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1231-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Dec 13, Tuesday



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tracy Gray
THEME: Confused Elgar in the End … today’s themed answers all end with an anagram of ELGAR:
17A. Being extravagant and self-indulgent : LIVING LARGE
24A. "Ragged Dick" author : HORATIO ALGER
37A. Illumination in "The Star-Spangled Banner" : ROCKET’S RED GLARE
47A. All-malt beer : PREMIUM LAGER
58A. Scotch whisky brand : CHIVAS REGAL
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Insurance giant with a duck in its ads : AFLAC
In 1999 Aflac was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn't a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency's art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with "Aflac", and that duck has been "Aflacking" ever since ...

11. Food preservative, for short : BHT
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a food additive that is allowed in our food. BHT is an antioxidant.

14. Pack animal : LLAMA
The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

15. Eagle's nest : AERIE
An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

16. Big name in jeans : LEE
The Lee company famous for making jeans was formed in 1889, by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

19. Comfort ___ : INN
The Comfort Inn chain is part of Choice Hotels International. I stay in Comfort Suites every so often. Not bad for the price ...

20. Place to relax : SPA
The word "spa" migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name "Spa" comes from the Walloon word "espa" meaning "spring, fountain".

22. North American finch : JUNCO
The Junco is a small bird found in North American coniferous forests.

24. "Ragged Dick" author : HORATIO ALGER
Horatio Alger was an American writer of the late nineteenth century. Alger was a prolific writer of novels for young people and creates tales of poor children making it good in the world, achieving the American dream as it were.

27. Site of Kubla Khan's "pleasure dome" : XANADU
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is my wife's favorite poem. Coleridge wrote his masterpiece one night in 1797 after a vivid dream heavily influenced by opium.

30. ___ terrier : SKYE
The Skye terrier is a breed of dog that is actually under threat of extinction. A few years ago there were only 30 Skye terriers born in the breed's native land of the UK.

32. Barbershop symbol : POLE
Barbers originally offered a wide range of services, including surgery. Back in the Middle Ages, one of the primary services offered was bloodletting. The red and white sign outside a barber’s place of business represented bloody bandages wrapped around a pole. Henry VIII restricted barbers to just haircutting … and dentistry. Our term “barber” comes to us via Anglo-French from the Latin “barba” meaning “beard”.

34. Pocket watch accessory : FOB
A fob is attached to another object to make access to it easier. And so a key fob is a chain attached to a key so that it can be retrieved easily. There are also watch fobs, of course.

37. Illumination in "The Star-Spangled Banner" : ROCKET’S RED GLARE
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
are lines from “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

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

41. Adam's ___ (water) : ALE
I suppose water was all that Adam had available to him to drink, so that's how the expression Adam's ale arose (I am guessing ... can't find anything definitive anywhere). It makes a nice juxtaposition with "the demon drink"!

42. Gorgons : HAGS
The Gorgons were feared female creatures of Greek mythology. They were three sisters who had hair made up of living snakes. Anyone who looked on their faces would be turned to stone instantly.

43. One of Spain's Balearics : IBIZA
The Pine Islands is an autonomous community of Spain in the Mediterranean with two main islands, Ibiza and Formentera. Ibiza has for some decades been a pretty wild tourist destination for European tourists as it is noted for its frantic nightlife, although recently attempts have been made to calm things down and develop a more family-oriented vacation destination. Formentera is a less accessible island and is a quieter spot that is renowned for its nude beaches.

The Balearic Islands form an archipelago in the western Mediterranean of the east coast of Spain. The Balearics are made up up four main islands: Ibiza and Formentera (aka “the Pine Islands”), Majorca and Minorca.

44. "Survivor" immunity token : IDOL
The reality show "Survivor" is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called "Expedition Robinson".

46. King Arthur's resting place : AVALON
Avalon is a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legends. The name Avalon probably comes from the word "afal", the Welsh word for "apple", reflecting the fact that the island was noted for its beautiful apples. Avalon is where King Arthur's famous sword (Excalibur) was forged, and supposedly where Arthur was buried.

47. All-malt beer : PREMIUM LAGER
Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. "Lager" is the German word for "storage".

52. Jeweler's eyepiece : LOUPE
A loupe is a little magnifying lens that is held in the hand. “Loupe” is the French name for such a device.

54. Terrier's bark : ARF!
Most terrier breeds of dog originated in the British Isles. Terriers were developed as working dogs, with the job of controlling populations of rats, rabbits and foxes by rooting them out above and below the ground. The name “terrier” comes via Middle French from the the Latin “terra” meaning “earth”, a reflection of the breeds habit of burrowing into the earth looking for its prey.

58. Scotch whisky brand : CHIVAS REGAL
Chivas Regal is a blended Scotch whisky that is produced by Chivas Brothers, a company that was established in 1801. The Chivas Regal blend was first created in the early 1900s and was produced specifically for the US market.

63. "Raw" or "burnt" color : UMBER
Umber is an earthy, brown shade, and originally described a pigment made from earth found in Umbria, the region in central Italy. Similarly, the shade of "sienna" was originally a pigment made from earth found around Siena in Tuscany.

65. Lombard Street feature : ESS
Lombard Street in San Francisco is noted worldwide for a one-block section on Russian Hill that has eight ridiculously tight hairpin turns. That one-block section has a whipping 27% grade. The San Francisco Street is named for Lombard Street in Philadelphia.

66. "The Wrestler" actress Marisa : TOMEI
Marisa Tomei's first screen role was in "As the World Turns", but her break came with a recurring role in "The Cosby Show" spinoff, "A Different World". Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in "My Cousin Vinny" in 1992.

"The Wrestler" is a really hard and gritty movie from 2008, a comeback film for actor Mickey Rourke. Rourke stars as an over-the-hill professional wrestler, with Marisa Tomei playing a faded stripper, the love interest. The film received really strong reviews, but I found it to be a tough movie to sit through.

Down
2. 1960s hairstyle : FLIP
The flip hairstyle was popular on women in the sixties, and was characterized by an upward curl in the ends of the hair (a “flip”).

4. Bordeaux buddy : AMI
A male friend in France is "un ami", and a female friend is "une amie".

Bordeaux is perhaps the wine producing capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the German's took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.

5. Be lovey-dovey : CANOODLE
“To canoodle” is to indulge in caresses and kisses.

6. Valletta is its capital : MALTA
The island state of Malta is relatively small, but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta's strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

Valletta is the capital city of the island state of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. The city is named in honor of Jean Parisot de Valette, a French nobleman who commanded the resistance against the Ottomans at the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.

7. It's not used to make matzo : YEAST
Matzo is a unleavened bread, that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.

9. 2008 U.S. govt. bailout recipient : AIG
AIG is the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation (or I should say, "was"). After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I'd say ...

10. Record spinner : DEEJAY
The world's first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his first broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, he started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

11. Fancy gold jewelry, e.g. : BLING
Bling-bling is the name given to all the shiny stuff sported by rap stars in particular i.e. the jewelry, watches, metallic cell phones, even gold caps on the teeth. The term comes from the supposed “bling” sound caused by light striking a shiny metal surface.

12. Ergo : HENCE
"Ergo" is the Latin word for "hence, therefore".

13. Opera's Mario Lanza, for one : TENOR
Mario Lanza was a classical tenor and Hollywood actor from Philadelphia who had a very successful, but very short career. Lanza’s most famous movie performance was playing Enrico Caruso in the 1951 biopic “The Great Caruso”. Lanza struggled with overeating and alcohol abuse, and died in 1959 at only 38 years of age.

