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Greetings from San Jose, California

My wife and I are on vacation until Friday, July 25th; a road trip through the backroads of the states east of California. I anticipate late-night solving and posting, with acknowledgement of comments and emails suffering. Please, don't be offended at my silence as I prioritize the writing of posts! We had a long and spectacular drive across the Sierra Nevada today, and saw Julianne and Derek Hough's dance spectacular this evening. Back home and back to reality tomorrow (Friday) ...

Bill

0204-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Feb 14, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: The Js Have It … today’s themed answers are names of people who routinely use two initials in their names, the first being J:
17A. Author of the best-selling book series in history : JK ROWLING
20A. Founder of U.S. Steel : JP MORGAN
57A. "Peter Pan" author : JM BARRIE
62A. Dagwood Bumstead's boss : JC DITHERS
9D. "The Well-Tempered Clavier" composer : JS BACH
11D. Reclusive best-selling novelist : JD SALINGER
27D. Pen name for Angela Lansbury's character on "Murder, She Wrote" : JB FLETCHER
47D. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher who was a 2007 All-Star with Seattle : JJ PUTZ
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … BROZ (Brot), JJ PUTZ (JJ Putt)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Coal carriers : HODS
A hod is a 3-sided box on the the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks (and sometimes mortar) at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.

5. Take pleasure, as in one's glory : BASK
Our verb “to bask”, meaning “to expose one to pleasant warmth”, is derived from the gruesome 14th-century term “basken”, meaning “to wallow in blood”. The contemporary usage apparently originated with Shakespeare, who employed with reference to sunshine in “As You Like It”.

9. One-named singer with the 2006 hit "Too Little Too Late" : JOJO
“JoJo” is the stage name of singer-songwriter Joanna Levesque. JoJo launched her career in 2003 as a competitor on the TV show “America’s Most Talented Kids”.

13. Soon, quaintly : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

14. Tennis's Nastase : ILIE
I think that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 1970s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, Nastase always had time to give the crowd a laugh.

17. Author of the best-selling book series in history : JK ROWLING
The author of the amazingly successful "Harry Potter" series of books is J. K. Rowling. Rowling wrote the first book when she was living on welfare in Edinburgh in Scotland, and in longhand. She would often write in local cafes, largely because she needed to get her baby daughter out of the house (she was a single mom), and the youngster would tend to fall asleep on walks. Within five years, the single mom on welfare became a very rich woman, and is now worth about $1 billion!

20. Founder of U.S. Steel : JP MORGAN
John Pierpont Morgan was a financier and banker active in the last half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. Given the tremendous power that came with his wealth, Morgan and other tycoons were at times unpopular with the masses. Morgan did not often respond to criticism although did once say "I owe the public nothing”. Around the same time, John D. Rockefeller habitually rebuffed public inquiries with the words “silence is golden”.

US Steel was founded in 1901 with a merger of Carnegie Steel, Federal Steel and National Steel. The resulting company immediately became the world’s first billion-dollar corporation. US Steel reorganized in 1986 and changed its name to USX Corporation, but reverted to the US Steel name in 2001. I think I’m right in saying that the USX name was chosen because US Steel is traded under the symbol “X” on the New York Stock Exchange …

21. "Thank you," in Hawaii : MAHALO
In Hawaiian, “mahalo” means “thank you” and “mahalo nui loa” translates as “thank you very much”.

22. Actress Caldwell and others : ZOES
Zoe Caldwell is an Australian-born actress who won four Tony Awards for her performances on Broadway.

24. Office PC hookup : LAN
LAN (Local Area Network)

25. Joe Namath or Mark Gastineau : EX-JET
The legendary quarterback Joe Namath played most of his professional football games with the New York Jets. Namath had played college football with the University of Alabama but left school without finishing his degree, to play professionally. Many years later he enrolled in Alabama's External Degree program, and graduated with a BA in December 2007, at 64 years of age. Well done, Joe!

Mark Gastineau is a former player, with the NY Jets from 1979 to 1988. Gastineau had a second sporting career as a winning boxer, from 1991 to 1996.

28. Actress Christine of "Funny About Love" : LAHTI
Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

30. Wall St. operator : ARB
"Arb" is short for an arbitrageur, one who profits from the purchase of securities in one market and the subsequent sale in another, hence taking advantage of price discrepancies across markets.

31. Eschews takeout, say : EATS IN
"To eschew", meaning “to avoid, shun” comes from the Old French word "eschiver" that means the same thing.

