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0129-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Jan 14, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Black
THEME: Acronym Included … today’s themed answers are all names of famous men, with circled letters giving us an acronym that is associated with that man:
20A. A general and his country : ULYSSES S GRANT (includes “USA”)
37A. A hoops great and his league : ELGIN BAYLOR (includes “NBA”)
44A. A comic and his former show : ADAM SANDLER (includes “SNL”)
59A. A president and his conflict : WOODROW WILSON (includes “WWI”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 07m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Part of una casa : SALA
A room (sala) is a division (división) of a house (casa), in Spanish.

10. Compressed pic, of a sort : JPEG
The JPEG file format was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), hence the name.

An image file on a computer can be compressed so that it takes up less space. Some time the compression is "lossless" meaning even though the file is compressed, and data it is discarded, the image still looks the same. One example of data that can be discarded without loss of quality, is to not bother recording the color information of pixels that are the same color as others. Just saying "this pixel is the same is that one" takes up less space. One can compress files even more if one allows loss of quality. One well known compression algorithm that is "lossy" is the jpeg (also “.jpg”) format. The person compressing the file can decide how much quality will suffer in jpeg format, with larger files being of higher quality than the smaller ones.

16. Brewery fixture : OAST
An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an "oast house".

20. A general and his country : ULYSSES S GRANT (includes “USA”)
Ulysses S. Grant had been a career soldier when he was elected as the 18th president of the US, and had risen to commander of all the Union armies by the end of the Civil War. Grant served two nonconsecutive terms as president, and also made a failed bid for a third term. Grant’s reputation was tarnished by his apparent tolerance of corruption in his administration. On the other hand, Grant worked hard to protect African Americans during Reconstruction after the Civil War, and pursued peaceful relations with Native Americans.

24. Title for a J.D. holder : ESQ
The title "esquire" is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, "esquire" is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

The law degree abbreviated to J.D. stands for Juris Doctor.

32. Remove, as a corsage : UNPIN
“Corsage” is a word we imported from French in the late 15th century. Back then we used it to mean “the size of the body”. By the early 1800s a corsage was a bodice, or the body of a woman’s dress. At the beginning of the 20th century, the French term “bouquet de corsage” was being used for a “bouquet worn on the bodice”, and this has been shortened simply to “corsage”.

34. Trigram on rotary phones : PRS
A trigram is a group of three letters or symbols.

37. A hoops great and his league : ELGIN BAYLOR (includes “NBA”)
Elgin Baylor is a retired NBA player and a former NBA general manager. Baylor spent 22 years as GM for the LA Clippers.

40. Cake similar to a Yodel : HO HO
Ho Hos snack cakes were first produced in San Francisco in 1967; not the best thing to come out of the sixties I'd say ...

42. Battle zone of 1956 and 1967 : SINAI
The Sinai Peninsula is in the eastern part of Egypt, the triangular peninsula bounded by the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egypt that lies in Asia as opposed to Africa. The eastern land border of the peninsula is shared with Israel, and Israel occupied the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Six Day War of 1967.

43. Baja resort area : CABO
Cabo San Lucas is a major tourist destination at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. “Cabo” is sometimes referred to as the “Fort Lauderdale of Mexico”.

44. A comic and his former show : ADAM SANDLER (includes “SNL”)
Adam Sandler's big break was with "Saturday Night Live" (SNL). He then went on to make several successful movies and has his own movie and television production company. Personally, I am not a fan of Adam Sandler, nor his movies ...

47. Kobe cash : YEN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents "round shape".

Kobe is a city on the island of Honshu in Japan, and yes, basketball star Kobe Bryant is named after the Japanese city. The city of Kobe is perhaps most famous for its beef.

51. Brian who's a self-professed "nonmusician" : 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.

55. Harem wear : VEILS
"Harem" is a Turkish word, derived from the Arabic for "forbidden place". Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.

59. A president and his conflict : WOODROW WILSON (includes “WWI”)
President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919. He was so honored in recognition of his efforts to promote peace around the world, and in particular for the leading role he played in setting up the League of Nations after WWI (despite his failure to gain support for the organization from the US Congress).

64. Mazar of "Entourage" : DEBI
Debi Mazar plays Shauna Roberts on the HBO series "Entourage". You might have seen her on "Dancing with the Stars" a while back, although she didn't do so well and was eliminated in the third week.

70. Away from the wind : ALEE
"Alee" is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing "aweather".

71. Like candy corn's texture : WAXY
Candy corn is a candy that is seen mainly around Halloween in North America. Candy corn is made to look like kernels of corn, with a yellow base, orange center and white tip. The original candy corn was created by the Wunderle Candy Company in Philadelphia in the 1880s.

