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0924-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Sep 13, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Susan Gelfand
THEME: The Extra-Terrestrial … two circled letters in the grid (ET) point us to the 1982 hit movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, and today’s long list of themed answers:
13A. With 59-Across, where [circled letters] came from : OUTER
59A. See 13-Across : SPACE
20A. Child actress who appeared with [circled letters] : DREW BARRYMORE
25A. Creator of [circled letters] : SPIELBERG
45A. What [circled letters] wanted to do : PHONE HOME
49A. Means of escape for [circled letters] : FLYING BICYCLE
14D. With 41-Down, composition of a trail followed by [circled letters] : REESE’S
41D. See 14-Down : PIECES
23D. Best Original ___ (award for the film with [circled letters]) : SCORE
35D. Costume for [circled letters] on Halloween : GHOST
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 15s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Deposed leader of 1979 : SHAH
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

9. Shih ___ (diminutive dogs) : TZUS
The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dog, a breed that originated in China. Shih Tzus have long hairy coats but they don't shed.

13. With 59-Across, where [circled letters] came from : OUTER
(59A. See 13-Across : SPACE)
The exploration and use of outer space is governed by the Outer Space Treaty that came into force in 1967. The initial signatories were the US, UK and USSR, and now 102 nations are party to the treaty. For the purposes of the treaty, outer space begins at the Kármán line, a theoretical sphere that lies at an altitude of 100km about the Earth’s sea level.

16. "For ___ jolly good fellow" : HE’S A
“For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” is the second-most popular song in the English language, according to the “Guinness Book of World Records”. Top of the list is “Happy Birthday to You”, and third comes “Auld Lang Syne”.

18. Charge for currency exchange : AGIO
The term "agio" derives from the Italian "aggio" meaning "exchange rate, discount, premium". Most often, the agio is defined as the difference between the actual exchange rate and the nominal exchange rate for two currencies. That difference is mainly made up of the service fee for making the exchange.

20. Child actress who appeared with [circled letters] : DREW BARRYMORE
Drew Barrymore has quite the pedigree, being a granddaughter of Hollywood icon John Barrymore. She appeared in her first movie at the age of five, in 1980's "Altered States", but her big break was in 1982's "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial". That same year she became the youngest host of "Saturday Night Live" at the age of seven. She has been invited back to host the show quite a few times and has now hosted six times, more than any other female celebrity.

25. Creator of [circled letters] : SPIELBERG
The director Steven Spielberg has had so many hit movies. Spielberg won two Best Director Oscars, one being “Schindler’s List” from 1993 and “Saving Private Ryan” from 1998. Three Spielberg films broke box office records: “Jaws” (1975), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) and “Jurassic Park” (1993). That’s quite a portfolio of movies …

28. Golf's Ernie : ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy with 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.

29. Dodge models until 1990 : OMNIS
The Dodge Omni was basically the same car as the Plymouth Horizon, and was produced by Chrysler from 1978-90. The Omni is a front-wheel drive hatchback, the first in a long line of front-wheel drive cars that were very successful for Chrysler. The Omni was actually developed in France, by Chrysler's Simca division. When production was stopped in the US in 1990, the tooling was sold to an Indian company that continued production for the Asian market for several years.

33. Site of four sold-out 1972 Elvis Presley concerts, for short : MSG
Madison Square Garden is an arena in New York City used for a variety of events. In the world of sports it is home to the New York Rangers of the NHL, as well as the New York Knicks of the NBA. "The Garden" is also the third busiest music venue in the world in terms of ticket sales. The current arena is the fourth structure to bear the name, a name taken from the Madison Square location in Manhattan. In turn, the square was named for James Madison, the fourth President of the US.

38. Wool lover : MOTH
The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below 8 degrees centigrade.

41. Painter Picasso : PABLO
Pablo Picasso's full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Got that?

45. What [circled letters] wanted to do : PHONE HOME
In the movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, Elliott helped ET to “phone home” by using a modified Speak & Spell toy.

49. Means of escape for [circled letters] : FLYING BICYCLE
In the movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, Elliott and friends help ET to escape using their bicycles to evade the authorities. ET gives a helping hand by using telekinesis to lift the bicycles into the air.

53. Time to give up? : LENT
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".

54. Jazz's Blake : EUBIE
James Hubert “Eubie” Blake was a composer and pianist from Baltimore, Maryland. Blake was a noted composer and performer of ragtime music. The 1978 musical “Eubie!” features his music. Apparently Blake claimed to have started smoking cigarettes at the age of 10 years, and died 85 years later in 1983. Blake’s celebrity status and long life as a smoker was often cited by politicians who opposed anti-tobacco legislation.

57. Wayward G.I. : AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) are concerned with personnel who go AWOL (Absent WithOut Leave).

