Top Line

Search by Date

DD MMM YY or MMDD-YY

Search by Puzzle Number

e.g. 1225-09, 0704-10, 1025-10 etc.

Daily Solution by Email

Enter your email address

1004-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Oct 12, Thursday





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: Bill Thompson
THEME: ECLIPSE … There’s a note that comes with today’s puzzle:
The seven circled letters reading from top to bottom describe an event occurring at four locations in this puzzle.
One has to imagine the word SUN hidden behind four of the black squares in the grid to make sense of some across clues, and then imagine the word MOON hidden behind those same four black squares to make sense of the down clues. Also, the circled squares in the grid spell out ECLIPSE, when read from top to bottom:
17A. Ceremonial military outfit : DRES(S UN)IFORM
28A. Dairy Queen treat : CHOCOLATE (SUN)DAE
45A. Hides, in a way : GOE(S UN)DERGROUND
61A. Omits : LEAVE(S UN)SAID
10D. Movie with a 9-year-old Best Supporting Actress winner : PAPER (MOON)
21D. Targeted launch : (MOON)SHOT
44D. Image on the "E.T." poster : FULL (MOON)
48D. Work after work? : (MOON)LIGHT
COMPLETION TIME: 48m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Thrifty alternative : AVIS
Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

Thrifty Car Rental was founded back in 1958. Thrifty became part of Chrysler in 1989 and was merged by Chrysler with Dollar Rent A Car the following year.

14. Casino stock : DICE
As we all know, the numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. Now, there are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting ...

22. Clink : HOOSEGOW
"Hoosegow" is a slang term for "jail". "Hoosegow" is a mispronunciation of the Mexican-Spanish word "juzgao" meaning "court, tribunal".

24. The girl from Ipanema? : ELA
“Ela” is Portuguese for “she”.

Ipanema is a beach community in the south of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The name Ipanema is a local word meaning "bad water", signifying that the shore is bad for fishing. The beach became famous on release of the 1965 song "The Girl from Ipanema".

25. "You will be ___" (last line of "Wishin' and Hopin'") : HIS
“Wishin' and Hopin'” is a lovely song, a hit for Dusty Springfield in 1964. “Wishin' and Hopin'” was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. Springfield was the second person to record the song as Dionne Warwick had recorded it with limited success the year before.

27. Classic play whose title is an abbreviation : 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".

28. Dairy Queen treat : CHOCOLATE (SUN)DAE
Soft serve ice cream was developed by John McCullough in 1938. McCullough was able to get his new dessert carried by a local ice cream store in Illinois. He and the store owner became so swamped with sales that they opened a store specifically built around the product in Joliet, Illinois, hence creating the first Dairy Queen outlet. There are now over 5,700 Dairy Queen franchises in 19 countries. We've even got one in Ireland ...

35. Drum kit component : HI-HAT
In a drum kit, a hi-hat is that pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

39. Deuce follower : AD IN
In tennis, if the score reaches "deuce" (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the "advantage". If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that's two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. If the one of the players is calling out the score then if he/she has the advantage then that player announces "ad in" or more formally "advantage in". If the score announcer's opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is "ad out" or "advantage out". Follow all that ...?

40. Govt. security : T-BILL
A Treasury note (T-Note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-Note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-Bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-Bond matures in 20-30 years.

42. "Delta of Venus" author : NIN
Anaïs Nin was a French author, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica, and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration.

43. Actress Davis : GEENA
As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady ...

48. Place for a particle accelerator : LAB
In a particle accelerator, the particles that are accelerated have to have a charge, so are ions. The charged ions are subjected to high magnetic fields that propel them around a circular "racetrack", before being smashed into something, just to see what happens!

49. Photoshop option: Abbr. : ENL
Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software used for editing graphics. When I first bought it, it was really expensive (about $300, ten years ago), but now there are cost-effective, stripped-down versions available.

50. Help-wanted letters : SOS
The combination of three dots - three dashes - three dots is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots - pause - three dashes - pause - three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship" are also mnemonics, introduced after the "SOS" signal was adopted.

53. "Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything" speaker : MR MIYAGI
The 1984 film “The Karate Kid” starred Ralph Macchio in the title role, with Pat Morita playing the enigmatic karate teacher, Mr. Miyagi. There is an excellent 2010 remake, starring Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) as the Karate Kid himself, with Jackie Chan playing the teacher.

Pat Morita was a Japanese-American actor, born in Isleton, California. Morita’s most noted roles were playing “Arnold” on TV’s “Happy Days”, and Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid” movies. Morita was just a child during WWII and spent most of it in the Gila River internment camp in Arizona with this family

60. Director of "The Witches," 1990 : ROEG
Nicolas Roeg is a film director from England with quite the pedigree when it comes to association with great movies. Roeg contributed to 1962’s “Lawrence of Arabia”, and he himself directed noted films like “Walkabout” (1972), “Don’t Look Now” (1973) and “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976).

