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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

0127-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jan 14, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: James Tuttle
THEME: Timeshare … today’s themed answers are each made from two words. The first word often precedes the word TIME, whereas the second word often succeeds TIME, In that sense, each half of the themed answers SHARE TIME:
17A. *Flying : AIR TRAVEL (giving “airtime” & “time travel”)
24A. *One placed between warring parties : PEACEKEEPER (giving “peacetime” & “timekeeper”)
32A. *Contestant's help on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" : LIFELINE (giving “lifetime” & “timeline”)
45A. *King, queen or jack : FACE CARD (giving “face time” & “timecard”)
52A. *Piece of furniture that might be under a chandelier : DINNER TABLE (giving “dinnertime” & “timetable”)
63A. Vacation lodging purchase ... or an arrangement between the two halves of the answer to each starred clue? : TIMESHARE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Hypermasculine : MACHO
A man described as “macho” shows pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.

16. Patriot Ethan of the Revolutionary War : ALLEN
Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot.

23. Mormons, in brief : LDS
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often abbreviated to "LDS", is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

29. Ivy League school in Philly : PENN
The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) was founded in 1740 by by Benjamin Franklin. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses.

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

31. Doc grp. : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

32. *Contestant's help on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" : LIFELINE (giving “lifetime” & “timeline”)
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is a game show that is now aired all over the world. The concept for the show was developed in the UK, where it first aired in 1998. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is the most popular international television franchise in history, in the sense that has aired in more than 100 different countries.

38. Colored part of the eye : IRIS
The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

39. Softly, in music : DOLCE
The musical term “dolce” instructs the performer to play “gently and sweetly”.

43. Serving on a skewer : KABOB
The name "kebab" (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use "kebab" when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

47. Brian who composed "Music for Airports" : ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno's most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft's "start-up jingle", the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:
I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

48. The "L" of L.A. : LOS
The California city of Los Angeles (L.A.) is the second most populous city in the country, after New York. L.A. was established in 1781 as a pueblo named "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula", which translates as “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Porciúncula River”. This name evolved into “Los Angeles”, and the Porciúncula River is now called the Los Angeles River.

52. *Piece of furniture that might be under a chandelier : DINNER TABLE (giving “dinnertime” & “timetable”)
A chandelier is an elaborate light fixture that hangs from a ceiling. The English word first appeared in the 1300, and was imported from Old Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word came from the French “chandelabre”, itself derived from the Latin “candelabrum”. The Latin word for “candle” is “candela”.

55. "There ___ is, Miss America" : SHE
The beauty pageant theme song, "There She Is, Miss America", was written by composer Bernie Wayne. Wayne, who died at the age of 74 in 1993, wrote many hit songs, including "Blue Velvet" and "The Magic Touch". He also wrote a famous advertising jingle: "Chock Full O'Nuts Is the Heavenly Coffee".

58. Epic work by Virgil : AENEID
"The Aeneid" is Virgil's epic poem that tells of the journey of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy to become the ancestor of all Romans. “The Aeneid” begins with the words “Arma virumque cano …”, which translates as “I sing of arms and of a man …”

61. Hybrid kind of battery : NICAD
A NiCad rechargeable battery is so called because the electrodes are made of nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium.

68. Port of Yemen : ADEN
Aden is a seaport in Yemen, located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. Someone from the seaport of Aden is known as an Adeni.

69. "America's Finest News Source," with "The" : ONION
"The Onion" is a satirical news network, with a print newspaper and a heavy online presence. "The Onion" newspaper was founded by two college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. The founders sold the operation a year later for about $20,000. The paper grew steadily until 1996 when it began to publish online and really took off. I think it's worth a tad more than $20,000 today ...

Down
6. ___ lane : HOV
In some parts of the country one sees high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV lanes), but out here in California, we call them carpool lanes.

7. Kind of acid in soapmaking : OLEIC
Oleic Acid is a fatty acid, found in many animal and plants sources, but most notably in olives. As such, “Oleic” means “derived from the olive”.

8. World Series of Poker game : HOLD ‘EM
The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas Hold 'Em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas Hold 'Em in the television line-up that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

9. X-Men villain : MAGNETO
X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains that X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellan.

10. Coeur d'___, Idaho : ALENE
The city of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is named for the Coeur d'Alene People, Native Americans who lived in the area when it was first explored by French Canadian fur traders. “Coeur d'Alene” translates from French as “heart of an awl”. The Native American people were given this name as they were perceived as shrewd traders by their Canadian counterparts.

11. 1963 Elizabeth Taylor role : CLEOPATRA
The 1963 movie "Cleopatra" really was an epic work. It was the highest grossing film of the year, taking in $26 million dollars at the box office, yet it still lost money. The original budget for the film was just $2 million, but so many things went wrong the final cost swelled to a staggering $44 million dollars, making it the second most expensive movie ever made (taking into account inflation). Elizabeth Taylor was supposed to earn a record amount of $1 million for the film, and ended up earned seven times that amount due to delays. But she paid dearly, as she became seriously ill during shooting and had to have an emergency tracheotomy to save her life. The scar in her throat can actually be seen in some of the shots in the film.

22. Hawaiian strings, for short : UKE
The ukulele (“uke”) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

25. "Idylls of the King" lady : ENID
"Idylls of the King" is a cycle of twelve poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that retells the tale of King Arthur. One of the "idylls" is the story of Geraint and Enid. Tennyson’s Enid gave her name to the city of Enid, Oklahoma.

