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1107-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Nov 13, Thursday





The numbers in the grid represent the following words:
1: ARMED
2: BIT
3: CARD
4: WAY

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alan Derkazarian
THEME: 1 2 3 4 … we have a rebus puzzle today with a twist. There are some squares in the across-answers that contain a short repeated word. The number of repetitions forms part of those themed answers:
18A. Casino sights : ONE-ARMED BANDITS
7D. Overran : SWARMED

24A. Small-time thieves : TWO-BIT CROOKS
1D. Dish with melted cheese : RAREBIT
2D. Occupy : INHABIT

54A. Con game : THREE-CARD MONTE
26D. Topps collectible : SPORTS CARD
30D. Cataloging things : INDEX CARDS
55D. Common spice in Indian food : CARDAMOM

62A. What an intersection may have : FOUR-WAY STOP
49D. Ship's route : SEAWAY
58D. Went to and fro : SWAYED
62D. Oscar-winning John : WAYNE
63D. Entry : WAY IN
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 16m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. They're thrown from horses : RIATAS
"Riata" is another name for a lariat or a lasso. "Riata" comes from "reata", the Spanish word for lasso.

7. Fake : SHAM
A “sham” is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens a sham is also imitation and fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

11. "The Silence of the Lambs" org. : FBI
Clarice Starling is the FBI Agent in the Thomas Harris novel “The Silence of the Lambs”. In the movie, Clarice was played by Jodie Foster.

16. TV ET : ALF
“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. ALF is a hand-puppet, supposedly an alien that crash-landed in a suburban neighborhood. “ALF” stands for “alien life form”.

17. The "you" in "you caught my eye" in a 1965 #1 hit : RHONDA
“Help Me, Rhonda” is a Beach Boys hit written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, released in 1965. When the song was first issued as a track on the album “Today!”, the song was titled “Help Me, Ronda” (note the spelling of “Ronda”). When the song was released as a single a month later, the title used the spelling with which we are familiar: “Help Me, Rhonda”.

18. Casino sights : ONE-ARMED BANDITS
Slot machines earned the nickname "one-armed bandits" simply because they had "one arm", the handle pulled to operate the machine, and they robbed you of all your money like bandits!

20. It flows in the Loire : EAU
“Eau” is the French word for “water”.

The Loire River is so long that it drains a full one-fifth of France's land mass. It rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then it heads north and then due east, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes.

23. Boss of TV's Mork : ORSON
“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies.

24. Small-time thieves : TWO-BIT CROOKS
The American quarter is a little unusual in the world of decimal currency if you think about it. Usually there is produced a "20-cent" coin, easier to work with mathematically. The US went for the quarter in deference to the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars in eight wedge-shaped "bits". That's also why the quarter is sometimes referred to as "two bits". We've been using the adjective "two-bit" to mean cheap and tawdry at least since 1929.

27. Johannes : German :: ___ : Scottish : IAN
The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian” and into German as “Johannes”.

28. O'Hare or Newark Liberty : HUB
O'Hare International is the fourth busiest airport in the world. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport's current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O'Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward O'Hare who grew up in Chicago. O'Hare was the US Navy's first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII. As an aside, Edward O'Hare's father was a lawyer for Al Capone who helped get the famous gangster convicted on tax evasion.

Newark Liberty Airport is the busiest of all the airports in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. Newark Airport opened in 1928 and became the busiest commercial airport in the world through the 1930s. The airport’s name was changed to Newark Liberty in 2002 in honor of the victims that died on 9/11.

35. Olympian Ohno : APOLO
Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. Ohno also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television's "Dancing with the Stars".

39. Author of "The Prague Cemetery" : ECO
Umberto Eco is an Italian writer, probably best known for his novel "The Name of the Rose" published in 1980. In 1986, "The Name of the Rose" was adapted into a movie with the same title starring Sean Connery.

40. "Hawaii ___" : FIVE-O
“Five-O” has become urban slang for a police officer, or the police force in general. The term of course is rooted in the 1970s TV Show "Hawaii Five-O". Hawaii Five-O was a totally fictional police force created for the television show. The name recognizes that Hawaii was the 50th state to join the union. Steve McGarrett in the original show was played by Jack Lord, and “Danno” Williams was played by James MacArthur.

42. Schleppers' aids : TOTES
Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. As one might expect, “schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

44. Relative of a tank top : TEE
“Tank top” is another one of those terms that always catches me out, as it has a different meaning on each side of the Atlantic. In the US a tank top is a sleeveless shirt, something we would call a “vest” back in Ireland (and the US “vest” is what we call a “waist coat”). A tank top in Ireland is a sleeveless sweater, which further adds to the confusion. The name “tank top” is derived from “tank suit”, an old name for a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. The use of “tank” for the bathing suit came from “swimming tank”, an obsolete term used in the 1920s for a swimming pool.

