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Greetings from Louisburgh, County Mayo 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

0809-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Aug 13, Friday





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: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 23m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Where Union Pacific is headquartered : OMAHA
The Union Pacific Railroad is the largest railroad in the US. Union Pacific operates over 8.000 locomotives, and all of that rolling stock operates west of Chicago and New Orleans.

6. Chinese ___ (popular bonsai trees) : ELMS
The term "bonsai" is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers. Bonsai has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots.

10. Medieval drudge : 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".

14. Sister of Castor and Pollux : HELEN
In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into the beautiful Helen, later to be known as Helen of Troy and over whom the Trojan War was fought. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda's earthly husband, and so he was a mortal. William Butler Yeats wrote a famous sonnet called “Leda and the Swan” in 1924.

17. Site of Tiberius' Villa Jovis : CAPRI
The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that's colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

The Roman emperor Tiberius decided to move to Capri largely due to a fear of assassination and a concern about the political climate in Rome. On the island of Capri, Tiberius had the Villa Jovis built in a secluded spot that was easy to guard. He ruled from Capri for about ten years, until passing away in AD 37.

18. Page on the stage : GERALDINE
Geraldine Page was mainly a stage actress, although was nominated for several Oscars for the relatively small number of movies that she made. Page’s second husband was the actor Rip Torn.

22. One-point throws : LEANERS
In the game of horseshoes, a ringer is scored when the tossed shoe lands around the target stake. A leaner is almost as good as a ringer, and is scored when a horseshoe lands upright or leans against the stake.

25. Checkers, for instance : CABS
The iconic Checker Taxi Cabs were made in Kalamazoo, Michigan from 1922 to 1982.

32. Onetime Arapaho foe : UTE
The Ute is a group of Native American tribes that now resides in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups.

The Arapaho tribe lived on the eastern plains of Colorado and Wyoming. The Arapaho traditionally wintered in small camps in the foothills of the Rockies, and then relocated to plains in the spring where they hunted the buffalo that were gathering to give birth to their young.

36. Vietnamese holiday : TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning "Feast of the First Morning". Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

38. Priest in I Samuel : ELI
In the Bible, Eli is a High Priest of Shiloh, and the teacher of Samuel. As such, his story is told in the Book of Samuel.

39. Dread Zeppelin or the Fab Faux : TRIBUTE BAND
Dread Zeppelin is a bit of unusual tribute band. The group is known for performing Led Zeppelin songs in a reggae style. Dread Zeppelin’s lead singer is a 300-pound Elvis impersonator.

The Fab Faux is a Beatles tribute band, one of the best I hear.

41. Sports div. that awards the George Halas Trophy : NFC
The George Halas Trophy is awarded to the winner of the National Football Conference Championship Game each season. The winner then moves on to the Super Bowl.

42. Gold Cup venue : ASCOT
The Gold Cup is held on day three of the Royal Ascot meeting each year. Day three of the meeting is also famously known as “Ladies’ Day” at Ascot.

43. Quote qualification : SIC
"Sic" indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. "Sic" is Latin for "thus, like this".

44. Coin of many countries : PESO
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

50. Country whose flag is known as the Saltire : SCOTLAND
A saltire is a heraldic symbol in the shape of an “X”. The saltire is also known as a Saint Andrew’s cross, as Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on an x-shaped cross. The Saint Andrew cross features on the Scottish flag, as Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.

54. Bubble handler? : THE FED
The Federal Reserve System is more usually known simply as "the Fed", and is the central banking system of the US. It was introduced in 1913 in response to a number of financial panics at the beginning of the 20th century. The original role for the Fed was to act as a lender of last resort, in case there was a run on a bank. This can happen as most of the money that is deposited by customers in a bank is reinvested by that bank, so it has very little liquid cash available. If too many customers look for their money at one time, then the bank can be short of cash and this can start a "run". The Fed's responsibilities have broadened since those early days ...

