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Greetings from Dromod, County Leitrim in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

0102-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Jan 13, Wednesday





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: David Steinberg
THEME: Fruit Loops … today’s grid includes several circled letters arranged in LOOPS, and each LOOP spells out the name of a fruit:
1A. With 71-Across, breakfast choice ... or a punny hint to this puzzle's theme : FROOT
71A. See 1-Across : LOOPS

- WATERMELON
- BANANA
- PAPAYA
- CHERRY
- ORANGE
- CANTALOUPE
COMPLETION TIME: 14m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. With 71-Across, breakfast choice ... or a punny hint to this puzzle's theme : FROOT
71. See 1-Across : LOOPS
Froot Loops (ugh!) is a breakfast cereal from Kellogg's that has been around since 1963. The little loops come in different colors, originally red, orange and yellow, but now there are green, purple and blue loops as well. Notice I said "different colors" not "different flavors". Each loop tastes the same, so I wonder where the color comes from ...?

6. River in a 1957 hit movie : KWAI
The river referred to in the movie (and novel) "The Bridge on the River Kwai" is actually called the Khwae Yai River, and is in western Thailand. The original novel by Pierre Boulle was published in French in 1952, and the wonderful movie released in 1957. Both tell the story of construction of part of the Burma Railway and a bridge over the river, using prisoners of war as laborers. The film stars William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.

10. SALT topic : ICBM
An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (as opposed to a cruise missile) an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater that 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff ...

There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between the US and the Soviet Union, and two resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II). The opening round of SALT I talks were held in Helsinki as far back as 1970.

14. Singer/actress Luft : LORNA
Lorna Luft is an actress and singer. She is the half-sister of Liza Minnelli as she is the daughter of Judy Garland and Garland's third husband Sid Luft.

15. Boss Tweed lampooner : NAST
Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. He was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party's donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today.

William Magear Tweed was known as "Boss" Tweed. He was a 19th-century, American politician who led the Democratic Party machine in New York, headquartered in Tammany Hall. He was one of the most successful of the corrupt politicians of the day, siphoning from taxpayers (in today's money) billions of dollars. In 1871 he was arrested, and served time in jail. He was then rearrested on civil charges and served time in debtor's prison. He managed to escape to Spain, but was arrested once more and extradited to the United States. He died in jail in 1878.

16. ___ avis : RARA
A rara avis is anything that is very rare, and is Latin for "rare bird".

17. Midwest hub : O’HARE
O'Hare International is the fourth busiest airport in the world. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport's current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O'Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward O'Hare who grew up in Chicago. O'Hare was the US Navy's first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII. As an aside, Edward O'Hare's father was a lawyer for Al Capone who helped get the famous gangster convicted on tax evasion.

24. "Lawrence of Arabia" figure : MOSLEM
"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.

28. Angel dust, briefly : PCP
Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as PCP or “angel dust”.

32. "Amo, amas, I love ___" : A LASS
“Amo, Amas” is a lyrical poem by Irish writer, actor and dramatist John O’Keefe.

43. Hot desert wind : SANTA ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city. The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically "falls" down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

45. Yankees manager before Girardi : TORRE
As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I'd guess that was quite a thrill for him ...

47. F.D.A.-banned diet pill ingredient : EPHEDRA
Ephedra is a plant extract used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of asthma and hay fever. Ephedra was banned by the FDA in 2004 as its use has been linked to many fatalities.

50. Thrice, on an Rx : TER
"Ter" is the Latin word for "three", commonly used in the medical world on prescriptions as part of the expression "ter in die". "Ter in die" is Latin for "three times a day", abbreviated to "TID". "Bis in die" (BID) would be twice a day, and "quater in die" (QID) would be four times a day.

