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1121-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Nov 13, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jules P. Markey
THEME: Down Comforters … today’s themed answers are words of COMFORT, all written in the DOWN direction:
15A. Some bedcovers ... or, literally, what the four unclued answers are : DOWN COMFORTERS

3A. [ ] : NOT TO WORRY
8A. [ ] : THIS WILL PASS
26A. [ ] : IT GETS BETTER
35A. [ ] : THERE THERE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Pen denizen : CON
A convict (con) might be found in a penitentiary (pen).

Nowadays we use “denizen” to mean simply a resident, but historically a denizen was an immigrant to whom certain rights had been granted, something like today’s "resident alien".

4. Go ballistic? : ARC
“Ballistics” is the study of the projectiles in movement.

13. Employee insurance plan, for short : HMO
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

14. Makeup of one of the homes of the Three Little Pigs : WOOD
The fairy tale of “The Three Little Pigs” has been around for centuries, although it first appeared in print in the 1840s. One little pig built a house using straw and another built one using wood. The clever little pig built his house using bricks.

18. Wacko : LOCO
In Spanish, if one isn't sane (sano) one might be described as crazy (loco).

19. Rug fibers : SISALS
I suppose it is telling that whenever I hear mention of agave plants, I think of tequila. The sisal plant is an agave, but as far as I can tell its flesh is not used in making the Mexican liquor. Sisal is grown instead for the fibers that run the length of its leaves. The fiber is used extensively for twine, rope, carpeting, wall coverings etc. My favorite application though, is in the construction of dartboards. Sisal takes its name from the port of Sisal in Yucatan, Mexico, once a major shipping point for sisal plants.

22. John who wrote "The French Lieutenant's Woman" : FOWLES
"The French Lieutenant's Woman" is a historical fiction novel by John Fowles that was first published in 1969. The novel was adapted into a very successful 1981 film of the same name by playwright Harold Pinter, starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.

24. Formerly : NEE
"Née" is the French word for "born" when referring to a female. The male equivalent is "né".

25. People for whom "tena koe" means "hello" : MAORIS
The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. The Māori are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting sometime in the late 13th century. The word "māori" simply means "normal", distinguishing the mortal human being from spiritual entities.

27. 401(k) employer matching contributions, e.g. : NON-WAGES
A 401(k) account is similar to an IRA in that contributions can be made from a paycheck prior to the deduction of income taxes. Additionally, contributions can be fully or partially matched by an employer.

30. Like CH3CO2H : ACETIC
Acetic acid has the formula CH3COOH, and is the main component of vinegar.

31. Nicktoons character : SPONGEBOB
SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon character in a television series. He first appeared in 1999, and lives in a pineapple under the sea.

34. Rigans, e.g. : LETTS
Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city's magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics. People from Latvia are called Letts.

38. Onetime Mideast org. : UAR
The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria made in 1958 and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

39. Cheese selection : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

40. Quite familiar : OLD HAT
The use of "old hat" to mean something "out of date" started about 1911. Before that, the term "old hat" meant something very different, and very vulgar. "Old hat" was the name given to a very private part of a woman, the idea being that it was "often felt" (as in a "felt hat"). I just don't know what to say ...

46. Rustic poems : IDYLS
An idyl is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word comes from the Greek "eidyllion", which literally translates to "little picture" but was a word describing a short, poem with a rustic theme.

51. Holy ___ : SEE
In the Roman Catholic Church, an episcopal see is the official seat of a bishop, and is usually described by the town or city where the bishop resides and has his cathedral. The most famous see in the church is called the Holy See, the episcopal see of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

52. Ready for publication : COPY EDIT
Copy editing is one of the last steps in the preparation of a publication. The process does not involve any changes to the substance of the text, but is focused on improving format, style and accuracy.

55. Trypanosome carrier : TSETSE
Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name "tsetse" comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as "fly". Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as "sleeping sickness". Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, and is also responsible for transmission of trypanosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic protozoan.

58. Red Cross letters : ABO
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

59. Guideposts : TENETS
A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

61. Cager who retired in 2011 : SHAQ
Shaquille O'Neal (aka “Shaq”) is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he's a big guy ... 7 foot 1 inch tall. Shaq retired in 2011 after a professional playing career that lasted 19 years.

64. Gad about : ROAM
"To gad about" is to move around with little purpose. The word “gad” comes from the Middle English "gadden" meaning "to hurry".

66. Part of the Australian coat of arms : EMU
The official symbol of Australia is a coat of arms that features a kangaroo and an emu.

67. Hosts : EMCEES
"Emcee" come from "MC", an acronym standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

68. Her "birthday" is Oct. 4, 2011 : SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett recently revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri.

69. Louis XIV, e.g. : ROI
Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings ("rois") of France and was known as the "Sun King" (le Roi Soleil"). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.

70. Much of Mauritania : SAHARA
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a country in North Africa, on the Atlantic coast. The country is named after the old Roman province of Mauretania, although the ancient province was located further north in what is now Morocco and part of Algeria.

71. Acid : LSD
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

72. Head-to-head contact, for short? : ESP
Extrasensory Perception (ESP)

Down
1. Mojo : CHARM
The word “mojo”, meaning magical charm or magnetism, is probably of Creole origin.

2. ___ vincit amor : OMNIA
"Omnia vincit amor" is a line from Eclogue X, one of the major works of the Latin poet Virgil. We know the phrase in English as "love conquers all".

6. O'Brien's Team ___ : COCO
Team Leno and Team Coco were the two “sides” in the so called “War for Late Night” of 2010.

The so called “War for Late Night” of 2010 involved Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno. O’Brien had stayed loyal to NBC on the understanding that he would take over “The Tonight Show” after Jay Leno retired. When Leno’s contract expired in 2009, NBC moved Leno aside, with his agreement, and O’Brien took over. But Leno then hosted a new spot in prime time called “The Jay Leno Show”, and apparently the two shows split the traditional late night audience, much to the annoyance of advertisers. NBC reacted by moving Leno back to the late night slot, and mayhem ensued!

