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I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

1203-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Dec 13, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Phil Ruzbarsky
THEME: Riding Gear … today’s themed answers start with an item of horse tack, an item of equestrian equipment:
17A. Bobbysoxer's footwear : SADDLE SHOES
24A. Sleeveless garment : HALTER TOP
37A. Impromptu : SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT
47A. Nestlé bar : BIT O'HONEY
57A. The signs in the movie "Signs" : CROP CIRCLES
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Latch (onto) : GLOM
“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.

5. Shin-related : TIBIAL
The tibia is the shin bone, the larger of the two bones right below the knee. The tibia is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. "Tibia" is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

11. "Mad Men" output : ADS
If you haven't seen the AMC show "Mad Men" then I urge you to go buy the first season on DVD and allow yourself to get addicted. It is a great series set in the sixties, telling all that goes on in and around the advertising business on Madison Avenue in New York City. It brings you right back to the days of three-martini lunches, office affairs, and chain-smoking of cigarettes. Great stuff ...

14. Premium brand of the Volkswagen Group : AUDI
The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch's young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that "Horch" was German for "hear" and he suggested "Audi" as a replacement, the Latin for "listen".

15. National color of the Netherlands : ORANGE
Orange is the national color of the Netherlands, and is the color of the Dutch Royal Family. The Royal Family traces its heritage back to William of Orange. The Principality of Orange was a feudal state in the south of modern-day France, and indeed Orange is now a commune in Provence.

17. Bobbysoxer's footwear : SADDLE SHOES
Saddle shoes are those two-tones shoes (usually black and white) that were worn particularly by young women with poodle skirts and bobby socks in the fifties. The name comes from the dark (black) "saddle" of leather that goes over the top of the shoe, in which the eyelets for the laces are inserted. Saddle shoes didn't make it to Ireland, but bell-bottoms certainly did …

Bobby socks (or “bobby sox”) are so called because they are shorter than knee socks, they are “bobbed”, shortened, as in a bob haircut.

19. Presidential nickname : ABE
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, elected in 1860 as the first president from the Republican Party. Lincoln’s electoral support came almost exclusively from the north and west of the country, winning only two out 996 counties in the Southern slave states. Lincoln led the country through Civil War, and then was assassinated in 1865 just a few days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia. President Lincoln was succeeded in office by Vice President Andrew Johnson.

23. Toledo Mud Hens' class : AAA
The Toledo Mud Hens are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Detroit Tigers.

26. "I had not thought death had undone so ___": "The Waste Land" : MANY
Eliot wrote his poem called "The Waste Land" in 1922. “The Waste Land” opens with the famous line, "April is the cruelest month ...".

28. Mater ___ (the Virgin Mary) : DEI
“Mater Dei” translates from Latin as “Mother of God”.

30. The S.E.C. regulates it : IPO
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

The US Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) enforces federal securities laws and regulates the securities industry. The SEC was created by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The first Chairman of the SEC was Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., the father of future President Kennedy.

42. Cliff ___, 2008 Cy Young Award winner : LEE
Cliff Lee is a baseball pitcher who turns out for the Philadelphia Phillies. Lee won the Cy Young Award in 2008 when he was playing for the Cleveland Indians.

43. U.P.S. unit: Abbr. : CTN
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky.

45. One likely to go [hic!] : SOT
Our word "sot" comes from the Old English "sott", meaning a fool. The word "sot" started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

46. ___ Kadiddlehopper (Red Skelton character) : CLEM
Red Skelton was an American comedian who started out in show business as a teenager working with the circus. Skelton had a very successful career on radio before moving to television in the early fifties. His popularity only began to fade in the early seventies, when he had difficulty appealing to younger audiences. Skelton spent less time performing in his latter years, and turned to his other great love ... painting.

47. Nestlé bar : BIT-O-HONEY
Bit-O-Honey is a candy bar consisting of pieces of almond in a honey-flavored taffy. Bit-O-Honey has been around since 1924.

51. ___ alai : JAI
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a kind blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball. That said, I did catch one once as a teenager, after a wayward drive bounced on a roadway and was heading for my face ...

56. Cubs' and Eagles' org. : BSA
As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910.

57. The signs in the movie "Signs" : CROP CIRCLES
Don't believe what you hear. Crop circles are hoaxes ...

:Signs” is a very entertaining 2002 sci-fi thriller written and directed by M. Knight Shyamalan. The film stars Mel Gibson as a former priest who finds crop circles in his cornfield, and becomes convinced that the circles are the work of extraterrestrials.

