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0717-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jul 13, Wednesday





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: Robyn Weintraub
THEME: Punny Verse … today’s themed answers reveal a little humorous verse:
20A. Start of a flower lover's poetic lament : ROSES ARE RED
27A. Lament, part 2 : VIOLETS ARE BLUE
47A. Lament, part 3 : POLLEN IS BAD FOR
56A. Lament, part 4 : MY ALLERGIES
68A. End of the lament : ACHOO
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. "S.N.L." piece : SKIT
NBC first aired a form of "Saturday Night Live" (SNL) in 1975 under the title "NBC's Saturday Night". The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from "The Tonight Show". Back then "The Tonight Show" had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call "Saturday Night Live".

5. Lost ___ ("Peter Pan" group) : BOYS
In J. M. Barrie’s play “Peter Pan”, the Lost Boys are characters in Neverland. The boys are “lost” in that they fell out of their prams or buggies in parks all over London, and were lost by their Nannies. There are no Lost Girls, as girls are too clever to fall out of their prams. So says Peter Pan himself.

14. Yma Sumac's homeland : PERU
Yma Sumac was a Peruvian soprano. Sumac had a notable vocal range of five octaves.

15. "___ and away!" : UP, UP
The song "Up, Up and Away", famously used by TWA in its advertising, was released by the 5th Dimension in 1967.

16. Lieutenant under Kirk : UHURA
Lt. Nyota Uhura was the communications officer in the original "Star Trek" television series, played by Nichelle Nichols. The role was significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first inter-racial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner says that he deliberately ran long on the first shoot (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second shoot (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

17. Longtime computer operating system : UNIX
I always think of an operating system as that piece of software that sits between the hardware on my computer and the programs that I choose to run. Developers of application programs don't really have to worry about being able to "talk to" the countless different types of hardware found in the wide variety of computers that are manufactured, they just need to talk to the handful of operating systems that are out there, like Windows, MAC and Unix. The operating system takes care of the rest.

18. Fashion's Oscar ___ Renta : DE LA
Oscar de la Renta is a fashion designer who really came to prominence in the sixties when his designs were worn by Jacqueline Kennedy.

19. Doughnut order, perhaps : DOZEN
Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for twelve is “douze”, and a dozen is “douzaine”.

20. Start of a flower lover's poetic lament : ROSES ARE RED
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.
As kids, we had a more unfriendly version of the poem that we used to taunt each other with:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
God made me beautiful,
What happened to you?

23. Word on a dollar : ONE
George Washington didn’t appear on the first one-dollar bill. Instead, the bills printed from 1862 to 1869 featured Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury who served under Abraham Lincoln.

33. Valance holder : ROD
A window valance is a window treatment, one that we call a “pelmet” back in Ireland. A valance is hung on a rod and covers the uppermost part of the window.

34. Sunrise direction, in Sonora : ESTE
“Este” (east) is a “dirección” (direction), in Spanish.

Sonora is the state in Mexico lying just south of the borders with Arizona and New Mexico. The Sonoran Desert straddles the US-Mexico border, covering 120,000 square miles in parts of the states of Sonora, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Arizona and California.

35. Part of a posy, maybe : DAISY
The word "posy", meaning a bouquet of flowers, comes from the word "poesy", which was a line of verse engraved on the inner surface of a ring. The jump to "posy" came with the notion that the giving of flowers was a form of language in itself.

51. Pilots' announcements, in brief : ETAS
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

52. Parisian possessive : A TOI
"À toi" is the French term for "yours", when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. "À toi" literally means "to you".

63. They're sweeter than sweet potatoes : YAMS
Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as "yams", the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the the world than they are in this country, and are especially found in Africa.

64. Dance at some weddings : HORA
The hora (also "horah") is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. The hora was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional Israeli folk songs. The dance is a regular sight at Jewish weddings and at bar and bat mitzvahs. At such events, it is common for the honorees to be raised on chairs during the dance.

66. Bird feeder fill : SUET
Suet is a very popular ingredient in food provided for bird feeders.

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called "suet". Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be "rendered" or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call "lard". Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as "tallow".

