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Greetings from Dromod, County Leitrim in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

1113-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Nov 13, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jean O'Connor
THEME: Pesto Recipe … today’s themed answers tell us how to make pesto, a favorite of mine:
17A. Recipe instruction #1 : MINCE GARLIC
22A. Recipe instruction #2 : GRATE PARMESAN
33A. Recipe instruction #3 : CHOP BASIL LEAVES
45A. Recipe instruction #4 : CRUSH PINE NUTS
53A. Recipe instruction #5 : ADD OLIVE OIL

61A. What you get when you blend the results of this puzzle's recipe instructions : PESTO
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 09m 15s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Company founded by a 17-year-old Swede : IKEA
Did you know that IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 when he was just 17-years-old??!! IKEA is an acronym that stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don't forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

13. Young boxer : PUP
The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites!) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful animal. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, another gorgeous creature.

16. Foofaraw : ADO
"Foofaraw" is excessive or flashy ornamentation, or a fuss over something that is unimportant.

19. Slips and such : LINGERIE
"Lingerie" is a French term, but as used in France it just means any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use "lingerie" to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term "lingerie" comes into English via the French word "linge" meaning "washables", and ultimately from the Latin "linum", meaning "linen". We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like "lan-zher-ee", as opposed to "lon-zher-ay" (American) and "lon-zher-ee" (British).

21. Tony of "Taxi" : DANZA
The actor Tony Danza is noted for his roles in the TV shows “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?” Danza is from Brooklyn, New York and his real name is Antonio Iadanza. He wa a professional boxer before his acting career took off.

22. Recipe instruction #2 : GRATE PARMESAN
Genuine Parmesan cheese is made in and around the Province of Parma in Northern Italy, which gives the cheese its name.

25. Owners of an infamous cow : O’LEARYS
The Great Chicago Fire blazed for almost three full days in October of 1871. By the time it was extinguished, hundreds of people had died and four square miles of the city had been destroyed. It is known that the fire started in or near a small barn owned by an Irish immigrant, a Mrs. Catherine O’Leary. A reporter called Michael Ahern wrote in the “Chicago Tribune” that the fire was ignited when a cow in the barn kicked over a lantern. Years later, Ahern admitted that he made up the story about the cow and the lantern, as he felt it made colorful copy. Supposedly Mrs. O’Leary died a heartbroken woman as she spent the rest of her life with the public blaming her on the tragic loss of life and property.

27. Banshee's cry : WAIL
A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, from the Irish “bean sí” meaning “woman of the fairy mounds”. The banshee is supposedly heard wailing in the night, especially when someone is about to die.

29. Number of pecks in a 34-Down : FOUR
(34D. Farmer's basketful, maybe : BUSHEL)
A peck is a unit of dry volume, equivalent to two gallons. Four pecks then make up a bushel.

30. U.K. bestowal : OBE
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:
- Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
- Knight Commander (KBE)
- Commander (CBE)
- Officer (OBE)
- Member (MBE)

38. Tarzan creator's monogram : ERB
"Tarzan" is the title character in the series of books created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The line "Me Tarzan, you Jane" never appeared in the books, and indeed doesn't even figure in the movies. Apparently Johnny Weissmuller (who played Tarzan in the thirties and forties) saw Maureen O'Sullivan ("Jane", to Weissmuller's "Tarzan") struggling with a suitcase in the parking lot during filming. He grabbed the bag from her, jokingly saying "Me Tarzan, you Jane", and people have been quoting those words ever since.

39. Bell Labs operating system : UNIX
Unix is a computer operating system that was developed at Bell Labs in 1969.

I always think of an operating system as that piece of software that sits between the hardware on my computer and the programs that I choose to run. Developers of application programs don't really have to worry about being able to "talk to" the countless different types of hardware found in the wide variety of computers that are manufactured, they just need to talk to the handful of operating systems that are out there, like Windows, MAC and Unix. The operating system takes care of the rest.

41. Seller's caveat : AS IS
A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

42. Renaissance, literally : REBIRTH
The “Dark Ages” was a term that used to be popular as a description of the period following the decline of the Roman Empire in Europe, the time after the “light of Rome” was extinguished. The Dark Ages were said to end with the rise of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th century. The Italian Renaissance was centered on the cities of Florence and Siena in Tuscany.

49. Tilter's weapon : LANCE
Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called "tilting". Jousting took place in a roped-off enclosure that was called the lists, or list field. In later medieval times, some castles and palaces had purpose-built "tiltyards" that were used for jousting. Do you remember where the Beach Volleyball events were held in the 2012 London Olympics. Well that was Horse Guards Parade, the former tiltyard for the Palace of Whitehall that was used in the time of King Henry VIII.

