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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

0926-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Sep 13, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tom Pepper & Victor Barocas
THEME: Hours on the Clock … today’s themed answers are at the four edges of the grid. The beginning of each answer is a number, a number given by the position of the answer in the grid. The missing numbers are from 1-12, and arranged as they are on a clockface, e.g. 12 at the top, 6 at the bottom:
41A. Instrument that hints at the missing parts of certain answers in this puzzle : CLOCK

10A. 50% : ONE HALF
13D. Acid-burned Bat-villain : TWO-FACE
38D. Like some circuses : THREE-RING
63D. Like barbershop harmony : FOUR-PART
72A. Fin : FIVE-SPOT
71A. Like a die : SIX-SIDED
70A. Sailors' domain : SEVEN SEAS
58D. Length of a Beatles "week" : EIGHT DAYS
26D. Popular women's shoe seller : NINE WEST
1D. Annual Car and Driver list : TEN BEST
1A. It has a red stripe in pool : ELEVEN-BALL
5A. A gross : TWELVE DOZEN
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. It has a red stripe in pool : ELEVEN-BALL
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.

5. A gross : TWELVE DOZEN
The number 144 is also known as a gross. The term comes from the Old French “grosse douzaine” meaning “large dozen” i.e. a “dozen dozen”.

14. Modern pentathlon event : EPEE
The original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic games consisted of a foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus. When a new pentathlon was created as a sport for the modern Olympic Games, it was given the name the "modern pentathlon". First introduced in 1912, the modern pentathlon consists of:
- pistol shooting
- épée fencing
- 200m freestyle swimming
- show jumping
- 3 km cross-country running

17. Blue-eyed pet : SIAMESE CAT
The exact origins of the Siamese cat aren't very clear, but it is believed to be from Southeast Asia. The Siamese takes its name from the sacred temple cats of Thailand (once called Siam).

19. Former car-financing co. : GMAC
GMAC is short for General Motors Acceptance Corporation. General Motors has only a small stake in GMAC now, and indeed the name has been officially changed to Ally Bank. You and me, we are the biggest shareholders in GMAC/Ally today, since the US government gave the bank $12.5 billion to bail it out in 2008-2009.

20. It sticks out in some joints : TENON
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. The mortise is the "hole" and the tenon is the "projection".

28. "Slow Churned" brand : EDY’S
Dreyers' ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy's in the Eastern states. The company's founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

32. With 29-Down, "golden treasure" in a Bilbo Baggins riddle : EGG
(29. See 32-Across : YOLK)
In J.R.R. Tolkien's novel “The Hobbit”, Bilbo Baggins asks the following riddle, the answer to which is “an egg”, with the egg’s yolk being the “golden treasure”.
A box without hinges, key, or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

35. Bob in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : SEGER
Bob Seger struggled as a performing artist right through the sixties and early seventies before becoming a commercial success in 1976 with the release of his album "Night Moves". Since then, Seger has recorded songs that have become classics like, "We've Got Tonight" and "Old Time Rock & Roll".

43. ___ Fayed, last romantic partner of Princess Diana : DODI
Dodi Al-Fayed was a film producer from Egypt, and the son of Mohamed Al-Fayed, the billionaire owner of Harrod’s department store in London and the Hôtel Ritz Paris. Famously, Dodi was romantically involved with Princess Diana of the UK, and died with her in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

44. Kind of sax : TENOR
The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax's grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

46. Down Under climber : KOALA
The koala really does look like a little bear, but it's not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope.

52. Texter's exclamation : OMG
OMG is text-speak for “oh my gosh, oh my goodness” or any other G words you might think of …

53. Part of the British Isles, poetically : SCOTIA
“Scotia” has been the Latin word for “Scotland” since the Middle Ages. Paradoxically, the Ancient Romans used the name “Scotia” for the island of Ireland. The meaning mutated over the centuries.

58. Darth Vader locale : DEATH STAR
In the “Star Wars” universe, a Death Star is a huge space station that is the size of a moon. A Death Star is armed with a superlaser that can destroy entire planets.

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in all six of the "Star Wars" movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:
- Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
- Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
- Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
- Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
- Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor's evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after ...

61. Dance reminiscent of a horse's gait : GALOP
A galop is a type of dance, very popular in Parisian society in the 1800s. It is a fast-paced dance, named after the fastest running gait of a horse (a gallop). The most famous exponent of the form was Johann Strauss II.

65. Play that was the basis for "Cabaret" : I AM A CAMERA
The musical "Cabaret" is based on "I Am a Camera", a 1951 play written by John Van Druten, which itself was adapted from a novel "Goodbye to Berlin" written by Christopher Isherwood. "Cabaret" is a great musical, although the 1972 film of the musical isn't one of my favorites.