The initials "G.I." stand for "Government Issue" and not "General Infantry" as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed "GI cans". Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with "Government Issue" and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

58. Therefore : ERGO
"Ergo" is the Latin word for "hence, therefore".

Down
1. Lush : SOT
Our word "sot" comes from the Old English "sott", meaning a fool. The word "sot" started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

"Lush" is a slang term for a heavy drinker. Back in the 1700s, “lush” was slang for “liquor”.

4. Frau's mate : HERR
In Germany, a “Mr.” (Herr) is married to a “Mrs.” (Frau).

6. Forum robes : TOGAE
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a "stola".

The Roman forum was the public space in the middle of a city, taking it's name from the Latin word "forum" meaning "marketplace, town square".

8. Avon commercial sound : DOORBELL
In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous "Avon Calling" marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

9. One's wife, informally : THE MRS
Mr. is the abbreviation for "master", and Mrs. is the abbreviation for "mistress".

10. Free-fall effect, briefly : ZERO-G
The force of gravity that we all feel is referred to as “one G”. As gravity is a actually an accelerating force, acceleration is measured relative to that force of gravity. So, if we are sitting in a vehicle that accelerates at 3G, then we are experiencing a force that is three times that which we feel from the gravitational pull of the earth. Zero-G is weightlessness that is experienced when in space, outside the influence of the earth's gravity.

11. "Back in the ___" : USSR
By the time the Beatles recorded "Back in the U.S.S.R", they were having a lot of problems working with each other. The song was recorded in 1968, with the band formally dissolving in 1970. Tensions were so great during the recording of "Back in the U.S.S.R" that Ringo Starr actually stormed out saying that he had quit, and the remaining three Beatles made the record without Ringo. Drums were played mainly by Paul McCartney, but there are also drum tracks on the final cut by both George Harrison and John Lennon. Interesting, huh?

14. With 41-Down, composition of a trail followed by [circled letters] : REESE’S
(41D. See 14-Down : PIECES)
Reese’s Pieces are an extension to the successful Peanut Butter Cups line, and are pieces of candy that look like M&Ms but are filled with peanut butter.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett "H.B." Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “pieces” ...

21. New Deal inits. : WPA
The Work Progress Administration (WPA) was the largest of the New Deal agencies. The WPA employed millions of people during the Depression, putting them to work on various public works projects. The total spending through the WPA from 1936 to 1939 was nearly $7 billion. We have to give the federal government credit for taking an enlightened view of what types of project qualified for financial support, so artists who could not get commissions privately were hired by the government itself. The result is a collection of “New Deal Art”, including a series of murals that can be found in post offices around the country to this day.

23. Best Original ___ (award for the film with [circled letters]) : SCORE
The music score to the 1982 film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was written by John Williams. The score won the Best Original Score Oscar, one of four Academy Awards garnered by the film.

27. Spanish hero El ___ : CID
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as "The Champion" or perhaps "The Lord, Master of Military Arts". El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, making it is headquarters and home. He died there, quite peacefully in 1099.

32. One using an otoscope : EAR DOCTOR
An otoscope is that instrument that an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist uses to look into the interior of one’s ears.

33. Locale of an 1864 Civil War blockade : MOBILE BAY
The Battle of Mobile Bay took place in 1864 during the Civil War. Famously, the Federal forces led by Admiral David Farragut raced through a minefield in order to get out of range of shore-based runs, even after one of his shops had been lost to the underwater explosives. Also during the engagement, Farragut is reputed to have ordered one of his ships to move ahead rather than slow down when faced with the danger of torpedoes ... "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"

34. Fifth-century pope with the epithet "the Great" : ST LEO
The first pope named Leo is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. Leo I is famous for meeting with the feared Attila the Hun and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe.

37. They're "hung out" by professionals : SHINGLES
The phrase “to hang out a shingle” is used in the legal profession meaning to start one’s own law firm. That said, the expression is sometimes applied to other businesses and trades. A “shingle” is small signboard.

40. Anon : SOON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

44. Adams of "The Fighter" : AMY
Amy Adams is an American actress. My favorite film of hers so far is the outstanding "Julie & Julia" in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

“The Fighter” is a 2010 biopic about the life of boxer Micky Ward and his half-brother Dicky Eklund. Ward is played by Mark Wahlberg and Eklund is played by Christian Bale. I’m not a big fan of boxing, or boxing movies ...

45. Traffic cone : PYLON
“Pylon” is another word for “traffic cone”.

46. Late thumb-turning critic : EBERT
Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Ebert was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and finally succumbed to a recurrence of the disease in April 2013.

47. Stamp collector's fastener : HINGE
Stamp collectors affix postage stamps to the pages of albums using stamp hinges. The hinges are small folded pieces of paper that are pre-coated with a mild adhesive gum.