The world's first ever speculative "bubble" in the financial markets took place in 1637, when the price of tulip bulbs sky-rocketed out of control. The tulip had been introduced into Europe a few years earlier and demand for tulips was so high that single bulbs were selling for ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. The climb in prices was followed quickly by a collapse in the market that was so striking that the forces at play were given the term "tulip mania". To this day, any large economic bubble may be referred to as "tulip mania".

58. Bag lady? : KATE SPADE
Kate Spade fashion design house was founded as a supplier of handbags in 1993. The brand is named for founder Kate Brosnahan Spade. The equivalent male brand is called Jack Spade.

60. Deep black : EBON
Ebony is another word for the color black (often shortened to "ebon" in poetry). Ebony is a dark black wood that is very dense, one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It is in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned ...

62. America's Cup trophies, e.g. : EWERS
The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “the America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.

Down
1. Broadway musical with two exclamation points in its name : OH! CALCUTTA!
“Oh! Calcutta!” is a theatrical revue created by a drama critic from England called Kenneth Tynan. The show was considered very “out there” in its day as it featured lots and lots of total nudity. The title comes from a painting of a nude by French artist Clovis Trouille titled “Oh! Calcutta, Calcutta!” The painting’s title is a pun on the French for “Oh, what a lovely rear end you have!”

5. Miyazaki film genre : ANIME
Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese film director and animator who specializes in producing anime feature films. Anime is animation in the style of Japanese manga comic books.

6. Hosp. record : EKG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for “electrocardiogram”). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

8. Fast-food debut of 1981 : MCRIB
The McDonald’s McRib sandwich is based on a pork patty. There isn’t any pork rib in the patty though. It is primarily made up of pork shoulder meat reconstituted with tripe, heart and stomach tissue. Enjoy …

12. Peace Nobelist Cassin : RENE
René Cassin drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after WWII that was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. This work led to Cassin being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968.

13. Dance-pop trio Right Said ___ : FRED
The English band called Right Said Fred is named for a famous song back in the UK that was a hit for comic actor Bernard Cribbins in 1962. Right Said Fred’s best known hit was “I’m Too Sexy”. Fun song …

23. English Channel feeder : SEINE
Honfleur is a port town at in France on the Normandy coast, sitting right at the estuary of the Seine river (that runs through Paris). On the other side of the Seine estuary is the more famous city of Le Havre.

30. Narcissistic one : SELF-SEEKER
In Greek mythology, Echo is one of the Oreads, the mountain nymphs. Echo fell in love with the vain Narcissus, and followed him into the forest one day. Narcissus heard her following him and called out, "Who's there?". Echo answered, "Who's there?" Again he called out, and again Echo echoed his words back to him. Get the gist?

31. Hand-held "Star Trek" devices : TRICORDERS
When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became "Star Trek", he marketed it as "Wagon Train to the Stars", a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like "Gulliver's Travels", as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series "Star Trek: The Next Generation". If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, "The Next Generation" is the best of the whole franchise ...

33. Sea creature whose name means "sailor" : NAUTILUS
The marine creature called a nautilus is referred to as a "living fossil", as it looks just like the spiral-shelled creatures that are commonly found in fossils. The spiral shape is a great example of the Fibonacci series defining a natural phenomenon, as the spiral is a Fibonacci spiral, described by the famous series of numbers.

34. Huxtable family mom : CLAIR
Phylicia Rashād is an actress, best-known for playing Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”.

35. Surgical cutter : LANCET
Lancet is another name for a scalpel. "The Lancet" is probably the world's most respected medical journal, and is certainly the oldest, first published in 1823.

40. Gondoliers, e.g. : BOATMEN
The word "gondola" was originally limited to the famous boats that travel along the canals of Venice. When man started to fly through the air in hot air balloons, "gondola" was used for the basket in which the passenger(s) traveled. By extension, the structure carrying passengers and crew under an airship is also called a gondola, as are the cars suspended from a cable at a ski resort.

49. American Airlines hub : 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.

50. Drink served in a masu : SAKE
We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as "sake". We've gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. "Sake" is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as “rice wine”. It is indeed made from rice, but it is a brewed rather than fermented and so is more like a beer than a wine.

A “masu” is a square wooden box that is often used as a cup for drinking sake. The original masu was used to measure out rice.