51. With 35-Down, fictional heroine who says "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me" : JANE
35D. See 51-Across : EYRE
"Jane Eyre" is of course the novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I've shared here on my blogs that the "Jane Eyre" story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

53. Augustus ___ : CAESAR
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (often called Octavian) was the adopted son of Gaius Julius Caesar. After Julius Caesar was assassinated, Octavian came to power in Rome and teamed up with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in what was called the Second Triumvirate. When the triumvirate fell apart, especially after Antony’s defeat at Actium, Octavian became more powerful within the Roman Republic. Several years later he wrested sufficient power from the Roman Senate to end the Republic and begin the Roman Empire. As the first Emperor of Rome, Octavian was given the name Caesar Augustus.

55. Hit for Guy Lombardo in 1937 and Jimmy Dorsey in 1957 : SO RARE
“So Rare” is a song that first became popular with a recording by Guy Lombardo in 1937. "So Rare" became a major hit for Jimmy Dorsey twenty years later, in 1957.

62. Auden or Aiken : POET
The noted poet W. H. Auden was born and raised in England, but eventually became a US citizen. As well as hundreds of poems, Auden also wrote librettos for operas, including Igor Stravinsky's “The Rake’s Progress”.

Conrad Aiken was a novelist and poet. Aiken was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1950.

67. Layer of the eye : UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

68. Singers James and Jones : ETTAS
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song "At Last". Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

Etta Jones was a jazz singer, sometimes known as the "jazz musician's jazz singer". Because she has a similar name to Etta James, Jones was often confused with the more popular singer. Jones never really had any huge commercial success though, despite the respect that she engendered within the inner sanctums of the jazz world.

70. Meal for a weevil : BOLL
A boll is a seed-bearing capsule of some plants, particularly flax and cotton.

A weevil is a small beetle, known for the damage that it can do to crops. The boll weevil damages cotton plants by laying eggs inside cotton bolls. The young weevils then eat their way out.

Down
1. Dona ___ (1976 Sonia Braga role) : FLOR
“Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands” is a Brazilian comedy film released in 1976, starring Sonia Braga. The movie was remade in English in 1982 under the title “Kiss Me Goodbye”, and starred Sally Field.

Sonia Braga achieved fame in her native Brazil playing the title role in the movie "Gabriela". There followed roles in American films such as "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "The Milagro Beanfield War". She has also played in the Portuguese version of "Desperate Housewives".

2. Architect Mies van der ___ : ROHE
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect who was routinely referred to simply as "Mies". I am a philistine, I know, but Mies' buildings look very plain to me. However, he did come up with two far-from-plain sayings: "less is more" and "God is in the details".

5. Billy Blanks fitness system : TAE BO
Tae Bo isn't an ancient martial art, and rather was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s. The discipline was introduced by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of "taekwondo" and "boxing".

8. Talking with one's hands: Abbr. : ASL
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.

9. Roman road : ITER
“Iter” is the Latin for “road”.

12. Jones once of the Stones : BRIAN
Even though Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been the driving force behind the Rolling Stones for decades, they didn't start the group. The band was the idea of guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, and it was he who invited Richards and Jagger to join, as well as Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts to make an original lineup of six band members. Jones called the band "Rollin' Stone" back then in 1962, named for the song by Muddy Waters. Jones was the leader, manager and decision maker for the first few years until songs written by Richards and Jagger became hits and he started to lose artistic control. In 1967, Jones was arrested for drug possession, and again in 1968. When his trouble with the law prevented him from getting a US work visa, Jones wasn't able to accompany the Stones on a 1969 US tour. That was the last straw, it seems, and Jones and the Stones parted company. Famously, one month later, Jones was found dead, at the bottom of his swimming pool.

21. Tikkanen of hockey : ESA
Esa Tikkanen is a retired hockey player from Finland. He was on the winning team in five Stanley Cup finals, between 1985 to 1994.

23. Newsgroup system since 1980 : USENET
Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in "newsgroups"? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it's still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms "FAQ" and "spam" were both born on Usenet.

25. Erik of "CHiPs" : ESTRADA
Erik Estrada got his big break in the movie "Airport 1975", before playing Poncherello on the television show “CHiPs” from 1977-81.

