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Greetings from Las Vegas, Nevada (again!)

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! We had a long and strenuos hike today in Red Rock Canyon outside Vegas in 100-degree weather, complete with a touch of heatstroke (scary), and saw the Cirque de Soleil show "Zarkana" this evening (amazing, as all Cirque shows are).

Bill

0906-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Sep 13, Friday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brad Wilber & Doug Peterson
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Old Hollywood low-budget studios, collectively : POVERTY ROW
“Poverty Row” was a slang term used up to the mid-fifties for B movie studios in Hollywood. The “row” in question was today’s Gower Street in Los Angeles. Some of the studios on Poverty Row actually had some success, such as Republic Pictures that signed Gene Autry and John Wayne.

11. "Oh, God!" actress : GARR
The lovely Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr's big break came with the role of Inga in "Young Frankenstein", and her supporting role in "Tootsie" earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“Oh, God!” is a comedy movie that was released in 1977. The great George Burns plays the title role (God!) with John Denver co-starring. George Burns was the big success in the cast, and he alone reprised his role in two sequels in the 1980s.

15. Wine bottle contents in Hitchcock's "Notorious" : URANIUM ORE
"Notorious" is an interesting Hitchcock film made in 1946 starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. I find it interesting as it is such a different dramatic role for Cary Grant, and a more gritty role for the lovely Ingrid Bergman, and the great Claude Rains is in there for good measure. It's a story of espionage, love and intrigue set in Rio de Janeiro where there is a group of German Nazis hiding out after WWII. Definitely worth a rental if you've never seen it ...

16. Only event in which Venezuela medaled at the 2012 Olympics : EPEE
The French word for sword is "épée". In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

The 2012 Summer Olympics were held in London, marking the first time that a city hosted the modern games on three occasions (also 1908 and 1948). Other notable “firsts” included achievements for women. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei entered female athletes for the first time, and women’s boxing was included as an event for the first time. Also, it was the first time we saw Queen Elizabeth II (or someone pretending to be her) parachute out of a helicopter!

17. Dessert often with cream cheese icing : CARROT CAKE
Cooks started using carrots in cakes in medieval times, as carrots contain more sugar than any other vegetable other than sugar beet. Carrot cake really only became widely available in the US in the sixties, which I find surprising given how ubiquitous the confection is today ...

18. Ironwoman org.? : LPGA
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 lady golfers, and today it is the oldest ongoing women’s sports professional organization in the US.

19. Singer born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin : 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!

20. Map inits. created in the wake of the Suez Crisis : UAR
The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria made in 1958 and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

25. Big name in markers : PENTEL
Pentel is Japanese company, noted for manufacture of pens and markers.

26. Nitroglycerin, for one : ESTER
Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol.

29. Director's alternative to a dolly : STEADICAM
Apparently a dolly, a small platform on rollers especially on a movie set, is called a dolly because it's supposed to look like a doll. I just don’t understand that ...

32. It was dissolved in 1991 : WARSAW PACT
The full title of the Warsaw pact was the Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. The Soviet Union was behind the signing of the treaty in 1955 and the signatories were:
- Bulgaria
- Czechoslovakia
- East Germany
- Hungary
- Poland
- Romania
- Soviet Union
- Albania

38. Domingo, e.g. : DIA
In Spain, the day (dia) might be Saturday (sábado) or Sunday (domingo).

39. Onetime TV music vendor : K-TEL
K-Tel was founded in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by one Philip Kives. K-Tel's recipe for success was the sale of inexpensive goods with a simple sales pitch and mail-order distribution.

43. Avocado relative : SAGE GREEN
The shades “sage green” and “avocado” are close to each other.

45. Ross Sea sights : BERGS
An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. Out use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

The Ross Sea is a bay in the Southern Ocean of Antarctica. It was discovered by one James Ross in 1841. A more recent discovery, in the waters of the Ross Sea, was a 33 feet long giant squid that was captured in 2007.

47. Strike out : FAN
“To fan” is “to strike out”, and is a baseball term.

48. Excoriates : BLASTS
"To excoriate" is to abrade or chafe. It also means to strongly denounce something or someone.

49. "Revolution 9" collaborator : ONO
When the track “Revolution 9” from the Beatles’ “White Album” is played backwards, there is a section that appears to say “Turn me on, dead man”. This helped fuel an existing urban legend that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was replaced by someone who just looked like him.

