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1001-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Oct 12, Monday





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: Susan Gelfand
THEME: MADE THE A-LIST … each of the theme answers is a celebrity with the initials “AA”:
20A. Second first lady : ABIGAIL ADAMS
28A. American Dance Theater founder : ALVIN AILEY
35A. Oscar-winning actor for "Little Miss Sunshine" : ALAN ARKIN
48A. Tennis champion with a stadium named after him : ARTHUR ASHE
56A. Achieved great fame ... or what 20-, 28-, 35- and 48-Across did? : MADE THE A-LIST
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Muslim pilgrim's destination : MECCA
Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

6. Indian prince : RAJA
"Raja" is an Indian word for "monarch".

10. Kemo ___ : SABE
“Kemosabe” is a term used by the Tonto character in the iconic radio and television program “The Lone Ranger”. “Kemosabe” doesn't really mean anything outside of the show, and in fact was written as “ke-mo sah-bee” in the original radio show scripts. The term was created by longtime director of “The Lone Ranger”, Jim Jewell. To come up with the term, Jewell used the name of a boy’s camp that his father-in-law established called Kamp Kee-Mo Sah-Bee.

14. Map collection : ATLAS
We call a book of maps an “atlas” after a collection of maps published by the famous Flemish geographer Gerhadus Mercator. Mercator's collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term "atlas".

19. Watch chains : FOBS
A fob is attached to another object to make access to it easier. And so a key fob is a chain attached to a key so that it can be retrieved easily. There are also watch fobs, of course.

20. Second first lady : ABIGAIL ADAMS
Abigail Adams had a unique distinction being married to John Adams. Abigail was the first Second Lady of the US, and then became the second First Lady!

28. American Dance Theater founder : ALVIN AILEY
Alvin Ailey was a dancer who formed his own group in New York in 1958, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The most famous work that Ailey choreographed was called “Revelations”.

33. Part of the eye around the pupil : IRIS
The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

35. Oscar-winning actor for "Little Miss Sunshine" : ALAN ARKIN
The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in "Little Miss Sunshine" from 2006, a movie I just did not understand ...

40. K2 and Kilimanjaro: Abbr. : MTS
K2 is the second highest mountain on the planet (at 28, 251 ft), with Mount Everest being higher by over 700 feet. K2 is known the "Savage Mountain" as it is relatively difficult to climb, having claimed 1 in 4 mountaineers who have attempted to reach the summit. It has never been climbed in winter. The name K2 dates back to what was called the Great Trigonometric Survey, a British survey of the geography of India carried out during the 19th century. Included in this survey were the heights of many of the Himalayan peaks, including Everest. The original surveyor, a Thomas Montgomerie, included two peaks he first called K1 and K2. He discovered later that the locals called K1 Masherbrum (the 22nd highest mountain in the world), but the remote K2 had no local name that he could find, so it was christened Mount Godwin-Austen. This name was rejected by the Royal Geographic Society although it does still appear on some maps. So, the most common name used is K2, that original notation in a surveyor's notebook.

Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania, and is the highest mountain in the whole of Africa. I was having lunch recently with the parents of my son’s girlfriend. The young lady’s mother casually mentioned in the conversation that she summited Kilimanjaro last year. I paid for lunch …

43. Pitcher Hershiser : OREL
Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. He lives in Las Vegas, and when he isn't working for ESPN, apparently he is at the poker tables at least five times a week.

48. Tennis champion with a stadium named after him : ARTHUR ASHE
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

52. ___ the Impaler : VLAD
Vlad III was a 15th century ruler in modern-day Bulgaria. He was given the name “Vlad the Impaler” after he died, and this suggests that he was in the habit of impaling his enemies. His father, Vlad II, was known as Vlad Dracul, which translates as Vlad the Devil or Dragon. As a result, Vlad the Impaler was also known by the diminutive form of his father’s name i.e. Dracula! Bram Stoker borrowed this name for his famous 1897 novel titled “Dracula”.

53. Largest asteroid in the solar system : CERES
Ceres is the smallest dwarf planet in our solar system. Ceres was discovered in 1801 and is the largest body in the asteroid belt. For fifty years Ceres was classified as the eighth planet circling our sun.

