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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

0112-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Jan 14, Sunday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrew Chaikin
THEME: It’s Only “A” Game … all of today’s themed answers (and clues!) use only one vowel, the letter A:
22A. *Grand-slam drama that stars Bacall's man : CASABLANCA
24A. *Half an Xmas "Halls" chant : FA LA LA LA LA
38A. *Astral saga that has a Darth part : STAR WARS
63A. *Fab "backward-gram" à la "Sam, aha! Bahamas!" : A MAN, A PLAN, A CANAL - PANAMA!
87A. *Black cat that packs grass and chants "Jah" : RASTAMAN
106A. *Landmark vassal law act : MAGNA CARTA
108A. *Warm mask/cap amalgams : BALACLAVAS
4D. *"M*A*S*H" star : ALAN ALDA
28D. *Haphazard : CATCH AS CATCH CAN
36D. *Gala that saw "Black Swan," "Avatar" and "Ab Fab" attract claps : BAFTA AWARDS
37D. *Bar glass that's half Bass, half dark malt : BLACK AND TAN
38D. *Lama's art that can't last : SAND MANDALA
39D. *"Shazam!" : ABRACADABRA
81D. *Flashback and halfbacks : ANAGRAMS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 31m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … KAMEN (Kamed), SAND MANDALA (sand maddala), LIMN (rimn), MESCAL (mescar)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Last name in Scotch : DEWAR
Dewar's is a blended Scotch whisky introduced in 1846 by John Dewar. Dewar's White Label is the company's most popular Scotch, first created in 1899, with a taste that is described as "heather and honey". Dewar's also make some single malts, under the labels Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. Today, Dewar's is owned by Bacardi.

10. Bloke : CHAP
“Chap” is an informal term for “lad, fellow”, especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

“Bloke” is British slang for a fellow. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

18. Napoleon, e.g., twice : EXILE
Napoleon was sent into exile twice. A coalition of European powers sent him to the island of Elba in Tuscany in 1814, only for him to escape after a year and return to power. After Wellington defeated him at Waterloo, Napoleon was dispatched to the British-owned island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he spent the last six years of his life.

22. *Grand-slam drama that stars Bacall's man : CASABLANCA
The movie "Casablanca" was released in January of 1943, timed to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, the high-level meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. The film wasn't a box-office hit, but gained critical acclaim, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The signature song "As Time Goes By" was written many years earlier for a 1931 Broadway musical called "Everybody's Welcome", and was a hit in 1931 for Rudy Vallee. But today we all remember the Casablanca version, sung by Dooley Wilson (who played "Sam" in the film). Poor Dooley didn't get to record it as a single, due to a musician's strike in 1943, so the 1931 Rudy Vallee version was re-released that year and became an even bigger hit second time round.

What a bombshell Lauren Bacall was, with that husky voice and her quiet, suggestive manner. Bacall was born in New York City to Jewish immigrant parents from Europe. She is actually a first cousin of Shimon Peres, the President of Israel and former Prime Minister. Bacall married fellow actor Humphrey Bogart in 1945 and that marriage lasted until Bogie’s death in 1957.

24. *Half an Xmas "Halls" chant : FA LA LA LA LA
The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “tra-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in 19th century.

25. 1976 horror hit, with "The" : OMEN
The original film "The Omen" was released in 1976. "Damien: Omen II" hit the screens in 1978. We were regaled with "Omen III: The Final Conflict" in 1981, and there was even a TV movie "Omen IV: The Awakening" in 1991. I haven't seen any of them, and have no interest in doing so (despite the excellent cast) as I really don’t like the genre ...

26. Point value of an A in Scrabble : ONE
The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

32. Beat poet Cassady and others : NEALS
Neal Cassady was a member of the Beat Generation, the group of post-WWII writers who became prominent in the 1950s. Cassady was the inspiration for the character Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road”.

33. Captain Hook's right hand : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie's play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook's pirates and is Hook's right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being "Irish" and "a man who stabbed without offence". Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

38. *Astral saga that has a Darth part : STAR WARS
“Stars Wars” fans will no doubt be delighted to hear that George Lucas has announced that he will be making “Star Wars Episode VII”, scheduled for release in 2015.

