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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

0708-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Jul 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: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Make the Change … each of the theme answer is a well-known expression with “the” changed to the prefix “de-” in order to suit the clue:
22A. So happy you can't see straight? : BLINDED BY DELIGHT (blinded by the light)
34A. Argument about a fork-tailed bird? : SWALLOW DEBATE (swallow the bait)
50A. Circle above the airport? : PUT OFF DESCENT (put of the scent)
70A. Making one's way down the corporate ladder? : GOING THROUGH DEMOTIONS (going through the motions)
88A. Breed hatred in? : TEACH TO DETEST (teach to the test)
110A. Woman who's the very best at saying no? : QUEEN OF DENIAL (Queen of the Nile)
122A. Really enjoy giving specifics? : LIVE TO TELL DETAIL (live to tell the tale)
COMPLETION TIME: 40m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Building blocks : ADOBES
The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word "adobe" dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original "spelling" is dj-b-t, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

11. "The Office" woman : PAM
In the excellent sitcom “The Office”, the character Pam Halpert (née Beesly) is played very ably by the lovely Jenna Fischer. If you’ve seen the original version of “The Office” from the UK, then you’d have met Pam’s equivalent character, Dawn Tinsley.

The excellent sitcom "The Office" is set in a branch of a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you haven't seen the original UK version, starring Ricky Gervais, I do recommend you check it out. Having said that, the US cast has taken the show to a whole new level. Great television …

14. QB feats : TDS
Quarterbacks (QBs) make touchdowns (TDs).

17. Years in old Rome : ANNI
Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for "year".

18. Capital city formerly behind the Iron Curtain : TIRANE
Tirane is the capital city of Albania and has been so since 1920. The city was seized by the Nazis in WWII but was liberated in 1944, at which point the Communists seized power. The Communists were ousted in the elections of 1992 leaving a void that led to much bloodshedd and an eventual EU military mission, led by Italy, to stabilize the capital and the rest of the country. Today things have become so calm that Albania is a member of NATO.

19. Nephew of Cain : ENOS
Enos, as the son of Seth, was the grandson of Adam.

21. "Let's Get Lost" singer Baker : CHET
The famous jazz trumpeter Chet Baker was noted for his heroin addiction, a problem that nearly put an end to his performing career. He managed a comeback in the late seventies, mainly appearing and recording in Europe. But he never kicked the drug habit and was found dead one day after falling from his hotel room window in Amsterdam.

26. Where "it's fun to stay" in a 1978 hit : YMCA
"YMCA" was released by the Village People and has been adopted as an anthem by the gay community. The song was written by Victor Willis, a straight member of the mostly gay band, and he clarifies that the lyrics are extolling the virtues of the "YMCA" as a source of recreation for black, urban youth. I think he might have been winking when he said that ...

30. "Sk8er ___," 2002 top 10 hit : BOI
"Sk8er Boi" was released as a single in 2002 by Avril Lavigne. I'm probably not going to buy this one ...

31. Acid : LSD
LSD (also known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a development project aimed at finding medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

40. Arizona senator Jon : KYL
John Kyl is the junior US Senator from Arizona (John McCain is the senior Senator, of course). Kyl is also the Senate Minority Whip. He is the son of John Henry Kyl who served as the US Representative for the State of Iowa for many years.

41. It represents a 0 or 1 : BIT
In the world of computers a "bit" is the basic unit of information. A bit has a value of 0 or 1. A "byte" is a small collection of bits (usually 8) and is the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text.

42. Trendy antioxidant berry : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

45. Org. full of big shots? : NRA
The NRA is the National Rifle Association, an organization that has been around since 1871. The NRA has had some celebrity presidents, including US President Ulysses S. Grant. It's often said that the NRA is the most powerful lobbying group in Washington.

47. Calpurnia's dream in "Julius Caesar" and others : OMENS
Calpurnia Pisonis was the third and final wife of Julius Caesar.

49. Bear's cry : SELL
The terms "bull" and "bear" markets come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an "up" market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a "down" market).

55. Manager with four World Series titles : JOE TORRE
As manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American, born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I'd guess that was quite a thrill for him ...

57. Very clumsy person, in slang : SPAZ
I don't like the term "spaz" at all. “Spaz” describes someone who is clumsy or inept, and comes from the word "spastic".

