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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

0831-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 13, Saturday





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: Josh Knapp
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 31m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. TV host who won a Best Comedy Album Grammy : JIMMY FALLON
Jimmy Fallon was a cast member for a number of years on “Saturday Night Live” before getting his own talk show in 2009, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”.

18. Beast in a Marco Polo tale : ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

Marco Polo was a merchant from Venice and a famous traveler throughout Asia. Polo journeyed with his father and uncle on an epic tour of Central Asia and China that lasted 24 years. Marco tends to be the member of the party we remember today though, because it was he who documented their travels in a book called "Il Milione".

19. Old station name : ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of "Standard" and "Oil" (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

20. Abbr. in a birth announcement : LBS
The unit of mass that we know today as a “pound” is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate pound to “lb”. The name “pound” though comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”.

21. Request in pool or beer pong : RERACK
The more correct name for the game of pool is pocket billiards. The name "pool" arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in "pool halls", places where gamblers "pooled" their money to bet on horse races.

The game of beer pong is also known as “Beirut”. Beer pong reputedly originated as a drinking game in the fraternities of Dartmouth College in the fifties, when it was played with paddles and a ping pong net on a table. The origin of the “Beirut” name is less clear, but it probably was coined in while the Lebanese Civil War was raging in late seventies and the eighties.

23. Hudson River school? : SHADS
The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the female shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.

The Hudson River flows through eastern New York State from Henderson Lake in the Adirondacks to the Port of New York and New Jersey. The river is named for the English explorer Henry Hudson who explored it in 1609.

28. Prizes given to good docs? : OSCARS
There is an Academy Award for the Best Documentary Feature.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the "Oscars". The root of the name "Oscar" is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named "Oscar" in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days ...

31. "Kazaam" star, informally : SHAQ
Shaquille 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.

“Kazaam” is a 1996 family movie about a genie who grants three wishes to a young boy. Kazaam is the name of the genie, and is played by basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal. The film was directed by Paul Michael Glaser who played Starsky on “Starsky and Hutch” in the seventies. No one seemed to like the “Kazaam” movie.

37. Beast hunted by Hemingway in "Green Hills of Africa" : KUDU
The kudu is a species of antelope.

“Green Hills of Africa” is a nonfiction book by Ernest Hemingway. In the book, Hemingway recounts his travels with his wife on a month-long safari in East Africa.

38. Work set mostly in Cyprus : OTHELLO
Shakespeare’s “Othello” was first performed in 1604. The main characters in the play are:
- Othello, a general in the army of Venice
- Desdemona, Othello’s wife
- Cassio, Othello’s trusted ensign
- Iago, the villain of the piece

Cyprus is an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a divided island, with the Republic of Cyprus controlled about 605 of its area. The remaining 40% calls itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and is occupied by Turkish forces.

42. Wilde wrote "De Profundis" in one : GAOL
If you didn't know Oscar Wilde was Irish, you will when you see the name he was given at birth: Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde!

“De Profundis” is a long letter that Oscar Wilde wrote while imprisoned in Reading Gaol having been convicted of sodomy. The letter is addressed to Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde’s lover, although the prison authorities would not allow it to be mailed. The letter was sent to Douglas after Wilde was released from prison. It was published five years after Wilde died under the title “De Profundis”, words from Psalm 129.

43. Lion runner : MAC
Lion is the name of the operating system that runs on Apple’s Macintosh line of computers.

46. Rash application : ALOE
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

51. 1-Across's home, once: Abbr. : SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL).

52. Resistance figure : OMEGA
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm's Law.

61. Many a donor, in brief : ALUM
An "alumnus" (plural ... alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is "alumna" (plural ... alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

62. Go around, but not quite go in : RIM
In sports like basketball and golf, “to rim” is to roll around the rim of the basket or golf cup without falling in.

63. W.W. II defense : MAGINOT LINE
The Maginot Line was a fortified line built in the 1930s by France along her borders with Germany. The French built a similar fortification along the border with Italy called the Alpine Line. The Maginot Line was pretty much useless at the start of WWII as the Germans just went around it and invaded France through Belgium. It was French minister,André Maginot who convinced the government to build the fortifications, and so the resulting “line” was named in his honor.

