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Greetings from San Jose, 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! We had a long and spectacular drive across the Sierra Nevada today, and saw Julianne and Derek Hough's dance spectacular this evening. Back home and back to reality tomorrow (Friday) ...

Bill

1123-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 12, Friday





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: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 34m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Biblical prophet who railed against idolatry : MICAH
The name "Micah" translates into English from Hebrew as "Who is like God?"

15. Big-eyed toy : CHIHUAHUA
Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in the country, so has the nickname "El Estado Grande". The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. And of course the Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.

16. Mythological lyrist : ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of Lyric Poetry.

20. "___ et Ballades" (Victor Hugo work) : ODES
Victor Hugo was a French poet and playwright, known in his native country mainly for his poetry. However, outside of France Hugo is perhaps more closely associated with his novels, such as “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.

22. Sitcom characters Borland and Bundy : ALS
Al Borland is the sidekick to Tim the Toolman on the sitcom “Home Improvement”. Al is played by Richard Karn, while Tim is played by Tim Allen.

Al Bundy is a lead character in the television sitcom “Married with Children”. He is played by Ed O’Neill, an actor who is currently making it big playing Jay Pritchett on the very entertaining show called “Modern Family”.

23. Evan's best friend in "Superbad" : SETH
“Superbad” is a comedy movie released in 2007. The script for the film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Rogen and Goldberg started work on the script when they were just thirteen years old, with the first draft being completed by the time they were fifteen.

26. Minor-league team of Toledo : MUD HENS
The Toledo Mud Hens are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Detroit Tigers.

29. Mr. Hockey's surname : HOWE
Gordie Howe is a retired Canadian hockey player. Regarded as one of the games greatest players, Howe is sometimes referred to as "Mr Hockey". He is the only hockey player to have competed in the NHL for five decades (from the forties through the eighties).

34. 1960s-'70s dance partner of Nureyev : FONTEYN
Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev's most famous partnership was with Dame Margot Fonteyn. Nureyev and Fonteyn had their last professional performance together when Nureyev was 50-years-old, and Fonteyn an impressive 69.

35. Leaf bisectors : MIDRIBS
The central vein in a leaf is known as the midrib.

36. What excellence is the best deterrent to, per Oprah Winfrey : RACISM
What can you say about Oprah Winfrey? Born into poverty to a single mother, with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah's name was originally meant to be "Orpah" after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that's how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing "Orpah", so she's now "Oprah".

38. Grp. that may call on its reserves? : OPEC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn't in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably know that already ...

39. French ___ (language overseer) : ACADEMY
Unlike most countries, France has a learned body that is responsible for “managing” its language. L’Academie française (the French Academy) acts as the official arbiter on matters relating to the French language and publishes the official French dictionary. L’Academie française was established in 1635, by the famous Cardinal Richelieu.

41. TV character who said "K.O." instead of "O.K." : MORK
"Mork & Mindy" was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were first introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams, of course) in a special episode of "Happy Days". The particular episode in question has a bizarre storyline culminating in Fonzie and Mork having a thumb-to-finger duel. Eventually Richie wakes up in bed, and alien Mork was just part of a dream! Oh, and "Nanu Nanu" means both "hello" and "goodbye" back on the planet Ork. "I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu". Great stuff ...

42. Kylver Stone letter : RUNE
The Kylver stone is a flat piece of limestone that was used to seal a grave in the province of Gotland in Sweden. The grave was sealed in about 400 CE, and was excavated in 1903. The underside of the stone bears a listing of the runic “alphabet”.

48. Cockney pal of Mary Poppins : BERT
The “Mary Poppins” series of children’s novels was written by Australian-born English writer and actress P. L. Travers. Mary Poppins is a magical children’s nanny with a best friend called Bert. In the famous musical film adaptation of the Mary Poppins stories, Poppins is played by Julie Andrews and Bert is played Dick Van Dyke.

