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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

1123-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 13, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Frederick J. Healy
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 23m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … SPICA (Speca), LITA (Lita), PENTE (Vente), PIAS (vias)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. It includes pinning and throwing : JUJITSU
Jujitsu (also “jiujitsu”) is a group of martial arts associated with Japan. The name "jujitsu" comes from "ju" meaning "gentle" and "jitsu" meaning "technique". The name was chosen to represent the principle of using the opponent's force against himself, rather than relying on one's own strength.

8. "Chicago" setting : JAZZ AGE
The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance ...

22. Reason for a semiannual shift: Abbr. : DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as "summer time". The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring and backwards in the fall so that afternoons have more daylight.

23. Skunk and such : FURS
Skunks have anal scent glands that can be used as defensive weapons. The glands produce sulfur-containing chemicals that have a really awful smell and that can irritate the eyes and skin.

24. Star in Virgo : SPICA
Spica is the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, and the 15th brightest star in the night sky. Spica is actually a "binary star", meaning that it is composed of two individual stars so close together that they cannot be resolved through a telescope. The two stars orbit each other every four days.

26. Check spec. : AMT
Amount (amt.)

27. Abyss : DEPTH
“Abyss”, meaning “deep chasm”, ultimately derives from the Greek “a-” (without) “byssos” (bottom).

28. Modern Persian : FARSI
"Farsi" is one of the local names for Persian, an Iranian language.

31. California's ___ Sea (rift lake) : SALTON
The Salton Sea is a lake lying directly on the San Andreas fault in Southern California. It is a rift lake, meaning that it formed as the result of ground subsiding along the fault line. The surface of the Salton Sea actually lies over 200 feet below sea level.

33. Billy who played the Phantom in "The Phantom" : ZANE
Billy Zane is an actor from Chicago, Illinois. One of Zane’s most prominent roles was the title character in the 1996 superhero film called “The Phantom”. He also played the somewhat creepy bad guy in the 1989 thriller movie called “Dead Calm”.

34. Person with small inventions : FIBBER
“To fib" is to "to tell a lie". The term likely comes from "fibble-fable" meaning "nonsense", itself derived from "fable".

37. Slam dunk stat : HANG TIME
In basketball, a player makes “slam dunk” by jumping up and powering the ball downward into the basket with his or her hands over the rim. The term “slam dunk” was coined by Chick Hearn, an announcer for the L.A. Lakers.

“Hang time” is the duration that an athlete stays in the air, perhaps when making a slam dunk in basketball.

42. They have seats : PANTS
The term “pants”, meaning trousers, is an abbreviated from of “pantaloons” that first appeared in the 1840s. Pantaloons were a kind of tights named for a silly old male character in Italian comedy called “Pantaloun” who always wore tight trousers over skinny legs.

43. Crew's director : COX
The coxswain of a boat is one in charge, particularly of its steering and navigation. The name is shortened to "cox" particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

45. "The Great Caruso" title role player : LANZA
"The Great Caruso" is a biopic released in 1951 that tells the life of the great tenor Enrico Caruso. The title role was played more than ably by Mario Lanza, and his performance helped lift the film to the top spot at the box office that year. Lanza had a very successful, but short career. He struggled with overeating and alcohol abuse, and died in 1959 at only 38 years of age.

46. Perpetual 10-year-old of TV : BART
Bart Simpson is the main character in television’s “The Simpsons”. Bart’s name was chosen by the writers as it is an anagram of “brat”.

47. Wile E. Coyote buy : TNT
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two, much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best ...

48. Too, to Thérèse : AUSSI
“Aussi” is French for “too, also”.

49. Board game with black and white stones : PENTE
Pente is a strategy board game based on the Japanese game called “ninuki-renju”. The game was created in 1977 by a dishwasher at an eatery called Hideaway Pizza in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The game was, and apparently still is, played by customers at their tables while waiting for their pizza to be served.

50. Pupil of Pissarro : CEZANNE
Paul Cézanne was a Post-Impressionist artist who was born and worked in the beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence in the South of France. Cézanne has the reputation of being the artist who bridged the late 19th century Impressionist movement with the early 20th century Cubist movement. Both Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso are quoted as saying that Cézanne “is the father of us all”.

Camille Pissarro was a French artist, noted for working in both the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist styles. As such, he is sometimes considered as a “father figure” for many of the famous Impressionist painters that admired him, including Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

54. First name among Italian explorers : AMERIGO
The name “America” of course comes from the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci made several voyages to the Americas, and he was the first man to show that Brazil and the West Indies were not part of Asia, but were in fact part of landmasses unknown up to that point.