43. Gulager of TV's "The Virginian" : CLU
Clu Gulager is a television and film actor. He is most remembered for playing Billy the Kid in the TV show "The Tall Man" in the early sixties, and then as Emmett Ryker in "The Virginian" in the late sixties.

44. French Oscar : CESAR
The César Award is the national film award of France. The first César was awarded in 1975, named after the French sculptor César Baldaccini. The awards themselves are reproductions of an actual Baldaccini sculpture.

46. Bit of Google programming : BOT
A bot is computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might “crawl” around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses.

50. "Movin' ___" (TV theme song) : ON UP
"Movin' On Up" is the theme song for “The Jeffersons” sitcom that was first broadcast in the seventies and eighties.

The very popular sitcom called “The Jeffersons” ran from 1975 until it came to an abrupt end in 1985. CBS cancelled the show without even allowing a series finale that “wrapped things up”. In fact the lead actor, Sherman Hemsley, first learned of the show’s cancellation in the newspaper.

52. One of die Planeten : ERDE
In German, the Earth (Erde) is one of the planets (die Planeten).

54. Count ___ : CHOCULA
General Mills have introduced us to a whole series of monster-themed breakfast cereals, starting in 1971 with Count Chocula and Franken Berry. They followed them up with Boo Berry, Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy.

55. "___ Anything" ("Oliver!" song) : I’D DO
“Oliver!” is stage musical by Lionel Bart, of course based on the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist”. “Oliver!” was adapted successfully for the big screen in 1968.

56. "The Witches" writer : DAHL
“The Witches” is a comedy film released in 1990 starring Anjelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson. The film is based on a book of the same name by Roald Dahl. Jim Henson of “The Muppets” fame was one of the producers, and it was the last film he worked on before he passed away in 1990.

57. King Arthur of tennis : ASHE
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

59. Kris ___ (music duo) : KROSS
Kris Kross was a teenage rap duo from the nineties. They had a big hit called “Jump” in 1992.

63. *Fab "backward-gram" à la "Sam, aha! Bahamas!" : A MAN, A PLAN, A CANAL - PANAMA!
The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:
- Able was I ere I saw Elba
- A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
- Madam, I'm Adam
One of my favorite words is "Aibohphobia", although it doesn't appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. "Aibohphobia" is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix "-phobia".

68. Segway inventor Dean ___ : KAMEN
Dean Kamen is an inventor from New Hampshire. Kamen’s most famous inventions if the electric, self-balancing human transporter called the Segway.

71. Chip on one's shoulder, say : ‘TUDE
Attitude (‘tude)

73. Kowtowers : TOADIES
To kowtow is to show servile deference. “Kowtow” comes from the Chinese “k’o-t’ou” which is the name for the custom of kneeling and touching the forehead to the ground in a gesture of respect. The Chinese term literally translates as “knock the head”.

75. Pilates targets : ABS
Pilates is a physical exercise system developed by, and named for, Joseph Pilates. Pilates introduced his system of exercises in 1883 in Germany.

80. Stone figures? : CARATS
A carat is a unit of mass used in measuring gemstones that is equal to 200 mg.

83. Louis Armstrong, to friends : SATCH
Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1900. Armstrong had a poor upbringing, and only stayed in school till he was 11 years old. The exact origin of Louis’s nickname “Satchmo” seems to be a little unclear. One story is that he used to dance for pennies in New Orleans as a youngster and would hide those pennies in his mouth away from the other kids. For this he earned the nickname “satchel mouth”, which was shortened to “Satchmo”.

85. Two-time U.S. Open champ : ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname "The Big Easy". He has a child who suffers from autism and so Els has been very effective in raising money for charities that focus on the condition.

86. Houston's old ___ Field : ENRON
Enron Field, as it was known, is a retractable-roof ballpark that was built next to Houston's old Union Station. Enron paid $100 million to get its name on the field, and then when the world found out what a scam Enron actually was, the Astros bought back the contract for the name, for a mere $2.1 million. The stadium became Astros Field for a few months, until the Coke people paid $170 million for a 28-year contract to christen the stadium Minute Maid Park. A good deal for the Astros, I'd say.

87. *Black cat that packs grass and chants "Jah" : RASTAMAN
A “Rastaman” is a male Rastafarian.

