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I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0122-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Jan 14, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jared Banta
THEME: Breadcrumbs … today’s themed answers come from the world of fairy tales, with some twists from the story of “Hansel and Gretel”. We have rebus squares at bottom-left and top-right that contain the words HOME (HO in my grid) and WITCH (WI in my grid) respectively. The circled letters in the grid spell out the word BREADCRUMBS, and the trail of BREADCRUMBS left by Hansel and Gretel stretch from HOME to the WITCH:
9A. 2010 Jennifer Aniston movie : THE SWITCH
20A. With 23-Across, giant in fairy tales : HANS CHRISTIAN
23A. See 20-Across : ANDERSEN
35A. Story mapped out in this grid, from lower left to upper right : HANSEL AND GRETEL
52A. Publishers of 35-Across, with "the" : BROTHERS GRIMM
61A. Do-it-yourself libation : HOMEBREW
13D. Broomstick riders : WITCHES
54D. In the house : AT HOME
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 09m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Liberal arts subj. : HIST
The term “liberal arts” dates back to classical antiquity. The liberal arts were those subjects deemed essential to master for a citizen to take active part in civil life. “Citizens” were “free people”, hence the use of the term “liberal arts”. The list of subjects studied in olden times were generally sevenfold: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy/astrology.

9. 2010 Jennifer Aniston movie : THE SWITCH
“The Switch” is a romantic comedy film released in 2010 starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. The movie’s plot hinges on a “switched” sperm sample.

Jennifer Aniston won a 2002 Emmy for playing Rachel on the great sitcom "Friends". Jennifer's parents are both actors, and her godfather is the actor Telly Savalas.

14. Spread unit : ACRE
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land one furlong long (660 feet) and one chain wide (66 feet). The word "furlong" is actually derived from the Old English words meaning "furrow long", the length of the furrow plowed by the oxen.

17. "South Park" boy : STAN
“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

18. "Where America's day begins" : GUAM
Guam is a US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, the largest of the Mariana Islands. Guam is also the first territory in the United States to see the sun rise on any particular day. As such, the territory has adopted the motto, "Where America's day begins". During WWII, the US territory of Guam was occupied by the Japanese for 31 months until it was liberated in the Battle of Guam in July 1944. Of the 18,000 Japanese men holding the island, only 485 surrendered, so almost all perished in the invasion. One Japanese sergeant hid out on the island for an incredible 28 years, finally surrendering in 1972!

20. With 23-Across, giant in fairy tales : HANS CHRISTIAN
23. See 20-Across : ANDERSEN
The wonderful storyteller Hans Christian Andersen became very successful in his own lifetime. In 1847 he visited England for the summer and made a triumphal tour of English society's most fashionable drawing rooms. There Andersen met with the equally successful Charles Dickens, and the two seemed to hit it off. Ten years later Andersen returned to England and stayed for five weeks in Dickens' home as his guest. Dickens published "David Copperfield" soon after, and supposedly the less than lovable character Uriah Heep was based on Dickens' house guest Hans Christian Andersen. That wasn't very nice!

24. ___ Quimby of children's lit : RAMONA
Ramona Quimby is a character in a series of “Henry Huggins” children’s novels penned by Beverly Cleary. As Ramona aged, she merited her own set of stories.

27. Rock band named for an inventor : TESLA
Tesla is a rock band from Sacramento, California.

28. Do some diner work : BUS
A busboy is a person who assists a waiter, mainly by clearing tables. The verb “to bus” arose in the early 1900s and is probably a reference to the wheeled cart that was used to carry dishes.

35. Story mapped out in this grid, from lower left to upper right : HANSEL AND GRETEL
"Hansel and Gretel" is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter. The youngsters are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister can find their way home, which they do. But the children are abandoned again and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds and so the children do indeed become lost. But eventually they do all live happily ever after ...

39. Much binary code : ONES
Binary code uses only the digits “0” and “1”.

40. Flat takers : LESSEES
"Flat" is a word more commonly used in the British Isles than here. A flat is basically an apartment or condominium. The word "flat" is Scottish in origin, in which language it meant a "floor in a house".

41. Music genre that influenced No Doubt : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term "ska", but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

No Doubt is a rock band that formed in 1986 in Anaheim, California. No Doubt’s lead singer is Gwen Stefani.

42. Top point value of a Scrabble tile : TEN
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”.

43. Debussy masterpiece : LA MER
"La Mer" is a lovely group of three symphonic sketches for orchestra by the French composer Claude Debussy. Listen to it, and you can feel yourself at the ocean. "La Mer" is French for "The Sea".

Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, one who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some "lighter" Debussy pieces called "Debussy for Daydreaming", and what an evocative collection it is. Included are "Syrinx", "Maid with the Flaxen Hair", "Rêverie" and everyone's favorite, "Clair de Lune".

