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0911-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Sep 13, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Blindauer
THEME: Warm to Cold … today’s themed answers contain circled letters that form words that in turn give us a word ladder going from WARM to COLD:
16A. Endothermic : WARM-BLOODED
23A. Birth place : MATERNITY WARD
37A. Life-size likeness of Elvis, maybe : CARDBOARD CUTOUT
47A. A fan might need one : EXTENSION CORD
58A. Unaffected by emotion : COLD-HEARTED
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. "Aladdin" villain : JAFAR
Jafar is the bad guy in the animated film “Aladdin”. Jafar was important enough to get his name front and center in the sequel called “Aladdin 2”, which is usually referred to as “The Return of Jafar”.

6. Newton, e.g. : UNIT
The newtons is a units of force. The newton is of course named for Sir Isaac Newton, the English physicist and mathematician.

10. Ernie known as "The Big Easy" : ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname "The Big Easy". He has a child who suffers from autism and so Els has been very effective in raising money for charities that focus on the condition.

13. "That's ___" : AMORE
"That's Amore" is a pop standard written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks in 1952. "That's Amore" became the signature song for Dean Martin after he sang it (with some help from Jerry Lewis) in the 1953 comedy film "The Caddy".

18. Mike and ___ (candy) : IKE
Mike and Ike is a brandname of fruit-flavored candy made by Just Born starting in 1940. Just Born launched quite a clever marketing campaign in 2012 asserting that Mike and Ike had “split up due to creative differences”. The campaign involved production of two different boxes for the candy showing one or the other name scratched out. Clever ...

19. Former Brit. Airways vehicle : SST
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments.

20. Humorist Frazier frequently found in The New Yorker : IAN
Ian Frazier is a writer and humorist for “The New Yorker”. Frazier also wrote two respected travel books: “Great Plains” and “Travels in Siberia”.

21. Number of drummers drumming, in song : DOZEN
There are “twelve drummers drumming” in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.

The fabulous Christmas Carol called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dates back at least to 1780 when it was first published in England, and may be French in origin. The concept of twelve days of Christmas comes from the tradition that the three kings came to visit the Christ Child twelve days after he was born. This same tradition is the origin of the title to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”.

28. "___ Place" : PEYTON
Grace Metallius's 1956 novel "Peyton Place" had such an impact that to this day, the expression "Peyton Place" is used to describe a neighborhood where the residents have sordid secrets. The novel has it all, including incest, abortion, adultery, lust and murder. No wonder it stayed on "The New York Times" bestseller list for 59 weeks ...

32. Rack-it game? : POOL
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.

34. It may be attached to a windshield, in brief : GPS
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians all round the world owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

37. Life-size likeness of Elvis, maybe : CARDBOARD CUTOUT
Elvis Aron Presley was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So though born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.

41. Start to sneeze? : ESS
The first letter in the word “sneeze” is S (ess).

44. Resident of Riga : LETT
Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics. People from Latvia are called Letts.

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city's magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

46. Carol kickoff : ADESTE
The lovely hymn "Adeste Fideles" (aka "O Come, All Ye Faithful") was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time.

53. Former Giant Robb ___ : NEN
Robb Nen is a former relief pitcher, best known for as a player with the San Francisco Giants.

54. "Independence Day" vehicle : UFO
The 1996 sci-fi action movie "Independence Day" is must-see-TV at our house on or around the 4th of July every year. The movie was supposed to come out in 1996 on July 3rd but there was so much anticipation that many theaters started screening the day before. At one point after release, "Independence Day" was the second-highest grossing movie in history ("Jurassic Park" was number one at the time).

63. Feature atop the pyramid on the back of a dollar bill : EYE
Conspiracy theorists love to point out "suspicious" symbols on the dollar bill. The pyramid on the bill is unfinished, with 13 steps. The number 13 has been associated with the occult, but it is also the number of original colonies which declared independence from Britain forming the United States. Not so suspicious after all ...

64. Fontana di ___ : TREVI
The Trevi Fountain is a huge fountain in Rome, the largest constructed in the Baroque style. The tradition is that if one throws a coin in the fountain then one is guaranteed a return visit to the city. Tourists throw in an amazing 3,000 euros (over $4,000) every day. The money is collected and is used to stock a supermarket for the needy of the city.

