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Greetings from San Jose, 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! We had a long and spectacular drive across the Sierra Nevada today, and saw Julianne and Derek Hough's dance spectacular this evening. Back home and back to reality tomorrow (Friday) ...

Bill

1118-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Nov 13, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Edgar Fontaine
THEME: Possessive Celebrities … today’s themed answers are the names of celebrities from the world of entertainment, with their given names turned into a possessive (i.e. John Doe becoming “John’s Doe”). The resulting answer is clued with reference to another famous person, one whose family name is the same as the original celebrity’s given name:
20A. Part of a bushel belonging to Dick? : GREGORY’S PECK (from “Gregory Peck”)
34A. Car belonging to Rex? : HARRISON’S FORD (from “Harrison Ford”)
41A. Lite beer belonging to Bea? : ARTHUR’S MILLER (from “Arthur Miller”)
55A. Rock belonging to Ariel? : SHARON’S STONE (from “Sharon Stone”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 05m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Old Russian ruler : TSAR
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. "Czar" is derived from the word "Caesar", which was synonymous with "emperor" at that time.

9. Drummer Ringo : STARR
Ringo Starr's real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles (replacing drummer Pete Best), Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name "Ringo Starr", because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded "cowboyish". Back then his drum solos were billed as "Starr Time".

14. Israel's Abba : EBAN
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to "Abba", the Hebrew word for "father". He made this change as reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

15. Charles Lamb's pen name : ELIA
Charles Lamb published a famous collection of essays simply entitled "Essays of Elia". Elia was actually a clerk and co-worker of Charles Lamb, whereas Lamb was the author.

16. Place to keep a hibachi : PATIO
The traditional hibachi in Japan is a heating device, often a ceramic bowl or box that holds burning charcoal. This native type of hibachi isn't used for cooking, but rather as a space heater (a brazier). Here in the US we use the term hibachi to refer to a charcoal grill used as a small cooking stove, which in Japanese would be called a "shichirin".

19. Diplomatic representative : ENVOY
An envoy works at an embassy and is a representative of a government, someone ranking below an ambassador. The name comes from the concept of the envoy being a "messenger" from his or her government. "Envoyer" is the French word for "to send".

20. Part of a bushel belonging to Dick? : GREGORY’S PECK (from “Gregory Peck”)
Dick Gregory is a comedian and social activist from St. Louis, Missouri. Gregory is noted for using humor to address the issue of racism, especially back in the sixties. He even ran for President of the US once, as a write-in candidate in the 1968 election. Gregory racked up over 47,000 votes.

A peck is a unit of dry volume, equivalent to two gallons. Four pecks then make up a bushel.

Gregory Peck was an iconic Hollywood actor, who hailed from La Jolla, California. Peck was recognized as a great actor as soon as he starting film acting in 1944. He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for “The Keys of the Kingdom” (1944), “The Yearling” (1946), ‘Gentleman’s Agreement” (1947) and “Twelve O’Clock High” (1949). Peck finally won his Academy Award with the fifth nomination, for playing Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962).

23. Chaney who played the hunchback of Notre Dame : LON
Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname "the man of a thousand faces". Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and "The Phantom of the Opera" (1925).

25. Facial expression : VISAGE
"Visage" is the French word for "face", and is a term we’ve imported into English to mean “face” or “facial expression”.

29. Serving between appetizer and dessert : ENTREE
"Entrée" of course means "entry" in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “an in", an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the "entry" to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!

31. S-shaped molding : OGEE
An ogee is like an s-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

33. Prefix with Atlantic : MID-
The Atlantic is the world’s second largest ocean, after the Pacific. The name Atlantic is a reference to the Greek god Atlas, and so the ocean might be called the “Sea of Atlas”. The ancient Greeks believed that the Atlantic was a giant river that encircled the world.

34. Car belonging to Rex? : HARRISON’S FORD (from “Harrison Ford”)
Rex Harrison was an English actor who played many memorable roles on stage and screen. On stage, Harrison famously played Henry VIII in “Anne of the Thousand Days” and Professor Higgins in “My Fair Lady”. His best known film appearances were in “Anna and the King of Siam”, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”, “My Fair Lady”, “Cleopatra” and “Doctor Dolittle”. Harrison was married six times. He had an affair with actress Carole Landis during his second marriage, and Harrison’s refusal to get a divorce led to Landis’s suicide. His fifth wife was actress Rachel Roberts. Years after the couple divorced, Roberts also committed suicide after repeated attempts to win back Harrison’s affection.

