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0920-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Sep 12, Thursday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: John R. Conrad
THEME: Fire … today’s is a rebus puzzle, with the word “FIRE” occupying several squares in the grid, symmetrically placed. In the grid above, the lightning bolt symbol denotes those "FIRE" squares.
1A. "Whenever you're ready!" : (FIRE) AT WILL
8A. Dangerous locale : LINE OF (FIRE)
29A. Molotov cocktail, e.g. : (FIRE)BOMB
45A. Battle of Britain fighter : SPIT(FIRE)
64A. Radial choices : (FIRE)STONES
65A. 1963 Johnny Cash hit : RING OF (FIRE)
1D. A prankster may pull one : (FIRE) ALARM
14D. Spectacular display : (FIRE)WORKS
29D. Second Amendment subject : (FIRE)ARMS
30D. Produce an undesired effect : BACK(FIRE)
44D. Rat-a-tat : RAPID-(FIRE)
48D. Time-out, of sorts : CEASE-(FIRE)
COMPLETION TIME: 21m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Property recipient, at law : ALIENEE
An alienee is one to whom ownership of property is transferred.

17. Remote-sensing orbiter : LANDSAT
Landsat is a series of satellites tasked with imaging the Earth’s surface. The first satellite in the series was launched back in 1972 and the latest, the seventh, in 1999. The eighth satellite is scheduled to go into orbit in 2013.

18. Riviera resort : SAN REMO
The Italian city of San Remo sits on the Mediterranean, right on the border with France. In Italian the city is named Sanremo, just one word, although the spelling of "San Remo" dates back to ancient times.

19. "Once in Love With ___" : AMY
“Once in Love With Amy” is the best-remembered song to come out of the musical “Where’s Charley?” that debuted on Broadway in 1948.

20. Adriatic port : TRIESTE
Trieste is a city-port on the northeastern coast of Italy, and is almost completely surrounded by the country of Slovenia. Trieste was home for many years to Irish author James Joyce.

25. General on a Chinese menu : TSO
General Tso's chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zontang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

28. Year Michelangelo's "David" was completed : MDIV
When Michelangelo's famous statue of David was unveiled in 1504, it was at a time when the city-state of the Florentine Republic was threatened by rival states (including Rome). The statue depicts David after he has decided to fight Goliath, and the subject is sporting what is described as a "warning glare". David was originally placed outside the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of government in Florence, and that warning glare was directed very deliberately in the direction of its enemy, Rome.

29. Molotov cocktail, e.g. : (FIRE)BOMB
Vyacheslav Molotov was a prominent Soviet politician and protégé of Joseph Stalin. During the Winter War of WWII, between the Soviet Union and Finland, Molotov claimed in radio broadcasts that Finland was not being bombed, but rather that the Soviet Union was dropping food to relieve famine. With a sense of irony, the Finns started to call the Soviet bombs "Molotov bread baskets". The Finns also improvised incendiary bombs using bottles and a gasoline-based fuel, and called these devices "Molotov cocktails", a name that persists to this day.

32. Pond creatures : AMEBAE
An ameba (or "amoeba" as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek "amoibe", meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

34. Lotus ___ (listless race in Greek myth) : EATERS
The lotus-eaters were a race of people that featured in Greek mythology. The lotus flowers and fruits that were consumed were supposedly narcotic and addictive, and so the lotus-eaters enjoyed a life largely asleep in peaceful apathy.

36. Play that introduced the word "robot" : RUR
"R.U.R." is a play written in Czech by Karel Capek, first produced in 1921. It is a science fiction work and is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word "robot". The words "automaton" and "android" were already in use, but Capek gave us "robot" from the original Czech "robota" meaning "forced labor".

37. What's that in Italy? : CHE
“Che” is “that” in Italian.

38. Whence the phrase "Put not your trust in princes" : PSALMS
"Put not your trust in princes" is the start of the 3rd verse from Psalm 146.

41. Crasher of 1979 : SKYLAB
Skylab was sent into orbit by NASA in 1973 and continued to circle the Earth there until 1979. Although it was in orbit for many years, Skylab was only occupied by astronauts for 171 days, in three missions in 1973-1974. Skylab burned up in the Earth's atmosphere a lot earlier than expected, showering some huge chunks of debris on our friends in Australia.

45. Battle of Britain fighter : SPIT(FIRE)
The magnificent Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft is considered by most to have been key to the defeat of Germany’s Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. It was in production from the thirties through the fifties, and there were more Spitfires produced that any other British aircraft.

47. Jobs creation? : IMAC
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an "all-in-one" design, with the computer console and monitor integrated.

Steve Jobs certainly was a business icon in Silicon Valley. I don't think it is too surprising to learn that the brilliant Jobs didn't even finish his college education, dropping out of Reed College in Oregon after only one semester. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, but in 1985 he was basically fired from his own company during the computer sales slump of the mid-eighties. Jobs then founded NeXT Computer, a company focused on supplying workstations to the higher education and business markets. Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, and that's how Jobs found himself back with his original company.

49. Friendly if a bit careless sort, supposedly : ARIES
Aries is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that!