51. Zodiac symbol : CRAB
“Cancer” is the Latin word for “crab”.

52. Palindromic man : OTTO
The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:
- Able was I ere I saw Elba
- A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
- Madam, I'm Adam
One of my favorite words is "Aibohphobia", although it doesn't appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. "Aibohphobia" is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix "-phobia".


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Where Union Pacific is headquartered : OMAHA
6. Chinese ___ (popular bonsai trees) : ELMS
10. Medieval drudge : SERF
14. Sister of Castor and Pollux : HELEN
15. Fighter getting a leg up? : KICKBOXER
17. Site of Tiberius' Villa Jovis : CAPRI
18. Page on the stage : GERALDINE
19. Comfortable : AT HOME
21. Taking place (in) : SITUATED
22. One-point throws : LEANERS
24. Appliance sound : BEEP
25. Checkers, for instance : CABS
26. Play critic? : REF
28. Hype : BOOST
32. Onetime Arapaho foe : UTE
33. Grooming tool : NAIL CLIPPER
36. Vietnamese holiday : TET
37. O-shaped : ANNULAR
38. Priest in I Samuel : ELI
39. Dread Zeppelin or the Fab Faux : TRIBUTE BAND
41. Sports div. that awards the George Halas Trophy : NFC
42. Gold Cup venue : ASCOT
43. Quote qualification : SIC
44. Coin of many countries : PESO
45. Pretension : AIRS
48. Get more inventory : REORDER
50. Country whose flag is known as the Saltire : SCOTLAND
54. Bubble handler? : THE FED
55. Foundation devoted to good works? : ART MUSEUM
57. Uniform : ALIKE
58. Bag lady? : KATE SPADE
59. Less often seen : RARER
60. Deep black : EBON
61. Twist : SKEW
62. America's Cup trophies, e.g. : EWERS

Down
1. Broadway musical with two exclamation points in its name : OH! CALCUTTA!
2. They might have bones to pick : MEAT EATERS
3. Like characters in a script : ALPHABETIC
4. Some wetlands wildlife : HERONS
5. Miyazaki film genre : ANIME
6. Hosp. record : EKG
7. Creates an account? : LIES
8. Fast-food debut of 1981 : MCRIB
9. Go along effortlessly : SKATE
10. Vending machine drink : SODA POP
11. What to do when you have nothing left to say? : EXIT
12. Peace Nobelist Cassin : RENE
13. Dance-pop trio Right Said ___ : FRED
16. Symbol of happiness : BLUEBIRD
20. Off the mark : ERRANT
23. English Channel feeder : SEINE
27. Bad line readings : FLUBS
29. Launched the first round : OPENED FIRE
30. Narcissistic one : SELF-SEEKER
31. Hand-held "Star Trek" devices : TRICORDERS
33. Sea creature whose name means "sailor" : NAUTILUS
34. Huxtable family mom : CLAIR
35. Surgical cutter : LANCET
40. Gondoliers, e.g. : BOATMEN
44. Like a poli sci major, maybe : PRE-LAW
46. Woodworking tools : RASPS
47. Underhanded schemer : SNEAK
49. American Airlines hub : O’HARE
50. Drink served in a masu : SAKE
51. Zodiac symbol : CRAB
52. Palindromic man : OTTO
53. "My man!" : DUDE!
56. Plaintive pet sound : MEW


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

4 comments :

ED said...

A LEANER SCORES ONE POINT IN HORSESHOES----NOT BASKETBALL

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, ED.

Thanks for providing the correction for me. As you can tell, basketball and horseshoes are both outside my comfort zone! I really appreciate the help.

All fixed now :)

Kevin Quinn said...

Hey Bill, Look! It's Patrick Berry! :) Wow, when I realize that this is probably about my least favorite PB puzzle ever, it truly makes me appreciate the talent of the man. This puzzle still rocks! (and was a pleasure to solve!)
Can't go wrong with the talented Mr. Berry! Happy Puzzling,
-Kevin Quinn

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kevin.

You'll get no argument from me. Patrick is one of a handful of crossword setters who never fail to brighten my day :)

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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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