54. Digestion aids : ENZYMES
Enzymes are basically catalysts, chemicals that act to increase the rate of a particular chemical reaction. For example, starches will break down into sugars over time, especially under the right conditions. However, in the presence of the enzyme amylase (found in saliva) this production of sugar happens very, very quickly.

60. Erica who wrote "Fear of Flying" : JONG
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first, “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later she wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

61. Winter frost : HOAR
The Old English word "har" meant "gray, venerable, old", and came into English as "hoar" (and later "hoary") with the same meaning. The term "hoar-frost" dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man's beard.

62. ___ Circus (ancient Roman stadium) : NERO’S
The Circus of Nero was also called the Circus of Caligula, as it was started by Caligula and finished by Nero. This particular Roman circus was the site of the first state-sponsored martyrdoms of Christians, in 65 AD. The martyrs were mainly executed by crucifixion, and some believe that St. Peter met his fate at the site.

65. Ye ___ Shoppe : OLDE
The word "olde" wasn't actually used much earlier than the 1920s. "Olde" was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.

67. Some Scots : GAELS
The Gaels were speakers of one of the Erse tongues. There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

69. Alimony givers or receivers : EXES
The word “alimony” derives from the Latin “alimonia”, meaning “nourishment, food, support”.

70. Precipitation around 32 degrees : SLEET
Sleet is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It's the second definition that I have always used ...

Down
4. Down Under capital : CANBERRA
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. The city is located in what’s called the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) an area independent of any of the other Australian territories. In this sense, there is a similarity between Canberra in the ACT and Washington in the District of Columbia. Canberra was chosen as the nation’s capital in 1908, a choice that was a compromise in deference to the two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

6. San ___, Calif. : RAFAEL
San Rafael isn't far from here, and is the county seat of Marin County in the North San Francisco Bay. Like many cities in California, San Rafael owes its name to a Spanish mission, Mission San Rafael Arc├íngel.

8. First corner after "Go" in Monopoly : JAIL
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of "The Landlord's Game" created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord's Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

9. Dashiell Hammett hound : ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb movie "The Thin Man" starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called "Skippy". Skippy was also the dog in "Bringing up Baby" with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of "The Thin Man" films.

10. African big-game hunt : SAFARI
"Safari" is a Swahili word, meaning "journey" or "expedition".

13. Officer on a PT boat: Abbr. : ENS
Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

PT Boats were motor torpedo boats: small speedy vessels that used torpedoes as their primary weapon against large surface ships. The "PT" stands for "Patrol Torpedo". The most famous PT Boats that served during WWII were probably PT-41 that carried General Douglas MacArthur and his family from Corregidor to Mindanao in his escape from the Philippines, and PT-109 that was commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, future President of the United States.

21. Actress Scala : GIA
Gia Scala's most famous role was that of the mute resistance fighter in "The Guns of Navarone". Scala was born in Liverpool, England to an Irish mother and Italian father. She lived some years in Italy before moving to New York City. It's probably good that she played a mute character in "The Guns of Navarone" as who knows what her accent was like!

24. Garden of Eden woman : EVE
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden "in" Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

26. The "S" of GPS: Abbr. : SYS
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

38. Grant-giving org. : NEA
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark.

39. Special Operations warrior : NAVY SEAL
SEAL is an acronym used by the US Navy's SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy's special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy's speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

45. Target for a certain bark beetle : ELM TREE
Dutch elm disease is a fungus devastating to all species of elm trees that is transmitted by the elm bark beetle. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia and is now rampant in Europe and North America. Even though there is a hybrid of elm known as the Dutch elm, the disease isn't named after the tree. Rather, the disease is called "Dutch" as it was identified in 1921 by a phytopathologist (plant pathologist) in the Netherlands.

46. Comic Charlotte : RAE
Charlotte Rae is an American actress, best known for playing the character Edna Garrett on two sitcoms from the seventies and eighties: "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life". Towards the end of the series, the Edna Garrett character operated her own gourmet food shop called “Edna’s Edibles”.

