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Vacation Alert

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

0804-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Aug 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: Jim Page
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 40m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 7 … including OPRAH instead of ALLAH!!!


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. Far from self-effacing : SMUG
Someone described as “smug” is said to have a self-satisfied air. Back in the 1500s, smug meant neat or smart, and then was used to describe a particularly attractive woman. Our current usage started in the early 1700s.

16. Rose in a field : PETE
Pete Rose was a talented baseball player who holds the record for all-time Major League hits. In recent years of course his reputation has been tarnished by admissions that he bet on games in which he played and managed.

17. Singing pair : VOCAL CORDS
The vocal cords are also known as the vocal folds. The vocal cords are two folds of mucous membrane that project into the larynx. The folds vibrate when air passes through the larynx, allowing sounds to be made.

18. Old Broadway production grp. : ANTA
The American National Theater and Academy (ANTA) is a not-for-profit theater producer and training organization. ANTA was set up in 1935 to be the official national theater of the United States, but today its main focus is the National Theater Conservatory at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

21. Albuquerque's ___ Racing Museum : UNSER
The Unser family seems to have racing cars in its blood. Al Unser, Sr. won the Indy 500 on four occasions. Al’s brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to compete at Indianapolis. Al’s other brother Bobby, won the Indy three times. Al’s son, Al Junior, won the Indy twice. Al Junior’s son is also a racing driver who competes at the Indy Speedway.

22. Luis who directed "Anaconda," 1997 : LLOSA
Luis Lllos is a film director from Peru. Llosa’s most famous films are probably “The Specialist” from 1994 and “Anaconda” from 1997. Luis is the cousin of the famous novelist and Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa.

“Anaconda” is one of those adventure-horror films, not my favorite genre of cinema. It was released in 1997 and had a big cast that included Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight and Owen Wilson. The critics hated it, but the public flocked to see it. Money talks, so three sequels were made.

24. Big shot on Al Jazeera : EMIR
Al Jazeera is an independent news service owned by the state of Qatar. Since 2006, Al Jazeera has been broadcasting an English language channel, hiring many top journalists from American news outlets. “Al jazeera” is Arabic for “the island”.

27. Passé PC piece : CRT
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) ... there aren't many of them available in stores these days!

31. Oxford offering : HMO
Oxford Health Plans is provider of managed health care services primarily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Oxford is now owned by UnitedHealth Group.

39. Many hand-helds, for short : PDAS
A device like perhaps an iPhone, Droid, or Treo can be termed a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).

41. Flee : LAM
To be "on the lam" is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. It is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word "lam" also means to "beat" or "thrash", as in "lambaste". So "on the lam" might derive from the phrase "to beat it, to scram".

42. Norepinephrine producer : ADRENAL
Norepinephrine is a hormone produced in an adrenal gland, sometimes called simply “an adrenal”.

43. Full Sail or Fuller's : ALE
Full Sail is a craft brewery in Hood River, Oregon.

Fuller’s Brewery is located in West London, England and was founded in 1845. Fuller’s most famous beer is London Pride, although here in the US we also see Fuller’s ESB quite a lot.

45. Recipient of much praise : ALLAH
The term “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So “Allah” translates as “God”.

52. They may sit next to castles: Abbr. : KTS
It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India, evolving from a 6th-century game called "caturanga", a Sanskrit word meaning "four divisions". These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:
- Infantry (now "pawns")
- Cavalry (now "knights")
- Elephants (now "bishops")
- Chariots (now "rooks" or “castles”)

55. Aarnio of furniture : EERO
Eero Aarnio is a Finnish interior designer, perhaps most famous for creating those round plastic chairs that hung from the ceiling and were very fashionable in the sixties. It was sort of like sitting inside a big ball.

56. Oilman ___ P. Halliburton : ERLE
Erle P. Halliburton was a businessman who made his fortune in the oil business. Halliburton founded the New Method Oil Well Cementing Company in 1919, which changed its name after his death to Halliburton Company.

