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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! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

1027-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Oct 13, Sunday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brendan Emmett Quigley
THEME: Who’s Left? … some of today’s across-answers contained circled letters. If these circled letters are read from right-to-left, they spell out given names:
23A. McMansion's storage : THREE-CAR GARAGE (includes GRACE backwards)
37A. Attack on sacred custom : LESE MAJESTE (includes JAMES backwards)
39A. Dotty? : PIXELATED (includes ALEX backwards)
50A. Piece of road construction equipment : CONCRETE PUMP (includes PETER backwards)
67A. Lot : FAIR AMOUNT (includes MARIA backwards)
69A. Badgering : HARASSMENT (includes SARAH backwards)
80A. What the Red Baron engaged in : AERIAL COMBAT (includes CLAIRE backwards)
91A. Generally speaking : ON AVERAGE (includes EVAN backwards)
96A. Famous : WIDELY KNOWN (includes KYLE backwards)
113A. They may keep you on your toes : BALLET SLIPPERS (includes STELLA backwards)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 29m 15s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Etched computer component : PC BOARD
A printed circuit board (PC board, or PCB) is the board on which are mounted electronic components, and which bears the necessary conductive tracks to connect components. Manufacturing of PC boards involves removing copper from a copper-coated board, leaving behind conductive tracks made from copper. The copper is removed in a chemical etching process.

20. Author of "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans" : COULTER
"If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans" is a 2007 book written by Ann Coulter. The book is actually a collection of quotes from Coulter’s syndicated column that appears in newspapers and on conservative websites. Coulter has written three other bestselling books:
-"High Crimes and Misdemeanors" outlines her case for the impeachment of President Clinton.
-"Slander" argues that President George W. Bush was given unfair coverage by the media.
-"Treason" is a reexamination of the Cold War, suggesting that the the extent of Communist infiltration was underestimated.

22. Crown cover : ENAMEL
Tooth enamel covers the crowns of our teeth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It is composed of 96% crystalline calcium phosphate.

23. McMansion's storage : THREE-CAR GARAGE
“McMansion” is a word used for a large, luxury house that many believe is “too much” for the neighborhood. Similar pejorative terms are “garage Mahal” and “Hummer house”.

25. Santa ___ : MONICA
The coastal city of Santa Monica, California is famous for many things, including the celebrated Santa Monica Pier that was built in 1909. The pier is home to the Pacific Park family amusement park, which includes the world’s only solar powered Ferris wheel. Santa Monica is also the western terminus of the I-10 interstate, the most southerly interstate in the country. The eastern terminus is Jacksonville, Florida.

36. Religious office : SEE
A “see” is the jurisdiction or official seat of a bishop or pope.

37. Attack on sacred custom : LESE MAJESTE
Lèse majesté is the crime of offending the dignity of the "majesty" or sovereign, or the state. The term is from French Law, and comes from the law of Ancient Rome. In Latin "laesa maiestas" means "injured majesty". Clearly, the term has no relevance in the United States but in other countries, including many in Europe, the law is occasionally cited.

39. Dotty? : PIXELATED
A pixel is a dot, the base element that goes to make up a digital image.

43. Brief letter sign-off : YRS
Yours (yrs.)

44. ___ Nashville Records : MCA
Today’s MCA Nashville country music label started out in 1945 as the country music division of Decca Records, and was based in New York. The division was moved to Nashville in 1955.

47. Greek characters : XIS
The Greek letter "xi", despite the name, is not the precursor of our letter X. Our X comes from the Greek letter "chi".

48. "Camelot" co-writer : LOEWE
Frederick Loewe was a composer best known for his collaborations with the lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, the most famous of which were “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot”.

“Camelot” is a Lerner and Loewe musical based on the legend of King Arthur. The show was first shown on Broadway in 1960 and ran for 873 performances. “Camelot” was made into a very successful film version that was released in 1967 starring Richard Harris as King Arthur.

