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Greetings from Louisburgh, County Mayo 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

0504-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 May 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: Doug Peterson & Brad Wilber
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 55m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Yarn suppliers? RACONTEURS
A raconteur is an accomplished storyteller. The term comes from the French “raconter” meaning “to relate”.

16. What severe cuts may result in, briefly TKOS
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can't get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly "knocked out". A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter's safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

19. Roughly half of all N.B.A. M.V.P.'s CENTERS
The NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award has been won six times by only one player: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

20. Will Rogers props RIATAS
Will Rogers was so successful as an actor that he was the highest paid Hollywood star in the 1930s. His career was cut short sadly, when he died in a plane crash in 1935. Piloting the doomed plane was famed aviator Wily Post, the first person to fly solo around the world.

22. Flavoring compound ESTER
Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol.

23. Resident of Angola, Brazil or Lebanon HOOSIER
Angola, Brazil and Lebanon are all cities in Indiana.

The exact origin of the word "Hoosier" is unknown, but has been around since at least 1830. The term had no direct linkage with Indiana until John Finley of Richmond, Indiana wrote a poem called "The Hoosier's Nest" in 1833. A few years later by 1840 it was generally accepted as a term for Indiana residents.

25. Ne'er-do-well who stayed out for a long time? RIP VAN WINKLE
"Rip Van Winkle" is a short story written by Washington Irving. The story was an instant hit, and was adapted for the stage just a few years after its first publication in 1819. Since then "Rip" has featured on the small screen, big screen and there is even an operetta.

29. Darth, in his boyhood ANI
Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in all six of the "Star Wars" movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:
- Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
- Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
- Episode IV: Anakin, as Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
- Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
- Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor's evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after ...
38. Sylvia of jazz SYMS
Sylvia Syms was a jazz singer from New York. Frank Sinatra called Syms the “world’s greatest saloon singer”. Syms actually died on stage, suffering a heart attack at the age of 74.

39. For the stated value AT PAR
Stocks, and other financial vehicles, may be sold "at par", meaning at the original price, not discounted nor at a premium.

43. Getaway destination SPA
The word "spa" migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name "Spa" comes from the Walloon word "espa" meaning "spring, fountain".

44. #5 of the American Film Institute's all-time top 100 movie villains NURSE RATCHED
Nurse Ratched was the control-freak of a nurse who ran the ward in the Ken Kesey novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. In the 1975 movie of the same name, Ratched was played by actress Louise Fletcher. Fletcher won an Oscar for that performance.

47. Composer who said "Give me a laundry list and I'll set it to music" ROSSINI
Gioachino Rossini was a prolific and very successful composer from Pesaro, Italy. During his lifetime, Rossini was lauded as the most successful composer of operas in history. His best known opera today is probably “The Barber of Seville”. His best known piece of music is probably the finale of the overture from his opera “William Tell”.

48. U.S. city that's a girl's name SELMA
The most famous city in the US named Selma is probably the one in Alabama. The Alabama city is noted for the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches from 1965.

The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day.

55. "Alias" actress OLIN
The lovely Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin's breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.

“Alias” is an action show that was aired by ABC from 2001 to 2006. Star of the show is Jennifer Garner who plays a CIA agent named Sydney Bristow who must adopt multiple aliases over the series for her missions, while concealing her real career from family and friends. Sydney’s mother is a former Russian spy, played by the marvelous Lena Olin.

56. Creator of Wildfell Hall ANNE BRONTE
Anne was the youngest of the three sisters in the literary Brontë family. Her older sisters wrote novels that are more recognized, but Anne's two novels do have a following. "Agnes Grey" is based on her own experiences working as a governess. Her other novel, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" is written as a long letter from a young man describing the events leading up to his first meeting with his wife-to-be. Anne Brontë's writing career was cut short in 1849, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, at only 29 years of age.

60. Law still in effect but no longer enforced DEAD LETTER
A “dead letter” is a piece of mail that is undeliverable, usually do the use of the wrong address and no return address. Once a letter is declared “dead”. then postal employees can open it (legally violating “secrecy of correspondence”) in an attempt to complete delivery. Famously, a stolen Marc Chagall painting was recovered in a sorting office in Topeka, Kansas when the parcel in which it was shipped was declared “dead”.

