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Greetings from Dromod, County Leitrim 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

0829-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Aug 13, Thursday





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: Timothy Polin
THEME: Eye of the Storm … there’s a note with today’s puzzle:
A certain three-letter word, appropriate to this puzzle's theme, goes in the unnumbered center square.
That three-letter word is EYE, and is used as part of the four answers that fill a cross (+) at the center of the grid:
34A. Piercing gaze : GIMLET EYE
35A. Ingredient in a witch's potion : EYE OF NEWT
7D. Giant Ferris wheel on the Thames : LONDON EYE
43D. Enlightening experience : EYEOPENER
Four answers give us a hint that the EYE is at the center of a storm:
17A. Exonerated boxer who is the subject of a Bob Dylan song : HURRICANE CARTER
29A. ___ and the Waves ("Walking on Sunshine" band) : KATRINA
41A. Walt Disney World's ___ Lagoon : TYPHOON
55A. Minor-leaguer whose team is named after a Coney Island roller coaster : BROOKLYN CYCLONE
Air moves in a counter-clockwise direction around the eye of such a storm (in the northern hemisphere), as do the answers in the grid. Across answers in the top half of the grid are written backwards, and down answers in the right side of the grid are written upwards.
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 30m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Fig. mentioned in Miranda warnings : ATT
Attorney (att.)

The Miranda warning is given by US police officers to suspects in order to ensure that any statements made by the suspect can be used at trial. The warning became part of police procedure after a 1966 Supreme Court decision in the case of Miranda v. Arizona. The crux of the court’s decision was that statements made by a suspect during interrogation were only admissible at trial if the defendant was informed of his or her right to consult an attorney, and right to remain silent. The “Miranda” in the case was Ernesto Mirando, who was arrested by the Phoenix PD on suspicion of kidnapping and rape. The Supreme Court decision set aside Miranda’s conviction as his confession was deemed inadmissible. Miranda was rearrested and retried. At the second trial he was convicted without the use of the contested confession.

15. Arabian Peninsula land : OMAN
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The capital city of Muscat has a strategic location on the Gulf of Oman and has a history of invasion and unrest. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody attack. The Portuguese held Muscat for much of the next one hundred years until finally being ousted by local Omani forces in 1648. A Yemeni tribe invaded the area in 1741 and set up a monarchy that has been in place in Oman ever since.

16. Lead dancer in a ballet company : ETOILE
In the world of ballet, the étoile is the leading dancer in a company (male or female). "Étoile" is the French word for "star".

17. Exonerated boxer who is the subject of a Bob Dylan song : HURRICANE CARTER
Hurricane Carter was a professional boxer in the sixties. Carter’s career came to an end when he was arrested for homicide in 1966. He was tried and convicted twice, in 1967 and 1976. The second conviction was overturned, and Carter was released after almost 20 years in prison. As a free man, Carter served over ten years heading up the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. Carter’s experience provided the inspiration for a 1975 song by Bob Dylan called “Hurricane”, as well as a 1999 movie called “The Hurricane” with Denzel Washington in the title role.

21. Tennis's Agassi : ANDRE
Renowned tennis professional Andre Agassi wrote an autobiography called "Open", published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi's famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

22. Capt. : Navy :: ___ : Army : COL
Our word “colonel” ultimately derives from the Latin “columna” meaning “pillar, column”.

27. Transition : SEGUE
A “segue” is a transition from one topic to the next. "Segue" is an Italian word that literally means "now follows". It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break.

29. ___ and the Waves ("Walking on Sunshine" band) : KATRINA
Katrina and the Waves were a rock band from England whose big hit was 1985’s “Walking on Sunshine”.

31. Superman's dog : KRYPTO
Krypto the Superdog is Superman’s pet dog in the comics. Krypto was Superman’s pet dog on his home planet, but boy and dog were separated when young Superman left his home planet for Earth. Krypto was lost in space for several years until being reunited with “Superboy” on Earth.

33. 2008 recipient of govt. largesse : AIG
AIG is the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation (or I should say, "was"). After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I'd say ...

34. Piercing gaze : GIMLET EYE
A “gimlet eye” is a piercing glance. A “gimlet” is a small hand tool with a screw tip that is used for boring holes.

35. Ingredient in a witch's potion : EYE OF NEWT
The witches in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" have some lovely lines as they cast a spell:
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

39. Address for a G.I. : APO
Army Post Office (APO)

The initials "G.I." stand for "Government Issue" and not "General Infantry" as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed "GI cans". Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with "Government Issue" and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

40. Weighted fishing nets : SEINES
A seine is a type of fishing net. It is long and thin, with floats along one long edge (the top) and weights along the bottom edge so that it hangs down in the water. A seine is usually paid out into the water from a boat called a seiner, as the vessel moves slowly in a circle driving fish into the center of the net.

