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Greetings from Louisburgh, County Mayo in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

0111-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Jan 14, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Martin Ashwood-Smith
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 30m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … KERT (Yert), WAUKESHA (Wauyesha)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. It has a close "Kentucky" cousin : CANADA BLUEGRASS
Bluegrass is a sub-genre of country music, and has its roots in the traditional music brought over from the British Isles, particularly from Ireland and Scotland. The style of music really evolved quite recently, just before WWII. Musician Bill Monroe is referred to as its "founding father", and indeed bluegrass takes its name from Monroe's band, the Blue Grass Boys.

18. Tumblers : STEMLESS GLASSES
A tumbler is another name for a glass. Back in the 1660s a tumbler was a glass with a rounded or pointed base so that it could not be put down without spilling its contents, as it would “tumble” over. The idea was that one had to drink up before putting the glass down.

19. Nonprofessional : LAY
Anything described is laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term "laic" ultimately comes from the Greek "laikos" meaning "of the people".

20. "Thus weary of the world, away she ___": Shak. : HIES
"Thus weary of the world, away she hies” is a line from William Shakespeare’s poem “Venus Adonis”.

21. Burnable medium, briefly : CD-R
Compact Disc-Recordable (CD-R)

25. One may remove grease with elbow grease : SOS PAD
S.O.S is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name "S.O.S" as an acronym for "Save Our Saucepans". Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that "S.O.S." could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

30. SC Johnson brand : RAID
Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

32. Does a Ludacris impersonation : RAPS
“Ludacris” is the stage name of rapper Christopher Bridges from Champaign, Illinois.

34. Grid great Greasy : NEALE
Greasy Neale was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1941-1950.

39. Sum symbol : SIGMA
Sigma is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is the one used for an “ess” sound, equivalent to our letter S. Sigma is used in mathematics to represent a summation, the adding together of a sequence of numbers.

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

42. Stop on Amtrak's California Zephyr : RENO
Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous "Reno Arch", a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was "The Biggest Little City in the World".

The California Zephyr is a passenger train that operates between Chicago and Emeryville, California. That’s a distance of 2,438 miles, making it the longest route operated by Amtrak.

43. Dead player? : POSSUM
Although they are both marsupials, the opossum and the possum are two distinct animals. True possums are found in Australia and other places in the South Pacific. Opossums are found in North America.

45. Key contraction : O’ER
The words "o'er the ramparts we watched" come from "The Star Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key.

47. Larry of the original "West Side Story" : KERT
Larry Kert originated the role of Tony in the Broadway musical “West Side Story” in 1957. Kert was a little upset at not being cast as Tony in the famous 1961 screen adaptation. I'm not really sure why he wasn’t given the role as he was 30 in 1961, and Tony is a teenager (said he sarcastically …).

59. Kelp is a natural source of it : POTASSIUM IODIDE
Potassium iodide is an important nutrient, and is the most common additive used in “iodized” table salt. The addition of a source of iodine to table salt is a public health measure taken prevent iodine deficiency. Additional iodine in the diet isn’t really necessary for those who eat a reasonable amount of seafood, as there is a lot of iodine in the sea.

Kelps are large seaweeds that grow in kelp forests underwater. Kelps can grow to over 250 feet in length, and do so very quickly. Some kelps can grow at the rate of 1-2 feet per day.

Down
1. U.P.S. deliveries: Abbr. : CTNS
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky.

4. Native of Caprica on "Battlestar Galactica" : ADAMA
“Battlestar Galactica” is a whole franchise these days, based on an original television series that aired in 1978. The executive producer of that first series was Glen A. Larson who had been trying get the show off the ground since the sixties. Larson was finally able to get some finances for his sci-fi show on the back of the success of the 1977 movie “Star Wars”.

5. Corker : DILLY
A “dilly” is something or someone that is excellent.

A “corker” is something astonishing, and also something that settles a debate or discussion. The term probably comes from putting a cork in a bottle, an act of finality.

9. Fish in a dragon roll : UNAGI
Unagi is the Japanese word for freshwater eel, and unadon is the Japanese word for "eel bowl". Unadon is actually a contraction of "unagi no kabayaki" (grilled eel) and "donburi" (rice bowl dish).

