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1219-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Dec 13, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: George Barany & Michael Shteyman
THEME: Like Oil and Water … we have a rebus puzzle today, with a twist. Some squares contain the word OIL in the upper half of the grid, and some squares the word WATER. There is a dividing line across the center of the grid (where there is no mix, LIKE OIL AND WATER). The long down-clues have answers separated not by black squares, but by thick lines in the grid that represent the dividing line between the OIL at the top and the WATER at the bottom. George Barany kindly provided a link to a colored version of the grid to further illustrate what's going on:
63A. Either the top or bottom half of this puzzle, figuratively speaking : LAYER
36A. Incompatible : LIKE WATER AND OIL

20A. Food wrap : TIN FOIL
22A. Light for Aladdin : OIL LAMP
34A. Chicken for dinner : BROILER
52A. Soother of an aching joint : HOT WATER BAG
71A. Brine : SEAWATER
73A. Wakeboard relative : WATERSKI
4D. Jumps back : RECOILS
10D. Cry at an unveiling : ET VOILA!
31D. Lightly scented perfume : TOILET WATER
59D. Restaurant freebie : ICE WATER
61D. Ideal condition in which to ford a stream : LOW WATER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 25m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. A train? : BCD
The letters BCD follow like a “train” after the letter A, in the alphabet.

14. Times column: Abbr. : ARR
Arrival (arr.) times

16. Falstaff's quaff : ALE
Sir John Falstaff is the lead character in Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and a supporting character in the two “Henry IV” plays. Falstaff is a self-promoting, obese and cowardly man. In "King Henry IV, part I", Falstaff refers to his portly size, saying, "thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty."

17. Org. that usually meets in the evening : PTA
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

18. Living room fixture since the '50s : COLOR TV
The first national broadcast of a color television program in the US was the Tournament of Roses Parade in 1954. That said, it was another decade before color broadcasts became relatively common, and color television sets began to sell in large numbers.

19. Born : NEE
"Née" is the French word for "born" when referring to a female. The male equivalent is "né".

20. Food wrap : TIN FOIL
Before thin sheets of aluminum metal was available, thin sheets of tin were used in various application. Tin foil isn't a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it's not just the different spelling of aluminum ("aluminium"). We still call it "tin foil". You see, we live in the past ...

22. Light for Aladdin : OIL LAMP
“Aladdin” is a famous tale in the “Arabian Nights”, also called “The Book of One Thousand and One Nights”. However, there is no evidence at all that the story was in the original collection. It is generally believed that one Antoine Galland introduced the tale when he translated the “Arabian Nights” into French in the early 1700s.

29. Makeup of les Caraïbes : ILES
In French, the Caribbean (les Caraïbes) is made up of many islands (îles).

33. Great finish? : -NESS
Greatness

35. Founded: Abbr. : ESTD
Established (estd.)

44. Cow, perhaps : AWE
The verb "to cow" means to intimidate, to scare. The exact etymology of the term seems unclear.

49. Sch. with a campus in Providence : URI
The University of Rhode Island (URI) was first chartered as an agricultural school, back in 1888. URI's main campus today is located in the village of Kingston, with smaller campuses in Providence, Narragansett and West Greenwich.

53. Computer key : TAB
Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious as it involved lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to "jump" across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key, which could be depressed causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

55. Poetic paean : ODE
A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning "song of triumph”.

56. Alfred Hitchcock title : SIR
Alfred Hitchcock is an English film director from Leytonstone, just outside London. A very good friend of mine is a close friend of one of Hitchcock’s granddaughters, and met him many times in her youth. She tells a very nice story of sitting in a restaurant with the family when someone came over to the table to say “hi”. That was Jimmy Stewart …

57. Env. contents : LTR
One places a letter (ltr.) in an envelope (env.).

60. "L'chaim," literally : TO LIFE
"L'Chaim" is a Hebrew toast meaning "to life", as "chai" is the Hebrew word for "life".

62. 1960s British P.M. ___ Douglas-Home : ALEC
Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the Prime Minister of the UK from 1963 to 1964. Nowadays the British Prime Minister is chosen from the membership of the House of Commons, and Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the last Prime Minster to be chosen from the House of Lords. He had to give up his peerage though (he was the Earl of Home) in order to take up the post.

68. Kind of wave : SINE
A sine wave is a mathematical function that describes a simple, smooth, repetitive oscillation. The sine wave is found right throughout the natural world. Ocean waves, light waves and sound waves all have a sine wave pattern.

72. Bulldozed : RAZED
The term “bulldoze” comes from the noun “bulldose”, which meant “a severe beating” back in the late 1800s. A bulldose was “a dose fit for a bull”, a beating designed to intimidate mainly black Republican voters in the 1876 US presidential election.

Down
1. ___ America : CAPTAIN
Captain America is a fictional superhero in comics published by Marvel Comics. He is the alter ego of a physically weak man called Steve Rogers who was given an experimental serum by the US Government during WWII.

