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0402-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Apr 13, Tuesday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: First in a Church … today’s themed answers deal with the recent change in leadership of the Roman Catholic church:
17A. Predecessor of 63-Across : BENEDICT XVI
21A. Sign that 63-Across was elected : WHITE SMOKE
37A. Original home of 63-Across : ARGENTINA
57A. Protector of 63-Across : SWISS GUARD
63A. Official elected March 13, 2013 : POPE FRANCIS
3D. 63-Across, e.g. : PONTIFF
45D. Current home of 63-Across : VATICAN
COMPLETION TIME: 08m 57s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Weight loss surgeries, informally : LIPOS
Liposuction dates back to the 1920s when it was developed by a surgeon in France. However, the procedure quickly lost favor when a French model developed gangrene after surgery. As a result it wasn't until the mid-seventies that modern liposuction took off, after being popularized by two Italian-American surgeons in Rome.

6. "Monster ___" (1962 #1 novelty hit) : MASH
“Monster Mash” is a fun novelty song released by Bobby Pickett in 1962. Pickett sings “Monster Mash” in a voice that imitates Boris Karloff.

13. Capri, per esempio : ISOLA
In Italian, Capri, for example (par esempio), is an island (isola).

The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that's colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

16. Old electrical unit : MHO
Conductance (measured in mhos) is the inverse of resistance (measured in ohms). The mho has been replaced by the SI unit called the siemens.

17. Predecessor of 63-Across : BENEDICT XVI
Did you know that the former Pope, Benedict XVI, released a music CD while in office? His Holiness is featured singing on an album released not too long ago by the Vatican. "Alma Mater: Featuring The Voice of Pope Benedict XVI Deluxe Edition" is a collection of sacred music. All proceeds go to help underprivileged children around the world.

19. Cooking spray brand : PAM
PAM cooking oil was introduced in 1961 by Leon Rubin and Arthur Meyerhoff. The name “PAM” is an acronym ... standing for “Product of Arthur Meyerhoff” ...

21. Sign that 63-Across was elected : WHITE SMOKE
A new pope is elected in a papal conclave, a meeting of the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic church. After each round of voting, the individual ballots are burned. If the ballot is inconclusive, then the ballots are burned with a chemical (originally, damp straw was used) so that the resulting smoke is black. The smoke can be seen by crowds gathered near the Sistine Chapel where the conclave is held. If the ballot has resulted in a pope being selected, then the individual ballots are burned on their own so that they give off white smoke.

23. "Vive le ___!" : ROI
“Vive le roi!” is French for “Long live the king!”

24. Burlesque show prop : BOA
“Burlesque” came into English from French, although the word is rooted in the Italian “burla”, the word for a joke, or mockery. A burlesque is work of literature, drama or music that is intended to amuse and cause laughter. Burlesques in the US took on a variety show format and were popular in the US from the 1860s. Over time, the variety acts started to include female striptease, and the term “burlesque” has come to be mainly associated with such entertainment.

28. 44 Regular, e.g. : SIZE
44 regular is a jacket size.

32. Pianist Peter : NERO
Peter Nero is a pianist and conductor of “pops” orchestral concerts. Nero had a huge hit in the pop music charts in 1971 with the theme tune from the movie “Summer of '42”.

35. North Korea's ___ Jong-un : KIM
Kim Jong-un is the current supreme leader of North Korea, a man very much in the news since he came to power on the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011. Kim Jong-un went to school for several years in Switzerland, living under an assumed name. While at school, he was known to be very athletic, and was particularly fond of playing and watching basketball.

37. Original home of 63-Across : ARGENTINA
The current Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, was born in Buenos Aires as Jorge Bergoglio and is of Italian descent.

40. A/C specs : BTUS
In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water's temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

43. First or last digit of D.C.'s area code : TWO
The area code for Washington, DC is 202.

Area codes were introduced in the 1940s. Back then the “clicks” one heard when dialling a number led to mechanical wear on various pieces of equipment. In order to minimize overall mechanical wear, areas with high call volumes were given the most efficient area codes (lowest number of clicks). That led to New York getting the area code 212, Los Angeles 213 and Chicago 313.

51. Stiller's partner in comedy : MEARA
Anne Meara has been married to fellow comedic actor Ben Stiller since 1954. Anne and Ben are the parents of actors Ben and Amy Stiller.