57. Does some farrier's work on : RESHOES
Traditionally there has been a distinction between a farrier and a blacksmith. A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

Down
1. One feeling 15-Across after Super Bowl III : JETS FAN
Super Bowl I was played in January 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers emerged victorious in a game with a score of 35-10. That game was officially known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game, as the name “Super Bowl” wasn’t applied until two seasons later. That “first” Super Bowl is now known as Super Bowl III and was played between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Colts. The Jets came out on top.

2. Title name written "on the door of this legended tomb," in poetry : ULALUME
"Ulalume" is a poem written by Edgar Allen Poe in 1847. The poem's line "in the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir" is quoted in another respected work, Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire". Blanche Dubois says that her sister, Stella, lives "in the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir", a nod to "Ulalume".

3. Home of Southeast Asia's largest mosque : JAKARTA
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and is located on the northwest coast of the island of Java. The city’s name comes from “Jayakarta” meaning “complete victory”.

5. Colombian kinfolk : TIAS
In Spanish, an aunt (tia) is a member of the family (la familia).

7. Like the human genome, before the 1990s : UNMAPPED
The genome is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce an organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Every cell "knows" how to make a whole human being.

8. "St. John Passion" composer : J S BACH
During the Baroque Period, many composers composed musical settings for the story of the Passion of Christ. Bach himself wrote four or five, although only two survive today. One is the "St. John Passion", but the most famous and most often performed is the "St. Matthew Passion".

9. Now, to Nicolás : AHORA
"Ahora" is the Spanish for "now", as is “hoy día”.

10. Choice for a long shot : ZOOM
A zoom lens might be used to capture a long shot.

11. Sound in the comic "B.C." : ZOT
"B.C." is a comic strip that was drawn by Johnny Hart, and now since Hart's passing, is produced by his grandson. Hart introduced "B.C." in 1958. One of the non-human characters in the strip is the Anteater, who sucks up ants with his sticky tongue making a "ZOT!" sound. Hart's Anteater is the inspiration for Peter the Anteater, the team mascot for UC Irvine. Johnny Hart's other famous comic strip is the brilliant "The Wizard of Id".

14. Sitcom pal of Barbarino and Horshack : EPSTEIN
“Welcome Back, Kotter” was a sitcom from the late seventies. The title character was a teacher at Buchanan High, one Gabe Kotter who himself had attended the school as a student. Kotter was played by Gabe Kaplan. One of the prominent students in his class Vinnie Barbarino played by a young John Travolta, a role that launched his film career. In recent years you might have seen Gabe Kaplan as co-host of the popular show "High Stakes Poker" on GSN.

21. Grammy-nominated Ford : LITA
Lita Ford was the lead singer for The Runaways, later becoming famous for her solo work (never heard of her!).

24. No-yeast feast : SEDER
The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks "The Four Questions", all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:
- Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
- Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
- Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
- Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

30. They're off-limits: Var. : TABUS
The word "taboo" was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean". Cook described "tabu" (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

31. Pole star? : SANTA
Saint Nicholas of Myra is the inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now in modern-day Turkey) during the 4th century AD, and was known for being generous to the poor. Centuries after he died, his remains were desecrated by Italian sailors and moved to Bari in Italy. One legend has it that the relics were moved again centuries later and reburied in the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny in Ireland, where you can visit the grave today. I choose to believe that Santa Claus’s relics are indeed buried in Ireland …

33. Its main island is Unguja : ZANZIBAR
When the African countries of Zanzibar and Tanganyika merged in 1964, the resulting state was named the United Republic of Tanzania, with "Tanzania" being a portmanteau of "Zanzibar" and "Tanganyika".

34. Asset in a drag contest : FAST CAR
Back in the 18th century "drag" was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was "dragged" along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted drag as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to "drag racing". A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

35. Whence a girl who's "like a samba," in song : IPANEMA
Ipanema is a beach community in the south of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The name Ipanema is a local word meaning "bad water", signifying that the shore is bad for fishing. The beach became famous on release of the song "The Girl from Ipanema" written in 1965.

36. Member of 31-Down's team : BLITZEN
We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:
- Dasher
- Dancer
- Prancer
- Vixen
- Comet
- Cupid
- Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
- Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)
Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

37. Geiger of Geiger counter fame : HANS
Hans Geiger was the German physicist who co-invented the Geiger counter, which detects and measures ionizing radiation like alpha and beta particles and gamma rays.

39. Recess for a joint : MORTISE
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. The mortise is the "hole" and the tenon is the "projection".

42. Leisurely strolls : PASEOS
A paseo is a slow stroll or walk taken outdoors. The term comes from the Spanish “pasear” meaning “to take a stroll”.

