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I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

1008-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Oct 13, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tim Croce
THEME: Double Talk … each of today’s themed answers is a word that is repeated one or more times to suit the clue:
1A. With 1-Across, toy train : CHOO (“choo-choo”)
21A. With 21-Across, "I'll believe it when I see it!" : PROMISES (“promises, promises!”)
23A. With 23-Across, CBer's opening : BREAKER (“breaker, breaker”)
26A. With 26-Across, #1 hit for the Mamas & the Papas : MONDAY (“Monday, Monday”)
37A. With 37-Across and 37-Across, a holiday song : LET IT SNOW (“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”)
51A. With 51-Across, town crier's cry : HEAR YE (“Hear ye! Hear ye!”)
53A. With 53-Across, "Nothing's changed" : SAME OLD (“same old, same old”)
55A. With 55-Across and 55-Across, real-estate catchphrase : LOCATION (“location, location, location”)
70A. With 70-Across, #1 hit for Billy Idol : MONY (“Mony Mony”)
1D. With 1-Down and 1-Down, lively Latin dance : CHA (“cha-cha-cha”)
2D. With 2-Down, "Ver-r-ry funny!" : HAR (“har har!”)
14D. With 14-Down, like some talk shows : LATE (“Late Late …”)
29D. With 29-Down, nursery rhyme starter : PETER (“Peter Peter”)
54D. With 54-Down, food gelling agent : AGAR (“agar-agar”)
63D. With 63-Down, title boy in a 2011 Spielberg film : TIN (“Tintin”)
64D. With 64-Down and 64-Down, Fat Albert's catchphrase : HEY (“Hey, hey, hey”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Half of cuatro : DOS
In Spanish, half of four (cuatro) is two (dos).

13. ___ mark (#) : HASH
In the world of sports, hash marks are short lines placed periodically down sidelines.

14. Texas city : LAREDO
Laredo is a border city in Texas, situated on the banks of the Rio Grande across the border from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.

15. Messenger ___ : RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

17. Old game consoles : ATARIS
At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

18. Early Tarzan Ron : ELY
Ron Ely is most famous for playing the title role in the "Tarzan" TV series in the sixties. Years later, Ely hosted the 1980 and 1981 "Miss America" pageants right after longtime host Bert Parks retired, before the job was taken over by Gary Collins. And Ely is a successful mystery novelist. He wrote "Night Shadows" and "East Beach" in the mid-nineties, both of which featured his private eye Jake Sands.

23. With 23-Across, CBer's opening : BREAKER (“breaker, breaker”)
A CBer is someone who operates a Citizens' Band radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens' Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren't many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

26. With 26-Across, #1 hit for the Mamas & the Papas : MONDAY (“Monday, Monday”)
A folk group called the Magic Circle renamed itself to the Mamas and the Papas in the early sixties. Sadly, the Mamas and the Papas weren't a happy bunch, always fighting over who was getting credit for songs and whose voice was getting mixed out of recordings, so they split up, twice. While they were together though, they wrote and recorded some great songs, songs which really do epitomize the sound of the sixties. "Monday, Monday" was written by John Phillips, one of "the Papas", and it was to become the only number one hit for the group. Here's a shocker ... when it hit number one in 1966, it was the first time that a group made up of both sexes topped the American charts!

27. ___ Doone (cookie brand) : LORNA
Lorna Doone shortbread cookies were introduced by Nabisco in 1912. Presumably, they were named after the famous novel by R. D. Blackmore.

28. Prefix with center : EPI-
The “epicenter” is that point on the surface of the earth which is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

31. Jobs at Apple : STEVE
Steve Jobs certainly was a business icon in Silicon Valley. I don't think it is too surprising to learn that the brilliant Jobs didn't even finish his college education, dropping out of Reed College in Oregon after only one semester. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, but in 1985 he was basically fired from his own company during the computer sales slump of the mid-eighties. Jobs then founded NeXT Computer, a company focused on supplying workstations to the higher education and business markets. Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, and that's how Jobs found himself back with his original company.

