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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

0124-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Jan 14, Friday



Announcement
The puzzle below is the one that was published online by the New York Times today. Due to a mix-up at the NYTimes, this Ian Livengood puzzle was printed in the paper a week ago. Follow this link to find the solution to the Kevin Der puzzle that was in the printed NYTimes today.



QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 16m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Miss out on a board : WAHINE
“Wahine” is the word for “woman”, in both Hawaiian and Maori.

In Hawaii, one might see a wahine on a surfboard.

18. Emphatic approval : AMEN AMEN!
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

22. Hunky-dory : 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.

Surprisingly (to me), the term "hunky-dory" has been around a long time, and is documented back in the mid-1800s. No one is really sure of its origin, but some say it is an Anglicization of Honcho dori, that back in the day was a street of ill repute in Yokohama, Japan.

25. Birds in a clutch : HENS
A “clutch” is a brood of chickens. The term is also used for a set of eggs produced at one time.

26. Group that no one on earth has ever joined : MILE HIGH CLUB
To become a member of the “Mile High Club”, one must have sexual relations on an aircraft.

29. Sun disk wearer, in myth : ISIS
Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children.

38. Feature of a certain bandit : ONE ARM
Slot machines earned the nickname "one-armed bandits" simply because they had "one arm", the handle pulled to operate the machine, and they robbed you of all your money!

39. 20-Down, e.g. : SUV
(20D. Nissan ___ : ROGUE)
The term SUV, an acronym for Sports Utility Vehicle, was introduced by our marketing friends. Using the term Sports Utility Vehicle was a very clever way to get us to pay a lot of money for what was essentially a station wagon on a truck chassis, or at least it was back then.

44. "___ magnifique!" : TRES
I am not sure that one ever says “très magnifique” in French, as it would translate literally as “very magnificent”, which is a little redundant. The phrase “c’est magnifique” is quite common though.

46. Big employer in Hartford, Conn. : AETNA
When the health care management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mt. Etna, the European volcano.

Hartford is the capitol of the state of Connecticut. The city is home to the headquarters of many insurance companies. As such Hartford is nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World”.

47. Canal checker?: Abbr. : DDS
Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

A DDS might work on a tooth’s root canal.

52. Public, as views : ESPOUSED
“To espouse” is to adopt or give support to.

54. Instruments played with mizraabs : SITARS
The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. The sitar is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

A “mizraab” is a metal plectrum that is used to play a sitar.

59. Ambush locale in Episode 1 of "The Lone Ranger" : CANYON
"The Lone Ranger" was both a radio and television show, dating back to its first radio performance in 1933 on a Detroit station. The line "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" was a device used in the storyline to signal that a riding sequence was starting, so cue the music!

Down
2. Thallium sulfate, e.g. : RAT POISON
Thallium sulfate is a toxic chemical that is hard to detect, as it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. As such, one of its use is as a rat poison. However, it is so toxic that such use is banned in many countries.

6. Civic leader? : CEE
The leading letter in the word “leader” is the letter C (cee).

10. Gabriel or Giorgio : SAN
“San Gabriel” is Spanish for “Saint Gabriel”, and “San Giorgio” Spanish for “Saint George”.

13. Australia's ___ Rock : AYERS
Ayers Rock was discovered by Europeans in 1873, who gave it its name in honor of Sir Henry Ayers who was the Chief Secretary of South Australia at the time. The Aborigines call the landmark Uluru, the more accepted name these days.

27. Civil engineering safety feature : ESCAPE ROAD
An escape road is provided on a steep hill for a driver to use if his brakes fail. The escape road is usually quite short and straight, with a pile of sand or gravel at the end.

28. Square, in old slang, as indicated by forming a square with one's hands : L-SEVEN
“Square” is a slang term, an insult implying that someone fails to appreciate a counterculture perhaps, is a “fuddy duddy”. The derivative term “L7” means the same thing. “L7” comes from the square-like gesture made by putting together an “L” with a thumb and index finger and a “7” with the other thumb and index finger.

32. 1969 hit with the repeated lyric "Big wheel keep on turnin'" : PROUD MARY
"Proud Mary" is a song written by John Fogarty and recorded in 1968 by Creedence Clearwater Revival with Fogarty singing lead vocals. The song was famously covered by Ike and Tina Turner in 1970. The “proud Mary” in the title is a riverboat, with a “big wheel” that keeps on turnin’.

34. Takes some hits : TOKES
“Toke” is a slang term for a puff on a marijuana cigarette or on a pipe containing the drug.

37. Humble dwellings : YURTS
A yurt is a wood-framed dwelling that is used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Although a yurt is a substantial structure, it is of course extremely portable.

