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0121-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Jan 14, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Todd Gross
THEME: Word Loop … we have a word ladder/loop in today’s puzzle. Starting with WORD at 1-across, we change one letter to form the next answer as we work our way around the periphery of the grid. We can complete the circuit and return to the start, at the 1-across answer WORD. Also (as pointed out in a comment below) the letter O, itself a loop, appears only in the outside word ladder, and not in the inner answers:
1A. With 72-Across, what the answers on this puzzle's perimeter form : WORD
5A. Beech and birch : WOOD
9A. "Yay!," in a text message : WOOT
12D. Beep : TOOT
31D. Knee-slapper : HOOT
57D. Basketball target : HOOP
72A. See 1-Across : LOOP
71A. Take a gander : LOOK
70A. Nutcase : KOOK
58D. Diner employee : COOK
32D. One may pop on New Year's Eve : CORK
13D. Telephone attachment : CORD
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 07m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Beech and birch : WOOD
Beech wood is prized as firewood as it burns for many hours with a bright flame and is easily split.

Birch is a hardwood tree. The bark of the birch has eye-like features, leading to the trees nickname of “the Watchful Tree”.

9. "Yay!," in a text message : WOOT
Apparently “woot” is computer slang, an expression of excitement of joy. It has been suggested that the term comes from the game “Dungeons and Dragons”, and is a contraction of “wow, loot”. New to me …

15. Iberian river : EBRO
The Ebro is the longest river in Spain. The river was known by the Romans as the Iber, and it is the "Iber" river that gives the "Iberian" Peninsula its name.

16. Any hit by the Everly Brothers, e.g. : OLDIE
The Everly Brothers are noted for their steel guitar sound, and their great use of harmony. Their harmony onstage wasn’t reflected off the stage though. In 1973 the brothers decided to pursue separate careers and scheduled a farewell performance attended by many fans, family and stalwarts from the music industry. Don Everly came on stage too drunk to perform, and eventually brother Phil just stormed off into the wings, smashing his guitar as he left. The boys didn’t talk to each other for ten years after that incident. Phil Everly passed away in January 2014.

21. Turkish hospice : IMARET
Imarets were inns or hostels used by pilgrims throughout the Ottoman Empire. The network of imarets was set up to provide food to anyone in need, so also served as “soup kitchens”.

26. Fictional Flanders and Plimpton : NEDS
Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV's "The Simpsons". Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

Ned Plimpton is a character in the 2004 film “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”. Plimpton is played by Owen Wilson.

32. Hack's vehicle : CAB
Hackney is a location in London, and it probably gave it's name to a "hackney", an ordinary type of horse around 1300. By 1700 a "hackney" was a person hired to do routine work, and "hackneyed" meant "kept for hire". This morphed into a hackney carriage, a carriage or car for hire.

35. Nancy Reagan's maiden name : DAVIS
Nancy Davis was working as a Hollywood actress when she met Ronald Reagan for the first time in 1949. Prior to starting a relationship with the future US president, Davis had dated some famous actors, including Clark Gable, Robert Stack and Peter Lawford. Reagan had divorced his first wife, actress Jane Wyman, the year before he met Nancy Davis. Davis and Reagan married in 1952, with actor William Holden serving as the best man.

37. 2007 documentary about the health care system : SICKO
Like all of his films, Michael Moore's 2007 documentary "Sicko" tends to polarize the audience. The film deals with the health care system in the United States, comparing it with the systems in place in other countries. Having lived in two of the countries covered in the movie, France and the UK, I can attest that the basic facts presented about those foreign health care systems are accurate. Now Moore's style of presentation of those facts ... that might give rise to some debate ...

38. Wilson of "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" : OWEN
The actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

42. Latin musician Puente : TITO
After serving in the navy in WWII for three years, the musician Tito Puente studied at Juilliard, where he got a great grounding in conducting, orchestration and theory. Puente parlayed this education into a career in Latin Jazz and Mambo. He was known as "El Rey" as well as "The King of Latin Music".

45. Inspiration for Old Major of "Animal Farm" : LENIN
In George Orwell’s novella “Animal Farm”, Old Major is an old boar on the farm. It is Old Major who incites rebellion by the animals, just before he dies.

"Animal Farm" is the 1945 novella written by George Orwell, a satire of life in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Orwell had trouble getting his novel published in his homeland of the UK during WWII, as anti-Soviet literature wasn't a good thing to publish while the UK and USSR were on the same side of a World War. In fact, one publisher who was willing to distribute the book changed his mind after being warned off by the British Ministry of Information. Given his experiences, I find it interesting that Orwell should write "Nineteen Eighty-Four" a few years later, and introduce the world to Big Brother.