61. Mr. ___ (moniker for Andrei Gromyko) NYET
Andrei Gromyko was a very visible politician and diplomat for the decades of the Cold War, holding almost all the key positions in the Soviet Union. Gromyko was ambassador to the US from 1943-46, and then the Soviet Union's Permanent Representative to the UN. While at the UN, he earned the nickname “Mr Nyet” (Mr. No) because of the number of times the Soviet Union used its power of veto on the Security Council. Gromyko later served as Ambassador to the UK. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he was front and center, serving as the Soviet Foreign Minister. He stayed at that post right through the negotiations for arms limitations and nuclear test bans. He supported the candidacy of Michael Gorbachev for General Secretary, yet despite Gromyko's support, Gorbachev kicked Gromyko upstairs by giving him the largely ceremonial post of Head of State.

62. Show with a peanut gallery HOWDY DOODY
“Howdy Doody” is a children’s TV show that originally aired from 1947 to 1960. The show featured live actors as well as a whole host of puppet characters. There was also the Peanut Gallery, an invited audience of about 40 kids who sat on bleachers on stage while the show was airing.

Down
2. Waistband brand HANES
The Hanes brand of apparel was founded in 1901. A related brand was introduced in 1986 called Hanes Her Way.

7. Angel Clare's wife, in literature TESS
Angel Clare is the husband of the heroine Tess, in Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”.

The full name of Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel is "Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented". When it was originally published, "Tess ..." received very mixed reviews, largely because it addresses some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (society's attitude towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski's "Tess" released in 1979. Polanski apparently made "Tess" because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy's novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that simply reads "To Sharon".

9. Altdorf is its capital URI
Altdorf is the capital of Uri, a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Altdorf is the city where William Tell shot the apple off his son's head, at least according to legend.

10. What money may be placed in ESCROW
One type of escrow account is held by a trusted third party for two parties who have some contractual arrangement, an arrangement that is often in dispute. The third party only releases the funds when both parties have fulfilled their contractual obligations.

13. Green light? SOLAR LAMP
A solar lamp can be described as green, as eco-friendly.

21. Cow-horned deity ISIS
Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children.

23. Swiss alternative HAVARTI
Havarti cheese was invented in the mid-1800s by farmer Hanne Nielson. He chose "Havarti" from the name of his farm, Havarthigaard, located in the neighborhood of Øverød, north of Copenhagen.

26. Super ___ PAC
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent-expenditure only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

27. Planet destroyed in 2009's "Star Trek" VULCAN
The 2009 movie "Star Trek" is in effect a prequel to the original "Star Trek" series. The film features a young James T. Kirk (played by Chris Pine) and a young Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) battling Romulan named Nero (played by Eric Bana) who comes back in time. As always, there's an appearance by the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy, of course) who does a bit of time travel himself.

28. Jewelry designer Peretti ELSA
Elsa Peretti is a native of Florence, Italy who has been designing jewelry and related items for the top fashion houses in New York since the sixties.

29. Chiropractor on "Two and a Half Men" ALAN
“Two and a Half Men” is a TV sitcom that is remarkably successful despite being fraught with controversy. The eighth season had to be suspended when the show’s star Charlie Sheen went into drug rehab and made disparaging comments about the show’s producers. Sheen was fired, and his role was taken over by a new character played by Ashton Kutcher. In 2012, Angus T. Jones who plays young Jake urged fans not to watch the show as it was “filth”. Jones had recently converted to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the show’s themes clashed with the church’s standards. Well, I enjoy the show ...

35. Where a new delivery may be placed? BASSINET
A bassinet is a basket or bed made up for a young baby in the first few months of his or her life.

45. Setting of King Fahd Road RIYADH
King Fahd Road is the main thoroughfare through Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. It is named after King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud who was the head of the kingdom until he passed away in 2005, although he was somewhat of a titular head of state since 1995 when he suffered a stroke.

