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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth 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

1215-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Dec 13, Sunday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen
THEME: A Cut Above the Rest … some answers today are written like a string of identical letters, the letters C, U and T. These strings of letters “sound like” the actual answer to the clue e.g. 1A: Oceans = SEAS sounds like CCCCCC, Razz = TEASE sounds like TTTTT. I’ve highlighted the CCCCC, UUUUU and TTTTT answers in green, so that we can see the word CUT spelled out at the top of the grid. This is a CUT above the rest of the themed answers, those in the down-direction that are phrases meaning CUT:
1A. Oceans : CCCCC (sounds like “seas”)
31A. Espies : CCCCC (sounds like “sees”)
1D. Grab : CCCCC (sounds like “seize”)

33A. Profit from : UUUUU (sounds like “use”)
8D. Farm females : UUUUU (sounds like “ewes”)
11D. Trees with poisonous seeds : UUUUU (sounds like “yews”)

14A. Razz : TTTTT (sounds like “tease”)
16D. Aids for long drives : TTTTT (sounds like “tees”)

36D. [See above] : PIECE OF THE ACTION (cut)
42D. [See above] : KICKED OFF THE TEAM (cut)
71D. [See above] : PLAYED HOOKY (cut)
75D. [See above] : SNIDE REMARK (cut)
80D. [See above] : ALBUM TRACK (cut)
81D. [See above] : EDITED DOWN (cut)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 32m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. "The Clan of the Cave Bear" novelist : AUEL
"The Clan of the Cave Bear" is the first in the “Earth’s Children” series of novels by Jean Auel, a series that is set in prehistoric times.

As Jean Auel prepared her first book in the “Earth’s Children” series, she did a lot of research about the Ice Age, the setting for her stories. She went as far as taking a survival course in cold conditions, learning to build an ice cave and how to make fire, tan leather and knap stone.

19. Tennis's Goran Ivanisevic, e.g. : CROAT
Goran Ivanišević is a Croatian tennis player, noted for having perhaps the strongest service in the game. His best placing in the world ranking was No. 2, in 1994.

21. Torch-lit event : 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.

A tiki torch is a bamboo torch that's very commonly used in Tiki culture. Tiki culture is a relatively modern invention dating from the 20th century, and is the experience created in Polynesian-style restaurants. The word "Tiki" is borrowed from Polynesia.

22. River of forgetfulness in Hades : LETHE
The Lethe is one of the five rivers of Hades in Greek mythology. All the souls who drank from the river Lethe experienced complete forgetfulness. The Greek word “lethe” means “oblivion, forgetfulness”.

23. Iron Age people : CELTS
The Celts were a very broad group of people across Europe, linked by common languages. The Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the "Celtic identity" is alive and well in the British Isles. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in France..

24. It has nine rooms : CLUE
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as "Cluedo". Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it's a fabulous game, a must during the holidays ...

25. Ottoman : TURK
The Ottoman Dynasty was named for its founder, Osman I. The term “Ottoman” comes from the name “Osman”. The "Ottoman Empire" was really established with the conquest of Constantinople, and that didn't happen until almost 130 years after Osman I died.

27. Collectors of DNA : CSIS
Crime scene investigator (CSI)

30. Some basketball players: Abbr. : CTRS
Center (ctr.)

35. Lab safety org.? : ASPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no "umbrella" organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

The Labrador breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s.

39. 3-D pic : MRI
A CT (or "CAT") scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn't like the term "nuclear" because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it's just called MRI.

40. Diner fixtures, informally : JUKES
Although coin-operated music players had been around for decades, the term "juke box" wasn't used until about 1940. "Juke box" derives from a Gullah word, the language of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. In Gullah, a "juke joint", from "juke" or "joog" meaning "rowdy, wicked", was an informal establishment where African Americans would gather and for some music, dancing, gambling and drinking. The coin-operated music players became known as "juke boxes".

46. Canon offering : EOS
I've been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

51. Sitcom ET : ALF
“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. ALF is a hand-puppet, supposedly an alien that crash-landed in a suburban neighborhood. “ALF” stands for “alien life form”.

52. Walt Disney's middle name : ELIAS
Walt Disney (born “Walter Elias Disney”) was one of five children, the son of Elias and Flora Disney. Elias was an Irish Canadian, and Flora was from Ohio.

54. Cable inits. since 1996 : MSNBC
MSNBC was founded in 1996 as a partnership between Microsoft ("MS") and General Electric's "NBC" broadcasting operation. Microsoft only owns a minority share in MSNBC today, but is still an equal partner in the separate company that runs msnbc.com.

