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1106-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Nov 12, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Erik Agard
THEME: Don't Forget to Vote!!! … today’s theme is “SECRET BALLOT”, and the names 2012 presidential and vice-presidential candidates are spelled out by the circled letters in the grid:
- OBAMA
- BIDEN
- ROMNEY
- RYAN
1A. With 74-Across, voting system that affords anonymity ... or the theme of this puzzle? : SECRET
74A. See 1-Across : BALLOT

COMPLETION TIME: 07m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Game in which the orange ghost is named Sue, not Clyde : MS PAC-MAN
The Pac-Man arcade game was first released in Japan in 1980, and is as popular today as it ever was. The game features characters that are maneuvered around the screen to eat up dots and earn points. The name comes from the Japanese folk hero "Paku", known for his voracious appetite. The spin-off game called Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981.

15. "Seinfeld" woman : ELAINE
The character of Elaine Benes, unlike Jerry, Kramer and George, did not appear in the pilot episode of "Seinfeld". NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too "male-centric".

16. Heated disputes : RHUBARBS
The slang term “rhubarb” is used in baseball for a heated dispute. Apparently the term dates back to 1938 and was coined by a sportscaster called Garry Schumacher.

17. Song sung by a patriotic politician : GOD BLESS AMERICA
Irving Berlin wrote "God Bless America" while serving with the US Army in 1918. Berlin didn't come across an opportunity to publicize the song until just before WWII. He felt it was the right time to introduce a patriotic song, and famously gave it to singer Kate Smith for a broadcast on Armistice Day in 1938. The song was such a hit that there were even moves to have it adopted as a new national anthem.

20. F.D.R. or L.B.J.: Abbr. : DEM
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Philippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name "de Lannoy" was anglicized here in the US, to "Delano".

President Lyndon Johnson is one of only four people to have held all four elected federal offices, namely US Representative, US Senator, US Vice-President and US President. As President, Johnson is perhaps best remembered for escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, and for his “Great Society” legislation.

21. Vice president Gore and others : ALS
Al Gore was born in Washington DC, the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the "tougher" option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with fewer options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

25. Stridex target, informally : ZIT
The slang term “zit”, meaning "pimple", came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

27. Blue stone : LAPIS
Lapis lazuli is a blue, semi-precious stone mined mainly in Afghanistan. Lapis Lizuli is Latin for "stone of Lazhward", referring to the Persian name for the location where the stone was mined. Our word "azure", a shade of blue, has the same root.

31. Singer Damone : VIC
Vic Damone is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. As a young man Damone started taking voice lessons, inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra. Decades later, Sinatra said that Damone had “the best pipes in the business”.

35. Old Italian coin : LIRA
The name "lira" is used in a number of countries for currency. "Lira" comes from the Latin word for a pound and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. The lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro.

42. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dog, Eminem and 50 Cent.

49. Possible cause of brain freeze : ICEE
Icee is the brand name of one of those slushy drinks. Ugh ...

50. It's seen off la côte de la France : MER
The sea (mer) is off the coast of France (la côte de la France).

54. ___ Mahal : TAJ
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple's 14th child!

56. College org. with a Color Guard : ROTC
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of the new school's curriculum.

59. The Cowboys, on scoreboards : DAL
The Dallas Cowboys play in the National Football Conference of the NFL. The Cowboys are famous for a lengthy streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons, from 1966 to 1985. They are the highest valued sports franchise in the country. The only team in the world that's worth more money is the UK’s Manchester United soccer team.

63. Louis XIV, e.g. : 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.

65. Religious belief of eight U.S. presidents : PRESBYTERIANISM
Eight US Presidents belonged to the Presbyterian Church:
  • Andrew Jackson
  • James Polk (later Methodist)
  • James Buchanan
  • Rutherford Hayes (also attended Episcopal and Methodist services)
  • Grover Cleveland
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Dwight Eisenhower

72. Grand ___ Island : BAHAMA
Grand Bahama is the largest island in the Bahamas chain. It only lies 56 miles off the coast of Florida. The Spanish gave the island the name of “Gran Bajamar”, which means “Great Shallows”.

Down
1. Genesis maker : SEGA
Sega is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out 1940 in the US as Standard Games, located in Honolulu. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.