65. Blade brand : X-ACTO
The X-Acto knife was invented in the thirties by a Polish immigrant, although his intention was to come up with a scalpel for surgeons. The knife couldn't cut it as a scalpel though (pun intended!), because it was difficult to clean. The inventor's brother-in law suggested it be used as a craft knife, and it is still around today.

66. "The Joyous Cosmology" subj. : LSD
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

"The Joyous Cosmology" is a 1962 essay exploring human consciousness, written by Alan Watts.

68. Dr. Larch's drug in "The Cider House Rules" : ETHER
"The Cider House Rules" is a novel by John Irving first published in 1985. The novel was made into a film of the same name released in 1999, as well as a stage play adapted by playwright Peter Parnell.

Down
1. ___ of Life : JAWS
Jaws of Life is a trademark, owned by Hurst Performance. Jaws of Life is a hydraulic tool used by rescue crews to extricate victims from automotive accidents. The tool is a relatively new invention, developed in 1963 for use after race car crashes.

2. Part of a Latin exercise : AMAS
"Amo, amas, amat: ... "I love, you love, he/she/it loves", in Latin.

3. Popular retirement spot : FORT MYERS
Fort Myers is a city on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The city was built on the site of the old Fort Myers, a fort built by the US Army as a base of operations against the Seminole Native Americans.

6. The Huskies of the N.C.A.A. : UCONN
The UConn Huskies are the sports teams of the University of Connecticut. I wasn’t able to uncover the derivation of the “Huskies” moniker. Although it is true that “UConn” sounds like “Yukon”, that isn’t the derivation of the “Huskies” nickname as the school didn’t become the University of Connecticut (UConn) until 1939, and the Huskies name has been used since 1933.

8. Pique condition? : IRE
Our term "pique" meaning a "fit of ill feeling" is a French word meaning a "prick, sting, irritation".

9. Roosevelt and Kennedy : TEDDYS
Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as President of the United States in 1901 after the assassination of President McKinley. Roosevelt was only 42 years of age at the time, making him the youngest US president in history.

Ted Kennedy was the youngest boy in the family that included his older brothers: Joseph Jr. (killed in action in WWII), John (assassinated) and Robert (assassinated). Ted went into the US Senate in 1962 in a special election held after his brother became US President. He remained in the Senate until he passed away in 2009, making Ted Kennedy the fourth-longest-serving Senator in history.

10. 'Enry's fair lady : ELIZA
Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins' speech student in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion". Of course "Pygmalion" was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady". The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was "'Enry 'Iggins".

11. Magic, e.g., once : LAKER
Magic Johnson’s real name is Earvin Johnson. Johnson was born and grew up in Lansing, Michigan. Earvin earned the nickname “Magic” when playing basketball in high school, after one particularly great performance on the court.

17. Legal encumbrance : LIEN
A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone's property until a debt is paid.

24. Just slightly : A TAD
Back in the 1800s "tad" was used to describe a young child, and this morphed into our usage of "small amount" in the early 1900s. The original use of "tad" for a child is very likely a shortened version of "tadpole".

25. Final "Romeo and Juliet" setting : TOMB
In the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet utters the famous line:
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Every school kid must have commented with a giggle “he’s down in the garden!” Of course, “wherefore” isn’t an archaic word for “where”, but rather an old way of saying “why”. So Juliet is asking, “Why art thou Romeo, a Montague, and hence a sworn enemy of the Capulets?”

26. Nanos, e.g. : IPODS
The iPod Nano is the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There have been five versions of the Nano to date and the current Nano as well as playing tunes is an FM player, records voice memos, and even has a pedometer!

27. Baby powder ingredient : TALC
Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days "baby powder" can also be cornstarch.

33. Leftover bit : ORT
Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

34. Splits the tab : GOES DUTCH
Strictly speaking, when people “go Dutch” they each pay for themselves, as opposed to “splitting the tab”. That said, there is a suggestion that the term “go Dutch” originated with the Dutch door. Dutch doors had a top and a bottom equally divided in area.

44. The Eagle that landed, e.g. : LEM
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named "Spider", and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called "Snoopy" and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11's LEM was of course called "Eagle" and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon's surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

48. They can see right through you : X-RAYS
X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also "Roentgen"), and it was he who gave the name "X-rays" to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen's native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as "Röntgen rays". In 1901 Röntgen won the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded, recognition for his work on X-rays.

