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Vacation Alert

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

1106-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Nov 13, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jacob McDermott
THEME: Between You and Me … today’s themed answers are words that appear in well-known exclamations, between YOU and ME:
18A. "Don't put words in my mouth!" : (YOU) SAID IT, NOT (ME!)
23A. "I wasn't born yesterday!" : (YOU) CAN’T FOOL (ME!)
50A. "Wanna start somethin'?" : (YOU) TALKIN’ TO (ME?)
54A. "Ooh, I'm shaking in my boots!" : (YOU) DON’T SCARE (ME!)

34A. "Let this be our little secret" ... with a hint to 18-, 23-, 50- or 54-Across : BETWEEN YOU AND ME
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Group that inspired "Mamma Mia!" : ABBA
The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

16. Johnny Unitas, for most of his career : COLT
Footballer Johnny Unitas was nicknamed "the Golden Arm" as well as "Johnny U". Unitas played in the fifties through the seventies, mainly for the Baltimore Colts. He holds the record for throwing touchdown passes in consecutive games (47 games).

22. Hustler's card game : MONTE
Three-card Monte is a confidence trick in which someone is goaded into betting money on the assumption that he or she can find the “money card” (usually a queen) among three cards placed face down. The “mark” who is being duped has all sorts of ways to lose and there are usually several people in on the scam, including others playing who seem to be winning.

27. Gives a stemwinder : ORATES
A stem-winder is type of watch, one that was very desirable in days gone by. The term became associated with “excellence” over the years, and especially with a rousing speech.

28. Part of "snafu" : ALL
SNAFU is an acronym standing for Situation Normal: All Fouled Up (well, that's the "polite" version!). As you might imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

29. "Sesame Street" viewer : TOT
Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave an $8million grant to set up the Children's Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name "Sesame Street" was chosen simply because it was the "least disliked" of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

30. Soup with sushi : MISO
Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus (!) to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

31. Fleet : ARMADA
The most famous Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.

40. Edict locale of 1598 : NANTES
The Edict of Nantes was issued by King Henry IV of France in 1598. The edict granted specific rights to Protestants, a major concession in Catholic France, and was intended to end religious strife in the country.

42. Monopoly token : HAT
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.

45. A.P.O. addressees : GIS
Army Post Office (APO)

46. 1966 answer to the Mustang : CAMARO
The Chevrolet Camaro is a car produced by General Motors from 1966 to 2002, and reintroduced in 2009. The Camaro shared much of its design with the Pontiac Firebird, and was introduced as a potential competitor to the Ford Mustang.

48. Warren Report name : OSWALD
The Warren Commission was set up by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The most-oft quoted conclusions of the 889-page report are that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating the president, and that Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald. Chairman of the commission was Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. Sitting alongside Chief Justice Warren was US Representative Gerald Ford and future President of the US.

52. Swallower of Pinocchio : WHALE
“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. In one of his adventures, Pinocchio encounters “the Terrible Dogfish”, a huge sea monster that is given the nickname “the Attila of fish and fishermen”. The sea monster features in the 1940 film “Pinocchio”, but in Walt Disney’s version it is given the name “Monstro” (the Portuguese word for “monster”).

56. Lead-in to fan or jet : TURBO-
Turbofans and turbojets are types of aircraft engine. Turbofan engines are quite common on large passenger aircraft. Turbojet engines are more efficient at speeds higher than Mach 2, so are more likely to be found on something like a cruise missile.

60. Best Picture of 2012 : ARGO
“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I saw “Argo” and recommend it, although I found the scenes of religious fervor pretty frightening …

62. Gaming pioneer : ATARI
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.

63. Big name in 59-Down exploration : HESS
The Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

65. George of "Just Shoot Me!" : SEGAL
The actor George Segal was one of my favorite Hollywood stars when I was growing up. I most remember him from the dramatic role he played in 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” alongside Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and the comedic role he played in 1973’s “A Touch of Class” opposite Glenda Jackson.

"Just Shoot Me!" is a sitcom that originally aired from 1997 to 2003. The show is mainly set in the offices of a fashion magazine called “Blush”.

Down
1. Kind of fingerprinting : DNA
I've always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

4. Tumbleweed locale, stereotypically : GHOST TOWN
A tumbleweed is the upper part of a plant that has dried out, broken away from the roots, and is blown along by the wind. The tumbleweed spreads seeds or spores as it tumbles.

