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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

0828-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Aug 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: Lou Borenstein
THEME: HEAVEN and HELL … each of the theme answers is a popular song title that features the word HEAVEN or HELL, although in each case HEAVEN is replaced by HELL and vise versa. As an added twist, the words ABOVE and BELOW appear at the top and bottom of the grid, and we think of HEAVEN as being ABOVE, and HELL as being BELOW:
1A. Traditional location of one of this puzzle's theme words : BELOW (i.e. HELL)
64A. Traditional location of one of this puzzle's theme words : ABOVE (i.e HEAVEN)

17A. Opposite of an AC/DC song? : HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN (from “Highway to Hell”)
25A. Opposite of a Led Zeppelin number? : STAIRWAY TO HELL (from “Stairway to Heaven”)
42A. Opposite of a Meat Loaf tune? : BAT OUT OF HEAVEN (from “Bat Out of Hell”)
56A. Opposite of a Bing Crosby hit? : PENNIES FROM HELL (from “Pennies from Heaven”)
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Traditional location of one of this puzzle's theme words : BELOW
I guess this means that the theme answers are found “below” the top line of the grid …

6. Musical copyright org. : ASCAP
ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) collects licence fees for musicians and distributes royalties to composers whose works have been performed. BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) provides the same service.

14. 1998 BP acquisition : AMOCO
Amoco is an abbreviation for the American Oil Company. Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting ...?

BP is an oil and gas company headquartered in London, UK. BP started out as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909 with the remit of exploiting oil discovered in Iran. The company name was changed to British Petroleum in 1954, and today the name used is simply “BP”.

15. "Phooey!" : NERTS
“Nerts” is a slang term, a corruption of "nuts!" and has the same meaning.

17. Opposite of an AC/DC song? : HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN (from “Highway to Hell”)
The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers in Australia. The group is usually called "Acca Dacca" down under.

20. Sellout signs : SROS
Standing Room Only (SRO).

21. Outdated tape format : VHS
The video standard known as VHS is more fully referred to as the Video Home System. VHS was one of many standards touted by various manufacturers in the seventies. The biggest rival to VHS was of course Betamax, but we all knew who won the final round in that fight.

22. Light units : LUMENS
The lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a source.

23. Prefix with classical : NEO-
Neoclassicism is a movement in the field of music, art or perhaps architecture, one that draws on the classical art of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome.

24. Mother of Helen, in myth : LEDA
In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. She produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into the beautiful Helen, later to be known as Helen of Troy, over whom the Trojan War was fought. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda's earthly husband, and so he was a mortal.

25. Opposite of a Led Zeppelin number? : STAIRWAY TO HELL (from “Stairway to Heaven”)
Led Zeppelin was an English rock band that got together in 1968. The band's most famous release has to be the classic "Stairway to Heaven". Led Zeppelin broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.

33. Virginia's Washington and ___ University : LEE
Washington and Lee University (W&L) is a private school located in Lexington, Virginia. The school started out as the Augusta Academy in 1749 and was renamed to Liberty Hall in 1776, an apt name given the year. The original school moved to its current location in 1780, becoming Liberty Hall Academy. In 1796, George Washington gave the school a huge donation (for those times) of $20,000 which was recognized with a further name change, to Washington Academy. Robert E. Lee served as the school’s president after the Civil War until he died in 1870, at which time the final renaming took place, to Washington and Lee University.

34. Classic actor ___ G. Carroll : LEO
Leo G. Carroll was an English actor who appeared in many Alfred Hitchcock movies, including “Rebecca”, “Suspicion” and “North by Northwest”. I’ll always associate Carroll with the role of Alexander Waverly, the boss man in the television show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

35. Big arcade name : ATARI
At one point Atari was the fastest growing company in US history, but it never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

36. Plea at sea : SOS
The combination of three dots - three dashes - three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots - pause - three dashes - pause - three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship" are also mnemonics, introduced after the "SOS" signal was adopted.

42. Opposite of a Meat Loaf tune? : BAT OUT OF HEAVEN (from “Bat Out of Hell”)
Meat Loaf is the stage name of rock musician Marvin Lee Aday from Dallas, Texas. Meat Loaf’s second album is “Bat Out of Hell”, one of the best selling albums of all time. “Bat Out of Hell” still sells hundreds of thousands copies every year, and has sold over 40 million copies worldwide.

