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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

0904-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Sep 13, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Name Two Letters … each of today’s themed answers are celebrity’s names, but with the forename replaced with a couple of letters that sound like that name:
17A. "Laugh-In" comic : RT (Arte) JOHNSON
21A. "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" author : EN (Ian) FLEMING
36A. Daytime host starting in 2012 : KT (Katie) COURIC
46A. Punk rock icon : DD (Dee Dee) RAMONE
56A. One of two acting brothers : KC (Casey) AFFLECK
66A. Noted groom of 10/20/1968 : RE (Ari) ONASSIS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 58s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Craigslist offering : JOB
Craigslist is an online network of communities that features classified advertisements organized geographically. Craigslist was started by Craig Newmark in 1995, originally as an email distribution list for his friends who lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area.

4. Company with a spokesduck : AFLAC
In 1999 Aflac was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn't a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency's art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with "Aflac", and that duck has been "Aflacking" ever since ...

14. Baseball club designation : AAA
A, AA and AAA are minor leagues in baseball.

15. Keynote speaker at the 1984 Democratic National Convention : CUOMO
Mario Cuomo was Governor of New York from 1983 to 1994. I well remember Mario Cuomo's keynote address to the 1984 Democratic National Convention soon after I moved to America. For a new immigrant it was an interesting glimpse into American politics. Here's a little bit of trivia about Mario Cuomo: he was the first ever guest for Larry King on his CNN talk show “Larry King Live”, back in 1985.

The “keynote” is the lowest note in a musical scale, as one might imagine. The term started to be used to mean a leading idea in the late 1700s, and the expression “keynote address” dates back to 1905.

16. 1940s-'60s P.M. : NEHRU
Jawaharlal Nehru was the very first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor, Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru's only daughter, Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi, though she was no relation to Mahatma).

17. "Laugh-In" comic : RT (Arte) JOHNSON
Arte Johnson, as well being a frequent judge on "The Gong Show", played the German soldier on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In". His character's famous catchphrase was, "Very interesting, but ..."

19. "Is Shakespeare Dead?" writer : TWAIN
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was the real name of the author Mark Twain. Twain wasn’t the only pen name used by Clemens. Early in his career he signed some sketches as “Josh”, and signed some humorous letters that he wrote under the name “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass”. The name of Mark Twain came from the days when Clemens was working on riverboats on the Mississippi. A riverboatman would call out “by the mark twain” when measuring the depth of water. This meant that on the sounding line, according to the “mark” on the line, the depth was two (“twain”) fathoms, and so it was safe for the riverboat to proceed.

"Is Shakespeare Dead?" is a short book written by Mark Twain late in his life. It is somewhat autobiographical in that Twain figures as a party in a discussion about whether or not William Shakespeare actually existed. He makes the argument that the plays attributed to Shakespeare were actually written by Sir Francis Bacon.

21. "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" author : EN (Ian) FLEMING
Ian Fleming is most famous of course for writing the "James Bond" series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children's story "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

23. Telesthesia, e.g. : ESP
Telesthesia is a type of extrasensory perception (ESP) that operates over long distances. Someone who is purported to have such a gift has a sensibility to sights an sounds that beyond the range of the sense organs.

25. ___ Disney Resort (original name of Disneyland Paris) : EURO
Disneyland Paris is the most visited attraction in the whole of Europe. Originally called Euro Disney, the resort opened in 1992 and was the second Disney park, after Tokyo Disney.

26. Kingdom on old Asian maps : SIAM
Siam was the official name of Thailand up to 1939 (and from 1945 to 1949).

32. ___ law : OHM’S
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.

36. Daytime host starting in 2012 : KT (Katie) COURIC
Katie Couric left NBC's "The Today Show" in 2006 and took over as news anchor for "CBS Evening News". In so doing she became the first solo female anchor of a broadcast network evening news program. Couric also has the honor of being the only person to guest-host on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. In fact she “swapped jobs” on that particular day, and Leno filled in for Couric on “The Today Show”. Since 2012, Couric has a hosted a daytime talk show called “Katie”.