60. Contraction in "The Star-Spangled Banner" : O’ER
The words "o'er the rampart we watched" come from "The Star Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with the Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

62. Modern prefix meaning "super" : UBER-
“Uber” is the German word for "over".

64. Much H. L. Mencken output : ESSAYS
H. L. Mencken was a journalist and essayist from Baltimore. Mencken reported on the Scopes trial of 1925 and was the writer who dubbed it the “Monkey Trial”.

65. Professional filibusterers: Abbr. : SENS
A filibuster is a procedure used in parliamentary circles whereby someone extends a debate in order to prevent a vote taking place. The use of the filibuster has led to most legislation needing a 60% vote in order to come the floor of the US Senate. At least that has been the case since 1975. The filibuster was an option in the US House as well until 1842, at which time a rule was introduced that limits the duration of a debate.

Down
2. Pig-out party? : LUAU
Nowadays the word "luau" denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of "poi", the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.

4. When Armed Forces Day falls : MID-MAY
Armed Forces Day is celebrated in the US on the third Saturday of May, and has been done so since 1950. Canadian Forces Day is the first Sunday in June.

6. Bureau of the Dept. of the Treasury : IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

7. "___, humbug!" : BAH
The classic 1843 novella "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to the popular use of "Merry Christmas", and secondly it gave us the word "scrooge" meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that the character Scrooge was fond of using the now famous line "Bah! Humbug!".

8. How French fries are fried : IN OIL
“French fries” are of course called “chips” back in the British Isles where I grew up. In France, they’re called “pommes frites” (“fried potatoes”).

10. One low in a pantheon : LESSER GOD
A “pantheon” is the set of all gods in a particular religion or mythology. The term comes from the Greek “pan” (all) “theon” (of gods). A pantheon is also the name given to a temple dedicated to all deities.

12. Certain guitar : DOBRO
“Dobro” is now used as a generic term for a resonator guitar, and was originally a brand name. A resonator guitar is an acoustic design, with a metal cone replacing the traditional wooden soundboard.

22. King killed in the sack of Troy : PRIAM
Priam was king of Troy during the Trojan War. Reputedly, Priam was father to fifty sons and many daughters with his many wives. His eldest son and heir to the throne was Hector. Pairs was another of Priam’s sons, the man who caused the Trojan War by eloping with Helen, Queen of Sparta.

24. Candy bar brand : HEATH
The Heath candy bar is the invention of brothers Bayard and Everett Heath in the 1920s.

26. Sushi bar soup : MISO
Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus (!) to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

28. Rapper Mos ___ : DEF
Mos Def is the stage name of actor and rapper Dante Terrell Smith-Bay. Mos Def is one of the few rap stars who is really making a name for himself in the world of movies. He received critical acclaim for roles in 2003's "The Italian Job" , 2005's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and a featured role in an episode of television's "House".

31. Odontalgia : TOOTHACHE
“Odontalgia” is another name for “toothache”, and is the Greek word for the condition.

32. India's ___ Rebellion, 1857-59 : SEPOY
A sepoy was a native-Indian soldier loyal to a European power, usually Britain. In 1857, a group of sepoys in the town of Meerut in Indian mutinied in the face of racial injustice. In those days the country was actually ruled by a private company, the British East India Company. But as a result of the Sepoy Rebellion, the British Crown stepped in and took over government, marking the end of the "Company Raj" and the beginning of the British Raj.

38. Scout's job, informally : RECON
A scout engages in reconnaissance (recon).

39. ___Life : MET
MetLife is the familiar name for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. MetLife was founded way back in 1868, and is headquartered in New York City.

44. N.H.L.'s James ___ Memorial Trophy : NORRIS
The James Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded to the top defensive player in the NHL each year, based on votes by members of the professional Hockey Writers' Association. Bobby Orr won the award every single season from 1967-1975.

46. Political assembly : CAUCUS
A “caucus” is a meeting of supporters of a particular political group. It is believed that the term was first used in the original North American colonies.

47. Some jazz : BEBOP
"Be-Bop-A-Lula" is an early rock and roll song, recorded in 1956 by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps. The unusual name is probably related to the song "Be-Baba-Leba" recorded just over ten years earlier, in 1945 by Helen Humes. Both these titles derive from a similar sounding phrase common in jazz circles in the forties, which gave the name to the "bebop" style of music. And the original jazz term "bebop" probably came from "Arriba! Arriba!", words of encouragement from Latin American bandleaders to their musicians.

