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0824-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Aug 12, Friday





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: Mark Diehl
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 40m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Category on Craigslist : GARAGE SALES
Craigslist is an online network of communities that features classified advertisements organized geographically. Craigslist was started by Craig Newmark in 1995, originally as an email distribution list for his friends who lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area.

14. They're rarely played nowadays : EIGHT-TRACK TAPES
“8-track” is a common term for the sound recording technology more correctly called “Stereo 8”. 8-track became popular for a while because its magnetic tape came in a cartridge that was convenient to use in a car.

18. Boston landmark, with "the" : PRU
The Pru is the familiar name given to the Prudential Tower in Boston. It is currently the second highest building in the city, after the John Hancock Tower. However, if one includes the height of the radio tower on its roof, then it is the highest building in Boston. When it was completed in 1964, the Pru was the tallest building in the country outside of New York City.

19. Needle point?: Abbr. : ENE
East-northeast (ENE) is a compass point.

20. Some Toyotas : SOLARAS
The Solara is sporty version of the Toyota Camry.

25. Subject of the book "Red Moon Rising" : SPUTNIK
The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower made his move, creating the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

“Red Moon Rising” is a book by Matthew Brzezinski that tells the story of the development of the Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth. According to the book, Nikita Krushchev wanted to get his own back for all the US spy planes flying high over the Soviet Union. He was convinced that orbiting spy satellites could level the playing field.

31. Like Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock : OCTAGONAL
The Dome of the Rock is a beautiful Islamic mosque located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The golden dome, which gives the structure its name, was refurbished in 1993 using $8.2 million gifted by King Hussein of Jordan. Apparently King Hussein sold one of his houses in London in order to fund the 80 kg of gold required for the project.

36. "Eureka" and "Excelsior" : MOTTOES
“Eureka” is the Greek for “I have found it”, and is the motto of the state of California.

“Excelsior” is the Latin for “ever upward”, and is the motto of the state of New York.

37. Heaps : PASSELS
A passel is a large group or quantity. "Passel" is a variation of the word “parcel”.

41. Sulfide-containing group : PYRITES
Pyrite is a mineral, also known as a iron pyrite. Famously, it has an appearance very similar to gold, so has the nickname "fool's gold". Pyrite does find its way into some baubles, which go be the name of marcasite jewelry.

50. Microsoft Windows game : SPIDER SOLITAIRE
Spider is a single-player card game. I think that a single-player card game is usually called Solitaire in the US whereas we used the term Patience in the British Isles.

52. Openly attack en masse : STORM THE GATES
"En masse" is of course a French term best translated as, "as a group".

53. Home of Sun Bowl Stadium : EL PASO, TEXAS
The Sun Bowl is an annual college football game played in El Paso. The Rose Bowl is the oldest of the bowl games, but the Sun Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl come in second. The first Sun Bowl was played on New Year's Day 1935. To be fair to the sponsors, the full name today is the Brut Sun Bowl ...

Down
3. Diet ___ : RITE
Diet Rite is a no-calorie cola drink that has been around since 1958. Diet Rite was introduced by RC Cola, but the brand is now owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

5. "Oh, God!" co-star : GARR
The lovely Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr's big break came with the role of Inga in "Young Frankenstein", and her supporting role in "Tootsie" earned her an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis and is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“Oh, God!” is a comedy movie that was released in 1977. The great George Burns plays the title role (God!) with John Denver co-starring. George Burns was the big success in the cast, and he alone reprised his role in two sequels in the 1980s.

6. It's got its standards: Abbr. : EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

7. Org. providing assistance to Afghans and Persians : SPCA
Unlike in other countries, there is no "umbrella" organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the nation, but it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

The Afghan Hound is a dog with a thick hairy coat. The breed originated in Afghanistan in cold areas where all that insulation was an advantage.

The Persian is that long-haired cat with a squashed muzzle. The breed takes its name from its place of origin, namely Persia (Iran).

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

9. French novelist Pierre : LOTI
Pierre Loti was a French writer, and also an officer in the French Navy.

10. ___ Longoria, 2008 A.L. Rookie of the Year : EVAN
Evan Longoria plays baseball for the Tampa Bay Rays. Evan would like everyone to know that he is no relation to Eva Longoria the actress.

11. Perspicacious : SAPIENT
To be sapient is to have great wisdom and discernment. “Sapient” comes from the Latin “sapere” meaning “to perceive, to be wise”.

12. Part of a car's steering system : TIE ROD
Tie rods are part of the rack and pinion steering mechanism in a car.

13. Gentle giant of Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" : LENNIE
"Of Mice and Men" is a novella written by American author John Steinbeck, published in 1937. The title comes from the famous poem by Robert Burns, "To a Mouse". The inspirational line is "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men, gang aft agley."

14. Omar in Hollywood : EPPS
Omar Epps is the actor who plays Eric Foreman on the excellent television series "House". Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on "ER". And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

15. Curry : SEEK
“To curry” is to seek, at least when it is used in the phrase “to curry favor”.

22. Page one is traditionally one : RECTO
The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. Recto comes from the Latin for "right", and verso comes from the Latin word for "turned". The idea is that the left side of the page is "turned" and is the reverse of the right side.

23. ___ Abrams, character on "Glee" : ARTIE
Artie Abrams is a character in the Fox television show “Glee”. Abrams is played by the young actor Kevin McHale. Abrams is the character who gets around in a wheelchair.