“The Witches” is a comedy film released in 1990 starring Anjelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson. The film is based on a book of the same name by Roald Dahl. Jim Henson of “The Muppets” fame was one of the producers, and it was the last film he worked on before he passed away in 1990.

64. Wolfe or Woolf, e.g.: Abbr. : AUTH
The American author Tom Wolfe started out his career as a journalist, and was very much at the center of the New Journalism literary movement of the sixties and seventies. His first book of note was “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” that tells the story of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters. Wolfe also wrote “The Right Stuff” about the post-war test pilots and the Project Mercury astronauts.

Virginia Woolf was an English author active in the period between the two World Wars. Woolf’s most famous novels were “Mrs. Dalloway”, “To the Lighthouse” and “Orlando”. She also wrote a long essay titled “A Room of One’s Own” in which she states “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

65. W.W. II general nicknamed "Bombs Away" : LEMAY
Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay was a general in the US Air Force. LeMay also ran for US Vice President in 1968, on the American Independent Party ticket alongside George Wallace.

69. Crayola color since 1998 : FERN
In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

Down
4. Mobutu ___ Seko (African despot) : SESE
Mobutu Sese Seko was the longtime President of Zaire (later to be called the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Mobuto was known to be a very corrupt dictator and it is believed that he embezzled over $5 billion from his country. On a lighter note, Mobutu was the money man behind the famous 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman known as “The Rumble in the Jungle”. Mobutu was anxious to expand the image of Zaire so he used his nation’s funds to entice the fighters to have a go at each other in his homeland.

5. Rotten Tomatoes contributor : CRITIC
“Rotten Tomatoes” is a website that mainly provides reviews and ratings of movies.

8. Dos minus dos : CERO
“Dos” (two) minus “dos” (two) is “cero” (zero), in Spanish.

9. Like vampires : IMMORTAL
The myth of the vampire has been around for centuries, but the 1897 novel “Dracula” is said to be the story on which all our modern vampire fiction is based. I just don’t do vampires …

10. Movie with a 9-year-old Best Supporting Actress winner : PAPER (MOON)
“Paper Moon” is a 1973 comedy film that tells the story of a father and daughter during the Great Depression. The onscreen father and daughter are played by real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal. The original choices for the lead roles were Paul Newman and his daughter Nell Potts, but they left the project after director John Huston also dropped out.

Tatum O'Neal is the youngest actress to win a "competitive" Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in "Paper Moon". The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.

11. Character with the tagline "Booyakasha!" : ALI G
Ali G is a fictional character created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Baron Cohen achieved international fame playing another of his personae, Borat, the protagonist in the 2006 movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan".

29. Chinese dynasty : HAN
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China and lasted from 206 BC to 220 AD. It came after the Qin Dynasty, and before the Three Kingdoms.

32. Kato Kaelin portrayer on "S.N.L." : DAVID SPADE
David Spade is a comedian and comic actor from Birmingham, Michigan. Spade’s big break came with his stint on “Saturday Night Live” in the 1990s. More recently he has played starring roles in sitcoms like “Just Shoot Me!”, “8 Simple Rules” and “Rules of Engagement”.

33. Purim's month : ADAR
Adar is a month in the Hebrew calendar.

Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther. During the celebration of Purim, the Book of Esther (or Megillah) is read aloud, once in the evening and once the following morning. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Old Testament that doesn't mention "God".

36. Graphic beginning? : IDIO-
An idiograph is a logo or other mark that is peculiar to a particular person or organization.

43. Greeting in Oz : G’DAY
“G’day” is a greeting in Australia (i.e. “Oz”).

44. Image on the "E.T." poster : FULL (MOON)
1982’s classic science fiction movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was directed by Steven Spielberg. The idea behind the film came from Spielberg himself, and the character E.T. was based on an imaginary friend that he conjured up as a child after his parents divorced in 1960.

47. Feature of Mike Wazowski in "Monsters, Inc." : ONE EYE
The animated feature "Monsters, Inc." was released in 2001, and was Pixar's fourth full-length movie. It's about cute monsters, and that's all I know other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.

51. Basket material : OSIER
Most willows (trees and shrubs of the genus Salix) are called just that, willows. Some of the broad-leaved shrub varieties are called sallow, and the narrow-leaved shrubs are called osier. The variety known as osier is commonly used in basketry, as osier twigs are very flexible.

52. Chair for Cleopatra : SEDAN
A sedan chair is a litter that was used in England. Being a litter means that it had no wheels and was powered by humans. Most sedan chairs were built for one passenger, with two men providing the "lift". Henry VIII had a sedan chair, but towards the end of his opulent life he needed four strong men to carry it.

Cleopatra was the last pharaoh to rule Egypt. After Cleopatra died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

53. Singer Jason : MRAZ
Jason Mraz is a singer-songwriter from Mechanicsville, Virginia. He is of Czech descent, and his name “Mraz” translates as “frost”.

