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0123-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Jan 14, Thursday



NOTE
I solve the puzzle online. My grid is numbered differently than that in the print version because of the peculiar nature of today’s crossword. However, the listed clue and answers are numbered correctly, as in the print puzzle. Apologies for the inconvenience.



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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Hawkins
THEME: Blocks Away … we have a rebus puzzle today, with a twist. Three of the squares in the grid contain BLOCKS. The answers on either side of each BLOCK are completed by the word BLOCK:
20A. Member of a boy band with nine top 10 hits : NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
23A. Supply line cutter : BLOCKADE
35A. Kitchen counter option : BUTCHER BLOCK
39A. Some street gatherings : BLOCK PARTIES
53A. Bygone delivery : ICE BLOCK
56A. "Titanic" or "Avatar" : BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE
9D. Beach bag item : SUNBLOCK
15D. Building unit : CINDER BLOCK
23D. Represses, as bad memories : BLOCKS OUT
38D. Cooler part : CELL BLOCK
39D. Set-off chunks of text : BLOCK QUOTES
56D. Obstruction : BLOCKAGE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 34m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Rapper Lil ___ : JON
Lil Jon is a rapper, with the real name Jonathan Mortimer Smith. That’s all I know …

13. Sea goddess who rescued Odysseus : INO
Ino was a mortal queen of Orchomenus through her marriage to King Athamas. In Greek mythology, Ino became the goddess Leukothea after her death. As Leukothea she provided divine aid to Odysseus, according to Homer’s “Odyssey”. She provided Odysseus with a magical veil that he used to escape from Poseidon.

14. "Mit," across the Rhine : AVEC
The English word “with” translates into “avec” in French, and into “mit” in German.

The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.

17. "Deliver Us From ___" (2003 film) : EVA
"Deliver Us From Eva" is a film released in 2003 starring LL Cool J and Gabrielle Union (as “Eva”). The movie is based on Shakespeare’s play “The Taming of the Shrew”.

18. Actress Rogers : MIMI
Mimi Rogers is a favorite actress of mine, although she hasn't really had the starring roles in big movies. Off screen. Rogers is famous for her association with her second husband, Tom Cruise. It was Mimi who introduced Tom to Scientology. Mimi Rogers can also be seen playing a lot of so-called "celebrity poker", and she is on the board of directors of the World Poker Tour.

20. Member of a boy band with nine top 10 hits : NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
New Kids on the the Block is a boy band from Boston that was formed in 1984. The group disbanded in 1994 but got together again in 2008. They started out using the name Nynuk, but had to change to New Kids on the Block on the insistence of Columbia Records, the company that first took them under contract.

23. Supply line cutter : BLOCKADE
“Embargo” and “blockade” are two similar yet different terms. An embargo is a legal prohibition of trade with a particular country, whilst a blockade is an act of war, a militarily enforced prevention of the movement of goods and services. The term "embargo" came into English from Spanish, in the late 16th century.

25. Triple-platinum Sinatra album : DUETS
Frank Sinatra recorded the album “Duets” in 1993 and “Duets II” in 1994. Both of these marvelous sets of recordings featured Sinatra performing with another celebrity singer. However, some folks felt “conned” as the duets didn’t involve Sinatra and the second artist singing together. Instead, the tracks were made using vocal parts pre-recorded by Sinatra.

26. Boundary river : STYX
The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or Hades). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead "to pay the ferryman".

27. Western actor Wooley : SHEB
As well as having his huge hit in 1958 called "The Purple People Eater", Sheb Wooley played Ben Miller in the movie "High Noon" and co-starred in the TV's "Rawhide", playing the role of Pete Nolan. Wooley also wrote the theme song for the long-running television show "Hee Haw".

42. Jordan's only seaport : AQABA
The coastal city of Aqaba is the only seaport in the country of Jordan. The city lies at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, which is off the Red Sea.

43. Color of el mar : AZUL
In Spanish, the sea (el mar) is blue (azul).

44. Crescent : LUNE
By definition a "lune" is a figure formed by the intersection of two arcs of two circles. Such an intersection creates the shape of a crescent moon. The name "lune" comes from the Latin word for the moon, "luna".

49. Calrissian of "Star Wars" films : LANDO
The actor Billy Dee Williams is most famous for playing the character Lando Calrissian in two of the “Stars Wars” movies.

52. Expensive boot material : SUEDE
Suede is leather made from the underside of the skin, mainly from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called "gants de Suede" in France, or "gloves of Sweden". So, the name "suede" comes from the French word for Sweden.

56. "Titanic" or "Avatar" : BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE
When James Cameron made his epic movie “Titanic”, released in 1997, it was the most expensive film ever made, costing about $200 million. It was a good investment for the studio as it became the highest-grossing film of all time, bringing in over $1.8 billion. “Titanic” remained the highest-grossing film until 2010, when Cameron eclipsed the prior record with “Avatar”.

