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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

1030-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Oct 12, Tuesday





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: Alex Vratsanos
THEME: The Political Spectrum … the circled letters spell out political positions when read from top to bottom, with each position getting more conservative when moving from left to right:
- RADICAL
- LIBERAL
- MODERATE
- CONSERVATIVE
- REACTIONARY
COMPLETION TIME: 08m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Singer Lou : RAWLS
Lou Rawls was an American soul and blues singer known for his smooth vocal style. With his singing career well on the way, Rawls was asked to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" in 1977 at a Muhammad Ali fight in Madison Square Garden. This performance led to him being asked to sing the anthem many, many times in the coming years with his last rendition being at a World Series game in 2005. Rawls passed away in January of the following year.

6. Latin 101 word : AMAT
"Amo, amas, amat: ... "I love, you love, he/she/it loves", in Latin.

10. Mystery writer John Dickson ___ : CARR
John Dickson Carr was an American author of crime fiction. Carr's most famous work is "The Hollow Man" published in 1935, a so-called "locked room mystery" in which two murders are committed in apparently impossible circumstances. "The Hollow Man" was selected in 1981 as the best "locked room mystery" of all time.

15. ___ Ness : LOCH
The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don't seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

16. Double curve : OGEE
An ogee is like an s-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

17. Competition for 3-year-olds : DERBY
A derby is a horserace, especially for 3-year-olds.

19. "The Lion King" lioness : NALA
In "The Lion King", Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba.

22. Resin in varnish : MASTIC
Mastic is a resin taken from the mastic tree. The resin can be dried then chewed like a gum. It is this characteristic that gave the tree its name, as the Greek verb "mastichein" means "to gnash the teeth". This is the same Greek root that gives us our word "masticate" meaning to chew.

26. City in Ukraine or Texas : ODESSA
The city of Odessa in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as "Odessa", so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

The city of Odessa, Texas has as its symbol the jack rabbit. This is because from the thirties through the seventies, the city hosted a rodeo for roping rabbits. The Humane Society applied pressure and the city did away with the tradition in 1977.

30. Roy G. ___ : BIV
“Roy G. Biv” is an acronym for the colors in a rainbow:
Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Indigo
Violet

33. Something that makes stops on the ocean? : AVAST
Avast is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch "hou vast" meaning "hold fast".

39. Mythical 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 ...

41. "The Time Machine" race : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called "The Time Machine", there were two races that the hero encountered in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet's surface, while the Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

42. Medicinal plant : SENNA
Sennas are used as purgatives and laxatives.

44. ___ throat : STREP
Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had a battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) recently and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.

46. Rock genre : EMO
The musical genre of "emo" originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from "emotional hardcore". Not my cup of tea ...

47. Pear variety : ANJOU
The Anjou pear is a cultivar of the European Pear. The Anjou pear is thought to have originated in Belgium or France (Anjou is a province in the Loire Valley of western France.

49. "The Hitler Diaries" and others : HOAXES
"Stern" is a news magazine published in Germany every week. It has a long history, dating back to 1948. "Stern" is famous for having published in 1983 excerpts from "The Hitler Diaries", supposedly lost diaries written by Adolf Hitler recovered from a plane crash near Dresden in 1945. The editors of "Stern", in trying to balance secrecy with the need for authentication, apparently did a shoddy job in determining if these books were indeed written by Hitler. Within weeks of the publication of the extracts in a blaze of publicity, the documents were proven to be obvious fakes written on modern paper with modern ink. Stern paid almost one million dollars in the early eighties for the fake diaries, much of which was never recovered.

63. Grammy winner Ronstadt : LINDA
Linda Ronstadt is a singer-songwriter from Tucson, Arizona. Ronstadt really does have a lovely voice, and can make any song her own. In the late seventies, she was the highest paid woman in the world of rock music.

64. Sanyo competitor : AIWA
Aiwa was a Japanese company that produced consumer electronics, mainly audio and video equipment.

Sanyo is a Japanese electronics manufacturer, based near Osaka and founded in 1947. The company name means "three oceans" reflecting the original aim to sell its products all around the world (across three oceans, the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian).

66. To have, to Henri : AVOIR
"Avoir", the French for "to have".

69. O. Henry Award winner for "Livvie Is Back" : WELTY
Eudora Welty was an author from Jackson, Mississippi who wrote short stories and novels about the American South. Welty won a Pulitzer in 1973 for her novel “The Optimist’s Daughter”. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1980.