57. "Six Million Dollar Man" feature : BIONIC LEG
Steve Austin is the title character in the seventies sci-fi show “The Six Million Dollar Man”, played of course by Lee Majors. The series is based on a 1972 novel called “Cyborg”.

63. Most likely to be called up : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System(SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

69. 2400, on the SAT : TOP SCORE
Today the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the acronym SAT.

82. Annual literary prize : O HENRY
The O. Henry Award has been given annually since 1919 and honors exceptional short stories. “O. Henry” was the pen name of writer William Sydney Porter from Greensboro, North Carolina. O. Henry is famous for his witty short stories that have a clever twist in the tail.

84. Home of Velázquez's "Las Meninas" : EL PRADO
The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery's most famous work is "Las Meninas" By Velazquez.

85. Breakfast dish : FARINA
Farina is semolina, or cream of wheat. It is made from wheat grain in which much of the nutritious ingredients are removed leaving a fine "flour". The name "Farina" is the Latin word meaning "flour".

87. Angelica and others : HERBS
Angelia is a plant that is often grown as a flavoring agent. For example, the young stems of angelica plants are harvested and crystallized for use as a cake and dessert decoration.

91. Showed no restraint, in brief : ODED
Overdose (OD)

96. Head of steam? : ESS
The letter S (ess) is at the head of the word “steam”.

97. Place to lounge : DIVAN
Ottomans and divans are essentially couches without backs or arms.

99. Jazz great Carmen : MCRAE
Carmen McRae was a jazz singer from Harlem in New York City.

103. Cricket's sound : CHIRR
The harsh trilling sound made by crickets is known as a “chirr”. The term is imitation of the sound itself.

106. Like New Jersey among states admitted to the Union : THIRD
There were three states that entered the union in 1787, and they were the first states to do so:
- Delaware, on 7 December 1787
- Pennsylvania, on 12 December 1787
- New Jersey, on 18 December 1787

107. Subway fare : HEROES
"Hero" is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name "hero" was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the "New York Herald Tribune" when he wrote that "one had to be a hero" to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

109. Chinese hard-liner : MAOIST
The Maoist philosophy holds that the agrarian worker, as opposed to the more general working class, is the driving force in transforming from a capitalist society into a socialist society.

110. "Antigone" or "Elektra" : TRAGEDY
"Antigone" is a tragedy written by Greek playwright Sophocles and first performed in 442 BC. Antigone is the daughter of King Oedipus of Thebes, born out of the incestuous relationship with his mother Jocasta.

“Electra” is a tragedy penned by Greek playwright Sophocles. The title character is the daughter of King Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces in the Trojan War. In the play, Electra takes revenge on her mother Clytemnestra, who killed Agamemnon.

112. One famed for heartlessness : TIN MAN
The movie “The Wizard of Oz” is full of irony. The Scarecrow wants to be intelligent and discovers he is already very smart. The Tin Man wants to be able to love and finds out that he already has a heart. The Lion thinks he is a coward but turns out to be fearless. And the big reveal is that the Wizard of Oz, who is positioned as all-powerful, is actually just a bumbling and eccentric old man.

114. Last name in cookies : AMOS
Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name "Famous Amos". The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually bought up making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf.

120. Farmworker in "The Wizard of Oz" : ZEKE
Zeke was the farmworker played by Bert Lahr in 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz”. Zeke is the character who morphed into the Cowardly Lion in Dorothy’s dream.

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

122. Tony winner Tharp : TWYLA
I love Twyla Tharp's choreography, and her patented "moves". Tharp was born in Portland, Indiana in 1941. She was named after Twila Thornburg, the "Pig Princess" of the 89th Annual Muncie Fair in Indiana. That's one to tell to the grandkids ...

124. Ice cream brand : EDY’S
Dreyers' ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy's in the Eastern states. The company's founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

Down
2. Abbr. on a musical score : CRESC
Crescendo (cresc.) is an Italian word meaning “gradually becoming louder”, and is often seen on a musical score. The term with the opposite meaning is “diminuendo” (dim.).

3. Cause of a crybaby? : COLIC
Baby colic is a condition in which a baby cries for no apparent reason for extended periods. At least one study has shown that breastfed babies are about half as likely to suffer from colic.

4. Provider of an inside look? : CAT-SCAN
A CT-scan (or "CAT-scan") produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn't like the term "nuclear" because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it's just called MRI.

5. Nos. after a period, maybe : CTS
When writing an amount of money, the cents (cts.) are written just after the decimal point.

