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1007-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Oct 12, Sunday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Zoe Wheeler
THEME: Space Invasion … each of the theme answers is a well-used term, but with “ET” inserted somewhere, to give an answer that suits the clue:
23A. Old AMC car that came fully loaded? : HORN(ET) OF PLENTY
30A. Good locale for adoptions? : BIRTH MARK(ET)
39A. Ammo that's still on the store shelf? : SITTING BULL(ET)
53A. Some bleating? : RACK(ET) OF LAMB
63A. Excitement over some presidential selections? : CABIN(ET) FEVER
74A. Avoid a scalping? : ESCAPE HATCH(ET)
87A. ID for a certain band member? : TRUMP(ET) CARD
95A. Earth, in "Independence Day"? : PLAN(ET) OF ATTACK
COMPLETION TIME: 28m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Downer, for short : TRANQ
A tranquilizer is a downer.

19. ___ pork (Asian dish) : MOO SHU
Moo shu pork is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg.

22. Namibia neighbor : ANGOLA
Angola is a country in south-central Africa, on the west coast. Angola is the fourth largest diamond exporter in Africa, after Botswana, the Congo and South Africa. Such a valuable export hasn't really helped the living standard of the country's citizens, as life expectancy and infant mortality rates are among the poorest on the continent.

23. Old AMC car that came fully loaded? : HORN(ET) OF PLENTY
The Hornet was a compact produced by AMC in the seventies. The Hornet platform was used in the design of the Gremlin, a smaller sub-compact that was developed to compete with smaller cars being shipped in from Japan.

The Horn of Plenty is a symbol of abundance that has been used in Western art since the days of antiquity. The Horn of Plenty is usually depicted as a horn-shaped vessel containing flowers and edible delights, and may also be called the cornucopia.

25. Belgian river to the North Sea : YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser name is oft associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a "race to the sea". But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was "stabilized". As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

26. Minnesota Fats's player in "The Hustler" : GLEASON
Jackie Gleason is an icon in the comedic acting world. His most famous role on the small screen was of course Ralph Kramdem on "The Honeymooners". On the big screen two of his memorable roles were Minnesota Fats in 1961's "The Hustler" and Sheriff Buford T. Justice in the "Smokey and the Bandit" films. Gleason was also noted for his interest in the paranormal. He built a house in the shape of a UFO that he called "The Mothership", and he also claimed that President Nixon took him on a secret visit to Homestead AFB in Florida where he saw an alien spaceship and dead extraterrestrials!

28. Writer Ernie : PYLE
Ernie Pyle was a journalist, truly a roving reporter, never happy unless he was filing stories from some remote part of the country or some far-flung corner of the globe. Pyle was noted for his intimate style of reporting, emphasizing the human element of the story. His reports written during WWII in Europe, stressing the experiences of soldiers in the front lines, won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1944. After Germany surrendered he decided to follow the war in the Pacific. One day towards the end of the war, Pyle was traveling in a jeep on the island of le Shima in the Okinawa Islands when he was hit by enemy machine gun fire and was killed. Pyle was one of very few civilians killed during WWII who was awarded the Purple Heart.

33. Mysterious figure : YETI
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. "Yeti" is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

34. Windy City trains : ELS
The Chicago "L" is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The "L" is also the second oldest, again with the New York Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the "L" (originally short for "elevated railroad"), although the term "El" is also in common use (especially in crosswords as "ELS"). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

It seems that the derivation of Chicago's nickname as the "Windy City" isn't as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. First the weather can be breezy, with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that the "windy" means being full of bluster. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters "windy" in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

39. Ammo that's still on the store shelf? : SITTING BULL(ET)
Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Lakota Native American who led his people in resisting settlement of tribal lands. Sitting Bull is most notably associated with the victory over the US Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. Custer, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. US forces pursued Sitting Bull for five years after Little Bighorn until he surrendered in 1881. He was held as a prisoner of war for almost two years before being released onto a reservation. In 1884, he was allowed to leave the reservation and joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, where he earned a tidy sum for a few months. Several years later an order was issued for his arrest due to concern that he was about to flee his reservation. Sitting Bull was shot during an altercation as he was being taken into custody.

