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0827-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Aug 13, Tuesday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jacob McDermott
THEME: Two-Door … today’s themed answers are arrived at by combining two words that often precede DOOR:
17A. Product of colliding weather systems : STORMFRONT (“storm door” & “front door”)
64A. Annual tennis tournament played on clay : FRENCH OPEN (“French door” & “open door”)
11D. Behind the scenes : BACKSTAGE (“back door” & “stage door”)
34D. Metaphor for a sharp mind : STEEL TRAP (“steel door” & “trapdoor”)

41A. Coupe, e.g. ... or a hint to 17- and 64-Across and 11- and 34-Down : TWO-DOOR
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Chowder ingredient : CLAM
The type of soup known as “chowder” may be named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.

5. Go fish : ANGLE
We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.

10. "Dear" advice-giver : ABBY
The advice column "Dear Abby" first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the "Abby" pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Phillips came up with by combining "Abigail" from the biblical Book of Samuel, and "Van Buren" after the former US president.

14. Opera set in Egypt : AIDA
"Aida" is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi, actually based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!

15. Pricey watch : ROLEX
My most prized possession is a stainless steel Rolex watch that my uncle bought while serving with the RAF in Canada during WWII. Rolex watches were made available to the Canadian servicemen at that time as they were shipping overseas. My uncle brought his Rolex home to Ireland after the war. He needed money for booze one weekend and so sold the watch to my Dad, for five pounds. My Dad gave it to me just before he died, as he knew I loved the watch, and my brothers weren't interested in it all. Not so long ago I had the watch appraised ($3,000!), and my brothers all of a sudden took a liking to it! Still, it's not something that will ever be sold ...

16. Hacienda room : SALA
A room (sala) is a division (división) of a house (casa), in Spanish.

A “hacienda” is a large estate, in Spanish.

20. Extra-powerful engine : TURBO
A turbocharger is a device that is designed to extract more power out of an internal combustion engine. It does so by increasing the pressure of the air entering the intake. The pressure increase comes from the use of a compressor, which is cleverly powered by the engine's own exhaust gases.

21. Mr. ___ (Peter Lorre role) : MOTO
The mysterious Mr. Moto is a Japanese secret agent who appears in six novels by American author, John P. Marquand. Mr. Moto was famously played by Peter Lorre in a series of eight films released in the 1930s.

The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. Lorre's real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. Lorre found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.

22. What some strummers strum, informally : UKES
The ukulele originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

25. Grinders : MOLARS
Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

32. "Bonanza" brother : HOSS
Dan Blocker was the actor who played Hoss Cartwright in the famous TV show "Bonanza". Hoss was the "slow" character on the show. Paradoxically, Dan Blocker was the most educated member of the cast, having earned a Masters Degree in the dramatic arts. Blocker passed away while "Bonanza" was still running. He was undergoing relatively routine gallbladder surgery and developed a pulmonary embolism which killed him. Bonanza ran for just one more season after Blocker passed away.

The western TV series “Bonanza” ran for 14 seasons, making it the second longest running western show on television (after “Gunsmoke”, which ran for 20 seasons).

35. 1982 Fleetwood Mac hit whose title is sung three times after "Come on and" : HOLD ME
Fleetwood Mac was founded in 1967 in London. The band was started by Peter Green, and he chose the name from two friends in former bands (named Fleetwood and McVie). This etymology is particularly noteworthy, given that the drummer’s name happens to be Mick Fleetwood.

39. Altar constellation : ARA
The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for "altar".

40. Tolkien creature : ENT
Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth in his series of books "The Lord of the Rings". “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

41. Coupe, e.g. ... or a hint to 17- and 64-Across and 11- and 34-Down : TWO-DOOR
The type of car known as a “coupe” or “coupé” is a closed automobile with two doors. The name comes from the French word “couper” meaning “to cut”. In most parts of the English-speaking world the pronunciation adheres to the original French, but here in most of North America we go with “coop”. The original coupé was a horse-drawn carriage that was cut (coupé) to eliminate the rear-facing passenger seats. That left just a driver and two front-facing passengers. If the driver was left without a roof and out in the open, then the carriage was known as a “coupé de-ville”.