41. Walt Disney World's ___ Lagoon : TYPHOON
Typhoon Lagoon is one of two water parks at Walt Disney World in Florida. It is the most visited water park in the world.

48. "___ a Spell on You" (1956 hit) : I PUT
“I Put a Spell on You” is a song written and recorded by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, first released in 1956. A cover version of the song was released in 2010 by Shane MacGowan and Friends, a record that was sold to help Concern Worldwide’s work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that killed so many. Included in the list of “friends” was Johnny Depp, playing the guitar.

50. Nevada birthplace of Pat Nixon : ELY
Ely is a city in eastern Nevada. The city was founded as a Pony Express stagecoach station. One of Ely’s former residents was First Lady Pat Nixon, who was born there in 1912.

Pat Ryan was working as a high school teacher in Whittier, California when she met a young lawyer called Richard Milhous Nixon. At the time, the two were amateur actors in a small theater group. “Dick” Nixon asked Pat to marry him on the very first night that the couple stepped out together. As First Lady, Pat Nixon was the most travelled in history, until her record was broken by Hillary Rodham Clinton some 25 years later. One of her trips took her to South Vietnam. This was during the Vietnam War, making Pat Nixon the first First Lady to enter a combat zone.

55. Minor-leaguer whose team is named after a Coney Island roller coaster : BROOKLYN CYCLONE
The Brooklyn Cyclones are a minor league team affiliated with the New York Mets. In 2000, a “name-the-team” contest resulted in the adoption of “Cyclones”. The name was chosen in honor of a famous roller coaster in the Astroland amusement park on Coney Island, which is close to where the Cyclones play.

59. Orangutan locale : BORNEO
Borneo is the third largest island on the planet (after Greenland and New Guinea), and is located north of Australia in Maritime Southeast Asia. Most of the island is part of Indonesia (taking up 73% of the island) with almost all of the remainder being part of Malaysia (26%). The final 1% is home to the sovereign state of Brunei.

Orangutans are arboreal creatures, in fact the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, living in the rain forests. Like most species in rain forests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word "orangutan" is Malay, meaning "man of the forest".

60. Land with a harp on its coat of arms : EIRE
The state symbol of the Irish government is the harp. The reason for the use of the harp as a symbol seems to have been lost in time, but it has been used for centuries. The actual harp used as a model for the state symbol is called the Trinity College harp, a medieval instrument on display in the university in Dublin.

61. ___ lane : HOV
In some parts of the country one sees high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV lanes), but out here in California, we call them carpool lanes.

64. Revolutionary icon : CHE
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to "see the world" by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara's memoir later published as "The Motorcycle Diaries". While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara's death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

Down
1. Tenderfoot : TYRO
A tyro (also tiro) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which "tiro" means "a recruit".

In the late 1800s, city folk in the Eastern US with the romantic notion of the American West created a market for "guest ranches", working ranches that catered for paying guests. Such a guest from back East might be called a "tenderfoot" or a "greenhorn", and the hospitable ranches became known as "dude ranches". To westerners, a "dude" was a well-dressed male, who had never lived outside of the city.

2. Hustling is the same as cheating, according to these authorities : THESAURI
The first person to use the term “thesaurus” to mean a “collection of words arranged according to sense” was Roget in 1852, when he used it for the title of his most famous work. Up to that point in time, a thesaurus was basically an encyclopedia. Before being used with reference to books, a thesaurus was a storehouse or treasury, coming from the Latin “thesaurus” meaning “treasury, treasure”.

3. Where to work out : AT THE GYM
Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning "naked", as that physical training was usually done unclothed.

4. Its code uses just G, T, A and C : DNA
Nucleobases are molecules that form the backbone of DNA and RNA chains. It is the sequence of these bases in the DNA chain that makes up the so-called "genetic code". In DNA the four bases are adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T) and cytosine (C). The same bases are found in RNA, except that thymine is replaced by uracil (U).

5. Four of a decathlon's 10 events : RACES
The decathlon event is a track and field competition, with the name “decathlon” coming from the Greek “deka” (ten) and “athlos” (contest). The ten events in the men’s decathlon are:
- 100 meters
- Long jump
- Shot put
- High jump
- 400 meters
- 110 meters hurdles
- Discus throw
- Pole vault
- Javelin throw
- 1500 meters

6. Enforced silence : OMERTA
Omertà is a code of honor in southern Italian society. The term has been adopted by the Mafia to mean a code of silence designed to prevent a Mafioso from becoming an informer. For example, the famous Joe Valachi was someone who broke the code of silence in 1963, informing on the New York Mafia. Valachi's story was told in the movie "The Valachi Papers", with Charles Bronson playing the lead.

