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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

0724-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Jul 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: Andrew Marc Greene
THEME: B&B … each of theme answers is a two-word term, with each word starting with the letter B:
18A. A.T.M. printout : BANK BALANCE
32A. Joe Six-Pack's overhang : BEER BELLY
41A. Yellow "Sesame Street" character : BIG BIRD
48A. Portable sources of music : BOOM BOXES
63A. It appeared before Moses on Mount Horeb : BURNING BUSH
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Web site help section, for short : FAQ
Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). There is a link to the NYTCrossword's blog’s FAQ page at the top right of every page.

4. Doorframe part : JAMB
A door jamb is the vertical portion of a door frame. The term "jamb" comes from the French word "jambe" meaning "leg".

8. William Tell, for one : ARCHER
Supposedly William Tell came from Uri, a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Altdorf is the capital of Uri and is the city where William Tell shot the apple off his son's head, at least according to legend.

14. Mich. rival in the Big Ten : OSU
The athletic teams of Ohio State University are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a "buck's eye".

16. Historian Will or Ariel : DURANT
“The Story Of Civilization” is an epic work by husband and wife team Will and Ariel Durant. The eleven-volume set of books tells at least part of the story of Western Civilization, in over 4 million words written on almost 10,000 pages. The books were published from 1935 to 1975, clearly a life’s work. The history stops at “The Age of Napoleon”, as the authors both passed away in the eighties before they could finish the task they'd set themselves.

17. Ipanema's city, for short : RIO
“Rio de Janeiro” translates as "January River". The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Years Day in 1502.

Ipanema is a beach community in the south of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The name Ipanema is a local word meaning "bad water", signifying that the shore is bad for fishing. The beach became famous on release of the 1965 song "The Girl from Ipanema".

20. "La Danse" painter Henri : MATISSE
Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early days Matisse was classed as a "fauve", one of the group of artists known as the "wild beasts" who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a life-long friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

24. ___ Park (F.D.R.'s home) : HYDE
Hyde Park, New York was the hometown of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt’s estate is called Springwood and is now managed by the National Park Service. It’s a great place to visit, and if you do so, don’t forget to see the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site just a couple of miles away, where you can tour a cottage in which the president’s wife spent much of her time.

30. Scroll in the ark : TORAH
The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls.

35. Persian Gulf state : QATAR
Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry.

37. War heroes from Tuskegee, e.g. : AIRMEN
The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African American WWII pilots, the first African Americans to fly for the US military. The Tuskegee Airmen made up the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the Army Air Corps. The 332nd Fighter Group was particularly noted for the effectiveness of its bomber escort missions. The Tuskegee Airmen lost about half the number of bombers compared to other escorting fighter groups.

38. Actress Thurman : UMA
Uma Thurman's father, Robert Thurman, was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter "Uma" as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name "Dbuma".

41. Yellow "Sesame Street" character : BIG BIRD
Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave an $8million grant to set up the Children's Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name "Sesame Street" was chosen simply because it was the "least disliked" of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

50. Big wheel : NABOB
A nabob is a person of wealth and prominence. "Nabob" derives from the title of a governor in India.

57. Marat's counterpart in a Peter Weiss title : SADE
The name "Marat/Sade" is a useful abbreviation for the real name of Peter Weiss's most famous play. Weiss's opus is actually called "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade". Don't forget now ...

The Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat with a reputation for a libertine lifestyle. De Sade was also a writer, well known for his works of erotica. He fell foul of the law for some his more extreme practices and for blaspheming the Catholic church. On an off, de Sade spent 32 years of his life in prison and in insane asylums.

Jean-Paul Marat was a prominent figure in the French Revolution. Marat was famously murdered in his bath by a young woman who was a Royalist, an event that was immortalized in a celebrated painting by Jacques-Louis David.

61. Galvanic cell component : CATHODE
A galvanic cell is a device that uses a chemical reaction to create an electrical current. A simple battery is a galvanic cell, with larger batteries being a collection of galvanic cells operating in concert.

The two terminals of a battery are called the anode and the cathode. Electrons travel from the anode to the cathode creating an electric current.

