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0707-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Jul 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: Tim Croce
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 25m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … WACKY (WACKO), IGY (I GO)


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Person in upper sales? : DEALER
A drug dealer might sell “uppers”: amphetamines.

16. Title bandit in a Verdi work : ERNANI
“Ernani” is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, first performed in 1844 in Venice. “Ernani” has the distinction of being the first opera ever to be recorded in completion, by HMV in England in 1904. The recording took up 40 single-sided, vinyl discs.

17. "Ixnay" : IT’S A NO GO
Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters "ay". So the Pig Latin for the word "nix" is "ix-n-ay" ... ixnay, and for "scram" is "am-scr-ay"

22. Wife of Angel Clare, in literature : TESS
Angel Clare is the husband of the heroine Tess, in Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”.

The full name of Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel is "Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented". When it was originally published, "Tess ..." received very mixed reviews, largely because it addresses some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (society's attitude towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski's "Tess" released in 1979. Polanski apparently made "Tess" because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy's novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that simply reads "To Sharon".

24. Lundi ___ : GRAS
Lundi Gras (French for “Fat Monday”) is a relatively contemporary term, used in the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. More traditionally known as Shrove Monday, Lundi Gras is the day before Fat Tuesday, which in turn is the day before Ash Wednesday.

30. Like the Three Stooges : WACKY
If you've seen a few of the films starring "The Three Stooges" you'll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as "Moe, Larry and Shemp". Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, "Moe, Larry And Curly". Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then "Curly-Joe" DeRita. When Larry Fine had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

32. Stream past Memphis : NILE
Memphis was an ancient city on the River Nile. The ruins of Memphis are located just south of Cairo, Egypt. It was a magnificent city that eventually failed due to the economic success of the city of Alexandria located further down the river, right on the Mediterranean coast.

36. Smart one? : ALECK
Apparently the original "smart alec" was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

38. N.C.A.A.'s Conference ___ : USA
Conference USA is a Southern US college athletic conference that was founded in 1995.

39. Provider of some light fare : POPS
A pops orchestra is one noted for playing popular music as well as the more approachable and well-known classical pieces. A noted example would be the Boston Pops orchestra.

41. 1,000 liters : STERE
"Stere" is a metric measure, although it is not part of the modern metric system. Nowadays the stere is used as a measure for firewood, and is equal to one cubic meter.

42. 1980s gangster sobriquet : THE TEFLON DON
“Teflon Don” was a nickname for American mobster John Gotti.

John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family from 1985, taking over from Paul Castellano, was gunned down allegedly on Gotti's orders. Gotti remained head of the New York family until he was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. Gotti died of throat cancer after ten years behind bars.

51. Kind of pressure : OSMOTIC
Osmosis is the movement of a solvent (often just water) across a semi-permeable membrane. In the process of osmosis, the solvent tends to flow from an area of less concentration to an area of higher concentration.

54. Ibsen title heroine : GABLER
“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as “the female Hamlet”.

56. Danish ancestor : OLD NORSE
Old Norse is the language that was spoken by the Vikings in their Scandinavian homeland and their overseas territories.

58. Yanks are part of it : AL EAST
The New York Yankees baseball team is a founding member of the American League East.

59. Woody Allen film subjects : NEUROSES
Woody Allen's real name is Allan Stewart Konigsberg. Allen has been nominated for an Academy Award an incredible 21 times in many different categories, and has won on three occasions. He has more Oscar nominations as a screenwriter than any other writer, but he spurns the Awards ceremony and only attended it once in all his years in the movie business. He broke tradition by turning up at the 2002 ceremony, unannounced, to beg producers to continue filming in his beloved New York City despite the fears created by the 9/11 attacks.

Down
2. Agave fiber : ISTLE
Istle is a fiber that is obtained from various tropical plants including the agave and yucca tree.

4. Hiker's purchase : KNAPSACK
"Knapsack" is a Low German word for a bag with straps designed to be carried on the back. The word "knapsack" probably comes from the German verb "knappen" meaning "to eat".

6. Texter's P.O.V. preceder : IMO
A person sending a text message might say “in my opinion” (IMO) before expressing his or her “point of view” (POV).

7. Where Tara Lipinski upset Michelle Kwan : NAGANO
Nagano is a city on Japan’s largest island, Honshu. Nagano was host to the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

When American skater Tara Lipinski won the figure skating gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, she was only 15 years old. To this day Lipinski is the youngest person to win an individual gold at the Winter Games.

Michelle Kwan is perhaps the most successful American figure skater in history.

9. One with an important point? : DECIMAL
Here in the US and over in the British Isles we tend to use a period or full stop to separate the whole part from the fractional part of a number written in decimal form. In continental Europe, say in France, Germany and Italy, that decimal "point” is usually a comma.

10. Form of "sum" : ERAT
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

12. Jeep alternative : LAND ROVER
Land Rover is a British car manufacturer, the second oldest manufacturer of four-wheel-drive cars in the world (after the American Jeep). The first Land Rover was produced just after WWII, in 1948.

13. Disney doe : ENA
Ena is Bambi's aunt in the 1942 Disney film “Bambi”. The movie is based on the novel "Bambi, A Life in the Woods" written by Austrian author Felix Salten, first published in 1923.

23. 1982 Donald Fagen hit subtitled "What a Beautiful World" : IGY
“I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)” is a song written and sung by Donald Fagen, lead singer of Steely Dan. The IGY acronym in the song’s title refers to International Geophysical Year, an event promoting international scientific cooperation in the late fifties.

25. She asked "What IS an un-birthday present?" : ALICE
In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”, Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice that he was given the cravat that he was wearing as an “un-birthday present”. He further explains to Alice that an un-birthday is an event celebrated on any day other than a person’s birthday.