49. "Animal House" house : FRAT
The very funny 1978 movie "Animal House" has the prefix "National Lampoon's ..." because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in "National Lampoon" magazine. "Animal House" was to become the first in a long line of successful "National Lampoon" films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent "Amadeus", and Stephen Furst (Flounder), later played a regular role on television's "Babylon 5".

50. Rob of "The West Wing" : LOWE
The actor Rob Lowe is one of the “founding members” of the so-called Brat Pack, having appeared in the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire”. He is currently playing a regular character on the TV show “Parks and Recreation”. My favorite of his roles though, was playing Sam Seaborn on Aaron Sorkin’s great drama series “The West Wing”. When “The West Wing” first aired, Seaborn was billed as the show’s main character, but outstanding performances from the rest of the cast and some great writing meant that Lowe’s role became “one of many”. This led to some dissatisfaction on Lowe’s part, and eventually he quit the show.

51. "Little Latin ___ Lu" (1966 hit) : LUPE
"Little Latin Lupe Lu" is a song recorded by the Righteous Brothers in 1963. The song was written by Bill Medley (one of the Righteous Brothers duo). Medley used the name “Lupe” as he had dated a Lupe Laguna in high school.

56. Suffix with slogan : -EER
Our word “slogan” comes from the Gaelic “sluagh-ghairm”, which was a battle cry used in Scotland and Ireland. We’ve been using “slogan” to mean a phrase used by a political or other movement since the early 1700s.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Deposed leader of 1979 : SHAH
5. Suffix meaning "city" in some European place names : -STAD
9. Shih ___ (diminutive dogs) : TZUS
13. With 59-Across, where [circled letters] came from : OUTER
15. Like a drive-thru order : TO GO
16. "For ___ jolly good fellow" : HE’S A
17. When repeated, consoling words : THERE
18. Charge for currency exchange : AGIO
19. Once, old-style : ERST
20. Child actress who appeared with [circled letters] : DREW BARRYMORE
23. Biol., e.g. : SCI
25. Creator of [circled letters] : SPIELBERG
26. Palm, as a playing card : CONCEAL
28. Golf's Ernie : ELS
29. Dodge models until 1990 : OMNIS
30. Possible answer to "How'd you hurt yourself?" : I FELL
33. Site of four sold-out 1972 Elvis Presley concerts, for short : MSG
36. Swamp growth : REED
37. Base runner's attempt : STEAL
38. Wool lover : MOTH
39. Go astray : ERR
40. Not so outgoing : SHYER
41. Painter Picasso : PABLO
42. "... or ___ gather" : SO I
43. Some Wisconsin farms : DAIRIES
45. What [circled letters] wanted to do : PHONE HOME
48. Bunch : LOT
49. Means of escape for [circled letters] : FLYING BICYCLE
52. It's cast : ROLE
53. Time to give up? : LENT
54. Jazz's Blake : EUBIE
57. Wayward G.I. : AWOL
58. Therefore : ERGO
59. See 13-Across : SPACE
60. Be inclined (to) : TEND
61. Suffix with prank : -STER
62. Observer : EYER

Down
1. Lush : SOT
2. "Come again?" : HUH?
3. Had an evening meal : ATE DINNER
4. Frau's mate : HERR
5. What a gyroscope may provide : STABILITY
6. Forum robes : TOGAE
7. "It's ___!" (birth announcement) : A GIRL
8. Avon commercial sound : DOORBELL
9. One's wife, informally : THE MRS
10. Free-fall effect, briefly : ZERO-G
11. "Back in the ___" : USSR
12. Suffice, foodwise : SATE
14. With 41-Down, composition of a trail followed by [circled letters] : REESE’S
21. New Deal inits. : WPA
22. Cheerleader's cheer : YELL
23. Best Original ___ (award for the film with [circled letters]) : SCORE
24. Rising star : COMER
27. Spanish hero El ___ : CID
31. Checking charge : FEE
32. One using an otoscope : EAR DOCTOR
33. Locale of an 1864 Civil War blockade : MOBILE BAY
34. Fifth-century pope with the epithet "the Great" : ST LEO
35. Costume for [circled letters] on Halloween : GHOST
37. They're "hung out" by professionals : SHINGLES
38. Scratch : MAR
40. Anon : SOON
41. See 14-Down : PIECES
42. Warrior's aid : SHIELD
44. Adams of "The Fighter" : AMY
45. Traffic cone : PYLON
46. Late thumb-turning critic : EBERT
47. Stamp collector's fastener : HINGE
49. "Animal House" house : FRAT
50. Rob of "The West Wing" : LOWE
51. "Little Latin ___ Lu" (1966 hit) : LUPE
55. Freezer stock : ICE
56. Suffix with slogan : -EER


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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.

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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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