56. An ex of Frank : AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of "Mogambo" (1953), "On the Beach" (1959), "The Night of the Iguana" (1964) and "Earthquake" (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

Frank Sinatra was the only child of Italian immigrants living in Hoboken, New Jersey. Like so many of our heroes, Sinatra had a rough upbringing. His mother was arrested several times and convicted of running an illegal abortion business in the family home. Sinatra never finished high school, as he was expelled for rowdy conduct. He was later arrested as a youth on a morals charge for carrying on with a married woman, which was an offence back then. But Sinatra straightened himself out by the time he was twenty and started singing professionally.

57. Painter Mondrian : PIET
Piet Mondrian was painter from the Netherlands who also lived and worked in Paris, London and New York. Mondrian’s works ranged in style from Impressionist to Abstract.

59. Altoids container : TIN
Altoids breath mints have been around since 1780, when they were introduced in Britain. The famous tin in which Altoids are sold is often reused for other purposes. The most famous use is as a container to hold a mini survival kit.

61. What you get when you blend the results of this puzzle's recipe instructions : PESTO
The term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as “pesto” sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, pesto from Genoa in northern Italy.

62. Bugling beast : ELK
Male elks are called bulls, and females are known as cows. Bull elks are known for their very loud screaming, which is called bugling. Cow elks are attracted to bulls that bugle more often and most loudly.

Down
2. Dench who played Elizabeth I : JUDI
Dame Judi Dench is an outstanding English actress, known for decades in her home country mainly as a stage and television actress. Dench’s film career took off in the nineties with a relatively trivial role as “M” in the James Bond series of films. Since then she has played leading roles in several excellent movies including “Shakespeare in Love”, “Mrs. Brown” and “Notes on a Scandal”.

I found the 1998 movie "Shakespeare in Love" to be an entertaining romantic comedy, a fictional account of Shakespeare having a love affair while in the middle of writing his famous "Romeo and Juliet". The great cast includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Colin Firth and Judi Dench (as Queen Elizabeth I), with Joseph Fiennes in the title role.

3. Squarish TV toon : SPONGEBOB
SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon character in a television series. He first appeared in 1999, and lives in a pineapple under the sea.

4. Minimum age for a U.S. senator : THIRTY
In order to be a US senator, a citizens must be 30 years of age. The rule has been broken a few times though. Henry Clay made it into the Senate at 29 years old, in 1806. Joe Biden was elected to the Senate at 29 years of age, in 1972, but he was 30 before the swearing-in date.

5. ___ Army (golf fans of old) : ARNIE’S
Arnold Palmer is one of the greats of the world of golf. Palmer is very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers are usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”.

6. Muscle strengthened by curls, informally : BICEP
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

7. Van Cleef of "High Noon" : LEE
Lee Van Cleef played the perfect bad guy, didn’t he? Van Cleef was born in Somerville, New Jersey with Dutch ancestry. In movies he played a villain from day one, starting out with a small role in the classic western "High Noon". His career went on hiatus after a car accident in the late fifties, but it was revived with the arrival of the Spaghetti Westerns. Lee Van Cleef up against Clint Eastwood ... what could be better?

I am not a fan of western movies, but “High Noon” works for me. The film has a great cast, with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in the lead roles. I suppose I like the film because it doesn’t fit the mold as a typical western with lots of predictable action sequences. That said, when “High Noon” first hit theaters it was not popular with audiences, largely because moviegoers were expecting the formulaic western film.

8. Heart test letters : EKG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

9. Lost Tribes' land : ISRAEL
Assyria was an ancient kingdom located on the Upper Tigris river in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), named for it's capital city of Assur. According to the Bible, of the original Twelve Tribes of Israel, Ten Tribes "disappeared”, were lost when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians in 720 BCE.

11. Pupil of 'enry 'iggins : ELIZA
Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins' speech student in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion". Of course "Pygmalion" was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady". The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was "'Enry 'Iggins".

12. ___ Highway (historic route to Delta Junction) : ALCAN
The Alaska Highway is also known as the Alaska-Canadian Highway or ALCAN Highway. A highway connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska was proposed in the twenties, but the Canadian authorities didn't believe the project had much merit as the road would be used by very few of its citizens. The perceived importance of the route increased during WWII and President Roosevelt deemed the road a strategic necessity so he made a deal with Canada. The cost of construction would be born by the US, but the road and related facilities were to be handed over to Canada at the end of the war. The project was accelerated when the Japanese invaded and occupied Kiska and Attu Islands in the Aleutians. The road of course has been improved and is still in use today. The ALCAN Highway forms part of what is popularly known as the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the south of Argentina or Chile depending on how the route is defined.

