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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! We had probably the last hike of our trip this morning (strenuous, past beautiful alpine lakes), and then opted for vegging out by the pool for a change this afternoon. Almost home ...

Bill

0209-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Feb 13, Saturday





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: Peter Wentz
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 40m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Setting for part of "A Tale of Two Cities" : BASTILLE
The Bastille is a former fortress in Paris that was used as a prison by the kings of France. On 14 July 1789 an angry mob stormed the Bastille during the French Revolution. The mob was actually after the stores of gunpowder in the fortress, and while inside the building freed seven prisoners and killed the Bastille’s governor. The storming of the Bastille became a symbol of the French Revolution and has been celebrated in France on every July 14th since 1790.

"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens is the most printed book that was originally written in English. The "two cities" referred to in the title are of course London and Paris.

15. Aces, with "the" : CAT’S MEOW
Something described as “the cat’s meow” is particularly fine, the best. The term was popularized and perhaps coined by Tad Dorgan, a cartoonist active in the early 20th century.

20. Psychologist Alfred : BINET
The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.

24. High, in a way : ON POT
“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

25. Its positions are labeled North, South, East and West : MAHJONGG
"Mahjong" (also mahjongg and mah-jongg) is the Chinese word for "sparrow". Mahjong is a game that originated in China, and is usually played by four players. There is a myth that the game was developed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The myth also suggests that Confucius was fond of birds, and hence chose the name "sparrow".

29. Number of Planeten : ACHT
In German, there are eight (acht) planets (Planeten) in the Solar System.

32. Funny Margaret : CHO
Margaret Cho is a very successful stand-up comedian, but she is also a fashion designer with her own line of clothing. Cho also acts, and you might have seen her in the John Travolta/Nicholas Cage movie "Face/Off" in which she played John Travolta's FBI colleague.

35. Microwaveable food brand : HOT POCKETS
Hot Pockets were introduced in the seventies by brothers David and Paul Merage. Hot Pockets are microwaveable turnovers filled with cheese, meat or vegetables.

37. Centimeter-gram-second unit : DYNE
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. "Erg" comes from the Greek word "ergon" meaning "work". A dyne is a unit of force. The name "dyne" comes from the Greek "dynamis" meaning "power, force". Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

39. Union V.I.P. : MEADE
George Meade was a career army officer with a depth of experience in civil and military operations even before the onset of the Civil War. During the war he rose to the level of commander of the Army of the Potomac, and is best remembered for leading the Union forces that defeated General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg in 1863.

40. One might be performed en avant : JETE
A jeté is a leap in ballet, coming from the French word "jeter" meaning "to throw". A jeté en avant is a “leap to the front”, towards the audience.

42. Country music's Carter : DEANA
Deana Carter is a country singer from Nashville, Tennessee. Carter’s first album was a big seller, and was called “Did I Shave My Legs for This?”

44. Architectural base : PLINTH
A plinth is a block on which a column is based. The Greek word "plinthos" means "squared stone".

46. Film hero chasing a motorcycle gang : MAD MAX
“Mad Max” is a series of Australian movies starring Mel Gibson in the title role. Well, Gibson played the lead in the first three films and Tom Hardy plays Max in the fourth movie, which is currently in production.

52. ___ Puffs : REESE’S
Reese’s Puffs is a breakfast cereal made from corn puffs that are flavored with Reese’s peanut butter and Hershey’s chocolate.

53. Target of thrown bricks, in early comics : KRAZY KAT
"Krazy Kat" is a successful comic strip that ran from 1913-1944 and was drawn by George Herriman.

Down
1. N.C.A.A. football ranking system : BCS
The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is the system that is used to match up the top ten ranked NCAA football teams for five bowl games.

4. "The Hippopotamus" writer : TS ELIOT
“The Hippopotamus” is a poem written by T.S. Eliot, of which the first verse is:
The broad-backed hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.

9. Concorde features : TURBOJETS
The most famous Supersonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that's no longer flying. Concorde had that famous "droop nose". The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

10. Rare driving choices : ONE IRONS
The golf club known as the 1 iron is the lowest lofted of all the irons. However, golfer big hitter John Daly owned a 0 iron that was specially made for him by Wilson.

11. Like some flexible mortgages : OPEN-END
An open-end mortgage is one in which the borrower is free to increase the amount of the mortgage at a later time, provided certain predetermined conditions have been met.

14. "___ Poetry Jam" : DEF
“Def Poetry Jam” is an HBO television show that presents performances by established and up-and-coming poets. The show is hosted by Mos Def, a famous rapper and actor.