18. Expert : GURU
“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

25. Archipelago parts : ISLES
“Archipelago” is a name often used for a group or chain of islands. “Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. “Arcipelago” was the proper name for the Aegean Sea in Greek, a word that was eventually used for the Aegean Islands.

28. Barracks no-show : AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) are concerned with personnel who go AWOL (Absent Without Leave).

32. "The Lord is my shepherd ...," e.g. : PSALM
Psalm 23 starts out with:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

35. Rice-shaped pasta : ORZO
Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, "orzo" is the Italian word for "barley".

36. Noggin : BEAN
A slang term for a “head” might be “bean” or “noggin”.

38. G : THOU
“G” and “thou” are slang terms used for a “thousand”.

44. Jackanapes : IMP
A”jackanapes” is an impudent person or an impish child. The term originated with William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The Duke was a bit of an upstart, a member of the nouveau riche who rose into noble ranks from the merchant class. The de la Pole family had a collar and chain on its coat of arms, a symbol that was associated with monkey leashes in those days. As a result, the Duke was given the derisive name of Jack of Naples, a slang term for a monkey at that time, and this was shortened to “Jackanapes”.

45. Like most jigsaw puzzles : DIE-CUT
The original jigsaw puzzles were created by painting a picture on a sheet of wood and then cutting the picture into small pieces using a jigsaw, hence the name. Today, almost all jigsaw puzzles are pictures glued onto cardboard. The puzzle pieces are then die-cut, and there’s no jigsaw involved at all.

46. I.R.S. employees: Abbr. : AGTS
Agent (agt.)

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

49. Continental cash : EUROS
The European Union (EU) today stands at a membership of 27 states. The Euro is the official currency of only 16 of the 27. The list of states in the EU that don't use the Euro includes the UK, Denmark and Sweden.

50. Flood barrier : LEVEE
A levee is an artificial bank usually made of earth, running along the length of a river. A levee is designed to hold back river water at a time of potential flooding. "Levée" is the French word for "raised" and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.

51. Creator of the game Missile Command : ATARI
“Missile Command” is a fun arcade game that was introduced by Atari in 1980. Playing the game involves protecting six cities that are being attacked by ballistic missiles. The original game’s design featured six cities in California: Eureka, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego.

54. Petri dish gel : AGAR
Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an "agar plate".

59. Managed care plan, for short : HMO
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

60. Co. with the motto "Think" : IBM
IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name of International Business Machines (IBM) was given first to the company's Canadian subsidiary, and then its South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice ...

61. Australia's national bird : EMU
The official symbol of Australia is a coat of arms that features a kangaroo and an emu, the country’s national animal and national bird.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Insurance giant with a duck in its ads : AFLAC
6. "I messed up!" : MY BAD!
11. Food preservative, for short : BHT
14. Pack animal : LLAMA
15. Eagle's nest : AERIE
16. Big name in jeans : LEE
17. Being extravagant and self-indulgent : LIVING LARGE
19. Comfort ___ : INN
20. Place to relax : SPA
21. Baseball count : OUTS
22. North American finch : JUNCO
24. "Ragged Dick" author : HORATIO ALGER
27. Site of Kubla Khan's "pleasure dome" : XANADU
30. ___ terrier : SKYE
31. Pirouette : TWIRL
32. Barbershop symbol : POLE
34. Pocket watch accessory : FOB
37. Illumination in "The Star-Spangled Banner" : ROCKET’S RED GLARE
41. Adam's ___ (water) : ALE
42. Gorgons : HAGS
43. One of Spain's Balearics : IBIZA
44. "Survivor" immunity token : IDOL
46. King Arthur's resting place : AVALON
47. All-malt beer : PREMIUM LAGER
52. Jeweler's eyepiece : LOUPE
53. Feminine name suffix : -ETTA
54. Terrier's bark : ARF!
57. Cause of inflation? : AIR
58. Scotch whisky brand : CHIVAS REGAL
62. Mop & ___ (floor cleaner) : GLO
63. "Raw" or "burnt" color : UMBER
64. It's moving at the movies : IMAGE
65. Lombard Street feature : ESS
66. "The Wrestler" actress Marisa : TOMEI
67. Blender setting : PUREE

Down
1. "___ right with the world" : ALL’S
2. 1960s hairstyle : FLIP
3. Volcanic emission : LAVA
4. Bordeaux buddy : AMI
5. Be lovey-dovey : CANOODLE
6. Valletta is its capital : MALTA
7. It's not used to make matzo : YEAST
8. "It's c-c-cold!" : BRR!
9. 2008 U.S. govt. bailout recipient : AIG
10. Record spinner : DEEJAY
11. Fancy gold jewelry, e.g. : BLING
12. Ergo : HENCE
13. Opera's Mario Lanza, for one : TENOR
18. Expert : GURU
23. Suffix with glob : -ULE
24. "Listen up!," old-style : HARK!
25. Archipelago parts : ISLES
26. Green-lighted : OKED
27. Bonus, in ads : XTRA
28. Barracks no-show : AWOL
29. "Good job!" : NICE!
32. "The Lord is my shepherd ...," e.g. : PSALM
33. Assn. or grp. : ORG
34. Not make the grade? : FAIL
35. Rice-shaped pasta : ORZO
36. Noggin : BEAN
38. G : THOU
39. Be concerned, slangily : GIVE A RIP
40. Letter-shaped shelf support : L-BAR
44. Jackanapes : IMP
45. Like most jigsaw puzzles : DIE-CUT
46. I.R.S. employees: Abbr. : AGTS
47. French beach : PLAGE
48. Stirs up : ROILS
49. Continental cash : EUROS
50. Flood barrier : LEVEE
51. Creator of the game Missile Command : ATARI
54. Petri dish gel : AGAR
55. Storm : RAGE
56. Hightail it away : FLEE
59. Managed care plan, for short : HMO
60. Co. with the motto "Think" : IBM
61. Australia's national bird : EMU


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

1230-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Dec 13, Monday



QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: Vowel Progression … each of today’s themed answers start with a word of the form P-NT, with the second letter progressing through the vowels going from teh top of the grid to the bottom:
18A. In some common women's office attire : PANT-SUITED
24A. What may lead to an emotional explosion : PENT-UP ANGER
36A. Half-quart container : PINT MEASURE
51A. Creamy French cheese : PONT L'EVEQUE
59A. Gridiron runback : PUNT RETURN
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Pasta often baked with tomato sauce : ZITI
Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends.

14. Birthright seller in the Bible : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins "the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)". As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father's wealth (it was his "birthright"). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a "mess of pottage" (a meal of lentils).

16. U.C.L.A. athlete : BRUIN
The UCLA Bruins mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be "mean" Bruin mascots but they weren't very popular with the fans, so now there are only "happy" Bruin mascots at the games.

17. ___ of one's existence : BANE
Today we tend to use the word “bane” to mean an anathema, a source of persistent annoyance. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

22. Lexicographer Webster : NOAH
Not only is Noah Webster's name inextricably linked with his series of dictionaries, but he is also renowned as an advocate for English spelling reform. He argued that "traditional" English is hard to learn, and that it should be simplified and standardized. He published spelling books that were used in schools, and from edition to edition he changed the spelling of words in order to simplify the language. Examples are the use of "s" over "c" in words like "defense" (In Ireland we have defence and defense depending on usage), "-re" became "-er" as in center instead of centre (reversing the influence of French), and he dropped one of the Ls in words like traveler (I learned "traveller"). Mind you, he also spelled "tongue" as "tung", but he didn't get very far with that one.

