

57. 1995 : TOY STORY
Not only was 1995’s “Toy Story” Pixar’s first feature film, it was also the first feature film in the world to be made entirely using CGI technology.

60. Island garland : LEI
"Lei" is the Hawaiian word for "garland, wreath", although in more general terms a "lei" is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

61. 2004, with "The" : INCREDIBLES
"The Incredibles" is a 2004 animated feature from Pixar, not a great movie if you ask me. But asking me probably isn't a good idea, as the film won two Oscars ...

65. 1970s soul singer Collins : LYN
Lyn Collins was a soul singer who worked a lot with James Brown. Her best-known song is “Think(About It)”, released in 1972.

66. Innumerable : MYRIAD
"Myriad" comes from the Greek "muraid", meaning "ten thousand".

67. Prefix with postale : AERO-
Aéropostale was a French aviation company founded in 1918 in Toulouse. When Aéropostale was founded, its focus was to be carrying mail, hence the name. The Aéropostale clothing retailer takes its name from the airline.

Down
1. Onetime realm of Nasser: Abbr. : UAR
The UAR, United Arab Republic, was a union between Egypt and Syria, made in 1958 and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

2. C.E.O.'s degree : MBA
The world's first MBA degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

4. "___ Mater" (hymn) : STABAT
There are two hymns that can be referred to as “Stabat Mater”, namely “Stabat Mater Dolorosa” and “Stabat Mater Speciosa”. The former translates as “Sorrows of Mary”, and is the most famous of the pair.

5. Unwanted cloud : SMOG
"Smog" is of course a portmanteau word formed by melding "smoke" and "fog". The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s.

11. 2003 : FINDING NEMO
"Finding Nemo" is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. It was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, "Finding Nemo" is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010's "Toy Story 3", it was the highest-grossing G-rated movie at the box office.

12. Naturalist/TV host Steve : IRWIN
Steve Irwin was a wildlife expert and TV personality from Australia who was known as the Crocodile Hunter. Sadly, Irwin died in 2006 at only 44 years of age, having been stung in the chest by a stingray.

13. 2012 : BRAVE
Brave” is the latest film from Pixar studios, and one that I might just go see. There is a great cast of voice actors that includes the lovely Kelly Macdonald, Julie Waters, Billy Connelly, Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane. As you might guess from that cast, the story is set in Scotland, in the highlands in the tenth century.

18. Fancy duds : TUXES
The style of men's evening dress called a "tuxedo" was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

23. 2001 : MONSTERS, INC
The animated feature "Monsters, Inc." was released in 2001, and was Pixar's fourth full-length movie. It's about cute monsters, that's all I know, other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.

26. "... baked in ___" : A PIE
“Sing a Song of Sixpence” is an English nursery rhyme that dates back to the 1700s. In the rhyme there are a couple of lines that go :
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie
This seems to be a reference to the practice in the 16th century of “baking” live birds into a pie for special occasions. When the crust was cut open the birds would fly away, much to the amusement of the diners.

27. 2006 : CARS
Cars” is a 2006 animated feature from Pixar. The great cast of voice actors includes Paul Newman in his last movie role before he passed away in 2008.

33. Food label abbr. : EXP
Expiration (exp.).

34. Cheerios grain : OAT
Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, in 1941. Back then it was called CheeriOats.

37. Any 40-Across character : TOON
The word “cartoon” was originally used for a “drawing on strong paper”, a durable drawing used as a model for another work. The term comes from the French word “carton” meaning “heavy paper, pasteboard”. Cartoons have been around a long time, with some of the most famous having being drawn by Leonardo da Vinci.

39. Certain caps : TAMS
A tam o'shanter is a man's cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. "Tams" were originally all blue (and called "blue bonnets") but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of Robert Burns poem "Tam O'Shanter".

44. ___ dish : PETRI
Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an "agar plate".

50. 2008 : WALL-E
"WALL-E" is a very cute, Pixar movie, released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot called WALL-E, who loves his "Hello Dolly", and who falls in love with another robot called EVE.

52. Wet suit material : LYCRA
What we call spandex in the US is known as Lycra in the British Isles. “Spandex” was chosen as the name for the elastic fiber as it is an anagram of “expands”.