52. Publishers of 35-Across, with "the" : BROTHERS GRIMM
The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

60. Where many Sargents hang, with "the" : TATE
The museum known as "the Tate" is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It's a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

John Singer Sargent was an American artist, best known for his portrait painting. Sargent trained as an artist mainly in Paris, although he found that he had to leave the city after one of his paintings was deemed “scandalous” by French society. The work was “Portrait of Madame X” (1884), a painting of a noted lady in society that was considered too risqué and sensual. After the painting was exhibited, his commissions dried up and Sargent moved to London in order to continue his career. Today the “Portrait of Madame X” is considered by many to be Sargent’s best work.

62. Ray of fast-food fame : KROC
The original McDonald's restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success.

63. Bad marks for a high schooler? : ZITS
The slang term “zit”, meaning "a pimple", came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

Down
2. Pump figure : OCTANE
The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition i.e. it's resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called "knocking".

5. Weather map notations : HIGHS
High pressure areas are also known as anticyclones, and are areas where the pressure at the Earth’s surface is greater than the surrounding environment. Looking down on a high pressure area, air rotates clockwise around the center of the system in the northern hemisphere, and anticlockwise in the southern hemisphere.

9. Actresses Shire and Balsam : TALIAS
The actress Talia Shire is best-known for playing Rocky’s wife Adrian in the “Rocky” series of movies. She also played the daughter of Don Corleone in “The Godfather” films. Shire is the sister of movie director Francis Ford Coppola and the aunt of actor Nicolas Cage. Her son is the actor Jason Schwartzman.

Talia Balsam is an American actress with a long list of relatively minor roles in famous television shows. I know her from the great AMC series "Mad Men" in which she plays Mona Sterling, the wife of one of the lead characters, Roger Sterling. Roger Sterling is played by John Slattery, Balsam's husband in real life. She was indeed married to George Clooney, from 1989-93, after which marriage Clooney has said that he will never marry again!

11. Emulate Jack Sprat : EAT NO FAT
Jack Sprat was a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. Jack featured in a proverb of the day:
Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.
Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still recited in England:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.

12. Ungar of poker : STU
Many followers of the game believe that Stu Ungar was the best ever player of Texas hold 'em. Ungar won about $30 million playing cards during his life, yet he died penniless. He was found dead in a Las Vegas motel room in 1998 having passed away from heart failure at 45 years of age, brought on by years of drug abuse.

25. Company endorsed by Tiger Woods : NIKE
By now, everyone must know everything there is to know about Tiger Woods. But did you know that Tiger's real name is Eldrick Tont Woods? "Tont" is a traditional Thai name.

26. Relative of a lutz : AXEL
An Axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. It was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

In figure skating, a Lutz is a toe-pick-assisted jump that one starts skating backwards and ends skating backwards (there's more to it that I don't really understand!). The maneuver is named after Alois Lutz, an Austrian skater who first performed it in competition way back in 1913. Lutz wowed the crowd with a single jump, and today both men and women are landing triple Lutz jumps. No one has landed a clean quadruple Lutz in competition.

32. City east of St.-Lô : CAEN
Caen, on the River Orne, lies in the Calvados department of France in the northwest of the country. Caen is famous for the WWII Battle of Caen that left the town practically destroyed. Caen is also the burial place of the Norman King William I of England, also known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Saint-Lô is a town in Normandy that was occupied by Germany in 1940. Saint-Lo stood at a strategic crossroads and so there was intense fighting there during the Normandy invasion of 1944. After a prolonged bombardment, very little of the town was left standing.

34. Swiss "king of hoteliers" : CESAR RITZ
Cesar Ritz was a Swiss hotelier, who had a reputation for developing the most luxurious of accommodations and attracting the wealthiest clientèle. He opened the Hotel Ritz in Paris in 1898, and the second of his most famous hotels, the Ritz Hotel in London, in 1906. Ritz was lucky in his career, as before starting his own hotel chain, he had been dismissed from the Savoy Hotel in London, implicated in the disappearance of a substantial amount of wine and spirits.

35. Rio vis-à-vis the 2016 Olympics : HOST
Even though the 2016 Olympic Games is a “summer” competition, it will be held in Rio de Janeiro in the winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the planned date of the opening of 5th August 2016 falls in the local season of winter. The 2016 games will also be first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

36. Egyptian "key of life" : ANKH
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for "eternal life". The ankh wasn't just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world).

37. It has a low percentage of alcohol : NEAR BEER
“Near beer” is slang term for a malt liquor that doesn’t contain enough alcohol to be labelled as “beer”. An example would be “O’Doul’s”, a beverage that I tend to consume when I am the designated driver.

44. Drink sometimes served in a hollowed-out pineapple : MAI TAI
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic's restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum.

