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0821-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Aug 12, Tuesday



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I recently started solving the LA Times crossword, and a week ago I launched an LA Times crossword blog. If you work on the LA Times puzzle, then please check out my new blog at LAXCrossword.com. For that matter, if you know anyone who works the LA Times crossword, please think about sending them an email pointing them to LAXCrossword.com!



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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: Josh Knapp
THEME: PL First … each of the theme answers is a well-known phrase, preceded by the letters PL:
18A. Magazine for arithmetic lovers? : (PL)US WEEKLY
24A. Bizarre demand to a dry cleaner? : (PL)EAT MY SHORTS
39A. Zales or Tiffany's? : (PL)ACE OF DIAMONDS
51A. Overfish? : (PL)UNDER THE SEA
60A. Light shower? : (PL)ACID RAIN
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. David Bowie's rock genre, informally : GLAM
I remember the days of glam rock so well, as it was a hugely popular genre of music in the British Isles during the early seventies. Artistes wore the wildest of clothes, big hair, shiny outfits and really high platform boots. Names associated with glam rock are T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter.

In early 1969, the struggling David Bowie recorded a promotional film in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The film called "Love You Till Tuesday" featured seven of Bowie's songs in what amounted to an extended music video, with one of the tracks being "Space Oddity". Somebody smart put two and two together later in the year and decided that a fresh version of "Space Oddity" should be released, to coincide with the Apollo moon landings. Sure enough, the BBC snagged the track for their coverage of the landings and gave Bowie huge audiences. And the song still gets an awful lot of air time on the small screen.

15. Excellent, in modern slang : DOPE
Apparently, something that is described as “dope” is really, really cool …

16. African virus : EBOLA
The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak of the disease, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

17. Samuel Adams or Corona : BEER
Samuel Adams beers are named in honor of the American patriot who played a role in the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party. Samuel Adams came from a family associated the brewing industry, mainly involved in the production of malt.

The Mexican beer called Corona is the biggest-selling imported beer in the United States.

18. Magazine for arithmetic lovers? : (PL)US WEEKLY
“Us Weekly” is a celebrity gossip magazine, first published in 1977.

22. [as written] : SIC
"Sic" indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. "Sic" is Latin for "thus, like this".

23. Want ad letters : EOE
An Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

24. Bizarre demand to a dry cleaner? : (PL)EAT MY SHORTS
“Eat my shorts” is a catchphrase oft spoken by Bart Simpson on the television show “The Simpsons”.

29. City served by Indira Gandhi International Airport : NEW DELHI
New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

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.

32. Flamenco cry : OLE
Flamenco is a style of Spanish music and dance. The origin of the word "flamenco" isn't clearly understood, but the explanation that seems most credible to me is that it comes from Flanders in Northern Europe. Given that "flamenco" is the Spanish word for "Flemish" and Flanders is home to the Flemish people it makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

35. Arizona tribe : HOPI
The Hopi nation live on a reservation that actually resides within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

39. Zales or Tiffany's? : (PL)ACE OF DIAMONDS
The first Zales jewelry store was opened by Morris and William Zale and Ben Lipshy in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1924. Zales became successful largely by offering credit to their customers, a revolutionary concept at the time.

The Tiffany’s jewelry company is headquartered in New York City. The flagship Tiffany’s store is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan, and of course featured in the delightful Audrey Hepburn movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

43. Middling noble rank : EARL
In the ranking of nobles an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquess. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system, and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquess and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

44. Early Westinghouse collaborator : 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.

George Westinghouse was an American engineer and businessman, a rival to Thomas Edison in developing the first robust electrical grid for the country. Edison’s approach was to distribute electrical power using DC current, but Westinghouse opted to partner with Nikola Tesla and worked with AC current. AC technology won the day!

45. Silent ___ (Coolidge 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 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 ..."

49. Oscar-winning director of "The Departed," 2006 : SCORSESE
The movie director Martin Scorsese is very much a New York City native, and is well-known for directing movies set in the Big Apple. Among the list of great Scorsese films are “Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull”, “Goodfellas”, “Cape Fear”, “Casino” and “The Departed”.

55. "Luke, ___ your father" : I AM
Anakin Skywalker is the principal character in all six of the "Star Wars" movies, and the father of Luke Skywalker. Anakin’s progress chronologically through the series of films is:
- Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
- Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
- Episode IV: Anakin, as Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
- Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
- Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor's evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after ...

56. Center of gravity? : VEE
The middle letter of “gravity” is a V.

57. Philosopher who was the father of dialectical idealism : HEGEL
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the founders of the German idealism movement. “Idealism” in the context of the movement was the principle that objects did not have properties in themselves, but rather that an object’s properties depended on the person perceiving the object.

