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Vacation Alert

I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

1210-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Dec 12, Monday





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: Michael David
THEME: Sidelines … the left SIDE and the right SIDE of the grid is where we find all of our themed answers today, and all of those answers can precede the word LINES:
21D. Where to find coaches at football games ... or a description of the answers to the 16 starred clues? : SIDELINES

1D. *Smooth : FLAT (flatlines)
2D. *Romantic outing : DATE (datelines)
3D. *Legislature : ASSEMBLY (assembly lines)
10D. *Light truck : PICKUP (pick-up lines)
11D. *Sphere or cube : SOLID (solid lines)
12D. *Foe : ENEMY (enemy lines)
26D. *It moves up and down when you talk : JAW (jaw line)
27D. *Broadcast : AIR (airline)
36D. *Shortcut path, maybe : DIAGONAL (diagonal lines)
37D. *Finish : END (end lines)
38D. *What's up? : SKY (skylines)
42D. *Fanny : BOTTOM (bottom lines)
45D. *Cuban drum : CONGA (conga lines)
46D. *Tennis umpire's cry : FAULT (fault lines)
52D. *Cons do it : TIME (timelines)
53D. *Depart : EXIT (exit lines)
COMPLETION TIME: 05m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Pharmaceutical co. regulator : FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was in effect created by the Food and Drug Act signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

4. Mule of song : SAL
The song "Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal" was written in 1905. The lyrics are nostalgic and look back to the days when traffic on the canal was pulled by mules, bemoaing the introduction of the fast-moving engine-powered barges. The first line is "I've got an old mule and her name is Sal".

13. ___ Vegas : LAS
Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows ("las vegas" is Spanish for "the meadows") present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city's tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in "the mob", as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

14. CBS forensic drama : CSI
I’m told that the TV show "CSI" gets a lot of razzing by law enforcement professionals for its unrealistic portrayal of the procedures and science of criminal investigation. I don't care though, as I just think it's fun television. The original "CSI" set in Las Vegas seems to have "gone off the boil", but the addition of Sela Ward to the cast of "CSI: NY" has really, really raised the level of the sister show centered around New York City.

18. One of seven in the Constitution : ARTICLE
The US Constitution is composed of a preamble, seven articles and twenty-seven amendments (to date).

22. Clijsters of tennis : KIM
Kim Clijsters is a retired professional tennis player from Belgium who was one point ranked number one in women's tennis. Kim’s younger sister Elke was also a professional tennis player, and her father Leo was a Belgian footballer player. A competitive family, I would guess …

25. Author Blume : JUDY
Judy Blume writes novels for children and young adults. Blume’s novels for teens were groundbreaking when first published, tackling such difficult subjects as racism, divorce and bullying.

28. "If I Only ___ Brain" : HAD A
“If I Only Had a Brain” is a song from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”. The song is sung three times in the movie, each time with different lyrics. It is sung first by the Scarecrow, then the Cowardly Lion and finally by the Tin Man. The other versions of the song are, “If I Only Had the Nerve” and “If I Only Had a Heart”.

31. Drink at a sushi bar : SAKE
We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as "sake". We've gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. "Sake" is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we known as sake, we sometimes refer to as “rice wine”. It is indeed made from rice, but it is a brewed rather than fermented, so is more like a beer than a wine.

36. ___ Moines, Iowa : DES
The city of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French "Riviere des Moines" meaning "River of the Monks". It looks like there isn't any "monkish" connection to the city's name per se. "Des Moines" was just the name given by French traders who corrupted "Moingona", the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

39. Exxon product : GAS
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.

43. Old dagger : SNEE
"Snick or snee" is the name given to cut and thrust while fighting with a knife. The phrase is rooted in a pair of Dutch words and it gave its name to a "snee", a light sword-like knife.

44. Tramp's partner in a Disney film : LADY
"Lady and the Tramp" is a classic animated feature from Walt Disney, released in 1955. Who can forget the scene where the Tramp and Lady are "on a date" and eat that one strand of spaghetti? So cute!

47. Border collie, for one : SHEEPDOG
The Border Collie is a breed of lovely-looking herding dogs that originated in the British Isles. The breed probably originated in the border areas between Scotland and England, hence the name.

51. Milton ___, leader to Uganda's independence : OBOTE
Milton Obote was the political leader who led Uganda to independence from British colonial rule in 1962. Oboto served as Prime Minister and then President of the country, until he was overthrown by Idi Amin in 1971.

56. Capital of Arizona : PHOENIX
Phoenix is the capital of the state of Arizona. The city started out as a farming community founded by a Civil War veteran. Key to the success of the community was the construction of canals that were really contemporary improvements to canals that had previously been built by the local Hohokam people.

59. Writer Fleming : IAN
Ian Fleming is most famous of course for writing the "James Bond" series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children's story "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

62. Science guy Bill : NYE
That would be "Bill Nye the Science Guy". Bill's show ran on Disney for 4 years from 1993-97. I was surprised to learn that Bill Nye was married briefly to Blair Tindall, the author of "Mozart in the Jungle". That's a great book, if anyone is interested ...

Down
1. *Smooth : FLAT (flatlines)
“Flatlining” is an informal term, one meaning that a person is right at the point of death as shown by the flat lines on medical monitors hooked up to a patient.

8. D-Day transports: Abbr. : LSTS
LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels used mainly in WWII that had doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles could roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

17. Election day: Abbr. : TUES
Election Day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

29. Kind of scale of mineral hardness : MOHS
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was developed in 1812 by Freidrich Mohs. Basically Mohs took minerals and scratched them with other minerals. In this way he was able to determine which minerals were hardest (most scratch resistant) and which softest.

