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1111-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Nov 13, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Elizabeth C. Gorski
THEME: Words from a Pope … the first word from each of our themed answers today, gives us a famous quotation from Alexander Pope:
20A. Friendly comment after providing information : HOPE THAT HELPS
34A. Goes "pop!," as a jack-in-the-box : SPRINGS OPEN
42A. Rome's nickname, with "the" : ETERNAL CITY

56A. Author of the verse that starts with the beginnings of 20-, 34- and 42-Across : ALEXANDER POPE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 05m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. "The Lord of the Rings" creatures : ORCS
According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth(also called “Mordor”). They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

17. New ___ (Enya type) : AGER
New Age music is created to provide a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere. The New Age movement is often said to have begun with the release of an album called “Spectrum Suite” by Steven Halpern in 1975.

Enya's real name is Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

18. Licoricelike flavor : ANISE
Liquorice (also licorice) and aniseed have similar flavors, but they come from unrelated plants. The liquorice plant is a legume like a bean, and the sweet flavor is an extract from the roots. The flavor mainly comes from an ether compound called anethole, the same substance that gives the distinctive flavor to anise. The seedpods of the anise plant are what we know as "aniseed". The anise seeds themselves are usually ground to release the flavor.

19. Colored part of the eye : IRIS
The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

24. Lesser-played part of a 45 : SIDE B
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33 1/3 rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm "single" the following year, in 1949.

25. Cellist Casals : PABLO
Pablo Casals was a wonderful cellist, from Catalonia in Spain. Casals lived at the time of the Franco regime in Spain. As a supporter of the Spanish Republican Government he placed himself in self-imposed exile in 1938, vowing not to return home until democracy had been restored. Casals never again set foot on Spanish soil, and died in Puerto Rico in 1973.

28. Puccini opera or its heroine : TOSCA
Unlike so many operas, Puccini’s "Tosca" was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. "Tosca" is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I've only seen it once myself.

Giacomo Puccini is was an Italian composer, famous for his operas that are so often performed all over the world. Included in the list of his works are “La bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot”. Puccini died in Brussels, Belgium in 1924 having suffered from throat cancer. An audience attending a performance of “La bohème” in Rome heard of the composer’s death in the middle of the performance. At the news, the opera was stopped, and the orchestra instead played Chopin’s “Funeral March”.

34. Goes "pop!," as a jack-in-the-box : SPRINGS OPEN
A Jack-in-the-box is child's toy. It's a box with a crank handle at the side. Turning the crank causes a tune to play (usually "Pop Goes the Weasel"), and at the right moment the lid pops open and a spring loaded clown character jumps up out of the box.

38. Shakespeare in the Park founder/producer Joseph : PAPP
Joseph Papp was theatrical producer and founder of the Public Theater in New York City. After his death, the Public Theater was named in his memory, the Joseph Papp Public Theater. Papp is also known for producing the original version of the hit musical “Hair”.

40. Italian birthplace of Paganini : GENOA
Niccolò Paganini was a famed Italian violinist and composer. Paganini was perhaps the most celebrated violinist of the 19th century. His most famous composition has to be his Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op. 1. This work is the basis for many derivative masterpieces by other composers, including the wonderful “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff.

41. Captain ___ (pirate) : KIDD
William Kidd was a Scottish privateer who went by the name “Captain Kidd”. Although Kidd was a privateer, someone authorized by the government to attack foreign shipping, he was eventually arrested and executed for piracy. There is common opinion held today that the charges against Kidd were actually trumped up. Captain Kidd’s story was the basis of a 1945 film called “Captain Kidd” starring Charles Laughton in the title role. Laughton also appeared as Captain Kidd in 1952’s comic movie “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd”.

42. Rome's nickname, with "the" : ETERNAL CITY
The Italian capital of Rome is known as “The Eternal City”, a name given by ancient Roman poets and writers.

47. Volleyball star Gabrielle : REECE
Gabrielle Reece is quite the athlete. She was on the team that won the first ever Beach Volleyball World Championship, in 1997. She is also a great golfer, and tried hard to make it onto the LPGA circuit.

53. French words describing how roast beef is often served : AU JUS
The French term “au jus” is usually translated as “with it’s own juice”.

