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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth 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

1012-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Oct 13, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Farmer
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 25m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … YSIDRO (Isidro), AALIYAH (Aaliiah)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

16. Hatch in the upper house : ORRIN
Orrin Hatch is a Republican Senator from Utah. He's also quite the musician, and plays the piano, violin and organ. He has composed various compositions, including a song called "Heal Our Land" that was played at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.

18. Treaty of Sycamore Shoals negotiator, 1775 : BOONE
In 1774, a judge from North Carolina set up a land speculation company with the goal of establishing a British Colony by purchasing land in present-day Kentucky from the Cherokee. The speculators gave themselves the name “Transylvania Company”. Henderson hired Daniel Boone to get the Cherokee to the negotiating table. Boone constructed what came to be known as the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky. Some Cherokee leaders ended up signing the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals that ceded about 20 million acres of land, about half of present-day Kentucky.

20. Antimissile plan, for short : SDI
One of the positive outcomes of President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was a change in US defense strategy. The new approach was to use missiles to destroy incoming hostile weapons, rather than using missiles to destroy the nation attacking the country. The former doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction went by the apt acronym of MAD ...

21. Part of Duchamp's parody of the "Mona Lisa" : GOATEE
“L.H.O.O.Q.” is a work by artist Marcel Duchamp from 1919. Duchamp used a cheap postcard image of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, and then drew a moustache and beard on it. The title of the piece when sounded out in French is a pretty raunchy phrase that translates as “Her a** is hot”.

22. Octane booster brand : STP
STP motor oil takes its name from "Scientifically Treated Petroleum".

24. San ___, Calif. (border town opposite Tijuana) : YSIDRO
San Ysidro is a district to the south of San Diego, California that lies just north of the US-Mexico border. It is named for San Ysidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. “Ysidro” translates from Spanish as the name “Isadore”.

26. Discount ticket letters : SRO
Standing Room Only (SRO)

31. Stuffed bear voiced by Seth MacFarlane : TED
“Ted” is a movie written, directed, produced and starring Seth MacFarlane. In the story, MacFarlane voices a teddy bear who is the best friend of a character played by Mark Wahlberg.

34. Not likely to be a "cheese" lover? : CAMERA-SHY
Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese”, to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” for the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and the most Latin Americans say “whiskey”.

39. Like the sound holes of a cello : F-SHAPED
The word “cello” is an abbreviation for “violoncello”, an Italian word for “little violone”, referring to a group of stringed instruments that were popular up to the end of the 17th century. The name violoncello persisted for the instrument that we know today, although the abbreviation ‘cello was often used. Nowadays we just drop the apostrophe.

41. 1986 Indy 500 champion : RAHAL
Bobby Rahal is an auto racing driver and team owner. Rahal won the 1986 Indianapolis 500 as a driver, and won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as a team owner (the driver was Buddy Rice).

44. Venetian mapmaker ___ Mauro : FRA
Fra Mauro was a 15th-century monk who lived in the Monastery of St. Michael in the Republic of Venice. Prior to entering the monastic life, Mauro had been much-traveled merchant and soldier. As a monk, he became a cartographer and made maps of the world in consultation with city merchants who traveled the globe. The “Fra Mauro Map” is a famous map of the world he created in 1459 that is surprisingly accurate.

47. Portugal's Palácio de ___ Bento : SAO
The Palácio de Sao Bento (Saint Benedict’s Palace) in Lisbon is the home of the Portuguese parliament.

54. Tribe whose sun symbol is on the New Mexico flag : ZIA
The Zia are a Native American people in New Mexico, a branch of the Pueblo community. Historically, the Zia are home-dwellers and became expert at farming in a very arid environment. The most important crops were the so called three sisters: corn, bean and squash.

56. Grandson of Abraham : ESAU
Esau, was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described, “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

60. Roadster from Japan : MIATA
I've always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan.

61. Sites for shark sightings : POOL HALLS
A pool shark is a player who hustles others in a pool hall, aiming to make money unfairly in competition. The term used by “pool sharp”.