6. Rapid, in music : MOSSO
The musical direction “mosso” instructs the performer to play with motion or animation. “Mosso” is an Italian term, the past participle of “muovere” meaning “to move”.

7. Relo rental, perhaps : U-HAUL
The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Hail dealers across the country.

10. John Wilkes Booth, e.g. : ACTOR
By the time John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, he was a very well-known and respected stage actor. Both was so successful that he was earning over $500,000 a year in today’s money.

12. Stewed to the gills : BLOTTO
The term "blotto" meaning "drunk" dates back to the early 1900s. It supposedly is derived from the word "blot", in the sense that being drunk one must have soaked up a whole load of booze.

19. Former Philippine first lady ___ Marcos : IMELDA
Imelda Marcos is the widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, and is a former politician in her own right. Imelda fled the Philippines with her husband and family in 1986, ending up in exile in Hawaii. She was allowed to return in 1991, and set up residence in an apartment block in Manila. One of my personal claims to fame is that I lived for two years in an apartment block right next door to Imelda Marcos when I lived in Manila …

24. Indy racer Luyendyk : ARIE
Arie Luyendyk is a racing driver from the Netherlands, winner of the Indianapolis 500 on two occasions. Luyendyk’s son, also called Arie, is following in his father’s footsteps and is also an auto racer.

25. Tammany tiger creator : NAST
The building known as Tammany Hall was home to the Tammany Society, an organization in New York City that came to be the political machine behind the Democratic Party that held sway in New York State from the late-18th century to the mid-20th century. The society was named for Tamanend, a leader of the Native American Lenape people.

Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. Nast was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party's donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today.

Thomas Nast drew some famous cartoons in which he depicted the Tammany Society as a vicious tiger that was killing democracy. Nast’s use of the tiger symbology caught on and was used by other cartoonists to harp at the society.

26. Danube's color, to a Berliner : BLAU
“Blau” is German for “blue”.

The Danube is the second largest river in Europe (after the Volga), and actually flows through four European capitals (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava).

28. "Famous" cookie man : AMOS
Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name "Famous Amos". The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually bought up making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf.

31. Small soldiers : ANTS
In an ant colony, soldier ants differ from worker ants in that they have stronger mandibles and are hence more suitable for fighting. However, when they aren't fighting, that basically carry out the same functions as the workers.

35. Most holes in ones : EAGLES
The use of the word "eagle" to signify a 2-under-par score on a hole in golf, simply builds on the established use of "birdie" for 1-under-par. An eagle is just a "bigger" bird, and 2-under par is "bigger" and better than 1-under.

Apparently the term "birdie" originated in 1899 at the Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield, New Jersey. A golfer hit his second shot on a par four that stopped inches from the cup after hitting a bird in flight. The golfer tapped the ball in for one-under-par, and his golfing buddies labeled the second shot a "bird". The golfers started to call one-under-par a birdie, and the term spread through the club, and from there around the world …

36. Camelot lady : ENID
Enid is a Welsh name, from "einit" an old Welsh word meaning "purity". Enid was the wife of Geraint, one of King Arthur's knights. Enid is described as "the personification of spotless purity".

Camelot is featured in Arthurian legend, as King Arthur’s castle and his court.

37. Admissions honcho : DEAN
“Honcho” is a slang term for a leader or manager. The term comes to us from Japanese, in which language a "hancho" is a squad (han) leader (cho).

38. Five-and-ten, e.g. : MART
A “five-and-ten” is a store that sells inexpensive items. “Five-and-ten” is an alternative name for “dime store”, “five-and-dime” and “ten-cent store”. The “five-and-ten” name is short for “five-and-ten cent store”.

42. Elephant rider's seat : HOWDAH
A howdah is a carriage that sits on the back of an elephant (and may also seen on the back of camels).

44. Banjo sounds : TWANGS
The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

46. The Cavs, on scoreboards : CLE
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970.

47. Japanese police dogs : AKITAS
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.

49. Some saxes : ALTOS
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.

50. Ark contents : TORAH
The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls.

51. Animator Tex : AVERY
Tex Avery was a cartoon animator and voice actor in Hollywood. Avery was the man who created Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

55. Former pres. Tyler sided with it : CSA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation and retained the post for the life of the government.

