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0722-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Jul 13, Monday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: Boston, MA … today’s themed clues all relate to the city of Boston, and the abbreviation for the state of Massachusetts (MA) is given in the circled letters at the left and right of the grid:
43A. Theme of this puzzle : BOSTON

17A. Expensive neighborhood in 43-Across : BEACON HILL
34A. Nickname for 43-Across : THE HUB
61A. 43-Across stadium : FENWAY PARK
11D. 43-Across patriot who went on a "midnight ride" : PAUL REVERE
29D. Popular food in 43-Across : BAKED BEANS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 05m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Green gem used in Chinese carvings : JADE
Jade is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

5. Noisy bird : MACAW
Macaws are beautifully colored birds of native to Central and South America, and are actually a type of parrot. Most species of macaw are now endangered, with several having become extinct in recent decades. The main threats are deforestation and illegal trapping and trafficking of exotic birds.

14. Mountain goat : IBEX
Ibex is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

15. Actor Davis of "Grumpy Old Men" : OSSIE
Ossie Davis was a very successful African-American actor, but also a director, poet, playwright and social activist. One of Davis’s better known performances was in the 1993 movie “Grumpy Old Men”, in which he played the owner of the bait shop by the lake.

17. Expensive neighborhood in 43-Across : BEACON HILL
Beacon Hill is a charming and desirable neighborhood in Boston. The neighborhood is also home to the Massachusetts State House that sits at the top of the Beacon Hill. In fact, the term “Beacon Hill” can simply be a metonym for the State House.

19. Istanbul resident : TURK
Istanbul, Turkey is the only metropolis in the world that is situated in two continents. The city extends both on the European side and on the Asian side of the Bosphorus river.

20. Acts of the Apostles writer : ST LUKE
The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

21. Co-creator of Spider-Man : STAN LEE
Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board.

27. The Beatles' "___ Road" : ABBEY
“Abbey Road” was the last album that the Beatles released before they finally broke up. "Abbey Road" was named after the street in London in which the recording studio was located. The Fab Four is featured in the album's cover, walking across the pedestrian crossing that’s in the road right in front of the studio.

33. "Just the facts, ___" : MA'AM
Sgt. Joe Friday may have said "No, ma'am" a lot on "Dragnet", but he never actually said the oft-quoted, "Just the facts, ma'am".

34. Nickname for 43-Across : THE HUB
One of the nicknames for the city of Boston is “The Hub”, short for “The Hub of the Universe”. In 1858, Oliver Wendell Holmes referred to the Massachusetts State House Building in Boston as the “Hub of the Solar System”, and the idea stuck.

39. Boxer Tyson : MIKE
The boxer Mike Tyson has said some pretty graphic things about his opponents. For example:
- About Lennox Lewis, "My main objective is to be professional but to kill him."
- To Razor Ruddock, "I'm gonna make you my girlfriend."
- About Tyrell Biggs, "He was screaming like my wife."

40. More robust : HALER
"Hale" is an adjective meaning "healthy". Both the words "hale" and "healthy" derive from the the Old English "hal" meaning healthy.

41. Self-referential, in modern lingo : META
In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has started to be used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of the very same movie could also be described as meta.

43. Theme of this puzzle : BOSTON
The city of Boston, Massachusetts was founded in 1630 by Puritan colonists from England. The area was eventually named for the city of Boston in Lincolnshire, England from where several of the colonists hailed.

45. Joe Biden's state: Abbr. : DEL
The state of Delaware takes its name from Virginia's first colonial governor, Englishman Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. Delaware is known as "The First State" as it was the first to ratify the US Constitution, in 1787.

Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

47. Oozy road material : TAR
“Tarmac” and “macadam” is of course short for "tarmacadam". In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as "macadam". Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The "tar-penetration macadam" is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.

49. Rub elbows (with) : HOBNOB
The term "hobnob" dates back to the mid 1700s, and is derived from "hob and nob", a phrase meaning to toast each other in turn, or to buy alternate rounds of drinks.