26. ___ Domini : ANNO
The designations Anno Domini (AD, "year of Our Lord") and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year "0" in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

27. Mideast bigwig: Var. : EMEER
In English, emir can also be written as emeer, amir and ameer (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

28. Early stage of industrial work, for short : R AND D
Research and Development (R&D)

29. Mexican money : PESO
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

33. Resident of Tehran : IRANI
Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around an awful long time and Tehran is actually the country's 31st national capital.

34. Eponym of a number series that begins 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ... : FIBONACCI
Leonardo of Pisa was a famous and respected Italian mathematician, also known as simply “Fibonacci”. He is remembered for writing about a number sequence (although he didn’t "discover” it) that later was given the name “Fibonacci sequence”. He wrote about the series of numbers in his book called “Liber Abaci”, a celebrated work that introduced Arabic numerals (i.e. 0-9) to the Western world.

35. Munchkin : ELF
“Munchkin” is a word that we use quite commonly these days, usually to describe a young child. The first Munchkins were characters created by L. Frank Baum in his book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, published in 1900.

37. Kindergarten basics : ABCS
"Kindergarten" is of course a German term, literally meaning “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

50. Hilarious person, in slang : STITCH
A stitch is a sudden stabbing pain in the side. We started using the term “stitch” to mean an amusing person or thing in 1968, from the sense of laughing so much that one was in stitches of pain, as in “he had me in stitches”.

54. Fond farewell : ADIEU
"Adieu" is the French for "goodbye" or "farewell", from "à Dieu" meaning "to God".

60. Ill-fated captain : AHAB
Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly Captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville's "Moby Dick".

61. Sgt., e.g. : NCO
An NCO is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant.

62. Suffix with Dickens : -IAN
The English author Charles Dickens used the pen-name Boz early in his career. He had already established himself as the most famous novelist of the Victorian Era when he came to visit America in 1842. He was honored by 3,000 of New York's elite at a "Boz Ball" in the Park Theater.

64. Cubs and White Sox org. : MLB
Major League Baseball (MLB)

65. Windy City trains : ELS
The Chicago "L" is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The "L" is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the "L" (originally short for "elevated railroad"), although the term "El" is also in common use (especially in crosswords as "ELS"). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

It seems that the derivation of Chicago's nickname as the "Windy City" isn't as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. First that the weather can be breezy, with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that "windy" means "being full of bluster". Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters "windy" in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Attack with a knife : STAB
5. "Oops-a-daisy" : UH-OH
9. Hypermasculine : MACHO
14. See 2-Down : TRUE
15. Duet minus one : SOLO
16. Patriot Ethan of the Revolutionary War : ALLEN
17. *Flying : AIR TRAVEL (giving “airtime” & “time travel”)
19. "Silly" birds : GEESE
20. Renter's document : LEASE
21. "No idea" : I DUNNO
23. Mormons, in brief : LDS
24. *One placed between warring parties : PEACEKEEPER (giving “peacetime” & “timekeeper”)
29. Ivy League school in Philly : PENN
30. Encountered : MET
31. Doc grp. : AMA
32. *Contestant's help on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" : LIFELINE (giving “lifetime” & “timeline”)
36. Like some cereals : OATEN
38. Colored part of the eye : IRIS
39. Softly, in music : DOLCE
42. Born and ___ : BRED
43. Serving on a skewer : KABOB
45. *King, queen or jack : FACE CARD (giving “face time” & “timecard”)
47. Brian who composed "Music for Airports" : ENO
48. The "L" of L.A. : LOS
51. Squabbles : ROWS
52. *Piece of furniture that might be under a chandelier : DINNER TABLE (giving “dinnertime” & “timetable”)
55. "There ___ is, Miss America" : SHE
58. Epic work by Virgil : AENEID
59. Quick : RAPID
61. Hybrid kind of battery : NICAD
63. Vacation lodging purchase ... or an arrangement between the two halves of the answer to each starred clue? : TIMESHARE
66. Desert flora : CACTI
67. Battery : CELL
68. Port of Yemen : ADEN
69. "America's Finest News Source," with "The" : ONION
70. Car parts that have caps : HUBS
71. Hotel and hospital features : BEDS

Down
1. Shower unit : STALL
2. ___ and 14-Across (reliable) : TRIED
3. Surrounding glows : AURAS
4. Risks : BETS
5. It's between Can. and Mex. : USA
6. ___ lane : HOV
7. Kind of acid in soapmaking : OLEIC
8. World Series of Poker game : HOLD ‘EM
9. X-Men villain : MAGNETO
10. Coeur d'___, Idaho : ALENE
11. 1963 Elizabeth Taylor role : CLEOPATRA
12. Guys : HES
13. First number dialed when calling long distance : ONE
18. Push back, as an attack : REPEL
22. Hawaiian strings, for short : UKE
25. "Idylls of the King" lady : ENID
26. ___ Domini : ANNO
27. Mideast bigwig: Var. : EMEER
28. Early stage of industrial work, for short : R AND D
29. Mexican money : PESO
32. Had a crush on : LIKED
33. Resident of Tehran : IRANI
34. Eponym of a number series that begins 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ... : FIBONACCI
35. Munchkin : ELF
37. Kindergarten basics : ABCS
40. Bit of pasta, for short : CARB
41. Green science: Abbr. : ECOL
44. Not be conspicuous : BLEND IN
46. Pitchers : EWERS
49. Mined metal : ORE
50. Hilarious person, in slang : STITCH
53. "Far out!" : NEATO!
54. Fond farewell : ADIEU
55. Digging tool : SPADE
56. Put on the payroll : HIRED
57. Perfect places : EDENS
60. Ill-fated captain : AHAB
61. Sgt., e.g. : NCO
62. Suffix with Dickens : -IAN
64. Cubs and White Sox org. : MLB
65. Windy City trains : ELS


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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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