Top Line

Search by Date

DD MMM YY or MMDD-YY

Search by Puzzle Number

e.g. 1225-09, 0704-10, 1025-10 etc.

Daily Solution by Email

Enter your email address

1217-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 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: Elizabeth A. Long
THEME: Meow … we have five themed answers today, each of which includes a feline reference:
17A. Wright flight site : KITTY HAWK
40A. Hospital diagnostic : CAT SCAN
64A. James Bond film involving a Fabergé egg : OCTOPUSSY
11D. Perennial whose flowers are typically orange with black dots : TIGER LILY
35D. Source of some fluff : DANDELION
COMPLETION TIME: 05m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. "There Is Nothin' Like a ___" ("South Pacific" song) : DAME
The 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” is based on stories from the 1947 book “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener. “South Pacific” really is a classic show featuring some classic songs, like “Bali Ha’i”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Happy Talk”.

5. Per ___ (expense account amount) : DIEM
"Per diem" is the Latin for "by the day".

14. "Jeopardy!" host Trebek : ALEX
"Jeopardy" first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek has been host since 1984.

15. Pakistani tongue : URDU
Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

16. Idaho's capital : BOISE
Boise, Idaho is the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers named the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

17. Wright flight site : KITTY HAWK
Kitty Hawk is a town in North Carolina. The Wright brothers made the first powered airplane flight four miles south of Kitty Hawk, at the Kill Devil Hills.

21. River near the Pyramids : NILE
Depending on definition, the Nile is generally regarded as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for the peoples living along its length.

26. The "N" of PIN : NUMBER
Personal Identification Number (PIN).

28. Needing sign language, say : DEAF
It's really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

30. Garrison of "A Prairie Home Companion" : KEILLOR
The amazing humorist Garrison Keillor is one of Minnesota's most famous sons. Keillor's wonderful radio show called "A Prairie Home Companion" made its debut in 1974 and is named after the Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorhead, Minnesota. I actually have tickets to go see a taping of “A Prairie Home Companion” next month, a Christmas gift for my wife. I am very much looking forward to the event ...

33. Green gem : JADE
Jade is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

36. Cumberland ___ : GAP
The Cumberland Gap is a pass in the Appalachian Mountains, lying at the point where the three states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia meet. The pass was long used by Native Americans, before being discovered by explorer Thomas Walker in 1750. The path through the gap was widened by a team of loggers in 1775, and leading the work party was the American pioneer Daniel Boone.

39. Chicken ___ king : A LA
Chicken à la King is a dish made with diced chicken in a cream sauce served over rice or pasta. There are several claims about the origin of the dish, but the most credible (to me) is that it was created in the 1890s in the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia by the hotel’s chef William King.

40. Hospital diagnostic : CAT SCAN
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.

43. Genghis Khan, for one : MONGOL
Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire, destined to be the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world. He initially built his empire by uniting nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, but once Genghis Khan had consolidated his position he initiated Mongol invasions throughout Eurasia. At it's height, the Mongol Empire stretched from the River Danube to the Sea of Japan.

46. Beginner : TYRO
A tyro (also tiro) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which "tiro" means "a recruit".

51. Former Disney head Michael : EISNER
Michael Eisner took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 1984. Eisner has been attributed with turning Disney around, as the company was floundering really since 1966 when Walt Disney died. Eisner had a good run, but ran foul of Walt Disney's nephew Roy Disney who led a revolt that resulted in Eisner's resignation in 2005.

53. Wedge fractions in Trivial Pursuit : SIXTHS
Trivial Pursuit was invented in 1979 by two Canadians from Montreal. The pair decided to come up with their own game after they discovered that there were pieces missing from the game of Scrabble that they wanted to play. There was a full blown launch of a commercial version of the game in 1982. In 2008, Hasbro bought the complete rights to Trivial Pursuit, for US$80 million!

57. Cartoon frames : CELS
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the "cel" its name.

59. ___ club (singing group) : GLEE
A glee club is a choir group, usually of males, that sings short songs known as “glees”. A glee is a song scored for three or more voices that is performed unaccompanied.

62. Samuel on the Supreme Court : ALITO
Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

64. James Bond film involving a Fabergé egg : OCTOPUSSY
The title for the 13th James Bond film "Octopussy" actually came from an original story by the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming. However, the movie bears no resemblance to Fleming's 1966 short story "Octopussy and the Living Daylights". "Octopussy" was one of the Roger Moore Bond movies, his second to last.

Fabergé eggs are beautiful jeweled eggs made by the House of Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. The tradition of fabricating the eggs started when Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé to create a jeweled egg for his wife in 1885. After this, the House of Fabergé produced more and more elaborate designs, year after year.

Down
1. Senegal's capital : DAKAR
The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar, a city located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.

6. It's bordered by three countries with "-stan" in their names : IRAN
The countries of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan lie along Iran’s north and eastern borders.

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

7. Dickens's "The Mystery of ___ Drood" : EDWIN
“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. The story itself is centered not on the title character, but on Edwin Drood’s uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper.

