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1009-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Oct 12, Tuesday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Guzzetta
THEME: $20 … each of the theme answers related to a US $20 note:
20A. On the front : ANDREW JACKSON
27A. On the back : THE WHITE HOUSE
43A. On both sides : TWENTY DOLLARS
51A. 20-, 27- and 43-Across locale, in slang : DOUBLE SAWBUCK
COMPLETION TIME: 07m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Cold war inits. : CCCP
The acronym CCCP stands for "Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик", which translates from Russian as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR.

The term "Cold War" was first used by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a "peace that is no peace", in a permanent state of "cold war". The specific use of "cold war" to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch.

15. Soothing plant : ALOE
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

16. ___ Krishna : HARE
The Hare Krishna mantra dates back to the 15th century. It is a 16-word mantra that can be written as:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

17. New Zealand native : MAORI
The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. The Māori are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting sometime in the late 13th century. The word "māori" simply means "normal", distinguishing the mortal human being from spiritual entities.

20. On the front : ANDREW JACKSON
Like many of the earlier US presidents, Andrew Jackson was a career military man. Jackson distinguished himself as commander of American forces during the War of 1812, particularly in the defense of New Orleans. He had a reputation of being fair to his troops, but strict. It was during this time that he was described as "tough as old hickory", giving rise to the nickname "Old Hickory" that stuck with him for life.

27. On the back : THE WHITE HOUSE
Did you know that the White House was designed by an Irishman? James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties, and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.

32. Buenos ___ : AIRES
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, located on the estuary of the Ria de la Plata. As a port city, the people of Buenos Aires are known as porteños ("people of the port").

34. ___ of Sharon : ROSE
Rose of Sharon is a name given to several species of flowering plants.

42. Common blockage locale : SINUS
In anatomical terms a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.

43. On both sides : TWENTY DOLLARS
Today’s US twenty-dollar bill features Andrew Jackson on the front, and has done so since 1928. Jackson’s image replaced Grover Cleveland at that time, and there doesn’t seem to be any record documenting why the change was made.

49. "I kiss'd thee ___ I kill'd thee": Othello : ERE
"I kissed thee ere I killed thee, no way but this, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss." is a line from Shakespeare’s “Othello”. The words are spoken by Othello as he kisses his murdered wife, and then takes his own life.

50. Kind of scan : CAT
A CT (or "CAT") scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn't like the term "nuclear" because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it's just called MRI.

51. 20-, 27- and 43-Across locale, in slang : DOUBLE SAWBUCK
"Sawbuck" is slang for a ten dollar bill. The term was applied to the bill as the Roman numeral X (ten) resembles the end of sawhorse.

57. Gang woman : MOLL
The slang term “moll” is a used for the female companion of a gangster. “Moll” is short for “Molly”, which is a nickname for “Mary”. In 17th century England a moll was a prostitute.

58. Macaroni, e.g. : TUBES
In many cases, the name given to a type of pasta comes from its shape. The name macaroni, however, comes from the type of dough used to make the noodle. Here in the US macaroni is usually elbow-shaped tubes, but it doesn’t have to be.

61. And others: Abbr. : ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact "et al." can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

66. Horse-pulled cart : DRAY
A dray is a side-less, 4-wheeled cart used for hauling goods.

Down
2. Santa ___ : ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city. The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically "falls" down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up, so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

4. Alpine lake : TARN
A tarn is a mountain lake that has been formed by glacial excavation.

6. Something of interest to Miss Marple : CLEW
“Clew” is a variant of “clue” that was once used in Britain.

Miss Jane Marple is a much-loved character in detective stories penned by Agatha Christie. Miss Marple has been played by a number of excellent actresses on the large and small screens, but my favorite has to be Margaret Rutherford. Rutherford starred in very light comedic “Miss Marple” films that were very popular, although Christie herself didn’t care for them at all.

8. Antifur org. : PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:
- factory farming
- fur farming
- animal testing
- use of animals in entertainment

10. CBS series for 17 seasons : LASSIE
We owe the character Lassie to one Eric Knight who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called "Lassie Come Home", published in 1940. "Lassie Come Home" was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a dog called Pal, a male dog. In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

11. The Hunter : ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is of course named after the Greek God Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion's "right shoulder", the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don't want to miss that ...

