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I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0101-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Jan 14, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Happy 2014 … Happy New Year, everyone! Peter wishes us HAPPY 2014 across the center of the grid. The down-answers that cross 2014 use the sound of the crossing digit to complete that answer:
37A. New Year's greeting : HAPPY 2014!

27D. 1971 #1 hit for Carole King : IT’S TOO LATE (“2” sounds like “too”)
39D. Classic Stephen Foster song : OH! SUSANNA (“0” sounds like “‘oh”)
24D. Achieved through difficulty : HARD-WON (“1” sounds like “won”)
32D. "Try!" : GO FOR IT! (“4” sounds like “for”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Frank's partner in the funnies : ERNEST
“Frank and Ernest” is a comic strip that was first published in 1972 and is still going strong . I am not really into cartoon strips, but this one I quite like …

7. Old ___ (London theater) : VIC
The Old Vic is a very famous theater (or I should I say "theatre"?) in London, previously known as the Royal Coburg Theatre and then the Royal Victorian Theatre (giving it the current name "The Old Vic"). The theater owes a lot of its fame and standing to the fact that it housed the National Theater of Great Britain after it was founded in 1963 by Sir Laurence Olivier. Today the National Theater has new, modern premises, but the Old Vic Theatre Company stills garners a lot of attention. The current, and very energetic, artistic director of the company is American actor, Kevin Spacey.

10. À la mode : CHIC
"Chic" is a French word meaning "stylish".

In French, "à la mode" simply means "fashionable". In America, the term has come to describe a way of serving pie, usually with ice cream, or as I recall from when I lived in Upstate New York, with cheese.

14. Asian entertainer : GEISHA
The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.

15. Have a mortgage, say : OWE
Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. The idea was that a pledge to repay a loan dies when the debt is cleared.

16. ___ O'Neill : OONA
Oona O'Neill dated J. D. Salinger and Orson Welles in her teens, but ended up marrying Charlie Chaplin. Oona was still pretty young when she married Chaplin, much to the dismay of her famous father, the playwright Eugene O'Neill. After the marriage Eugene disowned Oona as he was pretty upset about 54-year-old Chaplin marrying his 18-year-old daughter.

17. Tree with extra-large acorns : BUR OAK
The Bur oak is species of oak tree native to North America. The Bir oak can be a huge tree, with a diameter of trunk as large as ten feet. It also bears the largest acorns of an oak tree on the continent.

18. ___ Cob, Conn. : COS
Cos Cob is a neighborhood in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut.

19. NASA component: Abbr. : NATL
The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

21. Eponymous sitcom star of the 2000s : REBA
Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called "Reba" that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

23. After-dinner wine : SHERRY
Sherry is a fortified wine made using grapes from around the town of Jerez de la Frontera in the autonomous community of Andalusia in Spain. The word “sherry” is an anglicized form of the name “Jerez”.

25. Narrow inlet : RIA
A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

26. Model Porizkova : PAULINA
Paulina Porizkova is a model from the former Czechoslovakia who became the first woman from Central Europe to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue (in 1984). Porizkova is married to Ric Ocasek, the lead singer of the Cars.

29. Ad nauseam : TO NO END
To do something "ad nauseum" is to do so to a ridiculous degree, to the point of nausea. "Ad nauseum" is the Latin for "to sickness".

33. ___ King Cole : NAT
Nat King Cole's real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn't pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all - the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

34. Actor McKellen and others : IANS
Sir Ian McKellen is a marvelous English actor, someone who is comfortable playing anything from Macbeth on stage to Magneto in an “X-Men” movie. On the big screen, McKellen is very famous for playing Gandalf in "The Lord of Rings". In the UK Sir Ian is noted for being at the forefront of the campaign for equal rights for gay people, a role he has enthusiastically embraced since the eighties.

