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0623-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Jun 13, Sunday





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: Patrick Berry
THEME: Two-by-Fours … we have a rebus puzzle today with FOUR squares in the themed answers each containing the same TWO letters:
22A. Comic strip about the Patterson family : FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE
45A. #1 on the American Film Institute's "Greatest Movie Musicals" list : SINGININ THE RAIN
73A. German-born Emmy winner of 1960s TV : WERNER KLEMPERER
94A. Various things : THIS THAT AND THE OTHER
4D. 1942 Cary Grant comedy : ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON
15D. Elocution phrase : HOW NOW BROWN COW
47D. Initiates a conflict : CASTS THE FIRST STONE
61D. Classic name in crossword puzzles : MARGARET FARRAR
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 33m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Mustard variety : DIJON
Dijon is a city in eastern France, in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn't protect the name "Dijon" so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

22. Comic strip about the Patterson family : FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE
“For Better or For Worse” is a comic strip drawn by Lynn Johnston from 1979 until 2008. The strip tells the story of the Patterson family from a fictitious suburb of Toronto. “For Better or For Worse” ran in real time, so that the characters actually aged as time progressed. This aging process led to some difficult storylines, such as the death of the family dog “Farley”.

25. Food in the Bible : MANNA
According to the Book of Exodus, manna was a food eaten by the Israelites as they traveled out of Egypt. Manna "fell" to Earth during the night for six days a week, and was harvested in the morning before it had time to melt.

26. Caspian Sea feeder : URAL
The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea.

27. Des ___, Iowa : MOINES
The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French "Riviere des Moines" meaning "River of the Monks". It looks like there isn't any "monkish" connection to the city's name per se. "Des Moines" was just the name given by French traders who corrupted "Moingona", the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

40. SeaWorld performers : ORCAS
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name "orca", rather than "killer whale", is becoming more and more common. The Latin word "Orcinus" means "belonging to Orcus", with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

SeaWorld was started in San Diego in 1964. The original plan was build an underwater restaurant with a marine life show. Eventually the founders dropped the idea of the eating establishment and just went with a theme park.

41. Mortarboard tosser : GRAD
Mortarboards, or square academic caps, are associated with school graduations all over the world, although traditions do differ. For example in Ireland (where I come from), mortarboards are only worn by female graduates.

42. "Really useful engine" of children's books : THOMAS
Oh my goodness, my kids just loved Thomas the Tank Engine. The Thomas the Tank Engine" television show is based on the series of books by the Reverend W. V. Awdry and his son. The TV series was remarkable in that it attracted some celebrity narrators, the first being Ringo Starr. I think American audiences might have been more familiar with George Carlin, and then Alec Baldwin. Pierce Brosnan also had a go, narrating a TV special. I remember being on a flight one time with Ringo Starr (we didn't sit together!). When I told our kids' babysitter a few days later about my celebrity encounter, she was marginally impressed although I had to explain that he was the drummer for the Beatles. When I added that Ringo was also the narrator for the "Thomas the Tank Engine" show, she nearly fainted with excitement. A generation gap exists ...

43. Wilson of Hollywood : OWEN
The actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. Wilson was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

45. #1 on the American Film Institute's "Greatest Movie Musicals" list : SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
In the movie “Singin’ in the Rain”, the wonderful, wonderful dance sequence to the title song was filmed over 2-3 days. Gene Kelly was splashing through puddles and getting rained on while all the time he was sick, with a fever of 103F.

47. Tech media Web site founded in 1994 : CNET
c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as a host on a c|net show.

48. John at a piano : ELTON
Elton John's real name is Reginald Dwight. John was knighted in 1998, not for his music but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.

50. Patient mover : GURNEY
Gurneys are stretchers with wheels that are used in hospital and ambulances for transporting patients. Outside of North America, gurneys are usually called “trolleys”. The term “gurney” may have been used as the design is similar to a horse-drawn cab that was patented by one J. Theodore Gurney.

51. Computer user's shortcut : MACRO
A macroinstruction (usually shortened to “macro”) is a set of instructions in a computer program that are abbreviated to one simple command.

57. Like nougat : CHEWY
"Nougat" is an Occitan word (Occitania being a region of Southern Europe) which translates as “nut bread”.

60. Where Arab Bank is headquartered : AMMAN
Amman is the capital city of Jordan, and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called the city Philadelphia, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.

