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1212-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Dec 12, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: T. E. Lawrence … each of the theme answers relates to the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”:
17A. Star of 11-/40-Down : PETER O'TOOLE
26A. Director of 11-/40-Down : DAVID LEAN
54A. Setting of 11-/40-Down : WORLD WAR I
64A. Award for 11-/40-Down : BEST PICTURE

11D. With 40-Down, film that opened on 12/16/1962 : LAWRENCE
40D. See 11-Down : OF ARABIA
COMPLETION TIME: 13m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Meriadoc the Magnificent, for one : HOBBIT
Meriadoc Brandybuck is the full name of the Hobbit called “Merry” in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. In the Peter Jackson series of films, Merry is played by actor Dominic Monaghan.

16. Gardner of Hollywood : AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of "Mogambo" (1953), "On the Beach" (1959), "The Night of the Iguana" (1964) and "Earthquake" (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

17. Star of 11-/40-Down : PETER O'TOOLE
Irish actor Peter O'Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film "Lawrence of Arabia". But my favorite of O'Toole's movies is much lighter fare: "How to Steal a Million" in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn.

20. "___ Lips Are Sealed" (1981 Go-Go's hit) : OUR
The Go-Gos are an all-female rock band dating back to 1978. "Our Lips Are Sealed" is the first track on their 1981 album "Beauty and the Beat".

24. Serta rival : SEALY
The Sealy Corporation makes mattresses. The company name comes from the city where it started out in 1881, namely Sealy, Texas. Sealy Corporation is now headquartered in Trinity, North Carolina.

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement.

26. Director of 11-/40-Down : DAVID LEAN
British movie director Sir David Lean has an impressive list of epic films on his resume including “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957), “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962), “Doctor Zhivago” (1965) and “A Passage to India” (1984). My favorite of his films though is the romantic drama from 1945 called “Brief Encounter”.

33. Armand of "Private Benjamin" : ASSANTE
Armand Assante is an actor from New York City, the son of an Italian father and an Irish mother. Despite being an American, Assante is noted for playing non-Americans in movies. He played a Frenchman in 1980’s “Private Benjamin” and a Cuban bandleader in 1992’s “The Mambo Kings”.

34. Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria : VESSELS
As we all know, Christopher Columbus used three ships in his first voyage across the Atlantic: the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta. The Pinta was the fastest of the three, and it was from the Pinta that the New World was first spotted, by a sailor on lookout called Rodrigo de Triana. Pinta was a nickname (as was Niña), meaning "the painted one". The Pinta's real name has been lost in mists of time.

44. LP player : HI-FI
Hi-fi systems were introduced in the late forties, audio equipment designed to give a much higher quality reproduction of sound than cheaper systems available up to that point. “Hi-fi” of course stands for “high fidelity”.

46. "The Hunger Games" participants : HUNTERS
“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012.

48. Adolescents' support group : ALATEEN
Alateen is part of Al-Anon, a support group formed to help people enrolled in Alcoholics Anonymous. Alateen is a 12-step program of recovery for young people who are affected by another person's drinking.

54. Setting of 11-/40-Down : WORLD WAR I
"Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real-life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

57. Woody Allen title character : ZELIG
"Zelig" is a 1983 film by Woody Allen. "Zelig" tells the fictitious story, in documentary style, of Leonard Zelig (played by Allen) who has the gift of being able to change his appearance in order to better fit in with the company he keeps. He becomes famous as a "human chameleon". By using archive footage, the film includes clever "cameos" by real figures from history (like Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Susan Sontag).

58. Louisville's Muhammad ___ Center : ALI
“The Muhammad Ali Center” is a museum in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The center was opened in 2005 and explores the life of the champion boxer and features exhibitions that reflect Ali’s core values.

59. Sicilian city : ENNA
The city of Enna sits very high up in the hills of Sicily, overlooking the whole island below. Enna is the capital of the province that bears its name, which is the highest province in the whole of Italy.

61. Place to play the ponies, for short : OTB
Off-Track Betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

62. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away" speaker : JOB
It is believed that the Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible.

64. Award for 11-/40-Down : BEST PICTURE
The 1962 British epic film “Lawrence of Arabia” won seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean.

68. "32 Flavors" singer DiFranco : ANI
Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a "feminist icon", and in 2006 won the "Woman of Courage Award" from the National Organization of Women.

71. ___ culpa : MEA
Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase "mea culpa" meaning "my fault", as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term "mea maxima culpa" translates as "my most grievous fault".

Down
1. Mexican partner : ESPOSA
“Esposa” is Spanish for “wife”.

4. Presidential nickname : IKE
There doesn't seem to be any good reason why President Eisenhower was called "Ike". However, it is known that the nickname dates back to his childhood as his parents called him "Ike" as well as “Dwight”.

7. African virus : EBOLA
The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak of the disease, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

8. Blood-typing system : ABO
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

9. Bucks, on a scoreboard : MIL
The Bucks are an NBA basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The team was formed in 1968 as an NBA expansion team.

11. With 40-Down, film that opened on 12/16/1962 : LAWRENCE
40. See 11-Down : OF ARABIA
British Army officer T. E. Lawrence acted as a liaison during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks during WWI. Lawrence's own writings of his adventures, as well reports in the news media, led to him gaining a reputation as a dashing figure and earned him the moniker "Lawrence of Arabia".

25. Candy heart word : LUV
The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We've been able to buy Sweethearts with the words "Text me" since 2010.

35. Hot spot : SAUNA
As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, "sauna" is a Finnish word, and is correctly pronounced "sow-nah" (with "sow" as in the female pig).