Harrison Ford played at least three celebrated, recurring roles in movies: Han Solo in the "Star Wars" series, the title character in the "Indiana Jones" series, and Jack Ryan in the movie versions of Tom Clancy novels. In the early days, Ford became a self-taught carpenter in order to put bread on the table while he looked for acting roles. As a carpenter he worked as a stagehand for the rock band "The Doors", and he built a sun deck for actress Sally Kellerman (from the movie "M*A*S*H"). George Lucas hired him to build cabinets in his home, and then gave him a part in "American Graffiti", after which I think Ford hung up his tool belt ...

40. New York's Giuliani : RUDY
Rudy Giuliani became known around the world as he stepped up and led his city so well during the terrible days following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. His actions that September earned him a number of accolades. He was named as “Time” magazine’s person of the year, and was given an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

41. Lite beer belonging to Bea? : ARTHUR’S MILLER (from “Arthur Miller”)
Actress Bea Arthur's most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the "All in the Family" spin-off "Maude" and as Dorothy Zbornak in "The Golden Girls". Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of "Mame" in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

The Miller Brewing Company was founded by Frederick Miller in 1855 in Milwaukee. Miller is now in a joint venture with Coors.

Arthur Miller was a remarkable playwright, best known for his plays "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible". Famously, Arthur Miller left his first wife to marry Marilyn Monroe in 1956. The two divorced five years later, just over a year before Monroe died of an apparent drug overdose.

46. The last King Richard : III
Richard III ruled England for just two years, and was the last king of the House of York. Richard’s reign came to an early close with his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, which brought an end to the Wars of the Roses and the start of the Tudor Dynasty. His death at the hands of Henry Tudor made him the last English king to die in battle. Richard’s remains were hastily buried in a friary in Leicester in the midlands of England. The friary was demolished in the mid-1500s, and Richard’s remains went missing for centuries. Famously, the friary and the king’s remains were discovered in an archeological dig in 2012 under a city car park. The remains are scheduled to be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral.

47. "Cheerio!" : TA-TA!
An Englishman might say "ta-ta" or "cheerio" instead of "goodbye". Well, supposedly so ...

55. Rock belonging to Ariel? : SHARON’S STONE (from “Sharon Stone”)
Ariel Sharon is a former Prime Minister of Israel. While still in office in 2005, Sharon suffered two debilitating strokes that left him in a permanent vegetative state from early 2006, a condition which persists to this day.

Actress Sharon Stone's big break came with her appearance in the erotic thriller "Basic Instinct" released in 1992. Stone really hasn't landed huge roles in big movies since then, other than the role of Ginger in "Casino", for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Personally I enjoyed her performance in 1994's "The Specialist", an entertaining action film in which she played opposite Sylvester Stallone and James Woods.

59. Waikiki welcome : ALOHA
Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name "Waikiki" means "spouting fresh water" in Hawaiian.

63. Taylor boy of Mayberry : OPIE
Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier. Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like "Apollo 13", "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Da Vinci Code". And today, "Opie" is a grandfather ...

64. Actress Sophia : LOREN
Sophia Loren certainly has earned her place in the world of movies. In 1962 she won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film "Two Women", the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. Loren received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in "Marriage Italian-Style", another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.

65. Gomer of Mayberry : PYLE
Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto "The Andy Griffith Show" as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Of course, Nabors then got his own show, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."

Down
1. Long-eared dog : BEAGLE
The Beagle breed of dog is a scent hound, developed for tracking small game. Because of this characteristic, Beagles are often used as detection dogs in customs halls around the world. The world’s most famous Beagle is probably Snoopy from the comic strip “Peanuts”.

2. King of the fairies, in Shakespeare : OBERON
Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the fairies in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

4. Kiss, to Brits : SNOG
"Snogging" is British slang of unknown origin that dates back to the end of WWII. The term is used for "kissing and cuddling", what we call "making out" over here in the US.

5. Wirehaired dog : TERRIER
Most terrier breeds of dog originated in the British Isles. Terriers were developed as working dogs, with the job of controlling populations of rats, rabbits and foxes by rooting them out above and below the ground. The name “terrier” comes via Middle French from the the Latin “terra” meaning “earth”, a reflection of the breeds habit of burrowing into the earth looking for its prey.