8. Eskimo boot : MUKLUK
Mukluks are soft boots worn by Arctic peoples such as the Inuit and Yupik. The boots are made from reindeer skin or sealskin. The term “mukluk” come from the Yupik “maklak”, the word for “bearded seal”.

9. ___ Dhabi : ABU
Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

10. Institution in Ithaca, N.Y. : CORNELL
Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After Ezra retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

18. School where the Clintons met : YALE
President Bill Clinton was born not as a Clinton, but as William Jefferson Blythe. His father was killed in a car accident just three months before he was born. His mother remarried a few years later, to Roger Clinton. Bill didn’t formally adopt the Clinton name until he was fourteen years old, although he used it as he was growing up.

When Hillary Rodham Clinton was appointed US Secretary of State, she became the first former First Lady to serve in a president’s cabinet. Hillary met her husband, President Bill Clinton, when the two were studying at Yale law school.

33. Either side of a doorway : JAMB
A door jamb is the vertical portion of a door frame. The term "jamb" comes from the French word "jambe" meaning "leg".

34. ___ vera : ALOE
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

35. Source of some fluff : DANDELION
The name “dandelion” comes from the French “dent de lion” meaning “lion’s tooth”. The name is a reference to the coarse, tooth-like edges of a dandelion’s leaves.

37. Omega preceder : PSI
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

57. Cleveland b-ball team : CAVS
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970.

58. Kazan of Hollywood : ELIA
Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for "Gentleman's Agreement" and in 1955 for "On The Waterfront". In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass”, which included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

60. Sicilian mount : ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "There Is Nothin' Like a ___" ("South Pacific" song) : DAME
5. Per ___ (expense account amount) : DIEM
9. Misbehave : ACT UP
14. "Jeopardy!" host Trebek : ALEX
15. Pakistani tongue : URDU
16. Idaho's capital : BOISE
17. Wright flight site : KITTY HAWK
19. Impulses : URGES
20. "It's the end of ___" : AN ERA
21. River near the Pyramids : NILE
23. Hornets' home : NEST
24. Outcome : RESULT
26. The "N" of PIN : NUMBER
28. Needing sign language, say : DEAF
30. Garrison of "A Prairie Home Companion" : KEILLOR
33. Green gem : JADE
36. Cumberland ___ : GAP
38. Go over in one's imagination : RELIVE
39. Chicken ___ king : A LA
40. Hospital diagnostic : CAT SCAN
42. Was out front : LED
43. Genghis Khan, for one : MONGOL
45. Needing hospitalization, say : ILL
46. Beginner : TYRO
47. Place to sleep : BEDROOM
49. Barely run the engine : IDLE
51. Former Disney head Michael : EISNER
53. Wedge fractions in Trivial Pursuit : SIXTHS
57. Cartoon frames : CELS
59. ___ club (singing group) : GLEE
61. Aid for reaching the top shelf, maybe : STOOL
62. Samuel on the Supreme Court : ALITO
64. James Bond film involving a Fabergé egg : OCTOPUSSY
66. String quartet member : VIOLA
67. Dip, as a doughnut : DUNK
68. Film spool : REEL
69. Having a clearer head : SANER
70. Votes that are an anagram of 71-Across : YEAS
71. "No sweat!" : EASY

Down
1. Senegal's capital : DAKAR
2. Skirt style : A-LINE
3. Doles (out) : METES
4. Stick out : EXTRUDE
5. Dolt's response : DUH
6. It's bordered by three countries with "-stan" in their names : IRAN
7. Dickens's "The Mystery of ___ Drood" : EDWIN
8. Eskimo boot : MUKLUK
9. ___ Dhabi : ABU
10. Institution in Ithaca, N.Y. : CORNELL
11. Perennial whose flowers are typically orange with black dots : TIGER LILY
12. Avails oneself of : USES
13. Little brother, to an older sibling, say : PEST
18. School where the Clintons met : YALE
22. Green gems : EMERALDS
25. Follow behind : TAG ALONG
27. "Très ___" ("Very well," in French) : BIEN
29. Obese : FAT
31. Atop : OVER
32. Fresh take, informally : REDO
33. Either side of a doorway : JAMB
34. ___ vera : ALOE
35. Source of some fluff : DANDELION
37. Omega preceder : PSI
40. Dove sounds : COOS
41. 151, in old Rome : CLI
44. Hard-to-chew piece of meat : GRISTLE
46. Surface quality : TEXTURE
48. Tune : MELODY
50. Favor a "th" sound : LISP
52. Feed the same line : RE-CUE
54. Where navies go : TO SEA
55. Water carriers : HOSES
56. In a wily way : SLYLY
57. Cleveland b-ball team : CAVS
58. Kazan of Hollywood : ELIA
60. Sicilian mount : ETNA
63. It's dipped in the water : OAR
65. Allows : OKS

Return to top of page

The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

This is a great site! I "love" that I can get the history of the answers and improve my knowledge on such things.
Thanks for having it.

Bill Butler said...

Thank for stopping by, and leaving those kind words.

Drop back again soon!

Tell a Friend About NYTCrossword.com:

Facebook Twitter Google Email

Adsense Wide Skyscraper

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 everyday 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

Blog Archive