12. Jack's purchase in a children's story : BEANS
“Jack and the Beanstalk” is a fairy tale from England. In the story, young Jack sells the family cow for some magic beans. He plants the beans and a massive beanstalk grows up into the sky. At the top of the beanstalk there lives an ogre. Jack climbs the beanstalk and adventures ensue …

14. C, D and EEE : WIDTHS
C, D and EEE are shoe widths.

21. Le ___ Soleil : ROI
Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings ("rois") of France and was known as the "Sun King" (le Roi Soleil"). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715, a reign of over 72 years and the longest reign of any European monarch.

22. Mötley ___ : CRUE
Mötley Crüe is an American rock band, from Los Angeles. They've been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as the band members were called a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day as the band was drinking bottles of Löwenbräu beer.

23. White dwarf, e.g. : STAR
A white dwarf is a star at the end of its life. As such, a white dwarf is very compact, perhaps with the mass of our Sun yet only the size of the Earth.

24. The Allegheny and Monongahela join to form it : OHIO
The Ohio River is formed in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. The Ohio empties into the Mississippi near the city of Cairo, Illinois.

28. Like Willie Winkie : WEE
“Wee Willie Winkie” is a nursery rhyme from Scotland that starts out:
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
Are the children in their bed, for it's past ten o'clock?

31. Hockey defender Bobby : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players who ever played the game. By the time he retired in 1978, Orr had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn't skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking ...

41. Whimper : MEWL
To mewl is to cry weakly, like a baby, with the word being somewhat imitative.

42. Miss Marple, e.g. : SLEUTH
The word "sleuth" came in to English from Old Norse as far back as 1200 when it meant the "track or trail of a person". In the mid-1800s, a sleuthhound described a keen investigator, a hound close on the trail of the suspect. Sleuthhound was shortened to "sleuth" and was used for a detective in general.

43. Winner of 1948 : TRUMAN
Harry Truman wanted to go to West Point having served with the Missouri Army National Guard on active duty in WWI, but he couldn't get in because of his poor eyesight. He didn't have the money to pay for college anywhere else. He did manage to study for two years towards a law degree at the Kansas City Law School in the twenties, but he never finished his schooling. So, Harry S. Truman was the last US President (out of a list of ten) who did not have a college degree.

45. Iguana feature : DEWLAP
Dewlap is that flap of skin that hangs below the neck of some creatures. Dewlaps are found on anything from dogs to iguanas.

48. A FedEx driver may have one : ROUTE
FedEx began operations in 1973 as Federal Express, but now operates very successfully under it's more catchy abbreviated name. Headquartered in Memphis with its "SuperHub" at Memphis International Airport, FedEx is the world's largest airline in terms of tons of freight flown. And due to the presence of FedEx, Memphis Airport has the largest-volume cargo operation of any airport worldwide.

52. Arab ruler : EMIR
An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written as “amir” and “ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

54. Naughty Goose and Moose Drool : ALES
Naughty Goose is a brown ale made by Goose Island Brewery located in Chicago, Illinois.

Moose Drool and Trout Slayer are two beers brewed by Big Sky Brewing Company in Missoula, Montana. Moose Drool is the most popular "crafted" beer consumed in the state.

59. Cy Young's was 2.63, in brief : ERA
Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. Young is remembered for pitching the first perfect game of baseball's modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created and is presented to the best pitcher in each baseball season.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Shooter through whitewater rapids : RAFT
5. Cold war inits. : CCCP
9. Neatnik's opposite : SLOB
13. Visitor for the holidays, maybe : IN-LAW
15. Soothing plant : ALOE
16. ___ Krishna : HARE
17. New Zealand native : MAORI
18. Minor collision reminder : DENT
19. Wall Street Journal ___ : ASIA
20. On the front : ANDREW JACKSON
23. Habitual drunk : SOT
25. Ship unit or shipping unit : TON
26. Plow driver's handful : REINS
27. On the back : THE WHITE HOUSE
32. Buenos ___ : AIRES
33. Greedy person's demand : MORE
34. ___ of Sharon : ROSE
35. Overexcited : HYPER
37. Immediately, on a memo : ASAP
41. Converge : MEET
42. Common blockage locale : SINUS
43. On both sides : TWENTY DOLLARS
47. Symbol on a "This way" sign : ARROW
49. "I kiss'd thee ___ I kill'd thee": Othello : ERE
50. Kind of scan : CAT
51. 20-, 27- and 43-Across locale, in slang : DOUBLE SAWBUCK
56. Boneheaded : DUMB
57. Gang woman : MOLL
58. Macaroni, e.g. : TUBES
61. And others: Abbr. : ET AL
62. The thought that counts? : IDEA
63. Compassion : HEART
64. Turn down : DENY
65. Metalworker's tool : RASP
66. Horse-pulled cart : DRAY