51. Bonanza find : ORE
A”bonanza” is a mine with a rich pocket of ore that can be exploited. “Bonanza” is the Spanish word for a rich lode, and a term we imported into English. We originally used "bonanza" to mean “fair weather at sea”, and then “prosperity, good fortune”. Ultimately, “bonanza” comes from the Latin “bonus” meaning “good”.

53. Drivel : PAP
One meaning of "pap" is soft or semi-liquid food for babies and small children. "Pap" comes into English via French, from the Latin word used by children for "food". In the 1500s, "pap" also came to mean "an over-simplified" idea. This gives us a usage that's common today, describing literature or perhaps TV programming that lacks real value or substance. Hands up those who think there's a lot of pap out there, especially on television ...

57. ___ broche (on a skewer) : A LA
The French for “spit-roasted, on a skewer” is “à la broche”.

60. Beauty shop stock : POMADES
Pomade is perfumed ointment, mainly used for grooming the hair. The word “pomade” is derived from the Latin “pomum” meaning “apple”, as the original ointment recipe used smashed apples.

63. And other women: Lat. : ET ALIAE
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact "et al." can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), et aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

64. Radial choices : (FIRE)STONES
Firestone is a tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900. The Firestone company took off when it was selected by Henry Ford as the supplier of tires for his Model T.

65. 1963 Johnny Cash hit : RING OF (FIRE)
The country classic "Ring of Fire" was written by Merle Kilgore and June Carter. The first recording of the song was made by June Carter's sister Anita, in 1963. The second recording was a little more successful, a recording made by June Carter's husband ... Johnny Cash.

I must admit that I am not a big country music fan, but who doesn't love Johnny Cash? The man had such a unique voice, and indeed unique songs. I think that his biopic, "Walk the Line", is very cool, as is the title song itself. Recorded back in 1956, "Walk the Line" is relatively creative for “popular” music. The basic rhythm of the song emulates the sound of a freight train, the “boom-chicka-boom” sound. Cash’s guitar has a unique tone to it as it plays this rhythm, achieved by threading a piece of paper between the guitar strings giving the rhythm a bit of a “buzz”. Above the rhythm line, each of the five verses is sung in different keys. You can actually hear Cash hum a note signifying the key change at the start of each verse. With all these modulations, the final verse is sung a full octave lower that the first. A remarkable tune …

Down
2. City on San Francisco Bay : ALAMEDA
“Alameda” is Spanish for “a place full of poplars”. There are number of locations in the US and elsewhere with the name “Alameda”, including the city of Alameda, California which is just down the road here.

3. Dickens boy : TINY TIM
Tiny Tim is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, the little disabled boy in the Charles Dickens novella "A Christmas Carol". “A Christmas Carol” is such a popular book that it has never been out of print since its first publication in December 1843.

4. Lent's start, e.g.: Abbr. : WED
In the Christian tradition, the first day in the season of Lent is called Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday, Palm Crosses from the prior year's Palm Sunday are burned. The resulting ashes are mixed with sacred oil and then used to anoint worshipers on the forehead with the shape of a cross.

In Latin, the Christian season that is now called Lent was termed "quadragesima" (meaning "fortieth"), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term "Lent" was introduced. "Lent" comes from "lenz", the German word for "spring".

5. Orch. member : INSTR
An instrument is part of an orchestra.

6. "Laughable Lyrics" writer : LEAR
“Laughable Lyrics” is Edward Lear’s fourth book of nonsense poems, first published in 1877.

7. #1 album, for four weeks, before "Woodstock" : LET IT BE
"Let It Be" was the last album that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The title song “Let It Be” was written by Paul McCartney, and is clearly one of his own favorites. McCartney says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line "Mother Mary comes to me". Paul's second wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang "Let It Be" at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song ...

“Woodstock” is the live album released in 1970, recorded at the Woodstock music festival held the year before.

8. Willowy : LISSOME
“Lissome” is such a lovely word, meaning easily bent and supple. It is a variation of “lithesome”.

10. Yucatán youth : NENES
"Nene" is the Spanish word for a male baby or young child.

The Yucatán is one of Mexico's 31 states and is located in the east of the country, on the northern tip of the Yucatán peninsula.

21. "___ Beso" (1962 hit) : ESO
"Eso Beso" is Spanish for "That Kiss", and was the name of a hit for Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.

29. Second Amendment subject : (FIRE)ARMS
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution was adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. The actual text of the amendment is:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. 

I hear that the wording and punctuation in the original text has led to some controversy over the years, some debate over the original intent ...

33. Neighbor of Rom. : BUL
Bulgaria is a country in Southeastern Europe lying on the west coast of the Black Sea. Bulgaria’s capital city is Sofia.

Romania sits just east of Hungary and north of Bulgaria in Europe. Romania was formed 1859 from the union of the two principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The Kingdom of Romania grew larger in size after WWI with the addition of three new regions, including the "vampirish" Transylvania ...

38. New Jersey setting for "Coneheads" : PARAMUS
The borough of Paramus is in New Jersey, but is a suburb of New York City. Paramus is noted for its retail facilities. The main shopping area has more retail sales annually than any other zip code in the whole of the US.