53. "A hit, a very palpable hit" speaker : OSRIC
In William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet", Osric is the courtier that Claudius dispatches to invite Hamlet to participate in a duel.

58. Chalcedony variety : ONYX
Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it's the black version that's used for jewelry. The name "onyx" comes from the Greek word for "fingernail", as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

Chalcedony is a mineral, a form of silica.

62. Singer David ___ Roth : LEE
David Lee Roth is rock singer, famously the lead singer of the band Van Halen from Southern California.

63. Pitcher's stat : ERA
The pitching stat, earned run average (ERA), measures how many runs a pitcher tends to give up per nine innings.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ones making some safe decisions? : UMPS
5. Some operations : STINGS
11. Little untruth : FIB
14. Case the place for, say : ABET
15. Popular dude : MR COOL
16. Sale bin abbr. : IRR
17. 2007 : RATATOUILLE
19. "Straight Outta Compton" rap group : NWA
20. 1998, with "A" : BUG’S LIFE
21. League unit: Abbr. : DIV
22. Big picture? : IMAX
24. Rope on a ship : TYE
25. Thomas who was "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination" : PAINE
27. Benjamins : C-NOTES
29. "Pardon the Interruption" presenter : ESPN
30. Barack Obama's mother : ANN
31. San ___ (Hearst castle) : SIMEON
35. "___ it!" : I GET
38. Others : REST
40. Company whose movies, not counting sequels, are all included in this puzzle [Circled Squares: 2009] : PIXAR
41. Prefix with -therm : ENDO-
42. Mlle., in Mexico : SRTA
43. Can feature : POP-OP
45. Latin "I" : EGO
46. Daytime ___ : EMMY
48. Reporters on the scene : LEGMEN
50. Deserving fewer stars (than) : WORSE
52. Mauna ___ : LOA
55. Southwestern art mecca : TAOS
56. Washboard ___ : ABS
57. 1995 : TOY STORY
60. Island garland : LEI
61. 2004, with "The" : INCREDIBLES
65. 1970s soul singer Collins : LYN
66. Innumerable : MYRIAD
67. Prefix with postale : AERO-
68. Keyboard key above ~ : ESC
69. Wreaks, as revenge : EXACTS
70. Get back : REAP

Down
1. Onetime realm of Nasser: Abbr. : UAR
2. C.E.O.'s degree : MBA
3. Four-footed family member : PET
4. "___ Mater" (hymn) : STABAT
5. Unwanted cloud : SMOG
6. Have faith in : TRUST
7. Unfriendly way to respond : ICILY
8. "For real!" : NO LIE
9. Stay on course? : GOLF
10. Goes undercover? : SLEEPS
11. 2003 : FINDING NEMO
12. Naturalist/TV host Steve : IRWIN
13. 2012 : BRAVE
18. Fancy duds : TUXES
22. Hidden : INNER
23. 2001 : MONSTERS, INC
26. "... baked in ___" : A PIE
27. 2006 : CARS
28. ___ cup (tot's drinking vessel) : SIPPY
29. Sign up : ENROL
32. Italian pronoun : MIO
33. Food label abbr. : EXP
34. Cheerios grain : OAT
36. Barely beats : EDGES
37. Any 40-Across character : TOON
39. Certain caps : TAMS
44. ___ dish : PETRI
47. Harried parent's desire, maybe : ME TIME
49. Place where opposites don't attract? : GAY BAR
50. 2008 : WALL-E
51. Heeds : OBEYS
52. Wet suit material : LYCRA
53. "A hit, a very palpable hit" speaker : OSRIC
54. Really irked : ATE AT
58. Chalcedony variety : ONYX
59. 7:30 or 8:15, say : ODDS
62. Singer David ___ Roth : LEE
63. Pitcher's stat : ERA
64. Soak : SOP

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

This puzzle made no sense and was really stupid.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

Well, there are good and bad puzzles, and a wide range of opinions about each puzzle.

I thought this one was pretty good, myself. The only complaint I had was the use of the U and the P at the beginning of the grid to make "UP". I thought that was a bit tortuous and forced.

Otherwise, I enjoyed it!

Thanks for stopping by.

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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.

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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