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0924-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Sep 12, Monday



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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 likes to solve the LA Times crossword, please think about sending them an email pointing them to LAXCrossword.com!



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: John Dunn
THEME: VAPOR TRAILS … each of the theme answers ends with a TRAILING word that is a synonym for VAPOR:
17A. Gather momentum : PICK UP STEAM
23A. Mel Tormé's nickname : THE VELVET FOG
37A. Rolling Stones hit whose title follows the words "Hey you" : GET OFF OF MY CLOUD
48A. "Hurry up!" : STEP ON THE GAS
59A. What airplanes leave in the sky ... or what 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across have? : VAPOR TRAILS
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Vegas attraction : CASINO
The “casino” originated in the 1700s, first describing a public room for music or dancing. The name “casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

15. Old home for Mr. Met : SHEA
Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York was named after William A. Shea, the man credited with bringing National League baseball back to the city in the form of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium was dismantled (not imploded) in 2008-2009, and the site now provides additional parking for the new stadium that's nearby, called Citi Field.

Mr. Met is the mascot of the New York Mets. He is a guy with a large baseball as a head, and has been elected to the Mascot Hall of Fame.

16. Actor Beatty : NED
Ned Beatty is probably best remembered for the rather disturbing "squeal like a pig" scene in the movie "Deliverance". Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

19. "Spring ahead" hours: Abbr. : 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. DST was first observed in the US in 1918, and is observed in all states other than Hawaii and Arizona. Hawaii doesn’t really “need” DST as the length of daylight doesn’t vary much due to the state’s tropical latitude. Arizona’s climate dictates that extra afternoon daylight is an economic burden due to increased use of air conditioning systems.

21. Meager fare for Oliver Twist : GRUEL
"Oliver Twist" is of course a novel by Charles Dickens. It is a popular tale for adaptation to the big screen. There were two silent film versions, in 1909 and 1922, and the first talkie version was released in 1933, with many to follow. The latest "Oliver" for the big screen was a 2005 Roman Polanski production.

22. Greek "I" : IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

23. Mel Tormé's nickname : THE VELVET FOG
Mel Tormé was jazz singer, with a quality of voice that earned him the nickname “The Velvet Fog”.  Tormé  also wrote a few books, and did a lot of acting. He was the co-author of the Christmas classic known as “The Christmas Song”, which starts out with a line we all recognize:
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …

26. System of government : POLITY
A polity is the form of government of a nation, or perhaps a state, church or organization. Another term for polity might be "body politic".

29. Ventnor and Baltic, in Monopoly: Abbr. : AVES
Ventnor Avenue and Baltic Avenue are both properties in the US version of the game of Monopoly. The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

30. Soon, to a poet : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon”, apparently just because the word was misused over time.

34. Scottish headwear : TAM
A tam o'shanter is a man's cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. "Tams" were originally all blue (and called "blue bonnets"), but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of Robert Burns' poem "Tam O'Shanter".

37. Rolling Stones hit whose title follows the words "Hey you" : GET OFF OF MY CLOUD
“Get Off of My Cloud” is the single that came right after the Rolling Stones super-hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. Both records were released in 1965.

41. ___ de cologne : EAU
Back in 1709, an Italian perfume-maker moved to Cologne in Germany. There he invented a new fragrance that he named Eau de Cologne after his newly adopted hometown. The fragrance is still produced in Cologne, using a secret formulation. However, the terms "Eau de Cologne" and "cologne", are now used generically.

46. Diamond-shaped pattern : ARGYLE
The argyle pattern is based on the Campbell tartan. The Campbell clan is based in the Argyll region (note the spelling) in the west of Scotland, giving the Argyle pattern its name.

54. Perpendicular to the keel : ABEAM
The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying "abeam" is something that it is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words off to the right or the left.