56. Grassy expanse : SWARD
Sward is version of the word "swarth", and describes a grassy piece of land.

58. Exams with analytical reasoning parts: Abbr. : LSATS
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

60. Grp. with the platinum album "Out of the Blue" : ELO
ELO of course stands for the Electric Light Orchestra, a symphonic rock group from the north of England. ELO’s manager was Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy).

61. Graf ___ : SPEE
Maximilian Graf von Spee was actually born in Denmark, but of a noble German family. By the time WWI started, Spee had risen to the rank of Rear Admiral in the German Navy. He was killed in the Battle of the Falkland Islands (the original 1914 version!). Of course he gave his name to the powerful pocket battleship, the Admiral Graf Spee, which was damaged in the Battle of the River Plate during WWII. The Graf Spee took refuge in the neutral port of Montevideo and when the boat was expelled by the government of Uruguay, the captain scuttled her rather than face the Allied flotilla waiting for her just outside the port.

63. Marshmallowy treat : S'MORE
S'mores are a treat peculiar to North America, usually eaten around a campfire. A s'more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts". Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

64. Vodka with a Chocolat Razberi flavor : STOLI
Stolichnaya (often abbreviated to “Stoli”) is a brand of Russian vodka made from wheat and rye grain. Stoli originated in Russia but now it’s made in Latvia, which is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label.

69. Badgering : HARASSMENT
“To badger” is to harass. The term comes from the cruel practice of “badger-baiting”, which dates back to medieval times. Badger-baiting is a blood sport in which a dog is used as “bait” for a badger in its den, to draw him out into the open. The den is an artificial structure built to resemble a natural badgers’ den, complete with a tunnel entrance. The dog is sent down the tunnel causing the badger and dog to lock their jaws on each other. The badger and dog are then removed from the den by pulling on the dog’s tale. I am ashamed to say that badger-baiting is still practiced (illegally) in Ireland, with ten convictions in the courts over the past 20 years.

71. Great leveler : TNT
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

72. Lawyer Davis who served in the Clinton and Bush administrations : LANNY
Lanny Davis served as special counsel to President Clinton, and also served as an advisor during the administration of President George W. Bush. You might come across Davis on radio or television as he quite often appears as a political commentator.

73. Marseille morning : MATIN
Marseille (often written “Marseilles” in English) is the second largest city in France, after Paris. Marseille is also the largest commercial port in the country. I used to live nearby, and it’s a lovely, lovely place.

74. Buenos ___ : AIRES
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, located on the estuary of the Ria de la Plata. As a port city, the people of Buenos Aires are known as porteños ("people of the port").

79. Gaffe : BONER
"Boner" is one of those terms that I just don't like because it can be used offensively. "Boner" can be used for a faux pas, an error.

Our word "gaffe" , meaning a social blunder, comes from the French word "gaffe" meaning "clumsy remark", although it originally was the word for "boat hook". The exact connection between a boat hook and a blunder seems to be unclear.

80. What the Red Baron engaged in : AERIAL COMBAT
Manfred von Richthofen was a famous WWI fighter pilot flying for the Germans and was known as the Red Baron. Von Richthofen was credited with more kills than any other pilot fighting on either side of the conflict, recording over 80 combat victories. He didn't survive the war though, as he was shot down near Amiens in France in 1918.

85. Symbol of Horus : EYE
Horus was one of the oldest gods in Ancient Egyptian religion. Most often, Horus was depicted as a falcon or a man with a falcon head. The Eye of Horus was a common symbol used in Ancient Egypt, a symbol of protection and royal power.

86. Tic-tac-toe winner : OOO
When I was growing up in Ireland we played "noughts and crosses" ... our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

87. Big do : FRO
Afro hairdo (‘fro)

88. TV series for which Quentin Tarantino has written and directed : CSI
I"m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think "Pulp Fiction" is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence it's really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta's career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly received performances.