58. Subject of the 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments : VOTE
The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the denial of voting rights to citizens based on sex, and was ratified by the states in 1920. The amendment was first drafted by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1878, but it wasn’t submitted by the Congress to the states for ratification until 1919.

The 24th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the use of a poll tax as a prerequisite for voting. The 24th Amendment was ratified by the states in 1964. The amendment was necessary as poll taxes had been introduced in some southern states as a way to prevent poorer African-Americans from voting.

The 26th Amendment to the US Constitution set the minimum age for voting at 18 years and was adopted in 1971. The main driving force behind the 24th Amendment was the dissatisfaction expressed by young American men who were conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War even though they didn’t have the right to vote as they were under 21 years of age.

65. TWA competitor : USAIR
From 1953, what today is US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir. In 1997, the name was again changed, to US Airways.

Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan-Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the acronym TWA) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

69. Optima maker : KIA
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.

80. One of two for four : SEMI
In many tournaments, four competitors vie in two semifinals.

82. Slalom obstacle : GATE
Slalom is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word "slalam", meaning "skiing race".

95. When the witches in "Macbeth" say "Double, double toil and trouble" : ACT IV
In Act IV of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, the three witches utter the famous words, “Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”

99. ___ beetle : STAG
Stag beetles are so called as the males of the species have large mandibles that resemble the antlers of stags.

101. Canterbury can : LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure.

Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England in the county of Kent. The city is famous for its cathedral, where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170 making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” written in the 14th century.

102. Org. trying to clear the air? : EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

105. Ed Wood player in "Ed Wood" : DEPP
Johnny Depp had his big break as an actor on television, in the eighties television show “21 Jump Street”. Depp’s first film success came when he played the title role in 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands”. He has twice been named Sexiest Man Alive by “People” magazine.

Ed Wood was a screen writer, director, producer and actor who made a lot of low-budget films during the 1950s. He worked a lot with the actor Bela Lugosi and, when Lugosi passed away, the popularity of Wood’s film died off with his star. Tim Burton made a biopic about the life and career of Ed Wood that was released in 1994, a movie that was simply called, “Ed Wood”.

110. Woman who's the very best at saying no? : QUEEN OF DENIAL (Queen of the Nile)
Queen of the Nile is a common description used for Cleopatra VII of Egypt. Cleopatra was the last pharaoh to rule the country. After she died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

114. Part of TBS: Abbr. : SYS
Turner Broadcasting System (TBS).

115. Pal of Pooh : ROO
Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh", Roo is based on a stuffed toy belonging to Milne's son, Christopher Robin.

121. Bulldogs : ELIS
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

The Yale Bulldogs are the athletic teams of Yale University.

127. Art ___ : DECO
Art deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of "30 Rock".

128. Alexander Graham Bell, by birth : SCOT
Alexander Graham Bell was an inventor and scientist from Edinburgh, Scotland who later lived in Canada and the US. Both his wife and his mother were deaf, a fact that led to Bell spending much of life researching hearing and speech. Bell’s work on hearing devices led to the invention of the telephone. Paradoxically, Bell hated the telephone and refused to have one in the study of his home where he worked. I am with him on this one, as I hate the phone myself …

129. Get ready for a bomb, say : GO DEEP
A bomb is a long pass in American football, for which a receiver would have to “go deep”.

130. Corona garnish : LIME
The Mexican beer called Corona is the biggest-selling imported beer in the United States.

Down
4. Nickname for the Philadelphia Eagles' stadium, with "the" : LINC
The Philadelphia Eagles football team play in Lincoln Financial Stadium (“The Linc”). Lincoln Financial Group paid the princely sum of just under $140 million for the naming rights of the new stadium while it was under construction in 2002.

8. Indiana political family : BAYHS
Birch Bayh is a former US Senator from Indiana. He ran for the Democratic nomination for president in the 1976 election, but lost out to Jimmy Carter. Bayh was in a small plane crash in 1964 with his colleague Senator Ted Kennedy. Kennedy was badly injured and Bayh pulled him from the wreckage to safety.

Evan Bayh is the son of Birch Bhay, and like his father was US Senator for the state of Indiana. Prior to serving in the Senate, Evan Bayh was State Governor.

11. Eastern Canadian prov. : PEI
Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a maritime Canadian province. The island at the center of the province was named for Prince Edward, the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria.

