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Greetings from Louisburgh, County Mayo 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

1221-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Dec 13, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Todd Gross & David Steinberg
THEME: 100 Years Ago … today’s themed answers commemorate the first crossword published, 100 years ago today. The original puzzle was diamond-shaped, and the shaded center of today’s grid is designed to be reminiscent of that first crossword. If we take a look at the original crossword we can see that the letters FUN are in the same spot in today's puzzle that they were in 1913:
6A. With 20-Across, where the first-ever crossword puzzle appeared : NEW YORK
20A. See 6-Across : SUNDAY WORLD
45A. Creator of the first crossword : ARTHUR WYNNE
59A. Year in which the first crossword appeared, on December 21 : MCMXIII
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 32m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Girl's name in #1 1973 and 1974 song titles : ANGIE
For my money, “Angie” is the greatest ballad ever performed by the Rolling Stones. Despite rumors to the contrary, “Angie” doesn’t refer to a particular woman. If fact, songwriter Keith Richard says that “Angie” is a pseudonym for heroin, and the lyrics tell of his efforts to get off the drug at a detox facility in Switzerland.

“Angie Baby” is a great song, a hit for Helen Reddy in 1974. It was written by Alan O’Day, who tells us that the title character was inspired by the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna”, and whose probably influenced by the Rolling Stones hit “Angie”. That’s a great pedigree.

6. With 20-Across, where the first-ever crossword puzzle appeared : NEW YORK
(20A. See 6-Across : SUNDAY WORLD)
It is generally accepted that the first crossword puzzle was published as a “Word-Cross” puzzle on December 21, 1913 in the “New York World”. The name “Word-Cross” was changed to “Cross-Word” a few weeks due to a mistake in the typesetting room. The name “crossword” has been used ever since. The “New York World” then started publishing the puzzles every week, and the idea was picked up by other newspapers. By 1920, crosswords were so popular that the New York Public Library reported difficulties in meeting the demand for access to dictionaries and encyclopedias.

16. Jojoba oil is a natural one : FUNGICIDE
Jojoba oil is produced from the seed of the jojoba plant. The oil is used in the cosmetic industry as a replacement for the now banned whale oil. It is also a natural fungicide and is used to control mildew.

17. Lead-in to now : ERE
Ere now, before now.

18. Home of MacDill Air Force Base : TAMPA
Tampa, Florida has been known as the Big Guava since the seventies. The term is imitative of New York’s “Big Apple”, and refers to the unsuccessful search for the reported wild guava trees that were once hoped to be the basis of a new industry for the area.

MacDill Air Force Base is located just a few miles from downtown Tampa, Florida. One of the main missions of the base is to provide an efficient air-refueling capability right across the globe.

19. Had ___ (flipped) : A COW
The phrase "don't have a cow" originated in the fifties, a variation of the older "don't have kittens". The concept behind the phrase is that one shouldn't get worked up, it's not like one is giving birth to a cow.

24. Legal attachment? : -ESE
“Lingo” is a specialized vocabulary, as in “journalese” and “legalese”, for example.

25. Light unit : LUMEN
The lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a source.

26. Acclaim for picadors : OLES
In Spanish bullfighting, picadors are horsemen that take on a bull in pairs, using lances to jab the poor creature. The picadors have a specific job, to lacerate the muscle on the back of the bull’s neck and to fatigue him before the toreros (bullfighters) are let loose.

28. Certain sultan's subjects : OMANIS
Qaboos bin Said al Said is the current Sultan of Oman, who came to power in a coup in 1970 by deposing his own father. Qaboos has no children, and no agreed heir. His current instructions are for the royal family to agree on a successor after his death. Qaboos has also specified that should the royal not be able to agree on a successor, then the country’s Defense Council will make the decision, choosing between two names that the Sultan placed in a sealed envelope to be opened after his passing.

34. Lab dept. : R AND D
Research and Development (R&D)

35. La ___ (California resort and spa) : COSTA
The Omni La Costa Resort and Spa is a luxury hotel in Carlsbad, California. The resort used to act as host for two events on golf’s PGA tour, and now is known as host of the Women's Tennis Association’s Southern California Open.

