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0625-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Jun 13, Tuesday





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: A Friendly Word … each of the themed answers today starts with a word that often precedes FRIEND:
18A. Being an online creep, in a way : FACEBOOK STALKING (from “Facebook friend”)
24A. Oscars category : BEST DOCUMENTARY (from “best friend”)
49A. Square root of -1, e.g. : IMAGINARY NUMBER (from “imaginary friend”)
56A. Popular app ... or a hint to the starts of 18-, 24- and 49-Across : WORDS WITH FRIENDS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

17. Boehner's predecessor as House speaker : PELOSI
Nancy Pelosi is a former Speaker of the House, the 60th person to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi represents a district not far from here, which covers most of San Francisco. She is the first Californian, the first Italian-American and the first woman to be Speaker of the House. As Speaker, she was also second in line, after the Vice President, to take over if President Obama could not finish his term. That made Nancy Pelosi the highest-ranking female politician in US history.

John Boehner is of course the Speaker of the House. One subject that seems to get talked about more often than he would probably like is his tanned skin. When Boehner is asked about his tanning regime, he points out that he just spends lots of time outdoors, cutting the grass and mountain-biking.

21. Tupperware piece : LID
Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

23. Like the rarer blood types, typically: Abbr. : NEG
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

24. Oscars category : BEST DOCUMENTARY (from “best friend”)
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the "Oscars". The root of the name "Oscar" is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named "Oscar" in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days ...

30. Port of Spain : CADIZ
Cádiz is a port city in southwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz is a remarkable city geographically, in that it sits on a thin spit of land that juts out into the sea.

31. Test taken by a sr. : GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

35. Violinist Perlman : ITZHAK
Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-American violinist from Tel Aviv, and a virtuosi who I had the pleasure of hearing perform not too long ago. Little known fact: Perlman is a distant cousin of comedian Howie Mandel.

38. Son of, in Arabic names : IBN
In Arabic names, “ibn” is a word meaning “son of”. The words “bin” and “ben” are also used for “son of”. The word “bint” means “daughter of”.

39. Tito Puente specialty : THE MAMBO
The form of music and dance known as mambo developed in Cuba. “Mambo” means “conversation with the gods” in Kikongo, a language spoken by slaves taken to Cuba from Central Africa.

After serving in the navy in WWII for three years, the musician Tito Puente studied at Juilliard, where he got a great grounding in conducting, orchestration and theory. Puente parlayed this education into a career in Latin Jazz and Mambo. He was known as "El Rey" as well as "The King of Latin Music".

44. Lover of Psyche : EROS
In the myth of Cupid (aka Eros) and Psyche, the two title characters must overcome many obstacles to fulfill their love for each other. Overcome them they do, and the pair marry and enjoy immortal love.

45. Shakespearean manipulator : IAGO
Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare's "Othello". Iago is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. He hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello's wife. By the end of the play it's Iago himself who is discredited and Othello (before committing suicide) apologizes to Cassio for having believed Iago's lies. Heavy stuff ...

46. ___ avis : RARA
A “rara avis” is anything that is very rare, and is Latin for "rare bird".

47. Intl. commerce group : WTO
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was laid down in 1949, a compromise solution reached by participating governments after they failed in their goal to establish the International Trade Organization. Finally in 1995, a similar organization was formed and the World Trade Organization (WTO) effectively succeeded GATT.

49. Square root of -1, e.g. : IMAGINARY NUMBER (from “imaginary friend”)
An imaginary number is a number which is a multiple of the square root of “-1”. A complex number is the sum of a real number and an imaginary number. The use of the term “imaginary number” started in the 1600s as back then it was believed that multiples of the square root of “-1” had no practical use. However, I am reliably informed that such numbers are now found useful in science and engineering circles.

53. Parisian pronoun : TOI
“Toi” is the French word for “you”, when talking to someone with whom you are familiar.

54. Asian title of respect : SRI
“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

56. Popular app ... or a hint to the starts of 18-, 24- and 49-Across : WORDS WITH FRIENDS
“Words With Friends” is a word game application that can be played on smart phones and other electronic devices. “Words With Friends” is basically Scrabble under a different name, I hear.

64. Melodic : ARIOSE
A tune that is “ariose” is song-like, characterized by melody as opposed to harmony.

67. Folk singer Pete : SEEGER
The American folk singer Pete Seeger wrote and co-wrote a lot of classic songs. The list includes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, “If I had a Hammer”, and “Turn, Turn, Turn!”

68. Density symbol, in physics : RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter "p".

Down
1. Internet picture file : GIF
A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution.