43. ___ Khan (villain in "The Jungle Book") : SHERE
In Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book”, Kipling calls his regal tiger character “Shere Khan”. Kipling chose this name as he had met an Afghan Prince in his travels called “Sher Shah Suri”, meaning “The Lion or Tiger King”.

46. Root word? : OLE
Fans might shout out “Ole, ole!” when rooting for their team, especially at soccer matches.

49. Director Jean-___ Godard : LUC
Jean-Luc Godard is a so-called "Nouvelle Vague" (New Wave) cinematographer, making movies that challenge the conventions of both traditional Hollywood and French cinema.

57. Dying words, in Shakespeare : ET TU
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?), in his play "Julius Caesar", although the phrase was around long before he penned his drama. It's not known what Julius Caesar actually said just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

61. Salsa ingredient : CHIPOTLE
A chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeƱo.

“Salsa” is simply the Spanish for “sauce”.

63. Excitement over some presidential selections? : CABIN(ET) FEVER
In the Westminster system, the Cabinet is a group of sitting politicians chosen by the Prime Minister to head up government departments and also to participate collectively in major governmental decisions in all areas. In the US system, the Cabinet is made up not of sitting politicians, but rather of non-legislative individuals who are considered to have expertise in a particular area. The Cabinet members in the US system tend to have more of an advisory role outside of their own departments.

67. Gumshoe : TEC
Gumshoe is a slang term for a private detective or private investigator (P.I.). Apparently the term "gumshoe" dates back to the early 1900s, and refers to the rubber-soled shoes popular with private detectives at that time.

68. Gold units: Abbr. : KTS
A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

71. "Shallow ___" (Jack Black film) : HAL
“Shallow Hal” is supposedly a romantic comedy, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black. I did not like this one …

78. Sackcloth material : HEMP
Hemp is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant's stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. There is of course a variety of hemp that is grown to make drugs, most famously cannabis.

79. "Grease" singer : VALLI
Frankie Valli is a great singer, best known for fronting the Four Seasons in the sixties. Valli had an incredible number of hits, with and without the Four Seasons. The list includes, “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “Rag Doll”, “My Eyes Adored You” and “Grease”.

80. 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
Apparently the song "Adia", co-written by Sarah McLachlan, was intended as an apology to her best friend ... for stealing her ex-boyfriend and then marrying him!

81. Alone, as a female on stage : SOLA
"Sola" is an adjective meaning "alone, by oneself", and is used as a stage direction to a female character (as opposed to "solo", the direction for a male).

82. A/C meas. : BTU
In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water's temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

85. Fort ___, Ontario : ERIE
The original Fort Erie was built by the British in 1764. The current structure can be visited today and is  located in the province of Ontario, just across the Niagara River from the city of Buffalo, New York.

86. Feds : G-MEN
The nickname “G-men” is short for "Government Men" and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

93. Jump on the ice : TOE LOOP
A toe loop is a relatively simple jump in figure skating (not that I could do one!). In a toe loop, the skater uses the toe pick on the skate to lift off on a backward outside edge, landing on the same backward outside edge.

95. Earth, in "Independence Day"? : PLAN(ET) OF ATTACK
The 1996 sci-fi action movie "Independence Day" is must-see-TV at our house on or around the 4th of July every year. The movie was supposed to come out in 1996 on July 3rd but there was so much anticipation that many theaters started screening the day before. At one point after release, "Independence Day" was the second-highest grossing movie in history ("Jurassic Park" was number one at the time).

104. "... Baby One More Time" singer : SPEARS
Britney Spears was the best-selling female artist in the first decade of the 21st century. And I didn’t buy even one song, and I couldn't name one right now ...

