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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

0901-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Sep 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: Tim Croce
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 38m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … SAE (STE), ENNA (ETNA), LENA OLIN (Len Tolit!!!)


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. Co. now known as Ally Financial : GMAC
GMAC is short for General Motors Acceptance Corporation. General Motors has only a small stake in GMAC now, and indeed the name has been officially changed to Ally Bank. You and me, we are the biggest shareholders in GMAC/Ally today, since the US government gave the bank $12.5 billion to bail it out in 2008-2009.

16. "Streamers" playwright : RABE
David Rabe is an American playwright, a veteran of Vietnam. He is the author of a Vietnam War Trilogy of plays:
- "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel"
- "Sticks and Bones"
- "Streamers"

17. Unlike conference games : INTRAMURAL
Intramural sports are conducted within a certain geographic area, as opposed to varsity sports which are played with teams outside that area. The term “intramural” comes from the Latin for “within walls” and first applied to events held between teams based within the walls of a city.

19. Vision, in Vichy : VUE
Vichy is a spa town in the center of France. The people from Vichy are known as Vichyssois. After the northern part of France, including Paris, was occupied by the Germans in WWII, Vichy was chosen as the seat of government for what was called the French State. The Vichy government had theoretical authority even in occupied France, and is remembered for its collaboration with the German authorities. Vichy was chosen as the new seat of government because of its relative proximity to Paris, and simply because the town had the largest hotel room capacity in the “free zone”.

20. Classic literary inits. : RLS
Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish author, famous for his novels “Treasure Island”, “Kidnapped” and “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

21. Midwestern twin city : URBANA
The Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area is located in Illinois, southwest of Chicago. Champaign-Urbana is home to the flagship campus of the University of Illinois.

25. "The Gondoliers" girl : TESSA
"The Gondoliers" is a delightful operetta by Gilbert & Sullivan, first performed in 1889 at the Savoy Theatre in London. Tessa is a maiden selected as a bride in a "line up" by one of the gondoliers. I last saw "The Gondoliers" decades ago, an amateur production in the small town where I was living at the time in Ireland. Great fun!

28. Poppin' Lemonade is one of its flavors : HI-C
Hi-C orange drink was created in 1946, and introduced to the market in 1948, initially in the south of the country. The name Hi-C was chosen to emphasis the high vitamin C content in the drink, as it contained added ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

30. Birthplace of Queen Sonja : OSLO
Queen Sonja is married to King Harald V of Norway. Prior to their marriage, Sonja and Harald had to see each other in secret because Sonja was a non-royal, the daughter of a clothing merchant. The couple dated for nine years before Harald’s father and the Norwegian government sanctioned the marriage, which took place in 1968.

33. Where the Pawnee R. flows : KAN
The Pawnee River is located in southwestern Kansas. The Pawnee flows into the Arkansas River, which itself flows into the Mississippi.

41. "See ya, bro" : PEACE OUT
“Peace out” is an American slang term that originated in the sixties. “Peace” was a trademark term of the era, and “out” is the way one might finish a conversation over a two-way radio.

42. What a hand-held - or hand-holding - may be, briefly : PDA
PDA is an acronym used for both “personal digital assistant” and “public display of affection”.

46. Lake from which the Blue Nile begins : TANA
Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia, and is the source of the Blue Nile. The lake has a number of islands of significant size, many of which are home to ancient monasteries.

50. Motor oil letters : SAE
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) sets standards for motor oils, especially with regard to an oil’s viscosity.

53. Scientist for whom an element is named : NOBEL
Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist and businessman. Nobel is famous for the invention of dynamite during his lifetime, as well as for instituting the Nobel Prizes by providing the necessary funds in his will.

56. Like 3 a.m., say : WEE
3 a.m. is the wee hours of the morning.

58. One on the Lee side? : REB
Robert E. Lee is of course renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited him to take command of the whole Union Army but Lee declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state.

59. Book of Mormon book : ALMA
"The Book of Alma: The Son of Alma" is the full name of the longest book in the Book of Mormon. Alma was also known as Alma the Younger, a prophet.

64. Familia members : TIAS
"Tia" is the Spanish word for "aunt" (and "tio" means "uncle").

66. Commune SE of Palermo : ENNA
The city of Enna sits very high up in the hills of Sicily, overlooking the whole island below. Enna is the capital of the province that bears its name, which is the highest province in the whole of Italy.

Down
2. Ricky Martin's springboard to fame : MENUDO
Ricky Martin's real name is Enrique Martin Morales, a native of Puerto Rico. Martin first achieved fame with the boy band Menudo before going solo in 1991.