21. Raid target : ROACH
Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

23. Historical community : SHTETL
The Yiddish word for "town" is "shtot", and so "shtetl" is the diminutive form meaning "small town". The fictional shtetl featured in the musical in "Fiddler on the Roof" is called Anatevka, which is also the title of my favorite song from the show.

25. Rap's Biz ___ : MARKIE
Biz Markie is the stage name of rapper Marcel Theo Hall. Markie has the nickname “the Clown Prince of Hip Hop”.

26. Last name in women's skin care : ARPEL
The Adrien Arpel cosmetic company was founded in 1962 and sold its products across Europe. The company started selling in the US in 1968.

28. Certain coffee order : GRANDE
Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:
- Demi ... 3 fl oz
- Short ... 8 fl oz
- Tall ... 12 fl oz
- Grande ... 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
- Venti ... 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
- Trenta ... 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

30. I.R.S. settlement : BACK TAXES
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

36. Some silk threads : PAJAMAS
Our word "pajamas" comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where "pai jamahs" were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And "pajamas" is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is "pyjamas".

39. Cuban-born Baseball Hall-of-Famer José : MENDEZ
José Mendez was a Cuban pitcher who played and managed in baseball’s Negro Leagues.

41. Terra ___ : FIRMA
“Terra firma” is the Latin for “solid ground”.

42. "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" figure : DAME
The old English nursery rhyme “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” is usually sung as:
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
The tune that accompanies the rhyme is a variant of the French melody “Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman”, which we know best in English as the tune for “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

46. Peace abroad : MIR
“Mir” is the Russian word for “peace”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Setting for part of "A Tale of Two Cities" : BASTILLE
9. "Awww!" : TOO BAD
15. Aces, with "the" : CAT’S MEOW
16. What a mass of footballers do after a tackle : UNPILE
17. One getting poked in the eye? : SHOELACE
18. Smell like : REEK OF
19. Punches, informally : CLOCKS
20. Psychologist Alfred : BINET
21. Jaunty : RAKISH
23. Not taking a loss well, say : SORE
24. High, in a way : ON POT
25. Its positions are labeled North, South, East and West : MAHJONGG
29. Number of Planeten : ACHT
30. Ones who are counter-productive? : BARTENDERS
32. Funny Margaret : CHO
33. Completely covers : CARPETS
34. Nag (at) : EAT
35. Microwaveable food brand : HOT POCKETS
37. Centimeter-gram-second unit : DYNE
38. Dead duck, maybe : ROADKILL
39. Union V.I.P. : MEADE
40. One might be performed en avant : JETE
41. Grow more and more irksome : FESTER
42. Country music's Carter : DEANA
44. Architectural base : PLINTH
46. Film hero chasing a motorcycle gang : MAD MAX
47. Put on the line : AIR-DRIED
50. "Let's do it!" : I’M GAME!
51. Chatted up : CAME ONTO
52. ___ Puffs : REESE’S
53. Target of thrown bricks, in early comics : KRAZY KAT

Down
1. N.C.A.A. football ranking system : BCS
2. "Now I see!" : AAH!
3. Picture on file : STOCK PHOTO
4. "The Hippopotamus" writer : TS ELIOT
5. "Wait, this isn't making sense" : I'M LOST
6. Separate through percolation : LEACH
7. Sure thing : LOCK
8. Milk sources : EWES
9. Concorde features : TURBOJETS
10. Rare driving choices : ONE IRONS
11. Like some flexible mortgages : OPEN-END
12. Exercise ___ : BIKE
13. Loads : A LOT
14. "___ Poetry Jam" : DEF
21. Raid target : ROACH
22. Position in a relay : ANCHOR
23. Historical community : SHTETL
25. Rap's Biz ___ : MARKIE
26. Last name in women's skin care : ARPEL
27. "Pretty obvious, huh?" : GEE, YA THINK?
28. Certain coffee order : GRANDE
30. I.R.S. settlement : BACK TAXES
31. Take turns? : STEER
33. Part of a cover : CODE NAME
36. Some silk threads : PAJAMAS
37. Trounce : DESTROY
39. Cuban-born Baseball Hall-of-Famer José : MENDEZ
41. Terra ___ : FIRMA
42. "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" figure : DAME
43. Threshold : EDGE
44. Load : PACK
45. One who's incredible : LIAR
46. Peace abroad : MIR
48. Listing that can change based on the weather, for short : ETA
49. Flyspeck : DOT

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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

mir is Russian not German word for peace

Bill Butler said...

Oops!

That was a slip of the pen/keyboard.

Thanks!

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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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