72. Woman's golf garment : SKORT
Skorts are a hybrid between shorts and a skirt.

73. Motorola phone brand : RAZR
RAZR is a line of flip phones introduced by Motorola in 2004.

Down
1. Immunizing fluid : SERUM
Blood serum is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell or a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to some disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

2. Whac-___ (carnival game) : A-MOLE
The Whac-A-Mole arcade game was invented in 1976. Players use a mallet to force five plastic moles back into their holes. Whacking the moles can be so frustrating that we sometimes use the term “Whac-a-mole” to describe a repetitive and futile task.

3. Benghazi's land : LIBYA
Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, after the capital Tripoli. It is a port city, lying on the Mediterranean Sea.

4. Bikini atoll trials, informally : A-TESTS
The testing of US nuclear weapons by the US at Bikini Atoll in the middle of 1946 went by the codename "Operation Crossroads". The tests used A-bombs and were designed to measure the effect of blasts on navy vessels. There were three tests planned, but the third had to be cancelled as the Navy couldn't decontaminate the ships used in the second test.

6. New Haven collegians : ELIS
Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

Yale is the private Ivy League school located in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest, higher education establishment in the country (after Harvard, and William and Mary).

7. Fruity candy since 1945 : DOTS
Dots are a brand of gum drops that were introduced to the market in 1945. Dots are produced by Tootsie Roll Industries in Chicago, at a rate of four billion dots per year.

10. W.C. : JOHN
The use of "john" as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. "John" probably comes from the older slang term of "jack" or "jakes" that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in cruder moments, we still refer to a toilet as "the jacks".

12. Psychic's "gift," for short : ESP
Extrasensory Perception (ESP)

13. Classic muscle car : GTO
The acronym GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato.

21. 1/1 title word : SYNE
The song "Auld Lang Syne" is a staple at New Year's Eve, the words of which were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

22. With 18-Across, an old term for brandy : AQUA
18. See 22-Down : VITAE
“Aqua vitae” is Latin for “water of life”. The original use of the term was for a concentrated solution of ethanol. Over time aqua vitae became the term used for distilled spirits and particularly wine. “Water of life” translates into Scots Gaelic as “uisge-beatha” and into Irish as “uisce beatha”. These terms give rise to our modern word “whiskey”.

26. Weeper of myth : NIOBE
In Greek mythology, when her children were killed, Niobe fled to Mt. Sipylus where she was turned into stone and wept for eternity. There is in fact a Niobe's Rock on Mt. Sipylus that resembles a female face, and so is known as "The Weeping Rock".

27. Scandalous company with a tilted-E logo : ENRON
After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow's wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

29. Joy Adamson's big cat : ELSA
The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book "Born Free" about Elsa, and then "Living Free" which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on "Born Free", Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.

33. View from Ft. Lee, N.J. : NYC
Fort Lee is a US Army post in Virginia. Fort Lee started out as Camp Lee not long after the US entered WWI in 1917. The camp was of course named after the Confederate Civil War General Robert E. Lee.

35. "The Kiss" sculptor : RODIN
"The Kiss" is a beautiful sculpture created in 1889 by Auguste Rodin. I've had the privilege of standing beside the original, life-size marble work on a few occasions as it is housed in the Rodin Museum, my favorite of all museums in Paris. The Musée Rodin is very special in that the building and garden that hold all of the works were Rodin's actual home and studio. Well worth a visit if you make it to Paris ...

38. Simba's mate : NALA
In "The Lion King", Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba.

39. Jessica of "7th Heaven" : BIEL
Jessica Biel is an actress who was known by television audiences Mary Camden on “7th Heaven”. Biel's first film role was playing Peter Fonda’s granddaughter in “Ulee’s Gold”. Biel’s husband is singer and actor Justin Timberlake.

41. Kipling's "Follow Me ___" : ‘OME
“Follow Me ‘ome” is a poem by Rudyard Kipling.

Rudyard Kipling was a British poet and writer famous for his tales of the British Raj, the rule of the British Empire in India. Kipling was actually born in Bombay, but returned with his family to England when he was very young. After being educated in England, he returned to India and from there traveled the world. Kipling’s most famous works are the stories “The Jungle Book”, “Just So Stories”, “The Man Who Would Be King”, and the poems “Mandalay”, “Gunga Din” and “If-”.

45. 1988 N.L. Rookie of the Year Chris : SABO
Chris Sabo is a former third baseman who played for the Reds, Orioles, White Sox and Cardinals.

46. Noted first name in raga : RAVI
Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous virtuoso (to us Westerners) from the world of Indian classical music, and was noted for his sitar playing. Also, Shankar was the father of the beautiful pop singer Norah Jones.

Raga isn't really a type of music, but has been described as the "tonal framework" in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners).

50. San Diego-area horse-racing venue : DEL MAR
Del Mar translates into English as "of the sea" aptly enough. Also aptly enough, this upscale beach town started out as a purpose-built resort developed for the rich and famous, back in 1885. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball had a house there for many years, as did Burt Bacharach. Skateboarder Tony Hawks grew up in Del Mar.

