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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

1215-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Dec 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: Will Nediger
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 19m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Java application? : HALF AND HALF
Back in 1850, the name "java" was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java, and the usage of the term spread from there.

12. E-mails a dupe : CCS
I wonder do the kids of today know that "cc" stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?

16. Onetime giant in decking : ALI
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali was presented with a gold medal during those '96 Games, a replacement for the medal he won at the 1960 Olympics. He had thrown the original into the Ohio River as a gesture of disgust after being refused service at a "whites only" restaurant.

17. Raphael, e.g. : NINJA TURTLE
The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” started out as a parody of comic book superheroes, first appearing in a self-published comic book in 1984. A couple of years later the characters were picked up by someone who built a whole line toys around the characters, and then television and movies followed. Do you remember the names of all four of the Turtles? Their names were all taken from Renaissance artists:
- Leonardo
- Raphael
- Michelangelo
- Donatello

18. It may have no stars : PAN
I think the idea here is that a “pan” is a severe criticism, say of a movie or play. A critic who pans a film might give it no stars.

19. Film producer Fayed : DODI
Dodi Al-Fayed was a film producer from Egypt, and the son of Mohamed Al-Fayed, the billionaire owner of Harrod’s department store in London and the Hôtel Ritz Paris. Famously, Dodi was romantically involved with Princess Diana of the UK, and died with her in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

20. Birthplace of the phonograph : MENLO PARK
Thomas Alva Edison was nicknamed "The Wizard of Menlo Park" by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

23. Heads across the pond : WCS
When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of "lanterloo" in which the pot was called the loo!

26. Cold front? : CEE
The front of the word “cold” is the letter C (cee).

27. Gran Paradiso, e.g. : ALP
Gran Paradiso is a mountain in the Graian Alps in southern Europe. Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps and is located nearby, straddling the border between France and Italy. Gran Paradiso is the highest mountain that lies totally within the territory of Italy.

34. Guitar-spinning group : ZZ TOP
In the blues rock band ZZ Top, the hairy guitar players are Billy F. Gibbons and Dusty Hill. The relatively clean-shaven drummer is … wait for it … Frank Beard …

35. City of a quarter million founded on a ranch site : CHANDLER, ARIZONA
The city of Chandler, Arizona is in effect a suburb of Phoenix. The city was named after a Dr. Alexander Chandler who settled in the area in 1891. Alexander Chandler was the first veterinary surgeon to come to the Arizona Territory.

39. Prefix with Germanic : INDO-
‘Indo-Germanic” is a term used to describe a specific group of languages and is synonymous with the term “Indo-European”.

The Indo-European languages are a large group that includes most of the major languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau and South Asia. It is the largest grouping of languages in the world.

40. Three-sided carrier : HOD
A hod is 3-sided box on the the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks (and sometimes mortar) at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.

42. Piña colada topping? : TILDE
Piña colada is a Spanish term which translates into "strained pineapple". The cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum ...

45. M quarter : CCL
One quarter of 1,000 (M) is 250 (CCL).

51. Composer Siegmeister : ELIE
Elie Siegmeister was a composer from New York City. Siegmeister wrote classical works, and frequently used jazz, blues and American folk themes and rhythms.

56. ___ polar (animal del Ártico) : OSO
In Spanish, a polar bear (oso polar) is an animal of the Arctic (animal del Ártico).

57. Singer who founded Righteous Babe Records : ANI DIFRANCO
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 National Organization of Women.

58. Victor over H.H.H. : RMN
President Richard Milhous Nixon had “Milhous” in his name as his mother was Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

Hubert Humphrey’s middle name is Horatio.

Hubert Humphrey was the running mate of President Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential campaign. Humphrey was sworn in as Vice President in 1965, the 38th person to hold the office. Humphrey was the Democratic candidate for president in the 1968 election, but lost to Richard Nixon.

Down
1. Origin of the word "cheetah" : HINDI
The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal, achieving speeds of 70-75 mph. The name “cheetah” comes from Sanskrit via Hindi, from the word for “variegated”. Something that is variegated has different colored zones, like the mottled hide of the cheetah.

2. F-, for one : ANION
As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names "cation" and "anion" come from Greek, with "kation" meaning "going down" and "anion" meaning "going up".

"F-" is the fluorine anion.

4. It blew in 1707 : FUJI
Mount Fuji is Japan's highest and most famous mountain. It is an active volcano, situated just west of Tokyo.

5. Ottoman dignitary : AGA
"Aga" (also "agha") is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

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" was really established with the conquest of Constantinople, and that didn't happen until almost 130 years after Osman I died.

8. Storied slacker : HARE
"The Tortoise and the Hare" is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line first while his speedier friend is sleeping.

10. Move with a bobbing motion : LOLLOP
To lollop along is to move in a very ungainly way, clumsily bounding along.

11. Common cooler : FREON
Freon is a tradename for a group of compounds used as a refrigerant and also as a propellant in aerosols.

13. Home of Pomona College : CLAREMONT
Pomona College is a private school in Claremont, California in Los Angeles County. The name "Pomona" comes from the original location of the college in Pomona, California. The college opened for classes in Pomona in a rental house in 1888. The following year it moved to the site of an unfinished hotel in Claremont, but retained the Pomona name.

24. Mobile : CELL
What we mostly call a cell phone here in North America is more usually referred to as a mobile phone in Europe.