39. Short trunks : SPEEDOS
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 ...

44. Weber per square meter : TESLA
The Tesla unit measures the strength of a magnetic field, and is named after the physicist Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. His work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

In the world of physics, the weber is the unit of magnetic flux. The unit is named for the German physicist Wilhelm Eduard Weber who was the co-inventor of the electromagnetic telegraph.

48. Drill bits? : HEPS
When soldiers are drilling, one might “hep, two, three, four …”

51. Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Hwy. : I-TEN
I-10 is the most southerly of the interstate routes that crosses from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I-10 stretches from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida. Various stretches of the route have been given different names, for example, the Rosa Parks Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway, the San Bernardino Freeway and the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway.

53. Kind of port : USB
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

55. Frequent form request: Abbr. : SSN
Social Security number (SSN)
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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Frigid : ARCTIC
7. Question at the door : WHO'S THAT?
15. Miss out on a board : WAHINE
16. "'Sup?" : HOW ARE YA?
17. Subject for a golf lesson : STANCE
18. Emphatic approval : AMEN AMEN!
19. Petition : PLEA
20. 51-Down and others: Abbr. : RTES
21. Nighttime : DARK
22. Hunky-dory : A-OK
23. Clobbered : SMOTE
25. Birds in a clutch : HENS
26. Group that no one on earth has ever joined : MILE HIGH CLUB
29. Sun disk wearer, in myth : ISIS
30. Petition : SUE
31. "That's quite enough!" : STOP IT!
35. Abridged : CONCISE
37. "What's it gonna be?" : YES OR NO?
38. Feature of a certain bandit : ONE ARM
39. 20-Down, e.g. : SUV
40. Nut : KOOK
41. What a nonconformist ignores : PEER PRESSURE
44. "___ magnifique!" : TRES
46. Big employer in Hartford, Conn. : AETNA
47. Canal checker?: Abbr. : DDS
48. One who's trustworthy? : HEIR
49. Doesn't just grab : AWES
50. Green shade : LIME
52. Public, as views : ESPOUSED
54. Instruments played with mizraabs : SITARS
56. "I'd like you to leave" : PLEASE GO
57. Nips in the bud : AVERTS
58. Bank guards? : SANDBAGS
59. Ambush locale in Episode 1 of "The Lone Ranger" : CANYON

Down
1. "Cute" remarks : AWS
2. Thallium sulfate, e.g. : RAT POISON
3. Figure out on the street? : CHALK LINE
4. Stick with it : TINE
5. One way to pay : IN CASH
6. Civic leader? : CEE
7. "Beg pardon?!" : WHAT THE?!
8. Shop alternative : HOME EC
9. Takes credit? : OWES
10. Gabriel or Giorgio : SAN
11. Basic library stock : TRADE BOOKS
12. Iron-pumper : HE-MAN
13. Australia's ___ Rock : AYERS
14. Lose a lot? : TANK
20. Nissan ___ : ROGUE
22. Italian friend : AMICO
24. Question in a long-distance relationship : MISS ME?
25. Humble dwellings : HUTS
27. Civil engineering safety feature : ESCAPE ROAD
28. Square, in old slang, as indicated by forming a square with one's hands : L-SEVEN
32. 1969 hit with the repeated lyric "Big wheel keep on turnin'" : PROUD MARY
33. So that one can : IN ORDER TO
34. Takes some hits : TOKES
36. Red states : IRES
37. Humble dwellings : YURTS
39. Short trunks : SPEEDOS
42. Possible protein shake ingredient : RAW EGG
43. Sample in a swab test : SALIVA
44. Weber per square meter : TESLA
45. Turn red, say : RIPEN
48. Drill bits? : HEPS
49. Away from port : ASEA
51. Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Hwy. : I-TEN
53. Kind of port : USB
54. Pouch : SAC
55. Frequent form request: Abbr. : SSN


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5 comments :

Bart Berlin said...

Is it this month that is the anniversary of your father's passing away? May his memory be always for a blessing.
Your blog is a wonderful memorial to him. Thank you for your help with my puzzle each day.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Bart.

You are very, very thoughtful to note the anniversary of my Dad's passing. I really appreciate it. Thank you also for the kind words about the blog.

Anonymous said...

Wow; two VERY poor answers: AMEN AMEN???? Who *says* that? And when is the correct answer for ---- magnifique NOT C'EST???? The French don't say, "Very magnificent"!

I am really getting tired of puzzles that are just plain misleading!!!!

SHORTZ OUT NOW!!!!!

Anonymous said...

what is the meaning of the oft seen single red square in many a puzzle

Bill Butler said...

The question about the "single red square" is a common. The (boring) answer can be found here.

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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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