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1214-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Dec 13, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Martin Ashwood-Smith
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 33m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ESO (Ese), FELIPPO (Felippe)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. 2015 Toronto event : PAN AM GAMES
The Pan American Games are held every four years, the year just before the Summer Olympic Games. The participating athletes all come from the Americas.

15. Protagonist in David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" : HAL
American author David Foster Wallace's most famous work was his 1996 novel "Infinite Jest". Wallace struggled with depression for about twenty years. Sadly, he ended up committing suicide in 2008 by hanging himself, when he was only 46 years old.

16. "Corpus Christi" playwright : TERRENCE MCNALLY
Terrence McNally is a playwright from St. Petersburg, Florida who was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. McNally actually wrote a play called “Corpus Christi” in 1997, a passion play based on the life of Jesus and the Apostles. The play was condemned by many when it opened due to its exploration of gay themes in Christianity. McNally even received death threats.

18. Ones united in France? : ETATS
“Les États-Unis d'Amérique” is what French speakers call “the United States of America”.

19. Manufacturer of boxy cars : OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the "safety elevator", a design that he showcased at the 1853 World's Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

21. Loose end? : -NESS
Looseness

22. "Return to Never Land" role : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie's play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook's pirates and is Hook's right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being "Irish" and "a man who stabbed without offence". Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

"Return to Never Land" is the 2002 Disney sequel to the 1953 animated feature “Peter Pan”. "Return to Never Land" wasn’t a great success, I am told, and I’ve never seen it …

23. Darkroom chemical solution : FIXER
In black and white photography, photographic film and paper both contain tiny silver halide crystals in a layer of emulsion. If the silver ion in the halide is exposed to light then it is converted from an ion into metallic silver. Visually there is no difference at this stage between the light-exposed and unexposed parts of the film/paper. When a liquid developer (such as amidol) is applied, then the metallic silver is reduced, turning the silver into metallic crystals that make up the dark areas of the exposed film or paper. A solution known as a “fixer” is then used to remove unexposed silver halide, hence rendering the image insensitive to further action by light.

26. U.S. city that's almost as large in area as Delaware : ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Anchorage, Alaska is the northernmost city in the US with over 100,000 residents (in fact it has a population close to 300,000). It is the state’s most populous city and is home to more than 40% of Alaska’s residents.

35. Part of a French cabinet : FOREIGN MINISTER
The Quai d’Orsay in Paris is a quay and street along the left bank of the River Seine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located there, and the French commonly use “Quai d’Orsay” as a nickname for the Ministry.

36. Jumbo, e.g. : TRAINED ELEPHANT
James Anthony Bailey collaborated with P. T. Barnum to establish Barnum and Bailey's Circus. It was Bailey who negotiated the deal to buy a famous elephant from London Zoo in 1882, the one called "Jumbo". It was the exposure that Jumbo got in the circus that brought into common usage our term "jumbo" meaning "huge".

37. Shpilkes : ANTS IN ONE’S PANTS
“Shpilkes” is a Yiddish word for “nervous energy, sitting on pins and needles”. The term is related to the Polish word “szpilka” meaning “pin”.

38. Certain shell contents : 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.

39. Joan Sebastian's "___ y Más" : ESO
Joan Sebastian is a popular Mexican singer-songwriter who has been featured regularly in the Mexican top-40 charts since 1977.

43. Miracle site : CANA
According to the Christian Bible, Cana is the place where Jesus performed his first public miracle. Jesus was attending a wedding feast with his mother when the party ran out of wine. Jesus turned water into wine, wine that was judged to be the best served at the feast.

45. Latin primer word : AMAT
"Amo, amas, amat” ... "I love, you love, he/she/it loves", in Latin.

50. Enterprise Klingon : WORF
in the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, Mr. Worf is one of the main characters. Work is a Klingon officer on the Enterprise, and is played by Michael Dorn. Worf is a unique character in the “Star Trek” franchise in that he also appeared regularly in another “Star Trek” show: “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.

52. Forrest Tucker's "F Troop" role : SERGEANT O'ROURKE
In the sixties sitcom “F Troop”, US Army Sergeant Morgan Sylvester O’Rourke was played by actor Forrest Tucker. Tucker had actually been a member of the US Army cavalry in real life, although he was discharged when his superiors discovered that he was actually underage.