58. CPR specialist : EMT
Emergency medical technician (EMT).

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. Nowadays emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

59. What airplanes leave in the sky ... or what 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across have? : VAPOR TRAILS
We talk so often about global warming these days but there is another fascinating phenomenon that is related, known as "global dimming". Global dimming is the reduction in the amount of heat that irradiates daily from the planet due to the insulating effect of pollution and vapor trails from aircraft, that are present in the atmosphere. The effect has been touted as a theory for decades but dramatic empirical data became available in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Planes were grounded and the skies over America were clear for three days. There was a stark change in the temperature range measured across the US for these three days, demonstrating the impact that air travel has on our climate.

65. "___ Your Eyes Only" : FOR
In addition to the James Bond series of novels, Ian Fleming wrote a collection of "Bond" short stories called "For Your Eyes Only". The name of the collection was used as for one of the Bond films. "Quantum of Solace" was one of those stories, and this title was also used for a Bond film, even though the plot bears no resemblance to the storyline.

66. Tennis's Novak Djokovic, by birth : SERB
Novac Djokovic is a Serbian tennis player, the world No. 2 (behind Roger Federer). Djokovic is quite the character off the court it seems and he is very popular on the talk-show circuit, all around the world. It also helps that Djokovic is fluent in several languages.

Down
4. Toner, e.g. : INK
The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (called toner) sticks to the unexposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery ...

6. Fish hawk : OSPREY
The Osprey is also known as the sea hawk or fish eagle.

7. Cosmetics maker Lauder : ESTEE
Estée Lauder was quite the successful business woman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called "Youth Dew". "Youth Dew" was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bath water. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder's "perfume" into their baths, while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That's quite a difference in sales volume ...

10. Thanksgiving vegetable : YAM
Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as "yams", the yam is actually a completely different family of plant. True yams are more common in other parts of the the world than they are in this country, especially in Africa.

12. Sauce with crushed garlic and basil : PESTO
The term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as “pesto” sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, pesto from Genoa in northern Italy.

18. Chevrolet Equinox, e.g. : SUV
The term SUV, for Sports Utility Vehicle, was introduced by our marketing friends. Using the term Sports Utility Vehicle was a very clever way to get us to pay a lot of money for what was essentially a station wagon on a truck chassis, or at least it was back then.

23. Ex-Yankee All-Star Martinez : TINO
Tino Martinez has retired from Major League Baseball. He played first base for a number of teams including the Mariners, Yankees, Cardinals and Devil Rays. Martinez was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and as a boy he worked in his father's cigar factory.

26. One of 15,490 in the first edition of the O.E.D. : PAGE
The "Oxford English Dictionary" (OED) contains over 300,000 "main" entries, and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb "set". When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb "put". Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

27. Most eligible to be drafted : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System. In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

28. Daydreamer encountered by Odysseus : LOTUS-EATER
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.

35. "The Clan of the Cave Bear" author Jean : AUEL
As Jean Auel prepared her first book in the “Earth’s Children” series, she did a lot of research about the Ice Age, the setting for her stories. She went as far as taking a survival course in cold conditions, learning to build an ice cave and how to make fire, tan leather and knap stone.

38. Pal of Rex or Rover : FIDO
"Fido", the name for a dog, is the Latin for "I trust".

39. Tarkenton of three Super Bowls : FRAN
Fran Tarkenton is a former football player who played for the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants. Tarkenton has had quite the life after retiring from football in 1978. He co-wrote a murder-mystery novel, several self-help books and started his own software company.

40. Lincoln ___ (building toy) : LOGS
The toy known as Lincoln Logs was invented by John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

46. Christie who wrote "Ten Little Indians" : AGATHA
Not only did Agatha Christie write a fabulous collection of murder-mystery stories, she also wrote romances, but under the pen name Mary Westmacott. I’ve read almost all of Christie's 66 detective novels, but I must admit, not one of her romance novels.

47. Muzzle-loading tool : RAMROD
A ramrod is a “stick” that is inserted into the barrel of an older firearm in order to pack the bullet or ball up against the charge of gunpowder.