3. Big name in taco kits : ORTEGA
The Ortega food manufacturing company has been around for about 150 years. It was founded by Maria Conception Jacinta Dominguez Ortega, known affectionately as Mama Ortega within the company.

4. "Give ___ the play" (line from "Hamlet") : O’ER
The full title of William Shakespeare's play that we tend to call "Hamlet" is "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark". "Hamlet" is the most performed of all Shakespeare's plays and it is also his longest.

5. Old dynasty members : TSARS
The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar's youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia, but DNA testing has proven that all claims were false. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar's immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

6. Kind of tag for a Web designer : HTML
HTML is HyperText Markup Language, the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

7. One-on-one combat : JOUSTS
Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called "tilting".

8. Robert Burns's birth county : AYR
I think that there is a mistake in this clue in that Ayr is a town, and not a county. The town of Ayr is in the county of Ayrshire.

Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for the Scots around the world. As a poet he was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is his poem “Auld Lang Syne” which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folksong and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

Ayr is a port town on the Firth of Clyde in southwest Scotland. The famous poet Robert Burns was born just three miles from Ayr.

9. Suffix with proto- : -ZOA
The suffix “-zoa” is used for groups of animal organisms e.g. protozoa and metazoa. “Zoia” is the Greek for “animals, living beings”.

10. Victors of the 1879 Battle of Isandlwana : ZULUS
The Zulu are the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated population of 10-11 million people today. The Zulu were famous for resisting the colonization by the British in the 19th century, resulting in the Anglo-Zulu War. The Zulus had initial success, but the British eventually prevailed (as seen in the excellent film "Zulu", starring Michael Caine and others, from 1964).

Isandlwana is a hill in the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. The hill was the site of a famous battle in 1879, fought between 22,000 Zulu warriors and 1,350 British and native troops. The battle was the first in the Anglo-Zulu War. At the end of the conflict, the British Empire emerged victorious and the Zulu nation lost its independence.

12. Dancer known for her execution : MATA HARI
Mata Hari was the stage name used by Margaretha Geertuida Zella, born in the Netherlands in 1876. After an unsuccessful and somewhat tragic marriage, Zella moved to Paris in 1903 where she struggled to make a living. By 1905 she was working as an exotic dancer and using the name Mata Hari. She was a successful courtesan, notably moving in various circles of high-ranking military officers. She apparently worked as a double agent, both for the French and the Germans. When Mata Hari was accused by the French of passing information to the enemy, she was tried, found guilty and executed by firing squad at the height of WW1 in 1917.

13. From the start : AB INITIO
“Ab initio” is a Latin term meaning “from the beginning”.

14. Air-breathing swimmer : CETACEAN
Cetaceans are mammals who have adapted to life in water. Examples of cetaceans are whales, dolphins and porpoises.

22. 1980s Cosby co-star : RASHAD
Phylicia Rashād is an actress, best-known for playing Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”.

24. Subject of the musical "Mayor" : ED KOCH
The musical “Mayor” was first produced on Broadway in 1985. The storyline is based on a memoir by Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City.

26. Like 24-Down, eight times : ELECTED
Ed Koch was a Democratic Representative in the US Congress from 1969-73, and then Mayor of New York City from 1978-89. From 1997 to 1999 Koch was a “judge” on the TV show “The People’s Court”. And in 2004, he collaborated with his sister Pat Koch and wrote a children's book called "Eddie, Harold's Little Brother", a tale about Ed's own childhood experiences.

30. With 62-Down, old ball game : ONE O
62. See 30-Down : CAT
One o'cat, or more properly "one old cat", is an abbreviated form of baseball with a home plate and just one base.

32. Certain pancake makeup : POTATO
Pancakes can be made out of potatoes. One type of potato pancake is a latke.

34. Big name in skin care : AVEENO
Aveeno is a skin care and hair care manufacturer that was founded in 1945. The name Aveena comes from the Latin name for the common oat, Avena sativa.

37. Party switcher, say : APOSTATE
Someone may be described as apostate if he or she abandons his or her faith, political party, principles, or any particular cause.

38. "Enemies, a Love Story" Oscar nominee : LENA OLIN
The lovely Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Olin's mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Lena Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin's breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.

40. Squirt : RUNT
Back in 1500 a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s "runt" was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed, and ultimately for the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

45. Minarets, e.g. : TOWERS
A minaret is an architectural feature of Islamic mosques, a tall tower with an onion-shaped crown that is used for the call to prayer.

48. Thelonious Monk's "Well You ___" : NEEDN’T
Thelonious Monk was a jazz pianist and composer, the second-most recorded jazz composer after the great Duke Ellington. That’s a pretty impressive statistic given that Ellington wrote more than 1,000 songs, whereas Monk only wrote about 70.