13. Hair line? : MOHAWK
Here is another example of a difference in terminology on either side of the Atlantic. What we call the Mohawk hairstyle in the US is known as a "Mohican" in the British Isles. The Mohawk hairstyle is named after the Mohawk nation, who wore their hair in the same fashion. The Mohawk style has been around for a long time elsewhere in the world. There was a well-preserved male body found in a bog near Dublin in Ireland in 2003. The body is about 2,000 years old, and has the Mohawk haircut.

14. Old Yankee nickname : THE BABE
Jack Dunn was the owner/manager of the Baltimore Orioles back in 1913 when he signed on George Herman Ruth as a pitcher. The other players called Ruth "Jack's newest babe", and the name "Babe" stuck.

21. Curmudgeon : CRAB
Curmudgeon is one of my wife's favorite terms to describe me. A curmudgeon is a bad-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions. I am sure she means it very affectionately ...

23. Painter portrayed by Adrien Brody in "Midnight in Paris" : DALI
The 2011 Woody Allen movie called “Midnight in Paris” is a real gem in my opinion. I’ve never liked Woody Allen films, to be honest, mainly because I’m not a fan of Woody Allen as an actor. “Midnight in Paris” is very much a Woody Allen script, with Owen Wilson playing the role that Allen would usually reserve for himself. Wilson plays a much better Woody Allen! Highly recommended ...

24. Stanford of Stanford University : LELAND
Leland Stanford became a very successful businessman in California after moving there from New York during the Gold Rush. Stanford then served as governor of the state for two years, and later US Senator for California. He founded the Leland Standford Junior University in memory of his teenage son who died of typhoid fever while the family was travelling in Italy in 1884. The university opened its doors for business in 1891, and the first student admitted was none other than Herbert Hoover, the man would become the 31st President of the US.

29. Actor Alain : DELON
Alain Delon is an award-winning French actor, once called "the male Brigitte Bardot". Delon hit the news in 1968 when one of his bodyguards was found shot in the head outside his home. Delon found himself held for questioning, but the crime was attributed to a Corsican crime family.

35. Zither cousins : LYRES
A lyre is a stringed instrument, most closely associated with Ancient Greece.

The zither is a stringed instrument, one in which the strings do not extend beyond the bounds of the sounding box. That means that the instrument has no neck, unlike a guitar say.

37. "Get Low" rapper : LIL JON
Lil Jon is a rapper, with the real name Jonathan Mortimer Smith. That’s all I know …

44. Organ holder : TORSO
"Torso" (plural (“torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the "trunk of a statue", a word which we imported into English.

46. Ancient royal symbol : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

54. Basso Pinza : EZIO
Ezio Pinza was an opera singer from Italy. He performed for many years with the Metropolitan Opera in New York before retiring from the Met in 1948. He then launched a career on Broadway and in Hollywood.

62. Fashionable boots : UGGS
Uggs are sheepskin boots that originated in Australia and New Zealand. Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. Ugg is a generic term “down under”, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

66. Van Gogh's "Starry Night Over the ___" : RHONE
“Starry Night Over the Rhone” is one of Vincent Van Gogh’s series of paintings he created depicting scenes at night in the South of France. The painting is actually a view from the quay on the east side of the Rhone river as it flows through the city of Arles.

68. David Cameron's alma mater : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself as described in the Fleming novels).

71. ___ party : TOGA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a "stola".

72. Red Scare grp. : HUAC
The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was formed by the US House of Representatives in 1947 and disbanded in 1975. The House Committee is best remembered for its investigation of the Hollywood film industry in the late forties and fifties which led to the blacklisting of hundreds of people. The House Committee had no formal connection with Senator Joseph McCarthy who was Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

75. What a Latino immigrant might learn : INGLES
“Inglés” is the Spanish for “English”.

81. Sam Cooke's "That's ___ Quit - I'm Movin' On" : IT, I
Sam Cooke was a soul singer from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Cooke is considered by many to have been one of the founders of the soul genre. Cooke’s impressive list of hits includes “You Send Me”, Chain Gang” and “Twistin’ the Night Away”. Cooke was only 33 years old when he died. He was shot after a drunken brawl by a motel manager in what was deemed by the courts to be a justifiable homicide.

83. "Know ___ enemy" : THY
“Know thy enemy” is a saying from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.

"The Art of War" is the famous military treatise written by Sun Tzu, a Chinese general from the 6th century BC. I've even seen the principles in Sun Tzu's book applied to modern business!