102. Clear tables : BUS
A busboy is a person who assists a waiter, mainly by clearing tables. The verb “to bus” arose in the early 1900s and is probably a reference to the wheeled cart that was used to carry dishes.

103. Jolly Roger pirate : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie's play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook's pirates and is Hook's right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being "Irish" and "a man who stabbed without offence". Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

104. Tropical vines : LIANES
Liana (also “liane”) is the name give to a vine that generally grows in moist areas such as rain forests. Lianas grow using the trees in the forest as structural support. My bet is that Tarzan swung from tree to tree on liana vines ...

105. Jordan feature : SPACE JAM
“Space Jam” is a 1996 movie that is a fictional account of the retirement of Michael Jordan from the NBA. Michael Jordan himself stars in the film, along with a whole host of “Looney Tunes” cartoon characters.

111. ___ Tour : PGA
The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the association was based in New York City.

112. "Hot" dish : TAMALE
“Hot tamale” is a slang term for a good-looking woman.

Hot Tamales are a cinnamon candy made by Just Born. They look like red versions of the other Just Born candy called Mike and Ike. That's no coincidence, as Hot Tamales were developed as a way to make use of rejected Mike and Ike candy. The dark red color and intense cinnamon flavor was added to the Mike and Ike rejects, masking the original flavor and color.

124. February forecasts : SLEETS
Apparently "sleet" is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It's the second definition that I have always used ...

Down
1. Election results abbr. : PCT
Percent (pct.)

2. Primitive radio receiver : COHERER
The “coherer” was one of the first devices used to detect a radio signal. It consists of a glass tube with an electrode at either end, and metal filings in between those electrodes. In the presence of a radio wave, the metal filings “cohere”, causing a measurable change in the resistance between the electrodes.

3. British novelist Anthony : BURGESS
Anthony Burgess was the pen name of English writer John Anthony Burgess Wilson. Burgess was also a very capable musician and would rather of been known as a composer. However, the incredible success of the film version of his 1962 novella “A Clockwork Orange” ensured that he would always be recognized as an author.

7. Start of a Scrabble game : DRAW
The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

12. One White of rock's White Stripes : MEG
The White Stripes were a rock duo from Detroit that were together from 1997 to 2011. The duo was made up of Meg and Jack White, who were married from 1996 to 2000. Prior to the couple tying the knot, Jack’s family name was Gillis. Gillis took the unusual step of taking his wife’s family name when they married.

13. Like the time of Franz Ferdinand's reign : PRE-WWI
As with WWII, in the run up to the First World War tension was building as the European powers jockeyed for position on the world stage. The event that triggered the open warfare was the June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Yugoslav nationalist. There followed an ultimatum by the Austro-Hungarian Empire against the Kingdom of Serbia. This in turn triggered what were basically automatic threats invoked by age old alliances, and within weeks the major powers were at war. As these were colonial powers, the conflict spread around the world. By the time an armistice was signed in November 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire had ceased to exist, and the German and Russian Empires had been defeated.

15. Before you know it : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

16. Designer Helmut : LANG
Helmut Lang is an artist and fashion designer from Austria who lives and works in New York.

19. Stood out at stand-up? : SLAYED
A stand-up comedian might “slay” an audience, really make them laugh.

29. Ancient Roman king : REX
“Rex” is Latin for “king”.

31. Any Mount Olympus dweller : IMMORTAL
Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.

32. Like some rioters : MACED
Mace is actually a brand name, originally introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture "Chemical Mace", with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray.

34. Provider of a trip across a desert? : PEYOTE
The peyote is a small spineless cactus that is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. When ingested, the peyote is known to have a psychoactive effect. One of the psychoactive alkaloids in peyote is mescaline, a drug of choice for the likes Aldous Huxley and Pablo Picasso.

