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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth 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

0627-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jun 13, Thursday





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: Sean Dobbin
THEME: Hidden Ballplayers’ Stuff … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase that can be read as something belonging to a ballplayer:
20A. California ballplayer's pound? : GIANT’S QUID (from “giant squid”)
26A. Missouri ballplayer's connection? : CARDINAL’S IN (from “cardinal sin”)
45A. Michigan ballplayer's rubbish : TIGER’S TRIPE (from “tiger stripe”)
55A. Pennsylvania ballplayer's joint? : PIRATE’S HIP (from “pirate ship”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Apple grower? : BEATLE
The Beatles founded their own record label in 1968, Apple Records. When singles were released, the A-side had the image of a Granny Smith apple on the label, with the B-side label showing the midsection of the same apple cut in half. Cute ...

15. Boy who pulls the sword from the stone in "The Sword in the Stone" : ARTHUR
“The Sword in the Stone” is a novel by T. H. White that was adapted into a Disney animated film of the same name. The novel tells the story of legendary King Arthur as a young boy.

16. Barack Obama, for one : LEO
Babies born from July 23 to August 22 each year fall under the star sign of Leo.

Despite rumors to the contrary, I am pretty sure that Barack Hussein Obama II was indeed born in Hawaii. President Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at Kapi'olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii.

17. Women's soccer star Wambach : ABBY
Abby Wambach is professional soccer player who currently turns out for the Western New York Flash in the National Women’s Soccer League. Wambach has been playing for the US national team since 2003 and holds the record for the number of goals scored in international competition, by males or females.

18. Oceanus and Hyperion : TITANS
The Titans were a group of twelve older deities in Greek mythology. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the Olympians, who were twelve younger gods.

Oceanus was a mythical Titan deity personifying the so-called “World Ocean”, the interconnected oceans and seas of the world. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the world was encircled by one enormous river.

Hyperion was one of the Titan deities and was the personification of the Earth.

19. ___ Search (former name for Bing) : MSN
Bing is the search engine from Microsoft. Bing is the latest name for an engine that Microsoft used to call Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search.

20. California ballplayer's pound? : GIANT’S QUID (from “giant squid”)
Today’s San Francisco Giants baseball team was founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams. The team’s name was changed to the Giants in 1885, and the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.

“Quid” is a slang term for a pound sterling (i.e. a UK pound). It’s not certain where the term comes from, but it is possibly derived somehow from the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” meaning “this for that”.

22. "A fickle food," to Emily Dickinson : FAME
On a recent trip around the country, my wife and I had a very disappointing stop in Amherst, Massachusetts intending to visit the old home of Emily Dickinson. We hadn't done our homework and failed to note that the home was only open for tours on certain days of the week, and not the day we were there (so be warned!). Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily's younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades. Try this one for size:
Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set
Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the
Farmer’s corn
Men eat of it and die

23. Stadium recorder : SKYCAM
Skycam is a brand name, which now tends to be used generically. “Skycam” refers to that TV camera mounted on cables over say a football field that allows for some very cool shots as the camera seems to swoop down to the play to follow the action, almost like it's part of a video game.

24. Día de los Santos Reyes month : ENERO
In Spanish, the Three Kings Day (Día de los Santos Reyes) is in January (enero).

26. Missouri ballplayer's connection? : CARDINAL’S IN (from “cardinal sin”)
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the "Brown Stockings", changing their name to the "Perfectos" in 1899. The new name obviously didn't go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are:
- wrath
- greed
- sloth
- pride
- lust
- envy
- gluttony

36. Texas city that's headquarters for J. C. Penney : PLANO
Plano, Texas is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Settlers chose the name “Plano” in the 1840s. “Plano” is Spanish for “flat”, a reference to the terrain in the area.

JC Penney’s department stores started out as the Golden Rule Store, founded by James Cash Penney and two partners in 1902 in Kemmerer, Wyoming. That first store is still operating today in Kemmerer. Sam Walton used to work for Penney’s in Des Moines, Iowa, before moving on to found the Walmart empire.

37. Actors Ken and Lena : OLINS
Ken Olin was one of the stars on the hit television series "Thirtysomething", playing Michael Steadman. After "Thirtysomething", Olin moved behind the camera and is now a producer and director.

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.

39. Rap sheet abbr. : AKA
A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

Also known as (aka)

41. Band with the 1984 hit "My Oh My" : SLADE
Slade is a favorite band from my youth, a rock band from the north of England who made it big during the seventies. One of Slade’s hallmark marketing techniques was a deliberate misspelling of their song titles. Some of those titles are: “Merry Xmas Everybody”, “Gudbuy T’Jane” and my personal favorite “Cum On Feel the Noize”.

44. Junk mail encl., sometimes : SASE
A self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) might bear a row of stamps.

45. Michigan ballplayer's rubbish : TIGER’S TRIPE (from “tiger stripe”)
The origins of the Detroit Tigers baseball team's nickname seems a little unclear. One story is that it was taken from the Detroit Light Guard military unit who were known as "The Tigers". The Light Guard fought with distinction during the Civil War and in the Spanish-American War. Sure enough, when the Detroit baseball team went into the Majors they were formally given permission to use "The Tigers" name by the Detroit Light Guard.

