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0103-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Jan 14, Friday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk & Brad Wilber
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 47m 38s!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Bite-size sweet : PETIT FOUR
A “petit four” is a small confection served at the end of a meal, either as a desert or with coffee. The name “petit four” is French for “small oven”.

15. Locomotive : IRON HORSE
The term “iron horse” starting appearing in Victorian times, describing those new-fangled steam-driven trains and trams that left horse-drawn vehicles in their dust. The term was especially popular in North America where it described steam locomotives.

16. 1946 University of Pennsylvania invention : ENIAC
The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for "Computer"). ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer. It was designed to calculate artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it's not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

17. 1950s-'60s sitcom headliner : DONNA REED
The beautiful actress Donna Reed hailed from a farm near Denison, Iowa. One of Reed’s more famous roles was playing the wife of Jimmy Stewart’s character in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in “From Here to Eternity”. She also starred in her own sitcom called “The Donna Reed Show” from 1958 to 1966. Late in her career, she played Miss Ellie Ewing in the TV drama “Dallas”, after Barbara Bel Geddes quit the show. Reed ended up suing the company that produced “Dallas” as she was taken off the show abruptly after Bel Geddes decided to return to the show.

18. Instagram filter : SEPIA
Sepia is that lovely rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. "Sepia" is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish.The "sepia tone" of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular I hear. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram had just 13 employees at the time …

19. What many cats play : GIGS
Jazz enthusiasts (cats) might perform events (gigs).

20. It's snowy in Florida : EGRET
At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to excessive hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women's hats.

23. Oxygen tent locale, briefly : ICU
ICU Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

24. Home of Harpers Ferry: Abbr. : WVA
The state of West Virginia (WVA) was formed during the civil war when the western counties in the old state of Virginia voted to secede from the Confederate state.

Harpers Ferry is a town in West Virginia located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. We tend to remember Harpers Ferry as the place where John Brown led a raid on a federal armory during the Civil War with the intent of arming slaves.

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

29. Nikkei unit : YEN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents "round shape".

The Nikkei is a stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange that has been published by the “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” newspaper since 1950. The “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” has the largest circulation of any financial newspaper in the world, and is read by over 3 million people daily.

30. Salmagundi : MIXTURE
A “salmagundi” is a mixture or assortment. The term is used in particular to describe a large salad with many different ingredients. “Salmagundi” possibly derives from the French “salmigondis”, which originally meant “seasoned salt meats”.

32. Prefix with phobia : ACRO-
Our prefix "acro-" comes from the Greek "akros" meaning "at the top". Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

33. Basilica honoree : ST PETER
The Basilica of St. Peter in Rome was built during the late Renaissance and has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, capable of holding 60,000 people. There is a popular misconception that St. Peter's is the cathedral of Rome, but actually it isn't, and instead is a papal basilica. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral church of Rome.

36. Time indicator, of sorts : TENSE
Present tense, past tense, future tense …

37. Media giant that owns the Detroit Free Press : GANNETT
Gannett is a media holding company that is the largest newspaper publisher in the country in terms of circulation. The company’s flagship publication is “USA Today”.

The “Detroit Free Press” is the largest-circulation newspaper serving the Detroit area. The paper was founded as the “Democratic Free Press and Michigan Intelligencer” in 1831.

40. Gedda or Ghiaurov of opera fame : NICOLAI
Nicolai Gedda is an operatic tenor from Stockholm, Sweden. Gedda is a notably prolific recording artist and is said to be most widely recorded tenor in history.

Nicolai Ghiaurov was an operatic bass from Bulgaria. Ghiaurov Peak in Antarctica is named for the singer.

41. "Cap'n ___" (Joseph C. Lincoln novel) : ERI
“Cap’n Eri: A Story of the Coast” is a 1904 novel by Joseph Lincoln. The novel was adapted into a romantic comedy film called “The Golden Boys” released in 2009.

45. Singer who said "People make music to get a reaction" : ONO
The artist and singer Yoko Ono was married several times, most notably to John Lennon of the Beatles. Ono’s first husband was composer Toshi Ichiyanagi, whom she married in 1956 and divorced in 1962 after being separated for several years. Later in 1962 she married an American jazz musician called Anthony Cox. Ono and Cox had to marry twice as Ono’s divorce hadn’t been properly finalized. The marriage to Cox ended in divorce in 1969, with Ono being awarded full custody of their daughter. Ono married Lennon in 1969.

47. Actress Gardner : AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of "Mogambo" (1953), "On the Beach" (1959), "The Night of the Iguana" (1964) and "Earthquake" (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

48. Oriole rival : RAY
The Tampa Bay Rays is a relatively "young" franchise, being formed in 1998. The initial name of the franchise was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. and while known as the Devil Rays the team finished last in the league in almost every year. The name was changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and I am told the Rays started into a streak of winning seasons soon after.

The Baltimore Orioles was one of the eight charter teams of MLB's American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team has roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn't fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn't help the team's performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.

