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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

0229-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Feb 12, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevan Choset
THEME: Broadway Musical … each of the theme answers is a common, two-word expression that begins with the name of a Broadway musical:
17A. Security desk at a Broadway theater? : RENT CONTROL
23A. Simian on a Broadway set? : GREASE MONKEY
37A. Understudy in a Broadway show? : HAIR REPLACEMENT
48A. Pessimistic Broadway investors? : CHICAGO BEARS
59A. Nighttime Broadway wardrobe? : CAT’S PAJAMAS
COMPLETION TIME: 13m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0228-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Feb 12, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Randall J. Hartman
THEME: THIRTEEN LETTERS … the wording of each and every clue int he puzzle is limited to just thirteen letters, and we are in formed of this fact in three answers in the grid itself:
20A. Hint - first part : EVERY SINGLE CLUE
41A. Hint's next part : IN THIS PUZZLE HAS
56A. Last of the hint : THIRTEEN LETTERS
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0227-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Feb 12, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bill Thompson
THEME: TALL to TULL … we have a vowel progression theme today. Each of the theme answers ends with a word in the format T*LL, with the second letter changing from the first vowel (A) through to the last (U), ignoring the “sometimes Y”:
17A. Exhibits pride : STANDS TALL
25A. Betray a lover's confidences : KISS AND TELL
37A. Symbol of embezzlement : HAND IN THE TILL
50A. E-ZPass pays it : HIGHWAY TOLL
60A. Group with the 1971 3x platinum album "Aqualung" : JETHRO TULL
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0226-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Feb 12, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Daniel A. Finan
THEME: Back to the Start … in order to make sense of each theme answer you have to take the first three letters of that answer and add them to the end:
23A. Aide for a V.I.P. customer : PERSONAL SHOP(PER)
25A. Multiple Grammy winner who was a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars" : TONI BRAX(TON)
35A. Prozac, for one : ANTI-DEPRESS(ANT)
59A. Freudian concept : PLEASURE PRINCI(PLE)
78A. Mountains, rivers, plains, etc. : PHYSICAL GEOGRA(PHY)
99A. Fancy salad ingredient : ARTICHOKE HE(ART)
117A. London transportation : UNDERGRO(UND)
119A. Marlon Brando film : ON THE WATERFR(ONT)
COMPLETION TIME: 33m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … TONI BRAX-TON (Lori Brax-lor!), GET (gel), BENET (beret)

0225-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Feb 12, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 42m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0224-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Feb 12, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 32m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0223-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Feb 12, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen
THEME: Around and Around … the theme answers are those at the edge of the grid, and each of them requires the word “around” added at the end in order for the clue to make sense:
46A. Word needed to be added to 12 appropriately placed answers in this puzzle for their clues to make sense : AROUND
1A. Pass quickly, as on a highway : SHOOT (around)
6A. Rummage : ROOT (around)
10A. Treat badly : JERK (around)
69A. Bandy, as ideas : KICK (around)
70A. Waste time : MESS (around)
71A. Act rowdily : HORSE (around)
1D. Get many price quotes : SHOP (around)
13D. Wander aimlessly : KNOCK (around)
27D. Change one's opinion : COME (around)
39D. Not be serious : FOOL (around)
49D. Linger : STICK (around)
61D. Search here and there : POKE (around)
COMPLETION TIME: 19m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … AUTH (auto!), THAN (to an!).