63. Gut trouble : ULCER
Until fairly recently, a peptic ulcer was believed to be caused by undue amounts of stress in one's life. It is now known that 70-90% of all peptic ulcers are in fact associated with a particular bacterium.

64. Group in a star's orbit : ENTOURAGE
An entourage is a retinue, a group of fans. The term is French in origin, coming from the Middle French word “entourer” meaning “to surround”.

65. Disney Hall architect : GEHRY
Frank Gehry is an architect from Toronto who is based in Los Angeles. Listed among Gehry’s famous creations are the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in Spain, The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and his own private residence in Santa Monica, California. He is currently working on the upcoming Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial that will be placed in Washington, D.C. I hope to see that one day …

66. Sci-fi battle site : 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.

Down
2. Like a control freak : ANAL
Our use of the word “anal” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology.

3. Houston ballplayer, in sports shorthand : ‘STRO
The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city's long association with the US space program.

5. Word spoken 90 times in Molly Bloom's soliloquy : YES
Molly Bloom’s soliloquy is in the final part of the novel “Ulysses” by James Joyce. Molly is the wife of Leopold Bloom, the main character of the piece. The last words of the book are:
... I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish Wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

7. "Criminal Minds" agent with an I.Q. of 187 : REID
“Criminal Minds” is a police drama that has aired on CBS since 2005. I haven't seen this one …

8. Singer of the #1 single "Try Again," 2000 : AALIYAH
Aaliyah was a singer, actress and model from Brooklyn, New York. Sadly, just as her career was getting going, she was killed in a 2001 airplane crash in the Bahamas. She was only 22 years of age.

9. Half a couple : MRS
Mr. is the abbreviation for "master", and Mrs. is the abbreviation for "mistress".

13. One in a Kindergarten? : EINE
"Eine" is the German indefinite article, used with feminine nouns.

"Kindergarten" is of course a German term, literally meaning “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

14. Three-time All-Pro guard Chris : SNEE
Chris Snee is a football player for the New York Giants. Snee is married to the daughter of Tom Coughlin, the Giants coach.

21. Owen Wilson's "Midnight in Paris" role : GIL
The 2011 Woody Allen movie called “Midnight in Paris” is a real gem in my opinion. I’ve never liked Woody Allen films, to be honest, mainly because I’m not a fan of Woody Allen as an actor. “Midnight in Paris” is very much a Woody Allen script, with Owen Wilson playing the role that Allen would usually reserve for himself. Wilson plays a much better Woody Allen! Highly recommended ...

23. Glenda Jackson/Ben Kingsley film scripted by Harold Pinter : TURTLE DIARY
“Turtle Diary” is a British film released in 1985, a romantic comedy with a fabulous cast led by Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley and Michael Gambon. I haven’t seen this one, but I just asked my wife to reserve it for us at our local library …

26. Wolf (down) : SCARF
“To scarf down” is teenage slang from the sixties meaning “to wolf down, to eat hastily”. The term is probably imitative of “to scoff”.

27. ___ gun : RADAR
The radar speed gun was used first by the Connecticut State Police, way back in 1947. For two years, the only warnings were issued to drivers moving too quickly. That changed in 1949 when the state police started issuing tickets.

28. Battle site of June 6, 1944 : OMAHA BEACH
The Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944 took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The worst fighting by far took place on Omaha Beach, a sector assigned to the US Army, transported by elements of the US Navy and the Royal Navy.

30. Grand Slam event : US OPEN
The US Open is one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, having started out as the US National Championship in 1881. Today, the US Open is the last major tournament in the Grand Slam annually, following the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.

32. John Paul's successor : ELENA
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the fourth female US Supreme Court justice (there have been 108 men!). I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread "Pride and Prejudice" once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I'd say ...

John Paul Stevens retired as an associate justice on the US Supreme Court in 2010 after having served for over 34 years. That made him the third longest serving justice in the history of the court. Stevens had been nominated by President Gerald Ford to replace Justice William O. Douglas, who had been the longest serving justice in the court (at over 36 years).