45. It's often parried : LUNGE
“Parry” and “lunge” are terms used in fencing.

48. Indigo source : ANIL
Anil is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name for the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue.

49. Spinal cord surrounders : PIAS
"Pia mater" is Latin, and means "tender mother". It is the name given to the mesh-like envelope that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The pia mater brings blood to some of the exterior parts of the brain, and provides physical support for larger blood vessels passing over the brain's surface.

51. Rescue vessel? : ARK
The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah's life-preserver during the flood.

53. Relative of Aztec : UTE
The Uto-Aztecan language family consists of about 30 languages spoken in the Western United States and Mexico. Included in the list of Uto-Aztecan languages is Ute, Comanche and Hopi.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. It includes pinning and throwing : JUJITSU
8. "Chicago" setting : JAZZ AGE
15. Rapture : ELATION
16. Skyrocket : SHOOT UP
17. Prepare to pull the trigger : TAKE AIM
18. Couple seen at a baby shower : BOOTEES
19. Hard knocks : SLAMS
20. It might hold up a holdup : ALARM
22. Reason for a semiannual shift: Abbr. : DST
23. Skunk and such : FURS
24. Star in Virgo : SPICA
25. Aid in getting a grip : VISE
26. Check spec. : AMT
27. Abyss : DEPTH
28. Modern Persian : FARSI
29. "That's clever!" : NEAT IDEA!
31. California's ___ Sea (rift lake) : SALTON
32. Got a 41-Across on : ACED
33. Billy who played the Phantom in "The Phantom" : ZANE
34. Person with small inventions : FIBBER
37. Slam dunk stat : HANG TIME
41. Benchmark mark : A-PLUS
42. They have seats : PANTS
43. Crew's director : COX
44. "Que ___-je?" ("What do I know?": Fr.) : SAIS
45. "The Great Caruso" title role player : LANZA
46. Perpetual 10-year-old of TV : BART
47. Wile E. Coyote buy : TNT
48. Too, to Thérèse : AUSSI
49. Board game with black and white stones : PENTE
50. Pupil of Pissarro : CEZANNE
52. Like many laptop cameras : BUILT-IN
54. First name among Italian explorers : AMERIGO
55. With ramifications : AT A COST
56. Galls : RANKLES
57. Does some farrier's work on : RESHOES

Down
1. One feeling 15-Across after Super Bowl III : JETS FAN
2. Title name written "on the door of this legended tomb," in poetry : ULALUME
3. Home of Southeast Asia's largest mosque : JAKARTA
4. News briefs : ITEMS
5. Colombian kinfolk : TIAS
6. "___ see" : SO I
7. Like the human genome, before the 1990s : UNMAPPED
8. "St. John Passion" composer : J S BACH
9. Now, to Nicolás : AHORA
10. Choice for a long shot : ZOOM
11. Sound in the comic "B.C." : ZOT
12. Groveled : ATE DIRT
13. Tepid consent : GUESS SO
14. Sitcom pal of Barbarino and Horshack : EPSTEIN
21. Grammy-nominated Ford : LITA
24. No-yeast feast : SEDER
25. Parking meeter? : VALET
27. Cuts up : DICES
28. Adder's defense : FANGS
30. They're off-limits: Var. : TABUS
31. Pole star? : SANTA
33. Its main island is Unguja : ZANZIBAR
34. Asset in a drag contest : FAST CAR
35. Whence a girl who's "like a samba," in song : IPANEMA
36. Member of 31-Down's team : BLITZEN
37. Geiger of Geiger counter fame : HANS
38. "You're not the only one!" : I CAN TOO!
39. Recess for a joint : MORTISE
40. Reaches : EXTENTS
42. Leisurely strolls : PASEOS
45. It's often parried : LUNGE
46. Impolite interruption : BELCH
48. Indigo source : ANIL
49. Spinal cord surrounders : PIAS
51. Rescue vessel? : ARK
53. Relative of Aztec : UTE


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6 comments :

Anonymous said...

Note the NY Times spelling mistake on the Unguja question - 33 down - the print copy said "Unjuga"...

Bill Butler said...

Thanks for pointing that out. I solve the crossword online, so wasn't aware of the issue.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. After a little googling, it seems to me that Unjuga and Unguja are interchangeable. Any thoughts?

Bill Butler said...

After seeing your comment, I did a bit of checking myself on Unjuga/Unguja. I didn't find any definitive source saying that the two spellings are interchangeable, but both spellings are out there, for sure.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill. I appreciate your dedication to your site.(DAB)

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, DAB.

Thank you so much. I appreciate it :)

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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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