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0727-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 13, Saturday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Lieb & David Quarfoot
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 18m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Fictional amnesiac portrayer : MATT DAMON
"The Bourne Identity" is a great spy novel written by Robert Ludlum, first published in 1980. It has been ranked as the second best spy novel of all time, just behind the even more enjoyable "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" by John le Carre. Ludlum wrote two sequels, and all three parts of "The Bourne Trilogy" have been made into very successful movies starring Matt Damon in the title role. Ludlum died before he could write more than three novels featuring Jason Bourne, but five more titles in the series have been published, written by Eric Van Lustbader. I must check them out ...

10. Out : PASSE
“Passé” is a French word, meaning "past, faded".

18. Old computing acronym : ENIAC
The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for "Computer"). ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer. It was designed to calculate artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it's not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

19. Head Start program service, briefly : PRE-K
The Head Start Program was launched in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society initiative and has the goal of providing education, health, nutrition and social services to low-income children. Head Start began as a six-week summer school program designed to prepare poorer kids for kindergarten, but was soon expanded as the six-week program was deemed inadequate.

20. Some drillers, for short : NCOS
An NCO is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant.

21. Prefix with gram : CENTI-
The centigram is a unit of mass in the International system of Units (SI). A centigram is made up of ten milligrams.

23. Turned on a friend, maybe? : SEXTED
"Sexting" (a portmanteau of "sex" and "texting") is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term "sexting" was first coined by the UK's "Sunday Telegraph Magazine" in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is "rampant" among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie ...?

24. Painting surface : GESSO
Gesso is the Italian word for "chalk" and gives its name to the powdered calcium carbonate that is used as a primer coat under artistic panel paintings. The gesso is mixed with a glue and applied to wood so that it acts as an absorbent surface for paint.

28. Proscribed : TABOO
The word "taboo" was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean". Cook described "tabu" (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

30. Destination in the "Odyssey" : ITHACA
Ithaca is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. Ithaca featured in Homer’s “Odyssey” as it was the home of the mythological hero Odysseus.

“The Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “The Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic, “The Iliad”. “The Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure, Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy.

39. Vitamin in meat, milk and eggs : B-TWELVE
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that plays a role in the function of the brain and the nervous system. Folks like me who don't eat any animal foods have to watch out for vitamin B12 as it is the one food substance that isn't readily available from plant sources. Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria readily found in "dirt" so it is readily ingested by animals and passed onto humans via diary products or meat. As we have to be so careful about washing our vegetables because of the use of pesticides, humans aren't readily exposed to vitamin B12 when eating vegetables, so vegans often take supplements. Personally, as a potato-eating Irishman who always eats the skins of the potato, and doesn't wash them too much when they come in from the garden, I've always had loads of B12 in my blood when it has been tested, without any supplements. I guess the message is "eat dirt" ...

43. Muscle Beach sights : HE-MEN
The original Muscle Beach was a located on the south side of Santa Monica Pier in Southern California. Bodybuilders started working out on the beach back in the 1930s when exercise equipment was installed there as part of the WPA program. Some of the equipment was removed in the fifties, so the bodybuilding community shifted to the Venice Beach Weight Pen. This area was developed and is now known as Muscle Beach Venice.

46. Garden decorations : GNOMES
In English folklore, the lovable fairy's anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable so we now have garden gnomes and even the Travelocity Gnome ...

52. 2007 horror sequel : SAW IV
The “Saw” franchise of movies is gruesome in the extreme. I’ve only seen a few minutes of "Saw" footage (accidentally). The stories are about imprisoned victims who are faced with having to mutilate themselves to escape. Ugh …

58. 1970s subcompact : PINTO
The Pinto is a small car that was made by the Ford company from 1971 to 1980. The Pinto was of course named for the type of horse. Allegations were made in 1997 that the neck of the car’s fuel tank could easily break off in a collision leading to a deadly fire. However, the allegations were never really shown to be valid.

59. Member of a medical minority : MALE NURSE
Under 7% of the registered nurses in the US are male. However, 13% of nursing students are now men, and the percentage seems to be increasing over time.

