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0902-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Sep 13, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jim Peredo
THEME: AAA Endings … each of today’s themed answers ends with an “aze” sound:
17A. "Theme From Shaft" composer, 1971 : ISAAC HAYES
25A. Part of a project just before the end : FINAL PHASE
53A. Condiment that can remove crayon marks : MAYONNAISE
66A. Intense look : STEELY GAZE
11D. Team in "Moneyball" : OAKLAND A’S
33D. The Fonz's sitcom : HAPPY DAYS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Poetic 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 ...

17. "Theme From Shaft" composer, 1971 : ISAAC HAYES
Isaac Hayes was a soul singer and songwriter. Hayes wrote the score for the 1971 film "Shaft", and the enduring "Theme from 'Shaft'" won him an Academy Award in 1972.

23. "___ Misérables" : LES
The 1980 musical "Les Misérables" is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London's West End. My wife and I saw "Les Miz" in the Queen's Theatre in London quite a few years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The old theater's seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor that had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn't really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn't seem to hang together for me.

24. "Toodles!" : TATA
An Englishman might say "tata" or "cheerio" instead of "goodbye". Well, supposedly so!

30. Feeder school for Oxford and Cambridge : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself as described in the Fleming novels).

36. Cheese in a red wheel : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

44. 10th grader, informally : SOPH
The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

48. Cancún coin : 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”.

Cancún is a city and island on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. The city is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. Cancún is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

51. Blacksmith's block : ANVIL
Traditionally there has been a distinction between a farrier and a blacksmith. A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

53. Condiment that can remove crayon marks : MAYONNAISE
Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

56. Women's magazine with a palindromic name : ELLE
"Elle" magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. "Elle" is the French word for "she".

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".

61. "___ we forget" : LEST
“Lest we forget” is an oft-quoted phrase, one that comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. Kipling wrote the piece on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 and used it to express sadness at the waning of the British Empire. The phrase “lest we forget” is used in this context, a warning that the empire will decline. Ever since WWI we’ve been using the words on memorials as a plea not forget the sacrifices made by others in the past.

64. Ark builder : NOAH
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board "every clean animal by sevens ... male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth". Apparently "extras" (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

68. New Age singer from Ireland : ENYA
Enya's real name is Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

70. Complement of Disney dwarfs : SEVEN
In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called "Snow White", the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". The seven dwarfs are:
- Doc (the leader of the group)
- Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife ...)
- Happy
- Sleepy
- Bashful
- Sneezy
- Dopey

Down
2. Spaghetti or ziti : PASTA
The term “spaghetti” is a plural diminutive form of the Italian word “spago”, which means “thin string, twine”.

Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends.

4. Old Testament prophet : ISAIAH
The Book of Isaiah is part of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. Isaiah is not mentioned in the Qur’an, but many Muslim scholars consider Isaiah a prophet.

5. Locale for an Adam's apple : NECK
The voice box or larynx is where pitch and volume of sound are manipulated when we talk. The structure called the Adam’s apple that protrudes from the human neck is formed by the thyroid cartilage that surrounds the larynx. The Adam’s apple of males tends to increase in size during puberty, so the feature tended to be associated more with males in days gone by, perhaps leading to the name “Adam’s” apple.

7. Rifle attachment : BAYONET
A bayonet is a blade that is attached to the muzzle end of a rifle. It’s thought that the term derives from the French city of Bayonne in Gascony where perhaps bayonets were first made.

8. "Der Rosenkavalier," for one : OPERA
“Der Rosenkavalier” is a comic opera composed by Richard Strauss, with the title translating as “The Knight of the Rose”.

9. Crunch maker : NESTLE
The Nestlé Crunch candy bar was introduced way back in 1937.

10. So-called "mansiere," essentially, in a "Seinfeld" episode : BRA
Male bras do exist, although they typically are used to “flatten” any breast tissue that has developed rather than “lift”. Some male runners opt to wear male bras in order to avoid nipple chafing.

11. Team in "Moneyball" : OAKLAND A’S
Billy Beane is the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. Michael Lewis wrote his book “Moneyball” about the way Billy Beane built his team by bringing on board players who were “undervalued”, getting the maximum benefit from his limited payroll budget. I must admit I know nothing about baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Moneyball”, and the film adaptation with Brad Pitt playing Beane.

12. "Nothin' but blue ___" : SKIES
The song “Blue Skies” was written in 1926 by Irving Berlin. The song was written for a Rodgers and Hart musical called “Betsy” that was a flop. “Betsy” only ran for 39 performances, but the song “Blue Skies” was a huge hit. On the opening night of the show, the lead singer had to sing an encore of “Blue Skies” 24 times!

18. Playboy founder Hugh : HEFNER
Hugh Hefner is from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for "Esquire" magazine. He left "Esquire" to found his own publication that he called "Playboy", which first hit the newsstands in 1953. "Playboy" has been around ever since.

