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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth 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

0117-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jan 14, Friday



Announcement
This is the puzzle that was published online today, which is the puzzle that was meant to run in the print versions of the New York Times as well. It seems that through some sort of error, a different puzzle (by Ian Livengood) ran today in the newspaper.



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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin G. Der
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 32m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Scooter : MOPED
The word “moped” was coined in 1952, by a Swedish journalist called Harald Nielsen. The term is a portmanteau of “motor” and “pedal”.

16. It's rendered in the kitchen : ANIMAL FAT
Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called "suet". Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be "rendered" or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call "lard". Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as "tallow".

17. Group studying torts and procedures, typically : ONE LS
"One L" is a name used in general for first year law students.

The word "tort" is a French word meaning "mischief, injury or wrong". Tort law is generally about negligence, when the action of one party causes injury to another but that action falls outside of the scope of criminal law.

18. Psychiatric hospitals : SANITARIA
Historically, “sanitarium” was a term used for a facility where patients were treated for long-term illnesses. Here in the US, the term came to be used for a psychiatric hospital.

19. Hardly a free spirit? : GENIE
The "genie" in the bottle takes his or her name from "djinn". "Djinns" were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book "The Thousand and One Nights" was translated into French, the word "djinn" was transformed into the existing word "génie", because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This "génie" from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived "genius", a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the "djinn" that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

21. They often precede showers : GYM CLASSES
Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning "naked", as that physical training was usually done unclothed.

23. German port on the Baltic : KIEL
Kiel is a port city way north in Germany, lying even further north than Hamburg. The city is well known for hosting the annual Kiel Week sailing regatta, and it was twice host to the Olympic sailing events, in 1936 (the Berlin games) and 1972 (the Munich games).

The Baltic is a sea in northern Europe that is much less saline than the oceans. The lower amount of salt in the Baltic partially explains why almost half of the sea freezes during the winter. In fact, the Baltic has been known to completely freeze over several times over the past few centuries.

24. Large bill holder : IBIS
The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. "Ibis" is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one "ibis" or two "ibises", and then again one has a flock of "ibis". And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two "ibises" you would have two "ibides"!

25. Historical role in Spielberg's "Munich" : MEIR
Golda Meir was known as the "Iron Lady" when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before the term came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

“Munich” is a 2005 Steven Spielberg film that deals with the Munich massacre that took place at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games, and its aftermath. Much of the movie follows the Mossad operation to track down and kill the terrorists responsible for murdering the israeli athletes.

26. Mrs. Lincoln's family : TODDS
Mary Todd moved in the best of the social circles in Springfield, Illinois and there met the successful lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. The path to their marriage wasn’t exactly smooth, as the engagement was broken once but reinstated, with the couple eventually marrying in 1842.

28. Camp accouterments : BOAS
To appear more camp, someone might wear a feather boa.

32. Like a ballerina : LISSOME
“Lissome” is such a lovely word, meaning easily bent and supple. The term is a variation of “lithesome”.

36. Fox tribe neighbor : OTO
The Meskwaki are Native American people, also known as the Fox, who probably originated in the northeast along the St. Lawrence River. Over time, they migrated south and west, and after a turbulent journey ended up on reservations in Oklahoma. The Sacs people had similar origins as the Meskwaki, and similar migrations. The two groups eventually merged into the Sac and Fox Nation.

39. Cars whose only color until 1952 was bottle green : SAABS
The Saab 92 was the first car produced by Saab Automobile, manufactured from 1949 to 1956. Until 1952, all Saab 92s were painted British racing green, a color similar to bottle green. This was because Saab had a large surplus of green paint left over from the production of aircraft during WWII.

42. One of the 12 tribes of Israel : LEVI
In the Torah, the Israelites are traced back to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob’s twelve sons became the ancestors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jacob’s sons were:
- Reuben
- Simeon
- Levi
- Judah
- Dan
- Naphtali
- Gad
- Asher
- Issachar
- Zebulun
- Joseph
- Benjamin

43. Just dandy : JAKE
Both "jake" and "dandy" are slang words meaning "fine", as in “things are just dandy”.

44. Oscar-winning film based partly on the book "The Master of Disguise" : ARGO
“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, as recounted in the book “The Master of Disguise” by Tony Mendez. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”.

47. Big name in classical education? : BEETHOVEN
Ludwig van Beethoven is one of my favorite composers from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

49. 1969 role for Dustin Hoffman : RATSO
Ratso Rizzo is one of the characters in the groundbreaking 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy”. Rizzo is a down-and-out con man, played by Dustin Hoffman.

51. It's written with a minus sign : ANION
As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names "cation" and "anion" come from Greek, with "kation" meaning "going down" and "anion" meaning "going up".

55. Source of morning stimulation, maybe : LATTE
The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian "caffelatte" meaning "coffee (and) milk". Note that in the correct spelling of "latte", the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the "e". An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

Down
1. Harder to see through, say : SMOGGIER
"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.

4. The Shroud of Turin and others : RELICS
The Shroud of Turin has to be one of the most controversial, and most studied, human artifacts ever unearthed. The Shroud is a linen cloth on which there is the image of a man who appears to have wounds inflicted by crucifixion. Many believe that the Shroud is the burial cloth in which Jesus Christ was placed after he died on the cross. The Shroud was kept in various locations in France for centuries before being moved to Turin Cathedral in 1578, from which it gets its name, and where it has been located ever since.

5. Car that offered Polar Air air-conditioning : EDSEL
The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name "Edsel" has become synonymous with "failure", which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced.

7. New York's ___ Cultural Center, promoter of Hellenic civilization : ONASSIS
New York’s Onassis Cultural Center is located in the Olympic Tower built in 1976. The center is an exhibition space dedicated to presenting cultural and artistic activities focused on ancient and modern Greek civilization.

