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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth 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

0123-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 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: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Celebrities, Initially … each of the themed answers is the name of a celebrity, with the clue containing the initials of that celebrity “disguised” as an acronym or 2-letter word:
19A. Po boy? : PETER O'TOOLE (P.O.)
29A. L.A. woman? : LAILA ALI (L.A.)
35A. In person? : ISAAC NEWTON (I.N.)
42A. P.R. man? : PAUL RYAN (P.R.)
52A. It girl? : IVANKA TRUMP (I.T.)
COMPLETION TIME: 16m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

13. Finito : OVER
"Finito" is the Italian word for "finished".

14. Balkan native : CROAT
The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

15. Jackie Robinson's alma mater : UCLA
The great Jackie Robinson was of course the first African-American to play in baseball’s Major League. When Robinson made his first MLB appearance, for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he did so in front of over 26,000 spectators. Well over half the crowd that day were African-Americans, there to witness the event. Major League Baseball universally retired Robinson’s number 42 in 1997. However, on the annual Jackie Robinson Day, all MLB players on all teams wear #42 in his honor.

17. 2003 OutKast hit that was #1 for nine weeks : HEY YA!
OutKast is a hip hop duo made up from rappers André 3000 and Big Boi.

18. Bumpkin : HICK
“Bumpkin” is really a not so nice term for someone from the country. The term has an even less nice derivation. It comes from from the Middle Dutch “bommekijn” meaning “little barrel”. “Bumpkin” was used as a derogatory term for Dutch people, who were regarded as short and plump.

19. Po boy? : PETER O'TOOLE (P.O.)
Irish actor Peter O'Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film "Lawrence of Arabia". But my favorite of O'Toole's movies is much lighter fare: "How to Steal a Million" in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn.

22. Female kangaroo : DOE
The name “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

23. With 24-Across, like Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story" : ONE
24. See 23-Across : ACT
Edward Albee's most famous play is "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Albee's first play, a one-acter, was "The Zoo Story".

25. Teen heartthrob Zac : EFRON
Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break was in the Disney hit movie “HIgh School Musical”.

29. L.A. woman? : LAILA ALI (L.A.)
Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali and is a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of "Dancing with the Stars".

32. N.L. team with a tomahawk in its logo : ATL
The Atlanta Braves are the only team to have won baseball's World Series in three different home cities. They won as the Boston Braves in 1914, the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

33. Notable 2012 Facebook event, for short : IPO
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

34. Artist Rembrandt van ___ : RIJN
The celebrated Dutch painter's full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (sometimes Ryn). Rembrandt is perhaps most appreciated for his portraits, and left the world a remarkable collection of self-portraits.

35. In person? : ISAAC NEWTON (I.N.)
Sir Isaac Newton was of course one of the most influential people in history, the man who laid the groundwork for all of classical mechanics. The story about an apple falling on his head, inspiring him to formulate his theories about gravity, well that's not quite true. Newton often told the story about observing an apple falling in his mother's garden and how this made him acutely aware of the Earth's gravitational pull. However, he made no mention of the apple hitting him on the head.

38. Obama education secretary Duncan : ARNE
Long before Arne Duncan became Secretary of Education he was a professional basketball player, but not in the NBA. He played for the National Basketball League of Australia, for the Eastside Spectres in Melbourne.

41. Chow line? : ARF
The Chow Chow (sometimes just “Chow”) is a breed of dog that originated in China. The Chinese name for the breed is “Songshi Quan”, which translates as “puffy-lion dog”, a rather apt name given its appearance …

42. P.R. man? : PAUL RYAN (P.R.)
Paul Ryan was the Republican nominee for Vice President in the 2012 election, on the ticket with Mitt Romney. Off the political stage, Ryan is famous for his fitness regime. He has shared that much of his motivation to work out and to watch his diet is because there is a history of heart attacks at an early age in his family.