23. Good name for a garage mechanic? : OTTO
Otto would be a good name for a car mechanic because “Otto” sounds like “auto”.

27. Command opposite to "gee" : HAW
"Haw!" is a command given to a trained animal that is hauling something (like a horse or an ox). "Haw!" is used to instruct the animal to turn to the left. The equivalent command for a right turn is "Gee!" Just to confuse things, the same commands are used in the British Isles but with the opposite meanings. That must be pretty unsettling for jet-setting plow horses ...

28. Blood component : PLASMA
Plasma (sometimes “plasm”) is the clear, yellow-colored liquid component of blood and lymph in which cells are suspended.

35. NW Indiana city : GARY
The city of Gary, Indiana is located just 25 miles from downtown Chicago and falls within the Chicago metropolitan area (also known as “Chicagoland”). Gary was founded by US Steel in 1906, as the company selected it as the site for a new steel plant. The name was chose in honor of Elbert H. Gary who was the key player in setting up US Steel in 1901.

41. L. Frank Baum princess : OZMA
L. Frank Baum wrote a whole series of books about the Land of Oz, and Princess Ozma appears in all of them except the one that's most famous, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".

L. Frank Baum (the “L” is for Lyman) was of course famous for writing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Writing early in the 20th century, Baum actually described in his books things that had yet to be invented, like television, laptop computers and wireless telephones.

44. Gentlemen: Abbr. : MESSRS
The abbreviation “Messrs.” is used at the head of a list of male names, in place of “Misters”. It is an abbreviation of the French “messieurs”, the plural of “monsieur”.

51. Creamy French cheese : PONT-L'EVEQUE
Pont-l'Évêque cheese is named for the commune of Pont-l'Évêque in Normandy in northern France, where it was originally produced. Pont-l'Évêque is one of the most popular cheeses in France, alongside Brie, Camembert and Roquefort.

55. Trac II successor : ATRA
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.

Gillette introduced the Trac II in 1971, the world's first twin-blade razor.

57. ___ Bora (former Taliban stronghold) : TORA
The famous cave that almost certainly housed Osama Bin Laden for a while was in Tora Bora in eastern Pakistan. Tora Bora is not far (~ 30 mi) from what used to be an even more famous spot, the Khyber Pass. "Tora Bora" is a Pashto name which translates to "black dust".

58. Dutch-speaking isle in the Caribbean : ARUBA
Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands. The ABC Islands is the nickname given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

59. Gridiron runback : PUNT RETURN
We never used the word "gridiron" when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for finding out relatively recently that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking!

64. "Green-eyed monster" : ENVY
William Shakespeare was one of the first to associate the color green with envy. He called jealousy the "green-eyed monster" in his play "Othello".

65. Villa d'___ : ESTE
The Villa d'Este is a beautiful Renaissance villa situated close to Tivoli near Rome, Italy.

67. Card game played without twos through sixes : SKAT
When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. Skat originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular game in the country. I haven't played it in decades, but would love to play it again ...

Down
2. Novelist Allende : ISABEL
Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, apparently the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author. Isabel is related to Salvador Allende, the ex-President of Chile.

6. Classic toothpaste brand : IPANA
Ipana toothpaste was introduced in 1915 and was at the height of its popularity in the forties and fifties. Sales declined in the sixties and the product was withdrawn from the US market in the seventies. Bucky the Beaver was the "spokesman" for Ipana. Bucky the Beaver's slogan was "Brusha... Brusha... Brusha. Get the New Ipana - it's dandy for your teeth!"

7. Carpentry piece inserted into a mortise : TENON
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. The mortise is the "hole" and the tenon is the "projection".

9. ___ Dhabi : ABU
Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

10. Verve : BRIO
“Brio” is borrowed from Italian, in which language it means vigor and vivacity. "Con brio" is a musical direction often found on a score, instructing the musicians to play "with energy, vigor".

19. Generic collie name : SHEP
The collie isn’t actually a breed of dog, but rather the name given to a group of herding dogs that originate in Scotland and Northern England. An obvious (and wonderful) example would be the Border Collie. Many dogs classed as collies don’t have the word “collie” in the name of the breed, for example the Old English Sheepdog and the Shetland Sheepdog.

26. Pasta sauce brand : RAGU
The Ragu brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name " Ragù" is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is "Ragù" with a grave accent over the "u", but if you look at a jar of the Unilever sauce, it is spelled "Ragú" on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don't try ...

30. Score between a birdie and a bogey : PAR
Apparently the term "birdie" originated in 1899 at the Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield, New Jersey. A golfer hit his second shot on a par four that stopped inches from the cup after hitting a bird in flight. The golfer tapped the ball in for one-under-par, and his golfing buddies labeled the second shot a "bird". The golfers started to call one-under-par a birdie, and the term spread through the club, and from there around the world ...

The term "Bogey" originated at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England in 1890, and was used to indicate a total round that was one over par (and not one over par on a particular hole, as it is today). The name Bogey came from a music hall song of the time "Here Comes the Bogey Man". In the following years it became popular for players trying to stay at par to be "playing against Colonel Bogey". Then, during WWI, the marching tune "Colonel Bogey" was written and named after the golfing term. If you don't recognize the name of the tune, it's the one that's whistled by the soldiers marching in the great movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai".

32. Comedian Philips : EMO
Emo Philips is a stand-up comedian from Chicago. He's had a long and successful career, and listed on his resume is a small acting part in the 1992 hit movie "Meet the Parents" starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. Philips was also the executive producer for that very same film, so, I'd say he made a few pennies ...

33. Hat with a tassel : FEZ
"Fez" is the name given to the red cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of "fez" is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

34. "Uncle ___ wants you" : SAM
The Uncle Sam personification of the United States was first used during the War of 1812. The “Uncle Sam” term was so widely accepted that even the Germans used it during WWII, choosing the code word "Samland" for "America" in intelligence communiques.

38. ___ tide : NEAP
Tides of course are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon's effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon's gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

42. Daytime drama, informally : SOAPER
As almost everyone knows, the original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that's how the "soap" opera got its name ...

43. Schlep : TOTE
Our word “schlep” means “carry, drag”. As one might expect, “schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

45. Actress Mendes : EVA
I best know the actress Eva Mendes as the female lead in the movie "Hitch", opposite Will Smith. Mendes was known off the screen for dating actor Ryan Gosling from 2011 to 2013.

48. Fluctuation of musical tempo : RUBATO
"Tempo rubato" is a musical instruction encouraging the conductor or soloist to speed up and slow the tempo at his or her own discretion. Often singers and musicians vary the tempo anyway, giving the piece of music their own "imprint".

52. Memoranda : NOTES
“Memorandum” means "thing to be remembered" in Latin, from the verb "memorare" meaning "to call to mind".

54. Caterpillar stage, for example : LARVA
The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

56. Classic record label : ATCO
Atco Records is an American record label founded in 1955, taking its name from the parent company, Atlantic Corporation.

60. N.F.L. linemen: Abbr. : RTS
In American football, linemen specialize in playing in the line of scrimmage. RT stands for Right Tackle. That's about all I know, and even that I am unsure about ...

