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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

0917-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Sep 13, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Date Movies … there are four circled letters in each of the themed answers today, and those circled letters spell the word DATE:
18A. 1990 Kevin Costner film : DANCES WITH WOLVES
23A. 1990 Nicolas Cage film : WILD AT HEART
51A. 1967 Dustin Hoffman film : THE GRADUATE
56A. 1989 Robin Williams film : DEAD POETS SOCIETY
34A. 18-, 23-, 51- and 56-Across? : DATE MOVIES
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Houdini feat : ESCAPE
Harry Houdini was the stage name of Hungarian-born escapologist and magician Erik Weisz (later changed to “Harry Weiss”). Many people are under the impression that Houdini died while performing an escape that went wrong, an impression created by the storyline in a couple of movies about his life. The truth is that he died of peritonitis from a burst appendix. It is also true that a few days prior to his death Houdini took a series of punches to his stomach as part of his act, but doctors believe that his appendix would have burst regardless.

12. Free TV ad, for short : PSA
Public service announcement (PSA)

15. Wack : INANE
"That's wack" apparently is a slang term meaning "that's crazy, nuts, lame".

17. Grain beard : AWN
Awns are hair- or bristle-like structures found in numerous species of plants. In some species, like barley, the awns can contain photosynthetic tissue.

18. 1990 Kevin Costner film : DANCES WITH WOLVES
“Dances with Wolves” is a Western movie released in 1999 that was produced by, directed by and starred Kevin Costner. The film is based on a novel of the same name by Michael Blake. Costner had been involved in the “Dances with Wolves” project when Blake only had the bare bones of a script, and it was Costner who suggested the script be turned into a novel. Costner then bought the right to the book, and ended up investing three million dollars of his own money to finish shooting the film.

21. Reason for an R rating : GORE
The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film-rating system (R, PG-17, G etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

23. 1990 Nicolas Cage film : WILD AT HEART
“Wild at Heart” is a 1990 David Lynch film that is based on a novel by Barry Gifford. Stars of the film are Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Actress Diane Ladd has a supporting role as the mother of the character played by Laura Dern. Ladd is Dern’s mother in real life.

The actor Nic Cage was born Nicolas Coppola. Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, both of whom are his father's siblings.

27. November exhortation : VOTE
Election Day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

29. Mont Blanc, e.g., to locals : ALPE
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps. The name "Mont Blanc" translates from French into "white mountain". The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

30. Flu symptom : FEVER
Influenza is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.

31. "___ Boys" (Alcott novel) : JO’S
Louisa May Alcott's "Jo's Boys" is a sequel to her novel "Little Men", which in turn is a sequel to "Little Women". “Jo’s Boys” is the final book in the trilogy.

32. "___ Maria" : AVE
"Ave Maria" ("Hail Mary" in English) is the prayer at the core of the Roman Catholic Rosary, which itself is a set of prayers asking for the assistance of the Virgin Mary. Much of the text of the "Hail Mary" comes from the Gospel of Luke.

33. Drilling sites : MOLARS
The molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

38. One of two used facetiously in Mötley Crüe : UMLAUT
Mötley Crüe is an American rock band, from Los Angeles. They've been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band was drinking bottles of "Löwenbräu" beer!

41. "Oedipus ___" : REX
“Oedipus Rex” (also “Oedipus the King”) is a tragedy penned by the Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. The play tells the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes king of Thebes. Oedipus was destined from birth to murder his father and marry his mother.

46. Ballet bend : PLIE
The French word for "bent" is "plié". In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent.

50. Bushels : A LOT
In the imperial system of weights and measures, a bushel is a unit of dry volume made up of 4 pecks. In the US system, a bushel is a dry volume of 8 gallons.

51. 1967 Dustin Hoffman film : THE GRADUATE
The marvelous 1967 film “The Graduate” is a big screen adaptation of a novel of the same name by Charles Webb. Apparently director Mike Nichols wanted Doris Day to play Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft was cast), and Robert Redford to play Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman was cast). In the storyline, Benjamin is 20 years old, and Mrs. Robinson is “twice his age”. In fact, Hoffman was 30 at the time, and Bancroft was just 36.

53. Not a club for big shots? : NINE IRON
The 9 iron is the "shortest" of the regular irons, meaning that it lofts the ball the highest and achieves the least distance.

55. "Get the Party Started" singer : PINK
Pink is the stage name of American singer Alecia Beth Moore. That’s all I know ...

56. 1989 Robin Williams film : DEAD POETS SOCIETY
1989’s “Dead Poets Society” was directed by Peter Weir and stars Robin Williams as an English teacher who uses poetry to inspire his students. Tom Schulman wrote the somewhat autobiographical script based on his own experiences at a day school in Nashville, Tennessee. This is one of my favorite Robin Williams movies …

Robin Williams a very unique actor and comedian who came to prominence playing one of the title roles in the TV show “Mork and Mindy”. Since then, he gave many fine performances on the big screen, and won an Oscar for his work in the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting”. Included in the list of great Robin Williams movies are “”Good Morning, Vietnam”, “Dead Poets Society”, “Awakenings”, “Mrs. Doubtfire” and my personal favorite “The Birdcage”.