2. "Leaving ___ Jet Plane" : ON A
"Leaving on a Jet Plane" was written by John Denver in 1966, but the most famous recording of the song was by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1969. The lyrics of the song are meant to portray a travelling musician saying goodbye to his beloved as he heads off on the road yet again. Because the song was released at the height of the Vietnam War, it was widely assumed that the words actually referred to a soldier heading off on a plane to fight overseas.

3. Army one-striper: Abbr. : PFC
Private First Class (PFC)

5. Expedia rival : ORBITZ
Orbitz is one of the big online travel companies, one that is based in Chicago. Orbitz was originally set up as a joint-venture of several airlines including Continental, Delta, Northwest and United.

Expedia is one of the largest Internet-based travel companies, and has a site where you can book airline tickets and reserve hotel rooms and rental cars. I use Expedia a lot because I am an AARP member, and the AARP Travel website is powered by the Expedia search engine. In my travels I’ve found by comparison shopping that the AARP Travel site usually has the best prices for hotel rooms.

7. Ship that was double-booked? : ARK
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board "every clean animal by sevens ... male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth". Apparently "extras" (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

9. Messy barbecue dish : SPARERIBS
Spareribs are so called because "spare" can indicate the absence of fat.

10. Kenan's Nickelodeon pal : KEL
"Kenan & Kel" is a sitcom that aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. It starred Kenan Thompson (now of "Saturday Night Live"), and Kel Mitchell.

13. Ed of "Up" : ASNER
Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and on the spin-off drama "Lou Grant". Off-screen, Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When "Lou Grant" was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact one of Asner's activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever), found that his show "WKRP in Cincinnati" was also cancelled ... on the very same day ...

"Up" is the tenth movie released by Pixar studios, featuring wonderful animation as we have come to expect from Pixar. The film earned itself two Academy Awards. The main voice actor is Ed Asner, whose animated persona as Carl Fredricksen was created to resemble Spencer Tracy in his last film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.

20. Scotsman's cap : TAM
A tam o'shanter is a man's cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. "Tams" were originally all blue (and called "blue bonnets"), but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of Robert Burns' poem "Tam O'Shanter".

24. Disney deer : BAMBI
The 1942 Disney classic "Bambi" is based on a book written by Felix Salten called "Bambi, A Life in the Woods". There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi's mother is shot by hunters.

25. Minnesota city SW of Minneapolis so named for its fertile soil : EDEN PRAIRIE
The city of Eden Prairie lies just outside downtown Minneapolis. If you live there, congratulations! Eden Prairie was ranked by "Money Magazine" in 2010 as the best place to live in America.

26. The giant in "Jack and the Beanstalk," e.g. : OGRE
“Jack and the Beanstalk” is a fairy tale from England. In the story, young Jack sells the family cow for some magic beans. He plants the beans and a massive beanstalk grows up into the sky. At the top of the beanstalk there lives an ogre. Jack climbs the beanstalk and adventures ensue …

28. Grp. with peacekeeping forces : NATO
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill's chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."

29. Celebrity gossip Web site : TMZ
TMZ.com is a celebrity gossip web site launched in 2005. "TMZ" stands for "thirty-mile zone", a reference to the "studio zone" in Los Angeles. The studio zone is circular in shape with a 30-mile radius centered on the intersection of West Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard.

30. San Francisco's ___ Tower : COIT
Coit Tower is a renowned memorial in San Francisco that sits atop Telegraph Hill. The full name of the structure is the Lillian Coit Memorial Tower, recognizing a generous bequest to the city by wealthy socialite Lillie Hitchcock Coit. There is an urban myth in these parts that the tower was designed to resemble the nozzle of a fire hose, as Lillie used to like chasing fires and hanging out with firemen.

34. Nickname of basketball's Allen Iverson : THE ANSWER
Allen Iverson is a professional basketball player who played in the NBA for several years. Iverson signed up to play for a Turkish basketball team in 2010.

39. "A Sorta Fairytale" singer Amos : TORI
Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer. She started playing the piano at two years old, and was composing piano pieces by age five. She was playing in piano bars (chaperoned by her father) when she was 14. I'm going to have to find some of her music (I lead such a sheltered life ...)!

40. Apollo 11 goal : MOON
Neil Armstrong was the most private of individuals. You didn't often see him giving interviews, unlike so many of the more approachable astronauts of the Apollo space program. His famous, "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" statement; that was something that he came up with himself while Apollo 11 was making its way to the moon.