36. Hawaiian singer with many 1960s-'70s TV guest appearances : DON HO
Don Ho apparently had a pretty liberal arrangement with his wife. When Ho was touring with his two backing singers, Patti Swallie and Elizabeth Guevara, all three of them shared a room together. He had two children with each of his roommates, giving a total of ten kids including the six he had with his wife. The arrangement was quite open, it seems, with all ten kids visiting each other regularly. To each his own …

40. Spelunker : CAVER
Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots ("spelunca" is the Latin for "cave"). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

44. N.Y.C. line : IRT
The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

47. Teresa Heinz or Christina Onassis : HEIRESS
Teresa Heinz is an heiress to the Heinz family fortune, that largely came from the Heinz food company. Teresa Heinz is married to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Christina Onassis was the only daughter of Aristotle Onassis and Athina Livanos. Christina inherited 55% of her father’s fortune when he died, with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis getting 2-3% of the estate. Christina was found dead in her bathtub one morning, having suffered a heart attack. She was only 37 years old.

49. Spartan : AUSTERE
Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece, famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

52. Roth ___ : IRA
Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware.

53. People of Rwanda and Burundi : WATUTSI
Rwanda is a sovereign nation in central Africa that is populated by three groups: the Hutu, Tutsi (aka Watutsi) and Twa. The Tutsi are the second largest population of people in Rwanda, with the Hutu being the largest group. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels fighting to this very day.

55. K.G.B. rival : CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved at that time after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d'état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

56. 2000s TV drama set in the 1960s : MAD MEN
If you haven't seen the AMC show "Mad Men" then I urge you to go buy the first season on DVD and allow yourself to get addicted. It is a great series set in the sixties, telling all that goes on in and around the advertising business on Madison Avenue in New York City. It brings you right back to the days of three-martini lunches, office affairs, and chain-smoking of cigarettes. Great stuff ...

59. Like some sale goods: Abbr. : IRR
Some discount merchandise (mdse.) is irregular (irr.) i.e. falls below the manufacturer’s standard specification.

60. Tailor's case : ETUI
An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word "etui" from France. The French also have a modern usage of "etui", using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

61. The White Stripes or OutKast : DUO
(65A. The White Stripes' genre : ROCK)
The White Stripes were a rock duo from Detroit that were together from 1997 to 2011. The duo was made up of Meg and Jack White, who were married from 1996 to 2000. Prior to the couple tying the knot, Jack’s family name was Gillis. Gillis took the unusual step of taking his wife’s family name when they married.

OutKast is a hip hop duo made up from rappers André 3000 and Big Boi.

66. Rap sheet letters : AKA
Also known as (aka)

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

68. Johnson of "Laugh-In" : ARTE
Arte Johnson, as well being a frequent judge on "The Gong Show", played the German soldier on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In". His character's famous catchphrase was, "Very interesting, but ..."

Down
1. First king of the English : EGBERT
Egbert was the King of Wessex from 802 to 829. At one point Egbert’s geographic influence was sufficient for him to be named “King of Britain”.

3. Band with the 10x platinum album "Nevermind" : NIRVANA
Nirvana is a rock band, formed in Washington in 1987 by Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. The band effectively disbanded in 1994 after Cobain committed suicide.

4. That, in Toledo : ESO
Toledo is a city in central Spain.

5. Economics Nobelist William F. ___ : SHARPE
William Forsyth Sharpe is an economist at Stanford University. Sharpe won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1990.

6. Sample the hooch : TAKE A NIP
In the Klondike gold rush, a favorite tipple of the miners was "Hoochinoo", a liquor made by the native Alaskans. Soon after "hooch" (also "hootch") was adopted as a word for cheap whiskey.

8. ___ Jima : IWO
Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since.

9. Business jet maker : CESSNA
The Cessna Aircraft manufacturing company was founded in 1911 by Clyde Cessna, a farmer from Kansas. Cessna is headquartered in Wichita and today has over 8,000 employees.

10. Dunce cap shape : CONE
John Duns Scotus was a theologian and scholar in the Middle Ages, responsible for many writings that were used as textbooks in British universities of the day. New ideas developed during the English Renaissance, but Duns Scotus and his followers resisted the changes. The word "dunse" came into use as a way of ridiculing those refusing to learn anything new, a precursor to our modern usage of "dunce".