I must admit that I don't really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a "Rasta", like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

91. Prefix with -hedron : ICOSA-
The prefix “icosa-” is most often seen in the word “icosahedron”, which describes a polyhedron with 20 faces shaped as equilateral triangles. “Icosa-” comes from the Greek “eikosi” meaning “twenty”.

93. Best-selling novelist Susan : ISAACS
Susan Isaacs is a novelist from Brooklyn, New York. Isaacs has written a string of bestsellers including “Compromising Positions”, a book that she adapted into the screenplay for a 1985 movie of the same name starring Susan Sarandon and Raul Julia.

95. An op-ed has one : SLANT
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.

96. Air apparent? : SMOG
"Smog" is of course a portmanteau word formed by melding "smoke" and "fog". The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s.

100. "Common Sense" pamphleteer : PAINE
Thomas Paine was an English author who achieved incredible success with his pamphlet “Common Sense” published in 1776 which advocated independence of colonial America from Britain. Paine had immigrated to the American colonies just two years before his pamphlet was published, and so was just in time to make a major contribution to the American Revolution.

101. Valedictorian's pride, for short : GPA
A valediction is an act of taking one's leave, from the Latin "vale dicere", to say farewell. An example of a valediction would be the words "yours truly" at the end of a letter. And of course, the valedictorian (here in the US anyway) is the student in a graduating class that is chosen to say the final words at the graduation ceremony, a farewell to the classmates.

102. Bygone Bombay bigwig : RAJA
"Raja" is an Indian word for "monarch".

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

106. *Landmark vassal law act : MAGNA CARTA
The Magna Carta is a landmark document issued in England in 1215. It represents the first time that an English king had to submit to the will of his subjects, a group of barons who sought to limit the powers of the monarchy. In particular the Magna Carta calls out that no freeman could be punished except through the law of the land. And of course, the Magna Carta was an inspiration for the United States Constitution.

108. *Warm mask/cap amalgams : BALACLAVAS
A balaclava is a piece of headgear that covers the whole head, exposing only the face or part of the face. This warm headgear was originally knitted and sent to British troops who were fighting in bitter cold weather in the Crimean War. The “helmet” took its name from the town of Balaklava that is near Sevastopol in Crimea, Ukraine.

112. Puts away : ICES
“Ices” is a slang term for “murders”.

113. Friends, in Firenze : AMICI
“Firenze” is the Italian name for the city that we know in English as Florence.

114. Big name in faucets : MOEN
The Moen line of faucets was started in 1956 by inventor Alfred M, Moen. It was Moen who invented the first single-handed mixing faucet.

115. Depict : LIMN
“To limn” is to describe, or portray in a painting or a drawing. “Limn” has the same root as “illuminate”, in the sense of illuminating a manuscript.

117. Where Sharp Electronics is based : OSAKA
Sharp is a manufacturer of electronic products that is based in Osaka, Japan. The company was founded in 1912 and takes its current name from one of the enterprise’s first products: the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil that was introduced in 1915.

Down
1. Chrysler Building style, informally : DECO
Art deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of "30 Rock".

3. Smart-alecky : WISE
Apparently the original "smart Alec" was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

4. *"M*A*S*H" star : ALAN ALDA
Alan Alda had a great television career, especially of course on "M*A*S*H". Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing Hawkeye Pierce on "M*A*S*H". He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy "Same Time, Next Year" in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

6. Modernist Kafka : FRANZ
Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, then part of Bohemia and today the capital of the Czech Republic. Kafka is known as one of the greatest novelists who worked in the German language, and even has an adjective named after him. Something that is "kafkaesque" is senseless, disorienting and may have menacing complexity. As it was for many great artists, Kafka's fame came after his death when much of his work was published.

8. "The Lord of the Rings" villain : ORC
Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

9. "Pop" goer : WEASEL
"Pop! Goes the Weasel" is an English nursery rhyme, and a relatively young one that probably dates back only to the mid-1800s. No one really knows for certain the significance of the "pop" and the "weasel".

10. Online gaming guilds : CLANS
In the world of online gaming, a group of players in a team is often known as a guild or a clan. New to me …

12. Lawyers' org. : ABA
American Bar Association(ABA)

13. Picasso's designer daughter : PALOMA
Paloma Picasso is a fashion designer based in Paris. Paloma is the youngest daughter of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and French author and painter Françoise Gilot.