61. W.S.J. rival : NYT
"The New York Times" has been published since 1851. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country, and I'm proud to be one of the 30 million visitors to the site each month.

“The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) is a daily newspaper with a business bent that is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ has a larger US circulation than any other newspaper, with “USA Today” coming in second place.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bird's "arm" : WING
5. Pasta often baked with tomato sauce : ZITI
9. Place to live : ABODE
14. Birthright seller in the Bible : ESAU
15. Mimicked : APED
16. U.C.L.A. athlete : BRUIN
17. ___ of one's existence : BANE
18. In some common women's office attire : PANT-SUITED
20. Embarrass : ABASH
22. Lexicographer Webster : NOAH
23. Good name for a garage mechanic? : OTTO
24. What may lead to an emotional explosion : PENT-UP ANGER
27. Command opposite to "gee" : HAW
28. Blood component : PLASMA
29. News, Post, Tribune, etc. : PAPERS
31. Basketball officials, informally : REFS
35. NW Indiana city : GARY
36. Half-quart container : PINT MEASURE
40. Sit for a painting, say : POSE
41. L. Frank Baum princess : OZMA
42. "Like I care!" : SO WHAT!
44. Gentlemen: Abbr. : MESSRS
50. Unlock, in poetry : OPE
51. Creamy French cheese : PONT-L'EVEQUE
55. Trac II successor : ATRA
57. ___ Bora (former Taliban stronghold) : TORA
58. Dutch-speaking isle in the Caribbean : ARUBA
59. Gridiron runback : PUNT RETURN
62. Lab container : VIAL
63. Pass, as a law : ENACT
64. "Green-eyed monster" : ENVY
65. Villa d'___ : ESTE
66. Seized vehicles : REPOS
67. Card game played without twos through sixes : SKAT
68. Protected, as horses' hooves : SHOD

Down
1. Google Calendar, e.g., informally : WEB APP
2. Novelist Allende : ISABEL
3. Refrain syllables : NA NA NA
4. Whom hosts host : GUESTS
5. Electrocute : ZAP
6. Classic toothpaste brand : IPANA
7. Carpentry piece inserted into a mortise : TENON
8. Dog collar add-on : ID TAG
9. ___ Dhabi : ABU
10. Verve : BRIO
11. Highly unconventional : OUT THERE
12. Related to food intake : DIETARY
13. Provides money for, as a scholarship : ENDOWS
19. Generic collie name : SHEP
21. Beehive sound : HUM
25. Role : PART
26. Pasta sauce brand : RAGU
30. Score between a birdie and a bogey : PAR
32. Comedian Philips : EMO
33. Hat with a tassel : FEZ
34. "Uncle ___ wants you" : SAM
36. Afternoon office pick-me-up : POWER NAP
37. Ending like -like : -ISH
38. ___ tide : NEAP
39. Identical : SAME
40. Candidate for the Top 40 : POP TUNE
42. Daytime drama, informally : SOAPER
43. Schlep : TOTE
45. Actress Mendes : EVA
46. Starts of tennis rallies : SERVES
47. Step on, as a bug : SQUISH
48. Fluctuation of musical tempo : RUBATO
49. Like an envelope that's ready to be mailed : SEALED
52. Memoranda : NOTES
53. Front of an elephant or back of a car : TRUNK
54. Caterpillar stage, for example : LARVA
56. Classic record label : ATCO
60. N.F.L. linemen: Abbr. : RTS
61. W.S.J. rival : NYT


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

1229-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Dec 13, Sunday



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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Take a Break … today’s grid is shaped like a pool table. It is a rebus puzzle, with the word POCKET in each square at the corners and halfway down each long side (represented by black discs in my grid). Also, the circled letters arranged in a triangle spell out the words POOL BALLS. And further, several themed answers end with items found on a pool table:
1A. One at a woman's side? : POCKETBOOK
11A. Person who might bump into you on a subway : PICKPOCKET
62A. Item on a chain : POCKET WATCH
68A. Like some expenses : OUT-OF-POCKET
123A. Best hand in Texas hold 'em : POCKET ACES
125A. Having a ton of money to draw on : DEEP POCKET
1D. Presidential power first used by James Madison : POCKET VETO
15D. Miniature : POCKETSIZE
62D. Well-protected, nonrunning quarterback : POCKET PASSER
71D. Silver, say : POCKET CHANGE
106D. Microwaveable snack item : HOT POCKET
114D. Cause of a sudden drop in altitude : AIR POCKET

23A. Spoken instruction in animal training : VERBAL CUE
35A. Bit of hopscotch equipment : SIDEWALK CHALK
51A. Philadelphia/New Jersey connector : WALT WHITMAN BRIDGE
77A. It's often divided into sections 0, 2, 4, 6, etc. : DRESS RACK
107A. Sincere : HEARTFELT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 25m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

16. Starbucks size : VENTI
Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:
- Demi ... 3 fl oz
- Short ... 8 fl oz
- Tall ... 12 fl oz
- Grande ... 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
- Venti ... 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
- Trenta ... 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

17. Model/actress Keibler : STACY
Stacy Keibler is an actress and model as well as a retired professional wrestler. Keibler became known to non-wrestling fans when she competed on the second season of TV’s “Dancing with the Stars”. She also got her name in the tabloids when she was dating actor George Clooney, from 2011 to 2013.

18. Brother of Prometheus : ATLAS
In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan who was tasked with holding up the celestial sphere on his shoulders. The Greeks observed the planets moving and the stars in fixed positions. They believed that the stars were on the surface of a single starry sphere, the celestial sphere that was supported by Atlas.

21. Animal with a flexible snout : COATI
A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

26. Best Musical of 1975, with "The" : WIZ
"The Wiz", the 1975 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven't seen it, though. "The Wizard of Oz" scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I've admitted it in public ...

29. He said the most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible : TS ELIOT
The author T. S. Eliot was the son of Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Champe Stearns, so his full name was Thomas Stearns Eliot (TSE).

33. New York Titans' org. : AFL
Just like the New York Giants, the New York Jets are based in New Jersey, headquartered in Florham Park. The Jets and the Giants have a unique arrangement in the NFL in that the two teams share Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets were an AFL charter team, formed in 1959 as the Titans of New York. The Titans changed their name to the Jets in 1963.

35. Bit of hopscotch equipment : SIDEWALK CHALK
Hopscotch is a kids playground game that I used to love as a youngster. Some believe that children in Ancient Rome played a version of the game.

42. Shady spot : BOWER
Our word "bower" comes from the Old English "bur" meaning a hut or dwelling. We've been using "bower" to mean a "leafy arbor", a "dwelling" defined by surrounding trees, since way back in the 1500s.

45. Bee product : QUILT
Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a "bee". The name "bee" was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a "quilting bee", or even a “spelling bee”.

48. Iowa's ___ Colonies : AMANA
“The Amana Colonies” is the collective name given to seven villages in east-central Iowa, namely Amana, East Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, South Amana, West Amana and Homestead. All seven villages were founded by German immigrants who called themselves the Community of True Inspiration.

49. Name that's Hebrew for "pleasant" : NAOMI
The female given name “Naomi” translates from Hebrew as “pleasantness”. It is a Biblical name, with the original Naomi being the mother-in-law of Ruth (of the Book of Ruth).

51. Philadelphia/New Jersey connector : WALT WHITMAN BRIDGE
The Walt Whitman Bridge crosses the Delaware River and joins Philadelphia to Gloucester City, New Jersey. The bridge is named for Whitman as the poet spent the latter years of his life in nearby Camden, New Jersey.