60. GPS offerings: Abbr. : RTES
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. He was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.


61. Old Glory saluter, most likely : US NATIONAL
The person who coined the phrase "Old Glory" with reference to the American flag was Captain William Driver, a ship master from Salem, Massachusetts. As Driver was leaving on an 1831 voyage aboard the brig Charles Doggett, he unfurled the American flag that he had just been given by a group of friends. As the flag caught the breeze, he uttered the words, "Old Glory!". That's the story anyway. On that same voyage, Charles Doggett rescued the famous mutineers of the HMS Bounty, after he found them on Pitcairn Island.

62. They broke up in 1991: Abbr. : SSRS
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics.

Down
1. Big name in relief : ADVIL
Advil and Motrin are brand names for the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofin.

2. Like wags : DROLL
A “wag” or a “card” is a very amusing person, often quite eccentric.

3. Informal name for a monkey : JOCKO
“Jocko” is a West African name for a chimpanzee.

5. Presidential nickname : CAL
President Calvin Coolidge, the only US President to have been born on July 4th, was known as a man of few words. It was while he was serving as Vice-President to in the administration of Warren G. Harding, that Coolidge earned the nickname “Silent Cal”. There is a famous story told about Coolidge’s reticence that I would love to think is true, attributed to the poet Dorothy Parker. Sitting beside him at dinner, she remarked to him, "Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you." His famous reply: "You lose ..."

9. Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Mr. ___" : TOD
In Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Mr. Tod”, Mr. Tod is a fox.

Beatrix Potter was an English author, famous for the children's books she wrote and illustrated. The most famous character in her stories was Peter Rabbit, whose sisters were Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. Potter put her talent as an artist to good use in the scientific world as well. She recorded many images of lichens and fungi as seen through her microscope. As a result of her work, she was respected as an expert mycologist.

25. "Guten ___" : MORGEN
“Guten morgen” is German for “good morning”.

26. One of the Gandhis : INDIRA
Indira Gandhi's father was Jawaharlai Nehru, Prime Minister of India (and the "Nehru" of the Nehru Jacket). Indira herself became Prime Minister in 1966. She was assassinated in 1984 by two of her own bodyguards, as she was walking to meet Peter Ustinov who was about to interview her for Irish television.

30. Journalist who wrote "Come to Think of It," 2007 : SCHORR
Daniel Schorr was a favorite radio newsman of mine, and I used to listen to him all the time on NPR. Schorr was recruited into the CBS news team by Edward R. Murrow in the fifties. Soon after he was given the job of opening up a CBS news bureau in Moscow, and there obtained an exclusive interview with Nikita Khrushchev, Schorr’s first televised interview. Years later he was hired by Ted Turner and became the first on-camera employee for CNN. In the mid-eighties he was engaged as a news analyst for NPR, a post that he held right up till his death in 2010. Oh, and you might have seen Schorr in the occasional Hollywood movie. For example, he was the newscaster that talked from the television to Michael Douglas in the 1997 film “The Game”.

35. Drying-out danger : DTS
The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called Delirium Tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is "trembling madness".

36. It was retired by the Yankees in 1986 : ONE
The New York Yankees retired the uniform with the number 1 in 1986, the number worn by second baseman and manager Billy Martin.

38. Powerful Syrian city in the third millennium B.C. : EBLA
Ebla was an ancient city located just southwest of the modern city of Aleppo in Syria.

46. 1972 Elton John hit : LEVON
“Levon” is song recorded by Elton John in 1971. The song was named in honor of the rock group called the Band, a favorite of Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin. Levon Helm was a co-founder of the Band. In 2010, Elton John named his son “Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John”.

47. Hanover's river : LEINE
The Leine is a river in Thuringia and Lower Saxony in Germany. The biggest city built on the banks of the Leine is Hanover.

The German city of Hanover is the capital of Lower Saxony in northern Germany. Hanover is host to Oktoberfest Hannover, the second largest Oktoberfest in the world.