70. Picnic race need : SACK
Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning: “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable pot-luck affair, not necessarily held outdoors.

Down
2. Game with Ping-Pong-like balls : KENO
The name "Keno" has French or Latin roots, with the French "quine" being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin "quini" meaning "five each". The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

3. Pupil's place : IRIS
The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

The pupil of the eye is the “hole” located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

4. So-called "penguin suit" : TUXEDO
The style of men's evening dress called a "tuxedo" was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

5. Capital on the Danube : BUDAPEST
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Today’s city was formed with the merging of three cities on the banks of the Danube river in 1873: Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, and Pest on the east bank.

6. "The Pirates of Penzance," e.g. : OPERETTA
“The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty” is an operetta by Gilbert & Sullivan. “Pirates” is still performed regularly today, and even though I’ve seen a lot of Gilbert & Sullivan over the decades, somehow I’ve missed this one …

7. Traditional season for eggnog : YULE
"Yule" celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words "Christmas" and "Yule" have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name "Yule" comes from the Old Norse word "jol" that was used to describe the festival.

It's not really clear where the term "nog" comes from although it might derive from the word "noggin", which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

8. Enemy of Athens in the Peloponnesian War : SPARTA
Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece, famous for her military might. Sparta and Athens fought the Peloponnesian War from 431 to 404 BC, with Sparta eventually emerging victorious.

10. Fraternity "P" : RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter "p".

11. Anise-flavored liqueur : OUZO
Ouzo is an aperitif from Greece that is colorless and flavored with anise. Ouzo is similar to pastis from France and also has a flavor like sambuca from Italy.

12. P. C. ___, "Beau Geste" novelist : WREN
“Beau Geste” is a 1924 novel by the British writer P. C. Wren. The hero of the piece is Michael “Beau” Geste, an upper-class Englishman who joins the French Foreign Legion and embarks on a life of adventure and intrigue.

13. Greenlander, by citizenship : DANE
The constitutional monarchy of Denmark consists of not only the country of Denmark, but also the autonomous constituent countries of the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

21. Dover ___ : SOLE
Dover sole is the name given to two different species of flatfish. The common sole found in the Atlantic is called "Dover sole" in Europe, taking its names from the fishing port of Dover on the English coast where a lot of the fish was landed. The second species found in the Pacific is known as "Dover sole" on the Pacific coast of America. The Pacific species is called "Dover sole" just because it resembles the European species.

22. "Tin" body part : EAR
An inability to be able to distinguish between two notes could lead to someone being told they had a "tin ear".

26. Site with a "Buy It Now" option : EBAY
eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb as part of a computer programmer’s personal website. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer collected broken laser pointers …

27. Car make whose name means "I roll" in Latin : VOLVO
Volvo is a Swedish manufacturers of cars, trucks and construction equipment. The Volvo name was chosen as “volvo” is Latin for “I roll”.

31. Carrier name of 1979-97 : USAIR
From 1953, what today is US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir. In 1997, the name was again changed, to US Airways.

32. Brontë heroine : EYRE
"Jane Eyre" is of course the novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I've shared here on my blogs that the "Jane Eyre" story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

37. Number on a marathon marker : MILE
The marathon is run over 26 miles and 385 yards, and of course commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens. The actual distance run today was decided in 1921, and matches the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway.

39. Preserved like Lenin : EMBALMED
I made it to Russia only once in my life, and it was a memorable trip. I saw all the sites in and around Red Square in Moscow, but couldn’t get in to visit Lenin’s Tomb. It was closed for renovations …

49. End of a parental veto : I SAY SO
“... because I say so”.

53. Michael of "Juno" : CERA
Michael Cera is a Canadian actor, a very talented young man who is riding high right now. Cera played great characters on the TV show "Arrested Development", and the 2007 comedy-drama film "Juno".

"Juno" is a great comedy-drama released in 2007 that tells the story of a spunky teenager who is faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The film won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The relatively low-budget movie earned back its initial budget in the first day of its full release to the public. Low-budget blockbuster; my kind of movie ...