11. Make rough : HOARSEN
To hoarsen, to make hoarse …

13. Afro-Caribbean music : CALYPSO
The musical style of calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but there seems to be some debate about which influences were most important as the genre developed. It is generally agreed that the music was imported by African slaves from their homeland, but others emphasize influences of the medieval French troubadours. To me it sounds more African in nature. Calypso reached the masses when it was first recorded in 1912, and it spread around the world in the thirties and forties. It reached its pinnacle with the release of the famous "Banana Boat Song" by Harry Belafonte.

22. Capital spanning the Danube : BUDAPEST
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Today’s city was formed with the merging of three cities on the banks of the Danube river in 1873: Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, and Pest on the east bank.

The Danube is the second largest river in Europe (after the Volga), and actually flows through four European capitals (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava).

27. 1971 #1 hit for Carole King : IT’S TOO LATE (“2” sounds like “too”)
Carole King is a marvelous singer-songwriter from Manhattan, New York. King started her career writing a string of hit songs with her partner and eventual husband Gerry Goffin (although they later divorced). King’s first composition to get to number one was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, which she wrote at 18 years of age for the Shirelles. Not so long ago, my wife and I saw the stage musical “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, which tells the story of King’s music and life. I highly recommend “Beautiful” …

35. Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE
That would be "Bill Nye the Science Guy". Bill's show ran on Disney for 4 years from 1993-97. I was surprised to learn that Bill Nye was married briefly to Blair Tindall, the author of "Mozart in the Jungle". That's a great book, if anyone is interested ...

39. Classic Stephen Foster song : OH! SUSANNA (“0” sounds like “‘oh”)
I come from Alabama with
A banjo on my knee
I'm goin'to Louisiana
My true love for to see
Oh Susanna
Oh don't you cry for me
I've come from Alabama with
My banjo on my knee

"Oh! Susanna" is a song that was published in 1848, written by Stephen Foster. The song is often called "Banjo on My Knee", an understandable slip given the words of the chorus. “Oh! Susanna” came to be associated with the Forty-Niners, the miners who travelled to California in the 1849 Gold Rush. The lyrics were changed to suit the Gold rush theme with “Alabama” being replaced by “California”, and “banjo” being replaced by “washpan”.

40. Fire-breathing creature of myth : CHIMERA
In Greek mythology, a chimera was a female monster with the body of a lioness, a tail that ended in a snake's head, and the head of a goat that emanated from the lioness's spine. The term chimera has entered into our modern languag and means a fanciful illusion or fabrication.

46. Persian Wars vessel : TRIREME
Triremes were galleys used in the Mediterranean by a number of cultures, including the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The trireme was so called because there were three rows of oars on each side of the vessel. The term “trireme” comes from the Latin “tres remi” meaning “three-oar”. There was also a less ambitious version of the trireme that had only two banks of oars, and that was known as a bireme.

The Greco-Persian Wars (also known as the Persian Wars) were fought between 499 BC and 449 BC. Included in the series of conflicts were the famous Battle of Marathon and Battle of Thermopylae.

50. San ___, Calif. : SIMEON
San Simeon is a town on the Pacific coast of California between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Most notably, San Simeon is home to Hearst Castle, the magnificent mansion and estate built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Stop by if you’re ever in the area. It’s well worth your time …

54. W.W. II menace : U-BOAT
U-boat stands for the German "Unterseeboot" (undersea boat). Notably, a U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania in 1915, an event that helped propel the US into WWI.

57. Love from the Beach Boys? : MIKE
When the Beach Boys formed in 1961, they were very much a family concern. Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson were three brothers, Mike Love was their cousin, and the fifth member of the band was family friend Al Jardine. Back then, the manager of the group was Murry Wilson, the father of the three Wilson brothers.

62. Instrument for 36-Across, informally : UKE
The ukulele originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

64. "Life of Pi" director Lee : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as "Sense & Sensibility" (my personal favorite), "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Hulk", "Brokeback Mountain" and "Life of Pi".