26. Alternatives to Slurpees : ICEES
Icee and Slurpee are brand names of those slushy drinks. Ugh …

29. Down Under bird : EMU
Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.

32. Old Pontiac muscle car : GTO
GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato.

33. The Fonz's sitcom : HAPPY DAYS
Fonzie is a character in the sitcom “Happy Days” that was originally aired from 1974 to 1984. The Fonz was written as a secondary character, but eventually took over the show. Fonzie is of course played by Henry Winkler.

38. N.Y.C. presenter of 8-Down, with "the" : MET
The Metropolitan Opera of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you ...

40. "The Cosby Show" son : THEO
Malcolm-Jamal Warner was the child actor who played Theo Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”. You can see the grown-up Warner today playing Dr. Alex Reed on the BET sitcom “Reed Between the Lines”.

43. Wreath in Waikiki : LEI
"Lei" is the Hawaiian word for "garland, wreath", although in more general terms a "lei" is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name "Waikiki" means "spouting fresh water" in Hawaiian.

49. NBC weekend fixture, for short : SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

53. Impressionist Claude : MONET
Claude Monet painted the harbor of Le Havre in the north of France in 1872, giving it the title "Impression, Sunrise". The painting is not a "realistic" representation of the scene in front of him, hence the name "impression". It was this very painting that gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement.

55. Houston ballplayer : ASTRO
The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city's long association with the US space program.

59. Idyllic places : EDENS
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden "in" Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

63. Classic computer game set on an island : MYST
In the days when I played the occasional video game, the best of the bunch was undoubtedly “Myst”. It is a game full of puzzles with the player wandering through a beautifully designed interactive world.

65. Sombrero, e.g. : HAT
In English we think of a sombrero as a wide-brimmed hat, but in Spanish “sombrero” is the word for any hat. “Sombrero” is derived from “sombra” meaning “shade”.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "What ___ in the 5-Down!" : A PAIN
6. Poetic black : EBON
10. Head of an office : BOSS
14. Run out, as a subscription : LAPSE
15. Record for later viewing : TAPE
16. Leaf gatherer : RAKE
17. "Theme From Shaft" composer, 1971 : ISAAC HAYES
19. Comparable (to) : AKIN
20. One of three for an out : STRIKE
21. "For here ___ go?" : OR TO
23. "___ Misérables" : LES
24. "Toodles!" : TATA
25. Part of a project just before the end : FINAL PHASE
28. Therefore : HENCE
30. Feeder school for Oxford and Cambridge : ETON
31. "Blech!" : UGH!
34. Intersects : MEETS
36. Cheese in a red wheel : EDAM
39. Degree of importance : STATURE
41. Throb : PULSATE
44. 10th grader, informally : SOPH
45. Hogs : SWINE
47. 6-3, e.g., in tennis : SET
48. Cancún coin : PESO
51. Blacksmith's block : ANVIL
53. Condiment that can remove crayon marks : MAYONNAISE
56. Women's magazine with a palindromic name : ELLE
60. Aged : OLD
61. "___ we forget" : LEST
62. Goner's declaration : I’M DEAD
64. Ark builder : NOAH
66. Intense look : STEELY GAZE
68. New Age singer from Ireland : ENYA
69. Makes a misstep : ERRS
70. Complement of Disney dwarfs : SEVEN
71. Midterm, for one : TEST
72. Price to pay : COST
73. Lock of hair : TRESS

Down
1. Group of preferred party attendees : A-LIST
2. Spaghetti or ziti : PASTA
3. In pieces : APART
4. Old Testament prophet : ISAIAH
5. Locale for an Adam's apple : NECK
6. When a plane is due, for short : ETA
7. Rifle attachment : BAYONET
8. "Der Rosenkavalier," for one : OPERA
9. Crunch maker : NESTLE
10. So-called "mansiere," essentially, in a "Seinfeld" episode : BRA
11. Team in "Moneyball" : OAKLAND A’S
12. "Nothin' but blue ___" : SKIES
13. Have a feeling : SENSE
18. Playboy founder Hugh : HEFNER
22. Choose : OPT
26. Alternatives to Slurpees : ICEES
27. Tilling tools : HOES
29. Down Under bird : EMU
31. Letters at the start of a destroyer's name : USS
32. Old Pontiac muscle car : GTO
33. The Fonz's sitcom : HAPPY DAYS
35. Whirls : SPINS
37. Had supper : ATE
38. N.Y.C. presenter of 8-Down, with "the" : MET
40. "The Cosby Show" son : THEO
42. Reveal : UNVEIL
43. Wreath in Waikiki : LEI
46. They're good at taking orders : WAITERS
49. NBC weekend fixture, for short : SNL
50. "Hang on ..." : ONE SEC
52. Accountant's book : LEDGER
53. Impressionist Claude : MONET
54. Solo : ALONE
55. Houston ballplayer : ASTRO
57. Depart : LEAVE
58. Lolls (around) : LAZES
59. Idyllic places : EDENS
63. Classic computer game set on an island : MYST
65. Sombrero, e.g. : HAT
67. Ballpark fig. : EST


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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 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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