56. Author of the verse that starts with the beginnings of 20-, 34- and 42-Across : ALEXANDER POPE
Alexander Pope wrote the following lines in “An Essay on Man” in 1734:
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

59. Coca-___ : COLA
The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. That first Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years. The original alcoholic version actually contained a small concentration of cocaine.

63. Prefix with lock : ANTI-
The first anti-lock braking system (ABS) was actually developed for use on aircraft, in 1929. The system reduced braking distances for aircraft by 30% because pilots were able to apply a full braking force immediately on landing instead of applying gradual pressure to avoid skidding.

64. Whiskered creature : OTTER
The fur of the sea otter is exceptionally thick. It is in fact the densest fur in the whole of the animal kingdom.

66. Dynamite sound : BOOM
The explosive called dynamite contains nitroglycerin as its active component. Dynamite also contains diatomaceous earth and sodium carbonate that absorb the nitroglycerin. The absorbed nitroglycerin is far less sensitive to mechanical shock, making it easier to transport and to handle. Famously, dynamite was invented by Alfred Nobel, the man who used his fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.

Down
1. Nebraska's largest city : OMAHA
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

4. One of the Williams sisters : SERENA
Serena Williams is the younger of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. Serena has won more prize money in her career than any other female athlete.

6. Sultry singer Horne : LENA
Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne's starring roles was in the 1943 movie "Stormy Weather" for which she also performed the title song.

8. Fish-on-rice serving : SUSHI
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order "sashimi".

11. They're in locks on a boat : OARS
Oars are locked into place in oarlocks, those stirrups into which the oars are positioned for rowing. Oarlocks ... another word I had to learn when I arrived in America. We call them rowlocks (pronounced "rol-ox") on the other side of the Atlantic.

12. Israeli-made gun : UZI
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel Gal of the Israel Defense Forces who gave his name to the gun.

13. In medias ___ : RES
“In media res” is a Latin phrase that translates as “into the middle of things”. We use "in media res" to describe a literary technique in which a story starts at some point other than the beginning of the plot.

26. Org. for women drivers : LPGA
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 lady golfers, and today it is the oldest ongoing women’s sports professional organization in the US.

27. Pitcher Hershiser : OREL
Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. Hershiser lives in Las Vegas and when he isn't working for ESPN, apparently he is at the poker tables.

29. Quirky bandleader with the City Slickers : SPIKE JONES
Spike Jones was a bandleader and musician who recorded in the forties and fifties with his band called the City Slickers. Jones was known for recording satirical versions of popular songs. He also released some humorous takes on classical works, with one collection aptly called “Spike Jones Is Murdering the Classics”.

32. German automaker : OPEL
Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we'd say "estate car" in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

33. Kids' detective ___ the Great : NATE
The “Nate the Great” series of children's novels was written (mainly) by Marjorie Sharmat. Nate is like a young Sherlock Holmes, with a dog for a sidekick called Sludge. Some of the books have been adapted for television.

35. "Monsters, ___" : INC
The animated feature "Monsters, Inc." was released in 2001, and was Pixar's fourth full-length movie. It's about cute monsters, and that's all I know other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.

36. Alternative to rouge in roulette : NOIR
In the game of roulette, players can bet on red (rouge) and black (noir).

The name "roulette" means "little wheel" in French, and the game as we know it today did in fact originate in Paris, in 1796.

37. Box-office take : GATE
The term "box office" may date back to Shakespearean times. In those days long past, patrons would deposit fees for seeing theater performances in boxes. The full boxes would be collected and placed in an office called, imaginatively enough, the "box office".

43. River near the Pyramids : NILE
Depending on definition, the Nile is generally regarded as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for the peoples living along its length.

48. Domelike top : CUPOLA
A cupola is a small, dome-like structure on the top of a building. “Cupola” comes from the Latin “cupula” meaning “small cup”.

50. U-shaped bend in a river : OXBOW
An oxbow is a wooden or metal frame that is U-shaped and which fits under the neck of an ox. A wooden yoke then accepts two oxbows, hence linking two oxen so that they can work as a team. The shape of the oxbow used by farmers gives us the term “oxbow lake” referring to a lake formed by a meandering river.

51. Magna ___ : CARTA
The Magna Carta is a landmark document issued in England in 1215. It represents the first time that an English king had to submit to the will of his subjects, a group of barons who sought to limit the powers of the monarchy. In particular the Magna Carta calls out that no freeman could be punished except through the law of the land. And of course, the Magna Carta was an inspiration for the United States Constitution.