Relatively few people outside of the US saw the American sitcom “F Troop”, which was made in the sixties. I remember watching the show as a young lad because it was picked up by the Irish national television service. The only other country that showed “F Troop” was Australia.

56. What solidifies things in the end? : RIGOR MORTIS
Rigor mortis is a stiffening of the human body that starts to set in 3-4 hours after death. The stiffening is caused by chemical changes in the muscles, which make the limbs difficult to move. The stiffness reaches a peak about 12 hours after death and then gradually eases over the following 12 hours. The name of the condition derives from the Latin “rigor” (stiffness) “mortis” (of death).

57. Member of the E Street Band : SAX
The E Street Band is the backing group for Bruce Springsteen. The band came together in 1972 but didn't take a formal name until two years later. The keyboard player in the original line up was David Sancious, and his mother allowed the group to rehearse at her home. That home was on E Street in Belmar, New Jersey, and that's where the band got their name.

Down
1. Golfer Calvin : PEETE
Calvin Peete was the most successful African American golfer on the PGA tour before Tiger Woods hit the circuit. Peete was a member of the Ryder Cup teams of 1983 and 1985.

2. Quattro relatives : ATRAS
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

Quattro (Italian for “four”) is a series of four-bladed safety razors made by Wilkinson Sword under the brand name Schick.

3. Quaint complaint : NERTS
“Nerts” is a slang term, a corruption of "nuts" and has the same meaning.

4. Husband of Otrera : ARES
Otrera was a Queen of the Amazons in Greek mythology, and the consort of Ares, the Greek god of war.

5. TV ad unit: Abbr. : MIN
Minute (min.)

6. Not cover one's butt? : GO COMMANDO
“To go commando”is a slang term meaning "to wear no underwear".

7. Formation from glaciation : ARETE
An arete is ridge of rock defining the border between two parallel valleys that have been formed by glaciation. If the ridge between the valleys is rounded, it is called a "col". However if it is "sharpened", with rock falling way due to successive freezing and thawing, then it is called an "arete". “Arête“ is the French word for "fish bone".

8. Former first lady : MAMIE
Mamie Eisenhower has to have been one of the most charming of all the First Ladies of the United States. Ms. Eisenhower suffered from an inner ear complaint called Ménière's disease which caused her to lose her balance quite often. Because she was unsteady on her feet there were unfounded rumors floating around Washington that Ms. Eisenhower had a drinking problem. People can be very unkind ...

10. When repeated, a breath freshener : SEN
Sen-Sen is a breath freshener that has been available for purchase since the late 1800s.

11. Jacob's-ladder, for one : PHLOX
Phlox is a genus of flowering plants found mainly in North America. The common name for the plant is Jacob’s Ladder.

12. Make a little lower? : CALVE
The cattle (calves) are lowing.

14. Tank gun first produced by the Soviets in W.W. II : D-TEN
The D-10 is a 100 mm tank gun that was developed by the Soviets towards the end of WWII.

17. Ottoman ruler nicknamed "The Lion" : ALI PASHA
Ali Pasha was an Ottoman ruler born in 1740 who died in 1822. Ali was known as “the Lion of Yannina”.

22. 19th-/20th-century U.S. portraitist : SARGENT
John Singer Sargent was an American artist, best known for his portrait painting. Sargent trained as an artist mainly in Paris, although he found that he had to leave the city after one of his paintings was deemed “scandalous” by French society. The work was “Portrait of Madame X” (1884), a painting of a noted lady in society that was considered too risque and sensual. After the painting was exhibited, his commissions dried up and Sargent moved to London in order to continue his career. Today the “Portrait of Madame X” is considered by many to be Sargent’s best work.

23. ___ Brunelleschi, Italian Renaissance architect who developed linear perspective : FILIPPO
Filippo Brunelleschi was an architect and engineer active during the Italian Renaissance. One of Brunelleschi’s most famous works is the magnificent dome of Florence Cathedral. That dome was the largest in the world for centuries, until the introduction of modern building materials.