67. Caroling time : YULE
"Yule" celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words "Christmas" and "Yule" have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name "Yule" comes from the Old Norse word "jol" that was used to describe the festival.

The word "carol" came into English via the Old French word "carole", which was a "dance in a ring". When "carol" made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

68. "30 Rock" character, or the first name of his portrayer : TRACY
The actor and comedian Tracy Morgan plays the role of Tracy Jordan on the the TV show “30 Rock”. Morgan got his big break on TV when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1996. He stayed with the show for eight seasons.

70. Sailors' domain : SEVEN SEAS
The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:
- The North Pacific Ocean
- The South Pacific Ocean
- The North Atlantic Ocean
- The South Atlantic Ocean
- The Indian Ocean
- The Southern Ocean
- The Arctic Ocean

71. Like a die : SIX-SIDED
As we all know, the numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. Now, there are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting ...

72. Fin : FIVE-SPOT
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

Down
1. Annual Car and Driver list : TEN BEST
“Car and Driver” is an automotive magazine published in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Car and Driver” first appeared in 1955, when it was called “Sports Cars Illustrated”.

2. "... baked in ___" : A PIE
“Sing a Song of Sixpence” is an English nursery rhyme that dates back to the 1700s. In the rhyme there are a couple of lines that go :
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie
This seems to be a reference to the practice in the 16th century of “baking” live birds into a pie for special occasions. When the crust was cut open the birds would fly away, much to the amusement of the diners.

7. Galifianakis of "The Hangover" : ZACH
Zach Galifianakis is a stand-up comedian who is making a name for himself on the big screen. Galifianakis garnered a lot of attention for his role in 2009's "The Hangover", and also starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. in the 2010 release "Due Date".

“The Hangover” is a comedy film released in 2009. The action revolves around a bachelor party in Las Vegas. The critics liked this one, although I didn’t really enjoy it too much.

8. Amazon business : ETAIL
Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

13. Acid-burned Bat-villain : 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.

22. Marie et Thérèse: Abbr. : STES
In French, Mary and Teresa (Marie et Thérèse) are saints (saintes, the feminine form).

24. Like much of Horace's poetry : ODIC
One of Ancient Rome's leading lyric poets was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, or "Horace" as we tend to know him.

26. Popular women's shoe seller : NINE WEST
Nine West is a retailer of women’s shoes and fashion accessories. The company was founded in 1983 in New York City at the address 9 West 57th Street. This address gave the company its name.

34. Appendectomy memento : SCAR
The appendix is a small tube that is connected to the cecum in the large intestine. The tube is more correctly called the “vermiform appendix”, with the term “vermiform” meaning “worm-shaped”. It is generally accepted that the appendix no longer has a meaningful function in humans, and has lost its function through the process of evolution.

37. Cheese with a red coat : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

40. Western party wear : BOLO TIES
I've never worn a bolo tie, and was surprised to discover that it is a relatively recent invention. The first bolo tie was apparently produced in Wickenburg, Arizona in the late 1940s by a silversmith. The bolo takes its name from the boleadora, an Argentine lariat.

42. Model/TV host Heidi : KLUM
German-born Heidi Klum is a talented lady and has built a multi-faceted career based on her early success as a model. She is the force behind the Bravo reality show called "Project Runway" that has been on the air since 2004. Klum has been nominated 4-5 times for an Emmy for her association with the show. Klum was also signed up as the official ambassador for Barbie in 2009, the 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll, and for her service that year a “Heidi Klum Barbie” was produced. Klum is married to the successful English singer called Seal.

45. "Whither thou goest, I will go" speaker : RUTH
The Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament tells the story of Ruth. Ruth was one of two women who married the two sons of Elimelech and Naomi. Father and sons died, leaving the three widows to fend for themselves. Naomi decided that it was best to go to Bethlehem. Orpah was Naomi’s second daughter-in-law, and she decided to return to her home. Ruth decided to stick with her mother-in-law, using the words “Whither thou goest, I will go”.

47. Guadalajara girlfriend : AMIGA
Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the Spanish city of the same name in the center of Spain.

53. Transition : SEGUE
A “segue” is a transition from one topic to the next. "Segue" is an Italian word that literally means "now follows". It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break.

54. Head nurse on "Scrubs" : CARLA
The head nurse on the TV series “Scrubs” is a character called Carla Espinosa. Carla is played by Judy Reyes.

“Scrubs” is a comedy-drama TV show set in a fictional hospital. The show’s main character is Doctor J. D. Dorian, played by Zach Braff. “Scrubs” ran from 2001 to 2010.