54. Half of sechs : DREI
In German, half of six (sechs) is three (drei).

55. "Il était ___ fois" (French fairy tale start) : UNE
The French phrase "Il était une fois" translates as “once up a time”.

56. Brand name that's an anagram of 31-Across : RCA
During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

72. Pop icon? : PEPSI
The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as “Brad’s Drink”. Bradham's aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the Pepsi Cola brand name that is used today.

76. Finsteraarhorn, e.g. : ALP
The Finsteraarhorn is the highest of the Alps that lies outside of the main chain, actually in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. The Finsteraarhorn is the ninth highest peak in the whole of the Alps.

80. Country where the Blue Nile originates: Abbr. : ETH
Ethiopia holds an important position within the nations of Africa, with the capital of Addis Ababa being home to many international organizations that are focused on the continent.

The Blue Nile and the White Nile are the two major tributaries that form the River Nile.

84. A balconette is a low-cut style of one : BRA
A balconette bra is one which features low cups and wide-set straps. Apparently this style of bra was given the name as men in a theatre balcony looking down at a female performer could not see any signs of the bra. No comment …

85. Mlle., in Madrid : SRTA
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish, and mademoiselle (Mlle.), is French for “Miss”.

89. "___ the Air" (2009 Clooney movie) : UP IN
“Up in the Air” is a really enjoyable comedy-drama from 2009, an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Walter Kirn. It’s all about life on the road and business travel, and stars George Clooney. It reminded me of my decades of business travel, something I usually enjoyed, to be honest. Clooney’s young sidekick in the movie is played very ably by Anna Kendrick.

90. Part of FEMA: Abbr. : EMER
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

91. Rat : STOOLIE
Stoolies, also called canaries, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. "Stoolies" were originally decoys for the police, rather than informers, hence the name.

101. Old Olds : CIERA
Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the Oldsmobile brand name's most successful model.

106. Sounds from Santa : HOS
Saint Nicholas of Myra is the inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now in modern-day Turkey) during the 4th century AD, and was known for being generous to the poor. Centuries after he died, his remains were desecrated by Italian sailors and moved to Bari in Italy. One legend has it that the relics were moved again centuries later and reburied in the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny in Ireland, where you can visit the grave today. I choose to believe that Santa Claus’s relics are indeed buried in Ireland …

113. Ad Council output, briefly : PSA
Public service announcement (PSA)

115. First president with a Twitter account : OBAMA
I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so. Twitter is a microblogging service that limits any post sent to just 140 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don't think I could send out much of interest using just 140 characters.

117. Decoration under a dish : DOILY
There was a draper in London in the seventeenth century called Doiley, and he gave his name to the lace fabric that he sold, which in turn gave its name to the ornamental mats we call doilies. I can't stand them!

118. 2010 earthquake site : HAITI
The capital city of Haiti is Port-au-Prince. The city was hit by a devastating earthquake in January of 2010. The official government estimate of the death toll stands at 230,000 people, with many bodies never recovered.

121. Universal ___ : DONOR
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

122. Blown out? : ERROR
Someone trying to make an out in baseball might blow it, and be given an “error” on the scoreboard.

123. Best hand in Texas hold 'em : POCKET ACES
The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas Hold 'Em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas Hold 'Em in the television line-up that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

124. Talk face-to-face? : SKYPE
The main feature of the Skype application is that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called "Sky peer-to-peer" so the first commercial name for the application was "Skyper". This had to be shortened to "Skype" because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

Down
1. Presidential power first used by James Madison : POCKET VETO
In the US, “pocket veto” is the term used for the legal maneuver that kills a piece of legislation when the President takes no action at all. The Constitution requires that the President sign or veto (i.e. a “regular veto”) any legislation within ten days while Congress is in session. If Congress adjourns within the 10-day period, then the bill does not become law. It is this inaction by the President when Congress is out of session that is called a “pocket veto”.

4. First National Leaguer with eight consecutive 100-R.B.I. seasons : OTT
At 5' 9", Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don't think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

5. Chicken ___ : KIEV
Chicken Kiev may indeed be a Ukrainian dish, named for the capital city of Kiev. It is a boneless chicken breast rolled around garlic, herbs and butter, breaded and deep fried. It was my Dad’s favorite …

6. Michael and Peter : TSARS
Tsar Michael I reigned from 1613 to 1645, and was the first Russian leader from the House of Romanov.

Peter the Great was perhaps the most successful of the Romanov tsars, famous for modernizing Russia and expanding the country's sphere of influence, creating the Russian Empire. He ruled from 1682 until his death in 1725.

9. Reason for a food recall : E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

10. Big name in food service : SYSCO
It's hard to drive down any highway in the US without coming across a Sysco truck. It really is a huge company, the largest food service enterprise in the country. "Sysco" is an abbreviation for Systems and Services Company.

12. 1989 world champion figure skater : ITO
Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact she landed her first triple jump in training, when she was only 8 years old ...

14. Talk show starting in 2012 : KATIE
Katie Couric left NBC's "The Today Show" in 2006 and took over as news anchor for "CBS Evening News". In so doing she became the first solo female anchor of a broadcast network evening news program. Couric also has the honor of being the only person to guest-host on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. In fact she “swapped jobs” on that particular day, and Leno filled in for Couric on “The Today Show”. Since 2012, Couric has a hosted a daytime talk show called “Katie”, which is scheduled to wind down in 2014.

24. To be, to Béatrice : ETRE
The French for “to be” is “être”.

25. Jazz quintet's home : UTAH
The Utah Jazz professional basketball team moved to their current home in Salt Lake City in 1979. As one might guess from the name, the team originated in New Orleans, but only played there for five seasons. New Orleans was a tough place to be based because venues were hard to come by, and Mardi Gras forced the team to play on the road for a whole month.

28. Half of the Nobel Prize winners, typically : SCIENTISTS
The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded "in memory of Alfred Nobel". Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.

30. Secret society in Dan Brown's "Angels & Demons" : ILLUMINATI
"The Da Vinci Code" is an excellent yarn (although much panned), written by Dan Brown. Brown's first book to feature the character Robert Langdon was even better in my opinion, "Angels & Demons".

34. Muslim ascetic : FAQIR
A fakir (also faqir) is an ascetic in the Muslim tradition. The term “fakir” is derived from “faqr”, an Arabic word for “poverty”.

35. Low, moist area : SWALE
A swale is a narrow tract of low-lying land that is usually wet or marshy. It can be naturally occurring or man-made. One might create a swale to help manage drainage of adjacent land.

39. Harold's partner in comedies : KUMAR
“Harold & Kumar” is a trilogy of comedy films about two potheads played by John Cho (Harold) and Kal Penn (Kumar). Not my cup of tea …

42. Madam : BAWD
A madam is the female equivalent of a pimp, someone who lives off the earnings of prostitutes. Usually a madam is associated with a brothel.

43. "The Wire" antihero : OMAR
The character Omar Little is played by Michael K. Williams on the HBO series called "The Wire". I didn't watch "The Wire" when it first aired but we ending up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing a couple of years ago. It's is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.

46. Downhill sport : LUGE
A luge is a small sled used by one or two people, on which one lies face up and feet first. The luge can be compared to the skeleton, a sled for only one person and on which the rider lies face down and goes down the hill head first.