A dragon roll is a sushi dish made from eel, cucumber, seaweed, rice and avocado. Without the eel, I am sure it's delicious!

10. They have bills and appear on bills : EAGLES
The Bald Eagle is sometimes referred to as the American eagle. It is both the national bird and the national animal of the USA, and appears on the US Seal.

11. Renowned boxing gym in Brooklyn : GLEASON’S
Gleason’s Gym is a famous boxing gym that was founded in 1937 in the Bronx, New York. Many successful boxers routinely trained at Gleason’s over the years, including Jake LaMotta and Mike Tyson. There is a sign on the wall of the gym that says, "Now, whoever has courage, and a strong and collected spirit in his breast, let him come forward, lace on the gloves and put up his hands." Those are words from the epic poem “Aeneid” by Virgil.

13. Diomedes speared him : ARES
IN Greek mythology, Diomedes was a hero who participated in the Trojan War. In one engagement, the war god Ares descended onto the battlefield to assist the Trojans. With the help of the goddess Athena, Diomedes attacked Ares by throwing his spear and wounding him in the stomach. Ares screamed with the voice of 10,000 men and fled the scene.

15. They were retired in '03 : SSTS
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments.

22. Freshwater aquarium favorite : DANIO
The Danio is a genus of freshwater fish native to the rivers and streams of Southeast Asia. The Danio is brightly colored and a favorite of aquarium owners.

23. Many a dama: Abbr. : SRA
In Spanish, a lady (dama) might be referred to as Señora (Sra.).

24. Deck : KAYO
Knockout (KO, kayo)

27. Renaissance composer of "Missa Papae Marcelli" : PALESTRINA
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an incredibly influential Renaissance composer from Italy. Palestrina composed sacred music almost exclusively, and was known in particular for his expertise in polyphony. Polyphony is a style of music featuring two or more melodies, a major evolution from the tradition of Gregorian chant. I’m a bit of a fan ...

28. How troglodytes live : ALONE
“Troglodyte” is a Greek word that translates literally as “one who creeps into holes”. We use it to mean “a caveman”.

31. DiMaggio and others : DOMS
Dom DiMaggio was the younger of three brothers who played professional baseball, the others being Joe and Vince. All three brothers were major league center fielders. Dom was a small and wiry man for a baseball player, and wore eyeglass. As a result, his nickname was “The Little Professor”.

36. Wisconsin county or its seat : WAUKESHA
Waukesha is a city in the southeast of Wisconsin. The city’s name is an anglicization of the name of a local Native American tribal leader.

38. A.L. East team, on scoreboards : TOR
The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

44. Monthly : MENSAL
Something described as “mensal” occurs monthly. The term comes from the Latin “mensis” meaning “month”.

48. Spanish royal : REINA
In Spanish, a queen (reina) lives in a place (palacio).

49. Attic promenades : STOAS
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.

Greece is divided into 13 peripheries, regional administrative divisions. The capital of Greece, Athens, is located in the periphery of Attica.

51. Weigh-in section? : OP-ED
Op-ed is an abbreviation for "opposite the editorial page". Op-eds started in "The New York Evening World" in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

53. Korean War weapon : STEN
The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T comes from the name of the gun's designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

The Korean War took place from 1950 to 1953 and was fought between the Republic of Korea (the South) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the North). The war came about because, at the end of WWII, Korea was divided by the allies along the 38th Parallel, with the Soviet Union controlling territory north of the line, and the US occupying the south. North Korean troops invaded the south in 1950, which started the armed conflict. An armistice was signed in 1953 which restored the border, but there are outbreaks of fighting to this very day, as we all well know.

54. Abbr. by Hook or by Cook : CAPT
Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto.

The famed British explorer Captain James Cook made three voyages of discovery into the Pacific Ocean. Cook was in command of HMS Resolution on his third voyage, and he and his crew he became the first Europeans to visit the Hawaiian Islands, in 1778. He landed on Kauai and named the whole archipelago the Sandwich Islands, in honor of the fourth Earl of Sandwich who was in charge of the British Admiralty at the time. Cook continued his voyage, leaving Hawaii to explore the coast of what is now called Canada and Alaska, and returning to Hawaii the following year. After one month of contact with the native Hawaiians, Cook departed from the islands but was forced to return to repair a broken mast. Relations between the Europeans and the islanders had been good but despite this a dispute developed and got out of control that resulted in Cook being struck on the head and stabbed to death. His body was dragged away by the islanders, and as an apparent sign of respect for the Captain, the natives processed his body according to funeral traditions associated with Hawaiian kings and elders. Eventually, after a petition from the remaining crew, some of Cook's remains were also returned for a formal burial at sea, adhering to British naval tradition.