38. Like the Perseid meteor shower : ANNUAL
The two most famous meteor showers are the Perseids and Leonids. The Perseid meteor shower is most visible around August 12th each year, and the Leonid meteor shower is most notable around November 17th. The Perseids appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus, and the Leonids from the constellation Leo (hence the names “Perseids” and “Leonids”).

40. 1994 World Cup country : USA
The 1994 FIFA World Cup was held in the US, with nine cities across the country acting as host. The average attendance at the games was about 69,000, which set a record for a FIFA World Cup that persists to this day. Brazil won the tournament, beating Italy in a penalty shootout.

43. 2014 World Cup city : RIO
The next three FIFA World Cup tournaments (soccer) will be hosted by Brazil (2014), Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022).

44. Outlets for some small pumps : AORTAS
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

46. Punk rock icon : DD (Dee Dee) RAMONE
The Ramones were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. The band members took on the stage names Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny Ramone, even though they were not related. Arguably, the Ramones were the first punk rock group, defining the genre. Something else that's not my cup of tea ...

49. Also, in Arles : AUSSI
A few years ago I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city's design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous "Cafe Terrace at Night", as well as "Bedroom in Arles".

51. Rightmost column : ONES
In a vertical list of whole numbers, the rightmost column is the “ones”.

52. Broad sashes : OBIS
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied in what is called a butterfly knot.

56. One of two acting brothers : KC (Casey) AFFLECK
Actor and director Casey Affleck is the younger brother of Ben Affleck. Casey is married to actress Summer Phoenix, who also has famous acting siblings including the late River Phoenix and Joaquin Phoenix.

65. Rival for Federer : NADAL
Rafael Nadal is a Spanish tennis player who is noted for his expertise on clay courts, earning him the nickname "The King of Clay".

Roger Federer is a Swiss tennis player considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time.

66. Noted groom of 10/20/1968 : RE (Ari) ONASSIS
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They had two children, including the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

68. City 15 miles from Rome : UTICA
Today, Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world, and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

It is assumed that Rome, New York is named after the city in Italy, but no one seems to be sure why it is so called. The city, in Upstate New York near Utica, was originally founded as Lynchville. Prior to becoming a city, the settlement was called Fort Stanwix, named for the military outpost that dominated the area.

70. Matterhorn, e.g. : ALP
"Matterhorn" is the German name for the famous Alpine peak that lies on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The Italian name for the same mountain is Monte Cervino, and the French call it Mont Cervin. "Matterhorn" comes from the German words Matte and Horn meaning "meadow" and "peak". Cervino and Cervin come from the Latin name for the mountain, Mons Silvius meaning "Forest Mountain".

72. Life partner? : DEATH
Life and death …

Down
1. Amphorae, e.g. : JARS
An amphora is a ceramic vase with two handles on either side of a long neck. The name "amphora" is Latin, coming from the Greek meaning "on both sides of the carrier", referring to the two carrying handles.

3. ___ Fresh (Tex-Mex restaurant chain) : BAJA
Baja Fresh is a chain of Tex Mex restaurants based in Irvine, California. The first Baja Fresh outlet was opened in Newbury Park, California in 1990. There are now well over 200 franchises nationwide.

7. King of the gods, in Egyptian myth : AMON
Amun (also Amon and "Amun-Ra") was a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word "ammonia". This is because the Romans called the ammonium chloride that they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun, "sal ammoniacus" (salt of Amun).

10. Sequel to "Twilight" : NEW MOON
“New Moon” is the second in the “Twilight” series of novels by Stephenie Meyer. "The Twilight Saga" is a series of films based on the books. The novels and films are about vampires. I don't do vampires ...

11. Cuisine with tom yum soup : THAI
Tom yum is a delicious spicy soup served in Thai restaurants, a favorite of mine ...