Down
2. Dancer Ginger : ROGERS
I am a huge Ginger Rogers fan. She is famous as the on-screen and dancing partner of Fred Astaire. However, my favorite films are those romantic comedies she made later in her career, especially “The Major and the Minor” and “Monkey Business”.

8. Basketball shooting game : HORSE
HORSE is a little game played with a basketball and a hoop. The idea is that one player makes a basket using a certain move and technique, and then subsequent players have to make a basket the same way. Anyone failing to make a basket is assigned a letter in the word HORSE, and after five letters, you’re out. A quicker game is called PIG.

15. Good "Wheel" buy for WHERE'S THE BEEF : AN E
Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since it first aired in 1975.

“Where’s the Beef” was a slogan used by the Wendy’s fast food chain in 1984. Famously, the phrase was picked up by presidential candidate Walter Mondale and he used it to argue that his rival Gary Hart had policies with no substance.

27. "Penny ___" : LANE
When in their teens, Paul McCartney and John Lennon would often head into the center of Liverpool together on the bus. The convenient place for them to meet was at the end of Penny Lane. Years later, Paul McCartney wrote the song “Penny Lane”, which was a big hit in 1967. “Penny Lane” was released as a double A-side record with "Strawberry Fields Forever" penned by John Lennon. Coincidentally, Strawberry Field was also a real location, not far from Penny Lane in Liverpool. Strawberry Field was a Salvation Army Children's Home in the garden of which Lennon would play as a child. I don't think Lennon and McCartney ever really forgot their roots …

32. Actor Claude of "Lobo" : AKINS
Claude Akins was an actor from Nelson, Georgia. Although Akins acted in many Hollywood films, he is best remembered for playing Sheriff Lobo in the seventies TV show “B. J. and the Bear”.

33. Alma mater of presidents #41, 42 and 43 : YALE
Yale University has educated quite a few of our recent US Presidents, including George H. W. Bush (#41), Bill Clinton (#42) and George W. Bush (#43).

36. Moundsman Dave : STIEB
Dave Stieb was a starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. Stieb had the second highest number of wins in the eighties.

40. College in New Rochelle, N.Y. : IONA
Iona College is a Roman Catholic school run by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle, New York.

45. 1992 Liv Ullmann film : SOFIE
Liv Ullmann is a Norwegian, best known to us in North America as an actress (I saw her recently in the classic was movie “A Bridge Too Far”). Ullmann has also directed several films, including “Sofie” released in 1992. Ullmann lived with famed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman for several years in the 1960s.

49. Some Millers : LITES
The first light beer was produced by Chicago's Meister Brau brewery in the sixties. Miller took over Meister Brau, reformulated the light beer using the same process and became the first of the big breweries to come out with a light beer, "Lite Beer from Miller" introduced in 1973. There really wasn't a serious competitor to Miller Lite until Anheuser-Busch finally came up with a process and a product in 1982 that they called Bud Light.

51. Tellies : TV SETS
"Telly" is the familiar term for a television in the British Isles, as opposed to our American "TV". And one watches “programmes” on a telly, as opposed to “programs” here in the US.

55. Brand name on a waistband : HANES
The Hanes brand of apparel was founded in 1901. A related brand was introduced in 1986 called Hanes Her Way.

59. Bathroom fixture : BIDET
"Bidet" is of course a French word that we imported into English. In French, the word "bidet" originally described a small horse or a pony. What we know as a bidet was so called because one can straddle it like a horse in order to use it.

62. Striped safari sight : OKAPI
The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can even go back further and clean its ears inside and out.

63. Brutus abettor : CASCA
Julius Caesar was assassinated on the 15th (the ides) of March, 44 BC. He was attacked by a group of sixty people in the Roman Senate, and was stabbed 23 times. The first to strike a blow was Servilius Casca, who attacked Caesar from behind and stabbed him in the neck.