50. How many bootlegs are sold : ON DVD
“To bootleg” is make or smuggle alcoholic drinks illegally. The term arose in the late 1800s as slang for the practice of concealing a flask of liquor down the leg of a high boot. The term has been extended to mean the illegal production and sale of just about anything.

51. Fanta alternative : NEHI
The brand of Nehi cola has a name that sounds like “knee-high”, a measure of a small stature. Back in the mid-1900’s, the Chero-Cola company that owned the brand went for a slightly different twist on "knee-high" in advertising. The logo for Nehi was an image of a seated woman’s stockinged legs, with her skirt pulled up to her knees, to hint at “knee-high”.

The soft drink "Fanta" has quite an interesting history. As WWII approached, the Coca-Cola plant in Germany had trouble obtaining the ingredients it needed to continue production of the cola beverage, so the plant manager decided to create a new drink from what was available. The new beverage was built around whey (left over from cheese production) and pomace (left over after juice has been extracted from fruit). The inventor asked his colleagues to use their imagination ("Fantasie" in German) and come up with a name for the drink, so they piped up "Fanta!"

59. Stibnite, for one : ORE
Stibnite is a mineral that is a source for antimony.

60. See 5-Down : LEE
Robert E. Lee is of course renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Aladdin" villain : JAFAR
6. Newton, e.g. : UNIT
10. Ernie known as "The Big Easy" : ELS
13. "That's ___" : AMORE
14. Make a point, perhaps : SCORE
15. Word before dog or dance : LAP
16. Endothermic : WARM-BLOODED
18. Mike and ___ (candy) : IKE
19. Former Brit. Airways vehicle : SST
20. Humorist Frazier frequently found in The New Yorker : IAN
21. Number of drummers drumming, in song : DOZEN
23. Birth place : MATERNITY WARD
28. "___ Place" : PEYTON
30. Free ticket : PASS
31. First-stringers : A-TEAM
32. Rack-it game? : POOL
34. It may be attached to a windshield, in brief : GPS
37. Life-size likeness of Elvis, maybe : CARDBOARD CUTOUT
41. Start to sneeze? : ESS
42. Some are liberal : ARTS
43. Devoutness : PIETY
44. Resident of Riga : LETT
46. Carol kickoff : ADESTE
47. A fan might need one : EXTENSION CORD
52. Fragrance : AROMA
53. Former Giant Robb ___ : NEN
54. "Independence Day" vehicle : UFO
57. Utter : SAY
58. Unaffected by emotion : COLD-HEARTED
63. Feature atop the pyramid on the back of a dollar bill : EYE
64. Fontana di ___ : TREVI
65. Blade brand : X-ACTO
66. "The Joyous Cosmology" subj. : LSD
67. Pit : SEED
68. Dr. Larch's drug in "The Cider House Rules" : ETHER

Down
1. ___ of Life : JAWS
2. Part of a Latin exercise : AMAS
3. Popular retirement spot : FORT MYERS
4. Weaponize : ARM
5. One serving under Gen. 60-Down, informally : REB
6. The Huskies of the N.C.A.A. : UCONN
7. Affirmative action : NOD
8. Pique condition? : IRE
9. Roosevelt and Kennedy : TEDDYS
10. 'Enry's fair lady : ELIZA
11. Magic, e.g., once : LAKER
12. Eschew frugality : SPEND
14. Increase dramatically : SOAR
17. Legal encumbrance : LIEN
22. Punch lines? : OWS
24. Just slightly : A TAD
25. Final "Romeo and Juliet" setting : TOMB
26. Nanos, e.g. : IPODS
27. Baby powder ingredient : TALC
28. Clip : PACE
29. Touchdown data, for short : ETAS
32. Series opener : PART I
33. Leftover bit : ORT
34. Splits the tab : GOES DUTCH
35. When repeated, miniature golf : PUTT
36. Ocular malady : STYE
38. Part of a stable diet : OATS
39. High hairstyle : UPDO
40. Level : TIER
44. The Eagle that landed, e.g. : LEM
45. Puts into law : ENACTS
46. Trouble spots? : ACNE
47. Sitting stand : EASEL
48. They can see right through you : X-RAYS
49. Played (with) : TOYED
50. How many bootlegs are sold : ON DVD
51. Fanta alternative : NEHI
55. Grandly celebrate : FETE
56. Fragrance : ODOR
59. Stibnite, for one : ORE
60. See 5-Down : LEE
61. Swinger in the woods? : AXE
62. Cellar dweller : RAT


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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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