52. Sierra ___ : LEONE
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, lying on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the "Black Poor" of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of "a problem", three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were guaranteed British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that's today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

57. Protector of 63-Across : SWISS GUARD
The Pontifical Swiss Guard is a small force of about 110 men responsible for the safety of the Pope. To join the Swiss Guard, a recruit must be a single male citizen of Switzerland who has completed basic training with the Swiss military. The commandant of the Guard suggested in 2009 that the force might be open for admission to female recruits one day, but that would be well in the future.

61. Flat bread : PITA
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita bread is usually round, and has a "pocket" in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools. The pockets were a big hit in the seventies when someone came up with the idea of using them for fillings hence creating pita sandwiches or "pita pockets".

62. Chess champion Mikhail : TAL
Mikhail Tal was truly a chess legend. Tal holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in competition chess. And the second longest winning streak, well, that was by Tal as well.

63. Official elected March 13, 2013 : POPE FRANCIS
Pope Francis was elected on 13 March 2013 as the 266th Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic church. The new pope appears to be taking a much simpler approach to the office, as he has done with his life back in Argentina. He is the first pope since 1903 not to reside in the papal residence, choosing to live instead to live in the less lavish Vatican guesthouse.

66. Our, in Montréal : NOTRE
The original name of Montreal was Ville-Marie, meaning the City of Mary. Ville-Marie is now the name of a borough in the city, the borough which includes the downtown area and "Old Montreal". The present-day city covers most of the Island of Montreal which lies where the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers meet. The name Montreal comes from the three-headed hill that dominates the island and is called Mount Royal.

69. Chow : FOOD
"Chow" is an American slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. "Chow" comes from the Chinese pidgin English "chow-chow" meaning "food".

Down
1. African republic colonized by freed American slaves : LIBERIA
Liberia is a country in West Africa. The country was founded in 1847 by former American slaves who were repatriated to Africa. As a result, the Liberian flag resembles the US flag, and the country’s motto is “The love of liberty brought us here”.

3. 63-Across, e.g. : PONTIFF
The term “pontiff” tends to be used for the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. However, “pontiff” technically refers to any bishop, and a Pontifical Mass is a Mass celebrated by any bishop. The original pontiffs were members of four illustrious colleges of priests in Ancient Rome.

4. Spread in the fridge : OLEO
Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. In 1869, a French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something that he called oleomargarine, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name "margarine". The name "oleomargarine" also gives us our generic term "oleo".

6. Some java house orders : MOCHAS
Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, giving the name to the Mocha coffee bean.

8. Message one might not want the tabloids to see : SEXT
"Sexting" (a portmanteau of "sex" and "texting") is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term "sexting" was first coined by the UK's "Sunday Telegraph Magazine" in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is "rampant" among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie ...?

11. One-named pop star with the 2001 hit "Whenever, Wherever" : SHAKIRA
Shakira is a hugely successful singer from Colombia. Her name has long been romantically linked with Antonia de la Rua, the son of the ex-President of Argentina.

18. ___ Jima : IWO
Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since.

22. Room with a pool table, wet bar and TV, say : MAN CAVE
“Man cave” is a slang term for a male sanctuary with home, often a spare bedroom (as it is in our house) or a converted garage.

24. Ring champ Max : BAER
Max Baer was an American Heavyweight Champion of the World in the thirties. Baer held the title for 364 days, and then went into the ring after hardly any training at all against the well-prepared James J. Braddock. Braddock was a huge underdog, and yet emerged victorious after 15 rounds (Braddock is the subject of the 2005 movie "Cinderella Man"). By the way, Baer’s son is Max Baer, Jr., the actor who played Jethro on “The Beverly Hillbillies”.

30. Unwanted spot, in slang : ZIT
The slang term “zit”, meaning "pimple", came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

31. Arab V.I.P. : EMIR
An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written as “amir” and “ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

39. Title fish in a Pixar film : NEMO
"Finding Nemo" is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, "Finding Nemo" is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010's "Toy Story 3", it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

40. Add support to : BOLSTER
I don't think I have heard the term used here in the US, but that might be just me. Back in Ireland I often slept in beds that had a "bolster" as well as pillows. The bolster was usually a long, bed-wide, stuffed cushion, harder than a pillow. It served the purpose of raising the pillows, perhaps as an aid for sitting up in bed. Our modern usage of the verb "bolster", meaning to give a metaphoric shot in the arm, derives from this "bolster" that we used to sit up against.