12. CNN anchor Burnett : ERIN
Erin Burnett is a television journalist, the host of her own show on CNN called “Erin Burnett OutFront”. Apparently Burnett also shows up occasionally as advisor to Donald Trump on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

18. Vermont ski resort : OKEMO
Okemo is a ski resort near Ludlow, Vermont. If you visit Okemo, you’ll see that it’s also home to the Timber Ripper roller coaster, which operates year round. The Timber Ripper became the state of Vermont’s first roller coaster when it opened for business in December, 2010.

22. Rapper with the #1 hit "Money Maker" : LUDACRIS
“Ludacris” is the stage name of rapper Christopher Bridges from Champaign, Illinois.

24. Fly over the water : PARASAIL
Parasailing is hanging below a tethered parachute that is towed by a boat.

26. Arctic seabirds : SKUAS
Skuas are a group of about seven species of seabird. Some of these species are known as jaegers in the Americas. The skua takes its name from the island of Sk├║voy in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. The name “jaeger” comes from the German word for “hunter”.

31. Fatty ___ : ACIDS
Saturated fats differ from unsaturated fats chemically in that saturated fats have chains of fatty acids that are relatively straight, allowing individual molecules to pack closely together. This close packing largely explains why saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Unsaturated fatty acids on the other hand have "kinks" in the chains of their fatty acids, so that they cannot pack together closely. Unsaturated fats are generally liquid at room temperature. Food manufacturers have learned that humans get sick by consuming saturated fats (i.e. fats from animal sources). So, they market "healthy" vegetable fats (naturally unsaturated and liquid at room temperature) that they have magically transformed in solid fats (like vegetable spreads). All they did was saturate the healthy fats, so that now it solidifies at room temperature, and in your arteries. There should be a law ...

33. River through Ann Arbor : HURON
Just like Lake Huron, the Huron River in southeastern Michigan was named for the Huron Native Americans who lived in the area. The Huron River though doesn’t flow into Lake Huron, and rather in Lake Erie.

Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Supposedly, Allen and Rumsey originally used the name “Annsarbour” in recognition of stands of bur oak that were on the land they had purchased and in recognition of their wives, both of whom were called “Ann” (i.e. Anns' Arbor)

34. Bar Harbor locale : MAINE
Bar Harbor is a town on the Maine coast that is a popular place to visit in the summer. Cruise ships are a common sight in the harbor from May through October.

35. Dark purple fruits : SLOES
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush.

37. Thurman of "Pulp Fiction" : UMA
Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter "Uma" as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name "Dbuma".

I"m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think "Pulp Fiction" is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence it's really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta's career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly received performances.

39. Org. with its HQ in Fort Meade : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname ... "No Such Agency".

Fort George G. Meade is located near Odenton, Maryland and is most famous these days as the location of the headquarters of the National Security Agency.

45. Batman villain who makes decisions by flipping a coin : TWO-FACE
In the Batman storyline, Harvey Dent was the squeaky-clean District Attorney of Gotham City. Dent worked alongside Batman to fight the city’s crime. However, during a trial of a mob boss, the defendant throws acid at him and scars the left side of Dent’s face. Dent loses his mind and becomes a criminal, calling himself “Two-Face” because of his unfortunate facial features. Two-Face decides whether to do good or evil deeds by flipping a coin.

56. Unit of currency in the Harry Potter books : KNUT
The wizards in the “Harry Potter” universe have a currency consisting of only coins, of which there are three denominations: the gold Galleon, the silver Sickle ans the bronze Knut.

57. Oscar winner Blanchett : CATE
Cate Blanchett is a great Australian actress, and winner of an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in "The Aviator". Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information ...

58. Point before "game" : AD IN
In tennis, if the score reaches "deuce" (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the "advantage". If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that's two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. If the one of the players is calling out the score then if he/she has the advantage then that player announces "ad in" or more formally "advantage in". If the score announcer's opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is "ad out" or "advantage out". Follow all of that ...?

