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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! We had probably the last hike of our trip this morning (strenuous, past beautiful alpine lakes), and then opted for vegging out by the pool for a change this afternoon. Almost home ...

Bill

1015-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Oct 13, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Blindauer & Andrea Carla Michaels,
THEME: Mac to Muc … today’s theme is a vowel progression. Each themed answer starts with the letter M, followed by the progressing vowel and then the letter C:
20A. Subject of the book "Revolution in the Valley" : MACINTOSH
28A. Person who works with dipsticks : MECHANIC
37A. People in this may have big ears : MICKEY MOUSE CLUB
45A. Sioux shoe : MOCCASIN
56A. Journalist of the Progressive Era : MUCKRAKER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 05m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Cowboy chow : GRUB
"Chow" is an American slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. "Chow" comes from the Chinese pidgin English "chow-chow" meaning "food".

9. Word from the Arabic for "struggle" : JIHAD
In the Islamic tradition “jihad” is a duty, either an inner spiritual struggle to fulfill religious obligations or an outward physical struggle to defend the faith. Someone engaged in jihad is called a “mujahid” with the plural being “mujahideen”.

14. Simpson who said "Beneath my goody two shoes lie some very dark socks" : LISA
Lisa Simpson is Bart's brainy younger sister on TV's "The Simpsons". Lisa is voiced by actress Yeardley Smith.

17. Cash dispensers, for short : ATMS
Automated teller machine (ATM)

19. What a star on a U.S. flag represents : STATE
Back in the fifties there was competition for deciding on the new design of the American flagthat would be needed when Alaska and Hawaii would join the Union. Most of the designs submitted were with 50 stars, as the assumption was the 49-star flag would not be needed for long, if at all. 17-year-old Robert Heft submitted a 49-star design to his teacher for a school project, earning him a B-minus grade. Heft complained about the B-minus and was jokingly told that his grade would only be reconsidered if the design was accepted by congress. I guess Robert received his A because his flag flew from January 1959 when Alaska joined the union, until August when Hawaii became the 50th state. How cool is that?

20. Subject of the book "Revolution in the Valley" : MACINTOSH
“"Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made" is a book by Andy Hertzfeld that recounts the wonderful story of the development of the Apple Macintosh computer. Herzfeld was one of the Macintosh development team, so had real insight.

22. Beset by a curse : HEXED
"Hexen" is a German word meaning "to practice witchcraft". The use of the word "hex" in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

23. Pinocchio, periodically : LIAR
“The Adventures of Pinocchio” is an 1883 children’s novel by Carlo Collodi, which is all about an animated puppet called Pinocchio, and Geppetto, his poor woodcarver father. Pinocchio is prone to telling lies, the stress of which causes his short nose to become longer.

34. Powerful org. with HQ in Fairfax, Va. : NRA
The National Rifle Association (NRA) used the slogan “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands”. These words became quite famous when they were used at an NRA convention in 2000 by Charlton Heston, who was then president of the NRA. Heston ended a speech he made with the words “From my cold, dead hands!” while holding up into the air a replica of a Sharps rifle.

37. People in this may have big ears : MICKEY MOUSE CLUB
The Mickey Mouse Club was created by Walt Disney in 1955, and it’s still going strong today. Over the years the show has given some famous names their start in “the business”, especially in recent times. Included in the list are Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.

44. Actress Watts : NAOMI
Naomi Watts was born in the UK and moved to Australia when she was 14 years of age. It was in Australia that Watts got her break in television and movies. Probably her most acclaimed role was in the 2003 film “21 Grams” with Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro. Watts is best friends with fellow Australian actress Nicole Kidman.

49. Metaphor, e.g. : TROPE
A “trope” is a figure of speech, from the Greek word “tropos” that has the same meaning.

53. Meal with Elijah's cup : SEDER
Once the Grace after Meals has been recited at the Passover Seder, it is customary to pour a cup of wine known as the Cup Of Elijah. Tradition is that by doing so the home is is graced by the presence of Elijah the Prophet.

56. Journalist of the Progressive Era : MUCKRAKER
The Progressive movement had the goal of eliminating corruption in government in the US. The movement gave its name to the Progressive Era that lasted from the 1890s to the 1820s. Journalists who investigated and exposed corruption were given the name “muckrakers”. The term “muckraker” was popularized by President Theodore Roosevelt when he referred to “the Man with the Muck-rake”, a character in John Bunyan’s allegory “The Pilgrim’s Progress”.

62. Vogue alternative : ELLE
"Elle" magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. "Elle" is the French word for "she".