50. Rhinoceros relative : TAPIR
All four species of tapir are endangered. Even though the tapir looks much like a pig, it is more closely related to the horse and the rhinoceros.

51. Test ban subject, briefly : H-BOMB
There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. In an atomic bomb, uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. Fusion devices are also called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy than a fission reaction.

57. Retired fliers : 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.

61. Coach Parseghian : ARA
Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as "The Era of Ara".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Vegas attraction : CASINO
7. Catch a glimpse of : ESPY
11. Prefix with dermal : EPI-
14. Stadiums : ARENAS
15. Old home for Mr. Met : SHEA
16. Actor Beatty : NED
17. Gather momentum : PICK UP STEAM
19. "Spring ahead" hours: Abbr. : DST
20. Parked on a bench : SAT
21. Meager fare for Oliver Twist : GRUEL
22. Greek "I" : IOTA
23. Mel Tormé's nickname : THE VELVET FOG
26. System of government : POLITY
29. Ventnor and Baltic, in Monopoly: Abbr. : AVES
30. Soon, to a poet : ANON
31. Pageant headwear : TIARA
34. Scottish headwear : TAM
37. Rolling Stones hit whose title follows the words "Hey you" : GET OFF OF MY CLOUD
41. ___ de cologne : EAU
42. "___ my case!" : I REST
43. They may need refining : ORES
44. Root beer or ginger ale : SODA
46. Diamond-shaped pattern : ARGYLE
48. "Hurry up!" : STEP ON THE GAS
53. Radiator output : HEAT
54. Perpendicular to the keel : ABEAM
55. "___ it something I said?" : WAS
58. CPR specialist : EMT
59. What airplanes leave in the sky ... or what 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across have? : VAPOR TRAILS
62. Gorilla : APE
63. Schoolmarmish : PRIM
64. Certain wasp : HORNET
65. "___ Your Eyes Only" : FOR
66. Tennis's Novak Djokovic, by birth : SERB
67. Old saws : ADAGES

Down
1. Baseball headwear : CAPS
2. Operatic selection : ARIA
3. Religious faction : SECT
4. Toner, e.g. : INK
5. Nothing : NAUGHT
6. Fish hawk : OSPREY
7. Cosmetics maker Lauder : ESTEE
8. Taco exterior : SHELL
9. Pod item : PEA
10. Thanksgiving vegetable : YAM
11. "Nothing more to say" : END OF STORY
12. Sauce with crushed garlic and basil : PESTO
13. Item on a dog collar or suitcase : ID TAG
18. Chevrolet Equinox, e.g. : SUV
22. Suffix with meteor : -ITE
23. Ex-Yankee All-Star Martinez : TINO
24. Fluctuate : VARY
25. Emergency exodus operation, briefly : EVAC
26. One of 15,490 in the first edition of the O.E.D. : PAGE
27. Most eligible to be drafted : ONE-A
28. Daydreamer encountered by Odysseus : LOTUS-EATER
31. Stubbed digit : TOE
32. Conditions : IFS
33. Quantity: Abbr. : AMT
35. "The Clan of the Cave Bear" author Jean : AUEL
36. Retailer's inventory: Abbr. : MDSE
38. Pal of Rex or Rover : FIDO
39. Tarkenton of three Super Bowls : FRAN
40. Lincoln ___ (building toy) : LOGS
45. Choose to participate, with "in" : OPT
46. Christie who wrote "Ten Little Indians" : AGATHA
47. Muzzle-loading tool : RAMROD
48. Bundle of wheat : SHEAF
49. Speed kept by a metronome : TEMPO
50. Rhinoceros relative : TAPIR
51. Test ban subject, briefly : H-BOMB
52. Suffix with ballad : -EER
55. Flier's flapper : WING
56. Sheltered, at sea : ALEE
57. Retired fliers : SSTS
59. No. 2s : VPS
60. "___ you serious?" : ARE
61. Coach Parseghian : ARA


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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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