35. Well-financed grp.? : OPEC
OPEC is “financed” by “oil wells”.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

42. Sources of some lethal injections : ASPS
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

46. Second lt.'s equivalent : ENS
The rank of ensign (ens.) has generally been replaced in army ranks by second lieutenant (2nd lt.).

49. Major Spanish daily : EL MUNDO
“El Mundo” is Spanish for “The World” and is the name of Spain’s second largest daily newspaper. The highest-circulation paper is “El País”, which name translates as “The Country”.

52. Big name in online financial services : E-LOAN
E-Loan used to be based just down the road from me in the San Francisco Bay Area, but after takeover by a Rosemont, Illinois company it was moved to the parent's headquarters. E-Loan was founded in 1997 to provide customers access to mortgages over the Internet.

55. Raccoons around campsites, e.g. : PESTS
The raccoon is native to North America. In captivity, raccoons can live to over 20 years of age, but in the wild they only live two or three years. The main causes for the shorter lifespan are hunting and road traffic.

56. River of song : SWANEE
"Swanee" was written in 1919 by George Gershwin. Gershwin was very young at the time and came up with the music in just ten minutes while riding on a Manhattan bus. Al Jolson was already a star, and he heard Gershwin playing the song at a party. Jolson made a deal to include the song in his show "Sinbad", and then it just took off.

59. Vaio manufacturer : SONY
VAIO is a line of computers manufactured by Sony. The name was originally an acronym of Video Audio Integrated Operation, but this was changed to Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer on the occasion of the brand’s 10th anniversary in 2008.

62. SAG's partner : AFTRA
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)

Screen Actors Guild (SAG)

63. Kind of boom : SONIC
Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot "get out of the way". When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

65. Golfer nicknamed "Tower" : ISAO AOKI
Isao Aoki is one of Japan's greatest golfers, now playing on the senior circuit. Aoki's best finish in a major tournament was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 US Open. Aoki is relatively tall (6 feet), and his height earned him the nickname “Tower”, after the Tokyo Tower.

68. "Das Lied von der Erde" composer : MAHLER
I'm still trying to keep an open mind when it comes to the music of Gustav Mahler, but I find it hard to appreciate. Mahler was an Austrian composer, active in the late-Romantic period. During his own lifetime he was most notable as a conductor, and his compositions gained in popularity only after his death in 1911. They are still very popular today, just not with me ...

69. Antlered animal : HART
Nowadays a “hart” is a male red deer, over five years old.

70. Stole material : MINK
There are two species of mink extant, the European Mink and the American Mink. There used to be a Sea Mink which was much larger than its two cousins, but it was hunted to extinction (for its fur) in the late 1800s. American Minks are farmed over in Europe for fur, and animal rights activists have released many of these animals into the wild when raiding mink farms. As a result the European Mink population has declined due to the presence of its larger and more adaptable American cousin.

76. Eastern European capital : KIEV
Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and a beautiful city, from what I’ve heard from friends who have visited ...

78. "The Newsroom" channel : HBO
“The Newsroom” is a wonderfully written drama series on HBO from the pen of the great screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. The show stars Jeff Daniels as the news anchor in a cable news channel. I’ve seen the first season of “The Newsroom” and noted a distinct bias towards left of center politics in the storylines. I read recently that Sorkin hired conservative media consultants at the end of season one, presumably to help attract more viewers whose politics might be right of center.

79. Emerald, e.g. : BERYL
The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different, semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. The source of the green color is mainly chromium.

82. Springfield watering hole : MOE’S
Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in "The Simpsons" animated TV show. I don't really care for "The Simpsons", but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character ... him I like ...

"The Simpsons" television show is meant to be set in "anytown, USA", so the creators chose the name Springfield as it is one of most common town and city names in the country.

88. Some 99-Down : CONGERS
(99. 88-Down, e.g. : EELS)
Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.

92. Indian neighbor : NEPALI
Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country's general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

93. One way to dress in drag : AS A MAN
The etymology of the term "drag", as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite's skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn't hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).