26. Home to Ellsworth A.F.B. : S DAK
Ellsworth Air Force Base is located about twenty miles northeast of Rapid City, South Dakota. Just outside the gates of the base is the South Dakota Air & Space Museum (well worth a visit) from which you can take a tour of the base itself. Inside the base, folks on the tour get to go down a missile silo. I’ve done the tour, and I highly recommend it …

28. Means of audio-visual connection : SKYPE
The main feature of the Skype application is that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called "Sky peer-to-peer" which gave birth to the name "Skyper", which had to be shortened to "Skype" because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

29. N.Z. was a member of it : SEATO
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was set up in 1954, a defense organization with the mission to block communist influence growing in Southeast Asia. The driving force behind the organization's creation was President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Dulles. The list of SEATO members included Australia, France, the Philippines, the UK and the US. The organization was never really considered effective and it fell apart in 1977 largely due to a lack of interest by the members.

30. Chinese martial arts, collectively : WUSHU
“Wushu” is a Mandarin term describing Chinese martial arts. An equivalent term is “kung fu”, a term that we might recognise more readily.

31. Many gastrointestinal tract residents : ANAEROBES
Anaerobic organisms are those that do not require oxygen to live. A good example would be the bacteria working away in a septic tank. It's fortunate that these bacteria are anaerobes, otherwise the tank would have to be opened up to the external atmosphere.

41. 1960s org. revived in 2006 : 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. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

43. Newtons per ampere-meter : TESLAS
The Tesla unit measures the strength of a magnetic field, and is named after the physicist Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. His work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

48. Leotards cover them : TORSI
"Torso" (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the "trunk of a statue", a word that we imported into English.

The garment known as a leotard was named for French trapeze artist Jules Léotard. Léotard wore such a garment when he was performing.

49. Areas for some kneelers : APSES
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

52. Neighbor of Apache Junction : MESA
The city of Mesa, Arizona is in effect a suburb of Phoenix.

53. Apropos of : IN RE
The term "in re" is Latin, derived from "in" (in) and "res" (thing, matter). "In re" literally means "in the matter", and is used in place of "in regard to", or "in the matter of".

"Apropos" comes into English directly from French, in which "à propos" means "to the purpose". Note that we use the term as one word, but the original French is two words, "à propos".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. [If ya get what I mean ...] : WINK WINK
9. Person in upper sales? : DEALER
15. All together : AS ONE MAN
16. Title bandit in a Verdi work : ERNANI
17. "Ixnay" : IT’S A NO GO
18. See 19-Across : CATNAP
19. Took an 18-Across : SLEPT
20. Long-___ : AWAITED
22. Wife of Angel Clare, in literature : TESS
23. All together : IN SUM
24. Lundi ___ : GRAS
27. 100% reliable : AS GOOD AS GOLD
30. Like the Three Stooges : WACKY
32. Stream past Memphis : NILE
33. Through : VIA
34. Worthy of being tossed : JUNKY
35. Shooting spot : SET
36. Smart one? : ALECK
38. N.C.A.A.'s Conference ___ : USA
39. Provider of some light fare : POPS
41. 1,000 liters : STERE
42. 1980s gangster sobriquet : THE TEFLON DON
45. "Oh, O.K." : SURE
46. Kind of pressure : SINUS
47. Not be off : STAY
51. Kind of pressure : OSMOTIC
53. "Fingers crossed" : I HOPE
54. Ibsen title heroine : GABLER
56. Danish ancestor : OLD NORSE
58. Yanks are part of it : AL EAST
59. Woody Allen film subjects : NEUROSES
60. Be taken for : PASS AS
61. Complement from the chef? : SIDE DISH

Down
1. It's often tape-measured : WAIST
2. Agave fiber : ISTLE
3. Edges : NOSES
4. Hiker's purchase : KNAPSACK
5. Stopped working : WENT
6. Texter's P.O.V. preceder : IMO
7. Where Tara Lipinski upset Michelle Kwan : NAGANO
8. Has the material mastered : KNOWS ONE’S ONIONS
9. One with an important point? : DECIMAL
10. Form of "sum" : ERAT
11. Insect pupa sold as turtle food : ANT EGG
12. Jeep alternative : LAND ROVER
13. Disney doe : ENA
14. Reason to do patchwork? : RIP
21. What a dodger might face : AUDIT
23. 1982 Donald Fagen hit subtitled "What a Beautiful World" : IGY
25. She asked "What IS an un-birthday present?" : ALICE
26. Home to Ellsworth A.F.B. : S DAK
28. Means of audio-visual connection : SKYPE
29. N.Z. was a member of it : SEATO
30. Chinese martial arts, collectively : WUSHU
31. Many gastrointestinal tract residents : ANAEROBES
34. Extrudes : JUTS
35. Floor exercise maneuver : SPLIT
37. Preventer of photographic glare : LENS HOOD
40. In some way : OF SORTS
41. 1960s org. revived in 2006 : SDS
43. Newtons per ampere-meter : TESLAS
44. Scientific research centers? : NUCLEI
48. Leotards cover them : TORSI
49. Areas for some kneelers : APSES
50. "Oh, for goodness' sake!" : YEESH
52. Neighbor of Apache Junction : MESA
53. Apropos of : IN RE
54. Orthodontist's concern : GAP
55. Copying : A LA
57. One not going out with a bang? : DUD


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Knows one's ONIONS??? Whoever said that?

Bill Butler said...

I checked and there doesn't seem to be a clear etymology for the phrase, "know one's onions". I'd say that have heard it a few times, but don't remember it growing up. Apparently it is American in origin, and dates back at least to the 1920s. The idea is that someone who knows his or her onions is well informed.

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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.

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January 29, 2009

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