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0928-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Sep 12, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 35m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Menlo Park middle name : ALVA
Thomas Alva Edison was nicknamed "The Wizard of Menlo Park" by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

5. Musical with the song "Bui Doi" : MISS SAIGON
“Miss Saigon” is a musical that premiered in London in 1989, and one that is based on Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly”. “Miss Saigon” was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, the duo responsible for “Les Misérables”. My wife and I saw both shows in London during their heyday, and I much preferred “Miss Saigon”. Back then the big thing was to have a big “special effect” in a stage musical, and for “Miss Saigon” this is the landing of a life-size helicopter on the stage. At the performance we attended there was an announcement that “the helicopter was broken”, so we had a fun time watching actors running around pretending there was a helicopter in that climactic scene ...

16. What cosmologists wonder : ARE WE ALONE?
Cosmology is the study of the origin, evolution and fate of the Universe.

22. Aquí, across the Pyrénées : ICI
“Here” is “aqui” in Spanish and “ici” in French.

The Pyrénées is a mountain range that runs along the border between Spain and France. Nestled between the two countries, high in the mountains, is the lovely country of Andorra, an old haunt of my family during skiing season …

23. Dovetail part : TENON
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. The mortise is the "hole" and the tenon is the "projection".

25. Like some mus. notes : STAC
Staccato is a musical direction signifying that notes should be played in a disconnected form. The opposite of staccato would be legato: long and continuous notes played very smoothly.

26. Judge in 1990s news : ITO
Judge Lance Ito came in for a lot of criticism for his handling of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The lead prosecutor in that trial was Marcia Clark, you might recall. I read her book "Without a Doubt" a few years ago, and she pointed out one trait of Judge Ito that I think is quite telling. Ito would almost always refer to the prosecutor as "Marcia", while addressing the men on both sides of the case as "Mister".

27. Neverland resident : FAIRY
Neverland is home to Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Captain Hook and other characters created by J. M. Barrie.

29. Maker of a special-delivery flight : STORK
In German and Dutch society, storks resting on the roof of a house were considered a sign of good luck. This tradition led to nursery stories that babies were brought to families by storks.

30. What shows its ribs? : CORDUROY
There’s a myth that the name of textile known as “corduroy” comes from the French “corde du roi” (the cord of the king). It’s more likely that “corduroy” comes from a melding of “cord” and “duroy” (a coarse fabric that used to be made in England).

35. St. ___ (English boys' school founded in 948) : ALBANS
St. Albans School in the East of England is one of the oldest schools in the world. St. Albans was founded in the year 948 AD. The long, long list of “Old Albanians” includes Pope Adrian IV, the only English Pope (from 1154 to 1159). A more recent graduate is the renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, author of “A Brief History in Time”.

38. Stadium ear piercer : VUVUZELA
A vuvuzela is a simple horn that produces a loud monotone note. The vuvuzela is a big hit with soccer fans in South Africa, and is now heard in stadiums all round the world after it was was introduced to us in the 2010 FIFA World Cup that was held in South Africa.

43. Swing a thurible around : CENSE
A thurible is a device that holds burning incense. It is a metal chamber at the end of a long chain and plays a big part in many Christian ceremonies.

44. Texas hoopster : 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 prompted 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.

45. Phishing lure? : SCAM
Phishing is the name given to the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by pretending to be a reliable and trustworthy entity. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a variant of the word “fishing”, as in “fishing” for passwords, PIN numbers etc.

46. Arabian parent : SIRE
The Arab (or Arabian) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

47. Eclipse alternative : MIATA
I've always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a sports car that has been in production since 1989, a right-hand-drive vehicle built mainly for Japan and the UK (although I think there are left-hand-drive versions available now). The Eclipse was named after an 18th century English racehorse.

49. Like chestnuts : OLD
An "old chestnut" is a joke that is "well worn". The origin of the expression is very specific. It dates back to a play by William Diamond, first produced in 1816. In the story, one of the characters keeps telling the same joke over and over, with minor variations. The joke is about a cork tree, and an exasperated listener after hearing the joke one time too many refutes the use of the cork tree saying, "A Chestnut. I have heard you tell the joke 27 times and I'm sure it was a Chestnut!"