6. Yen : ITCH
The word "yen", meaning "urge", has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word "yin" imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

7. Last name in "Star Wars" : SOLO
Han Solo is the space smuggler in "Star Wars" played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for "Star Wars", but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

11. Trees with poisonous seeds : UUUUU (sounds like “yews”)
Yew trees contain taxanes, highly poisonous alkaloids that in particular are found in the seeds.

12. Marquis's inferior : EARL
In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquess. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquess and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known simply as a countess.

13. First name in "Star Wars" : LUKE
When the character “Luke Skywalker” was created for “Star Wars”, he was named “Annikkin Starkiller”. He was also a 60-year-old war veteran for a while, and also a female at one point.

14. Girl group with four #1 hits in the 1990s : TLC
The girl band called TLC is from Atlanta, Georgia. The trio’s original members were:
- Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
- Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
- Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas

15. Often-decorative kitchen item, in Britain : TEA COSY
I don’t know what I’d do without my tea cosy/cozy …

17. Gas bill unit : THERM
A therm is a unit of heat energy. One therm is equivalent to 100,000 British thermal units (BTUs).

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water's temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

29. Lead-in to pop or pass : EURO-
Europop is a genre of pop music that is mainly associated with Sweden, but also applies to several other European countries. The most famous group associated with the genre is ABBA.

In my days as a student, the way to backpack around Europe was using a Europass. Nowadays that is known as a Eurail pass. The Eurail pass gives you access to most trains (and some shipping lines) right across the continent.

34. Japanese computer giant : NEC
NEC is the name that the Nippon Electric Company chose for itself outside of Japan after a re-branding exercise in 1983.

38. Indy 500 winner Luyendyk : ARIE
Arie Luyendyk is a racing driver from the Netherlands, winner of the Indianapolis 500 on two occasions. Luyendyk’s son, also called Arie, is following in his father’s footsteps and is also an auto racer.

40. 2007 title role for Ellen Page : JUNO
"Juno" is a great comedy-drama released in 2007 that tells the story of a spunky teenager who is faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The film won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The relatively low-budget movie earned back its initial budget in the first day of its full release to the public. Low-budget blockbuster; my kind of movie ...

Canadian actress Ellen Page came to prominence playing the female lead in the 2007 hit film “Juno”. Page also played the female lead in one of my favorite films of the past few years, 2010’s “Inception”.

41. In utero : UNBORN
"In utero" is a Latin term meaning "in the uterus". The Latin "uterus" translates as both "womb" and "belly". The Latin word was derived from the Greek "hystera" also meaning womb, which gives us the words "hysterectomy", and "hysterical".

44. 1974 Fassbinder film subtitled "Fear Eats the Soul" : ALI
"Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" is a German film written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and released in 1974. Apparently it is a remarkable movie, dealing with the xenophobia encountered by a young Moroccan (Ali) who is a guest worker in Germany.

45. Subj. of some 911 calls : UFO
The first use of an emergency phone number nationally was in the UK in 1937, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It's not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that "fit" with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

48. Figurehead, for short? : CPA
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

50. QB Manning : ELI
Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning is quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback.

55. RR stop : STN
A stop on a railroad (RR) line is a station (stn.).

58. Brown-___ (sycophants) : NOSERS
A sycophant is a selfish person, one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

59. Like one pre-Columbian civilization : INCAN
The pre-Columbian era is that period in the history of the Americas before the Europeans really made their presence known. “Pre-Columbian” implies “before 1492, before the voyages of Christopher Columbus”.

61. Parting word : ALOHA
The Hawaiian word "Aloha" has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently "aloha" has come to mean "hello" and "goodbye", but only since the mid-1800s.

62. Taunting figure : TORERO
"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”.

66. Subj. for Galileo : ASTR
Galileo was a prominent supporter of heliocentrism, the principle that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun. The commonly accepted model at the time was geocentrism, that the Earth was at the center of the universe. Galileo fell foul of the Roman Inquisition as a result of his views, and was found guilty of heresy in 1615. As a result, Galileo spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

67. N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Thomas : ISIAH
Isiah Thomas played his whole professional basketball-playing career with the Detroit Pistons, and he is now the head coach with Florida International University's Golden Panthers. When you're out shopping for popcorn, keep an eye out for the Dale & Thomas brand, as it's co-owned by Isiah Thomas.

69. Oscar winner Swinton : TILDA
Tilda Swinton is an English actress, quite famous in her native land. Swinton made a big name for herself outside the UK when she played the “baddie” in the 2007 movie “Michael Clayton”, opposite the “goodie” played by George Clooney.

70. Oscar winner Tatum : O’NEAL
Tatum O'Neal is the youngest actress to win a "competitive" Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in "Paper Moon". The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.

