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0109-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 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 Ben-Merre
THEME: Did or Didn’t … today’s themed answers can have two meanings, one figurative and one literal, both of which are cleverly woven together in the clue as opposites:
18A. Did or didn't agree to end the illustrators' strike? : DREW A LINE
20A. Did or didn't dilute the prom bowlful? : ADDED PUNCH
33A. Did or didn't perform a New Year's ceremony? : DROPPED THE BALL
40A. Did or didn't surpass a D.J.'s mark for accident-free days? : BROKE THE RECORD
54A. Did or didn't play a good round of golf? : SHOT SUBPAR
60A. Did or didn't participate in the Boy Scouts outing? : TOOK A HIKE
COMPLETION TIME: 07m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Essential ___ acid : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

15. Siesta : NAP
We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, taking the word from the Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at “the sixth hour” after dawn.

16. Big name in rental trucks : RYDER
The Ryder company was founded in 1933 in Miami, Florida by James Ryder. It started out as a concrete hauling company, but changed its focus a few years later to the leasing of trucks.

17. Plant used as ground cover : VINCA
Vinca is a plant genus with six species all native to Europe, Africa and Asia. They are vine-like in their growing behavior, and the name "vinca" comes from the Latin "vincire" meaning "to bind".

20. Did or didn't dilute the prom bowlful? : ADDED PUNCH
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.

The drink we call “punch” can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, but usually contains some fruit juice and/or fruit. The original “punch” was served in India, and the name comes from the Hindi word “panch” meaning “five”. This name was used because the traditional drink had “five” ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water and tea or spices.

24. Suffix with Marx : -ISM
Marxism is the political and economic philosophy espoused by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the mid-to-late 1800s. The main tenet of Marxism is that bourgeois suppression of lower classes in a capitalistic society inevitably leads to a socialist and ultimately classless society.

30. Apr. workhorse : CPA
Back in 1913, “Tax Day” was March 1st, and this was moved to March 15th in 1918. We’ve been filing returns by April 15th since 1955.

33. Did or didn't perform a New Year's ceremony? : DROPPED THE BALL
The famous New Year’s Eve ball-dropping tradition in Times Square, New York started on January 1st 1908. The original time ball was lit with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs and was dropped at one second after midnight. A fifth version of the ball was introduced in 2008 for the centennial anniversary of the ceremony. The 2008 ball was built by Waterford Crystal and was lit by 9,567 LED bulbs that consumed the same amount of power as ten electric toasters. The current ball was used for the first time in 2009, and is double the size of the 2008 ball at 12 feet in diameter. The ball now sits atop Times Square year round, so you can go see it next time you are in town …

37. Butt out? : MOON
The first recorded mooning incident took place in 66 AD during the First Roman-Jewish War. Roman soldiers decided to moon Jewish pilgrims as they traveled to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

38. Org. based in Langley, Va. : CIA
The CIA headquarters is located in Langley, Virginia in a complex called the George Bush Center for Intelligence, named for former Director of the CIA and US President George H. W. Bush.

39. Fox talent show, for short : IDOL
"American Idol" is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show "Pop Idol". I can't abide either program(me) ...

40. Did or didn't surpass a D.J.'s mark for accident-free days? : BROKE THE RECORD
The world's first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

48. Part of a terza rima rhyme scheme : ABA
The Italian poet Dante invented the terza rima rhyming scheme. It has a chain rhyming pattern and so has the format ABA, BCB, CDC etc. Dante introduced terza rima in his epic poem called "Divine Comedy".

49. Corner Monopoly square : JAIL
The street names in the US version of Monopoly are thoroughfares in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

51. Gem for some Libras : OPAL
Here is the "official" list of birthstones by month that we tend to use today:
January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl or Moonstone
July: Ruby
August: Sardonyx or Peridot
September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

62. Dinero : MOOLA
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dinero, dough and moola (also moolah) are all slang terms for money.

63. With 44-Down, features of some Greek architecture : IONIC
44D. See 63-Across : COLUMNS
An Ionic column is relatively ornate. It usually has grooves running up and down its length and at the top there is a "scroll" design called a "volute". The scroll design make Ionic columns popular for the design of academic buildings.

66. Ream unit : SHEET
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since that standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a "short ream".

Down
1. Source of pumice : LAVA
Pumice is volcanic rock that is formed by lava cooling, but with bubbles in it due to water and carbon dioxide frothing out of the lava as it cools. Because of the frothy structure, pumice is relatively light and is a great thermal insulator. As such, it is used in construction to make insulating breeze blocks.

6. Pakistan's chief river : INDUS
The Indus river rises in Tibet and flows through the length of Pakistan and empties into the Arabian Sea, the part of the Indian Ocean lying to the west of the Indian subcontinent. The Indus gives its name to the country of India as "India" used to be the name of the region (which paradoxically is now in modern-day Pakistan) along the eastern banks of the river.

9. Disco ___ (1970s) : ERA
Discotheques started up during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) was banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques where records were often played on just a single turntable. After the war, these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called "Whiskey a Gogo". In that Paris disco, non-stop music was played using two turntables next to a dance-floor, and this concept spread around the world.