10. Malay for "human" : ORANG
Orangutans are arboreal creatures, in fact the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, living in the rain forests. Like most species in rain forests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word "orangutan" is Malay, meaning "man of the forest".

11. Fray : MELEE
Our word “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means a "confused fight".

12. Bookends on shelves? : ESSES
“Shelves” has letters S (esses) as “bookends”, letters on each end of the word.

21. The Emerald Isle : ERIN
"Éire", is the Irish word for "Ireland". "Erin" is an anglicized version of "Éire" and actually corresponds to "Éirinn", the dative case of "Éire".

And of course Ireland is called the "Emerald Isle" because of all that green caused by all that rain.

23. Harvard University Press's ___ Classical Library : LOEB
The Loeb Classical Library is a series of works from Ancient Greek and Latin literature published by Harvard University Press. Each work includes a translation throughout, with the original language on the left page and the equivalent English on the right. The series takes its name from the philanthropist James Loeb who came up with the idea for the collection and providing the initial funding.

30. Bygone hoops org. : ABA
The American Basketball Association (ABA) was absorbed into the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976.

33. MS. recipients : EDS
Editors (eds.) can review a manuscript (MS).

36. Fleet vehicle : TAXI
We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

44. El Al hub city : LOD
The city of Lod lies just a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv, and is the home of Ben Gurion International, Israel's main airport.

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”.

47. ___ Capital : BAIN
Bain Capital is a private equity firm headquartered in the Hancock Building in Boston, Massachusetts. Bain Capital was in the news not so long ago, as one of the three founders was Governor Mitt Romney.

50. Black Sea port : ODESSA
The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as "Odessa" and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

The Black Sea is in southeastern Europe just south of Ukraine. In the north of the Black Sea is the Crimean Peninsula.

52. Cries uncle : CAVES
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!"

53. President whose initials "stink" : OBAMA
President Barack Obama has the initials “BO”. The acronym BO also stands for “body odor”.

55. Several Peters : TSARS
There were three tsars of Russia named Peter: Peter I (“the Great”), Peter II and Peter III.

56. Aegean island : SAMOS
Samos is an island in the eastern Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece. Samos is the birthplace of the famed mathematician Pythagoras, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Samos. The latter was the first person known to have proposed that the Earth revolves around the sun.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pen denizen : CON
4. Go ballistic? : ARC
7. In : AT HOME
13. Employee insurance plan, for short : HMO
14. Makeup of one of the homes of the Three Little Pigs : WOOD
16. Isn't piglike : SHARES
17. One putting out feelers : ANT
18. Wacko : LOCO
19. Rug fibers : SISALS
20. Commencement, e.g. : RITE
22. John who wrote "The French Lieutenant's Woman" : FOWLES
24. Formerly : NEE
25. People for whom "tena koe" means "hello" : MAORIS
27. 401(k) employer matching contributions, e.g. : NON-WAGES
29. Card : WIT
30. Like CH3CO2H : ACETIC
31. Nicktoons character : SPONGEBOB
34. Rigans, e.g. : LETTS
38. Onetime Mideast org. : UAR
39. Cheese selection : EDAM
40. Quite familiar : OLD HAT
41. Some records : FIRSTS
43. To-do : FLAP
45. PC file suffix : EXE
46. Rustic poems : IDYLS
47. Make some travel plans : BOOK A TRIP
49. On : ABOARD
51. Holy ___ : SEE
52. Ready for publication : COPY EDIT
55. Trypanosome carrier : TSETSE
58. Red Cross letters : ABO
59. Guideposts : TENETS
61. Cager who retired in 2011 : SHAQ
62. Jumps : VAULTS
64. Gad about : ROAM
66. Part of the Australian coat of arms : EMU
67. Hosts : EMCEES
68. Her "birthday" is Oct. 4, 2011 : SIRI
69. Louis XIV, e.g. : ROI
70. Much of Mauritania : SAHARA
71. Acid : LSD
72. Head-to-head contact, for short? : ESP

Down
1. Mojo : CHARM
2. ___ vincit amor : OMNIA
3. [ ] : NOT TO WORRY
4. Cobbler's tool : AWL
5. Skyline sights : ROOFS
6. O'Brien's Team ___ : COCO
7. Say so : ASSENT
8. [ ] : THIS WILL PASS
9. Eats : HAS
10. Malay for "human" : ORANG
11. Fray : MELEE
12. Bookends on shelves? : ESSES
15. Some bedcovers ... or, literally, what the four unclued answers are : DOWN COMFORTERS
21. The Emerald Isle : ERIN
23. Harvard University Press's ___ Classical Library : LOEB
26. [ ] : IT GETS BETTER
28. Killed, as a test : ACED
30. Bygone hoops org. : ABA
31. Muslim mystic : SUFI
32. Accountant's stamp : PAID
33. MS. recipients : EDS
35. [ ] : THERE THERE
36. Fleet vehicle : TAXI
37. Stride : STEP
40. Iowa's state tree : OAK
42. Do in, so to speak : SLAY
44. El Al hub city : LOD
47. ___ Capital : BAIN
48. Athletic supporters? : TEES
50. Black Sea port : ODESSA
52. Cries uncle : CAVES
53. President whose initials "stink" : OBAMA
54. Tobacco holder : POUCH
55. Several Peters : TSARS
56. Aegean island : SAMOS
57. Furnish : EQUIP
60. Labor : TOIL
63. Rustic locale : LEA
65. Prefix with century : MID-


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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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