45. Current home of 63-Across : VATICAN
Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.

50. Took out a board at Waikiki : SURFED
Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name "Waikiki" means "spouting fresh water" in Hawaiian.

55. Prez with fireside chats : FDR
President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a total of thirty evening radio addresses that were termed “fireside chats”. President Roosevelt had used similar addresses to further his political agenda while he was Governor of New York. In New York he faced opposition from a Republican legislature so Roosevelt appealed directly to voters to apply pressure for him.

61. French tire : PNEU
I've always considered “pneu” such a lovely French word as it has a unique nasal sound. "Un pneu" is what we call "a tire" in France, well, I’d probably translate “pneu” as “tyre” …

64. Filing month: Abbr. : APR
April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Weight loss surgeries, informally : LIPOS
6. "Monster ___" (1962 #1 novelty hit) : MASH
10. Keyboard key : ESC
13. Capri, per esempio : ISOLA
14. Wee hour : ONE AM
16. Old electrical unit : MHO
17. Predecessor of 63-Across : BENEDICT XVI
19. Cooking spray brand : PAM
20. Opposite of endo- : ECTO-
21. Sign that 63-Across was elected : WHITE SMOKE
23. "Vive le ___!" : ROI
24. Burlesque show prop : BOA
25. Welcomed through the door : SAW IN
26. Prefix with structure : INFRA-
28. 44 Regular, e.g. : SIZE
32. Pianist Peter : NERO
33. Rate card listings : AD FEES
35. North Korea's ___ Jong-un : KIM
36. Stick in one's ___ : CRAW
37. Original home of 63-Across : ARGENTINA
40. A/C specs : BTUS
43. First or last digit of D.C.'s area code : TWO
44. Gunned, as an engine : REVVED
48. "Egad!" : OH NO!
49. Wraps (up) : SEWS
51. Stiller's partner in comedy : MEARA
52. Sierra ___ : LEONE
54. Abduction destination in fanciful stories : UFO
56. Preschooler : TOT
57. Protector of 63-Across : SWISS GUARD
61. Flat bread : PITA
62. Chess champion Mikhail : TAL
63. Official elected March 13, 2013 : POPE FRANCIS
65. 12/31, e.g. : EVE
66. Our, in Montréal : NOTRE
67. "Later, bro!" : PEACE!
68. Rose's hue : RED
69. Chow : FOOD
70. Rush toward : RUN AT

Down
1. African republic colonized by freed American slaves : LIBERIA
2. Call in support of a motion : I SECOND
3. 63-Across, e.g. : PONTIFF
4. Spread in the fridge : OLEO
5. Unfortunate : SAD
6. Some java house orders : MOCHAS
7. One opposed : ANTI
8. Message one might not want the tabloids to see : SEXT
9. Own : HAVE
10. Authorize : EMPOWER
11. One-named pop star with the 2001 hit "Whenever, Wherever" : SHAKIRA
12. "You've gotta be joking ..." : COME NOW
15. Fail to connect : MISS
18. ___ Jima : IWO
22. Room with a pool table, wet bar and TV, say : MAN CAVE
24. Ring champ Max : BAER
27. Whys : REASONS
29. "You're preaching to the choir!" : I KNOW!
30. Unwanted spot, in slang : ZIT
31. Arab V.I.P. : EMIR
34. Police dept. members : SGTS
38. Lamb raiser : EWE
39. Title fish in a Pixar film : NEMO
40. Add support to : BOLSTER
41. Stand-up routine in a stadium? : THE WAVE
42. Squeaky, say : UNOILED
45. Current home of 63-Across : VATICAN
46. Racy stuff : EROTICA
47. Spreadsheet figures : DATASET
50. Took out a board at Waikiki : SURFED
53. Channel with game highlights : ESPN
55. Prez with fireside chats : FDR
58. Blunder : GOOF
59. ___ no good : UP TO
60. Commercial name suggesting sleekness : AERO
61. French tire : PNEU
64. Filing month: Abbr. : APR


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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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