53. It follows a mine line : TRAM
Some trams run on rail lines in mines.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Neighboring : ADJACENT TO
11. Far from self-effacing : SMUG
15. Water-park? : DROP ANCHOR
16. Rose in a field : PETE
17. Singing pair : VOCAL CORDS
18. Old Broadway production grp. : ANTA
19. Classes : ILKS
20. Fresno-to-L.A. direction : SSE
21. Albuquerque's ___ Racing Museum : UNSER
22. Luis who directed "Anaconda," 1997 : LLOSA
24. Big shot on Al Jazeera : EMIR
27. Passé PC piece : CRT
28. Botched : MISDONE
31. Oxford offering : HMO
32. Thing to charge with : CREDIT CARD
36. Ghost's sound : OOOO
37. Crown polisher : DENTAL HYGIENIST
39. Many hand-helds, for short : PDAS
40. Sleeper's option in a sleeper : LOWER BERTH
41. Flee : LAM
42. Norepinephrine producer : ADRENAL
43. Full Sail or Fuller's : ALE
44. Put on : WORE
45. Recipient of much praise : ALLAH
50. TALKS LIKE THIS! : YELLS
52. They may sit next to castles: Abbr. : KTS
55. Aarnio of furniture : EERO
56. Oilman ___ P. Halliburton : ERLE
57. Examination by those most qualified : PEER REVIEW
60. GPS offerings: Abbr. : RTES
61. Old Glory saluter, most likely : US NATIONAL
62. They broke up in 1991: Abbr. : SSRS
63. They're abandoned in charm school : BAD MANNERS

Down
1. Big name in relief : ADVIL
2. Like wags : DROLL
3. Informal name for a monkey : JOCKO
4. Take ___ (decline) : A PASS
5. Presidential nickname : CAL
6. Accompaniers of cover letters: Abbr. : ENCS
7. Basic training figs. : NCOS
8. Common thing to plan a vacation around : THREE-DAY WEEKEND
9. Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Mr. ___" : TOD
10. Sterile environments, for short : ORS
11. Decade or century : SPAN
12. It's likely to have bass parts : MEN’S CHOIR
13. Farthest : UTTERMOST
14. One engaging in clockwork : GEAR TOOTH
21. Script postscript? : -URE
23. "What ___ mind reader?" : AM I, A
25. "Guten ___" : MORGEN
26. One of the Gandhis : INDIRA
29. "That works" : IT’LL DO
30. Journalist who wrote "Come to Think of It," 2007 : SCHORR
32. Contents of some music cabinets : CD PLAYERS
33. Indicators of impending danger : RED ALERTS
34. Brit working with nails, say : ENAMELLER
35. Drying-out danger : DTS
36. It was retired by the Yankees in 1986 : ONE
38. Powerful Syrian city in the third millennium B.C. : EBLA
42. Sympathetic responses : AWS
46. 1972 Elton John hit : LEVON
47. Hanover's river : LEINE
48. In the back : AREAR
49. Hurricane noises : HOWLS
51. Off, pricewise : LESS
53. It follows a mine line : TRAM
54. Miss Spain, say: Abbr. : SRTA
57. 43-Across server : PUB
58. That Peruvian? : ESA
59. German article : EIN


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4 comments :

Anonymous said...

There is a mistake in the grid: 9 Down: TOD 17 Across: VOCALCORDS. Your full listing of the answers has the correct answers. Thanks for all the work you do every day!
Nancy Shack

Bill Butler said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks so much for pointing out my slip. It was getting very late last night :)

All fixed now. I appreciate the help!

Anonymous said...

Re 3D: a major pet peeve of mine is using "monkey" interchangeably with "ape". If it has a tail, it is a monkey, no tail means ape. A chimp is not a monkey! Nerdist rant over.

Bill Butler said...

That's a useful nerdist rant :)

Thanks!

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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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