63. It appeared before Moses on Mount Horeb : BURNING BUSH
In the Book of Deuteronomy, it is stated that Moses was given the Ten Commandments on Mount Horeb. In other parts of the Bible the same event is described as taking place on Mount Sinai. So, many think that Horeb is an alternative name for Sinai.

70. Peach State capital: Abbr. : ATL
The city of Atlanta, Georgia had its beginnings in the late 1830s when the location was chosen as the terminus for a new railroad to be built connecting Georgia with the Midwestern United States. The city’s name was chosen by the Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, apparently after the middle name of the daughter of Governor Wilson Lumpkin: “Atalanta”.

Down
2. Hard Italian cheese : ASIAGO
Asiago is a crumbly cheese, named after the region in northeastern Italy from where it originates.

7. ___ choy (Chinese cabbage) : BOK
Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. “Bok choy” translates as “white vegetable”.

11. ___ Solo of "Star Wars" : HAN
Han Solo was the space smuggler in "Star Wars" played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for "Star Wars", but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

12. Britannica, for one: Abbr. : ENC
The “Encyclopædia Britannica” is the oldest English-language encyclopedia that is still being published. The final print edition was issued in 2010, a set of 32 volumes. The focus in recent years moved away from print and is on the online version of the encyclopedia.

19. "Desperate Housewives" role : BREE
The character Bree is played by Marcia Cross on "Desperate Housewives" (I haven't even seen one episode!). During pre-production, the show was called "Wisteria Lane" and then "The Secret Lives of Housewives".

21. One side in a 1980s war : IRAQ
The Iran-Iraq War was the longest conventional war of the 20th century, lasting from 1980 to 1988. The war started when Iraq invaded Iran after several border disputes remained unresolved. The US supported Iraq during the conflict, although arms were sold surreptitiously to Iran by the US in the so-called Iran-Contra affair. During the conflict, Iraq attacked and damaged an American frigate, the USS Stark. As US involvement increased, an American cruiser shot down a civilian Iran Air flight in a tragic error.

25. Headgear for Laurel and Hardy : DERBIES
I think a bowler hat is called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of "derby" comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood, of course. He ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career writing and directing. However, Laurel, a sometime actor, was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy was injured and couldn't perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time, and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born.

27. O'Neill title trees : ELMS
"Desire Under the Elms" is a classic American play written by Eugene O'Neill and published in 1924. It is basically a retelling of a Greek tragedy, but set in contemporary New England. Sophia Loren stars in a movie version released in 1958.

28. Sheltered, at sea : ALEE
"Alee" is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing "aweather".

29. Wildcat with tufted ears : LYNX
A lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:
- The Eurasian Lynx: the biggest of the four species.
- The Canada Lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
- The Iberian Lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
- The Bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four species.

31. Diplomat Philip : HABIB
Philip Habib was a member of the U.S. diplomatic team in the Vietnam peace negotiations. Habib was also the U.S. mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian talks that led to the Camp David Peace Accord in 1978.

34. Ex-senator known as "Amtrak Joe" : BIDEN
Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

36. Ex-Yankee Martinez : TINO
Tino Martinez has retired from Major League Baseball. He played first base for a number of teams including the Mariners, Yankees, Cardinals and Devil Rays. Martinez was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and as a boy he worked in his father's cigar factory.

40. Yours, in Ypres : A TOI
"À toi" is the French term for "yours", when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. "À toi" literally means "to you".

Ypres is a Belgian city located close to the French border. In WWI, Ypres was the scene of three devastating battles resulting in almost a million casualties, including many who suffered in gas attacks.

51. Thick-trunked African tree : BAOBAB
“Baobab” is the common name for an Adansonia tree, most species of which are native to Madagascar. The name Adansonia was given in honor of the French naturalist and explorer Michel Adanson.

52. Item fit for "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" : ODDITY
"Ripley's Believe It of Not!" is a huge franchise on television, affiliated to a worldwide chain of museums. The franchise started out as cartoon feature appearing in newspapers in 1918.

53. Classic VW : BEETLE
The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a "Bug" here in the US, and a "Beetle" elsewhere in the world.

63. Stiller of film : BEN
Ben Stiller is the son of actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Ben is perhaps as well-known as a director as he is an actor. He made his debut as a director in the film “Reality Bites” in 1994.