36. Sea eagle : ERN
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

38. Creator of Eliza Doolittle : SHAW
George Bernard Shaw was a very successful Irish playwright. Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. He won his Oscar for adapting his own play "Pygmalion" for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaptation of "Pygmalion" that went by the title "My Fair Lady".

Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins' speech student in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion". Of course "Pygmalion" was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady". The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was "'Enry 'Iggins".

39. "___ & Stitch" (Disney film) : LILO
"Lilo & Stitch" was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, "Lilo & Stitch" was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.

42. Antidepressant brand : PROZAC
The top three antidepressants prescribed in the US (in 2007 anyway) are:
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)

51. It has buttons on the left : BLOUSE
I don’t know if it is true but I’ve heard that men’s garments button the right because most people are right-handed and so buttons on the right make it easier for a man to dress. Women’s garments have buttons on the left because in days gone by, a well-to-do lady would have a maid to dress her. The buttons on the left made it easier for the right-handed maid to dress her lady while she stood in front of her.

52. Petrol measures : LITRES
Petrol is of course the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.

53. Ninth-century Anglo-Saxon king : EGBERT
Egbert was the King of Wessex from 802 to 829. At one point Egbert’s geographic influence was sufficient for him to be named “King of Britain”.

55. Apply another layer of asphalt to : RE-TOP
The asphalt surface on roads (or basketball courts) is more properly called asphaltic concrete, because asphalt itself is just a sticky black liquid that comes from crude petroleum. Asphalt is used as a binder with aggregate to form asphaltic concrete.

63. Derivative with respect to "x" in f(x) = x + 10 : ONE
Time to remember our math classes. f(x) = x + 10 is the equation or function describing a straight line. The “10” in the equation tells us that the line crosses the y-axis at 10. As there is a “1” (implied) before the “x”, then the slope of the line is said to be 1. Another way to arrive at the value of the slope is to take the derivative of the function with respect to x, and that turns out to be 1 as well.

65. "Lo, How a Rose ___ Blooming" (old hymn) : E’ER
“Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” is a German Christmas carol, the title of which translates as “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”.

66. Grimson of the N.H.L. : STU
Stu Grimson is a retired hockey player from Canada. He was a tough guy on the ice, renowned for getting in fights, so his nickname was “The Grim Reaper”.

67. Boy king of antiquity : TUT
King Tut is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamen's magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Prefix with distant : EQUI-
5. Ticks off : STEAMS
11. Good deal : LOT
14. Be in a pet : SULK
15. Meriadoc the Magnificent, for one : HOBBIT
16. Gardner of Hollywood : AVA
17. Star of 11-/40-Down : PETER O'TOOLE
19. Ski application : WAX
20. "___ Lips Are Sealed" (1981 Go-Go's hit) : OUR
21. Last of a loaf : HEEL
22. It helps hold glasses : EAR
24. Serta rival : SEALY
26. Director of 11-/40-Down : DAVID LEAN
31. Take on : ASSUME
33. Armand of "Private Benjamin" : ASSANTE
34. Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria : VESSELS
37. Surgery souvenir : SCAR
38. Pavement caution : SLO
41. Gather, with difficulty : SCARE UP
43. Last bit : END
44. LP player : HI-FI
46. "The Hunger Games" participants : HUNTERS
48. Adolescents' support group : ALATEEN
50. It might be off the wall : DOUBLE
54. Setting of 11-/40-Down : WORLD WAR I
57. Woody Allen title character : ZELIG
58. Louisville's Muhammad ___ Center : ALI
59. Sicilian city : ENNA
61. Place to play the ponies, for short : OTB
62. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away" speaker : JOB
64. Award for 11-/40-Down : BEST PICTURE
68. "32 Flavors" singer DiFranco : ANI
69. Alter, in a way : LET OUT
70. Kind of fee : USER
71. ___ culpa : MEA
72. Explodes : ERUPTS
73. Sample : TEST

Down
1. Mexican partner : ESPOSA
2. Tech support may have long ones : QUEUES
3. Extremists : ULTRAS
4. Presidential nickname : IKE
5. It has a silent tongue : SHOE
6. Carried : TOTED
7. African virus : EBOLA
8. Blood-typing system : ABO
9. Bucks, on a scoreboard : MIL
10. Mounts : STEEDS
11. With 40-Down, film that opened on 12/16/1962 : LAWRENCE
12. Lab eggs : OVA
13. Overburden : TAX
18. Near and dear, say : RHYMES
23. Pitiful interjection : ALAS
25. Candy heart word : LUV
27. Garage employee : VALET
28. Dispensed : ISSUED
29. ___ all-time high : AT AN
30. Square figure : NERD
32. Spurn : ESCHEW
35. Hot spot : SAUNA
36. Sea eagle : ERN
38. Creator of Eliza Doolittle : SHAW
39. "___ & Stitch" (Disney film) : LILO
40. See 11-Down : OF ARABIA
42. Antidepressant brand : PROZAC
45. "___ be O.K." : IT’LL
47. Drag into court : SUE
49. Like some mushrooms : EDIBLE
51. It has buttons on the left : BLOUSE
52. Petrol measures : LITRES
53. Ninth-century Anglo-Saxon king : EGBERT
55. Apply another layer of asphalt to : RE-TOP
56. Suggestions : INPUT
60. Small complaints : NITS
62. Flashy two-point basket : JAM
63. Derivative with respect to "x" in f(x) = x + 10 : ONE
65. "Lo, How a Rose ___ Blooming" (old hymn) : E’ER
66. Grimson of the N.H.L. : STU
67. Boy king of antiquity : TUT

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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.

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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