94. Court inits. : ABA
American Bar Association (ABA)

95. Cajun dishes : GUMBOS
Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the "holy trinity" of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is "okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

97. "Whew, that wore me out!" : I’M BEAT!
“I’m beat” just doesn’t sound right to me …

100. Brit's diaper : NAPPIE
I would have thought that the singular is spelled “nappy”, but I am always wrong …

“Diaper” is another word that I had to learn when I moved to America. What are called "diapers" over here, we call "nappies" back in Ireland. The term "diaper" is actually the original term that was used in England for the garment, where "diaper" referred to the cloth that was used. The term diaper was brought to the New World where it stuck. Back in Britain, diaper was displaced by the word "nappy", a diminutive of "napkin".

108. Raspberry : JEER
Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles "blowing a raspberry" is a way of insulting someone (I think it's called "a Bronx cheer" here in the US).

110. Carrier that owns the airline Sun d'Or : EL AL
Sun D'Or International Airlines is a subsidiary of the Israeli flag carrier El Al. The company started out as El Al Charter Services in 1977 and changed its name to “Sun D’Or in 1981.

114. Rink org. : AHL
The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

116. Daniels who directed "The Butler" : LEE
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is a 2013 movie that is loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, who worked at the White House for 34 years before retiring as head butler in 1986. Forest Whitaker plays the title role. My wife saw this one, and really enjoyed it …

118. Afts and eves : PMS
The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Etched computer component : PC BOARD
8. Away for the summer, maybe : AT CAMP
14. Bar food? : SALADS
20. Author of "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans" : COULTER
21. Fix : NEUTER
22. Crown cover : ENAMEL
23. McMansion's storage : THREE-CAR GARAGE
25. Santa ___ : MONICA
26. It may be stroked or crushed : EGO
27. Difficulties : WOES
28. Remove the last drop from : WRING DRY
30. Qualifier : PRELIM
33. Test ___ : PREP
35. Have a balance : OWE
36. Religious office : SEE
37. Attack on sacred custom : LESE MAJESTE
39. Dotty? : PIXELATED
43. Brief letter sign-off : YRS
44. ___ Nashville Records : MCA
45. "___-haw!" : YEE
47. Greek characters : XIS
48. "Camelot" co-writer : LOEWE
50. Piece of road construction equipment : CONCRETE PUMP
56. Grassy expanse : SWARD
58. Exams with analytical reasoning parts: Abbr. : LSATS
60. Grp. with the platinum album "Out of the Blue" : ELO
61. Graf ___ : SPEE
62. Look for : AWAIT
63. Marshmallowy treat : S'MORE
64. Vodka with a Chocolat Razberi flavor : STOLI
66. Keeps : HAS
67. Lot : FAIR AMOUNT
69. Badgering : HARASSMENT
71. Great leveler : TNT
72. Lawyer Davis who served in the Clinton and Bush administrations : LANNY
73. Marseille morning : MATIN
74. Buenos ___ : AIRES
75. Make a big stink : REEK
77. Went undercover : HID
78. New ID badge recipient : HIREE
79. Gaffe : BONER
80. What the Red Baron engaged in : AERIAL COMBAT
83. Sly one : SNEAK
85. Symbol of Horus : EYE
86. Tic-tac-toe winner : OOO
87. Big do : FRO
88. TV series for which Quentin Tarantino has written and directed : CSI
91. Generally speaking : ON AVERAGE
96. Famous : WIDELY KNOWN
101. "Sure" : YES
102. Clear tables : BUS
103. Jolly Roger pirate : SMEE
104. Tropical vines : LIANES
105. Jordan feature : SPACE JAM
109. Barn seat : BALE
111. ___ Tour : PGA
112. "Hot" dish : TAMALE
113. They may keep you on your toes : BALLET SLIPPERS
120. Pass : ELAPSE
121. "You betcha!" : OH YEAH!
122. Four-star figure : ADMIRAL
123. Dishwasher, at times : RINSER
124. February forecasts : SLEETS
125. Comes in behind : LOSES TO