26. Wii, for one : CONSOLE
The Wii is the biggest-selling game console in the world. Two distinguishing features are the impressive wireless remote control and its WiiConnect24 system which allows the console to get messages and updates wirelessly in standby mode. I have my kids unplug the darn thing when they aren't using it, as even in standby mode it sucks up bandwidth on my wireless network here at the house.

31. Its central deity is Amaterasu : SHINTOISM
It is perhaps best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a "spirituality of the Japanese people", a spirituality that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, "Shinto" translates literally as "Way of the Gods". Most people in Japan who are described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.

Amaterasu is a Shinto deity, the goddess of the sun and the universe. The Emperor of Japan is said to be directly descended from Amaterasu.

35. Eastern energy : CHI
In Chinese culture “qi” or “chi” is the life force in any living thing.

36. 1980s Argentine president Alfonsín : RAUL
Raul Alfonsín was the President of Argentina from 1983 to 1989. Alfonsín was the first democratically elected president to take office after the military dictatorship that was in place from 1976.

40. Hydrocarbon in gasoline : HEXANE
A hexane is a hydrocarbon, an alkane with six carbon atoms. Hexanes of varying types are major components of gasoline.

44. Neighbor of McGuire A.F.B. : FT DIX
Fort Dix is the name commonly used for what is now more correctly called Joint Base McGuire -Dix-Lakehurst, a US Army base located near Trenton, New Jersey. Fort Dix was established in 1917 by the Army, and was consolidated with nearby Air Force and Navy facilities in 2009.

46. A third of quince : CINCO
In Spanish, five (cinco) is a third of fifteen (quince).

47. Toy snappers : LEGOS
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name "Automatic Binding Bricks" but I think "Lego" is easier to remember! The name "Lego" comes from the Danish term "leg godt" meaning "play well".

48. Dweller in the hall Bilskirnir : THOR
In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin's wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term "Friday" (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin's son was Thor, and his name gave us the term "Thursday".

51. Actor McGregor : EWAN
Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film "Trainspotting". McGregor's first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the "Star Wars" prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as "Long Way Round" on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called "Long Way Down", which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

54. N.Y.C.'s ___ Bridge : RFK
The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in New York City is often referred to as the “Triboro”, recognition of the structure’s original name “The Triborough Bridge”. This name was given as the Triboro is actually a complex of three bridges that connects the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and The Bronx. Built in 1936, the official name was changed to the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in 2008.

55. Talent agent Emanuel : ARI
Ari Emanuel is the co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, the largest talent agency in the world. Emanuel represents the likes of Martin Scorsese, Michael Moore, Matt Damon, and Conan O’Brien.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Java application? : HALF AND HALF
12. E-mails a dupe : CCS
15. Swearing-in figure : INAUGURATOR
16. Onetime giant in decking : ALI
17. Raphael, e.g. : NINJA TURTLE
18. It may have no stars : PAN
19. Film producer Fayed : DODI
20. Birthplace of the phonograph : MENLO PARK
22. Ruling group : INS
23. Heads across the pond : WCS
25. Standing by : ON ICE
26. Cold front? : CEE
27. Gran Paradiso, e.g. : ALP
29. Prepares to be discharged : AIMS
31. It goes over the tongue : SHOELACE
34. Guitar-spinning group : ZZ TOP
35. City of a quarter million founded on a ranch site : CHANDLER, ARIZONA
37. ___ fit : HISSY
38. Shred : RIP APART
39. Prefix with Germanic : INDO-
40. Three-sided carrier : HOD
41. Peak periods : UPS
42. Piña colada topping? : TILDE
44. Web site crasher? : FLY
45. M quarter : CCL
48. Specifically : TO BE EXACT
51. Composer Siegmeister : ELIE
52. Greetings : HIS
53. Bit of ancient art : CAVE DRAWING
56. ___ polar (animal del Ártico) : OSO
57. Singer who founded Righteous Babe Records : ANI DIFRANCO
58. Victor over H.H.H. : RMN
59. It competed with Mail Boxes Etc. : FEDEX KINKO’S

Down
1. Origin of the word "cheetah" : HINDI
2. F-, for one : ANION
3. Secures : LANDS
4. It blew in 1707 : FUJI
5. Ottoman dignitary : AGA
6. Real fan : NUT
7. Makeup of some kits : DRUMS
8. Storied slacker : HARE
9. Routing abbr. : ATTN
10. Move with a bobbing motion : LOLLOP
11. Common cooler : FREON
12. Charge storer : CAPACITOR
13. Home of Pomona College : CLAREMONT
14. Settle : SINK
21. Big squares : PIAZZAS
23. Overgrown, say : WEEDY
24. Mobile : CELL
26. Wii, for one : CONSOLE
27. Nose-burning : ACRID
28. One may be taken in faith : LEAP
30. Facial site : SPA
31. Its central deity is Amaterasu : SHINTOISM
32. Claims : HAS DIBS ON
33. Like sports cars, briefly : AERO
34. Full of energy : ZIPPY
35. Eastern energy : CHI
36. 1980s Argentine president Alfonsín : RAUL
40. Hydrocarbon in gasoline : HEXANE
43. 1-Across may be added to it : DECAF
44. Neighbor of McGuire A.F.B. : FT DIX
45. Can : CLINK
46. A third of quince : CINCO
47. Toy snappers : LEGOS
48. Dweller in the hall Bilskirnir : THOR
49. Like a 6-Down : AVID
50. Turn over : CEDE
51. Actor McGregor : EWAN
54. N.Y.C.'s ___ Bridge : RFK
55. Talent agent Emanuel : ARI

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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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