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Greetings from San Jose, 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! We had a long and spectacular drive across the Sierra Nevada today, and saw Julianne and Derek Hough's dance spectacular this evening. Back home and back to reality tomorrow (Friday) ...

Bill

0114-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Jan 14, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tim Croce
THEME: A Lot of Nonsense … today’s grid is replete with synonyms of NONSENSE:
1A. Nonsense : JIVE
5A. Nonsense : JAZZ
9A. Nonsense : HOKUM
20A. Nonsense : PRATTLE
22A. Nonsense : TWADDLE
27A. Nonsense : HOT AIR
41A. Nonsense : BILGE
42A. Nonsense : ROT
43A. Nonsense : TRIPE
52A. Nonsense : BUSHWA
57A. Nonsense : BLATHER
61A. Nonsense : HOGWASH
73A. Nonsense : HOOEY
74A. Nonsense : TOSH
75A. Nonsense : BUNK
25D. Nonsense : BALONEY
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 08m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Nonsense : JIVE
“Jive” is a slang term meaning “nonsensical talk”.

5. Nonsense : JAZZ
“Jazz” is a slang term for “nonsense”, I just learned ...

9. Nonsense : HOKUM
"Hokum" was originally theater slang, meaning "melodramatic, exaggerated acting". Now the term just means “empty talk”.

14. "California ___ Alles" (classic punk rock song) : UBER
"California Über Alles" is a 1979 song and debut single for the Dead Kennedys. The title of the song is a play on the opening words of the German national anthem “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”. So, the title of the Dead Kennedys’ song translates as “California above All”.

15. James who wrote "A Death in the Family" : AGEE
James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel "A Death in the Family" that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

16. Car with a stylized caliper in its logo : ACURA
Acura is a division of the Honda Motor Company, and is Honda's luxury brand. Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

17. Target of NASA's Rover mission : MARS
There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successful for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and it is still going. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is really just starting its explorations of the planet.

18. B&Bs : INNS
An intimate inn (in the US) is a bed & breakfast. A bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic, and is almost always much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

19. Clear of vermin à la the Pied Piper : DE-RAT
The legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin dates back to medieval times. Recently there have been suggestions that the story is rooted in some truth, that the town of Hamelin did in fact lose many of its children, perhaps to plague. The suggestion is that the tale is an allegory.

20. Nonsense : PRATTLE
“Prattle” is idle talk. The term comes via the verb “to prate” from the Swedish “prata” meaning “to talk, chatter”.

22. Nonsense : TWADDLE
“Twaddle” is a trivial talk, and is a word that has been around since the late 1700’s. It probably evolved from the earlier term “twattle” that had the same meaning.

26. Overseer of N.Y.C. subways : MTA
The MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). MTA might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as the Metro and sometimes the MTA.

33. Emulates Jay Z and Master P : RAPS
Jay-Z, as well as being a successful and very rich rap artist, is married to singer Beyonce.

Master P is the stage name for rapper Percy Miller. As well as rapping, Miller knows his way around a basketball court. He had a player’s contract with two professional basketball teams, although he never actually played a regular game.

37. Score before a service break, maybe : AD OUT
In tennis, if the score reaches "deuce" (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the "advantage". If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that's two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. If the one of the players is calling out the score then if he/she has the advantage then that player announces "ad in" or more formally "advantage in". If the score announcer's opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is "ad out" or "advantage out". Follow all of that ...?

40. ___ 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.

41. Nonsense : BILGE
The bilge is lowest internal part of a ship. The water that collects in there is called bilge water. The term “bilge” is also used as slang for nonsense talk.

43. Nonsense : TRIPE
“Tripe” is an informal term meaning “rubbish, of little value”. Tripe is actually the rubbery lining of say a cow, that's traditionally eaten with onions in the UK.

46. River crossed by the Pont d'Avignon : RHONE
The medieval bridge known as Pont d'Avignon is more correctly called the Pont Saint-Bénezet. I’ve been lucky enough to see this bridge a few times, and the most surprising thing to me is that it is now a “bridge to nowhere”. Only four of the original 22 arches in the structure survive.

The Rhône river rises in Switzerland and flows through the southeast of France.

49. "Sax on the Beach" musician John : TESH
John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show "Entertainment Tonight". For "ET" he once covered the filming of an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation". As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior and so if you see the "Star Trek: TNG" episode called "The Icarus Factor" in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.

51. '50s presidential nickname : IKE
President Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas and given the name David Dwight Eisenhower, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower. Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when "Ike" enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.

52. Nonsense : BUSHWA
"Bushwa" is "rubbish, nonsense, rot". The term originated in the early 1900s and may be a derivative of "bourgeois".

53. "Thumbs up" response : A-OK
Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose in the sixties during the Space Program.

57. Nonsense : BLATHER
Our term “blather” meaning “nonsensical talk” probably came to us via Scottish, and ultimately perhaps from an Old Norse word for “mutter”.

61. Nonsense : HOGWASH
“Hogwash” means “rubbish, of little value”. Hogwash was originally the name of the swill fed to pigs.