55. L.B.J. biographer Robert ___ : CARO
Journalist and author Robert Caro is best known for his biographies of New York urban planner Robert Moses and President Lyndon Johnson. Those two biographies won Caro two Pulitzer Prizes.

59. Hindi relative : URDU
Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

60. The goddess Kali appeared on its first cover : MS MAGAZINE
“Ms.” magazine is a feminist publication co-founded by political activist Gloria Steinem in 1971
.
62. New Jersey childhood home of Whitney Houston and Queen Latifah : EAST ORANGE
East Orange, New Jersey is a suburb of Newark. The list of famous former residents includes Whitney Houston (as a girl) and Janis Ian (also as a girl).

Down
1. Brownish purple : PUCE
The name of the purple shade known as "puce" has a strange derivation. "Puce" came into English from French, in which language "puce" means "flea". Supposedly, puce is the color of a flea!

2. Port where Camus set "The Plague" : ORAN
Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

“The Plague” is a novel by Albert Camus, first published in 1947. It is set in the Algerian port of Oran during a terrible plague.

5. Rock in ___ (major music festival) : RIO
Rock in Rio is a music festival that originated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1985. The festival continued annually with the title “Rock in Rio”, even though it has also been held in Lisbon, Portugal and Madrid, Spain. 1.5 million people attended the first event in Rio, making it the largest music festival in the world.

6. "Coppélia" attire : TUTUS
The word "tutu", used for a ballet dancer's skirt, is actually a somewhat "naughty" term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French "tutu" is an alteration of the word "cucu", a childish word for "cul" meaning the "bottom," or "backside".

"Coppélia" is a ballet by French composer Léo Delibes.

7. Hit from the 1978 disco album "Cruisin'" : YMCA
"YMCA" was released by Village People and has been adopted as an anthem by the gay community. The song was written by Victor Willis, a straight member of the mostly gay band, and he clarifies that the lyrics are extolling the virtues of the "YMCA" as a source of recreation for black urban youth. I think he might have been winking when he said that ...

9. Planet first mentioned on "Happy Days" : ORK
"Mork & Mindy" was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were first introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams, of course) in a special episode of "Happy Days". The particular episode in question has a bizarre storyline culminating in Fonzie and Mork having a thumb-to-finger duel. Eventually Richie wakes up in bed, and alien Mork was just part of a dream! Oh, and "Nanu Nanu" means both "hello" and "goodbye" back on the planet Ork. "I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu". Great stuff ...

11. Colorful dessert : GELATIN
Gelatin is a made from collagen extracted from meat, leather and even fish.

25. Substance that citrus peels are rich in : PECTIN
Pectin is a starch-like material found in the cell walls of plants. Pectin can be extracted from plants (usually citrus fruit) and then used in cooking as a gelling agent.

26. Endor natives : EWOKS
The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor, first appearing in "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi". They're the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

27. Site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution : SANTA CLARA
The Battle of Santa Clara in 1958 resulted in the capture of the Cuban city of Santa Clara by revolutionary forces led by che Guevara. The battle was decisive, and General Fulgencio Batista fled the country within hours, leaving Fidel Castro in control of the country.

28. Barriers used in urban renewal projects : TREE GUARDS
A tree shelter or tree guard is a plastic tube that is placed around the main stem of young trees to help them along in the early stages of their growth.

29. Ire : SPLEEN
The spleen has a couple of functions in the human body. It removes old red blood cells, and recycles the iron contained therein. The waste product of this recycling is bile. It also holds a reserve of blood that can be released when necessary (if the body goes into "circulatory shock"). Greek and Roman physicians ascribed to the theory that the body had four basic substances, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:
- Black bile (melancolia)
- Yellow bile (cholera)
- Phlegm (phlegma)
- Blood (sanguis)
Out terms "splenetic" and "venting one’s spleen"are derived from this concept of have the humors out of balance.

37. Country name : 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.

42. Baseball's ___ Line (.200 batting average) : MENDOZA
The “Mendoza Line” is a baseball expression for a batting average of .200. Anything below the Mendoza Line is generally viewed as poor. The expression is named for shortstop Mario Mendoza who was a very competent defensive player but was known for his struggles at the plate.