61. British running great Steve : OVETT
Steve Ovett is a retired British middle distance runner from England, a gold medal winner in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Ovett had a very public rivalry with fellow English Olympian Sebastian Coe.

62. Start of a Dickensian request : PLEASE, SIR
“Please, sir. I want some more” are words spoken by the title character to Mr. Bumble in the novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens.

"Oliver Twist" is of course a novel by Charles Dickens. It is a popular tale for adaptation to the big screen. There were two silent film versions, in 1909 and 1922, and the first talkie version was released in 1933, with many to follow. The latest "Oliver" for the big screen was a 2005 Roman Polanski production.

64. Emulate Ferris Bueller : SKIP CLASS
“Ferris Bueller's Day Off” is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was written and directed by John Hughes and released in 1986. There are so many classic scenes in the film, including two wonderful musical interludes. The more sedate of these is a vignette shot in the Art Institute of Chicago that is beautifully filmed. The more upbeat musical scene is a rendition of “Twist and Shout” during a Von Steuben Day parade.

Down
1. Dealer's amt. : MSRP
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).

4. Big Indonesian export : TEAK
Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family, commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia.

5. "Silent Spring" topic : DDT
DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don't forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book "Silent Spring", suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

6. Gland: Prefix : ADENO-
Adeno- is a prefix referring to a gland, so for example "adenitis" is inflammation of a gland. "Adeno-" comes from the Greek word for an acorn, presumably descriptive of the shape of some glands.

8. Suleiman the Magnificent, for one : OTTOMAN
Suleiman the Magnificent was the longest-reigning leader of the Ottoman Empire, in power from 1520 to 1566. Suleiman extended the Ottoman Empire by conquest of territories. He also presided over the Golden Age of the empire as he was a great patron of the arts.

12. Common subject of medieval art : SAINT
Something described as “medieval” pertains to the Middle Ages. The term derives from the Latin “medium” meaning “the middle” and “aevum” meaning “age”.

14. Title role for Charlton Heston : EL CID
"El Cid" is an epic film released in 1961 that tells the story of the Castilian knight, El Cid. The two big names at the top of the cast were Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, but just who was the biggest star? When Loren discovered that a huge billboard promoting the movie in Times Square showed that her name was below Heston's, she sued the movie's producers.

22. Election-related nonprofit since 1990 : ROCK THE VOTE
Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan movement aimed at young people and getting them engaged in the political process.

23. Cymbal sound : SOFT C
There is a soft C at the start of the word “cymbal”.

24. "Mystic Pizza" actress Annabeth : GISH
The actress Annabeth Gish is best known for playing Agent Monica Reyes on “The X-Files” and Elizabeth Bartlet Westin on “The West Wing”.

"Mystic Pizza" is a coming-of-age film released in 1988. Included in the cast are Annabeth Gish and Julia Roberts. If you watch closely, you’ll also see Matt Damon speaking his first line in a movie. The title refers to the name of a pizza restaurant located in Mystic, Connecticut.

25. Dramatic accusation : ET TU
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?), in his play "Julius Caesar", although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It's not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

26. Cut with more than one layer : SHAG
A kind blog reader (below) points out that the reference here is to the shag hairstyle.

27. Bit of Bollywood attire : SARI
Bollywood is the informal name given to the huge film industry based in Mumbai in India. The term "Bollywood" is a melding of "Bombay", the old name for Mumbai, and of course "Hollywood".

34. Tynan player in "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" : ALDA
Alan Alda had a great television career, especially of course on "M*A*S*H". Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing Hawkeye Pierce on "M*A*S*H". He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy "Same Time, Next Year" in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

"The Seduction of Joe Tynan" is a political drama film released in 1979. Alan Alda played the title role, and also wrote the screenplay.

35. "Severn Meadows" poet Gurney : IVOR
Ivor Gurney is one of the so called "Great War Poets". He wrote a lot of his work at the Front in WWI. While serving he received a bullet wound, and was also subject to a harrowing and debilitating gas attack.

41. Presentation by Bill Clinton in 2007 or Bill Gates in 2010 : TED TALK
The acronym TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”.