48. Detergent brand : RINSO
Rinso was a laundry detergent first manufactured in England in 1908 by a company called Hudson's Soap. The detergent was introduced into the US in 1918. In America, Rinso took to radio advertising and sponsorship in the days of "soap operas". Rinso's most famous program association was with "The Amos 'n' Andy Show" in the forties. One of the brand's slogans was "Solium, the sunlight ingredient". I have no idea what Solium is, but it certainly did sell a lot of Rinso!

49. Apt name for a chef? : STU
Stu might make a great stew …

52. It girl? : IVANKA TRUMP (I.T.)
Ivanka Trump is the daughter of Ivana and Donald Trump. Ivanka is an Executive Vice President in her father’s company and acts as a judge alongside the Donald on the TV show “The Apprentice”.

57. Natl. Merit Scholarship earner's exam : PSAT
I think the acronym PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1955. The program governs two annual competitions for scholarships, one open to all students and one open to only African Americans.

60. Antioxidant berry : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

62. Steak cut : T-BONE
The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former (I think … I don’t eat meat!).

63. Scandal suffix : -GATE
The Watergate scandal is so named because it involved a break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The Watergate complex is made up of five units, three of which are apartment buildings, one an office building, and one a hotel-office building (which housed the DNC headquarters). Watergate led to the “-gate” suffix being used for many subsequent scandals.

Down
1. It might be shaken next to a field : POMPOM
The French call a ball made of tufted wool a "pompon", a word that we imported into English directly as "pompon". We use "pompon" to describe perhaps bobbles on some hats, or the tufted balls that are shaken by cheerleaders at sports events. Over time, the spelling "pompom" has become common in English, probably due to mishearing. To confuse matters a little, we also use the word "pom-pom", which is a nickname for a British autocannon used mainly as an anti-aircraft weapon, particularly during WWII.

2. Johnson & Johnson skin-care brand : AVEENO
Aveeno is a manufacturer of skin care and hair care products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat: “Avena sativa”.

5. "Rush Hour" director Ratner : BRETT
Brett Ratner is a Hollywood movie director. Ratner’s most famous films are probably the “Rush Hour” series, “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “Tower Heist”.

6. It has its ups and downs : YO-YO
Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. "Yo-yo" is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning "come-come" or simply "return".

7. Tuna salad ingredient : MAYO
Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” which we use in English today.

10. Environmental problem addressed in the Clean Air Act : ACID RAIN
Acid rain is any precipitation that is unusually acidic. The acidity in rain mainly comes from sulfur dioxide that is discharged into the atmosphere from industrial plants and volcanic eruptions.

11. Rapper on "NCIS: Los Angeles" : LL COOL J
Rap star LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith. His stage name stands for "Ladies Love Cool James".

14. Like many éclairs : CHOCOLATY
The name for the pastry known as an éclair is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious bakery item.

20. Guy in dreads, say : RASTA
I must admit that I don't really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a "Rasta", like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

28. Stands in a studio : EASELS
The word "easel" comes from an old Dutch word meaning "donkey" would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would carry its load.

30. Donkey Kong, e.g. : APE
The first video game featuring the ape called Donkey Kong was created in 1981. That first “Donkey Kong” game also introduced the world to the character known as “Mario”, four years before “Super Mario Bros” became such a big hit.

31. The Cyclones of the Big 12 : IOWA STATE
Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable events, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879.

36. "Homeland" org. : CIA
“Homeland” is a psychological drama shown on Showtime about a CIA officer who is convinced that a certain US Marine is a threat to the security of the United States. The show is based on a series from Israeli television called “Hatufim” (Prisoners of War”). I’m going to have to check this one out ...

38. Suitable : APROPOS
"Apropos" comes into English directly from French, in which "à propos" means "to the purpose". Note that we use the term as one word (apropos), but the original French is two words (à propos).