46. Movie-rating org. : MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film-rating system is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

47. Baseball's Mel : OTT
At 5' 9", Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don't think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

52. Church niche : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

56. Opposite of a Bing Crosby hit? : PENNIES FROM HELL (from “Pennies from Heaven”)
The Bing Crosby hit “Pennies from Heaven” comes from the 1936 film of the same name.

The singer Bing Crosby was a great lover of the game of golf. Crosby had just finished up 18 holes on a course in Spain in 1977 when he suffered a massive heart attack on the final green. Crosby’s last words were “That was a great game of golf, fellas.”

59. Buckeyes, for short : 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".

60. Golfer Sam : SNEAD
Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball by teeing off from home plate.

61. ___ metabolism : BASAL
One's basal metabolism refers to just the basic processes of the body, the one's essential to maintain life. The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories needed to maintain that basal metabolism, sufficient energy to maintain function of the vital organs such as heart, lungs, kidneys. Excluded is the energy needed to move around, to eat, or to absorb food.

62. Summer hrs. : DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as "summer time". The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring and backwards in the fall so that afternoons have more daylight.

63. Utopias : EDENS
The word Utopia was coined by Sir Thomas More for his book "Utopia" published in 1516, describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More's use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek "ou" meaning "not" and "topos" meaning "place". By calling his perfect island "Not Place", More was apparently making the point that he didn't think that the ideal could actually exist.

64. Traditional location of one of this puzzle's theme words : ABOVE
Again, I think the idea is that theme words in the grid usually appear above the bottom line.

Down
1. Scrooge-like cries : BAHS
The classic 1843 novella "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to the popular use of "Merry Christmas", and secondly it gave us the word "scrooge" meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that the character Scrooge uttered the famous line "Bah! Humbug!".

2. V.I.P. in a robe : EMIR
An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written as “amir” and “ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

3. An apple for Apple Inc., e.g. : LOGO
The logo of Apple, the computer company, is a silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it. The company’s original logo featured a picture of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree.

4. Newspaperman Adolph : OCHS
Adolph Ochs was a former owner of our beloved “The New York Times”. Ochs had purchased a controlling interest in “The Chattanooga Times” when he was only 19 years of age, and took control of “The New York Times” in 1896 when he was only 38 years old. It was Ochs who moved the paper’s headquarters to a new building on Longacre Square in Manhattan, which the City later renamed to the famous “Times Square” after the newspaper.

8. ___-Magnon : CRO-
Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

12. "Olly olly ___ free" : OXEN
“Olly olly oxen free” is a nonsense term that shows up in a number of children’s games and rhymes.

13. Hamiltons : TENS
The US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left.

19. Asian nurse : AMAH
"Amah" is an interesting word, one that we associate so much with Asian culture and yet it actually comes from the Portuguese "ama" meaning "nurse". Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an "amah".

23. Not final, in law : NISI
A decree nisi is a court order, one that only comes into force when certain specified conditions are met. At the point where the conditions are met, it becomes a decree absolute and is binding. “Nisi” is Latin for “unless”.

24. Cleaning agents : LYES
Today, when we purchase what is labelled as "lye", it is caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job ...

25. Kama ___ : SUTRA
Kama is the Hindu god of love. He is portrayed as a youth bearing a bow and arrows, much like Eros and Cupid.

The word "sutra" is used in Hinduism for a learned text, one usually meant to be studied by students.

The Kama Sutra is renowned for its descriptions of positions that can be used for sexual intercourse, but the sutra includes many other texts that deal with various matters of a sexual nature including how to woo a woman, the conduct of a "chief wife", the conduct of "other" wives, how to make money as a courtesan and much, much more, as if that isn't enough …

27. ___ Lingus : AER
Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn't that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with Aer Lingus being a phonetic spelling of the Irish "aer-loingeas" meaning "air fleet". These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland's oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline, Ryan Air.

31. MGM founder : LOEW
Marcus Loew was a New Yorker, born into a poor Jewish family. He started out in a penny arcade business and used its profits to buy into a nickelodeon. He built a whole chain of movie theaters, and then moved into the production of films so that he could guarantee supply of features that he could show in his theaters. Eventually he pulled together the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film production company, and sadly passed away just three years after he inked the deal.

32. Discontinued Swedish car : SAAB
SAAB stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. SAAB was, and still is, mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automobile division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011.

36. Old philosophers' place : STOA
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the "Painted Porch", located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from "stoa", the word for "porch"). And yes, we get our adjective "stoic" from the same root.