46. Sensitive subject? : G-SPOT
The full name for the G-Spot is the “Gräfenberg Spot”, named after German doctor Ernst Gräfenberg. Gräfenberg is best known for developing the intrauterine device (IUD).

55. Minor opening? : URSA
Ursa Minor sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for "dragon"). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called "Dragon's Wing".

56. Wave function symbols : PSIS
A wave function in quantum mechanics is usually denoted with the Greek letter psi. A wave function is a mathematical function that describes the quantum state of a particle and how it behaves.

60. Grp. involved in the Abbottabad raid : NSC
The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

Abbottabad is a Pakistani city located about 30 miles north of the country’s capital of Islamabad. Abbottabad is the city in which Osama bin Laden was hiding out, and was killed by US special forces in May 2011. The code name for that remarkable mission was Operation Neptune Spear.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fictional amnesiac portrayer : MATT DAMON
10. Out : PASSE
15. Mix and match? : SPEED DATE
16. Total : IN ALL
17. Identifies with : RELATES TO
18. Old computing acronym : ENIAC
19. Head Start program service, briefly : PRE-K
20. Some drillers, for short : NCOS
21. Prefix with gram : CENTI-
22. Stay (with) : ROOM
23. Turned on a friend, maybe? : SEXTED
24. Painting surface : GESSO
28. Proscribed : TABOO
30. Destination in the "Odyssey" : ITHACA
32. "No need to go on" : ‘NUFF SAID
37. Without embellishment : STARKLY
39. Vitamin in meat, milk and eggs : B-TWELVE
40. Resolve a bromance spat, say : HUG IT OUT
42. Crime scene sight : CORDON
43. Muscle Beach sights : HE-MEN
45. Backs : REARS
46. Garden decorations : GNOMES
50. Evade : DUCK
52. 2007 horror sequel : SAW IV
53. It may be hard to reach : ITCH
54. Fool : DUPE
58. 1970s subcompact : PINTO
59. Member of a medical minority : MALE NURSE
61. British running great Steve : OVETT
62. Start of a Dickensian request : PLEASE, SIR
63. Clipped : TERSE
64. Emulate Ferris Bueller : SKIP CLASS

Down
1. Dealer's amt. : MSRP
2. Parrot : APER
3. Communications leader? : TELE-
4. Big Indonesian export : TEAK
5. "Silent Spring" topic : DDT
6. Gland: Prefix : ADENO-
7. Costumed figure : MASCOT
8. Suleiman the Magnificent, for one : OTTOMAN
9. Modernists : NEOS
10. Difficult sort : PIECE OF WORK
11. Addition : ANNEX
12. Common subject of medieval art : SAINT
13. Blank ___ : SLATE
14. Title role for Charlton Heston : EL CID
22. Election-related nonprofit since 1990 : ROCK THE VOTE
23. Cymbal sound : SOFT C
24. "Mystic Pizza" actress Annabeth : GISH
25. Dramatic accusation : ET TU
26. Cut with more than one layer : SHAG
27. Bit of Bollywood attire : SARI
29. Mac : BUB
31. Base for some incense : ALOES
33. Dry : SERE
34. Tynan player in "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" : ALDA
35. "Severn Meadows" poet Gurney : IVOR
36. Retreats : DENS
38. "Delish!" : YUM
41. Presentation by Bill Clinton in 2007 or Bill Gates in 2010 : TED TALK
44. Cores : NUCLEI
46. Sensitive subject? : G-SPOT
47. Green : NAIVE
48. Sports league V.I.P. : OWNER
49. Paws : MITTS
51. Tawdry : CHEAP
53. They're a handful : IMPS
54. What might put you through your paces? : DUEL
55. Minor opening? : URSA
56. Wave function symbols : PSIS
57. Suffixes with mountain and cannon : -EERS
60. Grp. involved in the Abbottabad raid : NSC


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2 comments :

Sylvia in Calgary said...

I think 26 down "cut with more than one layer" refers to a shag haircut.

Bill Butler said...

Ahh, thank you, Sylvia.

Shag haircuts are a phenomenon in the fair distant past, for me anyway :)

Thanks for the help, Sylvia. I will go change my comment.

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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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