60. Caffeine-yielding nut : KOLA
The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Of course in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

63. Word that becomes its own synonym if the last letter is moved to the front : VILE
Moving the last letter of the word “vile” to the front gives the word “evil”, a synonym.

64. "NFL Live" airer : ESPN
Trey Wingo hosts “NFL Live” on ESPN. That’s all I know …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Craigslist offering : JOB
4. Company with a spokesduck : AFLAC
9. It's gathered during recon : INTEL
14. Baseball club designation : AAA
15. Keynote speaker at the 1984 Democratic National Convention : CUOMO
16. 1940s-'60s P.M. : NEHRU
17. "Laugh-In" comic : RT (Arte) JOHNSON
19. "Is Shakespeare Dead?" writer : TWAIN
20. ___ on it (agree) : SHAKE
21. "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" author : EN (Ian) FLEMING
23. Telesthesia, e.g. : ESP
25. ___ Disney Resort (original name of Disneyland Paris) : EURO
26. Kingdom on old Asian maps : SIAM
29. Bestow : AWARD
32. ___ law : OHM’S
36. Daytime host starting in 2012 : KT (Katie) COURIC
38. Like the Perseid meteor shower : ANNUAL
40. 1994 World Cup country : USA
41. Nuts : MANIACS
43. 2014 World Cup city : RIO
44. Outlets for some small pumps : AORTAS
46. Punk rock icon : DD (Dee Dee) RAMONE
48. Twist : SKEW
49. Also, in Arles : AUSSI
51. Rightmost column : ONES
52. Broad sashes : OBIS
54. Drain : SAP
56. One of two acting brothers : KC (Casey) AFFLECK
61. Drive dangerously, in a way : WEAVE
65. Rival for Federer : NADAL
66. Noted groom of 10/20/1968 : RE (Ari) ONASSIS
68. City 15 miles from Rome : UTICA
69. Runs in place : IDLES
70. Matterhorn, e.g. : ALP
71. Precept : TENET
72. Life partner? : DEATH
73. Confident crossword solver's implement : PEN

Down
1. Amphorae, e.g. : JARS
2. It can be a curse : OATH
3. ___ Fresh (Tex-Mex restaurant chain) : BAJA
4. Stuntmen's woes : ACHES
5. "Sounds dandy!" : FUN!
6. Take the booby prize : LOSE
7. King of the gods, in Egyptian myth : AMON
8. Bestow : CONFER
9. Bury : INTER
10. Sequel to "Twilight" : NEW MOON
11. Cuisine with tom yum soup : THAI
12. CNN anchor Burnett : ERIN
13. Breathing space? : LUNG
18. Vermont ski resort : OKEMO
22. Rapper with the #1 hit "Money Maker" : LUDACRIS
24. Fly over the water : PARASAIL
26. Arctic seabirds : SKUAS
27. Consoling words : IT'S OK
28. Without ___ in the world : A CARE
30. Take the prize : WIN
31. Fatty ___ : ACIDS
33. River through Ann Arbor : HURON
34. Bar Harbor locale : MAINE
35. Dark purple fruits : SLOES
37. Thurman of "Pulp Fiction" : UMA
39. Org. with its HQ in Fort Meade : NSA
42. YouTube video preceders, often : ADS
45. Batman villain who makes decisions by flipping a coin : TWO-FACE
47. Acts despondent : MOPES
50. Log-in info : USER ID
53. Highest and lowest black key on a piano : B-FLAT
55. Up to one's neck (in) : AWASH
56. Unit of currency in the Harry Potter books : KNUT
57. Oscar winner Blanchett : CATE
58. Point before "game" : AD IN
59. Give up : CEDE
60. Caffeine-yielding nut : KOLA
62. "Now!" : ASAP!
63. Word that becomes its own synonym if the last letter is moved to the front : VILE
64. "NFL Live" airer : ESPN
67. Safety measure : NET


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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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