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Greetings from Las Vegas, Nevada (again!)

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 strenuos hike today in Red Rock Canyon outside Vegas in 100-degree weather, complete with a touch of heatstroke (scary), and saw the Cirque de Soleil show "Zarkana" this evening (amazing, as all Cirque shows are).

Bill

1125-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Nov 13, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin G. Der
THEME: Bumper Stickers … today’s themed answers are words that start commonly seen bumper stickers:
20A. Start of a bumper sticker that may end with one's favorite vacation spot : I’D RATHER BE IN ...
29A. Start of a bumper sticker that may end with one's favorite hobby : HONK IF YOU LOVE ...
45A. Start of a bumper sticker that may end with one's favorite (usually expensive) vehicle : MY OTHER CAR IS A ...
54A. Start of a bumper sticker that may end with one's favorite attraction : WILL BRAKE FOR ...
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 04m 57s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Tiny arachnid ... or tiny amount : MITE
Mites are tiny arthropods in the arachnid (spider) class. Mites are (annoyingly!) very successful creatures that have adapted to all sorts of habitats, and being so small, they generally pass unnoticed. Ick ...

A mite is a small amount, as in "the widow's mite", a story from the Bible.

15. Wild mountain goat : IBEX
Ibex is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

17. Italian city with a semiannual fashion week : MILAN
Milan is Italy's second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city's reputation in the world of fashion.

19. ___ Krabappel of "The Simpsons" : EDNA
In “the Simpsons” television show, Bart Simpson’s teacher is one Edna Krabappel.

23. Spanish hero El ___ : CID
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as "The Champion" or perhaps "The Lord, Master of Military Arts". El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, making it is headquarters and home. He died there, quite peacefully in 1099.

26. ___ Xing (street sign) : PED
Pedestrian crossing (Ped Xing)

27. Cheer for a torero : OLE
"Toreador" is an old Spanish word for a bullfighter, but it's a term not used any more in Spain nor in Latin America. In English we use the term "toreador", but in Spanish a bullfighter is a "torero". A female bullfighter in a “torera”.

38. Condé ___ (magazine company) : NAST
Condé Nast has a very large portfolio of publications, including "Vogue", "GQ", "House and Garden", "Golf Digest", "Wired", "Vanity Fair" and "The New Yorker".

41. Slugger Carlos : PENA
Carlos Peña is a professional baseball player from the Dominican Republic.

42. Buzzing pest : GNAT
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

43. Chapel Hill sch. : UNC
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill started enrolling students way back in 1795, making it the oldest public university in the country (the first to enrol students).

49. Piece of stage equipment : AMP
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

59. Madison and Fifth, e.g.: Abbr. : AVES
Madison Avenue became the center of advertising in the US in the twenties, and serves as the backdrop to the great TV drama “Mad Men”. There aren’t many advertising agencies left on Madison Avenue these days though, as most have moved to other parts of New York City. The street takes its name from Madison Square, which is bounded on one side by Madison Avenue. The square in turn takes its name from James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

64. Casino game with numbered balls : KENO
The name "Keno" has French or Latin roots, with the French "quine" being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin "quini" meaning "five each". The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

67. Small fractions of joules : ERGS
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. "Erg" comes from the Greek word "ergon" meaning "work". A dyne is a unit of force. The name "dyne" comes from the Greek "dynamis" meaning "power, force". Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

James Joule was an English physicist who spent much of his life working in the family brewing business. Joule used his work in the brewery to study the relationship between heat and mechanical work. In honor of his achievements, his name is used for the unit of energy in the International System of Units (i.e. the joule).

Down
2. Inventor Whitney : ELI
The inventor Eli Whitney is a best known for inventing the cotton gin. Whitney also came up with the important concept of “interchangeable parts”. Parts that are interchangeable can be swapped out of equipment or perhaps used in related designs.

8. Place to sip oolong : TEA HOUSE
The name for the Chinese tea called "oolong" translates into English as "black dragon".

10. Commoner : PLEB
“Plebe” is a slang term for a freshman in the US military and naval academies. Plebe is probably short for "plebeian", the name given to someone of the common class in Ancient Rome (as opposed to a Patrician). "Pleb" is a shortened version of plebeian, and is a term used outside of the military schools.

22. Vintage car inits. : REO
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom E. Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

23. Former tennis pro Michael : CHANG
Michael Chang is a former American professional tennis player, best remembered for his win at the 1989 French Open at the age of 17 years.

24. Des Moines native : IOWAN
The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French "Riviere des Moines" meaning "River of the Monks". It looks like there isn't any "monkish" connection to the city's name per se. "Des Moines" was just the name given by French traders who corrupted "Moingona", the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

30. Poker pot : KITTY
The "pot" in a card game has been referred to as the kitty since the 1880s. It's not certain how the name "kitty" evolved but possibly it came from "kit", the necessary equipment for the game.