25. One-master : SLOOP
Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.

26. Outer ear : PINNA
Pinna is a the anatomical name for the outer ear, the fleshy part that resides outside the head. “Pinna” is the Latin for “feather”.

27. Campus near the J.F.K. Library : UMASS
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is a splendid structure located right beside the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts. President Kennedy chose the location for his library just one week before he was assassinated.

28. Giant bronze man in Greek myth : TALOS
Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo of Greek mythology. After obtaining the Golden Fleece, the Argo approached the island of Crete that was guarded by Talos, a giant man of bronze. Talos repulsed the Argonauts by hurling boulders at them. Eventually Talos was slain by removing the bronze nail that sealed the one vein that ran the length of his body.

30. Big budget item for "Avatar," briefly : CGI
Computer-generated imagery (CGI).

I went to the 3D version of "Avatar" when I saw it for the first time ... it really is the only way to see that movie!

32. Sea fan colonists : POLYPS
Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles.

33. Reduce through retirement : ATTRITE
To attrit (or “to attrite”) is to lose by attrition, as in the loss of personnel without having to lay them off.

36. Google ___ : MAPS
Google Maps is the core application to a suite of services that includes the Google Maps Website, Google Ride Finder and Google Transit. Google acquired this technology when they purchased a company based in Sydney, Australia. The basic application was developed by two Danish brothers called Lars and Jens Rasmussen.

38. Storybook pirate : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie's play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook's pirates and is Hook's right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being "Irish" and "a man who stabbed without offence". Nice guy!

42. Target of a Fox hunt? : IDOL
"American Idol" is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show "Pop Idol". I can't abide the program ...

43. One singing "Fight, fight, fight for Maryland!" : TERP
The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or "the Terps" for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the the university's president at the time, Curly Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.

44. "Aunt" with a 1979 best seller : ERMA
“Aunt Erma's Cope Book” is a work by Erma Bombeck, published in 1979.

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns describing her home life in suburbia.

45. Onetime landers at LAX : SSTS
The most famous Supersonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that's no longer flying. Concorde had that famous "droop nose". The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field, and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA” but, when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

47. Old comics dog : TIGE
"Buster Brown" was a comic strip created in 1902 by Felton Outcault. Outcault took his name Buster from the very popular film star at the time, Buster Keaton. Buster's dog, Tige, was an American Pit Bull Terrier. Apparently when Tige started to "talk" in the strip, he became the first talking pet in American comics.

48. Classic Memphis-based record label : STAX
Stax Records was founded in 1957 as Satellite Records. The biggest star to record with Stax was the great Otis Redding.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Category on Craigslist : GARAGE SALES
12. Unspoken agreement : TACIT APPROVAL
14. They're rarely played nowadays : EIGHT-TRACK TAPES
16. How rainfall may be measured : PER YEAR
17. Imbecilic : ASININE
18. Boston landmark, with "the" : PRU
19. Needle point?: Abbr. : ENE
20. Some Toyotas : SOLARAS
25. Subject of the book "Red Moon Rising" : SPUTNIK
29. Early "cure" for tuberculosis : DESERT CLIMATE
31. Like Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock : OCTAGONAL
32. Puts barricades around : PARTITIONS OFF
36. "Eureka" and "Excelsior" : MOTTOES
37. Heaps : PASSELS
39. Key abbreviation : ALT
40. CD-___ : ROM
41. Sulfide-containing group : PYRITES
46. "Honest to God!" : IT’S TRUE
50. Microsoft Windows game : SPIDER SOLITAIRE
52. Openly attack en masse : STORM THE GATES
53. Home of Sun Bowl Stadium : EL PASO, TEXAS

Down
1. Discussion stopper : GAG RULE
2. Acting up, in a way : ACHY
3. Diet ___ : RITE
4. Girl/boy intro : ATTA
5. "Oh, God!" co-star : GARR
6. It's got its standards: Abbr. : EPA
7. Org. providing assistance to Afghans and Persians : SPCA
8. Scroll holders : ARKS
9. French novelist Pierre : LOTI
10. ___ Longoria, 2008 A.L. Rookie of the Year : EVAN
11. Perspicacious : SAPIENT
12. Part of a car's steering system : TIE ROD
13. Gentle giant of Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" : LENNIE
14. Omar in Hollywood : EPPS
15. Curry : SEEK
21. Somewhat, after "of" : A SORT
22. Page one is traditionally one : RECTO
23. ___ Abrams, character on "Glee" : ARTIE
24. Fantasy sports figures : STATS
25. One-master : SLOOP
26. Outer ear : PINNA
27. Campus near the J.F.K. Library : UMASS
28. Giant bronze man in Greek myth : TALOS
30. Big budget item for "Avatar," briefly : CGI
32. Sea fan colonists : POLYPS
33. Reduce through retirement : ATTRITE
34. Carries back and forth : FERRIES
35. Prepares for baking, in a way : FLOURS
36. Google ___ : MAPS
38. Storybook pirate : SMEE
42. Target of a Fox hunt? : IDOL
43. One singing "Fight, fight, fight for Maryland!" : TERP
44. "Aunt" with a 1979 best seller : ERMA
45. Onetime landers at LAX : SSTS
46. "Before ___ you go ..." : I LET
47. Old comics dog : TIGE
48. Classic Memphis-based record label : STAX
49. "I'm history" : TA-TA
51. "Got ya!" : OHO


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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.

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 everyday 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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