Ellas is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the Hellenic Republic.

9. Some world leaders : EMIRS
An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written as “amir” and “ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

22. Bygone station name : AMOCO
Amoco is an abbreviation for the American Oil Company. Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting ...?

28. Some Quidditch equipment : BATS
Quidditch is a game that is famously played in the “Harry Potter” series of books and films. The game is contended by two teams of seven wizards or witches flying on broomsticks. The are four animated balls and six ring-shaped goals floating in mid-air.

29. End of story? : FINIS
"Finis" is “the end, the finish” imported into English via French, as "finis" the French word for ... "finshed". Ultimately the term derives from the Latin verb "finire" meaning "to finish, limit" (also giving us "finite").

32. Herb whose name is derived from the Latin for "to wash" : LAVENDER
“Lavender” is the common name for the plant genus Lavandula. Lavender is used as an ornamental plants, as a culinary herb and for the production of essential oils. The plant’s name might ultimately be derived from the Latin word “lavare” meaning “to wash”, a reference to use of essential oils in bathing.

33. One employing trompe l'oeil effects : OP ARTIST
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

Trompe-l’oeil is a technique in art that creates the optical illusion that a drawn object exists in three dimensions. “Trompe-l’oeil” is French for “deceive the eye”.

39. Footwear similar to klompen : SABOTS
There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called sabots, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn't have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of ... sabotage.

A klomp (plural “klompen”) is a Dutch clog that covers the whole foot. Many of the millions of pairs of klompen made annually are actually sold to tourists as souvenirs, such is the close association of clogs with the Netherlands.

43. ___ Gleason, Tony winner for "Into the Woods" : JOANNA
Joanna Gleason is an actress from Toronto. Gleason has had many TV and film roles, but is best known for her stage performances. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1988 for her appearances in “Into the Woods”.

45. Like wigwams and igloos : DOMED
A tepee (also written as "tipi" and "teepee") is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

The Inuit word for "house" is "iglu", which we usually write as "igloo". The Greenlandic (yes, that's a language) word for "house" is very similar: namely "igdlo".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Vacation destination : SHORE
6. Spots for thirsty travelers : HOTEL BARS
15. Scooter : MOPED
16. It's rendered in the kitchen : ANIMAL FAT
17. Group studying torts and procedures, typically : ONE LS
18. Psychiatric hospitals : SANITARIA
19. Hardly a free spirit? : GENIE
20. "Thinking back ..." : AS I RECALL
21. They often precede showers : GYM CLASSES
23. German port on the Baltic : KIEL
24. Large bill holder : IBIS
25. Historical role in Spielberg's "Munich" : MEIR
26. Mrs. Lincoln's family : TODDS
27. Cry of surprise : EEK!
28. Camp accouterments : BOAS
29. Dandy : FOP
30. Stage, as a historical scene : REENACT
32. Like a ballerina : LISSOME
36. Fox tribe neighbor : OTO
37. Operates, as a booth : MANS
38. Be useful : PAY
39. Cars whose only color until 1952 was bottle green : SAABS
42. One of the 12 tribes of Israel : LEVI
43. Just dandy : JAKE
44. Oscar-winning film based partly on the book "The Master of Disguise" : ARGO
45. Bowling splits in which the 5 and 10 pins remain : DIME STORES
47. Big name in classical education? : BEETHOVEN
49. 1969 role for Dustin Hoffman : RATSO
50. Recovering : ON THE MEND
51. It's written with a minus sign : ANION
52. Freebie often containing alcohol : TOWELETTE
53. "To conclude ..." : IN SUM
54. Extra protection from the elements : STORM DOOR
55. Source of morning stimulation, maybe : LATTE

Down
1. Harder to see through, say : SMOGGIER
2. Queen or her subject? : HONEYBEE
3. Opportunity for a singer or comedian : OPEN MIKE
4. The Shroud of Turin and others : RELICS
5. Car that offered Polar Air air-conditioning : EDSEL
6. Disobeys standing orders? : HAS A SEAT
7. New York's ___ Cultural Center, promoter of Hellenic civilization : ONASSIS
8. Requiring greater magnification : TINIER
9. Some world leaders : EMIRS
10. Pregnant, maybe : LATE
11. Some C.I.A. doings : BLACK OPS
12. Yellow : AFRAID
13. Inveighed (against) : RAILED
14. Changing places : STALLS
22. Bygone station name : AMOCO
26. Put to waste? : TOSS
28. Some Quidditch equipment : BATS
29. End of story? : FINIS
31. "Don't worry about it" : NO BOTHER
32. Herb whose name is derived from the Latin for "to wash" : LAVENDER
33. One employing trompe l'oeil effects : OP ARTIST
34. Pets : MAKES OUT
35. "Now, look here!" : EYES ON ME!
37. It serves as a reminder : MEMENTO
39. Footwear similar to klompen : SABOTS
40. Childish retort : ARE NOT!
41. Terrible time? : AGE TWO
42. Reach, in a way : LIVE TO
43. ___ Gleason, Tony winner for "Into the Woods" : JOANNA
45. Like wigwams and igloos : DOMED
46. Have some catching up to do : TRAIL
48. Captain's place : HELM


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

I always wondered about finis, so I looked it up in Miriam Webster. It's middle English, imported from the Latin. The French word is fin.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, anonymous visitor.

I've expanded on my etymology of the word "finis", as I probably should have done originally. It seems that "finis" is a hangover from Middle English, and a word that came to us from Latin via French. So many words came that route as a result of William Conqeror and the Norman Invasion.

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, and for providing the extra information/correction.

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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.

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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