39. Morlocks' enemy : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called "The Time Machine", there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet's surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

41. Saxony, e.g. : STATE
Saxony was the name given at different times in history to states along the Elbe river in central Europe. As the various states broke up, they spawned many duchies that retained the name "Saxe". The most famous of these duchies was probably Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, two united duchies in Germany that ceased to exist after WWII. A notable branch of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha House is the British Royal Family, as Queen Victoria was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. King George V of the United Kingdom changed the name of the family to the House of Windsor in a politically sensible move during WWI.

42. Shot : BBS
A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.080" in diameter) to size FF (.23"). 0.180" diameter birdshot is size BB, which gives the airgun its name.

45. Creator of the first crossword : ARTHUR WYNNE
Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of what we now known as a crossword puzzle. Wynne was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US when he was 19-years-old. He worked as a journalist and was living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1913 when he introduced a “Word-Cross Puzzle” in his page of puzzles written for the “New York World”. And the rest, as they say, is history ...

49. Kingdom vanquished by Hammurabi : ELAM
The ancient civilization of Elam was located east of Mesopotamia, in what is modern-day southwest Iran.

Hammurabi was the sixth king of Babylon and the first king of the Babylonian Empire. The Babylonian Empire included all of Mesopotamia. Hammurabi is remembered for the oldest written codes of law known to man, known today as Hammurabi’s Code.

The Code of Hammurabi is a code of laws that dates back to 1772 BCE, enacted by the Babylonian king Hammurabi. . Partial copies of the code have been found on stone steles and clay tablets. The most complete copy of the code can be found on a large stele that is on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

51. Actor Tom of "The Seven Year Itch" : EWELL
The actor Tom Ewell is best remembered for playing the male lead in the “The Seven Year Itch”, both on the Broadway stage and in the 1955 Hollywood movie. I also know Ewell as the “bad guy” in one of my favorite movies, namely 1949’s “Adam’s Rib”.

"The Seven Year Itch" is a 1955 movie by Billy Wilder, based on a stage play of the same name by George Axelrod. "The Seven Year Itch" stars Marilyn Monroe, and Tom Ewell as the guy with "the itch". Perhaps the most famous scene in the film is the one with Monroe standing over a subway grate allowing the updraft to billow the skirt of her white dress above her knees. The manoeuvre was meant to cool her down, but I think it had the opposite effect on some in the audience! The phrase "seven year itch" had been used by psychologists to describe declining interest in staying monogamous after seven years of marriage.

52. Ranch sobriquet : TEX
A sobriquet is an affectionate nickname. “Sobriquet” is French for “nickname”.

53. 1989 Peace Nobelist : DALAI LAMA
The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may even be female.

58. Fruit whose name comes from Arawak : GUAVA
There are about a hundred different species of guava plant. The fruit that we tend to refer to as the guava is the Apple Guava. The term “guava” comes from “guayabo”, the Arawak word for “guava tree”. The Arawakan language of families were used by ancient indigenous peoples of South America.

60. Firth, e.g. : INLET
“Firth” is a word used in England and Scotland for an inlet, and tends to be used in the same way as “fjord” is in Scandinavia.

Down
1. Where vaults can be seen : APSES
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

2. Jacket style : NEHRU
A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

3. Noted geographical misnomer : GREENLAND
Greenland is the largest island in the world. Geographically, Greenland is part of the continent of North America, but culturally and politically is considered part of Europe. The island became a Danish colony in 1815, and joined the European Economic Community (EEC) with Denmark. Greenland withdrew from the EEC after a referendum in 1983. Since 2009, Greenland has been relatively autonomous, with the Danish government retaining control of foreign affairs, defence and the judicial system.

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

5. Basic Latin verb : EST
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am”, “est” means he, she is” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

7. Jerry Orbach role in "The Fantasticks" : EL GALLO
“The Fantasticks” is a musical that was first staged in 1960. That original production was off-Broadway in the Sullivan Street Playhouse. The production closed in 2002, after 17,162 performances. That makes “The Fantasticks” the longest-running musical in the world.

8. Early Chinese dynasty : WEI
During the Three Kingdoms Period in Chinese history, there were three kingdoms vying for control of China. The three competing kingdoms were Wei, Shu and Wu.

