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1103-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Nov 12, Saturday





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: Milo Beckman
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: Did not finish!
ANSWERS I MISSED: Several in the top left

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Sarcasm indicator : AIR QUOTES
“Air quotes” are those gestures that some make with their fingers to emphasis sarcastically a particular word or phrase.

10. Rating org. : MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film-rating system is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

16. Baseball's Eddie who was nicknamed "The Walking Man" : YOST
Eddie Yost was a professional third baseman and coach. As a batter, Yost was known for getting on base with walks, earning him the nickname the “Walking Man”.

18. Vino place : ASTI
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

19. Antagonistic org. in "The Simpsons Movie" : EPA
“The Simpsons” television show spawned “The Simpsons Movie” in 2007. The film is all about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) taking on Homer Simpson after he pollutes the local lake.

20. Speaker of the film line "This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it" : HAL
In Arthur C. Clarke's "Space Odyssey" (famously adapted for the big screen as "2001: A Space Odyssey") the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply "HAL". HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. In the French version of the film, HAL's name was changed to CARL.

23. Spanish cardinal : SEIS
“Seis” is Spanish for “six”, a cardinal number.

Cardinal numbers are the whole numbers starting with zero i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3 etc.

27. Activity studied in onomastics : NAMING
Onomastics is the study of proper names and their origins. One branch of onomastics is toponomastics, the study of place names.

30. Brandy or whiskey : AQUA VITAE
“Aqua vitae” is Latin for “water of life”. The original use of the term was for a concentrated solution of ethanol. Over time aqua vitae became the term used for distilled spirits and particularly wine. “Water of life” translates into Scots Gaelic as “uisge-beatha” and into Irish as “uisce beatha”. These terms give rise to our modern word “whiskey”.

32. What a monkey may see or hear : NO EVIL
The old adage "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" originated in the 17th century. The phrase comes as an interpretation of a wood carving over a door in a shrine in Nikko, Japan. The carving depicts the "Three Wise Monkeys":
- Mizaru, covering his eyes
- Kikazaru, covering his ears
- Iwazaru, covering his mouth

34. "Groundhog Day" director : RAMIS
Harold Ramis is a real all-rounder, working as an actor, director and writer. Indeed, in the movie "Stripes" he was one of the three writers, as well as having a major acting role.

“Groundhog Day” is a 1993 comedy film that has already become a classic. The real star of the movie is Bill Murray, with the lovely Andie MacDowell putting in a great supporting performance. “Groundhog Day” is of course set in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania although it was actually filmed in the town of Woodstock, Illinois.

35. Groups of three : TRINES
“Trine” means threefold, from the Latin “trinus” which means the same thing. “Trine” is also used for a group of three.

37. Nuclear ___ : WINTER
“Nuclear winter” is the name given to the climatic effect of a nuclear war. The idea is that the large amount of soot and smoke in the atmosphere after a large number of nuclear blasts would reduce the level of sunlight penetrating the atmosphere causing an artificial winter lasting several years. It is a hypothetical concept, thank goodness …

42. Season finale? : SERIES
I think the idea is that the World Series comes at the end of the regular season.

44. Electrical room device : WATTMETER
A wattmeter measures electrical power.

50. First of 50: Abbr. : DEL
The state of Delaware takes its name from Virginia's first colonial governor, Englishman Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. Delaware is known as the First State as it was the first to ratify the US Constitution, in 1787.

52. Jennifer of the BBC production "Pride and Prejudice" : EHLE
My favorite screen version of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" is the 1995 miniseries starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. The wonderful chemistry that Ehle and Firth exhibited on screen extended off the screen and the pair were “an item” for a while. Jennifer Ehle was recently again cast with Colin Firth, in the excellent film "The King’s Speech” from 2010.

53. Capitol Hill sight : ROTUNDA
In architecture, a rotunda is name given to a building with a circular ground plan. Often the building has a dome, but that isn't a strict requirement for a "rotunda".