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in Ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

65. Christian of "The Dark Knight Rises" : BALE
Christian Bale is an actor from Wales in the UK, although he is better known for his work on this side of the Atlantic. Bale's big break in movies came in 1987 when won the starring role in Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun” at only 13 years of age. He has also played Batman three times, in “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).

69. Vladimir of Russia : PUTIN
Vladimir Putin became acting President of Russia at the very end of 1999 when Boris Yeltsin resigned. Putin was elected in his own right in 2000, re-elected in 2004, and then ran up against a term limit in 2008. In 2008 Putin was appointed by his successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, to the position of Prime Minister. Putin is a controversial figure, inside and outside Russia. On the one hand he led the country out of an economic crisis into a period of stability and relative prosperity. On the other hand he has been associated with government corruption and accused of allowing private concerns to have undue influence on government actions.

75. Frozen food brand : SARA LEE
In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit, and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

78. ___-my-thumb : HOP-O’-
“Hop-o’-My-Thumb” is a fairy tale from France. It is also called “Little Thumbling” and tells of a small boy going up against an ogre.

88. Rodeo rope : REATA
“Reata” is the Spanish word for “lasso”.

89. Bad feeling in the pit of one's stomach? : ULCER
A peptic ulcer, until fairly recently, was believed to be caused by undue amounts of stress in one's life. It is now known that 70-90% of all peptic ulcers are in fact associated with a particular bacterium.

90. ___ latte : CAFFE
The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian "caffelatte" meaning "coffee (and) milk". Note that in the correct spelling of "latte", the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the "e". An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French in origin.

92. Actress Mazar : DEBI
Debi Mazar plays Shauna Roberts on the HBO series "Entourage". You might have seen her on "Dancing with the Stars" a while back, although she didn't do so well, being eliminated in the third week.

93. Sports car option : T-TOP
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

96. Eastern drama : NOH
Noh is a form of musical drama in Japan that has been around since the 14th century. Many of the Noh performers are masked, allowing all the roles to be played by men, both male and female parts.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Downer, for short : TRANQ
6. Big break : SCHISM
12. Something to seek in court : DAMAGES
19. ___ pork (Asian dish) : MOO SHU
20. Did ordinary writing : PROSED
21. Renowned : EMINENT
22. Namibia neighbor : ANGOLA
23. Old AMC car that came fully loaded? : HORN(ET) OF PLENTY
25. Belgian river to the North Sea : YSER
26. Minnesota Fats's player in "The Hustler" : GLEASON
28. Writer Ernie : PYLE
29. Before, in brief : ‘TIL
30. Good locale for adoptions? : BIRTH MARK(ET)
32. Play to ___ : A TIE
33. Mysterious figure : YETI
34. Windy City trains : ELS
35. Berlin article : EINE
36. Scrape : SKIN
37. Highlanders : GAELS
38. Trim : PARE
39. Ammo that's still on the store shelf? : SITTING BULL(ET)
43. ___ Khan (villain in "The Jungle Book") : SHERE
45. Getting on the board : SCORING
46. Root word? : OLE
47. Pitchers : EWERS
48. Nuts : LOONIES
49. Director Jean-___ Godard : LUC
50. Orch. section : STR
53. Some bleating? : RACK(ET) OF LAMB
55. Little victory celebration : HIGH FIVE
57. Dying words, in Shakespeare : ET TU
58. "Put ___ on it!" : A LID
59. It may be drawn at night : BATH
60. For fear that : LEST
61. Salsa ingredient : CHIPOTLE
63. Excitement over some presidential selections? : CABIN(ET) FEVER
67. Gumshoe : TEC
68. Gold units: Abbr. : KTS
69. Many-banded displays? : PARADES
70. Have a loan from : OWE TO
71. "Shallow ___" (Jack Black film) : HAL
72. He-man's nickname : MUSCLES
73. Bind tightly : TRUSS
74. Avoid a scalping? : ESCAPE HATCH(ET)
78. Sackcloth material : HEMP
79. "Grease" singer : VALLI
80. 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
81. Alone, as a female on stage : SOLA
82. A/C meas. : BTU
85. Fort ___, Ontario : ERIE
86. Feds : G-MEN
87. ID for a certain band member? : TRUMP(ET) CARD
91. Go out for a while? : NAP
92. Show, quickly : DEMO
93. Jump on the ice : TOE LOOP
94. "___ Child" (Margaret Atwood poem) : A SAD
95. Earth, in "Independence Day"? : PLAN(ET) OF ATTACK
98. ___ hours : OFFICE
100. Kind of exercise : AEROBIC
101. Infant's shoe : BOOTEE
102. One rummaging : RIFLER
103. Take a fresh look at : RETHINK
104. "... Baby One More Time" singer : SPEARS
105. Lock : TRESS