43. Person in un palais : ROI
In French, a king (roi) can be found in a palace (un palais).

54. "Mamma Mia!" group : ABBA
The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads, not so much …

56. Sauce brand : RAGU
The Ragu brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name " Ragù" is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is "Ragù" with a grave accent over the "u", but if you look at a jar of the Unilever sauce, it is spelled "Ragú" on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don't try ...

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Deal : PACT
5. "Fine ___" : BY ME
9. "Stop!," at a checkpoint : HALT
13. Finito : OVER
14. Balkan native : CROAT
15. Jackie Robinson's alma mater : UCLA
16. It might start with "Starters" : MENU
17. 2003 OutKast hit that was #1 for nine weeks : HEY YA!
18. Bumpkin : HICK
19. Po boy? : PETER O'TOOLE (P.O.)
22. Female kangaroo : DOE
23. With 24-Across, like Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story" : ONE
24. See 23-Across : ACT
25. Teen heartthrob Zac : EFRON
27. To a greater extent : MORE SO
29. L.A. woman? : LAILA ALI (L.A.)
32. N.L. team with a tomahawk in its logo : ATL
33. Notable 2012 Facebook event, for short : IPO
34. Artist Rembrandt van ___ : RIJN
35. In person? : ISAAC NEWTON (I.N.)
38. Obama education secretary Duncan : ARNE
40. Draw : TIE
41. Chow line? : ARF
42. P.R. man? : PAUL RYAN (P.R.)
44. Pushover : SOFTIE
48. Detergent brand : RINSO
49. Apt name for a chef? : STU
50. Turn-___ : ONS
51. Not funny anymore : OLD
52. It girl? : IVANKA TRUMP (I.T.)
57. Natl. Merit Scholarship earner's exam : PSAT
59. Give or take : ABOUT
60. Antioxidant berry : ACAI
61. Lucky Charms ingredients : OATS
62. Steak cut : T-BONE
63. Scandal suffix : -GATE
64. Rung : STEP
65. Went under : SANK
66. Quelques-___ (some: Fr.) : UNES

Down
1. It might be shaken next to a field : POM-POM
2. Johnson & Johnson skin-care brand : AVEENO
3. Tallest member of a basketball team, often : CENTER
4. "You make a good point" : TRUE
5. "Rush Hour" director Ratner : BRETT
6. It has its ups and downs : YO-YO
7. Tuna salad ingredient : MAYO
8. List ender : ET AL
9. "Come again?" : HUH?
10. Environmental problem addressed in the Clean Air Act : ACID RAIN
11. Rapper on "NCIS: Los Angeles" : LL COOL J
12. Fooled : TAKEN IN
14. Like many éclairs : CHOCOLATY
20. Guy in dreads, say : RASTA
21. Pickled delicacy : EEL
26. Way in the distance : FAR OFF
28. Stands in a studio : EASELS
29. Fourth-anniversary gift : LINEN
30. Donkey Kong, e.g. : APE
31. The Cyclones of the Big 12 : IOWA STATE
35. Overwhelm : INUNDATE
36. "Homeland" org. : CIA
37. Rainbow ___ : TROUT
38. Suitable : APROPOS
39. Harangues : RAILS AT
43. Person in un palais : ROI
45. Amazon flier : TOUCAN
46. Cell body : INMATE
47. Spots : ESPIES
49. One raising a stink? : SKUNK
53. Tanks : VATS
54. "Mamma Mia!" group : ABBA
55. When shadows are shortest : NOON
56. Sauce brand : RAGU
58. Recipe amt. : TSP

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

New Comprehensive A-Z Crosword Dictionary says female kangaroo is GIN. But I understand DOE better.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there.

Thanks for sharing that definition of GIN as a female kangaroo. That's isn't a usage I'd heard before. I have heard of GIN being used as an insulting and racist term for an indiginous Australian woman, and that may be related somehow.

A quick check of Wikipedia shows:

Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers, jacks, or old men; females are does, flyers, or jills, and the young ones are joeys

Lots of crossword possibilities there!

Thanks for stopping by.

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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.

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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