57. "My country, 'tis of ___" : THEE
The patriotic song “America” is also known by its first line, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. The song was written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831, and was the de facto national anthem of the country until “The Star-Spangled Banner” was declared the official anthem.

58. April 1 news story, maybe : HOAX
April Fool's Day is celebrated on April 1st in the western world. In the US (and Ireland) one can make practical jokes all day long if one wants. But in the UK there is a noon deadline. Anyone pranking after midday is called an "April Fool".

63. Corrida cheer : OLE
In Spain, bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally "race of bulls".

64. Across-the-Atlantic flier of old, briefly : SST
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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Muslim pilgrim's destination : MECCA
6. Indian prince : RAJA
10. Kemo ___ : SABE
14. Map collection : ATLAS
15. "'Tis a pity" : ALAS
16. Shortly, to a poet : ANON
17. Bloodhound's trail : SCENT
18. Move like a butterfly : FLIT
19. Watch chains : FOBS
20. Second first lady : ABIGAIL ADAMS
23. Daydream : REVERIE
25. Doctorate grillings : ORALS
27. Declare : AVER
28. American Dance Theater founder : ALVIN AILEY
32. Mister : English :: ___ : German : HERR
33. Part of the eye around the pupil : IRIS
34. Football field units: Abbr. : YDS
35. Oscar-winning actor for "Little Miss Sunshine" : ALAN ARKIN
40. K2 and Kilimanjaro: Abbr. : MTS
43. Pitcher Hershiser : OREL
44. Prefix with dynamic : AERO-
48. Tennis champion with a stadium named after him : ARTHUR ASHE
52. ___ the Impaler : VLAD
53. Largest asteroid in the solar system : CERES
54. Digestion aids : ENZYMES
56. Achieved great fame ... or what 20-, 28-, 35- and 48-Across did? : MADE THE A-LIST
60. Erica who wrote "Fear of Flying" : JONG
61. Winter frost : HOAR
62. ___ Circus (ancient Roman stadium) : NERO’S
65. Ye ___ Shoppe : OLDE
66. Part of the U.S. that's usually first with election returns : EAST
67. Some Scots : GAELS
68. One giving orders : BOSS
69. Alimony givers or receivers : EXES
70. Precipitation around 32 degrees : SLEET

Down
1. Pas' mates : MAS
2. Catchall abbr. : ETC
3. Butcher's knife : CLEAVER
4. Down Under capital : CANBERRA
5. Up and about : ASTIR
6. San ___, Calif. : RAFAEL
7. "That's ___ ask" : ALL I
8. First corner after "Go" in Monopoly : JAIL
9. Dashiell Hammett hound : ASTA
10. African big-game hunt : SAFARI
11. Deviation from the standard : ANOMALY
12. Winter Olympics vehicle : BOBSLED
13. Officer on a PT boat: Abbr. : ENS
21. Actress Scala : GIA
22. "___ say!" : DO AS I
23. Cheerleader's cheer : RAH
24. Garden of Eden woman : EVE
26. The "S" of GPS: Abbr. : SYS
29. Lab containers : VIALS
30. Like the verb "be" in many languages: Abbr. : IRR
31. Suffix with no-good : -NIK
36. No-good sort : LOUSE
37. Airport info: Abbr. : ARR
38. Grant-giving org. : NEA
39. Special Operations warrior : NAVY SEAL
40. PC alternative : MAC
41. Vibrating effect : TREMOLO
42. Leaves high and dry : STRANDS
45. Target for a certain bark beetle : ELM TREE
46. Comic Charlotte : RAE
47. Gets too high, for short? : ODS
49. Property dividers that may need clipping : HEDGES
50. Card game for romantics? : HEARTS
51. Photo lab abbr. : ENL
55. Witty put-downs : ZINGS
57. "My country, 'tis of ___" : THEE
58. April 1 news story, maybe : HOAX
59. Comfort : EASE
60. Occupation : JOB
63. Corrida cheer : OLE
64. Across-the-Atlantic flier of old, briefly : SST


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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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