57. Cyrillic letter between kha and che : TSE
The Cyrillic alphabet is a writing system that dates back to the First Bulgarian Empire in the 10th century AD. Cyrillic is the alphabet used in Slavic languages, including Russian. When Bulgaria was admitted to the European Union in 2007, Cyrillic became the third official alphabet of the EU, alongside the Latin and Greek alphabets.

58. Desert mount : ARAB
The Arab (or Arabian) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

59. Union in 1999 news : EXXONMOBIL
The Exxon Corporation was a descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company. Exxon merged with Mobil (yet another descendant of Standard Oil) in 1999, forming ExxonMobil.

64. Forum being : ESSE
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

Down
1. Dean of the Truman cabinet : ACHESON
Dean Acheson was the Secretary of State in President Truman’s administration. Acheson's most significant contribution perhaps was convincing the president to get the US involved in the Korean War in 1950.

4. Chewable Mideast stimulant : QAT
Khat (also “qat”) is a flowering plant, the leaves of which are chewed by some in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula in particular. The leaves contain an alkaloid called cathinone which stimulates the body like an amphetamine.

5. Hexagon on a map : UTAH
The state of Utah does indeed have six sides to it. It’s almost shaped like a rectangle, but there is a “bite” out of that rectangle in the northeast corner of the state.

6. 13th-century empire founder : OSMAN
Osman I was the man who established the Ottoman Dynasty, with “Ottoman” coming from the name “Osman”. This is despite the fact that the "Ottoman Empire" came about with the conquest of Constantinople, and that didn't happen until almost 130 years after Osman I died.

7. Muse of comedy : THALIA
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:
- Calliope (epic poetry)
- Clio (history)
- Erato (lyric poetry)
- Euterpe (music)
- Melpomene (tragedy)
- Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
- Terpsichore (dance)
- Thalia (comedy)
- Urania (astronomy)

10. Elvis Costello's debut album : MY AIM IS TRUE
Elvis Costello is an English singer and songwriter whose real name is Declan MacManus. Although Costello is more associated with the punk rock music scene, he is very active with the Jazz Foundation of America. He does a lot of work with the foundation to help jazz and blues musicians in need, especially after Hurricane Katrina.

11. Tacky yellow thing : POST-IT
The Post-it note was invented at 3M following the accidental discovery of a low-tack, reusable adhesive. The actual intent of the development program was the discovery of a super-strong adhesive.

12. Kazakhstan's capital : ASTANA
Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan, although only since 1997. Prior to 1997, the nation’s capital was Almaty. The decision to move the capital was made as Almaty is in a part of the country populated by ethnic Russians and the new government wanted to distance itself even further from its Soviet history.

15. Great swells : TSUNAMIS
“Tsunami” is the Japanese word for “harbor wave”.

24. Coin featuring a hammer and sickle : SOVIET RUBLE
The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union.

31. A.F.L.-C.I.O. affiliate : UAW
The United Auto Workers (UAW) was founded to represent workers in auto plants in the Detroit area in 1935. Nowadays the UAW's membership extends into the aerospace, agriculture and other industries.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time, the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades, until finally merging in 1955.

33. First African-American golfer to play in the Masters : LEE ELDER
When Lee Elder played in the 1975 Masters, he became the first African-American to play in the tournament. The Masters is played annually at Augusta National Golf Club. Augusta only accepted African-Americans as members for the first time in 1990.

36. Retired boomer : SST
The most famous Supersonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that's no longer flying. Concorde had that famous "droop nose". The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

38. Like some old gaming consoles : EIGHT-BIT
The difference between an 8-bit and 16-bit processor is the amount of memory that it can work with at the same time. So, 16-bit is “better” ...

41. "Better Off ___" (former ABC sitcom) : TED
“Better Off Ted” was a comedy series that aired for two seasons on ABC. Never saw it …

43. Politico Michael and others : STEELES
Michael Steele served as chairman of the Republican National Convention from 2009 to 2011 and was the first African American to fill the post.