29. ___ Crunch : CAP'N
The first Cap'n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, the same year the product line was launched. The Cap'n's full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe?. Crunch's voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.

31. Bosox nickname of old : YAZ
Yaz was the nickname for Carl Yastrzemski who played his whole career with the Boston Red Sox.

33. Melodramatic series, in slang : SOAPER
As almost everyone knows, the original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason, the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that's how the "soap" opera got its name ...

36. Mystery author John Dickson ___ : CARR
John Dickson Carr was an American author of crime fiction. Carr's most famous work is "The Hollow Man" published in 1935, a so-called "locked room mystery" in which two murders are committed in apparently impossible circumstances. "The Hollow Man" was selected in 1981 as the best "locked room mystery" of all time.

40. Morse unit : DAH
A “dah” or "dash" is Morse code for the letter “T”.

Samuel Morse was a very accomplished and reputable painter (he was engaged to paint a portrait of President John Adams, for example). In 1825 Morse was in Washington working on a commissioned painting when he received a one-line letter by horse messenger telling him that his wife was ill. He left immediately for his home in New Haven, Connecticut but by the time that Morse arrived his wife had already died and had been buried. This single event spurred him to move from painting to the development of a rapid means of long distance communication, leading to the single-wire telegraph and Morse code.

41. 10 sawbucks : ONE C
"Sawbuck" is slang for a ten dollar bill. The term was applied to the bill as the Roman numeral X (ten) resembles the end of sawhorse.

44. The Ricardos, to the Mertzes : TENANTS
In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends were also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertz’s were played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

46. Italian city that is the title setting of a Walpole novel : OTRANTO
Otranto is a coastal city in the very southeast of Italy (in the “heel”). There is a lighthouse just a few miles southeast of Otranto that is the most easterly point in the whole country.

“The Castle of Otranto” is a novel by Horace Walpole published in 1764. “The Castle of Otranto” is believed by many to be the first in the gothic novel genre. That’s a genre that personally I could do without …

48. Prom tux, usually : RENTAL
The style of men's evening dress called a "tuxedo" was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them just "formals" over in Ireland). The term "prom" is short for promenade, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

49. Japan's largest active volcano : ASO
Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan and is found on the island of Kyushu.

51. Actress Pflug : JO ANN
Jo Ann Pflug was co-host of "Candid Camera" in the seventies, along with Allen Funt. In 1971 she married celebrated game show host Chuck Woolery, although the marriage only lasted ten years.

52. Pianist Claudio : ARRAU
Claudio Arrau was a greatly respected Chilean pianist who performed for much of the twentieth century until his death in 1991. Arrau left Chile to study in Germany where he lived for many years, having married a German opera singer. During WWII, Arrau and his family left Germany and settled in the New York City.

54. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
As an amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

55. ___ lily : SEGO
The Sego Lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

56. Digital book file extension : EPUB
EPUB is a standard format used in the publishing of e-books. Books in the EPUB file format have the extension ".epub".

58. ___-Rooter : ROTO
The "Roto-Rooter" is an invention of Samuel Oscar Blanc. Blanc came up with the idea in 1933 after having to deal with a sewer line in his son's apartment that was blocked with roots from a tree, a common problem. He put together his first version of the device using a washing machine motor, roller skate wheels and a steel cable. The "rotating rooter" snaked down the sewer line, and rotating blades at the tip of the cable cut through the troublesome roots. Blanc sold his machine for decades to people who set up their own drain clearing businesses. In 1980 the Blanc family sold the Roto-Rooter company to a Cincinnati concern that started buying up independent franchises that used the Roto-Rooter to create the national service with which we are familiar today. Oh, and my advice is, save yourself the cost of the service call and just rent a machine. That's what I do ...