59. Daisy's love : DONALD
Donald Duck was created in 1934 by Walt Disney Productions, first appearing “The Wise Little Hen” in 1934. Donald’s full name is Donald Fauntleroy Duck.

Daisy Duck was introduced to us in 1940 by Walt Disney, a female counterpart for Donald Duck.

60. "The Time Machine" people : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called "The Time Machine", there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet's surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

62. Zenith : APOGEE
In the celestial world, an apsis is a point in an orbit when the orbiting body is at its greatest, or least, distance from it's center of orbit. The farthest and closest points of orbit are known as the apogee and perigee, when talking about bodies orbiting the Earth. The farthest and closest points for bodies orbiting the sun are known as the aphelion and perihelion.

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

64. Thrilla in Manila participant : ALI
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had three memorable fights. The first was billed as the "Fight of the Century" and took place in 1971 in Madison Square Garden. It was a fight between two great boxers, both of whom were undefeated up till that point. Frazier won in a unanimous decision after fifteen rounds. A couple of years later, in 1973, Frazier lost his title to George Foreman. Ali and Frazier had a non-title rematch in 1974, with Ali coming out ahead this time, also in a unanimous decision. Later that year, Ali grabbed back the World Heavyweight Title in "The Rumble in the Jungle", the famous "rope-a-dope" fight against George Foreman. That set the stage for the third and final fight between Ali and Frazier, "The Thrilla in Manila". Ali won the early rounds, but Frazier made a comeback in the middle of the fight. Ali took control at the end of the bout, so much so that Frazier wasn't able to come out of his corner for the 15th and final round. He couldn't come out of his corner because both of his eyes were swollen shut, giving Ali a victory due to a technical knockout (TKO).

66. Ten Commandments keeper : ARK
According to the Book of Exodus, the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed were placed in a chest called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was built according to instructions given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Down
5. Poet who wrote "If you want to be loved, be lovable" : OVID
The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil.

6. Little ___ (early comic character) : NEMO
Little Nemo was the hero in a comic strip drawn by Winsor McCay in the early 1900s. The strip was called “Little Nemo in Slumberland” when it was published in the “New York Herald”, and then “In the Land of Wonderland Dreams” when it moved to the “New York American”.

8. Weather warning : SLEET
Apparently "sleet" is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It's the second definition that I have always used ...

10. ___ Minor : URSA
Ursa Minor sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for "dragon"). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called "Dragon's Wing".

11. Black-and-white horse? : MR ED
"Mister Ed" first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed's "voice" was that of actor Allan "Rocky" Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later played the horse that made frequent appearances on the show "Green Acres".

12. "The ___ Affair" (Jasper Fforde novel) : EYRE
“The Eyre Affair” is the first novel from author Jasper Fforde. The story involves a parallel universe, a master criminal and a literary detective working in the world of Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre”. That might just be worth reading …

21. Puffed cereal : KIX
Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really ...

27. "___ Bop" (1984 hit) : SHE
“She Bop” is a hit song released by Cyndi Lauper in 1984. The song was considered controversial because of the sexual nature of the lyrics. In fact, Lauper claims that she recorded the vocal track while she was naked.

28. Royal messengers : HERALDS
Heralds were predecessors of our modern diplomats in that they were emissaries sent by monarchs to convey messages.

30. ___Clean : OXI
OxiClean is a bleaching agent and cleaner that was famously marketed using infomercials that featured Billy Mays.

31. Actress/model Kravitz : ZOE
Zoƫ Kravitz is an actress and singer. Zoe has a couple of famous parents: musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet.

32. Rescue letters : EMS
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

34. It might be under a tank : BRA
“Tank top” is another one of those terms that always catches me out, as it has a different meaning on each side of the Atlantic. In the US a tank top is a sleeveless shirt, something we would call a “vest” back in Ireland (and the US “vest” is what we call a “waist coat”). A tank top in Ireland is a sleeveless sweater, which further adds to the confusion. The name “tank top” is derived from “tank suit”, an old name for a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. The use of “tank” for the bathing suit came from “swimming tank”, an obsolete term used in the 1920s for a swimming pool.

36. Snack brand represented by Sterling Cooper on "Mad Men" : UTZ
Utz is the largest, privately held, producer of snack foods in the US. The company was founded in 1921 and is based in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Sterling Cooper is a fictional Madison Avenue advertising agency featured in the TV show “Mad Men”.

37. Houston sch. : TSU
Texas Southern University (TSU) is a school in Houston. TSU was founded as the Houston Colored Junior College in 1927.

40. Fin : ABE
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

45. Its name may be written with an ampersand : DUO
Back in the day, when reciting the alphabet it was common to emphasise that some letters could be used as a word in itself. One would say “A per se A, B, C, D … I per se I, J, K, L … denoting that the letters A and I are also their own words. It was common to add the & symbol at the end of the recitation, as if it were a 27th letter. So the alphabet ended with “X, Y, Z, & (and) per se and”. This “and per se and” statement was slurred to “ampersand”, giving the name that we use today for the & symbol.