25. 1958 41-Down by Samuel Barber : VANESSA
“Vanessa” is an opera by Samuel Barber that was first performed in 1958, in New York.

Samuel Barber was one of the most respected composers of 20th-century classical music. Barber’s most famous work is probably “Adagio for Strings”, a piece that has been used a lot in television and movies, including a memorable scene in the movie “Platoon”.

26. Mennen line : AFTA
Afta is an aftershave in the Mennen range of products that is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

27. Scandinavian goddess of fate : NORN
The Norns were female goddesses in Norse mythology. These female deities ruled the destiny of men. Sure, hasn’t it always been that way? Just kidding!!

28. Suffix with pluto- : CRAT
A plutocracy is a society in which a small minority of wealthy citizens dominate.

29. "Ocean's Eleven" activity : HEISTING
“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. The 2001 remake (Called “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.

30. Cagney classic of 1935 : G MEN
“G Men” is a 1935 crime drama starring James Cagney as a federal agent, a “G Man” (government man).

31. Big name in modeling agencies : EILEEN FORD
Ford Models is a New York modeling agency that founded in 1946 by married couple Eileen and Gerard W. Ford.

32. "South Park" boy : STAN
“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

33. The Garden of England : KENT
Kent is a county in the southeast of England. Kent is a little unusual in that it shares a "land" border with France. That border nominally exists halfway through the Channel Tunnel, one end of which comes to surface in the Kent port of Folkestone. Kent’s nickname is “the Garden of England”

41. 25-Down, for one : OPERA
The Latin for "work" is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”.

42. Common cleanser : BORAX
Borax is also known as sodium borate, and is a salt of boric acid. Borax is a white powder that dissolves easily in water. The compound has many uses, for example as an antifungal agent and an antiseptic.

43. Neighbor of Gabon : CONGO
The Republic of the Congo is a Central-African country. Prior to 1960, the country was a colony of France known as the French Congo.

44. Holder of Leia's secret : ARTOO
In the original “Star Wars” movie, the droid called R2-D2 was entrusted with a distress message from Princess Leia.

Artoo's proper name is R2-D2. R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the "Star Wars" movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the "Star Wars" movies.

45. Legend maker : ACURA
Acura is a division of the Honda Motor Company, and is Honda's luxury brand. Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

46. Cuban revolutionary José : MARTI
José Martí was a Cuban writer and political activist who became a symbol for his country’s movement to gain independence from Spain in the 1800s. Martí was killed in action in a battle against Spanish troops in 1895.

47. "Little Miss Sunshine" co-star : ARKIN
The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in "Little Miss Sunshine" from 2006, a movie that I just did not understand ...

48. Souvenir buys : TEES
Tees … t-shirts.

50. Keen : WAIL
“To keen” is to wail in lamentation. The word "keening" has its roots in Ireland, coming from the Irish word “caoinim” meaning “I weep, wail, lament”.

51. Flue problem : SOOT
The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that it is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition. When the fire is burning, flow through the flue should be more restricted. The flue needs to be open sufficiently to allow smoke and exhaust gases exit, but not too wide so that too much hot air escapes, dragging cold air into the house from elsewhere.

53. Literary inits. : ERB
Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB) was the creator of the “Tarzan” series of books.

"Tarzan" is the title character in the series of books created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The line "Me Tarzan, you Jane" never appeared in the books, and indeed doesn't even figure in the movies. Apparently Johnny Weissmuller (who played Tarzan in the thirties and forties) saw Maureen O'Sullivan ("Jane", to Weissmuller's "Tarzan") struggling with a suitcase in the parking lot during filming. He grabbed the bag from her, jokingly saying "Me Tarzan, you Jane", and people have been quoting those words ever since.