45. "Roots" surname : KINTE
The 1977 miniseries “Roots”, the character Kunta Kinte was played by as a young man by actor LeVar Burton and as an older man by John Amos.

Alex Haley’s 1976 novel "Roots" is based on Haley's own family history. Haley claimed that he was a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767. If you remember the fabulous television adaptation of "Roots", you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on "Star Trek: the Next Generation".

50. Antibloating brand : GAS-X
Gas-X is a trade name for the anti-foaming agent called simethicone. Simethicone causes small gas bubbles in the stomach to combine into larger bubbles that can then be "burped" more easily.

52. German word that's 67-Across spelled backward : EIN
“Ein” is an indefinite article in German.

54. Con game : THREE-CARD 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.

61. It may be topped with an angel : FIR
The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

67. German word that's 52-Across spelled backward : NIE
In German, never (nie), not in a million years (eine Million Jahre).

68. Parthian predecessor : MEDE
The Medes were an ancient people that lived in what is now northwestern Iran. The Medes held sway in the region only for about 60 years, until Cyrus the Great came along and defeated Astyages, the king of Media (not to be confused with Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed "king of all media"!).

69. City north of Lisbon : OPORTO
The city of Oporto in Portugal gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s, as it was the seaport through which most of the region's fortified wine was exported.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Lisbon is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. It is also the oldest city in Western Europe and is hundreds of years older than London, Paris and Rome.

71. Setting for a fall : EDEN
In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against the bidding of God. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

Down
1. Dish with melted cheese : RAREBIT
Welsh rarebit is a delicious dish made using a cheese-flavored sauce served over toast. It may be that the name Welsh rarebit was originally a bit of an insult to the folks in Wales. The dish was called Welsh "rabbit" back in the 1700s. In those day's rabbit was the poor man's meat, and the implication of the dish's name is that in Wales cheese was the poor man's rabbit.

4. + 6 : TEN
4 (the number of the clue) + 6 (the clue itself) = 10 (the answer).

6. Joe of "NCIS" : SPANO
Actor Joe Spano's most famous role was perhaps Lt. Henry Goldblume on "Hill Street Blues". In the movie "Apollo 13" he played an unnamed NASA director. On NCIS he plays FBI agent Tobias Fornell.

8. Tramp : HOBO
No one seems to know for sure how the term "hobo" originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that "hobo" comes from the first letters in the words "ho-meward bo-und", but it doesn't seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS's "Car Talk" (a great source!), "hobo" comes from "hoe boy". Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from "tramps" and "bums", in that "bums" refused to work, "tramps" worked when they had to, while "hobos" traveled in search of work.

9. Shylock trait : AVARICE
Shylock is a character in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”. Shylock is a moneylender and he gives a loan which is to be secured by “a pound of flesh”. When the money cannot be repaid, Shylock demands his pound of flesh, the collection of which would kill the poor victim of his scheme.

10. Sharp circle? : MENSA
If you ever had to learn Latin, as did I, "mensa" was probably taught to you in Lesson One as it's the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means "table". The Mensa organization for folks with high IQs was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, one is required to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

11. Willingly, old-style : FAIN
“Fain” is an old way of saying “gladly, joyfully”.

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

According to Jewish dietary law, "kosher" food is "fit" to eat, and food that is not kosher is called "treif" (or tref).

22. Japanese flower-arranging art : IKEBANA
The Japanese art of flower arranging is very much focused on minimalism, the use of a minimum number of blooms arranged among a few stalks and leaves.

26. Topps collectible : SPORTS CARD
Topps was a relaunch of an older company called American Leaf Tobacco, with the Topps name used from 1938. The earlier company was in trouble because it could not get supplies of its Turkish tobacco, so it moved into another chewy industry, making bubblegum.

33. Whacked : ICED
“Whack” and “ice” are terms used by mobsters that mean “murder”.

34. Vogue on a dance floor : POSE
I am not sure about how this clue works. It might be a reference to a Madonna song called “Vogue” that starts out with the words:
Strike a pose
Strike a pose
Vogue, vogue, vogue
Vogue, vogue, vogue

35. Shaving brand : AFTA
Afta is an aftershave in the Mennen range of products that is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

43. Mishmash : OLIO
Olio is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish "olla", the clay pot used for cooking.

55. Common spice in Indian food : CARDAMOM
Cardamom (sometimes “cardamon”) is the name given to a few plants in the ginger family. Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world, after saffron and vanilla.

57. Cereal killer : ERGOT
Ergot is a fungus, or actually a group of fungi, that cause disease in rye and related plants. If human eat ergot-contaminated grain, a condition called ergotism can result. Ergotism is the result of consumption of alkaloids produced by the fungi, alkaloids that can cause seizures and manic bahavior. It has even been suggested that the hysteria exhibited by the Salem "witches" was perhaps caused by the ingestion of ergot-contaminated rye.