54. Baldwin of "30 Rock" : ALEC
Alec is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec's big break was playing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan in "The Hunt for Red October", but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin made a name for himself in recent times playing Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock", opposite Tina Fey. He has also hosted the sketch show “Saturday Night Live” on more occasions than anyone else (16 times).

“30 Rock” is a sitcom on NBC that was created by the show’s star Tina Fey. Fey is an ex-performer and writer from “Saturday Night Live” and uses her experiences on that show as a basis for the “30 Rock” storyline.

55. Bear who dreams of "hunny" : POOH
Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author, best known for his delightful "Winnie-the-Pooh" series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin's real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

58. Caucus state : IOWA
The Iowa caucuses have been the first major electoral event in the nominating process for President since 1972.

59. Comical 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.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "S.N.L." piece : SKIT
5. Lost ___ ("Peter Pan" group) : BOYS
9. Jam-pack : CROWD
14. Yma Sumac's homeland : PERU
15. "___ and away!" : UP, UP
16. Lieutenant under Kirk : UHURA
17. Longtime computer operating system : UNIX
18. Fashion's Oscar ___ Renta : DE LA
19. Doughnut order, perhaps : DOZEN
20. Start of a flower lover's poetic lament : ROSES ARE RED
23. Word on a dollar : ONE
24. No rocket scientist : DOPE
25. Fish story : TALE
27. Lament, part 2 : VIOLETS ARE BLUE
33. Valance holder : ROD
34. Sunrise direction, in Sonora : ESTE
35. Part of a posy, maybe : DAISY
36. K-5: Abbr. : ELEM
38. Unfrizzed, say : TAMED
41. Class ring datum : YEAR
42. Make use of : AVAIL
44. "___ expert, but ..." : I’M NO
46. Horse race rarity : TIE
47. Lament, part 3 : POLLEN IS BAD FOR
51. Pilots' announcements, in brief : ETAS
52. Parisian possessive : A TOI
53. Tassel spot : CAP
56. Lament, part 4 : MY ALLERGIES
61. Flee via ladder, stereotypically : ELOPE
63. They're sweeter than sweet potatoes : YAMS
64. Dance at some weddings : HORA
65. Corporate shake-up, for short : REORG
66. Bird feeder fill : SUET
67. Mattress size : TWIN
68. End of the lament : ACHOO
69. Figures affected by point spreads : ODDS
70. Picnic race need : SACK

Down
1. Boot accessory : SPUR
2. Game with Ping-Pong-like balls : KENO
3. Pupil's place : IRIS
4. So-called "penguin suit" : TUXEDO
5. Capital on the Danube : BUDAPEST
6. "The Pirates of Penzance," e.g. : OPERETTA
7. Traditional season for eggnog : YULE
8. Enemy of Athens in the Peloponnesian War : SPARTA
9. Got very close and comfy : CUDDLED
10. Fraternity "P" : RHO
11. Anise-flavored liqueur : OUZO
12. P. C. ___, "Beau Geste" novelist : WREN
13. Greenlander, by citizenship : DANE
21. Dover ___ : SOLE
22. "Tin" body part : EAR
26. Site with a "Buy It Now" option : EBAY
27. Car make whose name means "I roll" in Latin : VOLVO
28. Rating a 10, say : IDEAL
29. Weigh station visitors : SEMIS
30. Be dishonest with : LIE TO
31. Carrier name of 1979-97 : USAIR
32. Brontë heroine : EYRE
33. Gather in : REAP
37. Number on a marathon marker : MILE
39. Preserved like Lenin : EMBALMED
40. They're ordered in many courtroom dramas : DNA TESTS
43. "Hands off!" : LET ME GO!
45. Reminder that the laundry needs doing : ODOR
48. Roll-call vote : NAY
49. End of a parental veto : I SAY SO
50. Combats : FIGHTS
53. Michael of "Juno" : CERA
54. Baldwin of "30 Rock" : ALEC
55. Bear who dreams of "hunny" : POOH
57. Sing the praises of : LAUD
58. Caucus state : IOWA
59. Comical Idle : ERIC
60. Made, as a putt : SANK
62. Virtuoso : PRO


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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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