14. Tilex target : MILDEW
Tilex is a brand of tile cleaner made by Clorox that contains a fungicide used to control mildew.

15. Latin 101 verb : AMAS
"Amo, amas, amat: ... "I love, you love, he/she/it loves", in Latin.

16. Score creator Schifrin : LALO
Lalo Schifrin is an Argentine pianist and composer best-known for writing film and television scores. Famously, Schifrin wrote the theme for “Mission: Impossible”, but also for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “Mannix” and “Starsky and Hutch”.

17. Style : ELAN
Our word "élan" was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours i.e "style" or "flair".

21. Subject of the documentary "An Unreasonable Man" : NADER
Ralph Nader has run as a third-party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election from 1996 to 2008. Nader's name was first first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if Nader would agree to run, but he declined.

28. *Haphazard : CATCH AS CATCH CAN
Apparently the idiom “catch as catch can” originated in the sport of wrestling. A “catch as catch can” match was one in which there was no restriction on the type of holds (catches) that could be used.

33. Apple product, perhaps : STRUDEL
Strudel is a layered pastry that is usually sweet. The word “strudel” means “whirlpool, eddy” in German.

36. *Gala that saw "Black Swan," "Avatar" and "Ab Fab" attract claps : BAFTA AWARDS
The BAFTA awards are presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). The BAFTAs are the UK equivalent of the US’s Oscar and Emmy awards, all rolled into one.

37. *Bar glass that's half Bass, half dark malt : BLACK AND TAN
The alcoholic drink known as a “half-and-half” is 50-50 mix of two different types of beer. Back in Ireland a half-and-half is made from an Irish ale on the bottom with Guinness floated on top. Over here you might see that combination referred to as a “Black and Tan”, but we tend to avoid that reference in my homeland. The Black and Tans were British paramilitary units deployed in Ireland in the early 1920s to suppress the movement for independence. They weren’t very good guys ...

38. *Lama's art that can't last : SAND MANDALA
The Sand Mandala is a beautiful creation made with colored sand in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Mandalas are elaborate designs created by monks over many, many hours. Once the design is completed it is immediately destroyed, symbolizing the transitory nature of material life.

39. *"Shazam!" : ABRACADABRA
The incantation "abracadabra" has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in Ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. "Abracadabra" is Aramaic, and roughly translates as "I will create as I speak".

40. Noted political maiden name : RODHAM
HIllary Rodham was born in Chicago, Illinois to Hugh Rodham (a businessman in the textile industry) and Dorothy Howell (a homemaker). Hillary was raised in a conservative home, and she campaigned for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the 1964 US presidential election. The following year, she served as president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley College. Our former First Lady left the Republican Party expressing disappointment at what she witnessed at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, citing “veiled” racist messages prevalent at that time.

41. Designer McCartney : STELLA
Stella McCartney is an english fashion designer, She is the daughter of musician Paul McCartney (of Beatles fame) and photographer Linda McCartney.

43. Comedian Margaret : CHO
Margaret Cho is a very successful stand-up comedian, but she is also a fashion designer with her own line of clothing. Cho also acts, and you might have seen her in the John Travolta/Nicholas Cage movie "Face/Off" in which she played John Travolta's FBI colleague.

52. Minneapolis suburb : EDINA
Edina, Minnesota lies just southwest of Minneapolis. The town takes its name from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. It was suggested by a Scottish mill owner at the time a new village was being set up in 1888.

54. Jackie of "Shanghai Noon" : CHAN
Jackie Chan is an actor from Hong Kong who is noted for his action and martial arts films. When Chan was 17-years-old he featured as a stunt actor in Bruce Lee movies. He also starred in the 1982 Hong Kong action film “Dragon Lord” which includes a fight scene that required an amazing 2900 takes, a record in the movie industry.

"Shanghai Noon" is a comedy released in 2000, a melding of the movie genres western, kung-fu and comedy. The stars are Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan. The title is of course a pun on the classic western film "High Noon".

58. Maine senator after Mitchell : SNOWE
Olympia Snowe is believed by many pundits to be the most moderate Republican Senator in the US Congress. Snowe retired in January 2013. I think that she is sorely missed by those who like to see moderate politicians in Washington, on either side of the aisle.

60. Striped Girl Scout cookie : SAMOA
Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookie, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes the Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel Delites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name of "Samoa" because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa.