63. Home of Hannibal : CARTHAGE
Hannibal was a military commander from Ancient Carthage. Hannibal lived during a time of great conflict between Carthage and the Roman Republic, as the Romans worked to extend their influence over the Mediterranean region. Famously, Hannibal took on Rome on their own territory by marching his army, including his war elephants, over the Alps into Italy. His forces occupied much of Italy for 15 years.

71. Former Indiana senator Bayh : EVAN
Evan Bayh is the son of Birch Bayh, and like his father was US Senator for the state of Indiana. Prior to serving in the Senate, Evan Bayh was State Governor.

73. German-born Emmy winner of 1960s TV : WERNER KLEMPERER
On the sitcom "Hogan's Heroes", Colonel Klink was the Camp Commandant, played by Werner Klemperer. Klemperer was born in Cologne in Germany, and fled the country with his family in 1935 due to Nazi persecution of Jews. Later, Klemperer joined the US Army and ended up using his show business talent to entertain the troops in the Pacific.

78. "Regrets" and others : NOES
I regrets that I must say “no” to your invitation …

80. Wrangler rival : LEE
The Lee company famous for making jeans was formed in 1889, by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

82. Gulf war missile : SCUD
Scud missiles were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Soviets called them R-11 missiles at first, with later versions known as R-17 and R-300 Elbrus. The name "Scud" was actually the name NATO used for the missile, a name created by Western intelligence officers. Ballistic missiles haven't been used a lot in actual warfare, the exception being the German V-2 rocket attacks on England during WWII. After the V-2, the second most-used ballistic missile in warfare is the Scud, which featured in a number of conflicts:
- used by Egypt against Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973
- used by the USSR in Afghanistan
- used by Libya against a US Coast Guard station in the Mediterranean in 1986
- used by Iranians and Iraqis in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88
- used by Iraq in the Gulf War of 1990-91

87. Palmed off : FOISTED
To foist something is to pass it off as genuine or real. "Foist" comes from the Dutch word meaning "take in hand". The original concept came from playing dice, in which one die was held surreptitiously in one hand.

90. Holders of addl. thoughts : PARENS
Parentheses (parens.)

93. Welcome sight after a flood : ARARAT
Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

100. Unalaska native : ALEUT
The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

Unalaska is a city on Unalaska Island, one of the Aleutian chain of islands off the coast of Alaska. Within the bounds of the city is Dutch Harbor, the largest fisheries port in the whole of the United States.

101. Beam from one end to the other : KEEL
I’m not sure that I understand this clue and answer. If it is a nautical reference then the keel of a boat runs from bow to stern. The beam(s) of a boat run transversely, across the keel.

106. French or Italian bread : EURO
The European Union (EU) today stands at a membership of 27 states. The Euro is the official currency of only 16 of the 27. The list of states in the EU that don't use the Euro includes the UK, Denmark and Sweden.

Down
1. Cool, in hip-hop slang : DEF
The slang word "def" meaning "excellent, cool" may come from the word "definite". A word I’d only come across in crosswords ...

2. English war poet Gurney : IVOR
Ivor Gurney is one of the so called "Great War Poets". He wrote a lot of his work at the Front in WWI. While serving he received a bullet wound, and was also subject to a harrowing and debilitating gas attack.

4. 1942 Cary Grant comedy : ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON
“Once Upon a Honeymoon” is a 1942 romantic comedy (with a serious side) starring two of my favorite actors: Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers. Grant plays a journalist who has suspicions that an Austrian nobleman is a Nazi sympathiser. Rogers plays a con woman who is trying to marry the nobleman, until the journalist steps in and wins the day.

5. Besieger's bomb : PETARD
In days of old, a petard was a small bomb that was used to breach fortified gates and walls. The phrase “hoisted by his own petard” comes from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, and is a reference to a petard detonating prematurely and blowing up (“hoisting”) the bomber.

6. Rink jumps : AXELS
An Axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. It was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

12. Subject of many a Burns ballad : LASS
Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

16. Musical duo Brooks & ___ : DUNN
Brooks & Dunn was a country music duo made up of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn.

29. Early release : PAROLE
The term "parole" is a French word that we use in English, with the French "parole" meaning "word, speech". Of particular interest is the French phrase "parole d'honneur" which translates as "word of honor". In the early 1600s we started using "parole" to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his "word of honor" not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

30. One of the authors in the game Authors : ALCOTT
The author Louisa May Alcott was raised in Massachusetts. She had quite an education and received lessons from Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller, all of whom were friends of her family. Alcott’s first book was Flower Fables (1849), which he wrote for Ralph Waldo Emerson’s daughter. The Alcott family were part of the Underground Railroad that helped and housed fugitive slaves. During the Civil War, Alcott worked for a while as a nurse in the Union Hospital in Georgetown, D.C. Her most famous novels are unofficially known as the “Little Women” trilogy, namely “Little Women”, “Little Men” and “Jo’s Boys”.