3. Space ___ : CADET
The expression "space cadet" is used to describe someone who is eccentric and disconnected with reality. It may even imply that the person is a user of hallucinogens. The phrase has been around since the sixties, and could be derived from the science fiction TV show "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet", which aired in the fifties.

7. James Stewart title character who goes to Washington : MR SMITH
“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is yet another great film directed by Frank Capra. When the film was premiered in the nation’s capital in 1939, the list of guests included 45 US Senators. Not many of the senators liked the movie at all, and some attacked it as anti-American and pro-Communist propaganda because it portrayed corruption in Washington.

8. ___ Na Na : SHA
Do you remember the band "Johnny Casino & The Gamblers" in the movie "Grease"? That was actually the real-world group Sha Na Na. Johnny Casino & the Gamblers sang "Those Magic Changes" at the high school dance, in between "Rock'N Roll Is Here to Stay" and "Hound Dog". Sha Na Na got together in the sixties, and are still performing today.

9. Mountain cat : PUMA
The mountain lion is found in much of the Americas from the Yukon in Canada right down to the southern Andes in South America. Because the mountain lion is found over such a vast area, it has many different names applied by local peoples, such as cougar and puma. In fact, the mountain lion holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most number of different names, with over 40 in English alone.

12. Hosp. test : MRI
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.

13. "This Week" airer : ABC
“This Week” is an ABC Sunday morning political show that premiered in 1981.

14. Intelligence org. : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname ... "No Such Agency".

23. Bird: Prefix : AVI-
The prefix “avi-” means “bird-related”, as in “aviculture”, the breeding of birds.

24. Fancy chocolatier : LINDT
The delicious Swiss chocolate sold under the Lindt brand name has its origins in a small confectionery store in Zurich in the 1840s. Lindt purchased our local chocolate company here in San Francisco, Ghirardelli, back in 1998.

29. Memorable 2011 hurricane : IRENE
Hurricane Irene caused extensive flooding in 2011 as it travelled through the Caribbean, up the East Coast of the United States and into the Atlantic seaboard of Canada. The hurricane was unusual in that it came so far up north. Fifty-five deaths were attributed to Irene.

36. London mayor Johnson : BORIS
Boris Johnson is a larger than life Conservative politician in the UK, and currently the Mayor of London. You might have seen him with his wild shock of blond hair during the London Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies.

37. Writer Jong : ERICA
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first, “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later she wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

38. German philosopher who wrote "The true is the whole" : HEGEL
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the founders of the German idealism movement. “Idealism”, in the context of the movement, was the principle that objects did not have properties in themselves, but rather that an object’s properties depended on the person perceiving the object.

46. "Fore!" : HEADS UP!
No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term "fore!" comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and since then has been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry "Faugh a Ballach!" (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!

47. "Julius Caesar," for one : TRAGEDY
William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” is a little unusual in that Julius Caesar is not the main character. The protagonist is actually Marcus Brutus, the man who plays a major role in Caesar’s assassination.

48. Kitchen brand : OXO
The OXO line of kitchen utensils is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average kitchen tool. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn't have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

53. Buffalo player : SABRE
The Buffalo Sabres joined the NHL in the 1970-71 season. The team took the name "Sabres" following a fan contest.

58. Vogue competitor, for short : COSMO
"Cosmopolitan" magazine was first published way back in 1886! It started out life as a family magazine, then a literary publication, and took it's present form as a women's magazine in the sixties.

60. Loretta who sang "Coal Miner's Daughter" : LYNN
“The Coal Miner's Daughter” is a 1980 film that tells the life story of country music star Loretta Lynn. Sissy Spacek plays the title role, and won herself a Best Actress Oscar for her performance. Lynn was indeed coal miner’s daughter, born into poverty in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky.

62. Pop's Brothers ___ : GIBB
The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name "The Bee Gees") were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

65. Darts venue : PUB
Darts is a wonderful game often played in British and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called "Round the Clock" is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

66. Biol. class topic : RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. Amino acids are delivered in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA and then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

67. Tarmac fig. : ETD
Estimated Time of Departure (ETD).

In this case "tarmac" refers to a runway at an airport.