0222-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Feb 12, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Karen Young Bonin
THEME: Medieval Tournament … all of the theme answers are derived from well-known terms, and are answers relating to jousting. They’re kind of like puns, I guess:
20A. End of some medieval tournament action? : KNIGHTS GOING (from “nice going”)
27A. Weapons that hit in a medieval tournament? : CONTACT LANCES (from “contact lenses”)
48A. Really boring medieval tournaments? : LISTS WE FORGET (from “lest we forget”)
53A. Joking around at a medieval tournament? : JOUST KIDDING (from “just kidding”)
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0221-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Feb 12, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Caleb Madison
THEME: BEST PICTURE … each of the theme answers is someone associated with movie making. The first name of each person happens to be the name of a movie that won a Best Picture Oscar:
18A. "Platoon" director : “OLIVER” STONE
24A. Comedian who voiced the lead role in "Ratatouille" : “PATTON” OSWALT
38A. Tom Cruise's "Risky Business" co-star : “REBECCA” DE MORNAY
49A. Igor player in "Young Frankenstein" : “MARTY” FELDMAN
59A. What the starts of 18-, 24-, 38- and 49-Across each won : BEST PICTURE
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0220-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Feb 12, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Samuel A. Donaldson
THEME: PRESIDENTS DAY … all of the theme clues have the names of US Presidents hidden within the answer:
18A. *Some reddish-orange caviar : SAL(MON ROE)
23A. *Major road : TRAFFI(C ARTER)Y
31A. *Nancy Pelosi was the first person ever to have this title in Congress : M(ADAM S)PEAKER
40A. *Parliamentary procedure : RULES O(F ORD)ER
52A. February occasion, some of whose honorees can be found in the answers to the five starred clues : PRESIDENTS DAY
60A. *Really hunger for : LUS(T AFT)ER
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0219-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Feb 12, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: James F. C. Burns
THEME: Core O’Nations … there is a country name hidden within each of the theme answers:
21A. Show of affection : A H(UG AND A) KISS
102A. Place for produce stands : GAR(DEN MARK)ET
15D. Unofficial discussions : INFOR(MAL TA)LKS
26D. Trip up, perhaps : CAT(CHIN A) LIE
30D. Makes an extra effort : TAKE(S PAIN)S
44D. Sea salvager's quest, maybe : SUN(KEN YA)CHT
46D. Like always : AS (PER U)SUAL
50D. On the level : FA(IR AN)D SQUARE
COMPLETION TIME: 37m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0218-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Feb 12, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Ginsberg
THEME: UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS … There’s a note with this puzzle that reads, “This puzzle has two bonus answers in appropriate places. Can you find them?” in the middle of the gird there is a diagonal of black squares running upwards from left to right, somewhat like a staircase. The letters to the left/top of this “staircase” are UPSTAIRS, and the letters directly to the right/under the “staircase” are DOWNSTAIRS. Clever!
COMPLETION TIME: 45m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0217-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Feb 12, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 23m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0216-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Feb 12, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jim Page
THEME: MARGIN FOR ERROR … all of the answers around the MARGIN of the grid are words that mean ERROR:
21. With 29-/30-Across, wiggle room ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme : MARGIN
29. See 21-Across : FOR
30. See 21-Across : ERROR

1A. Goof : SLIP-UP
7A. Boo-boo : FLUFF
59A. Gaffe : BONER
60A. Screwup : HOWLER
15D. Misprint : TYPO
16D. Flub : FUMBLE
37D. Muff : MISCUE
45D. Pratfall : TRIP
COMPLETION TIME: 32m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0215-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Feb 12, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: TAKING THE STAIRS … the two theme answers are reasons to take the stairs, and the phrase “taking the stairs” appears in three “flights” of circled/shaded letters that climb up the middle of the grid:
3D. Possible reason for [see shaded letters] : BROKEN ELEVATORS
11D. Possible reason for [see shaded letters] : NEEDING EXERCISE
COMPLETION TIME: 13m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0214-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Feb 12, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paula Gamache
THEME: LATIN LOVER … one of the theme answers is AMOS AMAS AMAT, and the other three answers contain those same Latin words hidden between two words:
18A. Neighbor of Venice : SANT(A MO)NICA
28A. Cocktails made with Southern Comfort, sloe gin, amaretto and orange juice : ALAB(AMA S)LAMMERS
39A. With 42-Across, one who might memorize 64-Across? : LATIN
42A. See 39-Across : LOVER
49A. Perfect Sleeper and others : SERT(A MAT)TRESSES
64A. Classical trio found inside 18-, 28- and 49-Across : AMO AMAS AMAT
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0213-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Feb 12, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ellen Leuschner & Vic Fleming
THEME: “Doe” Sound Endings … each of the theme answers ends with a “doe” sound:
17A. It's kneaded at a bakery : BREAD DOUGH
23A. "Doonesbury" cartoonist : GARRY TRUDEAU
35A. Samuel Beckett play with an unseen character : WAITING FOR GODOT
47A. Vito Corleone portrayer : MARLON BRANDO
57A. 1954 Hitchcock thriller : REAR WINDOW
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0212-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 12, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kurt Mueller
THEME: Additional Reading … this is a rebus puzzle, with the word BOOK in some squares (represented by a square symbol in the my grid above):
21A. Send over some Bibles? : DELIVER THE GOOD (BOOK)S
33A. Dolt's football game plans? : PLAY(BOOK) FOR A FOOL
54A. The truth about a popular Internet community? : FACE(BOOK) REALITY
80A. Egotistical author's request to a reader? : (BOOK)MARK MY WORDS
89A. ___ T. (big name in 1960s music) : (BOOK)ER
98A. Avid reader : (BOOK)WORM
100A. Annual publications for burros? : DONKEYS YEAR(BOOK)S
117A. Dust cover made of 100% aluminum, perhaps? : FULL METAL (BOOK) JACKET
10D. Engage again for a gig : RE(BOOK)
13D. Aid for record-keeping at Mrs. Smith's? : APPLE PIE ORDER (BOOK)
17D. Like some flights : OVER(BOOK)ED
47D. Get together with your bet taker? : MEET ONE’S (BOOK)MAKER
57D. Sign the register : (BOOK) IN
61D. Ship's record : LOG(BOOK)
103D. Volume holder : (BOOK)SHELF
119D. Fill completely, in a way : (BOOK) UP
COMPLETION TIME: 55m 06s!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0211-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Feb 12, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe Krozel
THEME: Happy Saint Valentine’s Day!
COMPLETION TIME: 19m 57s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0210-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Feb 12, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk & Brad Wilber
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 39m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … ALEGAR (avegar), HELOT (hevot), JACQUARD LOOM (Macquard loom), JARS (mars!!)