55. Drs. often take over for them : EMTS
Emergency medical technician (EMT)

56. iPhone talker : SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett recently revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. By the way, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

57. Fall scene : EDEN
In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against the bidding of God. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

58. Fundació Joan Miró designer : SERT
Josep Lluís Sert was a Spanish architect from Catalonia. Sert moved from Spain to the US, where he was appointed Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

The Fundació Joan Miró (Joan Miró Foundation) is a museum of modern art in Barcelona featuring the works of Joan Miró.

Joan Miro was a Spanish artist. Miro immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miro was "the most Surrealist of us all".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. It has a close "Kentucky" cousin : CANADA BLUEGRASS
16. Tax deferral options : TRADITIONAL IRAS
17. Water gun fight? : NAVAL ENGAGEMENT
18. Tumblers : STEMLESS GLASSES
19. Nonprofessional : LAY
20. "Thus weary of the world, away she ___": Shak. : HIES
21. Burnable medium, briefly : CD-R
23. Slender runner : SKI
25. One may remove grease with elbow grease : SOS PAD
30. SC Johnson brand : RAID
32. Does a Ludacris impersonation : RAPS
34. Grid great Greasy : NEALE
35. Not the least bit : IN NO WAY
37. "That's expensive!" : IT’S A LOT!
39. Sum symbol : SIGMA
40. Rice alternative : ORZO
42. Stop on Amtrak's California Zephyr : RENO
43. Dead player? : POSSUM
45. Key contraction : O’ER
46. ___ ed : SEX
47. Larry of the original "West Side Story" : KERT
49. Went nowhere : SAT
51. They're usually pixelated on TV : OBSCENE GESTURES
59. Kelp is a natural source of it : POTASSIUM IODIDE
60. One who orders trunks to be moved? : ELEPHANT TRAINER
61. Member of a drill team? : DENTAL ASSISTANT

Down
1. U.P.S. deliveries: Abbr. : CTNS
2. Poor as ___ (destitute) : A RAT
3. Belly dancers' bands? : NAVEL RINGS
4. Native of Caprica on "Battlestar Galactica" : ADAMA
5. Corker : DILLY
6. Done to ___ : A TEE
7. Alternatives to racks : BINS
8. Sawmill supplier : LOG SHIP
9. Fish in a dragon roll : UNAGI
10. They have bills and appear on bills : EAGLES
11. Renowned boxing gym in Brooklyn : GLEASON’S
12. Outer limits : RIMS
13. Diomedes speared him : ARES
14. Having good balance : SANE
15. They were retired in '03 : SSTS
21. Like new notes : CRISP
22. Freshwater aquarium favorite : DANIO
23. Many a dama: Abbr. : SRA
24. Deck : KAYO
26. Brand : SEAR
27. Renaissance composer of "Missa Papae Marcelli" : PALESTRINA
28. How troglodytes live : ALONE
29. Clean out : DETOX
31. DiMaggio and others : DOMS
33. Fitting decision : SIZE
36. Wisconsin county or its seat : WAUKESHA
38. A.L. East team, on scoreboards : TOR
41. Really cheap shots? : ROTGUTS
44. Monthly : MENSAL
48. Spanish royal : REINA
49. Attic promenades : STOAS
50. Book review? : AUDIT
51. Weigh-in section? : OP-ED
52. Woody trunk : BOLE
53. Korean War weapon : STEN
54. Abbr. by Hook or by Cook : CAPT
55. Drs. often take over for them : EMTS
56. iPhone talker : SIRI
57. Fall scene : EDEN
58. Fundació Joan Miró designer : SERT


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About This Blog

This is the simplest of blogs.

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

About Me

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

I answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

Crosswords and My Dad

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

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

Bill
January 29, 2009

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