Tarmac is of course short for "tarmacadam". In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as "macadam". Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The "tar-penetration macadam" is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.

70. Senators' org. : NHL
The Senators are the NHL hockey team in Ottawa, Canada. The current team, founded in the 1992-93 season, is the second NHL team in the city to use the name "Senators". The original team was founded in 1917 and had a very successful run until the league expanded into the US in the late twenties. The cost of operating in what became the smallest NHL city eventually drove the Senators to St. Louis where they played for a year as the Eagles before finally folding.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. With 74-Across, voting system that affords anonymity ... or the theme of this puzzle? : SECRET
7. Game in which the orange ghost is named Sue, not Clyde : MS PACMAN
15. "Seinfeld" woman : ELAINE
16. Heated disputes : RHUBARBS
17. Song sung by a patriotic politician : GOD BLESS AMERICA
19. Jungle swinger : APE
20. F.D.R. or L.B.J.: Abbr. : DEM
21. Vice president Gore and others : ALS
22. And others, for short : ET AL
25. Stridex target, informally : ZIT
27. Blue stone : LAPIS
31. Singer Damone : VIC
33. ___ Party : TEA
35. Old Italian coin : LIRA
36. How a director of campaign advertising works : BEHIND THE SCENES
41. Sought-after rock : ORE
42. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
43. However, briefly : THO
44. Turn-___ : ONS
45. Exactly ... like a conservative's plan to lower taxes? : RIGHT ON THE MONEY
49. Possible cause of brain freeze : ICEE
50. It's seen off la côte de la France : MER
51. Subject of many a political scandal : SEX
52. Rooms in una casa : SALAS
54. ___ Mahal : TAJ
56. College org. with a Color Guard : ROTC
59. The Cowboys, on scoreboards : DAL
61. React with extreme disgust : GAG
63. Louis XIV, e.g. : ROI
65. Religious belief of eight U.S. presidents : PRESBYTERIANISM
71. Like no stone, for the meticulous : UNTURNED
72. Grand ___ Island : BAHAMA
73. Nuisance that keeps returning, in metaphor : BAD PENNY
74. See 1-Across : BALLOT

Down
1. Genesis maker : SEGA
2. Alter altar plans, maybe : ELOPE
3. Space ___ : CADET
4. Tease : RIB
5. Blowup: Abbr. : ENL
6. Cheesed (off) : TEED
7. James Stewart title character who goes to Washington : MR SMITH
8. ___ Na Na : SHA
9. Mountain cat : PUMA
10. "Does that ring ___?" : A BELL
11. Event in which you may drive a hard bargain? : CAR SALE
12. Hosp. test : MRI
13. "This Week" airer : ABC
14. Intelligence org. : NSA
18. "___ who?!" : SEZ
23. Bird: Prefix : AVI-
24. Fancy chocolatier : LINDT
26. Choppers : TEETH
28. Assign, as blame : PIN ON
29. Memorable 2011 hurricane : IRENE
30. Mouthing off : SASSY
32. PC insert : CD-ROM
34. Hearth residue : ASHES
36. London mayor Johnson : BORIS
37. Writer Jong : ERICA
38. German philosopher who wrote "The true is the whole" : HEGEL
39. Fundamental belief : TENET
40. One on the way up : COMER
46. "Fore!" : HEADS UP!
47. "Julius Caesar," for one : TRAGEDY
48. Kitchen brand : OXO
53. Buffalo player : SABRE
55. Pickle holder : JAR
57. What a plea bargain obviates : TRIAL
58. Vogue competitor, for short : COSMO
60. Loretta who sang "Coal Miner's Daughter" : LYNN
62. Pop's Brothers ___ : GIBB
64. "___ my wit's end" : I’M AT
65. Darts venue : PUB
66. Biol. class topic : RNA
67. Tarmac fig. : ETD
68. Number of years between censuses : TEN
69. Like some baseball teams : AAA
70. Senators' org. : NHL

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Fewer options, Gore spoke, one would hope of a Harvard student, of fewer options, not less options. Fewer for things you can count, less for things you can't. Fewer hours, less time, ROTC.

Bill Butler said...

Yes, the grammar police caught me out. Should be fewer, not less ...

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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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