7. Giant Ferris wheel on the Thames : LONDON EYE
London Eye is the name of a very large Ferris wheel that sits right beside the River Thames in London. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and was the tallest in the world when it was constructed in 1999. It is the most visited paid tourist attraction in the whole country.

9. Terre in the eau zone? : ILE
In French, an island (île) is a piece of ground (terre) surrounded by water (eau).

11. Name in old graffiti : KILROY
The omnipresent doodle and graffiti “Kilroy was here” dates back to WWII, although the exact origins are in doubt. A similar character exists in other countries, with a different name. In Australia, “Foo was here” and in Britain “Chad was here”. It’s felt that Chad might have been the original, and he probably pre-dated the Second World War.

27. Med. readout : 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.

28. Vast treeless area : STEPPE
A steppe is a grassland, devoid of trees apart from those growing near rivers and lakes. We would likely call such a geographic feature a prairie in this country.

32. "That being said," in textspeak : OTOH
"OTOH" is short for “on the other hand” in text-speak.

36. Mess hall queue : CHOW LINE
"Chow" is an American slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. "Chow" comes from the Chinese pidgin English "chow-chow" meaning "food".

"Mess" first came into English about 1300 and described the list of food needed for a meal, from the Old French word "mes" meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into "mess" meaning a jumbled mass of anything from the concept of "mixed food". At the same time, the original usage in the sense of a food for a meal surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a "mess" was a communal eating place.

42. Unctuous : OILY
A person described as “unctuous” is oily and insincere. “Unctum” is the Latin for “ointment”.

44. Ambassador from the Holy See : NUNCIO
The Latin word for "envoy" is nuntius. The Vatican usednuntius for the title of Papal Nuncio, or more correctly, Apostolic Nuncio, a permanent representative of the Holy See to a particular state or even to an international organization. In 1961, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations declared that a Papal Nuncio is an ambassador like those from any other country, and affords them the same rights and privileges.

Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.

47. Onetime sponsor of what is now Minute Maid Park : ENRON
Enron Field, as it was known, is a retractable-roof ballpark that was built next to Houston's old Union Station. Enron paid $100 million to get its name on the field, and then when the world found out what a scam Enron actually was, the Astros bought back the contract for the name, for a mere $2.1 million. The stadium became Astros Field for a few months, until the Coke people paid $170 million for a 28-year contract to christen the stadium Minute Maid Park. A good deal for the Astros, I'd say.

49. Part of an affair to remember? : TRYST
In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting.

52. Latch (onto) : GLOM
“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.

56. Air Force ___ : ONE
We usually use the term “Air Force One” for the purpose-built military aircraft that transports the president, although any plane can use the call sign, provided the president is aboard. There was an incident in 1953 which a flight carrying President Eisenhower (flight no. Air Force 8610) flew close to commercial airliner (flight no. Eastern 8610). In order to avoid confusion of flight numbers in the future, the special call sign “Air Force One” was created.

57. It means "white" in Hawaiian : KEA
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed. So, the "real" height of the volcano (ignoring the ocean) is over 33,000 feet, which is significantly "taller" than even Mount Everest, which has an elevation of 29,029 feet above sea level.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fig. mentioned in Miranda warnings : ATT
4. Feudal V.I.P. : LORD
8. Made ends meet? : RHYMED
14. Your substitute? : THY
15. Arabian Peninsula land : OMAN
16. Lead dancer in a ballet company : ETOILE
17. Exonerated boxer who is the subject of a Bob Dylan song : HURRICANE CARTER
20. Exceedingly : OH SO
21. Tennis's Agassi : ANDRE
22. Capt. : Navy :: ___ : Army : COL
23. Grazeland? : LEA
24. Young 'uns : TOTS
25. Drops : OMITS
27. Transition : SEGUE
29. ___ and the Waves ("Walking on Sunshine" band) : KATRINA
31. Superman's dog : KRYPTO
33. 2008 recipient of govt. largesse : AIG
34. Piercing gaze : GIMLET EYE
35. Ingredient in a witch's potion : EYE OF NEWT
39. Address for a G.I. : APO
40. Weighted fishing nets : SEINES
41. Walt Disney World's ___ Lagoon : TYPHOON
45. Name dropper, often? : BRIDE
46. Get extra value from : REUSE
48. "___ a Spell on You" (1956 hit) : I PUT
50. Nevada birthplace of Pat Nixon : ELY
51. Resident of an elaborate underground "city" : ANT
52. Hidden valleys : GLENS
53. Farm females : EWES
55. Minor-leaguer whose team is named after a Coney Island roller coaster : BROOKLYN CYCLONE
59. Orangutan locale : BORNEO
60. Land with a harp on its coat of arms : EIRE
61. ___ lane : HOV
62. Measure of a man? : INSEAM
63. Falls into decay : ROTS
64. Revolutionary icon : CHE