The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy called Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Frank's partner in the funnies : ERNEST
7. Old ___ (London theater) : VIC
10. À la mode : CHIC
14. Asian entertainer : GEISHA
15. Have a mortgage, say : OWE
16. ___ O'Neill : OONA
17. Tree with extra-large acorns : BUR OAK
18. ___ Cob, Conn. : COS
19. NASA component: Abbr. : NATL
20. Card holder: Abbr. : ENV
21. Eponymous sitcom star of the 2000s : REBA
23. After-dinner wine : SHERRY
25. Narrow inlet : RIA
26. Model Porizkova : PAULINA
28. Dine : SUP
29. Ad nauseam : TO NO END
31. Far sides of ranges : TARGETS
33. ___ King Cole : NAT
34. Actor McKellen and others : IANS
36. Hawaiian singer with many 1960s-'70s TV guest appearances : DON HO
37. New Year's greeting : HAPPY 2014!
40. Spelunker : CAVER
43. Sleek swimmers : EELS
44. N.Y.C. line : IRT
47. Teresa Heinz or Christina Onassis : HEIRESS
49. Spartan : AUSTERE
52. Roth ___ : IRA
53. People of Rwanda and Burundi : WATUTSI
55. K.G.B. rival : CIA
56. 2000s TV drama set in the 1960s : MAD MEN
58. Smile : BEAM
59. Like some sale goods: Abbr. : IRR
60. Tailor's case : ETUI
61. The White Stripes or OutKast : DUO
63. Declutter : NEATEN
65. The White Stripes' genre : ROCK
66. Rap sheet letters : AKA
67. Little-known : NO-NAME
68. Johnson of "Laugh-In" : ARTE
69. Permit : LET
70. Aslant : ANGLED

Down
1. First king of the English : EGBERT
2. After-school activity? : REUNION
3. Band with the 10x platinum album "Nevermind" : NIRVANA
4. That, in Toledo : ESO
5. Economics Nobelist William F. ___ : SHARPE
6. Sample the hooch : TAKE A NIP
7. Not shy about expressing opinions : VOCAL
8. ___ Jima : IWO
9. Business jet maker : CESSNA
10. Dunce cap shape : CONE
11. Make rough : HOARSEN
12. "Actually ..." : IN TRUTH
13. Afro-Caribbean music : CALYPSO
22. Capital spanning the Danube : BUDAPEST
24. Achieved through difficulty : HARD-WON (“1” sounds like “won”)
27. 1971 #1 hit for Carole King : IT’S TOO LATE (“2” sounds like “too”)
30. Alternative : OTHER
32. "Try!" : GO FOR IT! (“4” sounds like “for”)
35. Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE
38. "___ there yet?" : ARE WE
39. Classic Stephen Foster song : OH! SUSANNA (“0” sounds like “‘oh”)
40. Fire-breathing creature of myth : CHIMERA
41. Faucet attachment : AERATOR
42. Span across a gorge, say : VIADUCT
45. Soloist's performance : RECITAL
46. Persian Wars vessel : TRIREME
48. Bit of beachwear : SANDAL
50. San ___, Calif. : SIMEON
51. Took home : EARNED
54. W.W. II menace : U-BOAT
57. Love from the Beach Boys? : MIKE
62. Instrument for 36-Across, informally : UKE
64. "Life of Pi" director Lee : ANG


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5 comments :

PETER said...

Bill,

Thanks for yet another interesting and informative write-up.

Happy too-oh-won-for to you and yours!

- Pete Collins

Anonymous said...

The best Crossword Solution page I have ever seen.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Pete.

Happy 2014 to you too. What a great puzzle you constructed for us today. That one themed answer across the center of the grid was enough to have me scratching my head for quite a while, given the influence it had on those four down-answers. A great start to the New Year for us solvers. Thank you so much, Peter!

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, anonymous visitor.

Thank you for the very kind words. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Not a good puzzle! This is the first time I have seen numbers used in place of words. I had one of the answers, but it didn't fit. Several of the other clues were much too obscure!

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This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the New York Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, as soon as I am done, usually well before the newsprint version becomes available.

About Me

The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

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Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Irish Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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