“Vogue” magazine has been published an awfully long time, with the first issue appearing in 1892. Over the decades the magazine has picked up a lot of criticism as well as its many fans. Famously, an assistant to the editor wrote a novel based on her experiences working with the magazine’s editor, and called it “The Devil Wears Prada”.

63. Starting score in tennis : LOVE
In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (the egg). The idea is that the written character "0" looks like an egg.

68. Speaker's place : DAIS
Ultimately our word "dais" comes from the Latin "discus" meaning a "disk-shaped object". I guess that many a dias was disc-shaped ...

69. Like Lindbergh's historic trans-Atlantic flight : SOLO
Charles Lindbergh was the American pilot who made the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of nearly 3,600 miles. He won the accolades of a whole country for that feat, and was awarded the Medal of Honor (for which Lindbergh was eligible, as an Army Reserve officer). His new-found fame brought tragedy to his door, however, when a kidnapper took his infant son from his home in East Amwell, New Jersey. A ransom was paid in part, but the child was never returned, and was found dead a few weeks later. It was as a result of this case that Congress made kidnapping a federal offence should there be any aspect of the crime that crosses a state line.

Down
2. Meter maid of song : RITA
"Lovely Rita" is a Beatles song on the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. When the album was released in 1967, the term "meter maid" wasn't used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of "meter maid" all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road Studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta "looked like a Rita", so that was the name she was given in the song.

3. Gomer Pyle's org. : USMC
Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto "The Andy Griffith Show" as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Of course, Nabors then got his own show, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."

4. Legendary lizard with a fatal gaze : BASILISK
According to European legend, a basilisk is a mythical reptile that is the king of serpents. The term “basilisk” comes from the Greek “basilĂ­skos” meaning “little king”.

5. Japanese dog breed : AKITA
The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, the Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller's dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

8. Brother of Cain and Abel : SETH
According to the Bible, Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve, coming after Cain and Abel. Seth is the only other child of Adam and Eve who is mentioned by name. According to the Book of Genesis, Seth was born after Cain had slain his brother Abel.

11. Snopes.com subject : HOAX
Snopes.com is the place to go if you want to check the validity or history of an urban legend or Internet rumor. The site was launched in 1995 by a couple in California, Barbara and David Mikkelson.

13. Monopoly card : DEED
There are eight tokens included in the game of Monopoly as of 2013. These are the wheelbarrow, battleship, racecar, thimble, boot, Scottie dog, top hat and cat. The latest to be introduced was the cat in 2013, replacing the iron. The battleship and the cannon (aka howitzer, now retired) had been added to the Monopoly game as part of a recycling exercise. The pieces were intended for the game "Conflict" released in 1940, but when Parker Bros. pulled "Conflict" off the market due to poor sales, they added their excess battleships and cannons to Monopoly.

24. Cartoonist Addams : CHAS
Chas Addams was a cartoonist. Addams didn't draw a cartoon strip but rather individual cartoons, although many of his cartoons did feature regular characters. His most famous characters were the members of the Addams Family, who were published in single-panel cartoons between 1938 and 1988 in "The New Yorker". The Addams Family moved onto the small and big screens starting in 1964.

25. Pack down : TAMP
"Tamp" means to pack down tightly by tapping. "Tamp" was originally used to specifically describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.

27. ___ knife : X-ACTO
The X-Acto knife was invented in the thirties by a Polish immigrant, although his intention was to come up with a scalpel for surgeons. The knife couldn't cut it as a scalpel though (pun intended!), because it was difficult to clean. The inventor's brother-in law suggested it be used as a craft knife, and it is still around today.

29. Japanese mushroom : ENOKI
Enokitake (also known as enoki) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

30. Grand ___ (wine of the highest rank) : CRU
"Cru" is a term used in the French wine industry that means "growth place". So, "cru" is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms "premier cru" and "grand cru" are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

31. Eskimo home : IGLOO
The Inuit word for "house" is "iglu", which we usually write as "igloo". The Greenlandic (yes, that's a language) word for "house" is very similar: "igdlo".

Although still used in the US, the term “Eskimo” tends to be avoided in Canada and Greenland as there it is considered pejorative.

36. Theater 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.

38. Word repeatedly sung after "She loves you ..." : YEAH
The Beatles song "She Loves You" was released in 1963. It was one of five songs that together achieved an amazing feat in the US charts. At one point that year, those five songs were in the top five positions.

39. "___ amis" : MES
“Mes amis” is French for “my friends”, provided they aren’t all female friends, as then they would me “mes amies”.