45. Ovid opus : AMORES
Ovid wrote a book of poems called “Amores”, as did the author D. H. Lawrence.

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets, Horace and Virgil.

47. 1990s party name : REFORM
The Reform Party of the USA was founded in 1995 by Ross Perot with the intent of creating an alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties. The Reform Party’s biggest success was the election of Jesse Ventura as Governor of Minnesota.

51. Sound of silence? : LONG I
The “i” in the word “silence” is a “long i”.

56. Cyclops, e.g., in comic books : X-MAN
X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier.

60. Unhelpful noughts-and-crosses line : XOO
When I was growing up in Ireland we played "noughts and crosses" ... our name for tic-tac-toe.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sarcasm indicator : AIR QUOTES
10. Rating org. : MPAA
14. It may give you a final answer : CHEAT SHEET
16. Baseball's Eddie who was nicknamed "The Walking Man" : YOST
17. Real head-turners : HOT TAMALES
18. Vino place : ASTI
19. Antagonistic org. in "The Simpsons Movie" : EPA
20. Speaker of the film line "This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it" : HAL
21. Libertine's opposite : PURITAN
23. Spanish cardinal : SEIS
25. Fall sensation : NIP
27. Activity studied in onomastics : NAMING
28. Currently playing : ON NOW
30. Brandy or whiskey : AQUA VITAE
32. What a monkey may see or hear : NO EVIL
34. "Groundhog Day" director : RAMIS
35. Groups of three : TRINES
37. Nuclear ___ : WINTER
40. Discharge : EGEST
42. Season finale? : SERIES
44. Electrical room device : WATTMETER
48. Probed : DUG AT
49. Not likely to judge : AMORAL
50. First of 50: Abbr. : DEL
52. Jennifer of the BBC production "Pride and Prejudice" : EHLE
53. Capitol Hill sight : ROTUNDA
55. Young hunk, say : FOX
57. Cyrillic letter between kha and che : TSE
58. Desert mount : ARAB
59. Union in 1999 news : EXXONMOBIL
62. Kind of tower : CELL
63. Modify an order? : REORGANIZE
64. Forum being : ESSE
65. Is clearly #1 : DOMINATES

Down
1. Dean of the Truman cabinet : ACHESON
2. "That would be bad!" : I HOPE NOT
3. Legal tender? : RETAINER
4. Chewable Mideast stimulant : QAT
5. Hexagon on a map : UTAH
6. 13th-century empire founder : OSMAN
7. Muse of comedy : THALIA
8. Smoked delicacy : EEL
9. Slip through the cracks : SEEP
10. Elvis Costello's debut album : MY AIM IS TRUE
11. Tacky yellow thing : POST-IT
12. Kazakhstan's capital : ASTANA
13. Not much, colorwise : A TINGE
15. Great swells : TSUNAMIS
22. Showing severe erosion, maybe : RAVINED
24. Coin featuring a hammer and sickle : SOVIET RUBLE
26. What may follow "NO" : PQR
29. Lead pilot's support : WINGMAN
31. A.F.L.-C.I.O. affiliate : UAW
33. First African-American golfer to play in the Masters : LEE ELDER
36. Retired boomer : SST
38. Like some old gaming consoles : EIGHT-BIT
39. Not reduced or enlarged : REAL SIZE
41. "Better Off ___" (former ABC sitcom) : TED
43. Politico Michael and others : STEELES
44. Decorated pilot : WAR ACE
45. Ovid opus : AMORES
46. Wrecks : TOTALS
47. 1990s party name : REFORM
51. Sound of silence? : LONG I
54. Reduced drastically : AXED
56. Cyclops, e.g., in comic books : X-MAN
60. Unhelpful noughts-and-crosses line : XOO
61. ___ mission : ON A

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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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