61. Part of E.T.A.: Abbr. : ARR
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

64. Neighbor of Homer : NED
Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV's "The Simpsons". Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

66. Misses at a bullfight?: Abbr. : SRTAS
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish and mademoiselle (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

Down
2. Santa ___ winds : ANA
The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically "falls" down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

3. "Walk Like an Egyptian" band, with "the" : BANGLES
The Bangles are a band that formed in Los Angeles in 1980, a trio of female musicians. The group went through a few names before settling on the Bangles, namely the Colours, the Supersonic Bangs and the Bangs. The Bangles’ biggest hits are “Manic Monday” (1986), “Walk Like an Egyptian” (1986) and “Eternal Flame” (1989).

4. Purposely obfuscate, in a way : ENCODE
“To obfuscate” is to make something unclear, a word derived from the Latin “obfuscare” meaning “to darken”.

7. ___ Lanka : SRI
The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as "venerable island". Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule. The lion on the country’s national flag symbolizes the fight against British colonialism.

10. Lapwing : PEWIT
Pewit (also “Peewit”) is an alternative name for the Northern Lapwing. The name “Peewit” is imitative of the bird's “pee-wit” call.

11. Mythological lover boy : EROS
Eros was the Roman god of love, with Cupid being his Roman equivalent. In some myths, Eros is the son of Aphrodite.

12. "The Dying Swan" ballerina : PAVLOVA
Anna Pavlova was a Russian ballerina who performed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Pavlova became so successful that she was the first ballerina to pull together her own company and tour the world. Her most famous role was “The Dying Swan” that she danced to the beautiful “Le cygne” from Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals”. Pavlova eventually left Russia for good and settled in England.

13. Cardigan, e.g. : SWEATER
The article of clothing known as a cardigan is named after the British Army Major General James Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan. Apparently, the cardigan’s design is similar to the a knitted wool waistcoat that was worn by officers during the Crimean War in which the Earl of Cardigan played a major role.

19. Volleyball action between a bump and a spike : SET
In volleyball, each team can only touch the ball a maximum of three times before it returns to the other side of the net. The three contacts are often a bump and a set followed by a spike.

23. Paper with "Marketplace" and "Money & Investing" sects. : WSJ
“The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) is a daily newspaper with a business bent that is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ has a larger US circulation than any other newspaper, with “USA Today” coming in second place.

24. ___ Jima : IWO
Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since.

25. Privileged one : HAVE
“Haves” and “have nots”.

32. A.B.A. member : ATT
American Bar Association (ABA)

33. Betty Crocker product : MIX
Betty Crocker was introduced by the Washburn Crosby Company (now part of General Mills) in 1921. "Crocker" was chosen in honor of William Crocker who was one of the company's directors. "Betty" was selected simply because it was considered a bright, all-American name. Betty's original job was to sign her name on correspondence arising out of consumer product questions, but soon she evolved into a very successful brand name.

35. Vienna's land: Abbr. : AUS
The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country: “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

Vienna is the capital of Austria. Vienna has a long musical tradition and was home to Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (I and II), Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. As such, Vienna is sometimes called the “City of Music”. It is also called the “City of Dreams” as it was home to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

38. Kampala resident : UGANDAN
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda. The airport that serves Kampala is in the town of Entebbe. Entebbe airport is well known for the daring hostage-rescue carried out by Israeli Defense Forces in 1976 following a highjacking.

39. "Tartuffe" writer : MOLIERE
Molière was the stage name of French actor and playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. It is amazing how well the comedies of Molière, written in the 1600s, entertain us on stage today. Among his best-known plays are "The Misanthrope", "The School for Wives” and "Tartuffe or the Hypocrite".

40. "Get Shorty" novelist Elmore ___ : LEONARD
Elmore Leonard used to write a lot of westerns in the fifties and moved onto crime and suspense novels later in his career. A lot of his books have made it to the big screen, including “Get Shorty” and “Mr Majestyk”.

46. One of the friends on "Friends" : PHOEBE
The character Phoebe Buffay is played on the sitcom “Friends” by the actress Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays the ditzy member of the troupe of friends, but I’ve always viewed her as the “smartest” of the group of actors in real life, as best I could tell. Kudrow is behind the US version of the British genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” a very entertaining bit of television.

47. Like the pre-Easter season : LENTEN
In Latin, the Christian season that is now called Lent was termed "quadragesima" (meaning "fortieth"), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term "Lent" was introduced. "Lent" comes from "lenz", the German word for "spring".

49. III's father : JUNIOR
My father is William Butler, Sr. That makes me William Butler, Jr. If I’d gone with the family tradition, my son would have been William Butler III. We decided that our eldest would be called David Ernest instead ...