47. Tight ends? : TEES
The letter T (tee) can be found at both ends of the word “tight”.

53. Scott of "Happy Days" : BAIO
Scott Baio is the actor who played Chachi Arcola in the great sitcom “Happy Days” and in the not so great spin-off “Joanie Loves Chachi”. Baio also played the title role in a later sitcom called “Charles in Charge”. Earlier in his career, he played another title role, in the 1976 movie “Bugsy Malone”, appearing opposite a young Jodie Foster.

59. You'll trip if you drop it : ACID
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

64. Duds : APPAREL
“Duds” is an informal word for clothing, coming from the word “dudde” that was used around 1300 as the name for a cloak.

69. Unlike eagles : OVER PAR
The use of the word "eagle" to signify a 2-under-par score on a hole in golf, simply builds on the established use of "birdie" for 1-under-par. An eagle is just a "bigger" bird, and 2-under par is "bigger" and better than 1-under.

73. Next-to-last #1 Beatles hit : LET IT BE
"Let It Be" was the last album that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The title song “Let It Be” was written by Paul McCartney, and it is clearly one of his own favorites. McCartney says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line "Mother Mary comes to me". Paul's second wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang "Let It Be" at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song ...

85. Subject of a 2009 national tournament cheating scandal : SUDOKU
Number puzzles similar to our modern-day Sudoku first appeared in French newspapers in the late 1800s. The format that we use today was created by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana and first published in 1979. The format was introduced in Japan in 1984 and given the title of “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, which translates to “the digits are limited to one occurrence”. The rather elaborate Japanese title was eventually shortened to Sudoku. No doubt many of you are fans of Sudoku puzzles. I know I am ...

Allegations of cheating were made against a mysterious competitor called “Eugene Varshavsky” who was placed third in the 2009 Sudoku National Championships. Apparently a man with the same name was accused of cheating at the 2006 World Open Chess Tournament. I think this remains an unsolved mystery, and Mr. Eugene Varshavsky has disappeared into thin air ...

88. "Meet the Press" guest, for short : POL
Politician (pol.)

NBC’s news/interview show “Meet the Press” was first aired in 1947. That’s a long time ago, and so “Meet the Press” is the longest-running television series in US broadcasting history.

100. Apiece, at Wimbledon : ALL
The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and are still played on grass.

101. Army attack helicopter : COBRA
The Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter was the mainstay of the US Army’s helicopter fleet, until it was replaced by the AH-64 Apache.

102. ___ Pitman, developer of shorthand : ISAAC
Pitman shorthand is a system developed by Sir Isaac Pitman that he started to promote in 1837. Pitman shorthand is the most popular shorthand system in the UK. Here in North America, Pitman is the second most popular system, having been displaced by Gregg shorthand.

104. Freedom Tower feature : SPIRE
One World Trade Center is the legal name for the tallest building in the US that is known colloquially as Freedom Tower”. The building stands at the symbolic height of 1776 feet.

105. Bar at the bar : ESTOP
The term "estop" means to block or stop by using some legal device. The word "estop" comes from Old French, in which "estopper" means "to stop up" or "to impede".

106. Microwaveable snack item : HOT POCKET
Hot Pockets were introduced in the seventies by brothers David and Paul Merage. Hot Pockets are microwaveable turnovers filled with cheese, meat or vegetables.

109. Corner piece : ROOK
The corner piece in the game of chess is a called a rook, a word coming from the Persian word "rokh" meaning a "chariot". The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

112. Jane who becomes Mrs. Rochester : EYRE
"Jane Eyre" is of course the novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I've shared here on my blogs that the "Jane Eyre" story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

116. Marie Curie, e.g.: Abbr. : MME
Madame (Mme.)

Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in 1903 and 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie's personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. One at a woman's side? : POCKETBOOK
6. Fixes keys : TUNES
11. Person who might bump into you on a subway : PICKPOCKET
16. Starbucks size : VENTI
17. Model/actress Keibler : STACY
18. Brother of Prometheus : ATLAS
19. Choice : ELITE
20. Road runners : AUTOS
21. Animal with a flexible snout : COATI
22. Unduly : TOO
23. Spoken instruction in animal training : VERBAL CUE
26. Best Musical of 1975, with "The" : WIZ
27. Completely dominates : OWNS
29. He said the most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible : TS ELIOT
30. "Oh, hmm ..." : I SEE
31. Elevator ___ : CAR
33. New York Titans' org. : AFL
35. Bit of hopscotch equipment : SIDEWALK CHALK
42. Shady spot : BOWER
44. In a state of conflict : AFOUL
45. Bee product : QUILT
48. Iowa's ___ Colonies : AMANA
49. Name that's Hebrew for "pleasant" : NAOMI
50. "Something ought to finally go my way" : I’M DUE
51. Philadelphia/New Jersey connector : WALT WHITMAN BRIDGE
54. Half of sechs : DREI
55. "Il était ___ fois" (French fairy tale start) : UNE
56. Brand name that's an anagram of 31-Across : RCA
57. Rejections : NOES
58. Acted like a rat : SANG
60. "Howdy" : HIYA
62. Item on a chain : POCKET WATCH
65. Center of activity : HUB
68. Like some expenses : OUT-OF-POCKET
72. Pop icon? : PEPSI
73. Wash against, as the shore : LAP AT
75. Like some duties : CIVIC
76. Finsteraarhorn, e.g. : ALP
77. It's often divided into sections 0, 2, 4, 6, etc. : DRESS RACK
80. Country where the Blue Nile originates: Abbr. : ETH
81. Part of the healing process : SCAB
83. ___ distance : AT A
84. A balconette is a low-cut style of one : BRA
85. Mlle., in Madrid : SRTA
86. Like a Monday morning quarterback? : SORE
87. Symbols of dirtiness : PIGPENS
89. "___ the Air" (2009 Clooney movie) : UP IN
90. Part of FEMA: Abbr. : EMER
91. Rat : STOOLIE
92. "Shoot!" : DANG!
93. Pass again on the track : RELAP
95. Big dos : BALLS
96. Fake : FORGE
97. Precept : TENET
99. Dangerous person to play against for money : SHARK
101. Old Olds : CIERA
103. No-goodnik : LOUSE
106. Sounds from Santa : HOS
107. Sincere : HEARTFELT
113. Ad Council output, briefly : PSA
115. First president with a Twitter account : OBAMA
117. Decoration under a dish : DOILY
118. 2010 earthquake site : HAITI
120. Walk heavily : TRAMP
121. Universal ___ : DONOR
122. Blown out? : ERROR
123. Best hand in Texas hold 'em : POCKET ACES
124. Talk face-to-face? : SKYPE
125. Having a ton of money to draw on : DEEP POCKET