32. Six-pointers, in brief : TDS
Touchdowns (TDs)

33. Med. exam involving an injection into the forearm : TB TEST
The Mantoux test is a skin test used to screen for tuberculosis (TB). The test is named for French physician Charles Mantoux who developed it in 1907. The procedure involves the injection of a small amount of tuberculin into the skin to check for an immune response. Tuberculin is a protein that is extracted from the outer membrane of the bacterium that causes TB.

36. "Washingtons" : ONES
George Washington didn’t appear on the first one-dollar bill. Instead, the bills printed from 1862 to 1869 featured Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury who served under Abraham Lincoln.

37. With 37-Across and 37-Across, a holiday song : LET IT SNOW (“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”)
“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” is a holiday song written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. Perhaps a little ironically, the pair wrote the song in Hollywood, California in July 1945, on one of the hottest days of the year.

43. ___ Records : RCA
RCA Records is the second-oldest recording label in the US, after Columbia Records.

48. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

49. Thai or Taiwanese : ASIAN
The Kingdom of Thailand was known to outsiders as Siam until 1939. To her citizens, the country has always been known as “Mueang Thai”. The word “mueang” means “nation” and the name “Thai” comes from “the Thai people” who are native to the central plains of the country.

Prior to 1945, the island that we know today as Taiwan was called “Formosa”, the Portuguese word for “beautiful”. Portuguese sailors gave the island this name when they spotted it in 1544. The official name for the state of Taiwan is the “Republic of China”.

59. ___ Records : EMI
EMI is a British music company, with the acronym originally standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

60. Montana's capital : HELENA
Helena is the capital of the state of Montana, and is known as the Queen City of the Rockies. Helena's main street has a very colorful name, namely Last Chance Gulch.

62. "The lady ___ protest too much" : DOTH
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks” is a line spoken by Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother in the play by William Shakespeare.

67. Drama award since 1956 : OBIE
The Obies are the "Off-Broadway Theater Awards". The Obies are presented annually and the recipients are chosen by "The Village Voice" newspaper.

68. The "E" in E.S.L.: Abbr. : ENG
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

70. With 70-Across, #1 hit for Billy Idol : MONY (“Mony Mony”)
“Mony Mony” was a hit for Tommy James and Shondells back in 1968. Billy Idol came out with a successful cover version of the song in 1987. The title of the song apparently was inspired by a MONY sign on the Mutual of New York (MONY) Building in Manhattan.

Billy Idol is an English rock musician, whose real name is William Broad. He started out with the punk band Generation X, and then made it big as a solo artist, helped along by some well received MTV music videos, in the early days of the genre.

Down
1. With 1-Down and 1-Down, lively Latin dance : CHA (“cha-cha-cha”)
The cha-cha-cha is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

3. Stable employees : OSTLERS
A hostler (also “ostler”) is a groom usually employed at an inn to tend to horses. The spelling “Hostler” is used in American English, while “ostler” is used in British English. The term derives from the Latin “hostilarius”, the word for a monk who entertains guests at a monastery.

4. Buckeye : OHIOAN
Ohio is sometimes referred to as the Buckeye State, taking the name from the state tree. In turn, the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch, thought to resemble a "buck's eye".

7. Title for Goethe : HERR
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer (among other things!). Goethe’s most famous work is probably his play “Faust”. This epic work was published in parts, starting in 1808. The work was only published in toto after his death in 1832.

8. "Green thumb" or "purple prose" : IDIOM
To have a “green thumb” or “green fingers” is to be good at gardening.

“Purple prose” is a rose that is overly ornate and flowery, so much so that it draws attention to itself, detracting from the narrative.

9. Universe : COSMOS
The cosmos is the universe, regarded as a harmonious and orderly entity. The term comes from the Greek “kosmos” meaning “good order, orderly arrangement”.

10. German city rebuilt after W.W. II : DRESDEN
The German city of Dresden was almost completely destroyed during WWII, especially as a result of the famous firebombing of the city in 1945. Restoration work in the inner city in recent decades led to it being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site However, in 2006 when the city built a highway bridge close to the city center, UNESCO took Dresden off the list. This marked the only time a European location has lost World Heritage status.