54. Rake : ROUE
"Roue" is a lovely word, I think, describing a less then lovely man. A roue could otherwise be described as a cad, someone of loose morals. "Roue" comes from the French word "rouer" meaning "to break on a wheel". This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

A "rake" (short for “rakehell”) is defined as a man who is habituated to immoral conduct (isn’t it always the man??!!). The rake is a character who turns up frequently in novels and films, only interested in wine, women and song and not accepting the responsibilities of life. Good examples would be Wickham in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and Daniel Cleaver (the Hugh Grant part) in the movie "Bridget Jones’s Diary". "Rake" comes from the Old Norse "reikall", meaning "vagrant or a wanderer".

55. Team whose colors are blue and orange : METS
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second to last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” in 1969, who beat the Baltimore Orioles to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

57. Meaning of "Ich bin ein" in J.F.K.'s quote : I AM A
"Ich" is the German for "I", as in "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner), the famous words of support uttered by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in a speech in West Berlin. The supposed translation of "Ich bin ein Berliner" as "I am a jelly doughnut" ... that's just an urban myth. President Kennedy's use of German was perfectly correct.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Thrifty alternative : AVIS
5. Signs of spring : CROCI
10. Feline face cleaners : PAWS
14. Casino stock : DICE
15. Shorten, maybe : REHEM
16. Settled : ALIT
17. Ceremonial military outfit : DRES(S UN)IFORM
19. Long : PINE
20. Like the worst excuse : LAMEST
22. Clink : HOOSEGOW
24. The girl from Ipanema? : ELA
25. "You will be ___" (last line of "Wishin' and Hopin'") : HIS
27. Classic play whose title is an abbreviation : RUR
28. Dairy Queen treat : CHOCOLATE (SUN)DAE
35. Drum kit component : HI-HAT
37. "Oops, sorry" : MY BAD
38. Build on, with "to" : ADD
39. Deuce follower : AD IN
40. Govt. security : T-BILL
41. Certain spot : TV AD
42. "Delta of Venus" author : NIN
43. Actress Davis : GEENA
44. One carrying dust, maybe : FAIRY
45. Hides, in a way : GOE(S UN)DERGROUND
48. Place for a particle accelerator : LAB
49. Photoshop option: Abbr. : ENL
50. Help-wanted letters : SOS
53. "Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything" speaker : MR MIYAGI
58. Pass : ELAPSE
60. Director of "The Witches," 1990 : ROEG
61. Omits : LEAVE(S UN)SAID
64. Wolfe or Woolf, e.g.: Abbr. : AUTH
65. W.W. II general nicknamed "Bombs Away" : LEMAY
66. It begins at conception : IDEA
67. Gusto : ZEST
68. Ray variety : SKATE
69. Crayola color since 1998 : FERN

Down
1. Confuse : ADDLE
2. Like some marketing : VIRAL
3. Wet-bar convenience : ICE MACHINE
4. Mobutu ___ Seko (African despot) : SESE
5. Rotten Tomatoes contributor : CRITIC
6. Dict., e.g. : REF
7. "You'd better watch out!" : OH OH
8. Dos minus dos : CERO
9. Like vampires : IMMORTAL
10. Movie with a 9-year-old Best Supporting Actress winner : PAPER (MOON)
11. Character with the tagline "Booyakasha!" : ALI G
12. Major downer? : WINO
13. Fret : STEW
21. Targeted launch : (MOON)SHOT
23. Took to court : SUED
26. Melancholy : SOMBER
29. Chinese dynasty : HAN
30. Deceitful : LYING
31. Deafening : ABLARE
32. Kato Kaelin portrayer on "S.N.L." : DAVID SPADE
33. Purim's month : ADAR
34. Whirl : EDDY
35. "___ 'em!" (mob's cry) : HANG
36. Graphic beginning? : IDIO-
40. Tots' sports equipment : TEE BALLS
41. Whup : TAN
43. Greeting in Oz : G’DAY
44. Image on the "E.T." poster : FULL (MOON)
47. Feature of Mike Wazowski in "Monsters, Inc." : ONE EYE
48. Work after work? : (MOON)LIGHT
51. Basket material : OSIER
52. Chair for Cleopatra : SEDAN
53. Singer Jason : MRAZ
54. Rake : ROUE
55. Team whose colors are blue and orange : METS
56. Tech whiz, say : GEEK
57. Meaning of "Ich bin ein" in J.F.K.'s quote : I AM A
59. "In your dreams!" : AS IF!
62. Big tank : VAT


Return to top of page

The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Shortz OUT as editor; that's all I have to say after a trick like this one.

Bill Butler said...

Well, I wouldn't go that far! :)

But this was definitely a very tough puzzle. Personally I thought that it was quite inventive, so I enjoyed it. But, I know that a lot of folks took umbrage with this one.

Thanks for leaving a comment.

Adsense Wide Skyscraper

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

Blog Archive