The card game called “Game of Authors” was created in 1861 by Anne Abbott, the editor of a young people’s literary journal. The game’s deck of cards contains sets of cards representing the works of eleven authors, and players must collect as many sets as possible.

33. Drank to excess : TOPED
"To tope" is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.

35. Award won by Alice Munro and Stephen King : O HENRY
The O. Henry Award has been given annually since 1919 and honors exceptional short stories. O. Henry was the pen name of writer William Sydney Porter from Greensboro, North Carolina. O. Henry is famous for his witty short stories that have a clever twist in the tail.

36. Pulitzer-winning composer Ned : ROREM
American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his book, "Paris Diary of Ned Rorem" that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexuality of others including Noel Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.

39. Krakauer's "___ the Wild" : INTO
"Into the Wild" is an interesting film, based on a non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. The book and movie tell the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness with very little food and equipment, seeking an extended period of solitude. After four months alone he was found dead from starvation. At time of death, he weighed only 67 pounds.

42. Martial arts move : THROW
“Martial arts” are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

51. Entree, often : MEAT
Entrée of course means "entry" in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in", an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the "entry" to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!

53. Playwright O'Casey : SEAN
Seán O'Casey was an Irish playwright noted for his works exploring the plight of the working class in Dublin. O’Casey’s most famous works are “Juno and the Paycock” and “The Plough and the Stars”.

61. Classic name in crossword puzzles : MARGARET FARRAR
Margaret Farrar was the first editor of “The New York Times” crossword puzzle, from 1942 to 1968.

62. Puerto Rican port : PONCE
Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico. The famous conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon first landed on the island in 1508, with Spanish settlers following soon after. Among the earliest settlers was Juan Ponce de Leon's great-grandson, Juan Ponce de León y Loayza. The great-grandson was politically savvy and was instrumental in getting a royal permit to establish the settlement that became today's Ponce. Ponce is named after Juan Ponce de Leon y Loayza rather than his more famous great-grandfather.

66. Ewoks' home in "Star Wars" : ENDOR
The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor, first appearing in "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi". They're the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

68. Green ___ : BERETS
The US Army Special Forces are known as the Green Berets because they wear ... green berets. The Green Beret is also worn by the Royal Marines of the British Army. When US Army Rangers and OSS operatives were trained by the Royal Marines in Scotland during WWII, graduates of the gruelling training program were awarded green berets by their British instructors. The US soldiers, although proud of their new headgear, were not allowed to wear it as part of their uniform and had to wait until 1961 when President Kennedy authorized the green beret for exclusive use by US Special Forces.

74. Eggplant casserole : MOUSSAKA
Moussaka is a delicious dish from the Balkans that uses eggplant or potato as a base.

86. 1981 comedy or its 2011 remake : ARTHUR
“Arthur” is a 1981 comedy starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. In the 2011 remake of the film, Dudley Moore’s title role is played by the wacky English comic Russell Brand. Jennifer Garner is the love interest, taking on the role played by Liza Minnelli in the original. And, in a nice twist, the role of the manservant previously played by Sir John Gielgud, is portrayed by the fabulous Helen Mirren.

89. "Spamalot" writer Idle : ERIC
Eric Idle was one of the founding members of the Monty Python team. Idle was very much the musician of the bunch, and is an accomplished guitarist. If you've seen the Monty Python film "The Life of Brian", you might remember the closing number, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". It was sung by Idle, and was indeed written by him. The song made it to number 3 in the UK charts in 1991.

The hit musical “Spamalot” is a show derived from the 1974 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. In typical Monty Python style, the action starts just before the curtain goes up with an announcement recorded by the great John Cleese:
(You can) let your cellphones and pagers ring willy-nilly … (but) be aware there are heavily armed knights on stage that may drag you on stage and impale you.