Down
1. Units of a dangerous dosage : RADS
A rad is a unit used to measure radiation levels that is largely obsolete now. The rad has been superseded by the rem.

2. Aid's partner : ABET
The word "abet" comes into English from the Old French "abeter" meaning "to bait" or "to harass with dogs" (it literally means "to make bite"). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of "abet" meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

4. Some fall babies : LIBRAS
The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn't named for a living creature.

6. 1836 battle site : ALAMO
The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718, and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna's camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry "Remember the Alamo!".

7. Certain '60s teens : MODS
"Mod" is short for "modernist", and describes a subculture that originated in London in the late fifties. Young men who called themselves mods tended to wear tailored suits, listen to pop music and drive around on Italian motor scooters. Mods came into conflict with another subculture that emerged at the same time in the UK called the rockers. Rockers were into rock and roll music, and drove motorcycles  I remember as a young kid in school having to declare myself as either a mod or a rocker. I don't think our "gangs" back then were quite the same as they are today though …

9. Venue where Toscanini conducted : THE MET
The Metropolitan Opera of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you ...

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, and 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.

11. Marble material : AGATE
A playing marble made from agate is called just that, an agate. Steelies on the other hand, are made from solid steel.

21. Heavens: Prefix : URANO-
"Urano-" comes from the Greek "ouranos" denoting the heavens.

23. Where Billy Budd went in "Billy Budd" : ASEA
"Billy Budd" is a novella by American author Herman Melville, although he didn't have time to finish it before he died in 1891. There is a fairly well-known operatic adaptation of the novella with a score by English composer Benjamin Britten.

25. Ulan ___, Mongolia : BATOR
The name "Ulan Bator" translates from Mongolian as "the Red Hero", and is Mongolia's capital city. The "Red Hero" name was chosen in honor of the country's national hero, Damdin S├╝khbaatar. S├╝khbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

26. Some wraps : OBIS
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied in what is called a butterfly knot.

27. Backgammon needs : DICE
The spots on a die are actually called "pips". As we all know, the numbers 1 through 6 are represented on each side of a a die, with the numbers placed so that the sum of the opposite sides of a die is always 7 (so 1 opposite 6, 2 opposite 5, and 3 opposite 4). The oldest known dice found are part of a backgammon set found in Iran that was 5,000 years old!

29. Verdi aria : ERI TU
The aria "Eri tu" is from Verdi's opera "Un ballo in maschera" (A Masked Ball). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

32. Director Welles : ORSON
Orson Welles is perhaps best-remembered in the world of film for his role in 1941’s “Citizen Kane”. In the world of radio, Welles is known for 1938’s famous broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”, a broadcast that convinced many listeners that the Earth was indeed being invaded by aliens.

34. Quizmaster Trebek : ALEX
Canadian-born Alex Trebek has been the host of the game show "Jeopardy" since 1984.

36. Madre's brothers : TIOS
In Spanish, one's mother's brother (madre's hermano) is an uncle (tio).

40. Jacket style : NEHRU
A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

43. Spanish liqueur : ANIS
Anis is a Spanish liqueur, equivalent to what's called anisette in other countries (in France, for example). It has a licorice taste as it is produced by distilling the seeds of the anis plant. Like all anis-type drinks, it is usually mixed with water and turns a milky white color when the water is added.

45. Old welfare measure : POOR LAW
Poor Laws were designed to put an infrastructure in place to provide relief for the poor. One of the most famous sets of Poor Laws were those enacted in Ireland in the 1800s. The Irish Poor Law Act was the first attempt to by the government to address social instability caused by poverty that was rampant in the country. The system quickly became overwhelmed with the advent of the Great Famine, which of course helped fuel emigration on a massive scale.

48. Composer Strauss : JOHANN
Of the many classical composers with the Strauss name, "The Waltz King" was Johann Strauss II. Among the many beautiful waltzes Strauss penned are "The Blue Danube" and "Tales from the Vienna Woods". He also composed the famous operetta "Die Fledermaus".