49. Junior senator from Texas : CRUZ
US Senator Ted Cruz served as Solicitor General for the state of Texas before heading to Washington. Cruz was appointed Solicitor General in 2003 at the age of 32, making him the youngest Solicitor General in the country. Famously, Cruz is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act and made a speech in 2013 in the US Senate on the subject that lasted for 21 hours and 19 minutes. It was the fourth longest speech in the history of the Senate.

51. Food whose name means "feathers" : PENNE
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. "Penne" is the plural of "penna", the Italian for "feather, quill".

56. Profession for Laura Bush before the White House : LIBRARIAN
Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, had her memoir "Spoken from the Heart" published in 2010. Born Laura Lane Welch, the former First Lady has a Master's degree in Library Science (as does my wife, my own First Lady!). Given that background, it's not surprising that two causes that Laura Bush focused on while in the White House were education and literacy. She established the annual National Book Festival, first held in Washington, D.C. in 2001, after having co-founded the Texas Book Festival in her home state.

59. "Cinderella" stepsister : ANASTASIA
The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

61. Type-A types : GO-GETTERS
The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called "stress junkies", whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn't seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.

Down
1. Linguistic 30-Across : PIDGIN
A “pidgin” language is one that has been simplified to facilitate communication between two groups that do not share a common language. Pidgin languages are often developed to enable business to be transacted. It has been suggested that “pidgin” comes from the Chinese pronunciation of the English word “business”.

2. Record glimpsed on Norman Bates's Victrola : EROICA
Beethoven originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven admired the principles of the French Revolution and as such respected Bonaparte who was "born" out of the uprising. When Napoleon declared himself Emperor, Beethoven (and much of Europe) saw this as a betrayal to the ideals of the revolution so he changed the name of his new symphony from "Bonaparte" to "Eroica", meaning "heroic" or "valiant".

Norman Bates is the antagonist in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho”. Norman lived beside and worked in the famous Bates Motel.

The Victrola was a phonograph in which the turntable and horn could be hidden away in a wooden cabinet. The "Victrola" name was used as the phonograph was manufactured by the Victor Talking Machine Company. The Victor Talking Machine Company was sold to RCA, leading to the creation of RCA Victor.

4. Michelin Guide recommendations : INNS
Michelin is a manufacturer of tires based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides.

5. Lun ___ (Tuptim's beloved in "The King and I") : THA
“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam” first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the king’s wives.

6. Certain rate-hike circumvention : FOREVER STAMP
The "forever stamp" for first-class postage was introduced in 2006 (and about time!). Now we have stamps that are good for first-class postage forever, no matter how the rates change.

7. Pizzeria supply : OREGANO
Marjoram is a fragrant herb that is native to the Mediterranean area. The related species of oregano is sometimes known as wild marjoram.

10. "___ on Prop ..." (campaign sign) : YES
Ballot measures in some US states are referred to as “propositions”. Ballot measures usually result in laws being enacted directly, an example of “direct democracy”. Most legislation is drawn up by elected representatives in the US.

12. Many "Jackass" stunts : WIPEOUTS
“Jackass” is a reality show that originally aired on MTV from 2000 to 2001. The show features a group of men doing stunts in which they usually get injured to some extent. The leader of the group is called Johnny Knoxville, who appears in the stunts and also created the show. Not my cup of tea …

13. In a state of nirvana : PAIN-FREE
Nirvana is a philosophical concept in some Indian-based religions. In the Buddhist tradition, nirvana is the state of being free from suffering i.e. not experiencing craving, anger or other afflicting states.

21. Online realm since 2006 : TWITTERVERSE
“Twittersphere” and “Twitterverse” are names given to the total universe of Twitter users and messages.

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.

24. Common British Isles shader : WYCH ELM
The Wych elm is also known as the Scots elm. It is the most common species of elm found in Europe. The term “wych” comes from the Old English “wice” meaning “pliant, supple”. The word “wice” also gives rise to our word “wicker”.

26. "Where you book matters" sloganeer : EXPEDIA
Expedia is one of the largest Internet-based travel companies, and has a site where you can book airline tickets and reserve hotel rooms and rental cars. I use Expedia a lot because I am an AARP member, and the AARP Travel website is powered by the Expedia search engine. In my travels I’ve found by comparison shopping that the AARP Travel site usually has the best prices for hotel rooms.

32. It's 8 for O : 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.

The element oxygen has the atomic number of 8, and has eight electrons within each atom. The name “oxygen” was coined (“oxygène” in French) by the Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, from the Greek “oxys” meaning “acid” and the French “-gène” meaning “producer”. It was originally believed that oxygen was needed to make all acids.

37. Trattoria dish : GNOCCHI
Gnocchi are small dumplings in Italian cuisine that can be made from various ingredients including potato, my personal favorite. The name “gnocchi” might be derived from the Italian “nocchio” meaning “knot in wood”.

A trattoria is an Italian restaurant. In Italian, a “trattore” is the keeper of an eating house.