2. It gives Congress the power to declare war : ARTICLE I
Article I of the US Constitution calls out the powers and limitations on the legislative branch of the government, the US Congress.

3. Séance phenomena : TRANCES
"Séance" is a French word meaning "sitting".

5. Tic-tac-toe loser : OXO
When I was growing up in Ireland we played "noughts and crosses" ... our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

6. Blanc who voiced Bugs Bunny : MEL
Mel Blanc was known as "The Man of a Thousand Voices". We've all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc's tombstone are ... "That's All Folks".

7. Foofaraw : ADO
"Foofaraw" is excessive or flashy ornamentation, or a fuss over something that is unimportant.

8. King Harald's land: Abbr. : NOR
Harald III was King of Norway from 1046 to 1066. Harald III also laid claim to the English throne and in 1066 invaded England. Ultimately, the invasion was unsuccessful and Harald himself was killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. The victorious English forces were led by Anglo-Saxon King Harold II. However, the English king did not have long to enjoy his victory as he immediately had to march his army to the south to meet an invasion by William the Conqueror, the leader of the Normans. Famously, Harold II lost to the Normans and was himself killed in the Battle of Hastings, just three weeks after successfully fighting off Harald III.

10. Cry at an unveiling : ET VOILA!
“Et voilà” is French for, “and there it is!”

11. Fruit or nuts : BANANAS
Bananas are a type of fruit, and “bananas” is a term meaning “nuts”.

12. Fourth pope : CLEMENT I
The first five popes of the Roman Catholic Church were:
- St. Peter (33 - 64/67)
- St. Linus (64/67 - 76/79
- St. Anacletus (76/79 - 88/92)
- St. Clement I (88/92 - 97)
- St. Evaristus (97/99 - 105/107)

21. "All That Jazz" director : FOSSE
Bob Fosse won more Tony Awards for choreography than anyone else, a grand total of eight. He also won an Oscar for Best Director for his 1972 movie "Cabaret", even beating out the formidable Francis Ford Coppola who was nominated that same year for "The Godfather".

"All That Jazz" is a 1979 musical film that was directed by choreographer Bob Fosse. The movie is somewhat autobiographical, with the screenplay having been co-written by Fosse. The title “All That Jazz” is the name of song in the musical “Chicago”, which Fosse choreographed.

23. Treated, in a way, as a lawn : LIMED
Agricultural lime is a soil additive made from pulverized limestone or chalk, both of which contain calcium carbonate as a main component. One of the main purposes of “liming” is to increase the pH of acidic soil.

25. Big band member : TUBA
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). "Tuba" is the Latin word for "trumpet, horn".

26. Camera type, briefly : SLR
SLR stands for "single lens reflex". Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

27. Numero di R's in "arrivederci" : TRE
In Italian, the number of Rs (numero di Rs) in the word “arrivederci” is three (tre).

"Ciao" is the Italian for "'bye". "Arrivederci" is more formal, and translates better as "goodbye".

28. ___ avis : RARA
A “rara avis” is anything that is very rare, and is Latin for "rare bird".

31. Lightly scented perfume : TOILET WATER
“Eau de toilette” (toilet water) is a diluted perfume.

37. Seattle Center Coliseum, since 1995 : KEYARENA
KeyArena at Seattle Center is home to the men’s basketball team of Seattle University and the Seattle Storm of the WNBA. The arena is also home to the Rat City Rollergirls flat-track roller derby team.

38. Rebel yell : WAHOO!
The “rebel yell” was used by confederate soldiers to intimidate the enemy and boost morale during battle.

39. London gallery : TATE
The museum known as "the Tate" is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It's a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

41. Rio ___ (Amazon feeder) : NEGRO
The Rio Negro (Spanish for “black river”) is a tributary of the Amazon in South America. The Rio Negro is the largest blackwater river in the world. A blackwater river is a slow-moving waterway that flows through forestation, collecting decaying vegetable matter that turns the water to a dark coffee color.

42. Silhouettes : OUTLINES
A silhouette is an outline, usually of a person’s profile, which has been filled in with a solid color. One theory is that the term comes from the name of the French Minister of Finance in 1759, Étienne de Silhouette. The minister was ,ade major cutbacks in spending to finance the Seven Years War, cutbacks that were not popular with the citizenry. His name was used for a “silhouette” because it was a cheap way of making someone’s likeness.

43. Opera texts : LIBRETTI
“Libretto” is the diminutive form of “libro”, the Italian word for a book. We use “libretto” (plural “libretti”) to mean the text used in a musical work, or perhaps the “book” of that musical work.

48. Two- or four-seater, maybe : MAITRE D’
I guess the idea is that a maitre d’ often has to seat two or four people …

The full name of a “maître d'” is "maître d’hôtel", which means "master of the hotel".

50. Snitch : RATFINK
Ratfink is a slang term used in North America for a really obnoxious person, especially someone who has "squealed, spilled the beans".

64. Yellowhammer State: Abbr. : ALA
Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer State, in honor of the state bird. Alabama is also called the “Heart of Dixie”.