44. Prime meridian std. : GST
GST is Greenwich Standard Time.

A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. The Prime Meridian is also called the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course the line of longitude that is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided in 1884 to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.

48. Smallish lingerie spec : B-CUP
I just read that an estimated 80% of women wear the wrong size bra. Not my area of expertise obviously …

49. Electrical units : OHMS
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.

57. Org. with inspectors : TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was of course created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks.

58. "A defeat for humanity," per Pope John Paul II : WAR
Pope John Paul II led the Catholic Church from 1978 until 2005, a period of over 26 years. That made him the second longest serving Pope in history, after Pius IX who reigned for over 31 years in the mid 1800s. Paradoxically, John Paul II’s predecessor was John Paul I who only ruled for 33 days. John Paul II was a native of Poland, and was the first non-Italian Pope to lead the church since 1523.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Old Hollywood low-budget studios, collectively : POVERTY ROW
11. "Oh, God!" actress : GARR
15. Wine bottle contents in Hitchcock's "Notorious" : URANIUM ORE
16. Only event in which Venezuela medaled at the 2012 Olympics : EPEE
17. Dessert often with cream cheese icing : CARROT CAKE
18. Ironwoman org.? : LPGA
19. Singer born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin : ENYA
20. Map inits. created in the wake of the Suez Crisis : UAR
21. Now-rare connection method : DIAL-UP
23. Blather : GAS
25. Big name in markers : PENTEL
26. Nitroglycerin, for one : ESTER
29. Director's alternative to a dolly : STEADICAM
32. It was dissolved in 1991 : WARSAW PACT
34. Time in TV ads : NITE
35. Fused : ONE
36. Fortify : BOLSTER
38. Domingo, e.g. : DIA
39. Onetime TV music vendor : K-TEL
41. Kind of community : RETIREMENT
43. Avocado relative : SAGE GREEN
45. Ross Sea sights : BERGS
46. Interrupts : CUTS IN
47. Strike out : FAN
48. Excoriates : BLASTS
49. "Revolution 9" collaborator : ONO
51. It may slip in the back : DISK
55. L.B.J. biographer Robert ___ : CARO
56. One-third of a triangle, maybe : OTHER WOMAN
59. Hindi relative : URDU
60. The goddess Kali appeared on its first cover : MS MAGAZINE
61. Bygone : PAST
62. New Jersey childhood home of Whitney Houston and Queen Latifah : EAST ORANGE

Down
1. Brownish purple : PUCE
2. Port where Camus set "The Plague" : ORAN
3. Fluctuate : VARY
4. Brings to a boil : ENRAGES
5. Rock in ___ (major music festival) : RIO
6. "Coppélia" attire : TUTUS
7. Hit from the 1978 disco album "Cruisin'" : YMCA
8. More than chuckle : ROAR
9. Planet first mentioned on "Happy Days" : ORK
10. It's used to define a border : WEED EATER
11. Colorful dessert : GELATIN
12. Press production : APPLE CIDER
13. Doing a government agency's job : REGULATING
14. Garner : REAP
22. Not the party type?: Abbr. : IND
24. Part of 20-Across : ARAB
25. Substance that citrus peels are rich in : PECTIN
26. Endor natives : EWOKS
27. Site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution : SANTA CLARA
28. Barriers used in urban renewal projects : TREE GUARDS
29. Ire : SPLEEN
30. Get a hint of : TASTE
31. Party tray array : MEATS
33. Vexing : WORRISOME
37. Country name : REBA
40. Releases : LETS OUT
42. Baseball's ___ Line (.200 batting average) : MENDOZA
44. Prime meridian std. : GST
47. Skip : FORGO
48. Smallish lingerie spec : B-CUP
49. Electrical units : OHMS
50. Ordered : NEAT
52. "You can count on me" : I’M IN
53. Provided backup, in a way : SANG
54. Deep or high lead-in : KNEE
57. Org. with inspectors : TSA
58. "A defeat for humanity," per Pope John Paul II : WAR


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Not John Paul I but Paul I.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

If you are referring to the pope who preceeded Pope John Paul II, then that was indeed Pope John Paul I. Pope Paul I was head of the Catholic Church from 757 to 767 AD.

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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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