48. McEntire of country : REBA
Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called "Reba" that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

60. Meara of comedy : ANNE
Anne Meara has been married to fellow comedic actor Jerry Stiller since 1954. Anne and Jerry are the parents of actors Ben and Amy Stiller. Meara co-starred with Carroll O'Connor and Martin Balsam in the eighties sitcom "Archie Bunker's Place", a spinoff from "All in the Family".

64. Annual tennis tournament played on clay : FRENCH OPEN (“French door” & “open door”)
There are four different surfaces used for playing tennis competitively:
- Clay courts (used for the French Open)
- Hard courts (used for the US Open and the Australian Open)
- Grass courts (used for Wimbledon)
- Carpet courts

French doors usually come in pairs, and have glass panels throughout the body of the door.

66. "Bye now" : CIAO
"Ciao" is the Italian for "'bye". "Arrivederci" is more formal, and translates better as "goodbye".

68. "Dies ___" (hymn) : IRAE
"Dies Irae" is Latin for "Day of Wrath" and is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

69. Bowlful for Bowser : ALPO
Alpo is a brand of dog food first produced by Allen Products in 1936, with "Alpo" being an abbreviation for "Allen Products". Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

Down
4. Children's game in which players "knuckle down" : MARBLES
“To knuckle down” means “to apply oneself earnestly”, and is an expression we’ve been using in English since the mid-1800s. The phrase comes from the game of marbles in which “to knuckle down” means to put a knuckle on the ground, assuming the appropriate hand position to shoot.

8. Slow, musically : LENTO
A lento passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo.

13. Thanksgiving dish : 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.

24. Vowel sound represented by an upside-down "e" : SCHWA
A “schwa” is an unstressed and toneless vowel found in a number of languages including English. Examples from our language are the “a” in “about”, the “e” in “taken” and the “i” in pencil.

32. Bucket of bolts : HEAP
"Bucket of bolts" and "heap" are both slang terms for a junky car.

33. How many times Laurence Olivier won a Best Actor Oscar : ONCE
Laurence Olivier won his only Best Actor Oscar in 1948, for playing the lead in his own screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”.

Laurence Olivier has to be one of the most respected actors to come out of England in the 20th century. He had tremendous impact on stage and screen, and was never short of work on either side of the Atlantic. While working in the British film industry just before WWII, Olivier met actress Vivien Leigh. The two married actors started an affair. Olivier travelled to Hollywood as he was cast as Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights", his big break in Hollywood. Leigh followed him, and found herself cast as Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind". The couple took Hollywood by storm, and eventually unraveled their prior marriages so that they could wed, in 1940.

36. Mormon Church inits. : LDS
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often abbreviated to "LDS", is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

41. Angry, with "off" : TEED
The term “teed off” meaning to be angry, has been around since the early fifties. It is probably a polite way of saying something that might be considered more offensive.

51. Faux pas : GAFFE
The term "faux pas" is French in origin, and translates literally as "false step" (or "false steps", as the plural has the same spelling in French).

52. Noted bankruptcy of 2001 : ENRON
After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow's wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

53. Hägar the Horrible's dog : SNERT
Snert is the clever dog who belongs to Hägar the Horrible in the classic comic strip.

"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.

56. Eye parts : UVEAS
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

57. Article of faith : TENET
A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

58. Ancient Andean : INCA
The Inca Empire was known as the Tawantinsuyu, which translates as “land of the four quarters”. The Inca Empire was a federal organization having a central government that sat above four “suyu” or “quarters”, four administrative regions.

59. Dog on TV's "Topper" : NEIL
The fantasy sitcom called “Topper” was a small-screen adaptation of the 1937 film of the same name. The movie stars Constance Bennett and Cary Grant, and was successful enough to merit two sequels. The television series stars Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys in the Grant/Bennett roles. The lead characters in the story are a happy-go-lucky couple who get killed in an accident and who come back as ghosts. The TV series includes a St. Bernard dog called Neil who is also a ghost.