64. G.I. entertainers : 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.

65. Letters after 33 or 45 : RPM
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33 1/3 rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm "single" the following year, in 1949.

66. Echolocation-using mammal : BAT
Echolocation when used by animals is known as biosonar. The best-known example of an animal using biosonar is probably the bat, although not all species of bat use sounds to locate objects.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Web site help section, for short : FAQ
4. Doorframe part : JAMB
8. William Tell, for one : ARCHER
14. Mich. rival in the Big Ten : OSU
15. "Peek-___!" : A-BOO
16. Historian Will or Ariel : DURANT
17. Ipanema's city, for short : RIO
18. A.T.M. printout : BANK BALANCE
20. "La Danse" painter Henri : MATISSE
22. Some loaves : RYES
23. Golden ___ (senior) : AGER
24. ___ Park (F.D.R.'s home) : HYDE
26. Get well : HEAL
30. Scroll in the ark : TORAH
32. Joe Six-Pack's overhang : BEER BELLY
35. Persian Gulf state : QATAR
37. War heroes from Tuskegee, e.g. : AIRMEN
38. Actress Thurman : UMA
41. Yellow "Sesame Street" character : BIG BIRD
43. Driver's license datum : SEX
44. Hang on to : RETAIN
46. "___ a vacation!" : I NEED
48. Portable sources of music : BOOM BOXES
50. Big wheel : NABOB
54. Do the crawl, say : SWIM
55. "Now it makes sense!" : I SEE
57. Marat's counterpart in a Peter Weiss title : SADE
58. Word before rack or mitt : OVEN
61. Galvanic cell component : CATHODE
63. It appeared before Moses on Mount Horeb : BURNING BUSH
67. Fell for a come-on, say : BIT
68. Caught sight of : ESPIED
69. One-half base x height, for a triangle : AREA
70. Peach State capital: Abbr. : ATL
71. Ones without permanent addresses : NOMADS
72. Lab job : TEST
73. Bit of scheduling luck at a tournament : BYE

Down
1. Adjust the margins of, for example : FORMAT
2. Hard Italian cheese : ASIAGO
3. One reciting others' lines : QUOTER
4. Verbal zingers : JABS
5. Make red-faced : ABASH
6. Container in an armored car : MONEY BAG
7. ___ choy (Chinese cabbage) : BOK
8. Forever and ___ : A DAY
9. Announce a decision : RULE
10. Uninvited partygoer : CRASHER
11. ___ Solo of "Star Wars" : HAN
12. Britannica, for one: Abbr. : ENC
13. Road map abbr. : RTE
19. "Desperate Housewives" role : BREE
21. One side in a 1980s war : IRAQ
25. Headgear for Laurel and Hardy : DERBIES
27. O'Neill title trees : ELMS
28. Sheltered, at sea : ALEE
29. Wildcat with tufted ears : LYNX
31. Diplomat Philip : HABIB
33. "Still mooing," as burgers go : RARE
34. Ex-senator known as "Amtrak Joe" : BIDEN
36. Ex-Yankee Martinez : TINO
38. Cities, informally : URBS
39. Feline's "feed me" : MEOW
40. Yours, in Ypres : A TOI
42. Lacking confidence : INSECURE
45. Strong-smelling cleaning ingredient : AMMONIA
47. Imprecise recipe amount : DASH
49. Ped ___ : XING
51. Thick-trunked African tree : BAOBAB
52. Item fit for "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" : ODDITY
53. Classic VW : BEETLE
56. Makes more bearable : EASES
59. Went head to head : VIED
60. Means justifier, for some : ENDS
62. "Not ___!" : THAT
63. Stiller of film : BEN
64. G.I. entertainers : USO
65. Letters after 33 or 45 : RPM
66. Echolocation-using mammal : BAT


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Can you explain 73A? I am not sporty, and cannot figure out how "bye" is a"bit of scheduling luck at a tournament"
Thanks in advance!

Bill Butler said...

A team or player can get a bye into the next round of a tournament, meaning there's no need to play in the current round. This can perhaps be because an opposing player/team fails to turn up, or maybe because there aren't enough teams to make the first round, or sometimes because seeded players get advanced automatically.

I'm not sporty either, so have never been seeded for anything in my life! :)

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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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