55. Creator of Asteroids : ATARI
I remember being really addicted to the Atari video arcade game called “Asteroids” back in the early eighties. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, as “Asteroids” turned out to be Atari’s best selling game of all time.

58. Length of a Beatles "week" : EIGHT DAYS
The Lennon/McCartney song “Eight Days a Week” was recorded by the Beatles in 1964. The title came from a conversation that Paul McCartney had with one of two people (the facts seem to have gotten confused over time). One day, McCartney asked either a chauffeur who was driving him or Ringo Starr “How’ve you been”. The answer was “Oh, working hard, working eight days a week”.

63. Like barbershop harmony : FOUR-PART
Barbershop music is played in the a cappella style, meaning that it is unaccompanied vocal music. Barbershop music originated in the African American communities in the South, as gospel quartets often gathered in neighborhood barber shops to sing together.

66. Dancer Charisse : CYD
Actress Cyd Charisse was famous for her dancing ability and the many roles she played opposite Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Charisse carved out a career based on dance despite the fact that she suffered from polio as a child. In fact, she took up ballet at the age of twelve to help build up her strength as she recovered from the disease.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. It has a red stripe in pool : ELEVEN-BALL
5. A gross : TWELVE DOZEN
10. 50% : ONE HALF
14. Modern pentathlon event : EPEE
15. Fuming : IRATE
16. Potential solution : IDEA
17. Blue-eyed pet : SIAMESE CAT
19. Former car-financing co. : GMAC
20. It sticks out in some joints : TENON
21. Neat : SHIPSHAPE
23. See 18-Down : INTO
25. Not obvious : LATENT
26. Earned : WON
28. "Slow Churned" brand : EDY’S
31. "___ durn tootin'!" : YER
32. With 29-Down, "golden treasure" in a Bilbo Baggins riddle : EGG
33. Wild scenes : RIOTS
35. Bob in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : SEGER
39. Neatnik's opposite : SLOB
41. Instrument that hints at the missing parts of certain answers in this puzzle : CLOCK
43. ___ Fayed, last romantic partner of Princess Diana : DODI
44. Kind of sax : TENOR
46. Down Under climber : KOALA
48. Certain shoe shade : TAN
49. Cutesy-wutesy affection : LUV
51. Oil container : DRUM
52. Texter's exclamation : OMG
53. Part of the British Isles, poetically : SCOTIA
56. Thickness measures : MILS
58. Darth Vader locale : DEATH STAR
61. Dance reminiscent of a horse's gait : GALOP
64. Business opening? : AGRI-
65. Play that was the basis for "Cabaret" : I AM A CAMERA
67. Caroling time : YULE
68. "30 Rock" character, or the first name of his portrayer : TRACY
69. Look intently : PEER
70. Sailors' domain : SEVEN SEAS
71. Like a die : SIX-SIDED
72. Fin : FIVE-SPOT

Down
1. Annual Car and Driver list : TEN BEST
2. "... baked in ___" : A PIE
3. Using for support : LEANING ON
4. Car that leaves you with a sour taste? : LEMON
5. Slam : DIS
6. Some tram loads : ORES
7. Galifianakis of "The Hangover" : ZACH
8. Amazon business : ETAIL
9. Take-home : NET PAY
10. Colleges and universities, informally : HIGHER ED
11. Marketing pro : ADMAN
12. Vaulted : LEAPT
13. Acid-burned Bat-villain : TWO-FACE
18. With 23-Across, sign, as a contract : ENTER
22. Marie et Thérèse: Abbr. : STES
24. Like much of Horace's poetry : ODIC
26. Popular women's shoe seller : NINE WEST
27. Check out : OGLE
29. See 32-Across : YOLK
30. Left the bench, say : STOOD
34. Appendectomy memento : SCAR
36. Drift off : GO TO SLEEP
37. Cheese with a red coat : EDAM
38. Like some circuses : THREE-RING
40. Western party wear : BOLO TIES
42. Model/TV host Heidi : KLUM
45. "Whither thou goest, I will go" speaker : RUTH
47. Guadalajara girlfriend : AMIGA
50. Calls on : VISITS
53. Transition : SEGUE
54. Head nurse on "Scrubs" : CARLA
55. Creator of Asteroids : ATARI
57. Lanterns, e.g. : LAMPS
58. Length of a Beatles "week" : EIGHT DAYS
59. In ___ rush : A MAD
60. Hustle : RACE
62. Twistable treat : OREO
63. Like barbershop harmony : FOUR-PART
66. Dancer Charisse : CYD


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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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