9. Homo sapiens, for humans : SPECIES
Biological classification is a method used to group organisms by biological type. The method uses a hierarchy of nested classes, with an organism being classified with reference to evolutionary traits. The major taxonomic ranks used are:
- Life
- Domain
- Kingdom
- Phylum
- Class
- Order
- Family
- Genus
- Species

The Homo genus includes, of course, the species Homo sapiens (modern humans), but we're the only species left in that genus. The last known species related to humans was Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man) which died off about 24,000 years ago. However, another species was discovered in Indonesia in 2003 that has been dubbed Homo floresiensis (Flores Man ... sometimes called "hobbit"), and it may possibly have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. Watch this space ...

11. Off-road goer, for short : ATV
All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

12. ___ de Janeiro : RIO
Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as "January River". The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Years Day in 1502.

13. Artist Lichtenstein : ROY
Roy Lichtenstein was a pop artist from New York City, a contemporary of Andy Warhol. Lichtenstein was famous for his “cartoon-strip” paintings, especially works called “Whaam!” and “Drowning Girl”. If you saw the Ben Stiller film “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”, you might remember Lichtenstein’s painting “Crying Girl” coming to life as part of the plot.

27. Encircle : GIRD
The phrase "gird your loins" dates back to Ancient Rome. The expression describes the action of lifting "one's skirts" and tying them between the legs to allow more freedom of movement before going into battle. Nowadays, "gird your loins" is a metaphor for "prepare yourself for the worst".

31. ___ bin Laden : OSAMA
Osama bin Laden founded his militant Islamist group called al-Qaeda in the late eighties. “Al-Qaeda” translates as “the base”, and can refer to a military base, and was originally the name of a training camp set up for mujahideen fighters opposing Russians occupying Afghanistan.

32. Mongolian desert : GOBI
The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called "Green Wall of China".

35. The "I" of M.I.T.: Abbr. : INST
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) moved into its magnificent mile-long campus on the Cambridge side of the Charles River in 1906. The campus was built largely with funds donated by George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.

36. Center square of a bingo card : FREE
A bingo card, here in the US anyway, is usually made up of 25 squares in five rows and five columns. The grid contains only 24 numbers though, as the center square is usually marked “Free”, meaning that it is automatically filled with no need for a number to be called.

38. Lake ___, source of the Niagara River : ERIE
The mighty Niagara River flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and forms part of the border between the US and Canada. The river is only about 35 miles long (so some describe it as a “strait”) and has a drop in elevation of 325 feet along its length, with 165 feet of that drop taking place at Niagara Falls.

42. Salt Lake City residents, e.g. : UTAHANS
Salt Lake City (SLC) was of course founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as "Great Salt Lake City" up until 1868.

43. Pro ___ (proportionally) : RATA
"Pro rata" is a Latin phrase meaning "in proportion".

49. ___ Sea, body of water south of Italy : IONIAN
The Ionian Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and the southern part of Italy (under the sole of the "boot"). The Ionian Sea is one of the most seismically active areas on the planet.

50. Messages limited to 140 characters : TWEETS
I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that limits any post sent to just 140 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don't think I could send out much of interest using just 140 characters. I believe that many people who do tweet tend to send out messages like "I'm at dinner now. I am having sushi" and "There's nothing on TV. I'm bored". Nope, I don't think so!

52. Milo of "The Verdict" : O’SHEA
Milo O'Shea was a great Irish character actor from Dublin who has appeared in everything from "Romeo and Juliet" to "The West Wing". Sadly, O’Shea passed away in 2013 in New York City.

1982’s "The Verdict" is an entertaining courtroom drama movie that stars Paul Newman as a struggling alcoholic lawyer. The storyline involves a medical malpractice case involving a woman in persistent vegetative state. As a bonus, if you keep a careful eye out, you’ll see Bruce Willis as an extra in one of his first on-screen appearances.

53. "I give up!" : UNCLE
To "say uncle" is an American expression meaning to submit or yield. Its usage dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how "uncle!" came to mean "stop!"