65. Longtime Red Sox nickname : YAZ
Yaz is the nickname for Carl Yastrzemski, a baseball player who spent his whole career with the Boston Red Sox.

66. Somme summer : ETE
The Somme is a river in the north of France. The name “Somme” comes from a Celtic word meaning “tranquility”. Paradoxically, the Somme is remembered as the site of a devastating WWI battle. The river separated British and French forces from the German army from July to November 1916. By the end of the battle, over one million soldiers had been wounded or killed.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cool dude : CAT
4. Woo : ROMANCE
11. A train? : BCD
14. Times column: Abbr. : ARR
15. Canceled : EXED OUT
16. Falstaff's quaff : ALE
17. Org. that usually meets in the evening : PTA
18. Living room fixture since the '50s : COLOR TV
19. Born : NEE
20. Food wrap : TIN FOIL
22. Light for Aladdin : OIL LAMP
24. Asks in public, say : ACCOSTS
27. Flight simulator : TRAINER
29. Makeup of les Caraïbes : ILES
30. Extreme : ULTRA
32. A pride of lions? : MANE
33. Great finish? : -NESS
34. Chicken for dinner : BROILER
35. Founded: Abbr. : ESTD
36. Incompatible : LIKE WATER AND OIL
44. Cow, perhaps : AWE
46. Together : AT A TIME
49. Sch. with a campus in Providence : URI
51. Shrinking : SHY
52. Soother of an aching joint : HOT WATER BAG
53. Computer key : TAB
54. It may come in loose-leaf form : TEA
55. Poetic paean : ODE
56. Alfred Hitchcock title : SIR
57. Env. contents : LTR
58. Quarter or half : PERIOD
60. "L'chaim," literally : TO LIFE
62. 1960s British P.M. ___ Douglas-Home : ALEC
63. Either the top or bottom half of this puzzle, figuratively speaking : LAYER
67. Taking care of business : ON IT
68. Kind of wave : SINE
69. Send : ELATE
70. Sold (for) : WENT
71. Brine : SEAWATER
72. Bulldozed : RAZED
73. Wakeboard relative : WATERSKI

Down
1. ___ America : CAPTAIN
2. It gives Congress the power to declare war : ARTICLE I
3. Séance phenomena : TRANCES
4. Jumps back : RECOILS
5. Tic-tac-toe loser : OXO
6. Blanc who voiced Bugs Bunny : MEL
7. Foofaraw : ADO
8. King Harald's land: Abbr. : NOR
9. Director's cry : CUT
10. Cry at an unveiling : ET VOILA!
11. Fruit or nuts : BANANAS
12. Fourth pope : CLEMENT I
13. Crimson : DEEP RED
21. "All That Jazz" director : FOSSE
23. Treated, in a way, as a lawn : LIMED
25. Big band member : TUBA
26. Camera type, briefly : SLR
27. Numero di R's in "arrivederci" : TRE
28. ___ avis : RARA
31. Lightly scented perfume : TOILET WATER
36. Final maneuver : LAST PASS
37. Seattle Center Coliseum, since 1995 : KEYARENA
38. Rebel yell : WAHOO!
39. London gallery : TATE
40. Razzes : RIBS
41. Rio ___ (Amazon feeder) : NEGRO
42. Silhouettes : OUTLINES
43. Opera texts : LIBRETTI
45. Cyclist's stunt : WHEELIE
47. Wee one : TODDLER
48. Two- or four-seater, maybe : MAITRE D’
50. Snitch : RATFINK
59. Restaurant freebie : ICE WATER
61. Ideal condition in which to ford a stream : LOW WATER
64. Yellowhammer State: Abbr. : ALA
65. Longtime Red Sox nickname : YAZ
66. Somme summer : ETE


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8 comments :

Anonymous said...

Why aren't the shaded boxes mirror images in both directions?

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

Most mainstream crosswords have 180-degree rotational symmetry (to which I think you are referring). In my experience, crossword editors sometimes allow that "rule" to be broken to suit a particular theme or "trick" in crossword. In this case, the grid has mirror symmetry through a vertical axis.

I hope that's the question you are asking, and that I've answered it!

Max said...

This is a poor puzzle.

Ben F. said...

Well, I did manage to figure this one out once the "oil" and "water" clues made sense. The floating vertical clues were enough of a cue to the discontinuity there. I'm of two minds on this one. It's nice to have a different challenge once in a while - seems like Thursday is the day for Will to visit the "bizarre puzzle" scene. OTOH, the departure from the normal puzzle constraints is sort of underhanded.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Ben F.

I think you're right about Thursdays. We are definitely more likely to be sailing through uncharted waters. It's sort of like the storm that comes before the calm of Friday and Saturday :)

Peter A said...

Puzzle seemed to me quite brilliant. Must confess that "maitred" had me baffled.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Peter.

A brilliant puzzle indeed. The inventiveness of the crossword constructing community never ceases to amaze me.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, all rebuses are sh*te. It's against a principal rule of crosswords: ONE LETTER PER SQUARE.

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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.

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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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