71. [See above] : PLAYED HOOKY (cut)
Apparently the term “playing hooky” derives from the Dutch name for hide-and-seek (“hoekje”).

72. Winter month in Spain : ENERO
In Spanish, a year (año) starts in January (enero) and ends in December (diciembre).

76. Seashore fliers : ERNES
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle or sea-eagle.

88. "___ kleine Nachtmusik" : EINE
Mozart's Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, is better known as "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", which translates into "a little serenade", but the more literal English translation of "a little night music" is often used. It is a delightful piece in four, very recognizable movements, although there is much debate about a "lost" fifth movement.

93. National rival : AVIS
Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

National Car Rental was founded back in 1947, a conglomerate of 24 independent rental agencies that already existed around the country.

95. Her name is Norwegian for "beautiful woman who leads you to victory" : 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. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. By the way, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

98. Van Gogh painting that once sold for a record $53.9 million : IRISES
Van Gogh painted his "Irises" while he was in an asylum in the south of France the year before he committed suicide. The original owner was a French art critic and supporter of Van Gogh who paid 300 francs to purchase the painting. "Irises" was bought for $53.9 million in 1987 making it the most expensive painting sold up to that point. But, the buyer didn't actually have the necessary funds, so it had to be resold in 1990. It was picked up by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where you can see it today.

104. Concerto movements : RONDOS
A rondo was often chosen by composers in the classical period for the last movement of a sonata (or symphony or concerto, for that matter). In rondo form there is a principal theme that alternates with a contrasting theme(s). So, the original theme anchors the whole piece in between secondary digressions.

109. Pac-Man screen, e.g. : MAZE
The Pac-Man arcade game was first released in Japan in 1980, and is as popular today as it ever was. The game features characters that are maneuvered around the screen to eat up dots and earn points. The name comes from the Japanese folk hero "Paku", known for his voracious appetite. The spin-off game called Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981.

110. ___'clock scholar : TEN O
A “ten o’clock scholar” is a student who arrives habitually late for class.

113. Loch ___ : NESS
Loch Ness is one of the two most famous lakes in Scotland. Loch Ness is famous for its "monster", and Loch Lomond is famous for the lovely song "The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond". Oh, ye'll tak' the high road, and I'll tak' the low road ...

118. Canon offering, briefly : SLR
Single-lens reflex (SLR) camera

The Japanese company called Canon is noted mainly in the US for producing quality cameras. The company started out as Precision Optical Industry Laboratory in 1937 making camera bodies. The name was changed in 1947 to Canon.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Oceans : CCCCC (sounds like “seas”)
6. Bats : IS UP
10. "The Clan of the Cave Bear" novelist : AUEL
14. Razz : TTTTT (sounds like “tease”)
19. Tennis's Goran Ivanisevic, e.g. : CROAT
20. A band may be on one : TOUR
21. Torch-lit event : LUAU
22. River of forgetfulness in Hades : LETHE
23. Iron Age people : CELTS
24. It has nine rooms : CLUE
25. Ottoman : TURK
26. Serve up on a platter, say : CATER
27. Collectors of DNA : CSIS
28. Game twist : HOUSE RULE
30. Some basketball players: Abbr. : CTRS
31. Espies : CCCCC (sounds like “sees”)
33. Profit from : UUUUU (sounds like “use”)
34. "I'm innocent!" : NOT ME!
35. Lab safety org.? : ASPCA
39. 3-D pic : MRI
40. Diner fixtures, informally : JUKES
43. More rakish : JAUNTIER
46. Canon offering : EOS
47. Clown prop : UNICYCLE
51. Sitcom ET : ALF
52. Walt Disney's middle name : ELIAS
54. Cable inits. since 1996 : MSNBC
56. "Be a ___" : PAL
57. "Six Million Dollar Man" feature : BIONIC LEG
60. Cabbed it : TOOK A TAXI
63. Most likely to be called up : ONE-A
64. From the top : AGAIN
68. Move, informally : RELO
69. 2400, on the SAT : TOP SCORE
73. Dolt : ASS
74. Like most checks and political candidates : ENDORSED
78. Green : IN LEAF
79. Not so nice : NASTIER
82. Annual literary prize : O HENRY
83. Picked up, in Britain : LEARNT
84. Home of Velázquez's "Las Meninas" : EL PRADO
85. Breakfast dish : FARINA
86. They break at dawn : DAYS
87. Angelica and others : HERBS
89. Like some resolution, for short : HI-DEF
91. Showed no restraint, in brief : ODED
92. Cask filler : ALE
93. Linguistic quintet : AEIOU
94. Parts of sows and cows : TEATS
96. Head of steam? : ESS
97. Place to lounge : DIVAN
99. Jazz great Carmen : MCRAE
103. Cricket's sound : CHIRR
105. Triply : THRICE
106. Like New Jersey among states admitted to the Union : THIRD
107. Subway fare : HEROES
109. Chinese hard-liner : MAOIST
110. "Antigone" or "Elektra" : TRAGEDY
112. One famed for heartlessness : TIN MAN
114. Last name in cookies : AMOS
115. Some notepad jottings : IDEAS
117. It may be left hanging : NOOSE
119. Take out : DATE
120. Farmworker in "The Wizard of Oz" : ZEKE
121. Scale unit : OUNCE
122. Tony winner Tharp : TWYLA
123. Spheres : ORBS
124. Ice cream brand : EDY’S
125. Recess : NOOK
126. It's what's to be expected : NORM
127. "The ___ the limit" : SKY’S

