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1016-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Oct 12, Tuesday





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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: Fashion Designer Included … each of the theme answers has the name of a fashion designer hidden within:
38A. One can be found in each of the answers to 17-, 24-, 54- and 63-Across : FASHION DESIGNER

17A. Cows, pigs and chickens : F(ARM ANI)MALS
24A. Location of Mount McKinley : ALAS(KA RAN)GE
54A. A.M. or F.M. news dispatch : RA(DIO R)EPORT
COMPLETION TIME: 14m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Verdi duet "Madre, non ___?" : DORMI
“Madre, non dormi?” is an aria from Verdi’s opera “Il trovatore”. The title translates to “Mother, do you not sleep?”

6. Gucci rival : FENDI
Fendi is an Italian fashion house, founded in 1925 by Adele Casagrande. Fendi started out as a fur and leather shop in Rome, and these days is famous for its line of handbags.

11. Wheelwright's tool : ADZ
An adze (also adz) is similar to an axe, but different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool's shaft. An axe's blade is set in line with the shaft.

14. Cousins of foils : EPEES
The French word for sword is "épée". In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

16. Narrow inlet : RIA
A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

17. Cows, pigs and chickens : F(ARM ANI)MALS
Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that bears his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

21. Deep-toned instrument : TUBA
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). "Tuba" is the Latin word for "trumpet, horn".

24. Location of Mount McKinley : ALAS(KA RAN)GE
Denali means "the high one" in the native Athabaskan language, and is now the name used for Mount McKinley. I was surprised to learn that there is a Denali State Park, as well as the Denali National Park. The two are located adjacent to each other (which makes sense!). The State Park is undeveloped for all practical purposes, with just a few campgrounds and trail-heads.

Donna Karan is an American fashion designer, creator of the DKNY clothing label. Karan was very much raised in the fashion industry, as her mother was a model and her stepfather a tailor.

29. Mural surface : GESSO
Gesso is the Italian word for "chalk" and gives it name to the powdered calcium carbonate that is used as a primer coat under artistic panel paintings. The gesso is mixed with a glue and when applied to wood it acts as an absorbent surface for paint.

31. ___ the Lip (major-league nickname) : LEO
Baseball player and manager Leo Durocher was noted for being outspoken, and was given the nickname "Leo the Lip". In 1946, while he was manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Durocher expressed the opinion that teams like his successful Dodgers would always do better that teams replete with personable individuals (naming Mel Ott in particular). He used his most memorable phrase to encapsulate the sentiment ... "nice guys finish last".

32. Buddy of "The Beverly Hillbillies" : EBSEN
The actor Buddy Ebsen is best known for playing Jed Clampett in television’s “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ebsen had been cast in the role of the Tin Man in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, but he developed an allergy to the aluminium dust that was used in the makeup. He ended up in hospital and had to walk away from the part. Ebsen blamed “The Wizard of Oz” on persistent problems that he had with his lungs in subsequent years. But Ebsen lived 16 years longer that any of the other major cast members of the film, so maybe he got the last laugh!

37. Masculine side : YANG
The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

43. Gen. Robt. ___ : E LEE
Robert E. Lee is of course renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. He was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that Lee opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but Lee declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state.

44. Otto's vehicle on "The Simpsons" : BUS
Otto Mann drives the school bus on the TV show "The Simpsons". Otto is a Germanic character voiced by Harry Shearer, and his name is a play on "Ottoman Empire". Whenever Bart sees him, he greets Otto with the words "Otto, man!"

54. A.M. or F.M. news dispatch : RA(DIO R)EPORT
The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. "High band" is composed of relatively high frequency values, and "low band" is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF). Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF).

57. Baseball scoreboard letters : RHE
RHE stands for Runs, Hits and Errors (so I am told!).

58. Cream-toned : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word "ecru" comes from French and means "raw, unbleached". "Ecru" has the same roots as our word "crude".

59. Certain sedatives : OPIATES
Opiates are the narcotic alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant, although some synthetic versions and derivatives of the same alkaloids are also called opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

63. Sprain, say : AN(KLE IN)JURY
Calvin Klein is an American fashion designer, born in the Bronx in New York City. Klein's biography entitled "Obsession" takes its name from one of the most famous brands in his line of fragrances.