Down
1. Lump in the throat : TONSIL
2. Dancer Ginger : ROGERS
3. Of ___ (somewhat) : A SORT
4. People wear masks in this: Abbr. : NHL
5. Sticking point? : QUAGMIRE
6. Field : SPHERE
7. Kick the bucket : CROAK
8. Basketball shooting game : HORSE
9. Playground retort : IS NOT!
10. Caught : SEEN
11. Summer hrs. in Denver : MDT
12. Challenging : DEFYING
13. Sufficient : AMPLE
14. Runner's unit : MILE
15. Good "Wheel" buy for WHERE'S THE BEEF : AN E
16. Refined : GENTEEL
17. Authorize : ENTITLE
18. Salon worker : STYLIST
19. Third of three choices : MAYBE
24. Going (for) : OPTING
27. "Penny ___" : LANE
31. Last ride? : HEARSE
32. Actor Claude of "Lobo" : AKINS
33. Alma mater of presidents #41, 42 and 43 : YALE
36. Moundsman Dave : STIEB
37. Deep ravine : GULCH
38. Get excited : PERK UP
39. Shrew : SCOLD
40. College in New Rochelle, N.Y. : IONA
41. Barber's job : TRIM
42. Accepted as true : BOUGHT
43. Wrap up : SWATHE
44. Rushed : HECTIC
45. 1992 Liv Ullmann film : SOFIE
47. Be constructive? : ERECT
48. Hangs out : LOLLS
49. Some Millers : LITES
50. Strainers : SIEVES
51. Tellies : TV SETS
52. Like wide belts, fashionwise : RETRO
54. Rat : TATTLE
55. Brand name on a waistband : HANES
56. Took off, as a bird : FLEW UP
59. Bathroom fixture : BIDET
62. Striped safari sight : OKAPI
63. Brutus abettor : CASCA
64. Move up, as an eyebrow : ARCH
65. Christian of "The Dark Knight Rises" : BALE
66. Providing of questions for answers on "Jeopardy!," e.g. : FORMAT
69. Vladimir of Russia : PUTIN
71. Fit : HALE
72. Comprising : MADE OF
73. Use a futuristic mode of transit : TELEPORT
74. Golf round result : EVEN PAR
75. Frozen food brand : SARA LEE
76. Illustrator's shortcut : CLIP ART
77. Good place to 91-Across : HAMMOCK
78. ___-my-thumb : HOP-O’-
81. Lights up : SMOKES
82. Some herbs : BASILS
83. Remnants : TRACES
84. Something to milk for all its worth? : UDDER
86. Be admitted : GET IN
87. Head-___ : TO-TOE
88. Rodeo rope : REATA
89. Bad feeling in the pit of one's stomach? : ULCER
90. ___ latte : CAFFE
92. Actress Mazar : DEBI
93. Sports car option : T-TOP
96. Eastern drama : NOH
97. Things used during crunch time? : ABS
99. Christmas purchase : FIR


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

before = til HUH?

Bill Butler said...

I think the idea is that "before" and "until" can have the same meaning, with "'til" being short for "until".

e.g. I can't see you 'til lunchtime = I can't see you before lunchtime.

Personally I think the meanings of "'til" and "before" are slightly different, but that may just be me ...

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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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