49. Reflectivity measure : ALBEDO
Albedo is the reflective power of a surface. The term “albedo” is Latin for “whiteness”.

52. Malay for "person" : ORANG
Orangutans are arboreal creatures, in fact the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, living in the rain forests. Like most species in rain forests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word "orangutan" is Malay, meaning "man of the forest".

55. Simon & Garfunkel's "El Condor ___" : PASA
“El Cóndor Pasa” is a song from Peru, the best-known Peruvian song in the world, almost certainly. It was written in 1913, and famously covered by Simon & Garfunkel on their “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album in 1970. “El Cóndor Pasa” translates from Spanish as “The Condor Flies By”.

57. The "you" in "you will serve your brother" : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins "the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)". As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father's wealth (it was his "birthright"). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a "mess of pottage" (a meal of lentils).

61. Mercury's core? : CEE
There is a letter C at the center of the word “Mercury”.

63. Symbol of rebellion on many T-shirts : CHE
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aries. While at school he satisfied his need to "see the world" by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara's memoir later published as "The Motorcycle Diaries". While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara's death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Some light fare : SMOOTH JAZZ
11. Co. now known as Ally Financial : GMAC
15. Toast maker's start : HERE’S TO YOU
16. "Streamers" playwright : RABE
17. Unlike conference games : INTRAMURAL
18. Going ___ : AT IT
19. Vision, in Vichy : VUE
20. Classic literary inits. : RLS
21. Midwestern twin city : URBANA
23. Precarious positions : EDGES
25. "The Gondoliers" girl : TESSA
28. Poppin' Lemonade is one of its flavors : HI-C
29. See 43-Across : ROAD
30. Birthplace of Queen Sonja : OSLO
31. Big rush : SPATE
33. Where the Pawnee R. flows : KAN
35. High : EUPHORIA
37. Everywhere : ALL OVER CREATION
41. "See ya, bro" : PEACE OUT
42. What a hand-held - or hand-holding - may be, briefly : PDA
43. With 29-Across, like many sales reps : ON THE
44. Gains : NETS
46. Lake from which the Blue Nile begins : TANA
50. Motor oil letters : SAE
51. Avoid : NOT DO
53. Scientist for whom an element is named : NOBEL
54. Slugabed's state : TORPOR
56. Like 3 a.m., say : WEE
58. One on the Lee side? : REB
59. Book of Mormon book : ALMA
60. What you may have to enter to enter : ACCESS CODE
64. Familia members : TIAS
65. Almost due : NEAR AT HAND
66. Commune SE of Palermo : ENNA
67. Is no longer fazed by : GETS USED TO

Down
1. Have a cold response? : SHIVER
2. Ricky Martin's springboard to fame : MENUDO
3. Big name in taco kits : ORTEGA
4. "Give ___ the play" (line from "Hamlet") : O’ER
5. Old dynasty members : TSARS
6. Kind of tag for a Web designer : HTML
7. One-on-one combat : JOUSTS
8. Robert Burns's birth county : AYR
9. Suffix with proto- : -ZOA
10. Victors of the 1879 Battle of Isandlwana : ZULUS
11. Interest, informally : GRAB
12. Dancer known for her execution : MATA HARI
13. From the start : AB INITIO
14. Air-breathing swimmer : CETACEAN
22. 1980s Cosby co-star : RASHAD
24. Subject of the musical "Mayor" : ED KOCH
26. Like 24-Down, eight times : ELECTED
27. Causing face-clenching, maybe : SOUR
30. With 62-Down, old ball game : ONE O
32. Certain pancake makeup : POTATO
34. Big name in skin care : AVEENO
36. Excites, with "up" : PEPS
37. Party switcher, say : APOSTATE
38. "Enemies, a Love Story" Oscar nominee : LENA OLIN
39. Possible response to 41-Across : LATER, MAN
40. Squirt : RUNT
45. Minarets, e.g. : TOWERS
47. One way to study : ABROAD
48. Thelonious Monk's "Well You ___" : NEEDN’T
49. Reflectivity measure : ALBEDO
52. Malay for "person" : ORANG
53. Places where talk is cheep? : NESTS
55. Simon & Garfunkel's "El Condor ___" : PASA
57. The "you" in "you will serve your brother" : ESAU
61. Mercury's core? : CEE
62. See 30-Down : CAT
63. Symbol of rebellion on many T-shirts : CHE


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Thanks for removing the verification process. I hope the new setup will be successful.

Bill Butler said...

Well, the Spammers are having a field day now, but it looks like I screen out their comments without too much difficulty. We shouldn't be selling too much Viagara as a result!

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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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