52. Firebugs : PYROS
“Pyro-” is the combining form of the Greek word for "fire". A pyromaniac (a "pyro") is someone with an abnormal desire to start fires, or with a general obsession with fire.

54. Boxing combos : ONE-TWOS
A “one-two combo” in boxing is made up of a jab quickly followed by a jab.

61. 43-Across stadium : FENWAY PARK
The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston's Fenway Park, the team's home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell out since May of 2003.

66. Song for a diva : ARIA
"Diva" comes to us from Latin via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". The word is used in Italy to mean "goddess" or "fine lady", and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

68. Orchestra woodwinds : OBOES
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name "oboe" comes from the French "hautbois" which means "high wood". When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you'll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an "A". The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe's "A". Oh, and if you want to read a fun book (almost an "exposé") about life playing the oboe, you might try "Mozart in the Jungle" by oboist Blair Tindall. I heard recently that the folks at HBO are working towards a pilot based on the book, and I can’t wait to see it!

Down
1. Triangular sails : JIBS
A jib is a triangular sail that is set at the bow of a sailboat.

2. Drive the getaway car for, say : ABET
The word "abet" comes into English from the Old French "abeter" meaning "to bait" or "to harass with dogs" (it literally means "to make bite"). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of "abet" meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

5. $$$ : MONEY
The “$” sign was first used for the Spanish American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become the model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the “$” sign.

7. "___: NY" (cop show spinoff) : CSI
“CSI: NY” is the best of the CSI franchise of television shows, in my humble opinion, since the original “CSI” set in Las Vegas went off the boil a few years ago. Stars of the New York show are Gary Sinise and Sela Ward. “CSI:Miami” ended its run of almost ten years in 2012. Not a big loss, in my humble opinion …

11. 43-Across patriot who went on a "midnight ride" : PAUL REVERE
Paul Revere is of course famous for having alerted the Colonial militia when the British military arrived in the build up to the battles of Lexington and Concord. Revere earned his living as a silversmith. After the war, Revere returned to his trade and diversified into other metalwork. Revere was the first American to develop a process to roll copper into sheets so that the metal could be used to sheathe the hulls of naval vessels.

12. Snowy ___ (marsh bird) : EGRET
The Snowy Egret is a small white heron, native to the Americas. At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women's hats.

13. Hockey feints : DEKES
A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. "Deke" is a colloquial shortening of the word "decoy".

22. Fictional captain who said "Thou damned whale!" : AHAB
Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly Captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville's "Moby Dick".

25. Shoe lift : HEELTAP
A heeltap is a layer of leather, wood or metal that is used as a lift for the heel of a shoe. The heeltap is tacked onto the sole of the shoe, at the heel.

29. Popular food in 43-Across : BAKED BEANS
In the days of sail, the natural trade routes across the Atlantic involved a lot of ships arriving in Boston directly from West Indies. One of the main cargoes carried by these vessels coming from the West Indies was molasses. An abundance of cheap molasses led to an abundance of baked beans in the port city, and all those baked beans gave rise to Boston's nickname “Beantown”.

31. Big Bang ___ : THEORY
“The Big Bang Theory” is a very clever sitcom aired by CBS since 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and is sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

37. And others: Abbr. : ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact "et al." can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

46. Course between appetizer and dessert : ENTREE
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!

49. Basketball game that involves spelling : HORSE
HORSE is a simple game played with a basketball and a hoop. The idea is that one player makes a basket using a certain move and technique, and then subsequent players have to make a basket the same way. Anyone failing to make a basket is assigned a letter in the word HORSE, and after five letters, you’re out. A quicker game is called PIG.

50. Shaquille of the N.B.A. : O’NEAL
Shaquille “Shaq” O'Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he's a big guy ... 7 foot 1 inch tall.

51. Highly successful, in Varietyese : BOFFO
“Boffo” is show biz slang for “very successful” that dates back to the early sixties.

55. Belgrade native : SERB
Serbs are an ethnic group native to the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Although Serbs exist as a minority group in many countries in the region, they are the majority ethnic group in Serbia, in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia. The name Belgrade translates into "White City".