56. 1948 Hitchcock thriller : ROPE
Did you ever see the Hitchcock film "Rope"? It's a great movie starring James Stewart, and is inspired by the real story of Leopold and Loeb, two young Chicago students who murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1942. The pair carried out the murder simply because they wanted to prove that they could commit the perfect crime. Their undoing was that Leopold left his distinctive eyeglasses near the body. Chilling stuff …

57. Cameo gem : ONYX
Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it's the black version that's used for jewelry. The name "onyx" comes from the Greek word for "fingernail", as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

58. Mrs. Lincoln's maiden name : TODD
Mary Todd moved in the best of the social circles in Springfield, Illinois and there met the successful lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. The path to their marriage wasn’t exactly smooth, as the engagement was broken once but reinstated, with the couple eventually marrying in 1842.

59. 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”.

60. Response to an online joke : LOL
LOL is an abbreviation used in Instant Messages and phone texting, an abbreviation for "Laughing Out Loud".

61. Bauxite, e.g. : ORE
Bauxite is an aluminum ore. It takes its name from the absolutely gorgeous village of Les Baux in southern France, which was the home of the geologist who first recognized that the mineral was a useful source of the metal.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Conks on the head : BOPS
5. Old Russian ruler : TSAR
9. Drummer Ringo : STARR
14. Israel's Abba : EBAN
15. Charles Lamb's pen name : ELIA
16. Place to keep a hibachi : PATIO
17. Prefix with dynamics : AERO-
18. Lambs' fathers : RAMS
19. Diplomatic representative : ENVOY
20. Part of a bushel belonging to Dick? : GREGORY’S PECK (from “Gregory Peck”)
23. Chaney who played the hunchback of Notre Dame : LON
24. Greek letters before rhos : PIS
25. Facial expression : VISAGE
29. Serving between appetizer and dessert : ENTREE
31. S-shaped molding : OGEE
33. Prefix with Atlantic : MID-
34. Car belonging to Rex? : HARRISON’S FORD (from “Harrison Ford”)
37. Professional charges : FEES
39. Catch, as a criminal : NAB
40. New York's Giuliani : RUDY
41. Lite beer belonging to Bea? : ARTHUR’S MILLER (from “Arthur Miller”)
46. The last King Richard : III
47. "Cheerio!" : TA-TA!
48. Facial socket : EYEPIT
51. Put another layer on, as of paint : RECOAT
53. Exploit : USE
54. Column's counterpart : ROW
55. Rock belonging to Ariel? : SHARON’S STONE (from “Sharon Stone”)
59. Waikiki welcome : ALOHA
62. "___ upon a time ..." : ONCE
63. Taylor boy of Mayberry : OPIE
64. Actress Sophia : LOREN
65. Gomer of Mayberry : PYLE
66. "Darn it all!" : DRAT!
67. Doghouse infestation : FLEAS
68. Former spouses : EXES
69. Lairs : DENS

Down
1. Long-eared dog : BEAGLE
2. King of the fairies, in Shakespeare : OBERON
3. Like the end of this clue (in terms of punctuation) : PARENTHETIC
4. Kiss, to Brits : SNOG
5. Wirehaired dog : TERRIER
6. Leaves rolling in the aisles : SLAYS
7. Prepares to shoot a gun : AIMS
8. Filing tool : RASP
9. Homo sapiens, for humans : SPECIES
10. Goes suddenly from success to failure, in slang : TANKS
11. Off-road goer, for short : ATV
12. ___ de Janeiro : RIO
13. Artist Lichtenstein : ROY
21. Abbr. above 0 on a phone : OPER
22. Tied, scorewise : EVEN
26. Self-esteem, as the French would have it : AMOUR-PROPRE
27. Encircle : GIRD
28. Small whirlpool : EDDY
30. Too hasty : RASH
31. ___ bin Laden : OSAMA
32. Mongolian desert : GOBI
35. The "I" of M.I.T.: Abbr. : INST
36. Center square of a bingo card : FREE
37. Not foul : FAIR
38. Lake ___, source of the Niagara River : ERIE
42. Salt Lake City residents, e.g. : UTAHANS
43. Pro ___ (proportionally) : RATA
44. Tenants : LESSEES
45. Cleaning solutions : LYES
49. ___ Sea, body of water south of Italy : IONIAN
50. Messages limited to 140 characters : TWEETS
52. Milo of "The Verdict" : O’SHEA
53. "I give up!" : UNCLE
56. 1948 Hitchcock thriller : ROPE
57. Cameo gem : ONYX
58. Mrs. Lincoln's maiden name : TODD
59. TV ET : ALF
60. Response to an online joke : LOL
61. Bauxite, e.g. : ORE


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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Eyepit? Seriously?

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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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