49. Lighter compound : BUTANE
The “smaller” alkanes are gases and are quite combustible. Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component. Propane (C3H8) is another component of natural gas and is heavy enough to be readily turned into a liquid by compression for ease of transportation and storage. Butane (C4H10) is also easily liquefied under pressure and can be used as the fuel in cigarette lighters or as the propellant in aerosol sprays. The heavier alkanes are not gases, and instead are liquids and solids at room temperature.

53. Instruments also known as mellophones : ALTOHORNS
A mellophone is a brass instrument also called an altohorn. The mellophone often replaces horns in marching bands.

55. He could walk on water, in myth : ORION
The huntsman of Greek mythology called Orion was the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Because of his heritage, Orion was said to have the ability to walk on the sea.

57. Musician/radio host Steven Van ___ : ZANDT
The character Silvio Dante on HBO's excellent series "The Sopranos" really is comical looking. He has the dyed hair, possibly a wig that's truly "big hair", and all the jewelry and mannerisms that one possibly does not expect from a Consigliere. "Sil" is played by actor Steven Van Zandt, who is also a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, in which he plays guitar and mandolin. Who knew ... ???

Down
1. Union enemies : SCABS
We first started calling strikebreakers "scabs" in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of "scab" as a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

2. Rule of ___ (comedy writer's maxim) : THREE
In the world of writing, “the rule of three” states that things coming in threes are typically more funny than things grouped in other numbers. Apparently that’s why there are Three Stooges, Three Little Pigs and Three Blind Mice. Another example is the Englishman, the Irishman and the Scotsman who go into a bar.

6. One raised in Amish country : BARN
The Amish are a group of Christian churches, a sub-group of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

9. Lawrence who wrote the screenplay for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" : KASDAN
Lawrence Kasdan is a film producer, director and screenwriter. Kasdan wrote the script of the movie “The Bodyguard” and worked on the screenplays for “Return of the Jedi” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. He also directed and wrote the screenplay for “The Big Chill”.

11. Org. that disarmed in 2005 : IRA
The actual branch of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that ended its armed campaign in 2005 was the Provisional IRA, the most active group pursuing a united Ireland. Since the “Provos” ended their campaign, two splinter groups have continued to engage in paramilitary activity, namely the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA.

12. Barcelona is its capital : CATALONIA
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. Barcelona is the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

21. Bowles of the Simpson-Bowles commission : ERSKINE
Erskine Bowles was appointed by President Obama as the Democratic co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, which was tasked with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the US. The other co-chair was US Senator Alan K. Simpson, a Republican. The Simpson-Bowles Commission proposed five steps to economic stability and recovery:
1. $200 billion reduction in spending, largely a reduction in defense spending
2. $100 billion increase in tax revenue, including a gasoline tax and elimination of some tax deductions
3. Control of health care costs, including implementation of “Obamacare”
4. Reduction in entitlements like farm susbsidies and federal pensions
5. Changes to Social Security including raising of the payroll tax and raising of the retirement age

24. Tibia's place : SHIN
The tibia is the larger of the two bones right below the knee, and is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. "Tibia" is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

27. Black Hawk War combatants : UTES
The Black Hawk War was fought in 1832 between Native Americans, led by the Sauk leader called Black Hawk, and US militiamen. One of those militiamen was a 23-year-old Abraham Lincoln wha was a company captain.

28. Fright when it's light? : DAYMARE
A “daymare” is a condition experienced while awake featuring a pressure on the chest that is normally associated with the sense of fear experienced during a nightmare.

30. Never-ending story? : SOAP OPERA
As almost everyone knows, the original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that's how the "soap" opera got its name ...

33. Queso relleno cheese : EDAM
I am not sure that the Mexican dish called “queso relleno” actually uses Edam cheese. My research shows that the dish (which translates as “stuffed cheese”) uses Ocosingo cheese, which is similar to Edam.

35. In the Mafia : MADE
In the Mafia, a “made man” is a fully initiated member. A made man may also be called a goodfella or a wiseguy.