55. Mattress brand : SERTA
Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement.

56. Voice below soprano : ALTO
In choral music, an alto is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word "alto" describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term "contralto" describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male's voice (not a boy's) with the same range as an alto is called a "countertenor".

59. Hack's vehicle : CAB
Hackney is a location in London, and it probably gave it's name to a "hackney", an ordinary type of horse around 1300. By 1700 a "hackney" was a person hired to do routine work, and "hackneyed" meant "kept for hire". This morphed into a hackney carriage, a carriage or car for hire.

60. Yoko who married John : ONO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a very public honeymoon in a hotels in Amsterdam and then Montreal, when they staged their famous "bed-in" for peace. In answering questions from reporters Lennon found himself often repeating the words "give peace a chance". While still in bed, he composed his famous song "Give Peace a Chance" and even made the original recording of the song in the Montreal hotel room, with reporters present, and with a whole bunch of friends. The song was released later in 1969 and became a smash hit.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "The Lord of the Rings" creatures : ORCS
5. Sprinkle with holy water : BLESS
10. Number in a quartet : FOUR
14. Muck : MIRE
15. Preceded, with "to" : LED UP
16. Loll : LAZE
17. New ___ (Enya type) : AGER
18. Licoricelike flavor : ANISE
19. Colored part of the eye : IRIS
20. Friendly comment after providing information : HOPE THAT HELPS
23. Sports stadium : ARENA
24. Lesser-played part of a 45 : SIDE B
25. Cellist Casals : PABLO
28. Puccini opera or its heroine : TOSCA
32. Put ___ happy face : ON A
34. Goes "pop!," as a jack-in-the-box : SPRINGS OPEN
38. Shakespeare in the Park founder/producer Joseph : PAPP
40. Italian birthplace of Paganini : GENOA
41. Captain ___ (pirate) : KIDD
42. Rome's nickname, with "the" : ETERNAL CITY
45. Lock unlocker : KEY
46. The king, in France : LE ROI
47. Volleyball star Gabrielle : REECE
49. Cuckoo ___ : CLOCK
53. French words describing how roast beef is often served : AU JUS
56. Author of the verse that starts with the beginnings of 20-, 34- and 42-Across : ALEXANDER POPE
59. Coca-___ : COLA
61. Bramble : BRIER
62. ___ about (approximately) : ON OR
63. Prefix with lock : ANTI-
64. Whiskered creature : OTTER
65. Loaned : LENT
66. Dynamite sound : BOOM
67. Insects with big stingers : WASPS
68. Where sailors go : ASEA

Down
1. Nebraska's largest city : OMAHA
2. Severity : RIGOR
3. Party streamer material : CREPE PAPER
4. One of the Williams sisters : SERENA
5. Lacking pizazz : BLAH
6. Sultry singer Horne : LENA
7. Does some magazine work : EDITS
8. Fish-on-rice serving : SUSHI
9. Put the pedal to the metal : SPEED
10. Simple means of animation : FLIP BOOK
11. They're in locks on a boat : OARS
12. Israeli-made gun : UZI
13. In medias ___ : RES
21. Keep ___ on (watch) : TABS
22. Tennis do-overs : LETS
26. Org. for women drivers : LPGA
27. Pitcher Hershiser : OREL
29. Quirky bandleader with the City Slickers : SPIKE JONES
30. Give up : CEDE
31. Handy-___ : ANDY
32. German automaker : OPEL
33. Kids' detective ___ the Great : NATE
35. "Monsters, ___" : INC
36. Alternative to rouge in roulette : NOIR
37. Box-office take : GATE
39. Declare loudly : PROCLAIM
43. River near the Pyramids : NILE
44. 2013, e.g. : YEAR
48. Domelike top : CUPOLA
50. U-shaped bend in a river : OXBOW
51. Magna ___ : CARTA
52. Makes woolen bootees, e.g. : KNITS
54. Slightly leading in score : UP ONE
55. Mattress brand : SERTA
56. Voice below soprano : ALTO
57. Shallow's opposite : DEEP
58. Makes mistakes : ERRS
59. Hack's vehicle : CAB
60. Yoko who married John : ONO


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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 everyday 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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