84. Bit of music at a music conservatory : ETUDE
An étude is a small instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. "Étude" is the French word for "study". Études are commonly performed on the piano.

86. Old Russian line : TSARS
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word and was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. "Czar" is derived from the word "Caesar", which was synonymous with "emperor" at that time.

93. Jump accompanier? : GERONIMO
Cochise and Geronimo were perhaps the two most famous Apache leaders to resist intrusions by the European Americans in 1800s. Both lived lives full of conflict, but both also lived relatively long lives. Cochise eventually entered into a treaty putting an end to the fighting, and retired onto a new reservation. Cochise died of natural causes in 1874, at the age of 69. Geronimo surrendered, and spent years as a prisoner of war. He spent his last years as a celebrity, and even rode in the inaugural parade for President Theodore Roosevelt. Geronimo died of pneumonia in 1909 at the age of 79.

95. War on terror target : AL-QAEDA
Osama bin Laden founded his militant Islamist group called al-Qaeda in the late eighties. “Al-Qaeda” translates as “the base”, and can refer to a military base. It was originally the name of a training camp set up for mujaheddin fighters opposing the Russians who occupied Afghanistan at the time.

104. One of the five Olympic rings : AFRICA
The symbol of the Olympic Games consists of five interlocking rings, with each ring representing one of the five continents involved in the Olympics. The five continents are Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and America (North and South combined). The symbol was designed in 1912, adopted in 1914, and introduced at the 1920 Games.

106. Filled turnovers : PIROGI
Pirogi are Eastern European pies that can have a sweet or savory filling.

107. "Steel Magnolias" actress : PARTON
Dolly Parton is a country music singer-songwriter, as well as an actress. Parton has written over 3,000 songs, my favorite of which is “I Will Always Love You”, a hit for herself and for Whitney Houston.

“Steel Magnolias” is a 1989 film with quite a cast of actresses including Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts. The film is based on a play of the same name by Robert Harling.

111. Petro-Canada competitor : ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company, as it uses the initial letters of "Standard" and "Oil" (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Petro-Canada started out life as a government-owned corporation in 1976. Petro-Canada is now a brand name of Suncor Energy.

112. English county : DEVON
Devon is a county in the southwest of England. The county town of Devon is Exeter, and the largest city in the county is Plymouth, the port from which the Mayflower Pilgrims departed.

113. "Traffic Crossing ___ Bridge" (pioneering 1888 film footage) : LEEDS
Louis Le Prince was an inventor who shot the first moving pictures on paper film using a single lens camera. As such Le Prince is referred to as the Father of Cinematography. He was a Frenchman, but shot his earliest film in 1888 in Leeds in the north of England. Le Prince never demonstrated his invention in the US as he vanished under mysterious circumstances from a train in France just prior to a planned American visit. Subsequently, Thomas Edison was credited with the invention of motion pictures.

118. Hit Fox show : GLEE
The relatively new TV show called "Glee" is proving to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio.

120. W.W. II battle city : ST LO
Saint-Lo is a town in Normandy that was occupied by Germany in 1940. Saint-Lo stood at a strategic crossroads, and so there was intense fighting there during the Normandy invasion of 1944. After the bombardment, very little of the town was left standing.

125. Infielder feats: Abbr. : DPS
Double plays (DPs).

126. "Dancing With the Stars" judge Goodman : LEN
Len Goodman is a professional ballroom dancer. Goodman is the head judge on the US’s “Dancing with the Stars” as well as on the original UK version of the show, “Strictly Come Dancing”.

When I was growing up in the British Isles, there was a surprisingly popular BBC television show featuring professional ballroom dancing called "Come Dancing". It ran almost every year from 1949 to 1998, and in 2004 the BBC resurrected it with a new twist, adding celebrities to dance with the professionals. The new show, "Strictly Come Dancing" is a huge success, and has become a worldwide franchise. Over here we watch the American spin-off called "Dancing with the Stars". It really is fun television ...

