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0703-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Jul 13, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Pam Klawitter
THEME: Corner Store … there are four types of STORE spelled out in the CORNERS of the grid using the circled letters:
36A. Local convenience ... or a hint to the words in the circled squares : CORNER STORE
- RETAIL (STORE) at the northwest CORNER
- DIME (STORE) at the northeast CORNER
- GENERAL (STORE) at the southeast CORNER
- CHAIN (STORE) at the southwest CORNER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Succulent lobster piece : TAIL
Lobsters are usually cooked by placing them in boiling water. Some chefs stab the lobster through its “brain” to kill it or render it unconscious. However, the lobster has several nerve ganglia rather than a brain, so just destroying the frontal ganglion in the head doesn’t render the animal insensate. Boiling lobsters while they are alive is actually illegal in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia.

5. Still-in-development apps : BETAS
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the "alpha" version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a "beta" and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as "beta". The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right ...

14. City known as the Navel of Sicily : ENNA
The city of Enna sits very high up in the hills of Sicily, overlooking the whole island below. Enna is the capital of the province that bears its name, which is the highest province in the whole of Italy. As the city is located in the center of the island, Enna is sometimes called the navel (ombelico) of Sicily.

17. Jim Beam and others : RYES
For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

Jim Beam is the world's biggest-selling brand of bourbon. Jim Beam whiskey has roots going back to around 1795 when Jacob Beam sold his first corn whiskey. The whiskey took on the name "bourbon", possibly after Bourbon County in Kentucky.

20. "Mamma Mia!" number : SOS
The ABBA song "S.O.S." was originally titled "Turn Me On". In the movie "Mama Mia!", it is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

21. Vandyke locale : CHIN
The style of facial hair known as a Van Dyke is made up of a moustache and a goatee, with the cheeks fully shaven. The style takes its name from the 17th century Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck who wore such a beard, as did many of the men whose portrait he painted.

24. Preserves on a farm : ENSILES
“To ensile” is to store in a silo.

Silo is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word "siros" that described a pit in which one kept grain.

26. Sharpie feature : FELT TIP
Sharpie is a brand of pen.

28. Witherspoon of "Walk the Line" : REESE
Reese is not actually actress Witherspoon's given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. Reese is her mother's maiden name.

I must admit that I am not a big country music fan, but who doesn't love Johnny Cash? The man had such a unique voice, and indeed unique songs. I think that his biopic, "Walk the Line", is very cool, as is the title song itself. Recorded back in 1956, "Walk the Line" is relatively creative for “popular” music. The basic rhythm of the song emulates the sound of a freight train, the “boom-chicka-boom” sound. Cash’s guitar has a unique tone to it as it plays this rhythm, achieved by threading a piece of paper between the guitar strings giving the rhythm a bit of a “buzz”. Above the rhythm line, each of the five verses is sung in different keys. You can actually hear Cash hum a note signifying the key change at the start of each verse. With all these modulations, the final verse is sung a full octave lower that the first. A remarkable tune …

29. Grand display : ECLAT
Éclat can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French "éclater" meaning "to splinter, burst out".

34. Fifth-century sacker : HUN
The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila's death in 453 AD.

42. "Alphabet series" author Grafton : SUE
43. Preposition in many Grafton titles : FOR
Sue Grafton writes detective novels, and her "alphabet series" features the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with "A Is for Alibi" in 1982 and is working her way through the alphabet, most recently publishing "U Is for Undertow" in 2009. What a clever naming system!

44. Risking a D.U.I., say : TIPSY
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

46. Neighbor of Fiji : TONGA
The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles.

The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.

52. "Last Kiss" or "Tell Laura I Love Her" : SAD SONG
"Last Kiss" is a teen tragedy song that was first recorded in 1961, by Wayne Cochran. The tragedy in the song is that two teenagers on a date are involved in a car accident. The driver comes to and finds his girlfriend unconscious beside him. He lifts her into his arms at which point she wakes up sufficiently to smile at him and say a few words. The couple share a romantic “last kiss”, and then she passes away.

"Tell Laura I Love Her" is a teenage tragedy song that was a hit for Ray Peterson in 1960, and also for Ricky Valence later the same year. The song tells the sad tale of young Tommy who is in love with Laura. Tommy enters a car race in the hope of winning money to buy Laura an engagement ring. Tommy’s car overturns and bursts into flames during the race. His last words are "Tell Laura I love her... My love for her will never die."

55. Facetious "I see" : AHSO
The slang term “ahso” is used in American English to mean “I see”. The term derives from the Japanese expression “Ah so desu ka” meaning “Oh, that’s how it is”.