60. Gershwin opera heroine : BESS
“Porgy and Bess” is an opera with music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and libretto by DuBose Heyward. The storyline of the opera is based on the novel “Porgy” written by DuBose Heyward and and wife Dorothy. “Porgy and Bess” was first performed in 1935, in New York City, but really wasn’t accepted as legitimate opera until 1976 after a landmark production by the Houston Grand Opera. The most famous song from the piece is of course the wonderful “Summertime”.

64. Fish contained in unadon : EEL
Unadon is the Japanese word for "eel bowl". Unadon is actually a contraction of "unagi no kabayaki" (grilled eel) and "donburi" (rice bowl dish).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. With 71-Across, breakfast choice ... or a punny hint to this puzzle's theme : FROOT
6. River in a 1957 hit movie : KWAI
10. SALT topic : ICBM
14. Singer/actress Luft : LORNA
15. Boss Tweed lampooner : NAST
16. ___ avis : RARA
17. Midwest hub : O’HARE
18. Eye : OGLE
19. Words after "come" or "go" : ON IN
20. Mark down for a sale, say : RELABEL
22. Model's path : RUNWAY
24. "Lawrence of Arabia" figure : MOSLEM
27. Spotted : SEEN
28. Angel dust, briefly : PCP
30. Ore tester : ASSAYER
32. "Amo, amas, I love ___" : A LASS
34. Cut crosswise : TRANSECT
38. Slangy affirmative : YEP
39. Make scents of? : ODORIZE
42. Cry of derision : YAH!
43. Hot desert wind : SANTA ANA
45. Yankees manager before Girardi : TORRE
47. F.D.A.-banned diet pill ingredient : EPHEDRA
50. Thrice, on an Rx : TER
51. With 35-Down, fictional heroine who says "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me" : JANE
53. Augustus ___ : CAESAR
55. Hit for Guy Lombardo in 1937 and Jimmy Dorsey in 1957 : SO RARE
57. Jewish or Iranian, e.g. : NON-ARAB
61. Make : EARN
62. Auden or Aiken : POET
65. [Bo-o-oring!] : SNORE
66. Swarm member : GNAT
67. Layer of the eye : UVEA
68. Singers James and Jones : ETTAS
69. Hard thing to carry : ONUS
70. Meal for a weevil : BOLL
71. See 1-Across : LOOPS

Down
1. Dona ___ (1976 Sonia Braga role) : FLOR
2. Architect Mies van der ___ : ROHE
3. Like much folklore : ORAL
4. Things that lead to mergers? : ON-RAMPS
5. Billy Blanks fitness system : TAE BO
6. Small hills : KNOLLS
7. Tail movement : WAG
8. Talking with one's hands: Abbr. : ASL
9. Roman road : ITER
10. Laundry staff : IRONERS
11. Request for group permission : CAN WE?
12. Jones once of the Stones : BRIAN
13. Oodles : MANY
21. Tikkanen of hockey : ESA
23. Newsgroup system since 1980 : USENET
25. Erik of "CHiPs" : ESTRADA
26. Husband, in France : MARI
28. "No more!," e.g. : PLEA
29. ___ Crunch : CAP'N
31. Bosox nickname of old : YAZ
32. Sorrowful cries : AYS
33. Melodramatic series, in slang : SOAPER
35. See 51-Across : EYRE
36. Mystery author John Dickson ___ : CARR
37. Everyday article : THE
40. Morse unit : DAH
41. 10 sawbucks : ONE C
44. The Ricardos, to the Mertzes : TENANTS
46. Italian city that is the title setting of a Walpole novel : OTRANTO
48. Prom tux, usually : RENTAL
49. Japan's largest active volcano : ASO
51. Actress Pflug : JO ANN
52. Pianist Claudio : ARRAU
54. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
55. ___ lily : SEGO
56. Digital book file extension : EPUB
58. ___-Rooter : ROTO
59. Give ___ (care) : A RAP
60. Gershwin opera heroine : BESS
63. Egg head? : OVO-
64. Fish contained in unadon : EEL

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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.

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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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