70. Skylit rooms : ATRIA
In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

71. Tiny bit of time: Abbr. : NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to "ns", and really is a tiny amount of time ... one billionth of a second.

72. Thin Russian pancake : BLIN
A blintz (also “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

73. Nonsense : HOOEY
“Hooey” is a American slang of unknown origin that is used to mean “nonsense, foolishness”.

74. Nonsense : TOSH
"Tosh" is British slang for "foolish nonsense", and is likely a combination of "trash" and "bosh".

75. Nonsense : BUNK
The word "bunk" is short for "bunkum", the phonetic spelling of “Buncombe”, which is a county in North Carolina. Supposedly, a state representative made a dull and irrelevant speech that was directed to his home county of Buncombe, bringing the term "bunkum" into the language with the meaning of "nonsense". The derivative word "debunk" first appeared in a novel by William Woodward in 1923, when he used it to describe "taking the bunk out of things".

Down
3. Wang of fashion : VERA
Vera Wang's first choice for a career was figure skating, but she failed to make the 1968 US Olympics team. She switched to the world of fashion, and is now famous for her designs of wedding dresses ... but also costumes for figure skaters.

4. Long ago, once : ERST
Erstwhile means "in the past" or "once upon a time".

6. Nixon's number two : AGNEW
Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice-President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

7. Kind of state that's peaceful : ZEN
Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word "chan", which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word "dhyana" meaning "meditation".

8. Piquancy : ZEST
Something that is “piquant” is pleasantly sharp in taste and zesty. “Piquant” is the French word for “prickly”.

10. Brand of mops and brooms : O-CEDAR
O-Cedar is a brand of mops, broom and other household items. The brand had a catchy jingle “O-Cedar makes your life easier”.

11. Member of a Turkish minority : KURD
Most of the Kurdish people live in a region known as Kurdistan, which stretches into parts of Iran, Syria, Turkey as well as northern Iraq.

12. Russia's ___ Mountains : URAL
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

21. More hackneyed : TRITER
Hackney is a location in London that probably gave it's name to a "hackney", an ordinary type of horse carriage around 1300. By 1700 a "hackney" was a person hired to do routine work, and "hackneyed" meant "kept for hire". Around the same time, "hackneyed" came to describe something so overused that it is no longer interesting. Sort of like some crossword answers ...

23. Iraq war concerns, for short : WMDS
The first recorded use of the term "Weapon of Mass Destruction" (WMD) was in 1937. The words were used by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, in reference to the bombardment of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War by the German Luftwaffe. He said, "Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?"

25. Nonsense : BALONEY
“Baloney” is an American English variant of “Bologna” as in the sausage. The term came to be used to mean “nonsense” in the 1920s. “Baloney” was popularized in the 1930s by New York Governor Alfred E. Smith as he used the term quite often.

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

29. E-ZPass charges : TOLLS
E-ZPASS was a technology development driven (pun intended!) by the tolling agencies of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The first E-ZPASS toll booth was built on the New York Thruway, and opened at the Spring Valley toll plaza in 1993.

30. Follower of Jul. : AUG
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (often called Octavian) was the adopted son of Gaius Julius Caesar. After Julius Caesar was assassinated, Octavian came to power in Rome and teamed up with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in what was called the Second Triumvirate. When the triumvirate fell apart, especially after Antony’s defeat at Actium, Octavian became more powerful within the Roman Republic. Several years later he wrested sufficient power from the Roman Senate to end the Republic and begin the Roman Empire. As the first Emperor of Rome, Octavian was given the name Caesar Augustus. The month of August, originally called “Sextilis” in Latin, was renamed in honor of Augustus.

32. Silver of fivethirtyeight.com : NATE
Nate Silver is a statistician who first gained notoriety by developing a forecasting system that predicted the future performance of baseball players. He then made a name for himself in the world of politics by predicting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential race. Silver successfully predicted the outcome of the election in 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Indiana, which Barack Obama won by less than 1% of the vote.

FiveThirtyEight is a website that publishes compiled polling date during election cycles. The site takes its name from from the total number of electors in the US electoral college.

35. Fruit also known as a prairie banana : PAPAW
The papaw (also “pawpaw”) tree is native to North America and has a fruit that looks similar to a papaya. Papaw probably gets its name from the word papaya, but papaw and papaya are two distinct species.

36. Inscribed stone slab : STELA
Stelae (singular “stele” or “stela”) were used all over the world, sometimes as territorial markers and sometimes to commemorate military victories. In later times stelae were commonly erected as commemorative markers in graveyards or other religious sites.

38. Understand, informally : GROK
“To grok” is to understand, a slang word that’s really only used in "techie" circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined the term in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

47. Shout after a series of numbers : HIKE
The quarterback starts each play in football with a "snap" (also called a "hike"). He announces to his teammates the exact moment of the snap by calling out signals, usually including the word "hut" one or more times in a prearranged sequence.

50. McDaniel of "Gone With the Wind" : HATTIE
Hattie McDaniel was the first African American actor to win an Academy Award. She won her Oscar for playing the character called Mammy in the 1939 classic “Gone With the Wind”.