John Tyler was the tenth President of the US, and the first to take the office on the death of the incumbent. Tyler’s predecessor was President William Henry Harrison, who was in office only 32 days before he died of natural causes. For a while there was a little confusion about the wording in the constitution that covered such an eventuality. There was an argument made that Tyler would continue as Vice-President but would assume the responsibilities of the office of President, in effect as “Acting President”. However, Tyler proceeded as though he was taking over as President and took the oath of office in his hotel room in Washington. Soon afterwards, Congress declared that Tyler was indeed President, although many continued to dispute the fact. Many of President Tyler's opponents referred to him as “His Accidency”.

59. Texas tea : OIL
“Texas tea” is a familiar term for oil drilled from the Earth.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bust targets : DRUGS
6. Rumple : MUSS
10. Group that inspired "Mamma Mia!" : ABBA
14. Time for vampires : NIGHT
15. [gasp!] : OH NO!
16. Johnny Unitas, for most of his career : COLT
17. Can't take : ABHOR
18. "Don't put words in my mouth!" : (YOU) SAID IT, NOT (ME!)
20. Requests a dog treat, maybe : SITS UP
22. Hustler's card game : MONTE
23. "I wasn't born yesterday!" : (YOU) CAN’T FOOL (ME!)
26. Special Forces wear : BERETS
27. Gives a stemwinder : ORATES
28. Part of "snafu" : ALL
29. "Sesame Street" viewer : TOT
30. Soup with sushi : MISO
31. Fleet : ARMADA
34. "Let this be our little secret" ... with a hint to 18-, 23-, 50- or 54-Across : BETWEEN YOU AND ME
40. Edict locale of 1598 : NANTES
41. Contract period, often : YEAR
42. Monopoly token : HAT
45. A.P.O. addressees : GIS
46. 1966 answer to the Mustang : CAMARO
48. Warren Report name : OSWALD
50. "Wanna start somethin'?" : (YOU) TALKIN’ TO (ME?)
52. Swallower of Pinocchio : WHALE
53. Take up residence : MOVE IN
54. "Ooh, I'm shaking in my boots!" : (YOU) DON’T SCARE (ME!)
56. Lead-in to fan or jet : TURBO-
60. Best Picture of 2012 : ARGO
61. Go a few rounds : SPAR
62. Gaming pioneer : ATARI
63. Big name in 59-Down exploration : HESS
64. Like a spent briquette : ASHY
65. George of "Just Shoot Me!" : SEGAL

Down
1. Kind of fingerprinting : DNA
2. Slab unit, on a menu : RIB
3. "Ewww, gross!" : UGH!
4. Tumbleweed locale, stereotypically : GHOST TOWN
5. Bitter conflict : STRIFE
6. Rapid, in music : MOSSO
7. Relo rental, perhaps : U-HAUL
8. Salon sound : SNIP
9. Landscaper's purchase : SOD
10. John Wilkes Booth, e.g. : ACTOR
11. Easter wear : BONNET
12. Stewed to the gills : BLOTTO
13. Bear witness (to) : ATTEST
19. Former Philippine first lady ___ Marcos : IMELDA
21. How-___ : TOS
23. Tangle untangler : COMB
24. Indy racer Luyendyk : ARIE
25. Tammany tiger creator : NAST
26. Danube's color, to a Berliner : BLAU
28. "Famous" cookie man : AMOS
31. Small soldiers : ANTS
32. Loaf with caraway seeds, maybe : RYE
33. Very soon : ANY MINUTE
35. Most holes in ones : EAGLES
36. Camelot lady : ENID
37. Admissions honcho : DEAN
38. Five-and-ten, e.g. : MART
39. Suffix with switch : -EROO
42. Elephant rider's seat : HOWDAH
43. How driftwood may end up : ASHORE
44. Banjo sounds : TWANGS
46. The Cavs, on scoreboards : CLE
47. Japanese police dogs : AKITAS
49. Some saxes : ALTOS
50. Ark contents : TORAH
51. Animator Tex : AVERY
53. Treasure-hunters' aids : MAPS
55. Former pres. Tyler sided with it : CSA
57. Dirt-dishing newspaper : RAG
58. It can leave a tan line : BRA
59. Texas tea : OIL


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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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