60. Light shower? : (PL)ACID RAIN
Acid rain is any precipitation that is unusually acidic. The acidity in rain mainly comes from sulfur dioxide that is discharged into the atmosphere from industrial plants, and volcanic eruptions.

66. Chair designer Charles : EAMES
Charles and Ray Eames were a husband-wife team of furniture designers. One of the more famous of their designs is the Eames lounge chair that comes with an ottoman. This trendy piece of furniture featured in a late episode of the television show “Frasier”. In the show, Frasier’s Dad remarks that the Eames chair is so comfortable that he might have gotten rid of his tatty old recliner a long time ago.

68. Record for later, in a way : TIVO
TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world's first commercially successful DVR (Digital Video Recorder). If you don't have a DVR, you might want to consider getting one. For those who enjoy television, it's very liberating ...

69. Ones before whom pearls are cast : SWINE
In the Book of Matthew in the Bible, Jesus states in the Sermon on the Mount:
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

71. Deep black gem : 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.

Down
1. Applies with a Q-Tip, say : DABS
Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name "Baby Gays", but this was changed in 1926 to "Q-Tip", with the Q standing for "quality".

5. Important econ. indicator : GDP
A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

6. "U crack me up!" : LOL
LOL is an abbreviation used in Instant Messages and phone texting, an abbreviation for "Laughing Out Loud".

7. "Thank you, come again" speaker, on "The Simpsons" : APU
The fictional store, Kwik-E-Mart, is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, on "The Simpsons" TV show. The convenience store owner doesn't seem to be making much use of his Ph. D. in computer science that he earned in the US. His undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class ... of seven million students ...

10. Lincoln moniker : ABE
Abraham Lincoln was born in a one-room log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky making him the first president born in the West. His formal education was limited to a year and a half of schooling, but fortunately for us, Lincoln was an avid reader and educated himself over the years. Even though he was from a rural area, he avoided hunting and fishing because he did not like to kill animals even for food.

13. First president to have a telephone in the White House : HAYES
Rutherford Hayes was the 19th president of the US. Long before we had to endure the dispute over the 2000 Presidential election, Rutherford Hayes found himself president after a disputed election in 1876. President Hayes came into office having lost the popular vote to his opponent Samuel Tilden as he was voted into office by one electoral college vote. Hayes was awarded the election in the end because of an informal deal struck between Democrats and Republicans called the Compromise of 1877. Democrats allowed Rutherford to occupy the White House in exchange for removal of federal troops occupying some of the southern states.

19. Genie's offering : WISH
The "genie" in the bottle takes his or her name from "djinn". "Djinns" were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book "The Thousand and One Nights" was translated into French, the word "djinn" was transformed into the existing word "génie", because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This "génie" from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived "genius", a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the "djinn" that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

21. Reagan attorney general Ed : MEESE
Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California just down the road here, and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I live. After military service he earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as Chief of Staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

25. Chow chow chow brand : ALPO
Alpo is a brand of dog food originally produced by Allen Products, founded in 1936, with "Alpo" being an abbreviation for "Allen Products". Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon, and Garfield the Cat would you believe?

The Chow Chow is a breed of dog that originated in China. The Chinese name for the breed is “Songshi Quan”, which translates as “puffy-lion dog”, a rather apt name given its appearance …

"Chow" is an American slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. "Chow" comes from Chinese pidgin English "chow-chow", meaning "food".

26. Grand ___ Auto : THEFT
“Grand Theft Auto” is an extremely successful series of video games. The game garners some negative attention because of its adult themes and the level of violence in the storyline. The original version of "Grand Theft Auto" was actually banned in Brazil.

28. Emperor of A.D. 69 : OTHO
Otho was Emperor of Rome for only three months before he committed suicide.

30. "___ Enchanted" (2004 film) : ELLA
"Ella Enchanted" is the title of a fantasy novel written by Gail Carson Levine, published in 1997. The novel is a retelling of the story of Cinderella, with lots of mythical creatures added. A film adaptation was released in 2004, starring Anne Hathaway in the title role.

34. N.Y.U.'s ___ School of the Arts : TISCH
New York University (NYU) is comprised of fifteen schools, one of which it the Tisch School of the Arts. The Tisch is famous for its acting program, with notable alumni such as Debra Messing, Christopher Guest and Josh Radnor.

37. Droids, e.g., for short : PDAS
A device like perhaps an iPhone, Droid, or Treo can be termed a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).

38. Aruba or Bora Bora : ISLE
Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands. The ABC Islands is the nickname given to the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Bora Bora is one of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The name Bora Bora is imitative of the Tahitian name for the island and should really be pronounced "pora pora". "Bora bora" translates as "first born".