35. Green org. : EPA
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

40. Musical with a cow that's catapulted over a castle : SPAMALOT
The hit musical “Spamalot” is a show derived from the 1974 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. In typical Monty Python style, the action starts just before the curtain goes up with an announcement recorded by the great John Cleese:
(You can) let your cellphones and pagers ring willy-nilly … (but) be aware there are heavily armed knights on stage that may drag you on stage and impale you.
My family is taking me to see ”Spamalot” for my birthday in “a fortnight” …

55. Least bit : IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

58. Morsel for a guppy : ALGA
The guppy is a very popular aquarium fish. The guppy is also called the millionfish.

61. Street crosser, briefly : PED
Pedestrian (ped.)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Angry missive : NASTYGRAM
10. Body parts often targeted by masseurs : NAPES
15. Trailing : IN THE REAR
16. Hatch in the upper house : ORRIN
17. Chutes behind boats : PARASAILS
18. Treaty of Sycamore Shoals negotiator, 1775 : BOONE
19. Taking forever : SLOW
20. Antimissile plan, for short : SDI
21. Part of Duchamp's parody of the "Mona Lisa" : GOATEE
22. Octane booster brand : STP
24. San ___, Calif. (border town opposite Tijuana) : YSIDRO
26. Discount ticket letters : SRO
29. In the main : USUALLY
31. Stuffed bear voiced by Seth MacFarlane : TED
34. Not likely to be a "cheese" lover? : CAMERA-SHY
36. Pens for tablets : STYLI
38. Learn to live with : ADAPT TO
39. Like the sound holes of a cello : F-SHAPED
41. 1986 Indy 500 champion : RAHAL
42. Champion : PROPONENT
44. Venetian mapmaker ___ Mauro : FRA
45. Driver's license requirement : EYE EXAM
47. Portugal's Palácio de ___ Bento : SAO
48. What a movie villain often comes to : BAD END
50. Faced : MET
52. Enter as a mediator : STEP IN
54. Tribe whose sun symbol is on the New Mexico flag : ZIA
56. Grandson of Abraham : ESAU
60. Roadster from Japan : MIATA
61. Sites for shark sightings : POOL HALLS
63. Gut trouble : ULCER
64. Group in a star's orbit : ENTOURAGE
65. Disney Hall architect : GEHRY
66. Sci-fi battle site : DEATH STAR

Down
1. Beats at the buzzer, say : NIPS
2. Like a control freak : ANAL
3. Houston ballplayer, in sports shorthand : ‘STRO
4. Spring events : THAWS
5. Word spoken 90 times in Molly Bloom's soliloquy : YES
6. Desperately tries to get : GRASPS AT
7. "Criminal Minds" agent with an I.Q. of 187 : REID
8. Singer of the #1 single "Try Again," 2000 : AALIYAH
9. Half a couple : MRS
10. Vacancy clause? : NOBODY’S HOME
11. Like the crowd at a campaign rally : AROAR
12. Some mock-ups : PROTOTYPES
13. One in a Kindergarten? : EINE
14. Three-time All-Pro guard Chris : SNEE
21. Owen Wilson's "Midnight in Paris" role : GIL
23. Glenda Jackson/Ben Kingsley film scripted by Harold Pinter : TURTLE DIARY
25. Cunning one : SLY FOX
26. Wolf (down) : SCARF
27. ___ gun : RADAR
28. Battle site of June 6, 1944 : OMAHA BEACH
30. Grand Slam event : US OPEN
32. John Paul's successor : ELENA
33. Inflicted on : DID TO
35. Green org. : EPA
37. Shade that fades : TAN
40. Musical with a cow that's catapulted over a castle : SPAMALOT
43. Area inside the 20, in football : RED ZONE
46. Appetite : YEN
49. More likely : APTER
51. Sadness symbolized : TEARS
52. Complacent : SMUG
53. Plaza square, maybe : TILE
55. Least bit : IOTA
57. Blind strip : SLAT
58. Morsel for a guppy : ALGA
59. One with a password, say : USER
61. Street crosser, briefly : PED
62. "You wanna run that by me again?" : HUH?


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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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