39. Midway missile : BEANBAG
Back at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago there were rides and amusements that were all concentrated in one place, away from the exhibition halls. The rides included the world's first Ferris wheel, and one could also see Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show. All these attractions were located in the mile-long linear park on the South Side of Chicago known as Midway Plaisance. Ever since then, the attractions at any fair have been located at "the midway".

42. Cook, as Swiss steak : BRAISE
The dish known as Swiss steak has nothing to do with the country of Switzerland. Swiss steak is usually made with beef that has been rolled out or pounded and then braised in a pot of stewed tomatoes. The term “swissing” means to pound or roll out a material. Swissing makes tougher cuts of meat more tender.

43. Erle Stanley Gardner pseudonym : AA FAIR
“A. A. Fair” was a pen name used by Erle Stanley Gardner for a series of novels about the private detective firm of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam.

I must have read all of the Perry Mason books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn't get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

44. Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, in "The Lion King" : HYENAS
Among the group of lions at the center of “The Lion King” story, young Simba is the heir apparent, the lion cub destined to take over as leader of the pride. His uncle is jealous of Simba, and plots with a trio of hyenas to kill Simba, so that he can take his position. The uncle was originally named Taka (according to books) but he was given the name Scar after being injured by a buffalo. The trio of hyenas are called Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.

50. Fraternity letter : ZETA
Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word "zeta" is also the ancestor of the name "zed", which became "zee", the pronunciation that we use here in the US.

52. Hombre, once : NINO
In Spanish, a boy (niño) turns into a man (hombre).

55. Dict. demarcation : SYL
One dictionary (dict.) demarcation is a syllable (syl.)

57. Sidebar requester: Abbr. : ATT
Attorney (att.)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bite-size sweet : PETIT FOUR
10. Complains loudly : YAWPS
15. Locomotive : IRON HORSE
16. 1946 University of Pennsylvania invention : ENIAC
17. 1950s-'60s sitcom headliner : DONNA REED
18. Instagram filter : SEPIA
19. What many cats play : GIGS
20. It's snowy in Florida : EGRET
22. Left : WENT
23. Oxygen tent locale, briefly : ICU
24. Home of Harpers Ferry: Abbr. : WVA
25. Flock member : EWE
27. Literary adverb : OFT
28. Dundee denial : NAE
29. Nikkei unit : YEN
30. Salmagundi : MIXTURE
32. Prefix with phobia : ACRO-
33. Basilica honoree : ST PETER
34. Former silkworms : MOTHS
36. Time indicator, of sorts : TENSE
37. Media giant that owns the Detroit Free Press : GANNETT
39. 4-Down inventory : BEDS
40. Gedda or Ghiaurov of opera fame : NICOLAI
41. "Cap'n ___" (Joseph C. Lincoln novel) : ERI
42. "Phooey!" : BAH!
45. Singer who said "People make music to get a reaction" : ONO
46. "Tastes terrific!" : MMM!
47. Actress Gardner : AVA
48. Oriole rival : RAY
49. Junior senator from Texas : CRUZ
51. Food whose name means "feathers" : PENNE
53. Eatery : CAFE
54. Nuclei : CORES
56. Profession for Laura Bush before the White House : LIBRARIAN
58. Rushed : HASTY
59. "Cinderella" stepsister : ANASTASIA
60. Perfect : IDEAL
61. Type-A types : GO-GETTERS

Down
1. Linguistic 30-Across : PIDGIN
2. Record glimpsed on Norman Bates's Victrola : EROICA
3. 1-Down, e.g. : TONGUE
4. Michelin Guide recommendations : INNS
5. Lun ___ (Tuptim's beloved in "The King and I") : THA
6. Certain rate-hike circumvention : FOREVER STAMP
7. Pizzeria supply : OREGANO
8. One logging in : USER
9. Cashes in : REDEEMS
10. "___ on Prop ..." (campaign sign) : YES
11. Over : ANEW
12. Many "Jackass" stunts : WIPEOUTS
13. In a state of nirvana : PAIN-FREE
14. Not stay together : SCATTER
21. Online realm since 2006 : TWITTERVERSE
24. Common British Isles shader : WYCH ELM
26. "Where you book matters" sloganeer : EXPEDIA
31. Some Olympic coups : TENS
32. It's 8 for O : AT NO
34. Artery : MAIN ROAD
35. Not going astray : ON COURSE
37. Trattoria dish : GNOCCHI
38. Delay : TIME LAG
39. Midway missile : BEANBAG
42. Cook, as Swiss steak : BRAISE
43. Erle Stanley Gardner pseudonym : AA FAIR
44. Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, in "The Lion King" : HYENAS
50. Fraternity letter : ZETA
52. Hombre, once : NINO
53. Techno- tack-on : -CRAT
55. Dict. demarcation : SYL
57. Sidebar requester: Abbr. : ATT


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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

This one was as tough as they come. But, at least I failed to complete it fair and square, not via disingenuous Shortz editing or outright trickery.

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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 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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