46. Fireflite of the 1950s, e.g. DESOTO
The DeSoto brand of car was built by Chrysler from 1928 to 1961. The line was named after the Spanish explorer and conquistador, Hernando de Soto, widely reported as the first European to have crossed the Mississippi River (although Cabeza de Vaca had at least discovered one of the mouths of the Mississippi twenty years earlier).

49. Measures taken slowly? LENTO
A lento passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo.

52. Either "True Grit" director COEN
The classic 1969 western movie “True Grit” starring John Wayne is a screen adaptation of a 1968 novel by Henry Hathaway. The Coen brothers made another big screen adaption of the novel in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role previously played by John Wayne.

53. "Tennessee Waltz" lyricist ___ Stewart REDD
The wonderful “Tennessee Waltz” was written by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King in 1948. The song became a huge hit for Patti Page in 1950.

57. Con's opening? NEO-
By definition, a neoconservative supports the use of American power and military to bring democracy, liberty, equality and human rights to other countries.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Good point" THIS IS TRUE
11. Right hand: Abbr. ASST
15. Yarn suppliers? RACONTEURS
16. What severe cuts may result in, briefly TKOS
17. Lacking in drawing power? INARTISTIC
18. Succumb to interrogation TALK
19. Roughly half of all N.B.A. M.V.P.'s CENTERS
20. Will Rogers props RIATAS
22. Flavoring compound ESTER
23. Resident of Angola, Brazil or Lebanon HOOSIER
25. Ne'er-do-well who stayed out for a long time? RIP VAN WINKLE
29. Darth, in his boyhood ANI
32. Mulberry cousin MAUVE
33. It's marked way down STEAL
34. Sweet-tempered type LAMB
36. Argue CLASH
38. Sylvia of jazz SYMS
39. For the stated value AT PAR
41. Something to believe in CREED
43. Getaway destination SPA
44. #5 of the American Film Institute's all-time top 100 movie villains NURSE RATCHED
47. Composer who said "Give me a laundry list and I'll set it to music" ROSSINI
48. U.S. city that's a girl's name SELMA
52. Hole CAVITY
53. Boost RAISE UP
55. "Alias" actress OLIN
56. Creator of Wildfell Hall ANNE BRONTE
59. Different ELSE
60. Law still in effect but no longer enforced DEAD LETTER
61. Mr. ___ (moniker for Andrei Gromyko) NYET
62. Show with a peanut gallery HOWDY DOODY

Down
1. Twinkling TRICE
2. Waistband brand HANES
3. "Impossible" I CAN’T
4. Many a laundromat patron SORTER
5. Stopgap INTERIM
6. Move around STIR
7. Angel Clare's wife, in literature TESS
8. Groovy track? RUT
9. Altdorf is its capital URI
10. What money may be placed in ESCROW
11. Stigmas ATTAINTS
12. Quaint toe clamp tighteners SKATE KEYS
13. Green light? SOLAR LAMP
14. Sounds of admonishment TSKS
21. Cow-horned deity ISIS
23. Swiss alternative HAVARTI
24. "Almost there ..." ONE SEC
26. Super ___ PAC
27. Planet destroyed in 2009's "Star Trek" VULCAN
28. Jewelry designer Peretti ELSA
29. Chiropractor on "Two and a Half Men" ALAN
30. "Of course!" NATURALLY
31. Be a make-up artist? IMPROVISE
35. Where a new delivery may be placed? BASSINET
37. Villain's sinister syllable HEH
40. Ubiquitous prescription REST
42. Like items on Christmas lists DESIRED
45. Setting of King Fahd Road RIYADH
46. Fireflite of the 1950s, e.g. DESOTO
49. Measures taken slowly? LENTO
50. Quiet and soft MUTED
51. Impressionism? APERY
52. Either "True Grit" director COEN
53. "Tennessee Waltz" lyricist ___ Stewart REDD
54. Without fumbling ABLY
57. Con's opening? NEO-
58. Hick's nix NAW

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Posted by Bill Butler
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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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