47. Summer clock observance: Abbr. : DST
Daylight Saving Time (DST)

48. Florida home for Hemingway : KEY WEST
Ernest Hemingway moved around a lot. He was born in Illinois, and after leaving school headed to the Italian front during WWI. There he served as an ambulance driver, an experience he used as inspiration for "A Farewell to Arms". He returned to the US after being seriously wounded, but a few years later moved to Paris where he worked as a foreign correspondent. He covered the Spanish War as a journalist, from Spain, using this experience for "For Whom the Bell Tolls". During the thirties and forties he had two permanent residences, one in Key West, Florida, and one in Cuba. In the late fifties he moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in 1961.

50. Caddie's pocketful : TEES
“Caddie” is a Scottish word, as one might expect given the history of the game of golf. “Caddie” is a local word derived from the French “cadet”, meaning a younger son or brother, and also a student officer in the military.

54. Indonesian currency : RUPIAH
The “rupiah” is the currency used in Indonesia. The locals often use the name “perak” for the same unit of currency, a word which means “silver”.

63. Curve in a crown molding : OGEE
An ogee is like an s-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

67. Writer Sarah ___ Jewett : ORNE
Sarah Orne Jewett was a novelist who wrote stories about life in and around South Berwick, Maine, where she lived.

68. Ski resort in Salt Lake County : ALTA
Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The nearby ski resort of Snowbird has been in operation since 1971.

71. Take a gander : LOOK
To take “a gander” is to take a long look. It’s a term we’ve been using since the 1880s and comes from the idea that in taking a long look one might be craning one’s neck like a goose (or gander).

Down
1. ___ Coyote (toon) : WILE E
Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best ...

5. Unit of power : WATT
James Watt was a Scottish inventor, a man who figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, named in his honor.

7. Cheer in Chihuahua : OLE!
Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in the country, so has the nickname "El Estado Grande". The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. And of course the Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.

10. High, in German names : OBER
“Ober” is the German word for “above”. “Ober” often appears in German place names, such as “Oberhausen” and “Ober-Ramstadt”.

11. "Coffee, Tea ___?" (1960s best seller) : OR ME
"Coffee, Tea or Me?" is a book published in 1967 that was supposedly a memoir written by two stewardesses Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones. In fact, it was really a work of fiction, written by ghostwriter Donald Bain. Bain went as far as hiring two Eastern Airlines flight attendants to pose as the authors and promote the book on television.

20. Chest material : CEDAR
Cedar is used for the manufacture of some wardrobes and chests as it has long been believed that the fragrant oil in the wood is a moth-repellent. However, whether or not cedar oil is actually effective at keeping moths away seems to be in doubt.

22. ___ Health magazine : MEN’S
“Men’s Health” is most popular men’s magazine sold in the US today. “Men’s Health” started out in 1987 focused on health, but has broadened and is now described as a lifestyle magazine.

25. Part of AWOL : ABSENT
Absent without leave (AWOL)

27. Gracefully thin : SVELTE
“Svelte” comes into English from Latin, via the Italian "svelto" meaning "stretched out". Something or someone described as svelte would be slender and graceful. As if I would know anything about svelte ...

29. ___ wash jeans : ACID
Acid-washed denim has been washed with pumice stones and chlorine bleach, to give the fabric an aged look, so that it is almost white. The term “acid washing” is a misnomer, as there is no acid used in the process.

30. Times Square booth sign : TKTS
The “TKTS” booths sell discount theater tickets in Times Square in New York and in the West End of London.

33. Bide-___ : A-WEE
“Bide-a-wee” is a Scottish term meaning “stay a while”.

34. Group of beauties : BEVY
“Bevy” is a collective noun used for a number of types of bird, including quails and swans. "Bevy" is also sometimes used as a collective noun for ladies.

39. Magazine launch of 1933 with a hyphen in its name : NEWS-WEEK
“Newsweek” was a weekly American news magazine launched in 1933 (as “News-Week”). The magazine ran into financial trouble starting in 2008 and eventually had to cease publication of a print version at the end of 2012. “Newsweek” continues to do business in an all-digital format as “Newsweek Global” after a merger with the news website “The Daily Beast”.

44. "___ thousand flowers bloom" : LET A
"Let a thousand flowers bloom" is an idiom meant to encourage many ideas from many sources. The phrase is actually a misquotation of words spoken by Chairman Mao. His actual words were in a speech in Peking in 1957, "Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land."

51. Suit company founded in Australia : SPEEDO
Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by "Speed on in your Speedos". It was a long time ago, I guess ...