14. Lipstick slip : SMEAR
Lipsticks have a remarkably long list of ingredients. Die-hard vegans have to be careful in their choice of lipstick, as most contain beeswax. and the "shimmering" types often contain fish scales. Yuk ...

23. Mil. truant : AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) are concerned with personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

24. Brother of Fidel : RAUL
Raul Castro is the younger brother of Fidel Castro. Raul has been President of Cuba since 2008, when Fidel stepped aside.

26. Cowardly Lion portrayer : LAHR
Zeke was the farmworker played by Bert Lahr in 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz”. Zeke is the character who morphed into the Cowardly Lion in Dorothy’s dream.

32. O.T. book read during Purim : ESTH
Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther. During the celebration of Purim, the Book of Esther (or Megillah) is read aloud, once in the evening and once the following morning. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Old Testament that doesn't mention the word "God".

36. Emphatic assent, in Baja : SI! SI!
Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

37. "The Red Tent" author Diamant : ANITA
The author Anita Diamant's best known work is the 1997 novel "The Red Tent", which was a New York Times best seller. Diamant's novels and nonfiction books tend to explore Jewish culture in America.

41. Items at a haberdashery : ASCOTS
An Ascot tie is that horrible-looking (I think!) wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

Back in the 14th century a haberdasher was a dealer in small wares. By the late 1800s, the term had evolved to mean a purveyor of menswear, and in particular was associated with the sale of hats.

48. Year-end airs : NOELS
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for "birth" (natalis). Noel has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Beverages in the a.m. : OJS
4. 9-Across buy : TABLE
9. Company founded by a 17-year-old Swede : IKEA
13. Young boxer : PUP
14. Cry of fear or hilarity : SHRIEK
15. Housecat's perch : SILL
16. Foofaraw : ADO
17. Recipe instruction #1 : MINCE GARLIC
19. Slips and such : LINGERIE
21. Tony of "Taxi" : DANZA
22. Recipe instruction #2 : GRATE PARMESAN
25. Owners of an infamous cow : O’LEARYS
27. Banshee's cry : WAIL
28. Slaps the cuffs on : NABS
29. Number of pecks in a 34-Down : FOUR
30. U.K. bestowal : OBE
33. Recipe instruction #3 : CHOP BASIL LEAVES
38. Tarzan creator's monogram : ERB
39. Bell Labs operating system : UNIX
40. Nifty : NEAT
41. Seller's caveat : AS IS
42. Renaissance, literally : REBIRTH
45. Recipe instruction #4 : CRUSH PINE NUTS
49. Tilter's weapon : LANCE
50. Renders unnecessary : OBVIATES
53. Recipe instruction #5 : ADD OLIVE OIL
56. An ex of Frank : AVA
57. Painter Mondrian : PIET
58. Term of address for a nobleman : MILORD
59. Altoids container : TIN
60. Impersonal letter starter : SIRS
61. What you get when you blend the results of this puzzle's recipe instructions : PESTO
62. Bugling beast : ELK

Down
1. Gem of a girl? : OPAL
2. Dench who played Elizabeth I : JUDI
3. Squarish TV toon : SPONGEBOB
4. Minimum age for a U.S. senator : THIRTY
5. ___ Army (golf fans of old) : ARNIE’S
6. Muscle strengthened by curls, informally : BICEP
7. Van Cleef of "High Noon" : LEE
8. Heart test letters : EKG
9. Lost Tribes' land : ISRAEL
10. Ceramists' fixtures : KILNS
11. Pupil of 'enry 'iggins : ELIZA
12. ___ Highway (historic route to Delta Junction) : ALCAN
14. Lipstick slip : SMEAR
18. Be a fan of : ADMIRE
20. Get, as a concept : GRASP
23. Mil. truant : AWOL
24. Brother of Fidel : RAUL
25. As soon as : ONCE
26. Cowardly Lion portrayer : LAHR
29. Tough spot : FIX
30. Fudge, say : OVERSTATE
31. Patrolman's rounds : BEAT
32. O.T. book read during Purim : ESTH
34. Farmer's basketful, maybe : BUSHEL
35. Have ___ (surreptitiously imbibe) : A NIP
36. Emphatic assent, in Baja : SI! SI!
37. "The Red Tent" author Diamant : ANITA
41. Items at a haberdashery : ASCOTS
42. PC start-over : REBOOT
43. "Green," in product names : ENVIRO
44. Physique : BUILD
45. Sounds of appreciation : CLAPS
46. Pizza cuts, essentially : RADII
47. Hypnotized : UNDER
48. Year-end airs : NOELS
51. Bad to the bone : EVIL
52. Put in the cup, as a golf ball : SANK
54. Mischievous sort : IMP
55. Contend : VIE


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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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