23. Diner inits. : BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

29. With 29-Down, nursery rhyme starter : PETER (“Peter Peter”)
“Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” is a nursery rhyme that has been around in the US at least since the early 1800s. It is possibly derived from an older English rhyme, but pumpkins certainly weren’t in the English version.

34. "As an aside," in chat lingo : BTW
By the way (BTW)

35. Big inits. in C&W : TNN
The Nashville Network (TNN) was a country music cable channel that operated from 1983 to 2003. When TNN closed down it was relaunched with a completely different format as Spike, marketed as “the first television channel for men”.

37. First lady before Michelle : LAURA
Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, had her memoir "Spoken from the Heart" published in 2010. Born Laura Lane Welch, the former First Lady has a Master's degree in Library Science (as does my wife, my own First Lady!). Given that background, it's not surprising that two causes that Laura Bush focused on while in the White House were education and literacy. She established the annual National Book Festival, first held in Washington, D.C. in 2001, after having co-founded the Texas Book Festival in her home state.

Michelle Obama nee Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago and is sister to Craig Robinson, the coach of men's basketball at Oregon State University. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle Robinson worked as an associate at the Chicago office of the Sidley Austin law firm. Barack Obama joined the firm as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson was assigned to mentor him, and as they say, one thing led to another ...

38. ___ bin Laden : OSAMA
Osama bin Laden founded his militant Islamist group called al-Qaeda in the late eighties. “Al-Qaeda” translates as “the base”, and can refer to a military base, and was originally the name of a training camp set up for mujahideen fighters opposing Russians occupying Afghanistan.

40. 1976 horror film whose remake was released, appropriately, on 6/6/06 : THE OMEN
The date 6/6/06 is significant in that "666" is the "number of the beast" that is linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ according to the Book of Revelation in the Bible. The fear of the number 666 has been given a name: Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Don't forget ...

The original film "The Omen" was released in 1976. "Damien: Omen II" hit the screens in 1978. We were regaled with "Omen III: The Final Conflict" in 1981, and there was even a TV movie "Omen IV: The Awakening" in 1991. I haven't seen any of them, and have no interest in doing so (despite the excellent cast) as I really don’t like the genre ...

43. 1970 John Wayne western : RIO LOBO
“Rio Lobo” is a Western movie that was released in 1970, starring John Wayne. “Rio Lobo” is the third film in a trilogy that was directed by Howard Hawks, the other two films being “Rio Bravo” (1959) and “El Dorado” (1966). “Rio Lobo” was the last film that Hawks directed.

44. Baseball's Ripken : CAL
Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken was known as the "Iron Man" because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous 2,130-game record held by Lou Gehrig.

45. & : AND
Back in the day, when reciting the alphabet it was common to emphasise that some letters could be used as a word in itself. One would say “A per se A, B, C, D … I per se I, J, K, L … denoting that the letters A and I are also their own words. It was common to add the & symbol at the end of the recitation, as if it were a 27th letter. So the alphabet ended with “X, Y, Z, & (and) per se and”. This “and per se and” statement was slurred to “ampersand”, giving the name that we use today for the & symbol.

52. Farm letters? : EIEIO
There was an American version of the English children's song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes "Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o".

54. With 54-Down, food gelling agent : AGAR (“agar-agar”)
Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

56. Spanish pot : OLLA
An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

61. "Illmatic" rapper : NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. Nas released his first album "Illmatic" in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say ...

63. With 63-Down, title boy in a 2011 Spielberg film : TIN (“Tintin”)
“The Adventures of Tintin” is a 2011 Steven Spielberg animated feature film based on the series of comics of the same name by Belgian cartoonist HergĂ©. I was addicted to the “Tintin” stories as a kid so went to see the movie as soon as it came out. Although I enjoyed the film, I enjoyed the books more as a young lad ...