61. M.I.T. grad, often: Abbr. : ENGR
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) moved into its magnificent mile-long campus on the Cambridge side of the Charles River in 1906. The campus was built largely with funds donated by George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.

65. Coquettish : COY
A "coquet" is a male flirt, with "coquette" being the name for a female flirt. The word comes from French, and is the diminutive of "coq", the word for a cock. A cock might well be accused of "strutting his stuff" around the chicken run.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Chowder ingredient : CLAM
5. Go fish : ANGLE
10. "Dear" advice-giver : ABBY
14. Opera set in Egypt : AIDA
15. Pricey watch : ROLEX
16. Hacienda room : SALA
17. Product of colliding weather systems : STORMFRONT (“storm door” & “front door”)
19. Lowlife : SCUM
20. Extra-powerful engine : TURBO
21. Mr. ___ (Peter Lorre role) : MOTO
22. What some strummers strum, informally : UKES
23. Fainting fits, e.g. : SPELLS
25. Grinders : MOLARS
27. Carve in stone : ETCH
29. Manage : GET BY
32. "Bonanza" brother : HOSS
35. 1982 Fleetwood Mac hit whose title is sung three times after "Come on and" : HOLD ME
39. Altar constellation : ARA
40. Tolkien creature : ENT
41. Coupe, e.g. ... or a hint to 17- and 64-Across and 11- and 34-Down : TWO-DOOR
42. Breach : GAP
43. Expert : ACE
44. Really enjoys : EATS UP
45. "All ___ are off!" : BETS
46. Annoy : PEEVE
48. McEntire of country : REBA
50. Rustic accommodations : LODGES
54. Cheap booze : ROTGUT
58. Digging : INTO
60. Meara of comedy : ANNE
62. More than elbow : SHOVE
63. Weenie : NERD
64. Annual tennis tournament played on clay : FRENCH OPEN (“French door” & “open door”)
66. "Bye now" : CIAO
67. Do without : FORGO
68. "Dies ___" (hymn) : IRAE
69. Bowlful for Bowser : ALPO
70. Admittance : ENTRY
71. At sea : LOST

Down
1. Flings : CASTS
2. Began to smoke : LIT UP
3. Dig, so to speak : ADORE
4. Children's game in which players "knuckle down" : MARBLES
5. Kennel sound : ARF
6. Usual figure : NORM
7. Melancholy : GLOOM
8. Slow, musically : LENTO
9. Laud : EXTOL
10. Give one's word : ASSURE
11. Behind the scenes : BACKSTAGE (“back door” & “stage door”)
12. Feeling down : BLUE
13. Thanksgiving dish : YAMS
18. Shed : MOLT
24. Vowel sound represented by an upside-down "e" : SCHWA
26. Teen follower : -AGER
28. Happening with lots of laughs : HOOT
30. Sitter's headache : BRAT
31. Goes on and on and on : YAPS
32. Bucket of bolts : HEAP
33. How many times Laurence Olivier won a Best Actor Oscar : ONCE
34. Metaphor for a sharp mind : STEEL TRAP (“steel door” & “trapdoor”)
36. Mormon Church inits. : LDS
37. Forbidding, as an expression : DOUR
38. Sullen sort : MOPER
41. Angry, with "off" : TEED
45. Aromatherapy purchase : BATH OIL
47. Kind of doll : VOODOO
49. Claptrap : BOSH
51. Faux pas : GAFFE
52. Noted bankruptcy of 2001 : ENRON
53. Hägar the Horrible's dog : SNERT
55. Switch from amateur status : GO PRO
56. Eye parts : UVEAS
57. Article of faith : TENET
58. Ancient Andean : INCA
59. Dog on TV's "Topper" : NEIL
61. M.I.T. grad, often: Abbr. : ENGR
65. Coquettish : COY


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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 everyday 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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