Down
1. Election results abbr. : PCT
2. Primitive radio receiver : COHERER
3. British novelist Anthony : BURGESS
4. Chant after a soccer score : OLE! OLE!
5. Gobbled : ATE
6. ___ center : REC
7. Start of a Scrabble game : DRAW
8. Tees off : ANGERS
9. One may be doll-size : TEA SET
10. Biter, maybe : CUR
11. ___ loss : AT A
12. One White of rock's White Stripes : MEG
13. Like the time of Franz Ferdinand's reign : PRE-WWI
14. Hard-to-turn vehicle : SEMI
15. Before you know it : ANON
16. Designer Helmut : LANG
17. Surrounded by : AMIDST
18. Order : DECREE
19. Stood out at stand-up? : SLAYED
24. One thrown at a rodeo : ROPE
29. Ancient Roman king : REX
30. Wield : PLY
31. Any Mount Olympus dweller : IMMORTAL
32. Like some rioters : MACED
34. Provider of a trip across a desert? : PEYOTE
35. Well-financed grp.? : OPEC
38. Boxer's target : JAW
40. Rhapsodizes over : EXTOLS
41. Be flat : LIE
42. Sources of some lethal injections : ASPS
46. Second lt.'s equivalent : ENS
48. Thieves' place : LAIR
49. Major Spanish daily : EL MUNDO
50. Icon on Amazon : CART
51. Hears again, as a case : RETRIES
52. Big name in online financial services : E-LOAN
53. Cry from a balcony, maybe : UP HERE!
54. Not so nice : MEANER
55. Raccoons around campsites, e.g. : PESTS
56. River of song : SWANEE
57. Many an actor's second job : WAITER
59. Vaio manufacturer : SONY
62. SAG's partner : AFTRA
63. Kind of boom : SONIC
64. Make content : SATE
65. Golfer nicknamed "Tower" : ISAO AOKI
68. "Das Lied von der Erde" composer : MAHLER
69. Antlered animal : HART
70. Stole material : MINK
73. Cat calls : MIAOWS
76. Eastern European capital : KIEV
78. "The Newsroom" channel : HBO
79. Emerald, e.g. : BERYL
81. "I agree" : AYE
82. Springfield watering hole : MOE’S
84. Lamar Hunt Trophy org. : NFL
88. Some 99-Down : CONGERS
89. Curse : SWEAR AT
90. Connections : INS
91. Bar food? : OYSTER
92. Indian neighbor : NEPALI
93. One way to dress in drag : AS A MAN
94. Court inits. : ABA
95. Cajun dishes : GUMBOS
97. "Whew, that wore me out!" : I’M BEAT!
98. Video game losses : DEATHS
99. 88-Down, e.g. : EELS
100. Brit's diaper : NAPPIE
106. Pen parts : CAPS
107. Different : ELSE
108. Raspberry : JEER
110. Carrier that owns the airline Sun d'Or : EL AL
114. Rink org. : AHL
115. Cleaning solution : LYE
116. Daniels who directed "The Butler" : LEE
117. Words said before a kiss : I DO
118. Afts and eves : PMS
119. ___-mo : SLO


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

4 comments :

BlissEffect said...

seemed odd to have a random bunch of names spelled backwards and not have it mean anything more...a google search of all ten names reveals that all ten names appear on the list of One Life to Live characters....could that be what they have in common?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Life_to_Live_characters

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, BlissEffect.

You might be right about the "One Life to Live" connection. I'm not sure. What I noticed is that there are 5 male names and 5 female names.

Lynne said...

the theme us usually a bit more clear than that I find. Not one of the best ones.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Lynne.

Yes, the theme here was difficult to decipher I think, relative to other puzzles. The themes that involve words being written backwards always lead to scratched heads it seems.

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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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