43. Seasoning from the laurel tree : BAY LEAF
The seasoning known as bay leaf is the aromatic leaf of the bay laurel tree or shrub. Fresh bay leaves aren’t very flavorful and need to be dried and aged a few weeks before use in the kitchen.

46. Apr. addressee : IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

50. "Paradise Lost" figure : SATAN
English poet John Milton is best known for his epic poem "Paradise Lost". Milton also wrote several sonnets, the most famous of which is probably "On His Blindness". The poet developed glaucoma which rendered him completely blind so he had to dictate a lot of his work, including the whole of "Paradise Lost".

52. Ottoman Empire founder : OSMAN
Osman I was the man who established the Ottoman Dynasty, with “Ottoman” coming from the name “Osman”. The "Ottoman Empire" came about with the conquest of Constantinople, but that didn’t happen until almost 130 years after Osman I died.

56. French roast : ROTI
“Rôti” is the French for “roasted”.

59. Japan's ___ Period (1603-1867) : EDO
Edo is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today's Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

61. N. Afr. land : ALG
Algeria is a huge country, the second largest in Africa (only Sudan is larger), and the largest country on the Mediterranean. The capital of Algeria is Algiers, and the country takes its name from the city.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Whenever you're ready!" : (FIRE) AT WILL
8. Dangerous locale : LINE OF (FIRE)
15. Property recipient, at law : ALIENEE
16. "Aha!" : I SEE NOW
17. Remote-sensing orbiter : LANDSAT
18. Riviera resort : SAN REMO
19. "Once in Love With ___" : AMY
20. Adriatic port : TRIESTE
22. The "p" in the middle of certain abbreviations : PER
23. Smooth over, as a drive : RETAR
25. General on a Chinese menu : TSO
26. Ritzy : SWANK
28. Year Michelangelo's "David" was completed : MDIV
29. Molotov cocktail, e.g. : (FIRE)BOMB
31. Google stat : HITS
32. Pond creatures : AMEBAE
34. Lotus ___ (listless race in Greek myth) : EATERS
36. Play that introduced the word "robot" : RUR
37. What's that in Italy? : CHE
38. Whence the phrase "Put not your trust in princes" : PSALMS
41. Crasher of 1979 : SKYLAB
44. "You ___?" : RANG
45. Battle of Britain fighter : SPIT(FIRE)
47. Jobs creation? : IMAC
49. Friendly if a bit careless sort, supposedly : ARIES
51. Bonanza find : ORE
52. One way to have ham : ON RYE
53. Drivel : PAP
54. Comedians, e.g. : AMUSERS
57. ___ broche (on a skewer) : A LA
58. Driving force : IMPETUS
60. Beauty shop stock : POMADES
62. Library receipt info : DUE DATE
63. And other women: Lat. : ET ALIAE
64. Radial choices : (FIRE)STONES
65. 1963 Johnny Cash hit : RING OF (FIRE)

Down
1. A prankster may pull one : (FIRE) ALARM
2. City on San Francisco Bay : ALAMEDA
3. Dickens boy : TINY TIM
4. Lent's start, e.g.: Abbr. : WED
5. Orch. member : INSTR
6. "Laughable Lyrics" writer : LEAR
7. #1 album, for four weeks, before "Woodstock" : LET IT BE
8. Willowy : LISSOME
9. "The wolf ___ the door" : IS AT
10. Yucatán youth : NENES
11. Poetic contraction : E’ER
12. Not-so-great poker holding : ONE PAIR
13. Provokes : FOMENTS
14. Spectacular display : (FIRE)WORKS
21. "___ Beso" (1962 hit) : ESO
24. Garden-variety : AVERAGE
27. Bring by cart, say : WHEEL IN
29. Second Amendment subject : (FIRE)ARMS
30. Produce an undesired effect : BACK(FIRE)
33. Neighbor of Rom. : BUL
35. Biblical possessive : THY
38. New Jersey setting for "Coneheads" : PARAMUS
39. Scrap : SNIPPET
40. Union members : SPOUSES
41. More dear : STEEPER
42. Medium for lots of talk : AM RADIO
43. Seasoning from the laurel tree : BAY LEAF
44. Rat-a-tat : RAPID-(FIRE)
46. Apr. addressee : IRS
48. Time-out, of sorts : CEASE-(FIRE)
50. "Paradise Lost" figure : SATAN
52. Ottoman Empire founder : OSMAN
55. Quiet : MUTE
56. French roast : ROTI
59. Japan's ___ Period (1603-1867) : EDO
61. N. Afr. land : ALG


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Yay! I *finally* sussed out one of these outrageous rebus puzzles!!! It was "Spit(fire)" which turned the lightbulb on for me. Still don't think these are "cricket" though.

Bill Butler said...

Congratulations!

Yes, rebus puzzles are tough to spot, and to solve. They're also much loved and hated.

I find that if I am working on a puzzle and it is much harder to solve than usual, then I suspect it's a rebus puzzle. And 9 times out of 10 I am right.

But again, congrats on the clearance!

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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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