“Tripe” is the lining of an animal’s stomach that is used as food (mainly the stomach of a cow). The term came to mean something of no value in the late 1800s.

48. Total mess : SNAFU
SNAFU is an acronym standing for Situation Normal: All Fouled Up (well, that's the "polite" version!). As you might imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

54. Tae ___ do : KWON
Taekwondo is the national sport of Korea. "Tae" means "to strike or break with foot"; "kwon" means "to strike or break with fist"; "do" means "way" or "art". Along with judo, taekwondo is one of only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games.

55. Pennsylvania ballplayer's joint? : PIRATE’S HIP (from “pirate ship”)
The Pittsburgh Pirates (nicknamed the Bucs or Buccos) joined baseball’s National League in 1887 just six years after the league was formed. The Pirates played in the first ever World Series, in 1903, and actually won their first World Series in 1909.

59. Gaming inits. : NES
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era.

60. The Penguin's player in "Batman Returns" : DEVITO
Danny DeVito’s big break as an actor came with the role of Louie De Palma on the sitcom “TaxI”. After parlaying his success on television into some major comic roles on the big screen, DeVito turned to producing. He co-founded the production company Jersey Films which made hit movies such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Garden State”. DeVito has been married to actress Rhea Perlman for over 30 years, recently reconciling with her after an announcement that they planned to divorce.

The Penguin is an enemy of Batman in the comic book series and its spinoffs. The villain first appeared in 1941 and was inspired by the advertising mascot of Kool cigarettes at that time, a penguin with a hat and cane. Famously, the Penguin was played by Burgess Meredith in “Batman” TV series in the 1960s. The character was also portrayed by Danny DeVito in the 1992 film “Batman Returns”.

62. "The Book of ___" (2010 film) : ELI
2010’s "The Book of Eli" is one of those "end of the world" type movies, with Denzel Washington playing a tough guy traveling across what is left of the United States after some apocryphal event.

63. 1974 foreign-language hit : ERES TU
We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That's how ABBA got their big break when they won in 1974 with "Waterloo". In 1972, Spain's entry was "Eres tu" (the Spanish for "You Are") sung by the band Mocedades. "Eres tu" came second in the competition, but should have won in my humble opinion.

64. Sons of ___ (ethnic pride group) : ERIN
I think that “Sons of Erin” is a name used by several groups located around the world, mainly in the US, who are dedicated to promoting Irish heritage.

65. Trains in Chicago : ELS
The Chicago "L" is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The "L" is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the "L" (originally short for "elevated railroad"), although the term "El" is also in common use (especially in crosswords as "ELS"). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

Down
2. Father of a 1980s craze : RUBIK
What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as Rubik’s Cube, named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik's Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

4. Popular quintet that included two former Mouseketeers : ‘N SYNC
'N Sync was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded "in sync". But, it's also true that the letters of the name 'N Sync are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:
- Justin Timberlake
- Chris Kirkpatrick
- Joey Fatone
- Lance "Lansten" Bass
- JC Chasez
‘N Sync band members Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez had both been cast members on “The Mickey Mouse Club”.

5. Cricket player : BATSMAN
Cricket is the national game of England. The term “cricket” apparently comes from the Old French word “criquet” meaning “goalpost, stick”.

6. La Salle of "Coming to America" : ERIQ
Eriq La Salle played Dr. Peter Benton on "ER", and is best known in film for his portrayal of Darryl in the 1998 comedy "Coming to America".

7. Aleutian island : ATTU
Attu is the westernmost island in the Aleutian chain, and so is the westernmost part of Alaska. Japanese forces took the island in October 1942, eventually landing as many as 2,900 soldiers there. In May 1943, the US Army retook the island in twenty days of fighting that is now called the Battle of Attu, the only land battle to take place on US soil during WWII. I am very proud of my father-in-law, who served in the Aleutians in WWII ...

9. Joan who once co-hosted "Good Morning America" : LUNDEN
The journalist and author Joan Lunden was co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America” from 1980 to 1997. “Lunden” is actually a stage name as Joan was born with the family name Blunden.

11. One way to prepare pollo : AL MARSALA
“Pollo al Marsala” is the Italian name for dish we tend to call “chicken Marsala”. Chicken Marsala is a French-Italian dish made from chicken cooked with mushrooms in Marsala wine.

Marsala is a seaport lying in the very west of Sicily. If you visit Marsala, you'll find what's called "vintage" Marsala wine, a "regular" red wine. If you buy a bottle of Marsala at your local store though, it will be a fortified wine, wine with a higher alcohol content.

12. Where Ronald Reagan worked as a sports announcer : DES 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.

21. Washington's Sea-___ Airport : TAC
Sea-Tac Airport is more fully known as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac is the main hub for Alaska Airlines.

28. Westernmost city on the African mainland : DAKAR
The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar, a city located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.