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Hose shape : COIL
5. Building blocks : ADOBES
11. "The Office" woman : PAM
14. QB feats : TDS
17. Years in old Rome : ANNI
18. Capital city formerly behind the Iron Curtain : TIRANE
19. Nephew of Cain : ENOS
21. "Let's Get Lost" singer Baker : CHET
22. So happy you can't see straight? : BLINDED BY DELIGHT (blinded by the light)
25. Where to enter the theater, usually : REAR
26. Where "it's fun to stay" in a 1978 hit : YMCA
27. Gleamed : SHONE
28. Deserving praise : LAUDABLE
30. "Sk8er ___," 2002 top 10 hit : BOI
31. Acid : LSD
34. Argument about a fork-tailed bird? : SWALLOW DEBATE (swallow the bait)
36. Apt : INCLINED
39. Spend the night : STAY
40. Arizona senator Jon : KYL
41. It represents a 0 or 1 : BIT
42. Trendy antioxidant berry : ACAI
43. "Yeah, right" : I BET
45. Org. full of big shots? : NRA
47. Calpurnia's dream in "Julius Caesar" and others : OMENS
49. Bear's cry : SELL
50. Circle above the airport? : PUT OFF DESCENT (put of the scent)
55. Manager with four World Series titles : JOE TORRE
57. Very clumsy person, in slang : SPAZ
58. Subject of the 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments : VOTE
62. Willing to do : UP FOR
65. TWA competitor : USAIR
67. See 77-Across : LIE
69. Optima maker : KIA
70. Making one's way down the corporate ladder? : GOING THROUGH DEMOTIONS (going through the motions)
76. [This ticks me off] : GRR
77. With 67-Across, "That's not true!" : YOU
78. Relative of a harrumph : SNORT
79. Not flat, say : ON KEY
80. One of two for four : SEMI
82. Slalom obstacle : GATE
85. Passing : ENACTING
88. Breed hatred in? : TEACH TO DETEST (teach to the test)
91. It's seen on many roadside signs : LOGO
95. When the witches in "Macbeth" say "Double, double toil and trouble" : ACT IV
98. "Sure thing" : YUP
99. ___ beetle : STAG
100. Eternally : EVER
101. Canterbury can : LOO
102. Org. trying to clear the air? : EPA
105. Ed Wood player in "Ed Wood" : DEPP
108. Squad cars : CRUISERS
110. Woman who's the very best at saying no? : QUEEN OF DENIAL (Queen of the Nile)
114. Part of TBS: Abbr. : SYS
115. Pal of Pooh : ROO
116. Modern marketplace : APP STORE
117. Like the verbs "come" and "go": Abbr. : IRREG
119. "Baseball Tonight" broadcaster : ESPN
121. Bulldogs : ELIS
122. Really enjoy giving specifics? : LIVE TO TELL DETAIL (live to tell the tale)
127. Art ___ : DECO
128. Alexander Graham Bell, by birth : SCOT
129. Get ready for a bomb, say : GO DEEP
130. Corona garnish : LIME
131. Require (of) : ASK
132. "Your point being ...?" : AND
133. Some closeups : INSETS
134. Take too much of, briefly : OD ON

Down
1. It might be caught in the rain : CAB
2. Unrepeated : ONLY ONCE
3. Hostile : INIMICAL
4. Nickname for the Philadelphia Eagles' stadium, with "the" : LINC
5. Downed : ATE
6. Arranged, as the hair : DID
7. Partners of scepters : ORBS
8. Indiana political family : BAYHS
9. Gives support to : ENDOWS
10. Spotted in the vicinity of : SEEN AT
11. Eastern Canadian prov. : PEI
12. White, informally : ANGLO
13. Hair line? : MOHAWK
14. Old Yankee nickname : THE BABE
15. Given a hand : DEALT IN
16. Some are mean : STREETS
20. Home office site : STUDY
21. Curmudgeon : CRAB
23. Painter portrayed by Adrien Brody in "Midnight in Paris" : DALI
24. Stanford of Stanford University : LELAND
29. Actor Alain : DELON
30. Predilection : BIAS
32. Marsh bird : SNIPE
33. It's a first : DEBUT
35. Zither cousins : LYRES
37. "Get Low" rapper : LIL JON
38. Orange sign : DETOUR
44. Organ holder : TORSO
46. Ancient royal symbol : ASP
48. Network with an annual awards show : MTV
51. German women : FRAUS
52. Fake : FEIGNED
53. Not wavy, say : CALM
54. Basso Pinza : EZIO
56. Hardly an exercise in restraint : ORGY
59. "I get your point. Jeez!" : OK OK
60. Pitchfork part : TINE
61. Unhurried : EASY
62. Fashionable boots : UGGS
63. Read carefully : PORE
64. Like some offers : FIRM
66. Van Gogh's "Starry Night Over the ___" : RHONE
68. David Cameron's alma mater : ETON
71. ___ party : TOGA
72. Red Scare grp. : HUAC
73. Mild oaths : DRATS
74. "I won't bore you with the rest" : ETC ETC
75. What a Latino immigrant might learn : INGLES
81. Sam Cooke's "That's ___ Quit - I'm Movin' On" : IT, I
83. "Know ___ enemy" : THY
84. Bit of music at a music conservatory : ETUDE
86. Old Russian line : TSARS
87. One to consult for PC problems : IT GUY
89. Birthday party, e.g. : EVENT
90. Words heard at a birthday party : OPEN IT
92. Like pro athletes, some say : OVERPAID
93. Jump accompanier? : GERONIMO
94. +/- : OR SO
95. War on terror target : AL-QAEDA
96. Combines : COUPLES
97. Part of an ice skate : TOE PICK
103. Combines : POOLS
104. One of the five Olympic rings : AFRICA
106. Filled turnovers : PIROGI
107. "Steel Magnolias" actress : PARTON
109. "Hmm ..." : I SEE
111. Petro-Canada competitor : ESSO
112. English county : DEVON
113. "Traffic Crossing ___ Bridge" (pioneering 1888 film footage) : LEEDS
118. Hit Fox show : GLEE
120. W.W. II battle city : ST LO
123. Airport approximation: Abbr. : ETD
124. Word before rip or slip : LET
125. Infielder feats: Abbr. : DPS
126. "Dancing With the Stars" judge Goodman : LEN