64. With 64-Down and 64-Down, Fat Albert's catchphrase : HEY (“Hey, hey, hey”)
Fat Albert is a character who was created by comedian Bill Cosby. The character starred in an animated television series called “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” that originally aired from 1972 to 1085. Fat Albert was voiced by Bill Cosby himself.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. With 1-Across, toy train : CHOO (“choo-choo”)
5. Set of values : ETHIC
10. Half of cuatro : DOS
13. ___ mark (#) : HASH
14. Texas city : LAREDO
15. Messenger ___ : RNA
16. Introductory drawing class : ART I
17. Old game consoles : ATARIS
18. Early Tarzan Ron : ELY
19. Not found : LOST
21. With 21-Across, "I'll believe it when I see it!" : PROMISES (“promises, promises!”)
23. With 23-Across, CBer's opening : BREAKER (“breaker, breaker”)
26. With 26-Across, #1 hit for the Mamas & the Papas : MONDAY (“Monday, Monday”)
27. ___ Doone (cookie brand) : LORNA
28. Prefix with center : EPI-
31. Jobs at Apple : STEVE
32. Six-pointers, in brief : TDS
33. Med. exam involving an injection into the forearm : TB TEST
36. "Washingtons" : ONES
37. With 37-Across and 37-Across, a holiday song : LET IT SNOW (“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”)
39. Lead-in to girl : ATTA
42. Tots : WEE’UNS
43. ___ Records : RCA
46. Play lazily, as a guitar : THRUM
48. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
49. Thai or Taiwanese : ASIAN
51. With 51-Across, town crier's cry : HEAR YE (“Hear ye! Hear ye!”)
53. With 53-Across, "Nothing's changed" : SAME OLD (“same old, same old”)
55. With 55-Across and 55-Across, real-estate catchphrase : LOCATION (“location, location, location”)
58. Real nerve : GALL
59. ___ Records : EMI
60. Montana's capital : HELENA
62. "The lady ___ protest too much" : DOTH
65. "Perfect" number : TEN
66. Part of a train headed to a refinery : OIL CAR
67. Drama award since 1956 : OBIE
68. The "E" in E.S.L.: Abbr. : ENG
69. Drenches : SOAKS
70. With 70-Across, #1 hit for Billy Idol : MONY (“Mony Mony”)

Down
1. With 1-Down and 1-Down, lively Latin dance : CHA (“cha-cha-cha”)
2. With 2-Down, "Ver-r-ry funny!" : HAR (“har har!”)
3. Stable employees : OSTLERS
4. Buckeye : OHIOAN
5. Sup : EAT
6. "Shut yer ___!" : TRAP
7. Title for Goethe : HERR
8. "Green thumb" or "purple prose" : IDIOM
9. Universe : COSMOS
10. German city rebuilt after W.W. II : DRESDEN
11. Temporarily away : ON LEAVE
12. Agrees : SAYS “YES”
14. With 14-Down, like some talk shows : LATE (“Late Late …”)
20. Play in the N.H.L. : SKATE
22. Being pulled : IN TOW
23. Diner inits. : BLT
24. Curtain holder : ROD
25. Made tighter, as a knot : RETIED
29. With 29-Down, nursery rhyme starter : PETER (“Peter Peter”)
30. Debatables : ISSUES
34. "As an aside," in chat lingo : BTW
35. Big inits. in C&W : TNN
37. First lady before Michelle : LAURA
38. ___ bin Laden : OSAMA
39. Jock : ATHLETE
40. 1976 horror film whose remake was released, appropriately, on 6/6/06 : THE OMEN
41. Copying exactly, as a sketch : TRACING
43. 1970 John Wayne western : RIO LOBO
44. Baseball's Ripken : CAL
45. & : AND
47. Collection of legends : MYTHOS
50. Hardly ever : SELDOM
52. Farm letters? : EIEIO
54. With 54-Down, food gelling agent : AGAR (“agar-agar”)
56. Spanish pot : OLLA
57. Bottle part : NECK
61. "Illmatic" rapper : NAS
63. With 63-Down, title boy in a 2011 Spielberg film : TIN (“Tintin”)
64. With 64-Down and 64-Down, Fat Albert's catchphrase : HEY (“Hey, hey, hey”)


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4 comments :

Kurthunk said...

History of the ampersand ...priceless!

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kurthunk.

A complicated explanation, but as you say, priceless :)

Anonymous said...

I was surprised my time was better than Bill's for this one. I managed it in 8:05, and thought that was a little long

Bill Butler said...

Congrats on the time. I'm afraid that my time was what it was. Slowing down in my old age :)

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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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