49. Opening words of "A Tale of Two Cities" : IT WAS
"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens is the most printed book that was originally written in English. The two cities in the title are of course London and Paris. The novel’s famous opening words are:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …
The novel’s closing words are almost as famous:
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

50. Alan who wrote "V for Vendetta" : MOORE
Alan Moore is an English writer of graphic novels, a term that Moore himself introduced in order to differentiate his work from “comic books”.

52. Old Mideast grp. : UAR
The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria formed in 1958. The UAR was dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

57. Labrador, e.g. : DOG
The Labrador breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s.

62. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

63. Belarus, once: Abbr. : SSR
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located east of Poland and north of Ukraine. Belarus didn’t exist as an entity until the Russian Revolution when it was created as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) that made up the USSR. The Republic of Belarus was formed soon after the USSR dissolved in 1990, but unlike many of the former Soviet Republics, Belarus has largely retained the old Soviet policies. Alexander Lukashenko is the country’s president and he believes in state ownership of the economy. Belarus and Russia have formal agreements in place that pledge cooperation.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Lose one's amateur status : GO PRO
6. Prohibit : BAR
9. Mountain top? : SKI CAP
15. Suss out : INFER
16. What may be under a mountaintop : ORE
17. Boehner's predecessor as House speaker : PELOSI
18. Being an online creep, in a way : FACEBOOK STALKING (from “Facebook friend”)
21. Tupperware piece : LID
22. Garage occupier : CAR
23. Like the rarer blood types, typically: Abbr. : NEG
24. Oscars category : BEST DOCUMENTARY (from “best friend”)
30. Port of Spain : CADIZ
31. Test taken by a sr. : GRE
32. Ratchet (up) : RAMP
33. Black cat running across one's path, say : OMEN
34. Psychedelic experience : TRIP
35. Violinist Perlman : ITZHAK
38. Son of, in Arabic names : IBN
39. Tito Puente specialty : THE MAMBO
41. Many a football play : RUN
42. Proceed quietly : TIPTOE
44. Lover of Psyche : EROS
45. Shakespearean manipulator : IAGO
46. ___ avis : RARA
47. Intl. commerce group : WTO
48. Miniature map, maybe : INSET
49. Square root of -1, e.g. : IMAGINARY NUMBER (from “imaginary friend”)
53. Parisian pronoun : TOI
54. Asian title of respect : SRI
55. It's south of Eur. : AFR
56. Popular app ... or a hint to the starts of 18-, 24- and 49-Across : WORDS WITH FRIENDS
64. Melodic : ARIOSE
65. It's found near a temple : EAR
66. Gets close to : NEARS
67. Folk singer Pete : SEEGER
68. Density symbol, in physics : RHO
69. Trimming tool : EDGER

Down
1. Internet picture file : GIF
2. "Leaving ___ Jet Plane" : ON A
3. Army one-striper: Abbr. : PFC
4. Lands, as a fish : REELS IN
5. Expedia rival : ORBITZ
6. "Bad call, ref!" : BOO!
7. Ship that was double-booked? : ARK
8. Lifesavers, of a sort : RESCUE PARTY
9. Messy barbecue dish : SPARERIBS
10. Kenan's Nickelodeon pal : KEL
11. Sort : ILK
12. Be inventive with language : COIN A PHRASE
13. Ed of "Up" : ASNER
14. Word with bank or back : PIGGY
19. "Hmm, that's unexpected" : ODD
20. Scotsman's cap : TAM
24. Disney deer : BAMBI
25. Minnesota city SW of Minneapolis so named for its fertile soil : EDEN PRAIRIE
26. The giant in "Jack and the Beanstalk," e.g. : OGRE
27. Person whose books make a killing? : CRIME WRITER
28. Grp. with peacekeeping forces : NATO
29. Celebrity gossip Web site : TMZ
30. San Francisco's ___ Tower : COIT
34. Nickname of basketball's Allen Iverson : THE ANSWER
36. Boring tool : AUGER
37. Muscle problem : KNOT
39. "A Sorta Fairytale" singer Amos : TORI
40. Apollo 11 goal : MOON
43. Kids' game : TAG
45. Keep it in the family? : INBREED
48. "Don't worry about me" : I'M FINE
49. Opening words of "A Tale of Two Cities" : IT WAS
50. Alan who wrote "V for Vendetta" : MOORE
51. Man's name that sounds like two letters of the alphabet : ARI
52. Old Mideast grp. : UAR
57. Labrador, e.g. : DOG
58. St. Paul-to-St. Louis dir. : SSE
59. "Told you so!" : HAH!
60. Slangy hairdo : FRO
61. Constant faultfinder : NAG
62. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
63. Belarus, once: Abbr. : SSR


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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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