35. "Wheel of Fortune" bonus : FREE SPIN
Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since it first aired in 1975.

39. U.S. soldiers : GIS
The initials "G.I." stand for "Government Issue" and not "General Infantry" as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed "GI cans". Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with "Government Issue" and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

42. *Fanny : BOTTOM (bottom lines)
You have to be careful using the slang term “fanny” if traveling in the British Isles. In the US “fanny” is a slang term for a person’s bottom, but on the other side of the Atlantic it has a much ruder meaning …

45. *Cuban drum : CONGA (conga lines)
The type of drum called a conga is more properly known as a tumbadora. The conga is regarded as a Cuban instrument today, but it probably derived from older African drums made from hollowed logs.

The conga line is a dance that originated as a Cuban carnival march. It became popular in the US starting in the thirties. The dance is apparently named after the Congo region of Africa, and it was originated by slaves who were brought from there to Cuba.

47. Winter hazard : SLEET
Apparently "sleet" is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It's the second definition that I have always used ...

48. Blackmore's "Lorna ___" : DOONE
The novel “Lorna Doone” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story "Lorna Doone" was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

55. Way of the East : TAO
The Chinese character "tao" translates as "path", but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pharmaceutical co. regulator : FDA
4. Mule of song : SAL
7. Go by, as hours : ELAPSE
13. ___ Vegas : LAS
14. CBS forensic drama : CSI
15. Boundless enthusiasm : PASSION
16. Being risked : AT STAKE
18. One of seven in the Constitution : ARTICLE
19. Prepare to drive a golf ball : TEE UP
20. Helpers: Abbr. : ASSTS
22. Clijsters of tennis : KIM
23. See, as visitors : MEET WITH
25. Author Blume : JUDY
26. Quick punches : JABS
28. "If I Only ___ Brain" : HAD A
29. Unruly head of hair : MOP
30. Have a bug : AIL
31. Drink at a sushi bar : SAKE
32. Sauce at a sushi bar : SOY
33. Twisted, as humor : WRY
34. Like December, among the months of the year : TWELFTH
36. ___ Moines, Iowa : DES
39. Exxon product : GAS
40. Angers : IRES
41. Pen filler : INK
42. Drool catcher : BIB
43. Old dagger : SNEE
44. Tramp's partner in a Disney film : LADY
45. Corp. money managers : CFOS
47. Border collie, for one : SHEEPDOG
49. Feedbag morsel : OAT
50. At ___ (stumped) : A LOSS
51. Milton ___, leader to Uganda's independence : OBOTE
54. Cashew or hazel, in a grove : NUT TREE
56. Capital of Arizona : PHOENIX
58. Was a bad winner : GLOATED
59. Writer Fleming : IAN
60. French friend : AMI
61. Maximally : AT MOST
62. Science guy Bill : NYE
63. Rent out : LET

Down
1. *Smooth : FLAT (flatlines)
2. *Romantic outing : DATE (datelines)
3. *Legislature : ASSEMBLY (assembly lines)
4. Ending with land or sea : -SCAPE
5. Show curiosity : ASK
6. Suffer from insomnia : LIE AWAKE
7. Our planet : EARTH
8. D-Day transports: Abbr. : LSTS
9. "Do ___ say, not ..." : AS I
10. *Light truck : PICKUP (pick-up lines)
11. *Sphere or cube : SOLID (solid lines)
12. *Foe : ENEMY (enemy lines)
15. Noodles, e.g. : PASTA
17. Election day: Abbr. : TUES
21. Where to find coaches at football games ... or a description of the answers to the 16 starred clues? : SIDELINES
24. Defrosts : THAWS
25. Elation : JOY
26. *It moves up and down when you talk : JAW (jaw line)
27. *Broadcast : AIR (airline)
29. Kind of scale of mineral hardness : MOHS
31. Attack with a knife : STAB
32. Precipitous : STEEP
35. "Wheel of Fortune" bonus : FREE SPIN
36. *Shortcut path, maybe : DIAGONAL (diagonal lines)
37. *Finish : END (end lines)
38. *What's up? : SKY (skylines)
39. U.S. soldiers : GIS
42. *Fanny : BOTTOM (bottom lines)
43. Did some blacksmith's work on : SHOED
44. Ear part : LOBE
45. *Cuban drum : CONGA (conga lines)
46. *Tennis umpire's cry : FAULT (fault lines)
47. Winter hazard : SLEET
48. Blackmore's "Lorna ___" : DOONE
50. Partner of sciences : ARTS
52. *Cons do it : TIME (timelines)
53. *Depart : EXIT (exit lines)
55. Way of the East : TAO
57. It's pitched with a pitchfork : HAY

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4 comments :

Anonymous said...

Sleet and Sheepdog don't match up. 32 Down, 47 Across

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

I am not sure what you mean.

32D answer is STEEP. The SLEET answer is 47D.

Does that help?

Petrovich1248 said...

43D - The prescribed answer to this clue, "shoed," implies that a blacksmith shoes horses. This is not correct. A person who shoes horses is called a "farrier." I have known several professional farriers in my life, and none of them are blacksmiths. A blacksmith, on the other hand, is a person who knows how to shape metal into useful objects. A blacksmith may or may not create horseshoes. But, if he does make horseshoes, he probably just sells them to a farrier to put them on horses. --Pete in Texas

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Petrovich.

Thank you for taking the time to point out the distinction between a farrier and a blacksmith. I am embarrassed to to concede that I wasn't aware of said distinction, even though my g-g-grandfather back in Ireland was a blacksmith. I'll make a note, and be sure to point out the difference should the subject come up in a future puzzle.

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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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