47. Girl's show of respect : CURTSY
The term “curtsy” is a variant of “courtesy”. The term has been used to describe the bending of the knee and lowering of the body since the 1570s. However, back then it was men who were curtsying as well as women.

53. Gaming giant : SEGA
Sega is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out 1940 in the US as Standard Games and was located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.

56. Quaff for Beowulf : MEAD
Mead is a lovely drink, made from fermented honey and water.

"Beowulf" is an old epic poem from England, although the story is set in Scandinavia. There's a lot of drinking of mead in the poem, in mead-halls, sitting on mead-benches. All part of that feasting tradition ...

"Quaff" is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).

57. Bone next to the radius : ULNA
The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna.

58. Gorilla pioneering in sign language : KOKO
Koko is a female Lowland Gorilla that lives in Woodside, California. The researcher Penny Patterson taught Koko to speak a modified form of American Sign Language (ASL) that she called Gorilla Sign Language. Koko can apparently use over a thousand signs.

59. Knievel of motorcycle stunts : EVEL
Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. He eventually passed away in 2007.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cowboy chow : GRUB
5. Distresses : AILS
9. Word from the Arabic for "struggle" : JIHAD
14. Simpson who said "Beneath my goody two shoes lie some very dark socks" : LISA
15. See 16-Across : KNEE
16. With 15-Across, preparing to pop the question, say : ON ONE
17. Cash dispensers, for short : ATMS
18. "___ first you don't succeed ..." : IF AT
19. What a star on a U.S. flag represents : STATE
20. Subject of the book "Revolution in the Valley" : MACINTOSH
22. Beset by a curse : HEXED
23. Pinocchio, periodically : LIAR
24. Snarling dog : CUR
25. Poisonous : TOXIC
28. Person who works with dipsticks : MECHANIC
33. Not much, in cookery : A DASH
34. Powerful org. with HQ in Fairfax, Va. : NRA
35. Shine, commercially : GLO
37. People in this may have big ears : MICKEY MOUSE CLUB
42. Shot ___ : PUT
43. "Criminy!" : EEK!
44. Actress Watts : NAOMI
45. Sioux shoe : MOCCASIN
49. Metaphor, e.g. : TROPE
50. "Whazzat?" : HUH?
51. Employs : USES
53. Meal with Elijah's cup : SEDER
56. Journalist of the Progressive Era : MUCKRAKER
61. Kick out : EVICT
62. Vogue alternative : ELLE
63. Starting score in tennis : LOVE
64. Techie sorts : GEEKS
65. From the top : ANEW
66. Managed, with "out" : EKED
67. Unable to hold still : ANTSY
68. Speaker's place : DAIS
69. Like Lindbergh's historic trans-Atlantic flight : SOLO

Down
1. Glitz : GLAM
2. Meter maid of song : RITA
3. Gomer Pyle's org. : USMC
4. Legendary lizard with a fatal gaze : BASILISK
5. Japanese dog breed : AKITA
6. Notify : INFORM
7. Pastures : LEAS
8. Brother of Cain and Abel : SETH
9. Book after Deuteronomy : JOSHUA
10. Person getting on-the-job training : INTERN
11. Snopes.com subject : HOAX
12. Upfront stake : ANTE
13. Monopoly card : DEED
21. Specialty : NICHE
24. Cartoonist Addams : CHAS
25. Pack down : TAMP
26. Detestation : ODIUM
27. ___ knife : X-ACTO
29. Japanese mushroom : ENOKI
30. Grand ___ (wine of the highest rank) : CRU
31. Eskimo home : IGLOO
32. Stick together : CLUMP
36. Theater award since 1956 : OBIE
38. Word repeatedly sung after "She loves you ..." : YEAH
39. "___ amis" : MES
40. Opposite of exit : ENTER
41. Deals at a dealership : CAR SALES
46. Partner of balances : CHECKS
47. Girl's show of respect : CURTSY
48. Cell centers : NUCLEI
52. Twists, as facts : SKEWS
53. Gaming giant : SEGA
54. Smooth : EVEN
55. Lighten up? : DIET
56. Quaff for Beowulf : MEAD
57. Bone next to the radius : ULNA
58. Gorilla pioneering in sign language : KOKO
59. Knievel of motorcycle stunts : EVEL
60. Make over : REDO


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2 comments :

Acme said...

Thanks for this! Always learn a lot and am amazedat your dedication and information! Plugged you on the other blog, as requested!

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Acme.

Thanks for the kind words, and for helping me get the word out. I really, really appreciate it!

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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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