56. Former 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.

57. Charlie who said "Waiting for tomorrow waste of today" : CHAN
Charlie Chan is the main character in a series of novels by Earl Derr Biggers. Chan is a Chinese-American detective working with the Honolulu police department. There have been almost 50 movies made featuring the Charlie Chan character.

58. Minuscule amounts : IOTAS
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

60. Part of a guitarist's pedalboard : WA-WA
A wah-wah pedal connected to an electric guitar alters the tone of the signal created so that it mimics the human voice.

61. Daughter of Hägar the Horrible : HONI
"Hagar the Horrible" is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. "Hagar the Terrible" (not "Horrible") was the nickname given to Dik by his sons.

62. Figurative use of a word : TROPE
A “trope” is a figure of speech, from the Greek word “tropos” that has the same meaning.

63. "Believe ___ Not!" : IT OR
"Ripley's Believe It or Not!" is a huge franchise on television, affiliated to a worldwide chain of museums. The franchise started out as cartoon feature appearing in newspapers in 1918.

Norbert Pearlroth was a native of Poland who arrived in America in 1920. He took a job with Robert Ripley as a linguist, as Pearlroth knew eleven languages. He set about researching foreign papers and other publications locating material for Ripley’s “Believe It or Not!” pictorial panel that was widely syndicated in newspapers. Pearlroth worked almost exclusively in New York Public Library, ten hours a day, six days a week, for 52 years. The library estimates that he examined about 7,000 books a year, and over 350,000 books in his time working for Ripley, believe it or not …

66. Pool item? : GENE
A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

Down
3. Actually existing : IN ESSE
The Latin term "in esse" is used to mean "actually existing", and translates as "in being".

4. ___ Palmas : LAS
Gran Canaria, or Grand Canary Island, may be grand but it isn't quite as big as Tenerife, the largest island of the group and the most populated. The capital of Gran Canaria is Las Palmas, a port of call for Christopher Columbus in 1492 on his way to the Americas.

6. Plaza girl of fiction : ELOISE
Kay Thompson wrote the "Eloise" series of children's books. Kay Thompson actually lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the setting she would choose for her "Eloise" stories. Eloise started out as a hit song for Thompson, a success that she parlayed into the book franchise.

7. Ending with George or James : -TOWN
Georgetown is a neighborhood in the northwest of Washington, D.C. Georgetown was founded as a port in the state of Maryland in 1751. Government of the municipality was taken over by the District of Columbia in 1871.

8. Hydrocarbon suffix : -ANE
Alkanes are organic compounds. The “smaller” alkanes are gases and are quite combustible. Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component. Propane (C3H8) is another component of natural gas and is heavy enough to be readily turned into a liquid by compression for ease of transportation and storage. Butane (C4H10) is also easily liquefied under pressure and can be used as the fuel in cigarette lighters or as the propellant in aerosol sprays. The heavier alkanes are not gases, and instead are liquids and solids at room temperature.

Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia was the first English settlement in what was to become the United States. The settlement was established as James Fort in 1607, and served as capital of the colony from 1616 to 1699. Jamestown started to decline after a fire in the statehouse in 1698 that caused the capital to relocate to Williamsburg. The town was eventually abandoned and today exists as a heritage site.

13. Sitcom cook who said "Stow it!" : MEL
The TV sitcom "Alice" ran from 1976 to 1985, a story about a widow named Alice who takes a job at Mel's Diner. The show was based on a very successful 1974 movie called "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" directed by Martin Scorsese (his first Hollywood production) and starring Ellen Burstyn and Kris Kristofferson.

26. Winter bugs : FLUS
Influenza is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.

30. Rock in Hollywood : CHRIS
Chris Rock is a great stand-up comedian. Interestingly, Rock cites his paternal grandfather as an influence on his performing style. Grandfather Allen Rock was a preacher.

33. Group with two apostrophes in its name : B'NAI B’RITH
B'nai B'rith is a Jewish service organization founded in New York City in 1843. “B'nai B'rith” is Hebrew for “Sons of the Covenant”.

35. Cookies that flavor some ice cream : OREOS
Apparently Oreo Ice Cream flavors were introduced relatively recently, in 2010.

36. British poet laureate Duffy : CAROL ANN
Carol Ann Duffy is a poet and playwright from Scotland. Duffy is the current poet laureate in Britain and is the first Scot to hold the position as well as the first openly gay person to be so honored.

39. B-52's home: Abbr. : AFB
Air Force Base (AFB)

The B-52 Stratofortress has been a mainstay of the USAF since its introduction in 1955. The stated intention is to keep the B-52 in service until 2045, which would give a remarkable length of service of over 90 years.