45. N.F.L. career rushing leader ___ Smith : EMMITT
Emmitt Smith is a retired football player who turned out for the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. Smith was on three Super Bowl-winning teams with the Cowboys. Smith is also quite a dancer and won the “Dancing with the Stars” mirror ball trophy in 2006.

46. One of 11 pharaohs : RAMSES
Ramesses (also Ramses) was the name taken by eleven of the Egyptian pharaohs. Ramesses translates as “Born of the sun-god Ra”.

49. Fizzle (out) : PETER
The verb phrase “to peter out”, meaning “to fizzle out”, originated in the 1840s in the American mining industry. While the exact etymology isn’t clear, it probably derives from the term “saltpetre”, a constituent of gunpowder.

50. "Star Wars" droid : ARTOO
Artoo's proper name is R2-D2. R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the "Star Wars" movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the "Star Wars" movies.

51. Justin Timberlake's former group : ‘N SYNC
Singer and actor Justin Timberlake got his break by appearing on TV's "Star Search" from which he was given a starring role in "The New Mickey Mouse Club". It was on "The New Mickey Mouse Club" that he met his future girlfriend Britney Spears, as well JC Chasez who would join Timberlake in the lineup of the boy band 'N Sync.

53. Hammerin' ___ : HANK
The great Hank Aaron (Hammerin' Hank) has many claims to fame. One notable fact is that he is the last major league baseball player to have also played in the Negro League.
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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Arcing shots : LOBS
5. Liberal arts subj. : HIST
9. 2010 Jennifer Aniston movie : THE SWITCH
14. Spread unit : ACRE
15. Keen on : INTO
16. Drop off : ABATE
17. "South Park" boy : STAN
18. "Where America's day begins" : GUAM
19. "___ pray" : LET US
20. With 23-Across, giant in fairy tales : HANS CHRISTIAN
23. See 20-Across : ANDERSEN
24. ___ Quimby of children's lit : RAMONA
27. Rock band named for an inventor : TESLA
28. Do some diner work : BUS
29. Tough spot : FIX
30. Kicked to the curb : EVICTED
34. Ending with tea or cup : CAKE
35. Story mapped out in this grid, from lower left to upper right : HANSEL AND GRETEL
39. Much binary code : ONES
40. Flat takers : LESSEES
41. Music genre that influenced No Doubt : SKA
42. Top point value of a Scrabble tile : TEN
43. Debussy masterpiece : LA MER
47. Purposely loses : THROWS
49. View from a highway overlook : PANORAMA
52. Publishers of 35-Across, with "the" : BROTHERS GRIMM
54. Hungry as ___ : A BEAR
56. Trial fig. : ATTY
57. Answer to "That so?" : IT IS
58. Associate with : TIE TO
59. Like many highlighter colors : NEON
60. Where many Sargents hang, with "the" : TATE
61. Do-it-yourself libation : HOMEBREW
62. Ray of fast-food fame : KROC
63. Bad marks for a high schooler? : ZITS

Down
1. Criticize severely : LASH AT
2. Pump figure : OCTANE
3. Ranch irons : BRANDS
4. Lacking reason : SENSELESS
5. Weather map notations : HIGHS
6. Get used (to) : INURE
7. Woodworker's supply : STAIN
8. Some cats : TOMS
9. Actresses Shire and Balsam : TALIAS
10. Letter-shaped girder : H-BEAM
11. Emulate Jack Sprat : EAT NO FAT
12. Ungar of poker : STU
13. Broomstick riders : WITCHES
21. Ache for : CRAVE
22. Walk through deep snow, say : TRUDGE
25. Company endorsed by Tiger Woods : NIKE
26. Relative of a lutz : AXEL
28. Hospital count : BEDS
31. Most cool, in slang : ILLEST
32. City east of St.-Lô : CAEN
33. Weigh station wts. : TNS
34. Swiss "king of hoteliers" : CESAR RITZ
35. Rio vis-à-vis the 2016 Olympics : HOST
36. Egyptian "key of life" : ANKH
37. It has a low percentage of alcohol : NEAR BEER
38. Record again : RE-LOG
42. Like some farm cultivators : TWO-ROW
44. Drink sometimes served in a hollowed-out pineapple : MAI TAI
45. N.F.L. career rushing leader ___ Smith : EMMITT
46. One of 11 pharaohs : RAMSES
48. Provide an address? : ORATE
49. Fizzle (out) : PETER
50. "Star Wars" droid : ARTOO
51. Justin Timberlake's former group : ‘N SYNC
53. Hammerin' ___ : HANK
54. In the house : AT HOME
55. Dribble catcher : BIB


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3 comments :

Anonymous said...

ONE LETTER A SQUARE; is that TOO MUCH TO ASK?????

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bill for this wonderful web page.

Bill Butler said...

You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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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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