63. Zodiac symbol : ARCHER
Sagittarius is a constellation of the zodiac, with “sagittarius” being the Latin for “archer”. The constellation is usually represented by a centaur (half-bull, half-man) with a bow.

65. Adams and Alcott : LOUISAS
Louisa Adams was the wife of President John Quincy Adams. Louisa was actually born in London, and so was the only First lady of the US who was not born in this country.

72. '70s self-help course : EST
Erhard Seminars Training (est) was a 60-hour course designed to improve one’s ability to cope with life and find new fulfilment. The est training was popular throughout the seventies and into the mid-eighties. The training was developed by Werner Erhard from Philadelphia, and Erhard was able to attract some celebrity participants including Cher, Joe Namath, Yoko Ono, John Denver and Diana Ross.

74. Word repeated in the "Superman" intro : IT’S
“It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman!”

81. *Flashback and halfbacks : ANAGRAMS
Rearrange the letters of the word “flashback” and you can come up with the word “halfbacks”.

86. That, in Tijuana : ESO
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana's growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar's in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar's claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

89. TV/movie group associated with this puzzle's theme? : A-TEAM
“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard, ably assisted by Mr. T and Robert Vaughan.

90. Agave drink : MESCAL
Mezcal (also “mescal”) is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant that is native to Mexico. Tequila is a type of mezcal, one distilled specifically from the blue agave.

98. Belafonte hit : DAY-O
“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional folk song from Jamaica. It is sung from the standpoint of dock workers unloading boats on the night shift, so daylight has come, and they want to go home. The most famous version of “Day-O” was recorded by Harry Belafonte, in 1956.

99. Dungeons & Dragons figure : OGRE
Dungeons & Dragons is a complex role-playing game first published in 1974, by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my nerdy son ...

103. Reebok alternative : AVIA
The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as "avia" is the Latin word for "to fly", and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

107. It goes before E except after C : AN I
“I before E, except after C”, although with so many exceptions, I don’t think this rule is taught in schools anymore …

110. Vientiane native : LAO
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, situated on the famous Mekong River. The city was originally called the "city of sandalwood" by Buddhist monks, naming after the valued trees that grew in the area. The French took the Pali words for "city of sandalwood" and rewrote it as the French-sounding "Vientiane".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Last name in Scotch : DEWAR
6. Stream : FLOW
10. Bloke : CHAP
14. Like blokes : MALE
18. Napoleon, e.g., twice : EXILE
19. Steakhouse order : RARE
20. Test subject : LAB ANIMAL
22. *Grand-slam drama that stars Bacall's man : CASABLANCA
24. *Half an Xmas "Halls" chant : FA LA LA LA LA
25. 1976 horror hit, with "The" : OMEN
26. Point value of an A in Scrabble : ONE
27. Little to no : SCANT
29. Heavily favored : ODDS-ON
30. All-inclusive : A TO Z
32. Beat poet Cassady and others : NEALS
33. Captain Hook's right hand : SMEE
34. 69-Across, e.g. : TABLET
37. Scrams : BOLTS
38. *Astral saga that has a Darth part : STAR WARS
42. Cutting edge : BLADE
43. Gulager of TV's "The Virginian" : CLU
44. French Oscar : CESAR
46. Bit of Google programming : BOT
47. Staple of a waiting room : SOFA
48. Work on the roof, say : THATCH
50. "Movin' ___" (TV theme song) : ON UP
52. One of die Planeten : ERDE
53. Kitty, e.g. : PET
54. Count ___ : CHOCULA
55. "___ Anything" ("Oliver!" song) : I’D DO
56. "The Witches" writer : DAHL
57. King Arthur of tennis : ASHE
59. Kris ___ (music duo) : KROSS
61. Like classical poetry : METRICAL
63. *Fab "backward-gram" à la "Sam, aha! Bahamas!" : A MAN, A PLAN, A CANAL - PANAMA!
67. Burger topper : RAW ONION
68. Segway inventor Dean ___ : KAMEN
69. Apple product : IPAD
70. Bird's gullet : CRAW
71. Chip on one's shoulder, say : ‘TUDE
73. Kowtowers : TOADIES
75. Pilates targets : ABS
78. Take on : HIRE
79. Poses : SITS
80. Stone figures? : CARATS
81. Equal to the task : ABLE
82. Objective : END
83. Louis Armstrong, to friends : SATCH
85. Two-time U.S. Open champ : ELS
86. Houston's old ___ Field : ENRON
87. *Black cat that packs grass and chants "Jah" : RASTAMAN
91. Prefix with -hedron : ICOSA-
93. Best-selling novelist Susan : ISAACS
94. Great Basin natives : UTES
95. An op-ed has one : SLANT
96. Air apparent? : SMOG
97. Worships : ADORES
100. "Common Sense" pamphleteer : PAINE
101. Valedictorian's pride, for short : GPA
102. Bygone Bombay bigwig : RAJA
106. *Landmark vassal law act : MAGNA CARTA
108. *Warm mask/cap amalgams : BALACLAVAS
111. Burning desire : PYROMANIA
112. Puts away : ICES
113. Friends, in Firenze : AMICI
114. Big name in faucets : MOEN
115. Depict : LIMN
116. Swarm : TEEM
117. Where Sharp Electronics is based : OSAKA