40. Blowgun dart poison : CURARE
Curare is the name given to the toxin(s) used historically by South American peoples to paralyze their prey. The tips of arrows and blowgun darts are dipped in curare so that when a hunted animal is pierced with a poisoned projectile it asphyxiates as the curare paralyzes the respiratory muscles.

44. Go door to door, possibly : CAROL
The word "carol" came into English via the Old French word "carole", which meant a "dance in a ring". When "carol" made it into English, about 1300 AD, it was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

54. Graffitize : TAG
"Graffiti" is the plural of "graffito", the Italian for "a scribbling". The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

A tag is a particular type of graffiti, usually not a picture but rather words that include the author's name.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Call an end to a hike : START BACK
10. Biblical prophet who railed against idolatry : MICAH
15. Big-eyed toy : CHIHUAHUA
16. Mythological lyrist : ERATO
17. Kids whose parents fight? : ARMY BRATS
18. On delivery? : NATAL
19. Hammered : BEATEN
20. "___ et Ballades" (Victor Hugo work) : ODES
22. Sitcom characters Borland and Bundy : ALS
23. Evan's best friend in "Superbad" : SETH
24. Box for a drill : SPAR
25. Form a mass : CLOT
26. Minor-league team of Toledo : MUD HENS
29. Mr. Hockey's surname : HOWE
30. Keep up : SUSTAIN
32. More interested : KEENER
34. 1960s-'70s dance partner of Nureyev : FONTEYN
35. Leaf bisectors : MIDRIBS
36. What excellence is the best deterrent to, per Oprah Winfrey : RACISM
37. Like some Mideast movements : PAN-ARAB
38. Grp. that may call on its reserves? : OPEC
39. French ___ (language overseer) : ACADEMY
41. TV character who said "K.O." instead of "O.K." : MORK
42. Kylver Stone letter : RUNE
43. Glance over : SCAN
47. Prone : APT
48. Cockney pal of Mary Poppins : BERT
49. Lighter compound : BUTANE
51. Pick on : TEASE
53. Instruments also known as mellophones : ALTOHORNS
55. He could walk on water, in myth : ORION
56. Think through : REASON OUT
57. Musician/radio host Steven Van ___ : ZANDT
58. White trash? : EGGSHELLS

Down
1. Union enemies : SCABS
2. Rule of ___ (comedy writer's maxim) : THREE
3. Target : AIM AT
4. Elementary school percussion instrument : RHYTHM STICK
5. Poster mailer's need : TUBE
6. One raised in Amish country : BARN
7. It may result from a discovery : AHA
8. Make a slit in : CUT OPEN
9. Lawrence who wrote the screenplay for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" : KASDAN
10. ___ chorus : MEN’S
11. Org. that disarmed in 2005 : IRA
12. Barcelona is its capital : CATALONIA
13. Way down : AT A LOW EBB
14. Piece keepers : HOLSTERS
21. Bowles of the Simpson-Bowles commission : ERSKINE
24. Tibia's place : SHIN
25. Pit that's sometimes spit : CHERRY STONE
27. Black Hawk War combatants : UTES
28. Fright when it's light? : DAYMARE
30. Never-ending story? : SOAP OPERA
31. Up in the air : UNCERTAIN
33. Queso relleno cheese : EDAM
34. Missing nothing : FROM A TO Z
35. In the Mafia : MADE
37. 24-Down cover : PANT LEG
40. Blowgun dart poison : CURARE
44. Go door to door, possibly : CAROL
45. Void : ANNUL
46. Gets settled : NESTS
48. Crooked : BENT
49. Decision-maker : BOSS
50. "This could get ugly" : UH-OH
52. Nursery purchase : SOD
54. Graffitize : TAG

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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Correction: The Utes were not involved in the Black Hawk war that Lincoln participated in. It was the "Utah Black Hawk War" 1865-1872.

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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.

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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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