62. Oscar-winning John : WAYNE
John Wayne was called Marion Mitchell Morrison at birth, named after his grandfather who was a Civil War veteran. When young Marion was a little boy, a local fireman used to call him "Little Duke" because he was always seen walking with his large dog called "Duke". Marion liked the name "Duke" and so he called himself Duke Morrison for the rest of his life. That said, Duke Morrison also used John Wayne as a stage name.

66. Word before rain, heat and gloom : NOR
There is no official creed or motto for the US Postal Service. However, there is the oft-quoted inscription found posted (pun!) at the James Farley Post Office in New York City:
It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. They're thrown from horses : RIATAS
7. Fake : SHAM
11. "The Silence of the Lambs" org. : FBI
14. Join the game, in a way : ANTE UP
15. Spun : WOVE
16. TV ET : ALF
17. The "you" in "you caught my eye" in a 1965 #1 hit : RHONDA
18. Casino sights : ONE-ARMED BANDITS
20. It flows in the Loire : EAU
21. Pasta name suffix : -INI
23. Boss of TV's Mork : ORSON
24. Small-time thieves : TWO-BIT CROOKS
27. Johannes : German :: ___ : Scottish : IAN
28. O'Hare or Newark Liberty : HUB
29. Totally awesome : EPIC
31. One usually buys a round one : TRIP
35. Olympian Ohno : APOLO
37. Some archaeological finds : BONES
39. Author of "The Prague Cemetery" : ECO
40. "Hawaii ___" : FIVE-O
41. Suffix with drunk : -ARD
42. Schleppers' aids : TOTES
44. Relative of a tank top : TEE
45. "Roots" surname : KINTE
47. Slip past : ELUDE
48. Touchdowns: Abbr. : ARRS
50. Antibloating brand : GAS-X
51. It can cause bloating : AIR
52. German word that's 67-Across spelled backward : EIN
54. Con game : THREE-CARD MONTE
58. Glove material : SATIN
60. Fool : SAP
61. It may be topped with an angel : FIR
62. What an intersection may have : FOUR-WAY STOP
65. Excavation : MINING
67. German word that's 52-Across spelled backward : NIE
68. Parthian predecessor : MEDE
69. City north of Lisbon : OPORTO
70. Butt : END
71. Setting for a fall : EDEN
72. Minimum : MEREST

Down
1. Dish with melted cheese : RAREBIT
2. Occupy : INHABIT
3. Just above : A TOUCH OVER
4. + 6 : TEN
5. Some commuter "reading" : AUDIOBOOK
6. Joe of "NCIS" : SPANO
7. Overran : SWARMED
8. Tramp : HOBO
9. Shylock trait : AVARICE
10. Sharp circle? : MENSA
11. Willingly, old-style : FAIN
12. Nonkosher sandwich : BLT
13. Uncertainties : IFS
19. Discouraging advice : DON'T
22. Japanese flower-arranging art : IKEBANA
25. Line at a stationery store? : RULE
26. Topps collectible : SPORTS CARD
30. Cataloging things : INDEX CARDS
32. Fight back : RETURN FIRE
33. Whacked : ICED
34. Vogue on a dance floor : POSE
35. Shaving brand : AFTA
36. Place to get a bite? : PIER
38. Certain heat conduit : STEAM PIPE
43. Mishmash : OLIO
46. Lit : IGNITED
49. Ship's route : SEAWAY
53. Familiar phone conversation starter : IT’S ME
55. Common spice in Indian food : CARDAMOM
56. Shades : TINTS
57. Cereal killer : ERGOT
58. Went to and fro : SWAYED
59. Convergent point : NODE
62. Oscar-winning John : WAYNE
63. Entry : WAY IN
64. Fence (in) : PEN
66. Word before rain, heat and gloom : NOR


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

6 comments :

Scholar Colfax said...

You should mention that observant Jews and Muslims do not eat any pork products, so the Ham is equally verboten.

Also, the contamination of RYE by ERGOT lead perhaps to the Salem with problems and the drug LSD.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Scholar Colfax.

Thanks for those observations. I'm off now to mention in my post the "possible" ergot connection the hysteria of the Salem "witches".

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

THIS KIND OF PUZZLE IS ***INFURIATING****. A pox on the designer and of course, on the snickering Will Shortz.

Anonymous said...

ditto to anonymous posting. i can make up a clue like "my favorite band". oh, you can't guess. too bad. this was a weird, ridiculous puzzle which no possible logic could have solved. 22 crooks supposed to mean two bit crooks. even knowing the answer leaves it incomprehensible.

Anonymous said...

I THOUGHT THIS WAS A WONDERFUL PUZZLE. NOT JUST ANSWERING THE CLUES, BUT COMING UP WITH MORE ORIGINAL ANSWERS. MORE, PLEASE.

Bill Butler said...

Let's hope that Alan reads the blog and sees your comment :)

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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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