50. It may follow a cut : DEAL
Cut the cards, then deal them …

51. Milk curdler : RENNET
Rennet is an enzyme complex that is produced in the stomach of mammals. Rennet is used by children to digest a mother’s milk. It is also used to coagulate milk in cheese production.

52. Classic Robert Burns poem, with "A" : RED, RED ROSE
“A Red, Red Rose” is a song and poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns. The Burns work is based on a traditional Scottish air.

55. Certain something : AURA
An aura (plural: aurae) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a "je ne sais quoi". "Je ne sais quoi" is French for "I don't know".

58. People person : SCREEN IDOL
There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine.

Down
1. Mahatma Gandhi, for one : ASCETIC
Mohandas Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader in India in the first part of the 20th century, when the country was seeking independence from Britain. Gandhi was also referred to as "Mahatma", meaning "great soul". His remarkable philosophy of nonviolence and living a modest lifestyle was a great inspiration to the Indian people. India (and Pakistan) was granted independence in 1947. Sadly, Gandhi was assassinated the very next year by a Hindu nationalist.

3. Atlantic follower, in Monopoly : VENTNOR
Atlantic Avenue and Ventnor Avenue are properties in the game of Monopoly. The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

4. Turf leader? : ASTRO-
AstroTurf is the trademarked name of an artificial playing surface suitable for many ball sports. AstroTurf was invented in 1965 and originally went on the market as ChemGrass. The first really big application was in 1996 in the Houston Astrodome, so the name “AstroTurf” was applied and has remained ever since.

8. Hyperhidrotic : SWEATY
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive perspiration, above and beyond what is normal.

9. Otto goes after it : SETTE
“Sette, otto” is Italian for “seven, eight”.

10. Swiss banks may be affiliated with it : AARE
The Aar (also called the "Aare" in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. A famous spot along the river is the Reichenbach Falls in the center of the country, actually a series of waterfalls near the city of Meiringen. These falls are celebrated in the world of literature as it was here that Sherlock Holmes fell to his supposed doom with his nemesis Professor Moriarty (in "The Adventure of the Final Problem").

11. Pier grp. : ILA
The International Longshoremen's Association (ILA).

13. Draw for an inside straight, say : ONE CARD
I guess that to “one card” is to go for a winning hand in poker by exchanging just one card.

14. Old fast-food chain whose mascot's head was an orange : NEDICK’S
Nedick’s was a fast-food restaurant chain that started out in New York City around 1920. Nedick’s originally had a reputation for making a great orange drink, so the restaurant’s logo was a man with an orange for a head. The chain was founded by Robert Neely and Orville Dickinson who melded their own family names to arrive at “Nedick’s”.

24. ___ Homme (perfume brand) : DIOR
Dior Homme is a fragrance for men introduced in 2005. My guess is that the perfume line was named for Christian Dior’s menswear division, which is also called Dior Homme.

25. Blackhawk carmaker : STUTZ
The Stutz Motor Company was a manufacturer of luxury cars in Indianapolis. Stutz was noted as a producer of fast cars and luxury vehicles for the elite.

28. MoMA's "Two Heads" and "Birds in an Aquarium" : ARPS
Hans Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn't the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German, he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both "Hans" and "Jean" translate into English as "John". In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing in the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. He was sent home …

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, son of the oil magnate. Working with two friends, she managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA's sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

31. Directive for murder? : DIAL M
“Dial M for Murder” is a great stage play by Frederick Knott, famously adapted into an excellent 1954 movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I’ve seen the play a couple of times, and the movie countless times. Excellent entertainment …

36. Tank named after a French W.W. II general : LECLERC
Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque was a French general during WWII. The general was born Philippe François Marie, count of Hauteclocque. During the war, the count used an alias in the French Resistance, namely Jacques-Philippe Leclerc. After the war he officially changed his name, incorporating “Leclerc” from his days in the Resistance.

39. Daley's successor as mayor of Chicago : EMANUEL
The current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama's offer to become the White House Chief of Staff.

41. Some self-images : AVATARS
The Sanskrit word "avatar" describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It's easy to see how in the world of "online presences" one might use the word avatar to describe one's online identity.