94. Détente : THAW
Détente is a French word meaning "loosening" and in general it's used to describe the easing of strained relations in a political situation. In particular, the policy of détente came to be associated with the improved relations between the US and the Soviet Union in the seventies.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Mustard variety : DIJON
5. Go beyond : PASS
9. Tired : STALE
14. Upper-tier academics : PHDS
18. Rescue mission, briefly : EVAC
19. Get off the highway : EXIT
20. In current times : TODAY
21. Put in an appearance : SHOW UP
22. Comic strip about the Patterson family : FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE
25. Food in the Bible : MANNA
26. Caspian Sea feeder : URAL
27. Des ___, Iowa : MOINES
28. Repudiates : DISOWNS
29. Checkpoint needs : PAPERS
31. Periodic payments : DUES
32. Star : CELEB
33. Like birds of prey : TALONED
34. Coffee containers : URNS
35. Give one's address? : ORATE
37. Baseball card stat : RBI
40. SeaWorld performers : ORCAS
41. Mortarboard tosser : GRAD
42. "Really useful engine" of children's books : THOMAS
43. Wilson of Hollywood : OWEN
44. "What nonsense!" : POOH!
45. #1 on the American Film Institute's "Greatest Movie Musicals" list : SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
47. Tech media Web site founded in 1994 : CNET
48. John at a piano : ELTON
49. Basis of some ticket discounts : AGE
50. Patient mover : GURNEY
51. Computer user's shortcut : MACRO
52. Viewed with contempt : DETESTED
54. What's expected : NORM
55. Confers : BESTOWS
56. Sentence unit : YEAR
57. Like nougat : CHEWY
59. Toot one's own horn : BOAST
60. Where Arab Bank is headquartered : AMMAN
62. [Gone ... instantly!] : POOF!
63. Home of Hannibal : CARTHAGE
67. Be relevant to : BEAR ON
68. Withdraw : BOW OUT
70. Over the hill : OLD
71. Former Indiana senator Bayh : EVAN
72. Gas in a vacuum tube : ARGON
73. German-born Emmy winner of 1960s TV : WERNER KLEMPERER
75. Not just a tiff : FEUD
76. Untrustworthy sort : LIAR
77. Breaking developments? : PIECES
78. "Regrets" and others : NOES
79. "Exactly right!" : BINGO!
80. Wrangler rival : LEE
81. Went (for) : OPTED
82. Gulf war missile : SCUD
83. Company of two? : MERGER
84. Makes a go of it : TRIES
86. Really impresses : AWES
87. Palmed off : FOISTED
88. Hold the fort, say : DEFEND
90. Holders of addl. thoughts : PARENS
92. Existential anxiety : ANGST
93. Welcome sight after a flood : ARARAT
94. Various things : THIS THAT AND THE OTHER
99. Tweeters : BIRDS
100. Unalaska native : ALEUT
101. Beam from one end to the other : KEEL
102. Patriarch who lived 950 years : NOAH
103. Horrorful : SCARY
104. Tired : WEARY
105. Sideways : AWRY
106. French or Italian bread : EURO

Down
1. Cool, in hip-hop slang : DEF
2. English war poet Gurney : IVOR
3. Hardly a slow poke : JAB
4. 1942 Cary Grant comedy : ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON
5. Besieger's bomb : PETARD
6. Rink jumps : AXELS
7. "Dear" one : SIR
8. What a gutter may lead to : STORM DRAIN
9. Made-up alibis : STORIES
10. Stops on a whistle-stop tour : TOWNS
11. Love : ADORE
12. Subject of many a Burns ballad : LASS
13. Size up : EYE
14. Something to grow out of : PHASE
15. Elocution phrase : HOW NOW BROWN COW
16. Musical duo Brooks & ___ : DUNN
17. They have springs : SPAS
21. All ___ : SMILES
23. Fruit growers : TREES
24. Setting up : FOUNDING
28. Hold for questioning : DETAIN
29. Early release : PAROLE
30. One of the authors in the game Authors : ALCOTT
32. Procter & Gamble soap : CAMAY
33. Drank to excess : TOPED
34. Pressed : URGED
35. Award won by Alice Munro and Stephen King : O HENRY
36. Pulitzer-winning composer Ned : ROREM
38. Some drafts : BEERS
39. Krakauer's "___ the Wild" : INTO
41. Zesty staple of Asian cuisine : GINGER
42. Martial arts move : THROW
45. Old Nick : SATAN
46. Melodious : TUNEFUL
47. Initiates a conflict : CASTS THE FIRST STONE
51. Entree, often : MEAT
53. Playwright O'Casey : SEAN
55. Line on a map : BORDER
57. Recoiled fearfully : COWERED
58. Catchy parts of pop songs : HOOKS
59. Farm machines : BALERS
60. Hard-to-reach nest : AERIE
61. Classic name in crossword puzzles : MARGARET FARRAR
62. Puerto Rican port : PONCE
63. Got through difficulties : COPED
64. Get retribution for : AVENGE
65. Guesstimated : GAUGED
66. Ewoks' home in "Star Wars" : ENDOR
67. Socialite's party : BALL
68. Green ___ : BERETS
69. Like some stores of years gone by : TEN-CENT
73. Erased, as a tape : WIPED
74. Eggplant casserole : MOUSSAKA
77. Lifts a finger? : POINTS
79. Soft shade : BEIGE
82. Betraying nervousness, in a way : SWEATY
83. How utility bills are usually paid : MONTHLY
85. Set preceder? : READY
86. 1981 comedy or its 2011 remake : ARTHUR
87. Volume control on a soundboard : FADER
88. Small dollops : DABS
89. "Spamalot" writer Idle : ERIC
90. Untidy stack : PILE
91. Out of port : ASEA
94. Détente : THAW
95. State-of-the-art : NEW
96. Biblical pronoun : THOU
97. Shucked item : EAR
98. Density symbol, in physics : RHO