9. Neighborhood org. since 1844 : YMCA
The YMCA is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of "a healthy spirit, mind and body". The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

11. Mulligans, e.g. : REDOS
There doesn't seem to be a definitive account for the origin of the term "Mulligan", most often used for a shot do-over in golf. There are lots of stories about golfers named Mulligan though, and I suspect one of them may be true.

12. Mardi Gras group : KREWE
“Krewe” is the name given to the organization responsible for putting on parades and balls during Carnival celebrations, the most famous being the krewe that pulls together Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

14. Big sport overseas? : SUMO
Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization's aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

16. Babe in the woods : FAWN
A fawn is a young deer, often less than a year old.

18. Sailors' chains : TYES
In the nautical world, a tye can be either a chain or a rope and is used to hoist a spar up a mast.

21. City on the Firth of Tay : DUNDEE
The city of Dundee lies on the north bank of the Firth of Tay in Scotland. The origins of the name "Dundee" are a little obscure, although the omnipresent "dùn" in place names all over Scotland and Ireland is the Celtic word for "fort".

The Firth of Tay is an inlet on the east coast of Scotland into which empties Scotland's largest river, the Tay. The city of Dundee lies on the Firth, and the city of Perth just inland on the Tay.

22. "Star Wars" queen and senator : AMIDALA
In the "Star Wars" universe, Padmé Amidala is the Queen of the planet Naboo. Played very ably by Natalie Portman, Padmé becomes the secret wife of Anakin Skywalker, later revealed to be Darth Vader. As such, Padmé is also the mother of Luke Skywalker and his sister, Princess Leia Organa.

23. Canine vestigial structure : DEWCLAW
A dewclaw is vestigial digit on the foot of many mammals, birds and reptiles. It is easily seen on the paw of a dog, where it is sometimes referred to as a dog’s “thumb”.

27. High-hatting : SNOOTY
"Snoot" is a variant of "snout" and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is “snooty”, or snouty, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

28. Cortés's quest : ORO
“Oro” is Spanish for “gold”.

Hernán Cortés was the Spanish Conquistador who led the 16th-century expedition to North America that brought an end to the Aztec Empire.

29. Graffiti, say : MAR
"Graffiti" is the plural of "graffito", the Italian for "a scribbling". The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

31. Like many nutrients : ESSENTIAL
Essential nutrients are those that the body needs in the diet in order to maintain normal body function. The list of essential nutrients includes many vitamins and minerals, two fatty acids and nine amino acids.

32. 1, for one: Abbr. : RTE
US Route 1 runs from Fort Kent in Maine right down to Key West in Florida.

37. Rock singer? : LORELEI
Lorelei is the name of a legendary mermaid who lured fishermen by singing a beautiful song so that they steered their boats onto rocks lurking beneath the water's surface.

38. Key never used by itself : CTRL
The control key (Ctrl.)

41. Toni Morrison novel : SULA
The writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for first coining the phrase, “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

43. Like some vin : BLANC
“Vin blanc” is French for “white wine”.

44. R. J. Reynolds brand : SALEM
The Salem brand of cigarette was introduced in 1956 as the first filter-topped menthol cigarette. Salem is an R.J. Reynolds brand, and is named for the location of the company’s headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

48. Hemingway, notably : EXPAT
Ernest Hemingway moved around a lot. He was born in Illinois, and after leaving school headed to the Italian front during WWI. There he served as an ambulance driver, an experience he used as inspiration for "A Farewell to Arms". He returned to the US after being seriously wounded, but a few years later moved to Paris where he worked as a foreign correspondent. He covered the Spanish War as a journalist, from Spain, using this experience for "For Whom the Bell Tolls". During the thirties and forties he had two permanent residences, one in Key West, Florida, and one in Cuba. In the late fifties he moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in 1961.

50. T. J. ___ : MAXX
T.J. Maxx is a chain of department stores in the US, with outlets in Europe as well. Over in the UK however, the stores are known as T.K. Maxx.

54. "Vous êtes ___" : ICI
"Vous êtes ici" are important words to know when navigating your way around Paris. They mean "You are here", and you'll often see them on maps in the street.