40. Moscow ballet company : BOLSHOI
The Bolshoi Ballet company is based in Moscow, Russia. The Bolshoi company has over 200 dancers, making it by far the biggest ballet company in the world. I am very proud to say that I have had the privilege to attend a performance of the Bolshoi in the beautiful Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia about a decade ago …

44. J. Alfred Prufrock creator's monogram : TSE
T. S. Eliot was born in New England but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Much of Eliot's college education was at Oxford, and clearly he became comfortable with life in England. In 1927 he became a British citizen and lived the rest of life in the UK.

"The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" is a very famous poem by T. S. Eliot, first published in 1915. The rather odd name of “Prufrock” seems to have just come to Eliot, although there was a Prufrock-Littau Company in St. Louis when he lived there.

57. When doubled, a dance : CHA
I believe the dance is called a “cha-cha-cha”, and not just “cha-cha” ...

The cha-cha-cha is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

60. Part of many a Halloween costume : WIG
All Saints' Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints' Day is All Hallows Eve, better known by the Scottish term, "Halloween".


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Succulent lobster piece : TAIL
5. Still-in-development apps : BETAS
10. Take ___ view of : A DIM
14. City known as the Navel of Sicily : ENNA
15. "Are we ___?" : ALONE
16. Eat by candlelight : DINE
17. Jim Beam and others : RYES
18. Airport feature : TOWER
19. Some airplane cargo : MAIL
20. "Mamma Mia!" number : SOS
21. Vandyke locale : CHIN
22. ___-free (low-cal, maybe) : GUILT
24. Preserves on a farm : ENSILES
26. Sharpie feature : FELT TIP
28. Witherspoon of "Walk the Line" : REESE
29. Grand display : ECLAT
31. Boat turner : OAR
32. Collar : NAB
34. Fifth-century sacker : HUN
35. Word before a sale price : ONLY
36. Local convenience ... or a hint to the words in the circled squares : CORNER STORE
39. Blind as ___ : A BAT
41. "Call 'em"/"see 'em" connection : AS I
42. "Alphabet series" author Grafton : SUE
43. Preposition in many Grafton titles : FOR
44. Risking a D.U.I., say : TIPSY
46. Neighbor of Fiji : TONGA
50. Easily passes : BLOWS BY
52. "Last Kiss" or "Tell Laura I Love Her" : SAD SONG
54. More guileful : SLIER
55. Facetious "I see" : AHSO
56. Former chess champion Mikhail : TAL
57. Charlie who said "Waiting for tomorrow waste of today" : CHAN
58. Minuscule amounts : IOTAS
60. Part of a guitarist's pedalboard : WA-WA
61. Daughter of Hägar the Horrible : HONI
62. Figurative use of a word : TROPE
63. "Believe ___ Not!" : IT OR
64. 25-Down, nonstandardly : AIN’T
65. Start of a toast : HERE’S
66. Pool item? : GENE

Down
1. More to the point : TERSER
2. "Who wants to volunteer?" : ANYONE?
3. Actually existing : IN ESSE
4. ___ Palmas : LAS
5. Come clean? : BATHE
6. Plaza girl of fiction : ELOISE
7. Ending with George or James : -TOWN
8. Hydrocarbon suffix : -ANE
9. March V.I.P.'s? : SERGEANTS
10. Fess up (to) : ADMIT
11. Landline sound : DIAL TONE
12. Handkerchief embroidery : INITIAL
13. Sitcom cook who said "Stow it!" : MEL
21. Like crystal : CLEAR
23. Final: Abbr. : ULT
25. "This ___ a drill!" : IS NOT
26. Winter bugs : FLUS
27. Apply leverage to : PRY
30. Rock in Hollywood : CHRIS
33. Group with two apostrophes in its name : B'NAI B’RITH
35. Cookies that flavor some ice cream : OREOS
36. British poet laureate Duffy : CAROL ANN
37. Spot : ESPY
38. Go one better than : OUTDO
39. B-52's home: Abbr. : AFB
40. Moscow ballet company : BOLSHOI
44. J. Alfred Prufrock creator's monogram : TSE
45. What a slingshot or wishbone has : Y-SHAPE
47. Jot down : NOTATE
48. Chew, as a steak bone : GNAW ON
49. Shining brightly : AGLARE
51. Take home the top prize : WIN IT
53. Ninnies : ASSES
55. Suffix with origin or comment : -ATOR
57. When doubled, a dance : CHA
59. Stuff to dig up : ORE
60. Part of many a Halloween costume : WIG


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2 comments :

carmantom said...

Hi Bill, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your explanations of the clues. also your insightful comments.
As I am not as knowledgeable as I wish your efforts are appreciated. Thanks

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Carmantom.

Glad to hear the blog is being of service. I hope that you can drop back again soon :)

Bill

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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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