Down
1. Presidential power first used by James Madison : POCKET VETO
2. Not on deck, say : BELOW
3. Sometimes-caramelized item : ONION
4. First National Leaguer with eight consecutive 100-R.B.I. seasons : OTT
5. Chicken ___ : KIEV
6. Michael and Peter : TSARS
7. Lab item that sounds like a popular website : U-TUBE
8. Birth-related : NATAL
9. Reason for a food recall : E COLI
10. Big name in food service : SYSCO
11. Show anxiety, in a way : PACE
12. 1989 world champion figure skater : ITO
13. Bear necessities? : CLAWS
14. Talk show starting in 2012 : KATIE
15. Miniature : POCKETSIZE
24. To be, to Béatrice : ETRE
25. Jazz quintet's home : UTAH
28. Half of the Nobel Prize winners, typically : SCIENTISTS
30. Secret society in Dan Brown's "Angels & Demons" : ILLUMINATI
32. "Let's call it ___" : A DRAW
34. Muslim ascetic : FAQIR
35. Low, moist area : SWALE
36. On the way out : WANING
37. ___ worse than death : A FATE
38. Hang (over) : LOOM
39. Harold's partner in comedies : KUMAR
40. Ice : CLINCH
41. Friendly term of address : KIDDO
42. Madam : BAWD
43. "The Wire" antihero : OMAR
46. Downhill sport : LUGE
47. Tight ends? : TEES
52. "Come again?" : HUNH?
53. Scott of "Happy Days" : BAIO
59. You'll trip if you drop it : ACID
61. "Gross!" : YUCK!
62. Well-protected, nonrunning quarterback : POCKET PASSER
63. Sign word often translated into multiple languages : WELCOME
64. Duds : APPAREL
65. Tries : HAS A GO AT
66. Emotional peaks : UPS
67. Pressing needs? : BARBELLS
69. Unlike eagles : OVER PAR
70. Appropriate : FITTING
71. Silver, say : POCKET CHANGE
73. Next-to-last #1 Beatles hit : LET IT BE
74. Sully : TARNISH
78. Spits rhymes : RAPS
79. Beer buy : CASE
82. Tongue-lash : BERATE
85. Subject of a 2009 national tournament cheating scandal : SUDOKU
88. "Meet the Press" guest, for short : POL
94. Possibly : PERHAPS
96. Formed rising bubbles : FROTHED
98. It's "not" in Scotland : NAE
100. Apiece, at Wimbledon : ALL
101. Army attack helicopter : COBRA
102. ___ Pitman, developer of shorthand : ISAAC
104. Freedom Tower feature : SPIRE
105. Bar at the bar : ESTOP
106. Microwaveable snack item : HOT POCKET
108. States further : ADDS
109. Corner piece : ROOK
110. Miniature : TINY
111. Dud : FLOP
112. Jane who becomes Mrs. Rochester : EYRE
114. Cause of a sudden drop in altitude : AIR POCKET
116. Marie Curie, e.g.: Abbr. : MME
119. Word often shortened to one letter in text messages : ARE


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

1228-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Dec 13, Saturday



QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Frederick J. Healy
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: Did not finish!
ANSWERS I MISSED: Several in the very top-left

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. Port. title : SRTA
The Portuguese address for a young woman is Senhorita (Srta.).

16. Some GPS suggestions, informally : UIES
U-turns (Uies)

18. College figs. : GPAS
Grade point average (GPA)

19. It means little in the Lowlands : SMA
The Scots dialect word sma' means "small".

The Scottish Lowlands are that part of the country that is not classified as the Highlands. The Lowlands make up the south and east of Scotland.

21. Like floppy disks, e.g. : PASSE
“Passé” is a French word, meaning "past, faded".

I don’t think my kids really know what a floppy disk is. A floppy disk is made up of a thin and flexible magnetic material that can store data, enclosed in a protective case. I’ve used 8-inch floppies in my time, and many 5.25-inch floppy disks. I still have a desk top that will take 3.5-inch disks, although I don’t think there is a 3.5-inch floppy anywhere in the house.

22. Vino de ___ (Spanish wine designation) : PAGO
“Vino de Pago” is a classification of Spanish wine that has been in use since 2003. The term translates as “Vineyard Wine”, and is used by only the great wine growing estates in Spain. As of 2013, there are only 13 different Vino de Pagos.

23. Red shade : GARNET
Garnets are silicate minerals that comes in many colors. However, the color that we call “garnet” is a dark red.

24. Santa Ana wind source : MOJAVE
The Mojave Desert in the southwest is named for the Native American Mohave tribe. Famous locations within the boundaries of the desert, are Death Valley, Las Vegas, Nevada and the ghost town of Calico, California.

The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically "falls" down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

27. It may be up against the wall : STUCCO
Stucco is a decorative coating that is applied to walls and ceilings. “Stucco” is the Italian name for the material, and a word that we imported into English.

29. Bring out : EDUCE
“To educe” is to draw out, although the term can also have a similar meaning to deduce.

30. 1975 hit song about "tramps like us" : BORN TO RUN
“Born to Run” is a 1975 album released by Bruce Springsteen, the third of his career. “Born to Run” was to be Springsteen’s “breakout” album and really established him as popular artist.

33. Like Athena : WISE
The Greek goddess Athena is often associated with wisdom (among other attributes). In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today's perception of the owl as being "wise".

34. Sharon's predecessor : BARAK
Ehud Barak served as Prime Minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001. Barak left office after he called a special election for Prime Minister and lost the vote to Ariel Sharon. Barak resigned from the Knesset and took an advisory job with the US company Electronic Data Systems (EDS), and did some security-related work with a private equity company. In 2007, Barak took over leadership of Israel's Labor Party and is now the country's Minister of Defense.

Ariel Sharon is a former Prime Minister of Israel. While still in office in 2005, Sharon suffered two debilitating strokes that left him in a permanent vegetative state from early 2006, a condition which persists to this day.

35. Fig. for I, O or U, but not A or E : AT NO
The atomic number of an element is also called the proton number, and is the number of protons found in the nucleus of each atom of the element.

Examples of elements in the Periodic Table are iodine (I), oxygen (O) and uranium (U).

36. It may be said while wearing a toga : LET’S PARTY
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a "stola".

39. Phoenix suburb larger than the Midwest city it's named for : PEORIA
Peoria is the oldest European settlement in the state of Illinois, having been settled by the French in 1680. The city is famous for being cited as “the average American city”. The phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?” is used to mean, “Will it appeal to the mainstream?” It is believed the expression originated as a corruption of, “We shall play in Peoria”, a line used by some actors in the 1890 novel "Five Hundred Dollars" by Horatio Alger, Jr.

The city of Peoria in Arizona is a suburb of Phoenix, and was named for the Illinois city of the same name. The Peoria name came about when the Arizona Canal Company hired former Army officer William John Murphy to build a 41 mile-long canal in the area. Murphy was from Peoria, Illinois and he recruited people from his hometown to settle the area when the canal was completed. There are now more people living in Peoria, Arizona than there are in Peoria, Illinois.

41. Princess of ballet : ODETTE
"Swan Lake" is such a delightfully light and enjoyable ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. “Swan Lake” tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. The ballet also features Odile, Odette's "evil twin". Odile is disguised to look like Odette with the goal of tricking the prince to fall in love with her. In the ballet, the roles of Odette and Odile are played by the same ballerina.

44. Orders : FIATS
A "fiat" is an arbitrary rule that is imposed. “Fiat” is the Latin for "let it be done".

45. Key ring? : ATOLL
An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

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

51. It's not drawn due to gravity : SMILEY FACE
One wouldn’t draw a smiley face to represent gravity, solemnity.

53. Co-star in the U.S. premiere of "Waiting for Godot," 1956 : LAHR
Bert Lahr's most famous role was that of the cowardly lion in "The Wizard of Oz". Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Lahr also starred in the first US production of Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”, alongside Tom Ewell.

Down
2. One at the U.S. Mint? : UNUM
From 1776, "E pluribus unum" was the unofficial motto of the United States. “E pluribus unum” is Latin for “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated "In God We Trust" as the country's official motto.