55. Staple of sci-fi filmmaking : CGI
Computer-generated imagery (CGI)

56. Ostrogoth enemy : HUN
The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila's death in 453 AD.

The East Germanic tribe called the Goths has two main branches, called the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths. The Visigoth capital was the city of Toulouse in France, whereas the Ostrogoth capital was the Italian city of Ravenna just inland of the Adriatic coast.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Girl's name in #1 1973 and 1974 song titles : ANGIE
6. With 20-Across, where the first-ever crossword puzzle appeared : NEW YORK
13. Reserved parking spaces and others : PERKS
14. Less light : SOLEMNER
15. Form of many a birthday cake : SHEET
16. Jojoba oil is a natural one : FUNGICIDE
17. Lead-in to now : ERE
18. Home of MacDill Air Force Base : TAMPA
19. Had ___ (flipped) : A COW
20. See 6-Across : SUNDAY WORLD
24. Legal attachment? : -ESE
25. Light unit : LUMEN
26. Acclaim for picadors : OLES
28. Certain sultan's subjects : OMANIS
30. They're not team players : OWNERS
34. Lab dept. : R AND D
35. La ___ (California resort and spa) : COSTA
36. Extended trial : ORDEAL
38. Not for the general public : CLOSED
39. Morlocks' enemy : ELOI
41. Saxony, e.g. : STATE
42. Shot : BBS
45. Creator of the first crossword : ARTHUR WYNNE
49. Kingdom vanquished by Hammurabi : ELAM
51. Actor Tom of "The Seven Year Itch" : EWELL
52. Ranch sobriquet : TEX
53. 1989 Peace Nobelist : DALAI LAMA
55. Aviary sound : CHIRP
57. To a fault : IN EXCESS
58. Fruit whose name comes from Arawak : GUAVA
59. Year in which the first crossword appeared, on December 21 : MCMXIII
60. Firth, e.g. : INLET

Down
1. Where vaults can be seen : APSES
2. Jacket style : NEHRU
3. Noted geographical misnomer : GREENLAND
4. "South Park" boy : IKE
5. Basic Latin verb : EST
6. Hobbyist, e.g. : NON-PRO
7. Jerry Orbach role in "The Fantasticks" : EL GALLO
8. Early Chinese dynasty : WEI
9. Neighborhood org. since 1844 : YMCA
10. Chilling : ON ICE
11. Mulligans, e.g. : REDOS
12. Mardi Gras group : KREWE
14. Big sport overseas? : SUMO
16. Babe in the woods : FAWN
18. Sailors' chains : TYES
21. City on the Firth of Tay : DUNDEE
22. "Star Wars" queen and senator : AMIDALA
23. Canine vestigial structure : DEWCLAW
27. High-hatting : SNOOTY
28. Cortés's quest : ORO
29. Graffiti, say : MAR
31. Like many nutrients : ESSENTIAL
32. 1, for one: Abbr. : RTE
33. Poor, as an excuse : SAD
37. Rock singer? : LORELEI
38. Key never used by itself : CTRL
40. Formal confession : IT WAS I
41. Toni Morrison novel : SULA
42. Obscure : BEDIM
43. Like some vin : BLANC
44. R. J. Reynolds brand : SALEM
46. Borders : HEMS
47. Brass : NERVE
48. Hemingway, notably : EXPAT
50. T. J. ___ : MAXX
54. "Vous êtes ___" : ICI
55. Staple of sci-fi filmmaking : CGI
56. Ostrogoth enemy : HUN


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4 comments :

Anonymous said...

A small kvetch: There is an option in Windows that allows one to locate one's cursor by pressing the CTRL key (alone).
Al

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Al.

Thanks for that info. I didn't realise that was an option in Windows. I have just reset my mouse settings and enabled that function. Good idea!

And, well spotted ...

Anonymous said...

Another picky complaint. You told us a lot of interesting facts about Greenland but not why it is the correct answer. Greenland is mostly covered in ice. Brian

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Brian.

Yes, I probably should have mentioned that the reason "Greenland" is a misnomer is that it isn't very green, being covered in snow and ice.

My bad ...

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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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