10. Woody tissue : XYLEM
Xylem is a vascular tissue in many plants, the function of which is to transport water and some nutrients. It is xylem tissue that makes up what we know as wood.

28. Honky-___ : TONK
A honky-tonk is a bar with musical entertainment, usually country music. The etymology of the term “honky-tonk” seems unclear.

29. Sirius, e.g. : STAR
When you look up at the night sky, the brightest star you can see is Sirius. Sirius appears so bright to us because it is relatively close to the Earth. Sirius is commonly known as the "Dog Star" because it can be seen in the constellation Canis Major, the "Big Dog".

30. Core group : CADRE
A "cadre" is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. "Cadre" is a French word meaning a "frame". We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a "framework" for the larger organization.

34. Lover of Narcissus : ECHO
In Greek mythology, Echo is one of the Oreads, the mountain nymphs. Echo fell in love with the vain Narcissus, and followed him into the forest one day. Narcissus heard her following him and called out, "Who's there?". Echo answered, "Who's there?" Again he called out, and again Echo echoed his words back to him. Get the gist?

35. Thing with pips : DIE
As we all know, the numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. Now, there are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting ...

37. Wall St. hire : MBA
The world's first MBA degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

43. Bush 41 and Bush 43, for two : ELIS
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

48. DTs sufferer, for short : ALKIE
The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called Delirium Tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is "trembling madness".

50. Mr. T TV group : A-TEAM
“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard, ably assisted by Mr. T and Robert Vaughan.

Mr. T's real name is Laurence Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie "Rocky III". In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, "No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool". He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called "I Pity the Fool", and produced a motivational video called "Be Somebody ... or Be Somebody's Fool!".

51. Singer Redding : OTIS
Otis Redding is often referred to as the "King of Soul", and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Just three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay".

52. Milne's bear : POOH
Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author best known for his delightful "Winnie-the-Pooh" series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin's real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

58. On the sheltered side : ALEE
"Alee" is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing "aweather".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Repair bill segment : LABOR
6. They may be checked at the door : IDS
9. Have being : EXIST
14. Essential ___ acid : AMINO
15. Siesta : NAP
16. Big name in rental trucks : RYDER
17. Plant used as ground cover : VINCA
18. Did or didn't agree to end the illustrators' strike? : DREW A LINE
20. Did or didn't dilute the prom bowlful? : ADDED PUNCH
22. Whirling water : EDDY
23. Rumple, as hair : MUSS
24. Suffix with Marx : -ISM
26. Like the base-8 number system : OCTAL
29. Dean's domain: Abbr. : SCH
30. Apr. workhorse : CPA
33. Did or didn't perform a New Year's ceremony? : DROPPED THE BALL
37. Butt out? : MOON
38. Org. based in Langley, Va. : CIA
39. Fox talent show, for short : IDOL
40. Did or didn't surpass a D.J.'s mark for accident-free days? : BROKE THE RECORD
45. Set, as a price : ASK
46. Pal : BRO
47. Earns the booby prize : LOSES
48. Part of a terza rima rhyme scheme : ABA
49. Corner Monopoly square : JAIL
51. Gem for some Libras : OPAL
54. Did or didn't play a good round of golf? : SHOT SUBPAR
60. Did or didn't participate in the Boy Scouts outing? : TOOK A HIKE
62. Dinero : MOOLA
63. With 44-Down, features of some Greek architecture : IONIC
64. Pro vote : YEA
65. Zaps, in the kitchen : NUKES
66. Ream unit : SHEET
67. Ready for war : ARM
68. High, pricewise : STEEP

Down
1. Source of pumice : LAVA
2. In the thick of : AMID
3. Tight spot : BIND
4. In a past life : ONCE
5. Item in a gas station kiosk : ROADMAP
6. Pakistan's chief river : INDUS
7. Works on socks, say : DARNS
8. Design detail, briefly : SPEC
9. Disco ___ (1970s) : ERA
10. Woody tissue : XYLEM
11. Reply of confirmation : I DID
12. E-mail command : SEND
13. Long basket, in hoops lingo : TREY
19. "This or that?" : WHICH
21. Orange juice option : PULP
25. Cow or sow : SHE
26. Landfill emanations : ODORS
27. Shepherd's aid : CROOK
28. Honky-___ : TONK
29. Sirius, e.g. : STAR
30. Core group : CADRE
31. Moves laboriously : PLODS
32. Detergent brand : ALL
34. Lover of Narcissus : ECHO
35. Thing with pips : DIE
36. Head shot accompaniers, maybe : BIOS
37. Wall St. hire : MBA
41. Fall back : EBB
42. Wreck, as a hotel room : TRASH
43. Bush 41 and Bush 43, for two : ELIS
44. See 63-Across : COLUMNS
48. DTs sufferer, for short : ALKIE
49. One of a deck pair : JOKER
50. Mr. T TV group : A-TEAM
51. Singer Redding : OTIS
52. Milne's bear : POOH
53. Super-duper : A-ONE
55. Casual greeting : HIYA
56. Ring contest : BOUT
57. Elbow : POKE
58. On the sheltered side : ALEE
59. Stereotypical mobster's voice : RASP
61. Insincere display : ACT

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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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