41. Ingredient in some suntan lotions : ALOE
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

52. 1980s-'90s courtroom drama : LA LAW
"L.A. Law" ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network's most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful "Hill Street Blues" in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, "E.R." The opening credits showed that famous California licence plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

53. Taste that's not sweet, sour, bitter or salty : UMAMI
Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe "a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

58. Green-eyed monster : ENVY
William Shakespeare was one of the first to associate the color green with envy. He called jealousy the "green-eyed monster" in his play, "Othello".

59. Pope who excommunicated Martin Luther : LEO X
Pope Leo X is remembered as the last pope who was not a priest before taking office. Leo X was also known for granting indulgences to those willing to donate funds for the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica, a practice that contributed to the revolt against the church by Martin Luther. As a result of the revolt, Leo X excommunicated Luther.

Martin Luther wrote his "95 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of the Indulgences" in 1517, a document that is often seen as the spark that set off the Protestant Reformation. Luther's main argument was that the Catholic Church's practice of granting "indulgences", forgiveness from punishment for sins, was wrong, in particular when such indulgences were granted in exchange for money.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gossip : DISH
5. David Bowie's rock genre, informally : GLAM
9. Old Indian ruler : RAJAH
14. Fit : ABLE
15. Excellent, in modern slang : DOPE
16. African virus : EBOLA
17. Samuel Adams or Corona : BEER
18. Magazine for arithmetic lovers? : (PL)US WEEKLY
20. Momentum, informally : STEAM
22. [as written] : SIC
23. Want ad letters : EOE
24. Bizarre demand to a dry cleaner? : (PL)EAT MY SHORTS
29. City served by Indira Gandhi International Airport : NEW DELHI
31. Sexy : HOT
32. Flamenco cry : OLE
33. Took part in a bee, British-style : SPELT
35. Arizona tribe : HOPI
39. Zales or Tiffany's? : (PL)ACE OF DIAMONDS
43. Middling noble rank : EARL
44. Early Westinghouse collaborator : TESLA
45. Silent ___ (Coolidge nickname) : CAL
46. "That feels goo-oo-ood!" : AAH
49. Oscar-winning director of "The Departed," 2006 : SCORSESE
51. Overfish? : (PL)UNDER THE SEA
55. "Luke, ___ your father" : I AM
56. Center of gravity? : VEE
57. Philosopher who was the father of dialectical idealism : HEGEL
60. Light shower? : (PL)ACID RAIN
65. Flowing hair : MANE
66. Chair designer Charles : EAMES
67. High coif : UPDO
68. Record for later, in a way : TIVO
69. Ones before whom pearls are cast : SWINE
70. Hornets' home : NEST
71. Deep black gem : ONYX

Down
1. Applies with a Q-Tip, say : DABS
2. "Yeah, sure ..." : I BET
3. Retirement attire : SLEEPWEAR
4. Usher in with fanfare : HERALD
5. Important econ. indicator : GDP
6. "U crack me up!" : LOL
7. "Thank you, come again" speaker, on "The Simpsons" : APU
8. Like drawn-out divorces : MESSY
9. Bounce around a canyon, say : RE-ECHO
10. Lincoln moniker : ABE
11. Card #53 or #54 : JOKER
12. Dole out : ALLOT
13. First president to have a telephone in the White House : HAYES
19. Genie's offering : WISH
21. Reagan attorney general Ed : MEESE
25. Chow chow chow brand : ALPO
26. Grand ___ Auto : THEFT
27. Least spicy : MILDEST
28. Emperor of A.D. 69 : OTHO
29. "Uh-uh" : NOPE
30. "___ Enchanted" (2004 film) : ELLA
34. N.Y.U.'s ___ School of the Arts : TISCH
36. "I repeat ..." : ONCE AGAIN
37. Droids, e.g., for short : PDAS
38. Aruba or Bora Bora : ISLE
40. Extended family : CLAN
41. Ingredient in some suntan lotions : ALOE
42. Waterlogged locale : MARSH
47. Counsel : ADVISE
48. Take counsel from : HEED
50. "It would ___ me ..." : SEEM TO
51. Singing ability, informally : PIPES
52. 1980s-'90s courtroom drama : LA LAW
53. Taste that's not sweet, sour, bitter or salty : UMAMI
54. Many a summer show : RERUN
58. Green-eyed monster : ENVY
59. Pope who excommunicated Martin Luther : LEO X
61. 100 years: Abbr. : CEN
62. Jungle swinger : APE
63. Checks the age of, in a way : IDS
64. "Only kidding!" : NOT


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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

To solve this puzzle correctly, you would have to be a mind-reader. How was one to know the PL clue? And an expression such as "pleat my shorts? Come on. This is ridiculous. I don't enjoy this kind of puzzle. Way out!

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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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