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

7 comments :

Anonymous said...

The absolute WORST in puzzles. ONE SQUARE, ONE LETTER. These puzzles make my blood boil, and ruin my Sundays!!!

CanadaLes said...

Bill, I have been enjoying this blog for a long time, thanks again for it!
I have a question though, about what you use as puzzle solving resources. Crossword dictionaries? Movie review books? Web-sites looking for facts (like how I found the name "Werner Klemperer")? Or do you have a large knowledge of trivia and words and are able to work the cross words to get enough letters to solve it? I am getting better at rebus puzzles, but this one threw me! I will admit I peeked at one of the answers to get me started!

Bill Butler said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, rebus puzzles are the most controversial form of crossword published. Some people love them, and some people hate them.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Canada Les.

I'm glad the blog is proving to be of some service.

When solving a puzzle I am somewhat of a purist and I shy away from the use of resources other than my own memory or intellect. This is unlike my librarian wife who uses crosswords as exercises in reference and is happy ti hit all the references you mention and more. Once I'm done with a puzzle, even if I haven't finshed it, then I declare defeat, note the time, and list the answers I've missed. I then do lookups for all the answers that I feel merit some attention and post the results of those lookups here.

There's a short book that I read years ago which I recommend to new solvers of the NYT corossword, and folks who want to improve their solving skill: How to Conquer the New York Times Crossword Puzzle: Tips, Tricks and Techniques to Master America's Favorite Puzzle. A lot of people have found Amy Reynaldo's book to be useful. It was edited by Will Shortz, I believe.

Hope that helps, Les!

Kevin Quinn said...

Hi Bill, Please pardon my glacial time arriving at the party. As I mentioned a while back, I save the syndicated puzzles (Thursday through Sunday only) to solve as my (busy) schedule permits. just wanted to say thanks for The window of insight into the "method to your madness" (lol) Also would like to note that this puzzles author, Patrick Berry, is arguably the most gifted constructor of crosswords in American English. His gift for creative clue writing is particularly remarkable and entertaining. I'm a fan of several other constructors, but Mr. Berry takes the cake! I would offer this "word to the wise" to all novice solvers who share their "sour grapes" assessments of challenging puzzles on this blog and others: HANG IN THERE... WE WERE *ALL* ONCE INEXPERIENCED AT TOUGH PUZZLES, BUT IF YOU CONTINUE TO SOLVE. YOU WILL GET BETTER :-)

Kevin Quinn said...

P.S. Beginners should also be warned to expect a "rebus" or other gimmick on Sunday and thursday NYT Puzzles. Once "in the know," looking for the trick becomes part of the fun! Also, they should feel free to google to get "toe holds" on difficult puzzles instead of giving up. As one improves, the need for such "cheats" will diminish. (although, it's not really cheating; it's YOUR puzzle: solve it however you choose!) Crossword solving is a unique skill which rewards experience over intelligence, while improving intelligence and cognitive reasoning skills in an enjoyable and rewarding way. Above all, HAVE FUN :-) *Bill, please feel free to reprint or paraphrase this (hopefully!) helpful advice in whole or in part as you wish, if you think it will benefit any future commenters who may seem to need a bit of encouragement. (no citation needed) ;-) Cheers, -Kevin Quinn

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kevin.

I agree with you wholeheartedly about the expertise of Patrick Berry as a crossword setter. His puzzles are extremel polished and always a joy to solve.

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Kevin. I've been thinking for some time about contributing a "how to solve" guide here on the blog, based on my own experiences. Maybe I'll do it one day ...

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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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