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8 comments :

Bart Berlin said...

Thank you for your always well-written notes. I wonder why "spaz" was allowed as an answer. The NYT knows very well that it is an offensive term. Have they slipped in their rules?

Bill Butler said...

Hi Bart,

I wondered about that too. My guess is that Will Shortz and the setter weren't aware of the term's etymology or it would have been pulled.

Thanks for the kind words about the blog, and taking the time to leave a comment, Bart.

Grumpy Greg said...

George Carlin would have a field day with you banana heads. Who's to judge whether a word's offensive or not.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Greg,

Speaking as one of the banana heads, I am wondering if there is any term which you would find offensive in a NYTimes crossword puzzle?

If there isn't, then I think the George Carlin argument might apply. If there is in fact a term or terms that you would consider offensive or inappropriate for the puzzle, then I'd say the George Carlin argument doesn't apply, and the question is whether or not "spaz" should join your own list of words that you wouldn't like to see.

Will Shortz does already have a list of words or types of words that he won't allow. It's my personal opinion that "spaz" is a word with a meaning and etymology that puts it alongside words that are already considered "verboten".

But, I'm not the editor of the puzzle :)

Thanks for the comment, Greg.

Grumpy Greg said...

I think all words add to the richness of the language I love most: English. But, now that I've thought about it, I guess I wouldn't want certain words included, so I suppose I'll have to eat my words.

I apologize for calling you a banana head. A guy I once worked with used that phrase all the time, and it never failed to crack me up. Must've been his delivery...ha...ha...ha :``(

On another note, I can't find anything about the use of brackets I see once in a while in the crosswords. In this one, for example, they use "[this ticks me off]," the answer being "grr." Interestingly, after checking one of my favorite sites, Ask.com, and looking it up with a favorite application, WordWeb, neither had a "grr" definition. Is the brackets usage a notation used for words not commonly found in dictionaries, or a crossword thing?

Keep up the good work, Bill.

Greg, your humble student.

Bill Butler said...

Hi Greg,

Thanks for saying that. Don't worry, I always think twice when I see something ambiguous written online, as it is so easy to get the wrong end of the stick, as it were. No harm done.

You're right about the square brackets being a "crossword thing". When a clue is surrounded by those brackets it means that the clue is referring to a non-verbal action or an utterance. The example here is the utterance GRR! which replaces [This sticks me off!]. A similar example might be BRR! which could be clued with [It's cold!]. There doesn't have to be a sound made, as in the example WINK, which could be clued with [Just kidding!].

I hope that makes sense ...

Grumpy Greg said...

Got it, senor! Gracias...

Bart Berlin said...

I appreciate the apology as well. I hope you understand that there is an expectation when working on a NYT xword just as there is an expectation in listening to a George Carlin show who probably would have never insulted an innocent group of people outside of his act. I enjoy both Carlin and the xword but I like the rules each one performs with to be followed. Or past tense in Carlins case. Banana heads unite!

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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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