52. Abbr. on mail to a soldier : APO
Army Post Office (APO)

54. ___ facto : IPSO
“Ipso facto” is Latin, meaning "by the fact itself". Ipso facto describes something that is a direct consequence of particular act, as opposed to something that is the result of some subsequent event. For example, my father was born in Dublin and was an Irish citizen ipso facto. My son was born in California and is an Irish citizen by virtue of being the son of an Irish citizen ("not" ipso facto).

57. R.S.V.P. part : S’IL
RSVP stands for "répondez s'il vous plaît", which is French for "please, answer".

59. What a caddy may hold : TEA
A caddy is a container used for tea. “Caddy” comes from the Malay word “kati”, a unit of weight used as a standard by British tea companies in the East Indies.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Place for washing instructions, often : LABEL
6. Houdini feat : ESCAPE
12. Free TV ad, for short : PSA
15. Wack : INANE
16. One end of a pencil : ERASER
17. Grain beard : AWN
18. 1990 Kevin Costner film : DANCES WITH WOLVES
21. Reason for an R rating : GORE
22. Urban ordinance that might apply to a late-night party : NOISE LAW
23. 1990 Nicolas Cage film : WILD AT HEART
27. November exhortation : VOTE
28. "Nice!" : SWEET!
29. Mont Blanc, e.g., to locals : ALPE
30. Flu symptom : FEVER
31. "___ Boys" (Alcott novel) : JO’S
32. "___ Maria" : AVE
33. Drilling sites : MOLARS
34. 18-, 23-, 51- and 56-Across? : DATE MOVIES
38. One of two used facetiously in Mötley Crüe : UMLAUT
41. "Oedipus ___" : REX
42. Combat : WAR
45. Attendees : GOERS
46. Ballet bend : PLIE
48. DVD player button : EJECT
50. Bushels : A LOT
51. 1967 Dustin Hoffman film : THE GRADUATE
53. Not a club for big shots? : NINE IRON
55. "Get the Party Started" singer : PINK
56. 1989 Robin Williams film : DEAD POETS SOCIETY
61. Part of E.T.A.: Abbr. : ARR
62. "As you wish" : SO BE IT
63. For all ___ : TO SEE
64. Neighbor of Homer : NED
65. In public : OPENLY
66. Misses at a bullfight?: Abbr. : SRTAS

Down
1. Pot top : LID
2. Santa ___ winds : ANA
3. "Walk Like an Egyptian" band, with "the" : BANGLES
4. Purposely obfuscate, in a way : ENCODE
5. Ogle : LEER AT
6. "That's nasty!" : EEW!
7. ___ Lanka : SRI
8. Quick refresher : CATNAP
9. Where sailors go in port : ASHORE
10. Lapwing : PEWIT
11. Mythological lover boy : EROS
12. "The Dying Swan" ballerina : PAVLOVA
13. Cardigan, e.g. : SWEATER
14. What an information booth has : ANSWERS
19. Volleyball action between a bump and a spike : SET
20. Is honest (with) : LEVELS
23. Paper with "Marketplace" and "Money & Investing" sects. : WSJ
24. ___ Jima : IWO
25. Privileged one : HAVE
26. K-5, schoolwise : ELEM
30. Adversary : FOE
32. A.B.A. member : ATT
33. Betty Crocker product : MIX
34. Ran out, as in front of traffic : DARTED
35. Vienna's land: Abbr. : AUS
36. Not a copy: Abbr. : ORIG
37. Go off course : VEER
38. Kampala resident : UGANDAN
39. "Tartuffe" writer : MOLIERE
40. "Get Shorty" novelist Elmore ___ : LEONARD
42. Most diluted : WEAKEST
43. Play part : ACT
44. Hwy. : RTE
46. One of the friends on "Friends" : PHOEBE
47. Like the pre-Easter season : LENTEN
48. Decrees : EDICTS
49. III's father : JUNIOR
51. Scout unit : TROOP
52. Abbr. on mail to a soldier : APO
54. ___ facto : IPSO
57. R.S.V.P. part : S’IL
58. Hog's home : STY
59. What a caddy may hold : TEA
60. What "aye" means : YES


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4 comments :

PETER said...

Thanks, Bill. I always learn something -- even about my own puzzles -- when I read your write-ups.

- Pete

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Pete.

It's always good to see the Collins name when I open up a crossword ... a guarantee of something fresh and entertaining. This one took me longer to solve than a standard Tuesday offering, a sign that there were a lot fewer "gimmes" than usual ... a good thing :)

Thanks for another great puzzle, and for taking the time to leave a comment. Looking forward to your next puzzle!

Charles F said...

Did anyone else notice that AUS is not the abbreviation for Austria - the international convention is AUT for Austria and AUS for Australia

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Charles.

I have to agree that the 3-letter abbreviation for Austria, according to the International Organization of Standardization, is AUT. However, AUS is "an" abbreviation that is used in some circles. An example might be when just referring to countries in Europe. However, AUT would have been my first choice, for sure.

Thanks for leaving your comment, Charles.

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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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