54. "Can you see" preceder : OH, SAY
“O say can you see by the dawn's early light” us the opening line of “The Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.

58. Actor Jared of "My So-Called Life" : LETO
Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, Leto is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world his most critically acclaimed role was that of a heroin addict in "Requiem for a Dream". He also appeared in "American Psycho", "Panic Room" and "Lord of War".

59. Do that may have a pick : AFRO
An afro is a bushy hairdo.

62. Jimmy who wrote "Galveston" and "MacArthur Park" : WEBB
The songwriter Jimmy Webb wrote some of the modern classics, including “Up, Up and Away”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston” and “MacArthur Park”. Webb is the only person to have won Grammy Awards for music, lyrics and orchestration.

“Galveston” was written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by Glen Campbell in 1969. Webb actually wrote it as an anti-war song while the Vietnam War was raging. It tells of a soldier whose hometown is Galveston, Texas, and who is getting ready to head off to fight.

"MacArthur Park" is a song by Jimmy Webb that was first recorded by actor Richard Harris, in 1969. Donna Summer released an equally successful disco version of the song in 1978. Webb was inspired to write it by the relationship and breakup that he had with a former girlfriend. The couple occasionally met for lunch in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles.

63. Rights org. : ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors.

68. General on a menu : TSO
General Tso's chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Nonsense : JIVE
5. Nonsense : JAZZ
9. Nonsense : HOKUM
14. "California ___ Alles" (classic punk rock song) : UBER
15. James who wrote "A Death in the Family" : AGEE
16. Car with a stylized caliper in its logo : ACURA
17. Target of NASA's Rover mission : MARS
18. B&Bs : INNS
19. Clear of vermin à la the Pied Piper : DE-RAT
20. Nonsense : PRATTLE
22. Nonsense : TWADDLE
24. Near-prime seating : ROW B
26. Overseer of N.Y.C. subways : MTA
27. Nonsense : HOT AIR
31. "Didn't you leave out something ...?" : AND
33. Emulates Jay Z and Master P : RAPS
37. Score before a service break, maybe : AD OUT
38. Windshield material : GLASS
40. ___ King Cole : NAT
41. Nonsense : BILGE
42. Nonsense : ROT
43. Nonsense : TRIPE
45. "Well, ___ be!" : I’LL
46. River crossed by the Pont d'Avignon : RHONE
48. Kingly : REGAL
49. "Sax on the Beach" musician John : TESH
51. '50s presidential nickname : IKE
52. Nonsense : BUSHWA
53. "Thumbs up" response : A-OK
55. Sailor's tale : YARN
57. Nonsense : BLATHER
61. Nonsense : HOGWASH
66. Some jabs and turns : LEFTS
67. "Right back ___!" : AT YA
69. Second hearing? : ECHO
70. Skylit rooms : ATRIA
71. Tiny bit of time: Abbr. : NSEC
72. Thin Russian pancake : BLIN
73. Nonsense : HOOEY
74. Nonsense : TOSH
75. Nonsense : BUNK

Down
1. Hurdle : JUMP
2. Certain metal beam : I-BAR
3. Wang of fashion : VERA
4. Long ago, once : ERST
5. Turnkey : JAILOR
6. Nixon's number two : AGNEW
7. Kind of state that's peaceful : ZEN
8. Piquancy : ZEST
9. Attacked : HAD AT
10. Brand of mops and brooms : O-CEDAR
11. Member of a Turkish minority : KURD
12. Russia's ___ Mountains : URAL
13. Australian pal : MATE
21. More hackneyed : TRITER
23. Iraq war concerns, for short : WMDS
25. Nonsense : BALONEY
27. Chewing one's nails, e.g. : HABIT
28. The black swan in "Swan Lake" : ODILE
29. E-ZPass charges : TOLLS
30. Follower of Jul. : AUG
32. Silver of fivethirtyeight.com : NATE
34. Near, poetically : ANIGH
35. Fruit also known as a prairie banana : PAPAW
36. Inscribed stone slab : STELA
38. Understand, informally : GROK
39. Drawn (out) : STRUNG
44. Lo-___ (not so clear) : RES
47. Shout after a series of numbers : HIKE
50. McDaniel of "Gone With the Wind" : HATTIE
52. Bring up, as a subject : BROACH
54. "Can you see" preceder : OH, SAY
56. "Sure, I remember!" : AH YES!
57. Shrug-worthy : BLAH
58. Actor Jared of "My So-Called Life" : LETO
59. Do that may have a pick : AFRO
60. Tirade : RANT
62. Jimmy who wrote "Galveston" and "MacArthur Park" : WEBB
63. Rights org. : ACLU
64. Leg part : SHIN
65. Beep : HONK
68. General on a menu : TSO


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4 comments :

Anonymous said...

"BUSHWA"??????

Bill Butler said...

I know ... new to me as well.

Anonymous said...

Spend some time in Texas to learn lots of colourful lingo,like "BUSHWA"!

Bill Butler said...

Ahh ... Texas :)

Will have to remember to use "bushwa" next time I'm there!

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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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