56. Sicilia, per esempio : ISOLA
In Italian, Sicily (Sicilia) for example (per esempio) is an island (isola).

57. "J to tha L-O!" artist : LOPEZ
J.Lo is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. "J.Lo" is also the title of her second studio album, released in 2001.

58. Smile like Snidely Whiplash : SNEER
Dudley Do-Right appeared on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, a cartoon that appeared on television in a couple of different versions from 1959-1964. Dudley was a bungling Mountie who struggled with his nemesis, the evil Snidely Whiplash, while pursuing the romantic intentions of Nell Fenwick (who always seemed to prefer Dudley’s horse!).

60. In need of a shampoo, say : OILY
Back in the 1760s, the verb “shampoo” was an Anglo-Indian word meaning “to massage”. A century later we started to shampoo our hair.

61. German Expressionist ___ Dix : OTTO
Otto Dix was a German painter and printmaker. Dix fought in the military in WWI and was profoundly affected by his experiences. Many of his artistic works reflected those experiences.

63. Order in the court : WRIT
A writ is an order issued by some formal body (these days, usually a court) with the order being in written form. Warrants and subpoenas are examples of writs.

65. Bambi's aunt : ENA
The 1942 Disney classic "Bambi" is based on a book written by Felix Salten called "Bambi, A Life in the Woods". There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi's mother is shot by hunters.
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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Part of una casa : SALA
5. Totally disgusted : FED UP
10. Compressed pic, of a sort : JPEG
14. Let off : EMIT
15. Brief concession : I LOSE
16. Brewery fixture : OAST
17. Spa wear : ROBE
18. See 22-Down : VITAE
19. Hospital sticker : HYPO
20. A general and his country : ULYSSES S GRANT (includes “USA”)
23. Loaded with substance : MEATY
24. Title for a J.D. holder : ESQ
25. Impossible point total in American pro football : ONE
28. Clandestine sort : SNEAK
32. Remove, as a corsage : UNPIN
34. Trigram on rotary phones : PRS
37. A hoops great and his league : ELGIN BAYLOR (includes “NBA”)
40. Cake similar to a Yodel : HO HO
42. Battle zone of 1956 and 1967 : SINAI
43. Baja resort area : CABO
44. A comic and his former show : ADAM SANDLER (includes “SNL”)
47. Kobe cash : YEN
48. Cassette half : SIDE A
49. Soup alternative : SALAD
51. Brian who's a self-professed "nonmusician" : ENO
52. Part of a bridle : BIT
55. Harem wear : VEILS
59. A president and his conflict : WOODROW WILSON (includes “WWI”)
64. Mazar of "Entourage" : DEBI
66. What "-phage" means : EATER
67. Wear a long face : MOPE
68. ___ ether : ENOL
69. Final part of most Broadway musicals : ACT II
70. Away from the wind : ALEE
71. Like candy corn's texture : WAXY
72. Woman's golf garment : SKORT
73. Motorola phone brand : RAZR

Down
1. Immunizing fluid : SERUM
2. Whac-___ (carnival game) : A-MOLE
3. Benghazi's land : LIBYA
4. Bikini atoll trials, informally : A-TESTS
5. Word after "take" or "give me" : FIVE
6. New Haven collegians : ELIS
7. Fruity candy since 1945 : DOTS
8. Grammarian's concern : USAGE
9. Exerters of pressure, maybe : PEERS
10. W.C. : JOHN
11. Ante up : PAY TO PLAY
12. Psychic's "gift," for short : ESP
13. Classic muscle car : GTO
21. 1/1 title word : SYNE
22. With 18-Across, an old term for brandy : AQUA
26. Weeper of myth : NIOBE
27. Scandalous company with a tilted-E logo : ENRON
29. Joy Adamson's big cat : ELSA
30. Opposed to, in dialect : AGIN
31. Classifications : KINDS
33. View from Ft. Lee, N.J. : NYC
34. Thumb-sucking, e.g. : PHASE
35. "The Kiss" sculptor : RODIN
36. Spar with nobody : SHADOW BOX
38. Simba's mate : NALA
39. Jessica of "7th Heaven" : BIEL
41. Kipling's "Follow Me ___" : ‘OME
45. 1988 N.L. Rookie of the Year Chris : SABO
46. Noted first name in raga : RAVI
50. San Diego-area horse-racing venue : DEL MAR
53. Bits of creativity : IDEAS
54. Follow, as a U.P.S. shipment : TRACK
56. Sicilia, per esempio : ISOLA
57. "J to tha L-O!" artist : LOPEZ
58. Smile like Snidely Whiplash : SNEER
60. In need of a shampoo, say : OILY
61. German Expressionist ___ Dix : OTTO
62. Small dam : WEIR
63. Order in the court : WRIT
64. It might get your feet wet : DEW
65. Bambi's aunt : ENA


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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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