54. Real-estate listing abbr. : RMS
Room (rm.)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 2015 Toronto event : PAN AM GAMES
11. Office staples : PCS
14. Slide : DETERIORATE
15. Protagonist in David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" : HAL
16. "Corpus Christi" playwright : TERRENCE MCNALLY
18. Ones united in France? : ETATS
19. Manufacturer of boxy cars : OTIS
20. Treasure : LOVE
21. Loose end? : -NESS
22. "Return to Never Land" role : SMEE
23. Darkroom chemical solution : FIXER
24. Pickle : JAM
25. Big gun : VIP
26. U.S. city that's almost as large in area as Delaware : ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
35. Part of a French cabinet : FOREIGN MINISTER
36. Jumbo, e.g. : TRAINED ELEPHANT
37. Shpilkes : ANTS IN ONE’S PANTS
38. Certain shell contents : TNT
39. Joan Sebastian's "___ y Más" : ESO
40. Pull out all the stops : GO BIG
43. Miracle site : CANA
45. Latin primer word : AMAT
49. Hip to : UPON
50. Enterprise Klingon : WORF
51. Close call : SCARE
52. Forrest Tucker's "F Troop" role : SERGEANT O'ROURKE
55. X-___ large : TRA
56. What solidifies things in the end? : RIGOR MORTIS
57. Member of the E Street Band : SAX
58. Bit of forensic evidence : BLOODSTAIN

Down
1. Golfer Calvin : PEETE
2. Quattro relatives : ATRAS
3. Quaint complaint : NERTS
4. Husband of Otrera : ARES
5. TV ad unit: Abbr. : MIN
6. Not cover one's butt? : GO COMMANDO
7. Formation from glaciation : ARETE
8. Former first lady : MAMIE
9. List-ending abbrs. : ETCS
10. When repeated, a breath freshener : SEN
11. Jacob's-ladder, for one : PHLOX
12. Make a little lower? : CALVE
13. More artful : SLYER
14. Tank gun first produced by the Soviets in W.W. II : D-TEN
17. Ottoman ruler nicknamed "The Lion" : ALI PASHA
22. 19th-/20th-century U.S. portraitist : SARGENT
23. ___ Brunelleschi, Italian Renaissance architect who developed linear perspective : FILIPPO
24. Coupling : JOINING
25. 1958 41-Down by Samuel Barber : VANESSA
26. Mennen line : AFTA
27. Scandinavian goddess of fate : NORN
28. Suffix with pluto- : CRAT
29. "Ocean's Eleven" activity : HEISTING
30. Cagney classic of 1935 : G MEN
31. Big name in modeling agencies : EILEEN FORD
32. "South Park" boy : STAN
33. The Garden of England : KENT
34. Song and dance : ARTS
40. Flag wavers? : GUSTS
41. 25-Down, for one : OPERA
42. Common cleanser : BORAX
43. Neighbor of Gabon : CONGO
44. Holder of Leia's secret : ARTOO
45. Legend maker : ACURA
46. Cuban revolutionary José : MARTI
47. "Little Miss Sunshine" co-star : ARKIN
48. Souvenir buys : TEES
50. Keen : WAIL
51. Flue problem : SOOT
53. Literary inits. : ERB
54. Real-estate listing abbr. : RMS


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4 comments :

former anchoragite said...

Anchorage has a population of over 250 thousand.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Anchoragite.

Thanks for the clarification. I am off to amend my remark above.

I appreciate the help.

Kevin Quinn said...

Hi Bill,
Sorry I've been out of the loop. Glad to see you're still blogging away!

I was not familiar with that meaning of "keen" (despite my Irish name), nor am I a Trekkie, so I went with hAIL/hORF (even though I've seen that Klingon in the puzzle before...) as in "Hail (hale?) fellow, well met"...
Also, despite knowing more Yiddish than the average Texan gentile (I'm a bit of a language geek), I couldn't remember the meaning of "shpilkes" until a few crosses brought on the "aha-moment" (what a beautiful quad-stack of fifteens in the center!)

Have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Martin Ashwood-Smith's puzzles. Initial frustration usually yields to enjoyment and admiration as the puzzle's genius reveals itself.

Just thought I'd drop in and say "Hi". (and babble on a bit!)

Take care,

-Kevin Quinn

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kevin.

It's always good to hear from you, even if you're not a Trekkie. The Irish name will always get you in here :)

Mr. Ashwood-Smith is one of my favorite Fri/Sat puzzle constructors. I am a fan of themeless puzzles, and it's nice to have someone out there who makes them a specialty.

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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 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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