38. Dallas cager, for short : MAV
The Mavericks is the name of the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was helped on by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

41. Subway system : METRO
The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe, carrying about 4.5 million passengers a day, about the same as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it: "La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris", which was shorted to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

48. ___ Shuffle : IPOD
The iPod is Apple's signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

49. Untouchable leader : NESS
Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. When Ness took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness hand-picked 50 prohibition agents he thought he could rely on, later reducing that to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That group of 11 earned the nickname "The Untouchables", the agents who couldn't be bought.

50. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT
A T-nut is so called because it has a t-shape when viewed from the side.

52. Ishmael's captain : AHAB
Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly Captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville's "Moby Dick".

Ishmael is the narrator and protagonist in the Herman Melville novel “Moby-Dick”.

53. Currency unit whose symbol is "$" : PESO
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

54. Pole, for one : SLAV
The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:
- the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
- the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
- the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

55. Magazine whose name means "she" : ELLE
"Elle" magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. "Elle" is the French word for "she".

58. Corp. hiree : MBA
The world's first MBA degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Traditional location of one of this puzzle's theme words : BELOW
6. Musical copyright org. : ASCAP
11. Came down with : GOT
14. 1998 BP acquisition : AMOCO
15. "Phooey!" : NERTS
16. Can : AXE
17. Opposite of an AC/DC song? : HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN (from “Highway to Hell”)
20. Sellout signs : SROS
21. Outdated tape format : VHS
22. Light units : LUMENS
23. Prefix with classical : NEO-
24. Mother of Helen, in myth : LEDA
25. Opposite of a Led Zeppelin number? : STAIRWAY TO HELL (from “Stairway to Heaven”)
32. Most confident : SUREST
33. Virginia's Washington and ___ University : LEE
34. Classic actor ___ G. Carroll : LEO
35. Big arcade name : ATARI
36. Plea at sea : SOS
37. Hit hard : SMITE
39. Path of a pop-up : ARC
40. From ___ Z : A TO
41. Lea : MEADOW
42. Opposite of a Meat Loaf tune? : BAT OUT OF HEAVEN (from “Bat Out of Hell”)
46. Movie-rating org. : MPAA
47. Baseball's Mel : OTT
48. Many a young summer employee : INTERN
51. Crew member's handful : OAR
52. Church niche : APSE
56. Opposite of a Bing Crosby hit? : PENNIES FROM HELL (from “Pennies from Heaven”)
59. Buckeyes, for short : OSU
60. Golfer Sam : SNEAD
61. ___ metabolism : BASAL
62. Summer hrs. : DST
63. Utopias : EDENS
64. Traditional location of one of this puzzle's theme words : ABOVE

Down
1. Scrooge-like cries : BAHS
2. V.I.P. in a robe : EMIR
3. An apple for Apple Inc., e.g. : LOGO
4. Newspaperman Adolph : OCHS
5. "Unbelievable!" : WOW
6. "Be that as it may ..." : ANYHOW
7. Complete collections : SETS
8. ___-Magnon : CRO-
9. Olympics competitor : ATHLETE
10. False start? : PSEUDO-
11. Buckled : GAVE
12. "Olly olly ___ free" : OXEN
13. Hamiltons : TENS
18. Stave off : AVERT
19. Asian nurse : AMAH
23. Not final, in law : NISI
24. Cleaning agents : LYES
25. Kama ___ : SUTRA
26. Chunk of land : TRACT
27. ___ Lingus : AER
28. Not personally engaged : ALOOF
29. Slur over : ELIDE
30. Give an indication (that) : LET ON
31. MGM founder : LOEW
32. Discontinued Swedish car : SAAB
36. Old philosophers' place : STOA
37. Pants part that gets a lot of wear : SEAT
38. Dallas cager, for short : MAV
40. Finished : AT AN END
41. Subway system : METRO
43. Breaking of a mirror, some fear : OMEN
44. Revolt : UPRISE
45. Doesn't ever throw anything away : HOARDS
48. ___ Shuffle : IPOD
49. Untouchable leader : NESS
50. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT
51. Blink ___ eye : OF AN
52. Ishmael's captain : AHAB
53. Currency unit whose symbol is "$" : PESO
54. Pole, for one : SLAV
55. Magazine whose name means "she" : ELLE
57. "Understand?" : SEE
58. Corp. hiree : MBA


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Don't you think that the puzzle references the fact that the location of heaven is traditionally thought of as "above" us and the location of hell is traditionally thought of as "below" us?

Bill Butler said...

Yes, you are right. I should have pointed that out (and will now do so)

You got me!

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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