66. Alcindor : Abdul-Jabbar :: Clay : ___ : ALI
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali was presented with a gold medal during those '96 Games, a replacement for the medal he won at the 1960 Olympics. He had thrown the original into the Ohio River as a gesture of disgust after being refused service at a "whites only" restaurant.

68. French square : CARRE
“Carré” is French for the adjective “square”.

69. Inits. on a bottle of Parisienne : YSL
Yves Saint-Laurent was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint-Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 he was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. Saint-Laurent was released from prison, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story ...

70. Tin Pan Alley output : SONGS
Tin Pan Alley was originally a specific location, West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. The area was associated with the music publishing business from about 1885 to the start of the Great Depression  The name itself is possibly a reference to the tinny sound of cheap pianos that were common at the time.

71. Aikman and Donahue : TROYS
Troy Aikman used to play quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Now that he is retired from football, Aikman works as a sportscaster on the Fox network.

Troy Donahue was an actor who was very active in the fifties and sixties, noted as a teenage heartthrob. “Troy Donahue” was a stage name, as the actor was born Merle Johnson, Jr. I’m not familiar with Troy Aikman’s movies, but he does feature in the lyrics of the song from “Grease” titled “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee”.

Down
3. "Seinfeld" episodes, now : RERUNS
"Seinfeld" aired for nine seasons on NBC, and in 2002 was declared by TV Guide as the "greatest television program of all time". After the show completed its run in 1998, each of the main supporting actors made failed attempts to launch new sitcoms. This phenomenon became known as "the Seinfeld curse", but Julia Louis-Dreyfus finally managed to break free of it with a successful five-season run in "The New Adventures of Old Christine".

4. Idea that may spread via the Internet : MEME
A "meme" (short for "mineme") is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

5. Japanese-born P.G.A. star : ISAO AOKI
Isao Aoki is one of Japan's greatest golfers, now playing on the senior circuit. Aoki's best finish in a major tournament was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 US Open.

6. Former Saudi king : FAISAL
Faisal of Saudi Arabia was the third King of Saudi Arabia. Faisal is noted for having stabilized his country’s bureaucracy and establishing a modern infrastructure that helped Saudi Arabia exploit her oil resources. The King was assassinated in 1975, gunned down by his own nephew. His assassin was beheaded for the crime, in a public square before a crowd of thousands of Saudi citizens.

7. Blight victim : ELM
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.

8. Actress Vardalos : NIA
Not only is the delightful Nia Vardalos the star of the 2002 hit movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", she also wrote the screenplay. The film never made it to number one at the box office, but it still pulled in more money than any other movie in history that didn't make it to number one. That record I think reflects the fact that the film wasn't a blockbuster but rather a so-called "sleeper hit", a movie that people went to see based on referrals from friends. The big fat mistake came when a spin-off TV show was launched called "My Big Fat Greek Life". It ran for only 7 episodes.

9. The Mississippi has a big one : DELTA
A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, which is known as the Mississippi River Delta. Very confusing ...

11. Bill Clinton, by birth : ARKANSAN
President Bill Clinton was born not as a Clinton, but as William Jefferson Blythe. Bill's father was killed in a car accident just three months before he was born. His mother remarried a few years later, to Roger Clinton. Bill didn't formally adopt the Clinton name until he was fourteen years old, although he used it as he was growing up.

18. Void, in Versailles : NUL
Versailles is a city located just 10 miles from the center of Paris. It is famous of course as home to the magnificent Palace of Versailles.

26. Bryant of the 35-Across : KOBE
Kobe Bryant plays basketball for the LA Lakers. Kobe Bryant got his name from a menu would you believe? His parents were in a Japanese restaurant and liked the name of "Kobe" beef, the beef from around the city of Kobe on the island of Honshu in Japan.

36. Tempe sch. : ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

39. Teatro ___ Scala : ALLA
The La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its name, Teatro alla Scala in Italian.

40. Manta : SEA DEVIL
“Sea devil” is another name for the manta ray.

51. Conductor Toscanini : ARTURO
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor of classical music. Toscanini took up the baton for the first time under sensational circumstances in 1886. He was attending a performance of "Aida" in Rio de Janeiro in the role of assistant chorus master, on a night when a substitute conductor was leading the orchestra. The substitute was in charge because the lead conductor had been forced to step down by striking performers who would not work with him. The disgruntled lead conductor led the audience in booing the unfortunate substitute, forcing him off the stage. Yet another substitute attempted to lead the performance, but he could not overcome the hostility of the crowd. The musicians themselves begged Toscanini to take up the baton, for the first time in his life, simply because he knew the score by heart. After over an hour of mayhem, Toscanini led the company in a remarkable performance to marvelous acclaim. He had just launched his conducting career.