48. Smidgen : WEE BIT
Our word “smidgen”, meaning a small amount, might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or "a small insignificant person".

51. The Graces in Raphael's "The Three Graces," e.g. : NUDES
In Greek and Roman mythology there were goddesses of the better things in life, charm, beauty, nature, creativity and fertility. In Greece they were known as the Charites and in Rome they were the Gratiae. In English we refer to them as the Graces, of which there are usually three:
- Aglaea (aka Splendor)
- Euphrosyne (aka Mirth)
- Thalia (aka Good Cheer)

Raphael was an artist and architect from Central Italy. Raphael was active during the High Renaissance and is often considered alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci who were active in the same timeframe in Italy,

52. Smug look : SMIRK
The Old English word “smearcian” means “to smile”, and gave us our verb “to smirk”, meaning “to smile in a self-satisfied manner”.

53. One of the Argonauts : IDAS
In Greek mythology, Idas was one of the Argonauts, noted for participating in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar. He also fought with the twins Castor and Pollux, causing the death of Castor, the mortal of the pair of brothers.

Jason is a hero from Greek mythology, most noted for leading the quest for the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-haired winged ram. For his quest, Jason assembles a group of heroes who were given the name Argonauts, as they journeyed on the ship called the "Argo". The vessel was called the "Argo" in honor of the ship's builder, a man named Argus.

55. Sufficient, for Shakespeare : ENOW
“Enow” is an archaic form of the word "enough".

57. Zeno's home : ELEA
Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his “paradoxes”, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as Achilles and the Tortoise, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?
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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pudding flavor : FIG
4. Rapper Lil ___ : JON
7. Take on : ASSUME
13. Sea goddess who rescued Odysseus : INO
14. "Mit," across the Rhine : AVEC
16. Mixture of cement : SLURRY
17. "Deliver Us From ___" (2003 film) : EVA
18. Actress Rogers : MIMI
19. Less loose : TENSER
20. Member of a boy band with nine top 10 hits : NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
23. Supply line cutter : BLOCKADE
24. Fatigue : DRAIN
25. Triple-platinum Sinatra album : DUETS
26. Boundary river : STYX
27. Western actor Wooley : SHEB
29. Move like goo : OOZE
33. Invitation info : WHERE
34. Top-heavy : BUXOM
35. Kitchen counter option : BUTCHER BLOCK
39. Some street gatherings : BLOCK PARTIES
41. Befuddled : AT SEA
42. Jordan's only seaport : AQABA
43. Color of el mar : AZUL
44. Crescent : LUNE
45. Enticed : DREW
49. Calrissian of "Star Wars" films : LANDO
52. Expensive boot material : SUEDE
53. Bygone delivery : ICE BLOCK
56. "Titanic" or "Avatar" : BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE
59. Daisy's love : DONALD
60. "The Time Machine" people : ELOI
61. Decline : EBB
62. Zenith : APOGEE
63. Blacken : SEAR
64. Thrilla in Manila participant : ALI
65. Settings for some escape scenes : SEWERS
66. Ten Commandments keeper : ARK
67. Do-over : LET

Down
1. Buffs : FIENDS
2. Flip : INVERT
3. "Beat it!" : GO AWAY!
4. Pack tightly : JAM IN
5. Poet who wrote "If you want to be loved, be lovable" : OVID
6. Little ___ (early comic character) : NEMO
7. ___ crow flies : AS THE
8. Weather warning : SLEET
9. Beach bag item : SUNBLOCK
10. ___ Minor : URSA
11. Black-and-white horse? : MR ED
12. "The ___ Affair" (Jasper Fforde novel) : EYRE
15. Building unit : CINDER BLOCK
21. Puffed cereal : KIX
22. Angel food cake requirement : TUBE PAN
23. Represses, as bad memories : BLOCKS OUT
27. "___ Bop" (1984 hit) : SHE
28. Royal messengers : HERALDS
30. ___Clean : OXI
31. Actress/model Kravitz : ZOE
32. Rescue letters : EMS
33. "Huh?" : WHA?
34. It might be under a tank : BRA!
35. Barnyard cry : BAA
36. Snack brand represented by Sterling Cooper on "Mad Men" : UTZ
37. Houston sch. : TSU
38. Cooler part : CELL BLOCK
39. Set-off chunks of text : BLOCK QUOTES
40. Fin : ABE
45. Its name may be written with an ampersand : DUO
46. Make plain : REVEAL
47. Food item : EDIBLE
48. Smidgen : WEE BIT
50. Less inept : ABLER
51. The Graces in Raphael's "The Three Graces," e.g. : NUDES
52. Smug look : SMIRK
53. One of the Argonauts : IDAS
54. Deal : COPE
55. Sufficient, for Shakespeare : ENOW
56. Obstruction : BLOCKAGE
57. Zeno's home : ELEA
58. Thunder : ROAR


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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Why do they have to keep using these lousy tricks? WHY????

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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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