49. Ivan IV and V : TSARS
The Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan IV, became known as Ivan the Terrible. The name "terrible" is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is "Grozny", which is more akin to "strict" and "powerful" rather than "cruel" or "abominable".

Peter I and Ivan V were half-brothers who serves as joint Tsars of Russia between the years 1682 and 1696. Peter was the most influential of the duo by far, and after Ivan died Peter went on to bring Russia into a new age earning himself the moniker Peter the Great.

50. Old Dodge compacts : NEONS
The Neon was made by Chrysler from 1994 to 2005. It was introduced to the rest of the world as the Chrysler Neon, but was sold under the Dodge and Plymouth brands in the US.

53. Conniptions : FITS
A conniption, or more commonly a conniption fit, is a bout of violent anger or panic.

55. Ukr., Est. and Lith., once : SSRS
Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR)

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English we often call the country “the" Ukraine, but I am told that we should just say "Ukraine".

Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea, due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

58. Elhi support grp. : PTA
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

"Elhi" is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

59. Small, low island : CAY
A "key" (also "cay") is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish "cayo" meaning "shoal, reef".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Latch (onto) : GLOM
5. Shin-related : TIBIAL
11. "Mad Men" output : ADS
14. Premium brand of the Volkswagen Group : AUDI
15. National color of the Netherlands : ORANGE
16. Blow away : WOW
17. Bobbysoxer's footwear : SADDLE SHOES
19. Presidential nickname : ABE
20. Made a perfect engine sound : HUMMED
21. Draw a breath : INSPIRE
23. Toledo Mud Hens' class : AAA
24. Sleeveless garment : HALTER TOP
26. "I had not thought death had undone so ___": "The Waste Land" : MANY
28. Mater ___ (the Virgin Mary) : DEI
29. Hindu honorific : SRI
30. The S.E.C. regulates it : IPO
31. Goes fast : TEARS
33. Gapes : GAWKS
37. Impromptu : SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT
40. Bone: Prefix : OSTEO-
41. Wished : HOPED
42. Cliff ___, 2008 Cy Young Award winner : LEE
43. U.P.S. unit: Abbr. : CTN
45. One likely to go [hic!] : SOT
46. ___ Kadiddlehopper (Red Skelton character) : CLEM
47. Nestlé bar : BIT-O-HONEY
51. ___ alai : JAI
52. Trap : ENSNARE
53. Bad serves : FAULTS
56. Cubs' and Eagles' org. : BSA
57. The signs in the movie "Signs" : CROP CIRCLES
60. Contraction in "The Star-Spangled Banner" : O’ER
61. Allude to : HINT AT
62. Modern prefix meaning "super" : UBER-
63. Score tally: Abbr. : PTS
64. Much H. L. Mencken output : ESSAYS
65. Professional filibusterers: Abbr. : SENS

Down
1. Laceration : GASH
2. Pig-out party? : LUAU
3. One that doesn't belong : ODD MAN OUT
4. When Armed Forces Day falls : MID-MAY
5. Steel-___ boots : TOED
6. Bureau of the Dept. of the Treasury : IRS
7. "___, humbug!" : BAH
8. How French fries are fried : IN OIL
9. Some are secret, and some are special : AGENTS
10. One low in a pantheon : LESSER GOD
11. Anticipate : AWAIT
12. Certain guitar : DOBRO
13. Win four out of four, say : SWEEP
18. Meadow : LEA
22. King killed in the sack of Troy : PRIAM
24. Candy bar brand : HEATH
25. Line to fill a tire : AIR HOSE
26. Sushi bar soup : MISO
27. Computer downloads, informally : APPS
28. Rapper Mos ___ : DEF
31. Odontalgia : TOOTHACHE
32. India's ___ Rebellion, 1857-59 : SEPOY
34. "Who'da thought?!" : WELL I’LL BE!
35. Lower end of the strike zone : KNEE
36. Mushroom piece : STEM
38. Scout's job, informally : RECON
39. ___Life : MET
44. N.H.L.'s James ___ Memorial Trophy : NORRIS
46. Political assembly : CAUCUS
47. Some jazz : BEBOP
48. Many a map of Hawaii : INSET
49. Ivan IV and V : TSARS
50. Old Dodge compacts : NEONS
51. Shake : JAR
53. Conniptions : FITS
54. High schooler, typically : TEEN
55. Ukr., Est. and Lith., once : SSRS
58. Elhi support grp. : PTA
59. Small, low island : CAY


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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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