43. John who wrote the textbook "How Does a Poem Mean?" : CIARDI
John Ciardi was mainly known as a poet, from Boston. Ciardi wrote a textbook on how to read, write and teach poetry called “How Does a Poem Mean?”. He also published a famous translation of Dante’s “Divine Comedy”.

46. Many a cab : SEDAN
The American "sedan" car is the equivalent of the British "saloon" car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

50. Fool on the ice : DEKE
A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. "Deke" is a colloquial shortening of the word "decoy".

53. Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE
Carly Rae Jepsen is a singer/songwriter from Mission, British Columbia. Jepsen got her start on “Canadian Idol”, when she placed third in the show’s fifth season.

54. Pou ___ (basis of operations) : STO
"Pou sto" is Greek, meaning "where I may stand". The phrase has it roots in words spoken by Archimedes, who said that he could move the earth if given a place to stand. In contemporary use it describes a place on which to stand, or a basis of operation.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Menlo Park middle name : ALVA
5. Musical with the song "Bui Doi" : MISS SAIGON
15. Receives, as a visitor : SEES
16. What cosmologists wonder : ARE WE ALONE?
17. Word for quitters : CAN’T
18. Got through : PENETRATED
19. Heat : ESTRUS
21. Gorge : SATE
22. Aquí, across the Pyrénées : ICI
23. Dovetail part : TENON
24. Be feeble-minded : DOTE
25. Like some mus. notes : STAC
26. Judge in 1990s news : ITO
27. Neverland resident : FAIRY
29. Maker of a special-delivery flight : STORK
30. What shows its ribs? : CORDUROY
32. Things that are shot or fought : ROUNDS
33. One way to resign : IN PROTEST
35. St. ___ (English boys' school founded in 948) : ALBANS
38. Stadium ear piercer : VUVUZELA
42. Chicken's yellow part? : BELLY
43. Swing a thurible around : CENSE
44. Texas hoopster : MAV
45. Phishing lure? : SCAM
46. Arabian parent : SIRE
47. Eclipse alternative : MIATA
49. Like chestnuts : OLD
50. It may follow a cut : DEAL
51. Milk curdler : RENNET
52. Classic Robert Burns poem, with "A" : RED, RED ROSE
55. Certain something : AURA
56. Be disengaging? : BREAK A DATE
57. Grow tiresome : WEAR
58. People person : SCREEN IDOL
59. Some brackets : ELLS

Down
1. Mahatma Gandhi, for one : ASCETIC
2. Provide for tenancy : LEASE TO
3. Atlantic follower, in Monopoly : VENTNOR
4. Turf leader? : ASTRO-
5. Hikers' helpers : MAPS
6. Madness : IRE
7. Potential downside of the information age : SENSORY OVERLOAD
8. Hyperhidrotic : SWEATY
9. Otto goes after it : SETTE
10. Swiss banks may be affiliated with it : AARE
11. Pier grp. : ILA
12. Began brawling : GOT IT ON
13. Draw for an inside straight, say : ONE CARD
14. Old fast-food chain whose mascot's head was an orange : NEDICK’S
20. Bombing at a comedy club : UNFUNNY
24. ___ Homme (perfume brand) : DIOR
25. Blackhawk carmaker : STUTZ
28. MoMA's "Two Heads" and "Birds in an Aquarium" : ARPS
29. "Yeah, I did it ... oh well!" : SO SUE ME
31. Directive for murder? : DIAL M
32. Quick spins? : REVS
34. Whistler's production : TUNE
35. Rivets : ABSORBS
36. Tank named after a French W.W. II general : LECLERC
37. Inflatable lining : BLADDER
39. Daley's successor as mayor of Chicago : EMANUEL
40. Pass out on the field? : LATERAL
41. Some self-images : AVATARS
43. John who wrote the textbook "How Does a Poem Mean?" : CIARDI
46. Many a cab : SEDAN
48. Knocked out : IN AWE
50. Fool on the ice : DEKE
51. Cousin of a jig : REEL
53. Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE
54. Pou ___ (basis of operations) : STO


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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 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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