58. Windy City daily, with "the" : TRIB
"The Chicago Tribune" was first published in 1847. The most famous edition of "The Trib" was probably in 1948 when the headline was "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN", on the occasion of that year's presidential election. When it turned out Truman had actually won, the victor picked up the paper with the erroneous headline and posed for photographs with it ... a famous, famous photo, that must have stuck in the craw of the editor at the time.

It seems that the derivation of Chicago's nickname as the "Windy City" isn't as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. First that the weather can be breezy, with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that "windy" means "being full of bluster". Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters "windy" in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

59. Trick-taking game played with 32 cards : SKAT
When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. Skat originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular game in the country. I haven't played it in decades, but would love to play it again ...


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Green gem used in Chinese carvings : JADE
5. Noisy bird : MACAW
10. Mimicked : APED
14. Mountain goat : IBEX
15. Actor Davis of "Grumpy Old Men" : OSSIE
16. Enclosure for a pet bird : CAGE
17. Expensive neighborhood in 43-Across : BEACON HILL
19. Istanbul resident : TURK
20. Acts of the Apostles writer : ST LUKE
21. Co-creator of Spider-Man : STAN LEE
23. Doctor's request before a throat examination : SAY AH
26. Some gym wear : SHORTS
27. The Beatles' "___ Road" : ABBEY
30. Understand : GET
32. Impress and then some : AWE
33. "Just the facts, ___" : MA'AM
34. Nickname for 43-Across : THE HUB
36. Chill out : VEG
39. Boxer Tyson : MIKE
40. More robust : HALER
41. Self-referential, in modern lingo : META
42. Cheer at a bullfight : OLE!
43. Theme of this puzzle : BOSTON
44. ___ hygiene : ORAL
45. Joe Biden's state: Abbr. : DEL
47. Oozy road material : TAR
48. Gas and coal : FUELS
49. Rub elbows (with) : HOBNOB
52. Firebugs : PYROS
54. Boxing combos : ONE-TWOS
56. Applies, as influence : EXERTS
60. Backside : REAR
61. 43-Across stadium : FENWAY PARK
64. Not wacko : SANE
65. Emancipated : FREED
66. Song for a diva : ARIA
67. "So what ___ is new?" : ELSE
68. Orchestra woodwinds : OBOES
69. Amount owed : DEBT

Down
1. Triangular sails : JIBS
2. Drive the getaway car for, say : ABET
3. Hand out cards : DEAL
4. "I beg your pardon" : EXCUSE ME
5. $$$ : MONEY
6. Cigar remnant : ASH
7. "___: NY" (cop show spinoff) : CSI
8. Is sick : AILS
9. Whip marks : WELTS
10. "Hurry or you'll miss out!" : ACT NOW!
11. 43-Across patriot who went on a "midnight ride" : PAUL REVERE
12. Snowy ___ (marsh bird) : EGRET
13. Hockey feints : DEKES
18. "Fine by me" : OKAY
22. Fictional captain who said "Thou damned whale!" : AHAB
24. Horrified : AGHAST
25. Shoe lift : HEELTAP
27. Bullets and such : AMMO
28. What some bondsmen offer : BAIL
29. Popular food in 43-Across : BAKED BEANS
31. Big Bang ___ : THEORY
34. Nonetheless, briefly : THO’
35. Vase : URN
37. And others: Abbr. : ET AL
38. Dames : GALS
41. Rubber item next to a computer : MOUSEPAD
43. Squander : BLOW
46. Course between appetizer and dessert : ENTREE
48. Devious : FOXY
49. Basketball game that involves spelling : HORSE
50. Shaquille of the N.B.A. : O’NEAL
51. Highly successful, in Varietyese : BOFFO
53. Peruses : READS
55. Belgrade native : SERB
57. Opposite of well done : RARE
58. Windy City daily, with "the" : TRIB
59. Trick-taking game played with 32 cards : SKAT
62. Prefix with natal : NEO-
63. Tiny : WEE


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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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