29. Hassan Rowhani, for one : IRANI
Hassan Rouhani (also “Rowhani”) is the president-elect of Iran, having won the election held on 15 June 2013. Rouhani will take over from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

34. Like vicuñas : ANDEAN
The vicuña is a South American camelid that lives in the Andes. The vicuña produces very little wool, and that wool can only be collected every three years. So, vicuña wool is very expensive due to the shortage of supply.

38. One doing the lord's work : SERF
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. "Serf" comes from the Latin "servus", meaning "slave".

51. Airport named for a naval war hero : O’HARE
O'Hare International is the fourth busiest airport in the world. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport's current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O'Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward O'Hare who grew up in Chicago. O'Hare was the US Navy's first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII. As an aside, Edward O'Hare's father was a lawyer for Al Capone who helped get the famous gangster convicted on tax evasion.

52. Some BMW vehicles : MINIS
The original mini was a fabulous car, one that I drove all over Ireland in my youth. It had a unique front-wheel-drive layout that took up very little space, allowing for a lot of room (relatively speaking) for passengers and baggage. One space-saving trick was to mount the engine transversely, so it sits rotated 90 degrees from the norm. That engine had a capacity of only 848cc. In 1961, a Mini Cooper model was introduced, a sporty version of the Mini. The Mini Cooper was a phenomenal hit, especially after repeated wins in the Monte Carlo Rally. The Mini marque has been owned by BMW since 1994.

56. Composer Charles : IVES
Charles Ives was one of the great classical composers, probably the first American to be so recognized. Sadly, his work largely went unsung (pun intended!) during his lifetime, and was really only accepted into the performed repertoire after his death in 1954.

60. Justice Department div. : DEA
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Kind of muffin : BRAN
5. Apple grower? : BEATLE
11. Interject : ADD
14. Wagon trails have them : RUTS
15. Boy who pulls the sword from the stone in "The Sword in the Stone" : ARTHUR
16. Barack Obama, for one : LEO
17. Women's soccer star Wambach : ABBY
18. Oceanus and Hyperion : TITANS
19. ___ Search (former name for Bing) : MSN
20. California ballplayer's pound? : GIANT’S QUID (from “giant squid”)
22. "A fickle food," to Emily Dickinson : FAME
23. Stadium recorder : SKYCAM
24. Día de los Santos Reyes month : ENERO
26. Missouri ballplayer's connection? : CARDINAL’S IN (from “cardinal sin”)
31. Baby's word : DADA
35. Around : NEAR
36. Texas city that's headquarters for J. C. Penney : PLANO
37. Actors Ken and Lena : OLINS
39. Rap sheet abbr. : AKA
40. Corporate department : SALES
41. Band with the 1984 hit "My Oh My" : SLADE
42. Fires : CANS
44. Junk mail encl., sometimes : SASE
45. Michigan ballplayer's rubbish : TIGER’S TRIPE (from “tiger stripe”)
48. Total mess : SNAFU
49. "Time is money" and others : AXIOMS
54. Tae ___ do : KWON
55. Pennsylvania ballplayer's joint? : PIRATE’S HIP (from “pirate ship”)
59. Gaming inits. : NES
60. The Penguin's player in "Batman Returns" : DEVITO
61. There may be one for "8 items or less" : LANE
62. "The Book of ___" (2010 film) : ELI
63. 1974 foreign-language hit : ERES TU
64. Sons of ___ (ethnic pride group) : ERIN
65. Trains in Chicago : ELS
66. Out : ABSENT
67. Trial balloon : TEST

Down
1. Crows : BRAGS
2. Father of a 1980s craze : RUBIK
3. Held in check : AT BAY
4. Popular quintet that included two former Mouseketeers : ‘N SYNC
5. Cricket player : BATSMAN
6. La Salle of "Coming to America" : ERIQ
7. Aleutian island : ATTU
8. Spicy cuisine : THAI
9. Joan who once co-hosted "Good Morning America" : LUNDEN
10. Hosp. units : ERS
11. One way to prepare pollo : AL MARSALA
12. Where Ronald Reagan worked as a sports announcer : DES MOINES
13. Ready to serve : DONE
21. Washington's Sea-___ Airport : TAC
22. Guys : FELLAS
25. Drops off, maybe : NAPS
27. Not take it lying down : REACT
28. Westernmost city on the African mainland : DAKAR
29. Hassan Rowhani, for one : IRANI
30. Bad thing to pick : NOSE
31. Biblical verb : DOST
32. "No problems here" : ALL IS WELL
33. Result of an exam : DIAGNOSIS
34. Like vicuñas : ANDEAN
38. One doing the lord's work : SERF
43. Said quickly : SPAT OUT
46. Top-notch : SUPERB
47. Program file suffix : EXE
50. Exposed sandbar, maybe : ISLET
51. Airport named for a naval war hero : O’HARE
52. Some BMW vehicles : MINIS
53. Tuckered out : SPENT
54. Attack at close range, maybe : KNEE
56. Composer Charles : IVES
57. Knoll : RISE
58. Memo abbr. : ATTN
60. Justice Department div. : DEA


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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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