52. Sundae topper : CHERRY
There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.

56. Upstate N.Y. sch. : RPI
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the "application of science to the common purposes of life", an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

60. Like a door that doesn't afford complete privacy : AJAR
Our word "ajar" is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which "a char" means "slightly open".

61. Manta, e.g. : RAY
The manta ray is the biggest species of ray, with the largest one recorded at over 25 feet across and weighing 5,100 pounds.

62. Loop transports : 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 City 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).

64. "Brainiac" author Jennings : KEN
Ken Jennings is a remarkable man, the person who had the longest winning streak on television’s “Jeopardy”. Jennings has also won more game show money than any other person. He was defeated after 75 appearances on the show, after racking up over $2.5 million in the prior episodes.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Verdi duet "Madre, non ___?" : DORMI
6. Gucci rival : FENDI
11. Wheelwright's tool : ADZ
14. Cousins of foils : EPEES
15. Strange : ALIEN
16. Narrow inlet : RIA
17. Cows, pigs and chickens : F(ARM ANI)MALS
19. Equivalent of about seven cases of beer : KEG
20. Watery : AQUEOUS
21. Deep-toned instrument : TUBA
23. Sister : NUN
24. Location of Mount McKinley : ALAS(KA RAN)GE
29. Mural surface : GESSO
31. ___ the Lip (major-league nickname) : LEO
32. Buddy of "The Beverly Hillbillies" : EBSEN
33. UPS delivery: Abbr. : PKG
35. See 26-Down : NBA
37. Masculine side : YANG
38. One can be found in each of the answers to 17-, 24-, 54- and 63-Across : FASHION DESIGNER
43. Gen. Robt. ___ : E LEE
44. Otto's vehicle on "The Simpsons" : BUS
45. Italian article : UNA
46. Frighten : ALARM
48. Do a voice-over for : DUB
50. Out of touch with reality : SPACY
54. A.M. or F.M. news dispatch : RA(DIO R)EPORT
57. Baseball scoreboard letters : RHE
58. Cream-toned : ECRU
59. Certain sedatives : OPIATES
61. Gun, as an engine : REV
63. Sprain, say : AN(KLE IN)JURY
66. Alcindor : Abdul-Jabbar :: Clay : ___ : ALI
67. Direct (to) : STEER
68. French square : CARRE
69. Inits. on a bottle of Parisienne : YSL
70. Tin Pan Alley output : SONGS
71. Aikman and Donahue : TROYS

Down
1. Render harmless, as a snake : DEFANG
2. Impossible to see through : OPAQUE
3. "Seinfeld" episodes, now : RERUNS
4. Idea that may spread via the Internet : MEME
5. Japanese-born P.G.A. star : ISAO AOKI
6. Former Saudi king : FAISAL
7. Blight victim : ELM
8. Actress Vardalos : NIA
9. The Mississippi has a big one : DELTA
10. Cover, in a way : INSURE
11. Bill Clinton, by birth : ARKANSAN
12. Go out, as a fire : DIE
13. Turn back sharply : ZAG
18. Void, in Versailles : NUL
22. Where one might get one's first pair of overalls : BABY GAP
25. Lampoons : SENDS UP
26. Bryant of the 35-Across : KOBE
27. There's one for curly hair : GENE
28. 56-Down grad: Abbr. : ENGR
30. Ball-like : SPHERIC
34. Hunk : GOB
36. Tempe sch. : ASU
38. Be frightened : FEAR
39. Teatro ___ Scala : ALLA
40. Manta : SEA DEVIL
41. Like the athletes in the ancient Olympics : NUDE
42. You might not think to use it : INSTINCT
47. Quagmire : MORASS
49. Pro wrestling fans, frequently : BOOERS
51. Conductor Toscanini : ARTURO
52. Sundae topper : CHERRY
53. "You're right, absolutely" : YES YES
55. Total : RUN TO
56. Upstate N.Y. sch. : RPI
60. Like a door that doesn't afford complete privacy : AJAR
61. Manta, e.g. : RAY
62. Loop transports : ELS
64. "Brainiac" author Jennings : KEN
65. Calf's place : LEG


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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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