3. Jonathan's wife in "Dracula" : MINA
Mina Harker is the protagonist in Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula”.

"Dracula" is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn't the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can't stand vampire fiction …

4. A.L. East team, on sports tickers : BOS
The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston's Fenway Park, the team's home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell out since May of 2003.

7. #1 spoken-word hit of 1964 : RINGO
“Ringo” was a song that topped the Easy Listening charts soon after it was released in 1964. The song was “sung” (actually spoken) by the actor Lorne Greene. Greene tells the story of a gunfighter named Ringo. Interestingly, the B-side of “Ringo” is the theme music from “Bonanza”, the TV show on which Lorne Greene starred. That version of the theme music came complete with lyrics that were never used on television.

8. "My Son Is a Splendid Driver" novelist, 1971 : INGE
"My Son Is a Splendid Driver" is one of only two novels written by playwright William Inge. Both novels are set in the fictional town of Freedom, Kansas (the other is "Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff"). "My Son Is a Splendid Driver" is based on Inge’s own experiences growing up in Kansas.

Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge's most celebrated work of that time was the play "Picnic", for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of "Picnic" included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman.

9. Castle of ___ (Hungarian tourist draw) : EGER
The Castle of Eger is located in the Hungarian city of Eger. The castle was instrumental in repelling Turkish forces during the Siege of Eger in 1552.

Eger is a city in the northeast of Hungary that is noted for its thermal baths and for its wine production. Back in Ireland, I used to drink a fair amount of “Bull’s Blood”, Hungary’s most famous red wine, which comes from the Eger wine region.

10. Old map abbr. : SSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

12. Dilly : RIPSNORTER
“Ripsnorter” is a slang term for a person or thing noted for strength or excellence, a “lulu”.

A “dilly” is something or someone that is excellent.

14. Listing on I.R.S. Form 8949 : ASSET
IRS Form 8949 was introduced in 2008 and is titled “Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets”.

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

23. Engine buildup : GUNK
“Gunk” is a thick greasy substance. The original “Gunk” was a brand of thick liquid soap that was patented in 1932.

24. Sound like a baby : MEWL
To mewl is to cry weakly, like a baby, with the word being somewhat imitative.

25. Cartoon pooch : ODIE
Odie is Garfield's best friend and is a slobbery beagle, a character in Jim Davis’s “Garfield” comic strip.

26. Hunky-dory : JUST PEACHY
Surprisingly (to me), the term "hunky-dory" has been around a long time, and is documented back in the mid-1800s. No one is really sure of its origin, but some say it is an Anglicization of Honcho dori, that back in the day was a street of ill repute in Yokohama, Japan.

30. Port on the Adriatic : BARI
Bari is a major port city on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Bari has the unfortunate distinction of being the only city in Europe to experience chemical warfare during WWII. Allied stores of mustard gas were released during a German bombing raid on Bari in 1943. Fatalities caused by the chemical agent were reported as 69, although other reports list the number as maybe a thousand military personnel and a thousand civilians.

31. Like Bill Maher, notably : UN-PC
To be “un-PC” is to be politically incorrect.

Bill Maher is a stand-up comedian and political commentator. Maher has an HBO television show called “Real Time with Bill Maher” which is essentially a follow-on from the very successful “Politically Incorrect” that started out on Comedy Central.

42. Tunisian money : DINAR
The denarius (plural “denarii”) is a small silver coin that was used in Ancient Rome. Derived from the Latin “deni” meaning “containing ten”, a denarius had the value of ten asses. Today's "dinar" is a common coin in the Arab world and is named for the old Roman coin. The dinar name was chosen in the days when Arabs were conquering large swathes of the old Roman Empire.

43. ___ presto : MOLTO
“Molto presto” is an Italian term used in music to mean “very quickly”.

45. Devotional period? : AMEN
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

47. Twain's "celebrated jumping frog" : DAN’L
“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” is a short story by Mark Twain, first published in 1865. It was this publication that launched Twain’s career as a writer as it brought him national attention. The title character is a frog that’s given the name “Dan’l Webster”.

49. "___ Bones G'wine Rise Again" (spiritual) : DESE
"Dese Bones G'wine Rise Again" is an American spiritual about Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden.

51. Important card source: Abbr. : SSA
The Social Security Administration (SSA) issues Social Security cards and numbers.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gut-busting side : JUMBO FRIES
11. Port. title : SRTA
15. Alternative to 1-Across : ONION RINGS
16. Some GPS suggestions, informally : UIES
17. Shooting star? : GUNSLINGER
18. College figs. : GPAS
19. It means little in the Lowlands : SMA
20. Trimming gizmo : EDGER
21. Like floppy disks, e.g. : PASSE
22. Vino de ___ (Spanish wine designation) : PAGO
23. Red shade : GARNET
24. Santa Ana wind source : MOJAVE
27. It may be up against the wall : STUCCO
29. Bring out : EDUCE
30. 1975 hit song about "tramps like us" : BORN TO RUN
33. Like Athena : WISE
34. Sharon's predecessor : BARAK
35. Fig. for I, O or U, but not A or E : AT NO
36. It may be said while wearing a toga : LET’S PARTY
38. Manual series : STEPS
39. Phoenix suburb larger than the Midwest city it's named for : PEORIA
40. Break through : PIERCE
41. Princess of ballet : ODETTE
43. Like red bell peppers : MILD
44. Orders : FIATS
45. Key ring? : ATOLL
47. Scoutmaster, often : DAD
50. The moment that : ONCE
51. It's not drawn due to gravity : SMILEY FACE
53. Co-star in the U.S. premiere of "Waiting for Godot," 1956 : LAHR
54. Pride and joy : SENTIMENTS
55. Abstainers : DRYS
56. Question from a bully : ANYONE ELSE?

Down
1. Slight pushes : JOGS
2. One at the U.S. Mint? : UNUM
3. Jonathan's wife in "Dracula" : MINA
4. A.L. East team, on sports tickers : BOS
5. Like many pregnant women : ON LEAVE
6. Where to get a cold comfort? : FRIDGE
7. #1 spoken-word hit of 1964 : RINGO
8. "My Son Is a Splendid Driver" novelist, 1971 : INGE
9. Castle of ___ (Hungarian tourist draw) : EGER
10. Old map abbr. : SSR
11. Like some pills and lies : SUGAR-COATED
12. Dilly : RIPSNORTER
13. Bait : TEASE
14. Listing on I.R.S. Form 8949 : ASSET
21. Summit success : PACT
22. Front runners : PACESETTERS
23. Engine buildup : GUNK
24. Sound like a baby : MEWL
25. Cartoon pooch : ODIE
26. Hunky-dory : JUST PEACHY
27. Rather informal? : SORTA
28. Printer part : TRAY
30. Port on the Adriatic : BARI
31. Like Bill Maher, notably : UN-PC
32. Supporter of shades : NOSE
34. Unembellished : BARE
37. Stock to put stock in : POTS
38. Verbal alternative to a head slap : SILLY ME!
40. Go for a car-cramming record, say : PILE IN
41. Anciently : OF OLD
42. Tunisian money : DINAR
43. ___ presto : MOLTO
45. Devotional period? : AMEN
46. Insignificant : TINY
47. Twain's "celebrated jumping frog" : DAN’L
48. Talent show lineup : ACTS
49. "___ Bones G'wine Rise Again" (spiritual) : DESE
51. Important card source: Abbr. : SSA
52. Deterrent to lateness or cancellation : FEE


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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.

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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