0209-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Feb 12, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin G. Der
THEME: Hidden Seas … each of the theme answers contains the word SEA hidden inside, progressively moving to the right with each answer:
17. *Look for : (SEA)RCH OUT
21. *Entice with : U(SE A)S BAIT
28. *Drop one, say : LO(SE A) GAME
34. *July, for Major League Baseball : MID-(SEA)SON
44. *Doesn't worry : REST(S EA)SY
51. *It may bear a coat of arms : ROYAL (SEA)L
57. *View from Land's End : CELTIC (SEA)
COMPLETION TIME: 29m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … CHEEZ-IT (Chees-it), FRAZIER (Frasier)

0208-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Feb 12, Wednesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Lynn Lempel
THEME: An Extra S … all of the theme answers are common two-part terms, each with an S inserted after the first part:
17A. Throat lozenge for low-voiced opera stars? : BAS(S) RELIEF
25A. Cause of a sexual harassment complaint? : MID-AS(S) TOUCH
35A. Talk about pitchers and quarterbacks? : DISCUS(S) THROWERS
49A. Pub with no karaoke? : SINGLES(S) BAR
57A. Admission provider for a kissing booth? : BUS(S) TICKET
COMPLETION TIME: 15m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0207-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Feb 12, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mike Buckley
THEME: VANITY … each of the theme answers starts with a word that can be paired with VANITY:
50D. Unappealing personal trait ... or a word that can precede the start of 17-, 28-, 46- or 60-Across : VANITY
17A. Imagination, metaphorically : (VANITY) MIRROR OF THE MIND
28A. Investigator of family problems, say : (VANITY) CASE WORKER
46A. It's seen in shop windows : (VANITY) PLATE GLASS
60A. One who's favorably looked upon : (VANITY) FAIR-HAIRED CHILD
COMPLETION TIME: 15m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0206-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Feb 12, Monday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tom Pepper
THEME: Go, Go, Go … all of the theme answers start with the word “GO”:
17A. Split a bill evenly with someone : GO HALFSIES
39A. Flip out : GO CRAZY
62A. Leave the drawers in the drawer, say : GO COMMANDO
11D. Malfunction : GO HAYWIRE
35D. Fail financially : GO BELLY-UP
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0205-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Feb 12, Sunday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Charles M. Deber
THEME: State Annexation … each theme clue is linked to another answer in the grid which is combined with the two letter abbreviation for the state that is referred to in the clue by its state capitol. Complicated, but clever!
22A. 45-Down near Baton Rouge? : EXCITEMENT
45D. Basketball rim : HOOP(LA for Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

25A. 124-Across near Dover? : GARDEN TOOL
124A. Whirlpool : SPA(DE for Dover, Delaware)

38A. 117-Down near Salem? : OPERA SINGER
117D. Perfect rating : TEN(OR for Salem, Oregon)

58A. 1-Across near Hartford? : CONCENTRATE
1A. Superfluous : EXTRA(CT for Hartford, Connecticut)

78A. 114-Down near Boise? : SPLIT SECOND
114D. Hip-hop : RAP(ID for Boise, Idaho)

95A. 76-Down near Springfield? : PODDED PLANT
76D. Spring time : LENT(IL for Sringfield, Illinois)

111A. 61-Across near Phoenix? : BIRTHSTONE
61A. Blouse, e.g. : TOP(AZ for Phoenix, Arizona)

113A. 9-Across near Boston? : MORAL TENET
9A. Follow persistently : DOG(MA for Boston, Massachusetts)

33D. 6-Across near Indianapolis? : SMOOTH FABRIC
6A. Posed (for) : SAT(IN for Indianapolis, Indiana)

43D. 119-Across near Albany? : EASTER ANIMAL
119A. Cookout item : BUN(NY for Albany, New York)
COMPLETION TIME:24m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0204-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Feb 12, Saturday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brendan Emmett Quigley & Caleb Madison,
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME:35m 57s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … PARM (farm), PSY (Fsy!)

0203-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Feb 12, Friday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Kaplow
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME:19m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

0202-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Feb 12, Thursday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Stu Ockman
THEME: Confucian Aphorism … the puzzle contains a saying from Confucius:
17A. Start of a Confucian aphorism : REAL KNOWLEDGE IS
37A. Aphorism's middle : TO KNOW THE EXTENT
56A. Aphorism's end : OF ONE’S IGNORANCE
COMPLETION TIME: 41m 23s!!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

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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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