Down
1. Tenderfoot : TYRO
2. Hustling is the same as cheating, according to these authorities : THESAURI
3. Where to work out : AT THE GYM
4. Its code uses just G, T, A and C : DNA
5. Four of a decathlon's 10 events : RACES
6. Enforced silence : OMERTA
7. Giant Ferris wheel on the Thames : LONDON EYE
8. Easily passed : ACED
9. Terre in the eau zone? : ILE
10. Border : RIM
11. Name in old graffiti : KILROY
12. Be sassy, with "off' : MOUTH
13. Autumnal hue : OCHER
18. Uses sock puppets to talk to a therapist, say : ROLEPLAYS
19. Voting against : ANTI
25. Is suitable for : BEFITS
26. Ogling wolfishly : LEERING AT
27. Med. readout : EKG
28. Vast treeless area : STEPPE
30. Go up, up, up : SOAR
32. "That being said," in textspeak : OTOH
36. Mess hall queue : CHOW LINE
37. Green, juicy fruit : HONEYDEW
38. Ending for a record-breaker : -EST
41. Certain teachers : TUTORS
42. Unctuous : OILY
43. Enlightening experience : EYEOPENER
44. Ambassador from the Holy See : NUNCIO
46. Certain teacher : RABBI
47. Onetime sponsor of what is now Minute Maid Park : ENRON
49. Part of an affair to remember? : TRYST
52. Latch (onto) : GLOM
54. Portentous nights : EVES
56. Air Force ___ : ONE
57. It means "white" in Hawaiian : KEA
58. Instant : SEC


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8 comments :

Anonymous said...

THIS PUZZLE IS PURE BULLSH**!!! How is one supposed to figure out that certain answers are backward based on the rather obscure scientific fact about hurricanes????? Puzzles like this really tick me off!!!

Sylvia in Calgary said...

I loved this puzzle. It kept me busy for a long time tho !

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Sylvia.

I enjoyed the puzzle too. "Kept me busy for a long time" ... that's a big plus in my eyes :)

Good to hear from you, Sylvia.

robert said...

this kind of pedantic silliness robs the fun out of crosswords. there is no satisfaction in solving it and it does not present any kind of test, just footwork.
i just don't get it.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Robert.

When I figured out the theme as i was solving this, I said to myself, "this crossword is going to annoy a lot of people!" While I personally prefer a plain vanilla, tougher crossword, I recognize that Will Shortz has put a lot of effort into encouraging inventive themes during the week, especially on Thursdays. Today's puzzle definitely qualifies as inventive. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy it.

Kevin Quinn said...

Happy (belated) Birthday, Bill!

First a nit, for 15A (OMAN) you wrote that it is neighbored by The "OAE" I'm sure you meant to type "UAE" for The United Arab Emirates...
I really enjoyed this puzzle. No errors, but about an hour to solve! 2D (THESAURI) was a head-slapper once I read your comments, as I somehow failed to see it as the (obvious) plural of thesaurus! Perhaps the nearby "OMERTA" (6D) led me to reason that there may be some underground group with who's billiards ethics one dare not meddle!
Ciao,
-Kevin Quinn

Kevin Quinn said...

P.S.
I'm not that tech savvy, but I'll offer a couple of suggestions for improving your web-traffic, if you're willing to listen to a TYRO (1D) such as myself ;) First, it seems to me that you could attract more google traffic by including search-terms that are likely to be used by solvers of that day's puzzle in the heading (or sub-heading) for each days blog.
For example: Web's New York Times... / Superman's dog / Giant Ferris wheel on the Thames / "Walking on Sunshine" band...
You may know better than I if there's a way to enter phrases, such that search-engines will recognize they're meant to be search-terms...
To get more hits from those who search by date, I would suggest changing the format to one more likely to be googled by North Americans: "Thursday, August 29, 2013" rather than "29 Aug 13, Thursday" e.g.
As more people discover your sites, traffic should increase! I only type "web's 0829-13" e.g. and find it easily. but I know what I'm looking for:) Hope this helps,
-Kevin Quinn

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kevin.

Thanks for spotting that typo. I need that help as I am my own editor, which is never a good thing :)

A big "thank you" for the search optimization suggestions. I haven't been thinking in those terms at all. The date format suggestion addresses something that completely went over my head. The idea of using potential search terms in the sub-heading is also a new concept to me, but makes complete sense.

I am off to make some changes, Kevin!

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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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