66. Sun ___ : TZU
Sun Tzu was a Chinese general in the 6th century BC who wrote a famous treatise called
"The Art of War(fare)". I've even seen the principles in Sun Tzu's book applied to modern business.

67. Fall fallout, some believe : ORIGINAL SIN
In the Christian tradition, “original sin” is the state of sin that exists in all humanity as a result of Adam’s first disobedience in the Garden of Eden. At least according to the Roman Catholic faith, three people were born without original sin: the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and John the Baptist.

69. Scorsese film before "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" : MEAN STREETS
“Mean Streets” is a crime drama co-written and directed by Martin Scorsese, and released in 1973. The leads in the movie are played Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

"Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" is a 1974 film directed by Martin Scorsese about a widow and her son travelling across the American Southwest in search of a better life. Ellen Burstyn plays the mother, and the supporting cast includes a very yoiung Jodie Foster in one of her first big screen roles.

Down
1. "The Two ___" ("Chinatown" sequel) : JAKES
“The Two Jakes” is the 1990 sequel to the hit 1974 film “Chinatown” “The Two Jakes” stars Jack Nicholson, who also directs.

3. Quick set : MENSA
If you ever had to learn Latin, as did I, "mensa" was probably taught to you in Lesson One as it's the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means "table". The Mensa organization for folks with high IQs was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, one is required to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

7. Source of the word "alcohol" : ARABIC
Back in the 1500s, “alcohol” was the name given to a fine powder produced by sublimation. “Alcohol” came from the Arabic “al-kuhul”, a term for a fine powder used to darken the eyelids. Over time, “alcohol” was used to describe any sublimated substance, and then any pure spirit. The term was extended to mean the intoxicating agent in wine in the 1700s.

9. Velázquez's "___ Meninas" : LAS
“Las Meninas” is a painting by Diego Velázquez, the name of which translates to “The Maids of Honor”. “Las Meninas” is the most famous painting owned by the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Diego Velázquez was a Spanish painter during the Baroque period. He was a member of the court of King Philip IV in the first half of the 17th century, and as such was commissioned to paint many portraits and scenes of historical importance.

10. Repute : ODOR
The term “odor” can be used to mean “esteem, repute”. I guess something that smells, has an “odor”, does have a good reputation.

11. Orange and blue wearer, for short : NY MET
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

12. It opens during the fall : PARACHUTE
The term “parachute” was coined by Frenchman François Blanchard, from “para-” meaning “defence against” and “chute” meaning “a fall”.

13. Some trade barriers : BLOCKADES
“Embargo” and “blockade” are two similar yet different terms. An embargo is a legal prohibition of trade with a particular country, whilst a blockade is an act of war, a militarily enforced prevention of the movement of goods and services. The term "embargo" came into English from Spanish, in the late 16th century.

14. Nada : JACK SQUAT
“Squat” is a slang term for “nothing”. “Squat” and the variant “Jack squat”, probably have a distasteful derivation that is related to a bodily function.

26. Humphries of the N.B.A. : KRIS
Kris Humphries is a basketball player with the Brooklyn Nets. Humphries was married for a short time to TV personality Kim Kardashian in 2011/2012.

29. Southern site of an 1865 battle : SELMA
The Battle of Selma was fought towards the end of the Civil War, in Selma, Alabama.
In 1865, Selam had strong defenses, but lacked the men needed to make good use of them. The Union soldiers broke through the defensive line in several places and the Confederates surrendered the city in less than a day.

32. Wrap session? : TOGA PARTY
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a "stola".

33. Slant one's words, in a way : ITALICIZE
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as "italic" because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

48. Self-titled debut album of 1991 : ALANIS
Alanis Morissette is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After releasing two pop albums in Canada, in 1995 she recorded her first album to be distributed internationally. Called "Jagged Little Pill", it is a collection of songs with more of a rock influence. The album was a huge success, the highest-selling album of the 1990s, and the highest-selling debut album by any artist at any time (selling over 30 million units).