Down
1. Grab : CCCCC (sounds like “seize”)
2. Abbr. on a musical score : CRESC
3. Cause of a crybaby? : COLIC
4. Provider of an inside look? : CAT-SCAN
5. Nos. after a period, maybe : CTS
6. Yen : ITCH
7. Last name in "Star Wars" : SOLO
8. Farm females : UUUUU (sounds like “ewes”)
9. Takes for granted : PRESUMES
10. Charitable giving, e.g. : ALTRUISM
11. Trees with poisonous seeds : UUUUU (sounds like “yews”)
12. Marquis's inferior : EARL
13. First name in "Star Wars" : LUKE
14. Girl group with four #1 hits in the 1990s : TLC
15. Often-decorative kitchen item, in Britain : TEA COSY
16. Aids for long drives : TTTTT (sounds like “tees”)
17. Gas bill unit : THERM
18. Crisp : TERSE
29. Lead-in to pop or pass : EURO-
32. Chicago setting: Abbr. : CST
34. Japanese computer giant : NEC
36. [See above] : PIECE OF THE ACTION (cut)
37. Last place, with "the" : CELLAR
38. Indy 500 winner Luyendyk : ARIE
40. 2007 title role for Ellen Page : JUNO
41. In utero : UNBORN
42. [See above] : KICKED OFF THE TEAM (cut)
43. Sharp putdown : JAB
44. 1974 Fassbinder film subtitled "Fear Eats the Soul" : ALI
45. Subj. of some 911 calls : UFO
48. Figurehead, for short? : CPA
49. Like some parenting : LAX
50. QB Manning : ELI
53. Ottoman V.I.P. : AGA
55. RR stop : STN
58. Brown-___ (sycophants) : NOSERS
59. Like one pre-Columbian civilization : INCAN
61. Parting word : ALOHA
62. Taunting figure : TORERO
65. Running pants? : GASPS
66. Subj. for Galileo : ASTR
67. N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Thomas : ISIAH
69. Oscar winner Swinton : TILDA
70. Oscar winner Tatum : O’NEAL
71. [See above] : PLAYED HOOKY (cut)
72. Winter month in Spain : ENERO
74. Withdraw from the bank? : ERODE
75. [See above] : SNIDE REMARK (cut)
76. Seashore fliers : ERNES
77. Twosomes : DYADS
80. [See above] : ALBUM TRACK (cut)
81. [See above] : EDITED DOWN (cut)
88. "___ kleine Nachtmusik" : EINE
90. Per : EACH
93. National rival : AVIS
95. Her name is Norwegian for "beautiful woman who leads you to victory" : SIRI
98. Van Gogh painting that once sold for a record $53.9 million : IRISES
100. Highlight of many a western : CHASE
101. Fix : RIG
102. Ain't right? : AREN’T
104. Concerto movements : RONDOS
105. Broke : TAMED
108. Didn't get involved : SAT BY
109. Pac-Man screen, e.g. : MAZE
110. ___'clock scholar : TEN O
111. Numbskull : YO-YO
113. Loch ___ : NESS
116. Twosome : DUO
118. Canon offering, briefly : SLR


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

OH, COME ON!!!!! This is a ridiculous stunt. These puzzles ruin my day, knowing I wasted so much time on something I have no chance to solve.

CCCCCC for "seas" and "sees"????? No, sorry, that doesn't wash.

Anonymous said...

I loved this one. It was very cleverly constructed. I had to work hard at it, but, that made it so satisfying when I finally got it. Many thanks to the author.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, anonymous visitor.

Thanks for supporting the clever construction of this puzzle. Jeff Chen is one of the best constructors out there, in my humble opinion.

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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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