31. 1/16 of a pound : OUNCE
Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”.

36. Jewish turnover : KNISH
A knish is a snack food from Germany and Eastern Europe made popular in the US by Jewish immigrants. A knish has a filling often made of mashed potato and ground meat, covered by a dough that is baked or fried.

37. 4-Down skewered meat dish : SATAY
The dish known as “satay” originated in Java, Indonesia and is marinated pieces of meat served on a skewer in a sauce, often a spicy peanut sauce.

47. ___ monkey : RHESUS
The Rhesus macaque is also known as the Rhesus monkey. As it is widely available and is close to humans anatomically and physically, the Rhesus macaque has been used in scientific research for decades. The Rhesus monkey was used in the development of rabies, smallpox and polio vaccines, and it also gave its name to the Rhesus factor that is used in blood-typing. It was also Rhesus monkeys that were launched into space by the US and Soviet space programs. Humans and macaques share about 93% of their DNA and had a common ancestor about 25 million years ago.

55. Vientiane's land : LAOS
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, situated on the famous Mekong River. The city was originally called the "city of sandalwood" by Buddhist monks, naming after the valued trees that grew in the area. The French took the Pali words for "city of sandalwood" and rewrote it as the French-sounding "Vientiane".

56. Clark ___, alter ego of Superman : KENT
Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Remarks not made seriously : JESTS
6. Tiny arachnid ... or tiny amount : MITE
10. Greek letters resembling tridents : PSIS
14. Hawaiian greeting : ALOHA
15. Wild mountain goat : IBEX
16. ___ trap (part of a dryer) : LINT
17. Italian city with a semiannual fashion week : MILAN
18. Big jump : LEAP
19. ___ Krabappel of "The Simpsons" : EDNA
20. Start of a bumper sticker that may end with one's favorite vacation spot : I'D RATHER BE IN ...
23. Spanish hero El ___ : CID
26. ___ Xing (street sign) : PED
27. Cheer for a torero : OLE
28. Mattress site : BED
29. Start of a bumper sticker that may end with one's favorite hobby : HONK IF YOU LOVE ...
33. Expect : AWAIT
34. Employ : USE
35. Pens' contents : INKS
38. Condé ___ (magazine company) : NAST
39. Penalized for a driving violation, say : FINED
41. Slugger Carlos : PENA
42. Buzzing pest : GNAT
43. Chapel Hill sch. : UNC
44. Prove appropriate for : BEFIT
45. Start of a bumper sticker that may end with one's favorite (usually expensive) vehicle : MY OTHER CAR IS A ...
49. Piece of stage equipment : AMP
51. Wish undone : RUE
52. Possessed : HAD
53. "Love ___ neighbor ..." : THY
54. Start of a bumper sticker that may end with one's favorite attraction : WILL BRAKE FOR ...
58. Where Tibet is : ASIA
59. Madison and Fifth, e.g.: Abbr. : AVES
60. College student's concentration : MAJOR
64. Casino game with numbered balls : KENO
65. Restaurant window display : MENU
66. Circumvent : EVADE
67. Small fractions of joules : ERGS
68. Tiny colony dwellers : ANTS
69. Geeklike : NERDY

Down
1. Alternative to jelly : JAM
2. Inventor Whitney : ELI
3. Note after fa : SOL
4. Spicy ethnic food : THAI
5. Hole dug on a beach : SANDPIT
6. Term of address for a noblewoman : MILADY
7. Sarcastic reply : I BET
8. Place to sip oolong : TEA HOUSE
9. Kicked out : EXPELLED
10. Commoner : PLEB
11. Secondary advantage : SIDE BENEFIT
12. Concave belly button : INNIE
13. Be upright : STAND
21. Hoops official : REF
22. Vintage car inits. : REO
23. Former tennis pro Michael : CHANG
24. Des Moines native : IOWAN
25. Gathering of biological evidence after an arrest : DNA SAMPLING
30. Poker pot : KITTY
31. 1/16 of a pound : OUNCE
32. Venomous snake : VIPER
36. Jewish turnover : KNISH
37. 4-Down skewered meat dish : SATAY
39. Comedy Central cartoon set in the year 3000 : FUTURAMA
40. Beyond elated : IN HEAVEN
44. Troubling sign of things to come : BAD OMEN
46. Celestial body : ORB
47. ___ monkey : RHESUS
48. Half-___ (latte order) : CAF
49. No longer sleeping : AWAKE
50. Stingy sort : MISER
55. Vientiane's land : LAOS
56. Clark ___, alter ego of Superman : KENT
57. Four-star review : RAVE
61. Jelly container : JAR
62. Strange : ODD
63. King: Sp. : REY


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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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