52. 1944 battle site : ANZIO
The WWII Battle of Anzio is famous for being one of the most famous blunders in military history. Operation Shingle was a surprise amphibious landing at Anzio, 35 miles south of Rome, designed to outflank the Germans and press home an attack on Rome. The element of surprise allowed a safe landing at Anzio, and the allies were able to drive jeeps right into the outskirts of Rome unchallenged. But that element of surprise was lost when Allied commander General John Lucas decided to delay the march on Rome until he had consolidated his position on the beaches, a position that was surrounded by high ground. The Germans used the delay to throw everything they had into the high ground and the allies were pinned down in a bloody battle. As a result, it took four months for the allies to fight their way inland.

54. More coquettish : COYER
A "coquet" is a male flirt, with "coquette" being the name for a female flirt. The word comes from French, and is the diminutive of "coq", the word for a cock. A cock might well be accused of "strutting his stuff" around the chicken run.

57. Carbon compound : ENOL
An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, sort of part-alkene, part-alcohol. The term "enol" therefore, is a portmanteau of "alkene" and "alcohol".

59. ___ a soul : NARY
The adjective "nary" means "not one", as in “nary a soul”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Singer Lou : RAWLS
6. Latin 101 word : AMAT
10. Mystery writer John Dickson ___ : CARR
14. Bubbling over : ABOIL
15. ___ Ness : LOCH
16. Double curve : OGEE
17. Competition for 3-year-olds : DERBY
18. Together, musically : A DUE
19. "The Lion King" lioness : NALA
20. Breastbones : STERNUMS
22. Resin in varnish : MASTIC
24. Prefix with -batics : AERO-
25. Supplicate : BESEECH
26. City in Ukraine or Texas : ODESSA
29. Gourmand : EATER
30. Roy G. ___ : BIV
31. Haughty response : SNORT
33. Something that makes stops on the ocean? : AVAST
37. Frozen drink brand : ICEE
39. Mythical hunter : ORION
41. "The Time Machine" race : ELOI
42. Medicinal plant : SENNA
44. ___ throat : STREP
46. Rock genre : EMO
47. Pear variety : ANJOU
49. "The Hitler Diaries" and others : HOAXES
51. Subgroup : FACTION
54. Gator's cousin : CROC
55. Strong spate : ONRUSH
56. Like many eighth graders : FOURTEEN
60. White House policy honcho : CZAR
61. Out : AWAY
63. Grammy winner Ronstadt : LINDA
64. Sanyo competitor : AIWA
65. Staff member? : NOTE
66. To have, to Henri : AVOIR
67. Veg out : LOLL
68. Poetic adverb : NE’ER
69. O. Henry Award winner for "Livvie Is Back" : WELTY

Down
1. Units of a dangerous dosage : RADS
2. Aid's partner : ABET
3. Sported : WORE
4. Some fall babies : LIBRAS
5. Craft : SLYNESS
6. 1836 battle site : ALAMO
7. Certain '60s teens : MODS
8. Prefix with puncture : ACU-
9. Venue where Toscanini conducted : THE MET
10. Be green, in a way : CONSERVE
11. Marble material : AGATE
12. Archaeologist's find : RELIC
13. Get through to : REACH
21. Heavens: Prefix : URANO-
23. Where Billy Budd went in "Billy Budd" : ASEA
25. Ulan ___, Mongolia : BATOR
26. Some wraps : OBIS
27. Backgammon needs : DICE
28. Like certain odds, paradoxically : EVEN
29. Verdi aria : ERI TU
32. Director Welles : ORSON
34. Quizmaster Trebek : ALEX
35. A portion of : SOME
36. Madre's brothers : TIOS
38. F flat equivalent : E-NATURAL
40. Jacket style : NEHRU
43. Spanish liqueur : ANIS
45. Old welfare measure : POOR LAW
48. Composer Strauss : JOHANN
50. Not retired : ACTIVE
51. Kind of point : FOCAL
52. 1944 battle site : ANZIO
53. Rush hour speed : CRAWL
54. More coquettish : COYER
56. It may be tempted : FATE
57. Carbon compound : ENOL
58. Do some paper work : EDIT
59. ___ a soul : NARY
62. Trial : WOE

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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Yes, I get it now, but I was outraged by the clue and answer to marble material. Marble is essentially calcium carbonate and agate is silicon dioxide. But that's how crossword clues work, isn't it, by drawing you away from the intended meaning.

Bill Butler said...

Yes, some folks love the cryptic, misleading and ambiguous use of words in a clue, but others really hate it!

Personally, I love that type of clue as it can result in a very satisfying "aha" moment :)

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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 answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

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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