53. Student of Socrates : PLATO
Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle.

55. Emcee's delivery : INTRO
"Emcee" come from "MC", an acronym standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

57. Basketball target : HOOP
Basketball is truly an American sport. It was created in 1891 by a James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first "hoops" were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the "net", someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

59. Farming: Prefix : AGRO-
The prefix agro- (and agri-) come from the Greek word "agros" meaning "field".

60. City NNE of Tahoe : 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".

Lake Tahoe is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country. It's also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

62. "Babette's Feast" author Dinesen : ISAK
Isak Dinesen was the pen name of the Danish author Baroness Karen Blixen. Blixen's most famous title by far is “Out of Africa”, her account of the time she spent living in Kenya.

"Babette's Feast" is a novel by Danish author Isak Dinesen, under her pen name Karen Blixen. The book was adapted into a movie in Denmark that was released in 1987. it became the first Danish production to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

65. Mideast grp. : PLO
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO is recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people by over one hundred countries, and was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.
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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. With 72-Across, what the answers on this puzzle's perimeter form : WORD
5. Beech and birch : WOOD
9. "Yay!," in a text message : WOOT
13. Drink served either hot or cold : CIDER
14. Qualified : ABLE
15. Iberian river : EBRO
16. Any hit by the Everly Brothers, e.g. : OLDIE
17. Swarm (with) : TEEM
18. Brief reminder : MEMO
19. Performs, as historical scenes : REENACTS
21. Turkish hospice : IMARET
23. Taunt : DERIDE
24. Moved smoothly : EASED
26. Fictional Flanders and Plimpton : NEDS
28. Not worthy of : BENEATH
32. Hack's vehicle : CAB
35. Nancy Reagan's maiden name : DAVIS
37. 2007 documentary about the health care system : SICKO
38. Wilson of "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" : OWEN
40. Put back to zero, say : RESET
42. Latin musician Puente : TITO
43. Celebrate noisily : REVEL
45. Inspiration for Old Major of "Animal Farm" : LENIN
47. Summer clock observance: Abbr. : DST
48. Florida home for Hemingway : KEY WEST
50. Caddie's pocketful : TEES
52. Brew, as tea : STEEP
54. Indonesian currency : RUPIAH
58. Certain paint protector : CAR WAX
61. Heed : LISTEN TO
63. Curve in a crown molding : OGEE
64. Dress ___ (impersonate) : UP AS
66. Nostalgic style : RETRO
67. Writer Sarah ___ Jewett : ORNE
68. Ski resort in Salt Lake County : ALTA
69. Leaking, as a faucet : ADRIP
70. Nutcase : KOOK
71. Take a gander : LOOK
72. See 1-Across : LOOP

Down
1. ___ Coyote (toon) : WILE E
2. More bizarre : ODDER
3. Control, as costs : REIN IN
4. Like calls from bill collectors, typically : DREADED
5. Unit of power : WATT
6. Way overweight : OBESE
7. Cheer in Chihuahua : OLE!
8. Death : DEMISE
9. Cry upon arrival : WE MADE IT!
10. High, in German names : OBER
11. "Coffee, Tea ___?" (1960s best seller) : OR ME
12. Beep : TOOT
13. Telephone attachment : CORD
20. Chest material : CEDAR
22. ___ Health magazine : MEN’S
25. Part of AWOL : ABSENT
27. Gracefully thin : SVELTE
29. ___ wash jeans : ACID
30. Times Square booth sign : TKTS
31. Knee-slapper : HOOT
32. One may pop on New Year's Eve : CORK
33. Bide-___ : A-WEE
34. Group of beauties : BEVY
36. Ending with advert : -ISE
39. Magazine launch of 1933 with a hyphen in its name : NEWS-WEEK
41. Wedding cake parts : TIERS
44. "___ thousand flowers bloom" : LET A
46. Car gear : NEUTRAL
49. ___ relations : SEXUAL
51. Suit company founded in Australia : SPEEDO
53. Student of Socrates : PLATO
55. Emcee's delivery : INTRO
56. Take ___ (travel) : A TRIP
57. Basketball target : HOOP
58. Diner employee : COOK
59. Farming: Prefix : AGRO-
60. City NNE of Tahoe : RENO
62. "Babette's Feast" author Dinesen : ISAK
65. Mideast grp. : PLO


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2 comments :

Dan McIntyre said...

Another nifty feature of this puzzle's construction is the letter "O" (itself shaped as a loop) is used 21 times in the word loop, but nowhere else in the puzzle

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Dan.

Well, that feature of the grid went completely over my head. Thank you for pointing it out. I will add a note in the post!

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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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