53. "Au Revoir, Les Enfants" writer/director : MALLE
"Au revoir, les enfants" ("Goodbye, Children") is a French film released in 1987. The film is based on real events from the childhood of director Louis Malle who witnessed a Gestapo raid on his school. During the raid, three Jewish students and a Jewish teacher were taken and transported to Auschwitz, where they were gassed upon arrival.

54. Sporty Lotus model : ELISE
The Elise is a roadster that was released by British auto manufacturer Lotus Cars in 1996. The car was named for Elisa, the granddaughter of Lotus chairman at the time, Romano Artioli.

56. Accord indicators : AMENS
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

64. 1998 Angelina Jolie biopic : GIA
Gia Carangi was a fashion model, often described as the world’s first supermodel. Carangi was from Philadelphia, and had her first modelling jobs appearing in newspaper ads. She started to abuse heroin in 1980, at 20 years of age. She contracted AIDS, and died at 26 years old. Carangi was one of the first famous women to succumb to the disease, in 1986. HBO made a biopic about Carangi’s life called “Gia” in 1998. Angelina Jolie plays the title role.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. TV host who won a Best Comedy Album Grammy : JIMMY FALLON
12. Vegan lunch option, informally : PBJ
15. Cry used to pump up a crowd : ARE YOU READY?
16. Following : A LA
17. Fortune : KING’S RANSOM
18. Beast in a Marco Polo tale : ROC
19. Old station name : ESSO
20. Abbr. in a birth announcement : LBS
21. Request in pool or beer pong : RERACK
23. Hudson River school? : SHADS
25. "Eww!" : ICK!
27. Soundtrack to many a bomb-defusing scene : TICKS
28. Prizes given to good docs? : OSCARS
31. "Kazaam" star, informally : SHAQ
32. Crying need? : TISSUE
36. A wedge might come out of it : PIE
37. Beast hunted by Hemingway in "Green Hills of Africa" : KUDU
38. Work set mostly in Cyprus : OTHELLO
40. Herbal quaff : SAGE TEA
42. Wilde wrote "De Profundis" in one : GAOL
43. Lion runner : MAC
45. Unlike a showboat : MODEST
46. Rash application : ALOE
47. Reception opening : A TOAST
49. Hull sealer : PITCH
51. 1-Across's home, once: Abbr. : SNL
52. Resistance figure : OMEGA
57. Like pickle juice : ACETIC
59. Dated : SAW
61. Many a donor, in brief : ALUM
62. Go around, but not quite go in : RIM
63. W.W. II defense : MAGINOT LINE
66. Sun ___ : TZU
67. Fall fallout, some believe : ORIGINAL SIN
68. Short agreement : YEP
69. Scorsese film before "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" : MEAN STREETS

Down
1. "The Two ___" ("Chinatown" sequel) : JAKES
2. Like 1-Across, by descent : IRISH
3. Quick set : MENSA
4. "Oh no!" : MY GOD!
5. His, modern-style? : YOS
6. Roll up and bind : FURL
7. Source of the word "alcohol" : ARABIC
8. Glass protector : LENS CAP
9. Velázquez's "___ Meninas" : LAS
10. Repute : ODOR
11. Orange and blue wearer, for short : NY MET
12. It opens during the fall : PARACHUTE
13. Some trade barriers : BLOCKADES
14. Nada : JACK SQUAT
22. On the line : RISKED
24. Dangerous thing to sell : SOUL
26. Humphries of the N.B.A. : KRIS
29. Southern site of an 1865 battle : SELMA
30. Weak spots : SEAMS
32. Wrap session? : TOGA PARTY
33. Slant one's words, in a way : ITALICIZE
34. Picture with a lot of gunplay : SHOOT ‘EM UP
35. Game controller button : SELECT
39. Cholesterol-lowering food : OATS
41. First-choice : GO-TO
44. Hand over (to) : CONSIGN
48. Self-titled debut album of 1991 : ALANIS
50. Sign at a game : HI, MOM
53. "Au Revoir, Les Enfants" writer/director : MALLE
54. Sporty Lotus model : ELISE
55. Put one's foot down, in a way? : GUN IT
56. Accord indicators : AMENS
58. Protection : CARE
60. "I ___ tell" : WON’T
64. 1998 Angelina Jolie biopic : GIA
65. 49-Across source : TAR


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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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