Down
1. Air balls miss it : RIM
2. Santa ___ : ANA
3. People in 1-Acrosses, e.g. : FLOATERS
4. Alpine lake : TARN
5. Rhythmic : CADENT
6. Something of interest to Miss Marple : CLEW
7. "And" or "or": Abbr. : CONJ
8. Antifur org. : PETA
9. Drinks with straws : SHAKES
10. CBS series for 17 seasons : LASSIE
11. The Hunter : ORION
12. Jack's purchase in a children's story : BEANS
14. C, D and EEE : WIDTHS
21. Le ___ Soleil : ROI
22. Mötley ___ : CRUE
23. White dwarf, e.g. : STAR
24. The Allegheny and Monongahela join to form it : OHIO
28. Like Willie Winkie : WEE
29. Evacuate : EMPTY
30. Furrow maker : HOE
31. Hockey defender Bobby : ORR
35. Egg layer : HEN
36. For the present : YET
37. Feel unwell : AIL
38. Establishment that might sell 9-Down and 53-Downs : SNACK BAR
39. Glow : AURA
40. [Hey, buddy!] : PSST
41. Whimper : MEWL
42. Miss Marple, e.g. : SLEUTH
43. Winner of 1948 : TRUMAN
44. Not stable : WOBBLY
45. Iguana feature : DEWLAP
46. Sphere : ORB
47. Supplementary : ADDED
48. A FedEx driver may have one : ROUTE
52. Arab ruler : EMIR
53. Drink with a straw : SODA
54. Naughty Goose and Moose Drool : ALES
55. Readied to play : CUED
59. Cy Young's was 2.63, in brief : ERA
60. Pig's home : STY


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4 comments :

Anonymous said...

I personally find the solution "dumb" to clues that infer slow wittedness, stupid etc., highly offensive and uncaring. The inability to speak does not preclude the ability to think at the highest of intellect and express thoughts by other forms of communication. Crosswords should be be enlightening in a positive way and the constructors and their editors should endeavor to discourage and not condone the abusive use of language, no matter how widespread.
There but by the grace of God go I.
Alastair

Bill Butler said...

Alastair,

I echo your sentiments.

At the risk of sounding like the old fuddy duddy that perhaps I am, I think that we have become very tolerant in our colloquial language to terms that can be construed as offensive by some section of society. I like to think that our beloved NYTimes crossword is above all that, but sometimes in an apparent attempt to be contemporary and cool, some not-so-nice words get through. We could perhaps avoid some of the offense that we can cause by being more precise in our language, and better understanding the real meanings and etymologies.

I shall try not to rant on!

Anonymous said...

Clues like "On the front" or "on the back" or "on both sides" are so obscure. How is the solver supposed to be a mind reader? Those terms could mean anything. Yet they take up most of the puzzle. Also, "Cold war inits." Who has heard of CCCP? I could only think of USSR. Please make your puzzles more user friendly and legible.

Bill Butler said...

I think I should point out that these aren't "my puzzles". I am just a solver like you and simply enjoy blogging about the puzzle after I've solved it.

With regard to the specific observations you make:

1. The "on the front", "on the back" clues only really make sense once you realize that they are "theme" clues. I've always thought it would be helpful if the NYTimes gave a title to themed puzzles during the week, just as they do on Sundays. Sure, we regular solvers expect a theme, but the casual visitor may be surprised.

2. Folks as old and grumpy as I am will remember CCCP, I am sure. We lived through the Cold War and saw the CCCP acronym quite a lot. I always associate it with the Olympic Games as the Soviet competitors usually had CCCP dispalyed quite prominently on their uniforms.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a commment.

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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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