Down
1. Chrysler Building style, informally : DECO
2. Physical, e.g. : EXAM
3. Smart-alecky : WISE
4. *"M*A*S*H" star : ALAN ALDA
5. One in a gray suit : REB
6. Modernist Kafka : FRANZ
7. A bridge might have one : LANE
8. "The Lord of the Rings" villain : ORC
9. "Pop" goer : WEASEL
10. Online gaming guilds : CLANS
11. Gatekeeper's cry : HALT!
12. Lawyers' org. : ABA
13. Picasso's designer daughter : PALOMA
14. Tilex target : MILDEW
15. Latin 101 verb : AMAS
16. Score creator Schifrin : LALO
17. Style : ELAN
21. Subject of the documentary "An Unreasonable Man" : NADER
23. Spoils : LOOT
24. Two-faced : FALSE
28. *Haphazard : CATCH AS CATCH CAN
31. Gift shop buy : TEE
32. Sign at an intersection : NO U-TURN
33. Apple product, perhaps : STRUDEL
34. Recipe amt. : TBSP
35. Skin soother : ALOE
36. *Gala that saw "Black Swan," "Avatar" and "Ab Fab" attract claps : BAFTA AWARDS
37. *Bar glass that's half Bass, half dark malt : BLACK AND TAN
38. *Lama's art that can't last : SAND MANDALA
39. *"Shazam!" : ABRACADABRA
40. Noted political maiden name : RODHAM
41. Designer McCartney : STELLA
43. Comedian Margaret : CHO
45. "___ hear" : SO I
48. Something woeful : THE PITS
49. Item of attire for 54-Across : CLOAK
51. Square meals that are round : POT PIES
52. Minneapolis suburb : EDINA
54. Jackie of "Shanghai Noon" : CHAN
58. Maine senator after Mitchell : SNOWE
60. Striped Girl Scout cookie : SAMOA
62. Knocks : RAPS
63. Zodiac symbol : ARCHER
64. Pier place : MARINA
65. Adams and Alcott : LOUISAS
66. Most handy : NEAREST
72. '70s self-help course : EST
74. Word repeated in the "Superman" intro : IT’S
76. Alliance : BLOC
77. Meaning: Fr. : SENS
81. *Flashback and halfbacks : ANAGRAMS
84. Eyelashes : CILIA
86. That, in Tijuana : ESO
88. Source of excitement : TURN-ON
89. TV/movie group associated with this puzzle's theme? : A-TEAM
90. Agave drink : MESCAL
92. In the slightest : ONE BIT
93. Apple product : IMAC
95. The Adversary : SATAN
96. Jerk : SPASM
97. Day-and-night, in a way : AM/PM
98. Belafonte hit : DAY-O
99. Dungeons & Dragons figure : OGRE
100. Strait-laced : PRIM
101. Elation : GLEE
103. Reebok alternative : AVIA
104. Hike, with "up" : JACK
105. The East : ASIA
107. It goes before E except after C : AN I
109. Whiz : ACE
110. Vientiane native : LAO


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2 comments :

Colleen said...

I love the way you explain all of the answers in addition to just posting up the puzzle. Very much appreciated, and educational!

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Colleen.

I am glad the blog is proving to be of some service. Thanks for the kind words.

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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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