35. A deadly sin : ENVY
The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are:
- wrath
- greed
- sloth
- pride
- lust
- envy
- gluttony

41. "Inside the Company: C.I.A. Diary" author Philip : AGEE
Philip Agee was a CIA case officer who left the agency and then wrote a tell-all book in 1975 about his experiences “Inside the Company”.

42. Vocalist Lovett : LYLE
As well as being famous in his own right as a successful country singer, Lyle Lovett is known for his marriage to the actress Julia Roberts in 1993. The pair had a whirlwind romance lasting just three weeks before they eloped and were wed. The marriage was also relatively whirlwind, lasting less than two years.

45. R.N. workplaces : ERS
Registered nurses (RNs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

48. The "A" of James A. Garfield : ABRAM
James Abram Garfield, the 20th President, was of course assassinated in office. He was shot twice, and one bullet could not be found (it was lodged in his spine). The inventor Alexander Graham Bell developed a metal detector in an attempt to locate the bullet, but apparently he was unsuccessful because of interference from the metal bed frame on which the president lay. Garfield died two months after being shot.

52. "___ Boys" (Louisa May Alcott novel) : JO’S
Louisa May Alcott's "Jo's Boys" is a sequel to her novel "Little Men", which in turn is a sequel to "Little Women". “Jo’s Boys” is the final book in the trilogy.

53. "___ Lisa" : MONA
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece that we know in English as the "Mona Lisa" is called "La Gioconda" in Italian, the language of the artist. It's also known as "La Joconde" by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple's new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.

57. "Peter Pan" author : JM BARRIE
The author and dramatist J. M. Barrie is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. Barrie wrote a play in 1904 called “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”. He turned this into a novel called “Peter and Wendy” in 1911. The girl’s name “Wendy” was very uncommon before Barrie named his character, and he is given credit for making the name as popular as it is today.

61. Kind of jacket : NEHRU
A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

62. Dagwood Bumstead's boss : JC DITHERS
"Blondie" was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic's son, Dean). The strip spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of Blondie films (1938-1950). Blondie is married to Dagwood Bumstead. Dagwood slaves away at a construction company run by Julius Dithers, whose wife is called Cora. Another famous character in the strip is Elmo Tuttle, a pesky neighborhood kid who is always bugging Dagwood.

66. Josip ___ Tito, Yugoslav statesman : BROZ
Marshal Josip Broz Tito led the Yugoslav resistance during WWII. After the war, he led the country as Prime Minister and then President.

67. Egyptian goddess whose headdress was shaped like a throne : ISIS
Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children.

Down
1. Muslim's trek : HAJJ
A Haji (also “Hajji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name "haj" or “hajj”.

2. Cleaning a mess, maybe : ON KP
KP is a US military slang term, and stands for either "kitchen police" or "kitchen patrol".

5. Baloney : BILGE
The bilge is lowest internal part of a ship. The water that collects in there is called bilge water. The term “bilge” is also used as slang for nonsense talk.

7. ___ Féin (Irish political party) : SINN
Sinn Féin is a political party in Ireland, largely representing the Catholic community in Northern Ireland. It is led by Gerry Adams, and has the stated aim of uniting Ireland north and south. Sinn Féin is Irish for "we ourselves". It is currently the second largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the fourth largest in the Republic of Ireland’s parliament.

8. "Animal House" party fixture : KEG
The very funny 1978 movie "Animal House" has the prefix "National Lampoon's ..." because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in "National Lampoon" magazine. "Animal House" was to become the first in a long line of successful "National Lampoon" films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent "Amadeus", and Stephen Furst (Flounder), later played a regular role on television's "Babylon 5".

9. "The Well-Tempered Clavier" composer : JS BACH
J. S. Bach composed a set of 24 preludes and fugues published as a book in 1722, intended to be used as exercises for students of music. He composed another set of 24 in 1742, and the whole collection is today known as the "Well-Tempered Clavier", the title of the original book.

11. Reclusive best-selling novelist : JD SALINGER
J. D. Salinger was a very reclusive author, most famous for his novel “Catcher in the Rye”. Salinger fought in WWII after he was drafted into the US Army. He saw action on Utah Beach on D-Day, and in the Battle of the Bulge. He also spent a lot of time interrogating prisoners due to his knowledge of French and German, and he was one of the first Americans to go into a liberated concentration camp. He later spent time in hospital suffering from what was then called combat stress reaction, as he tried to deal with what he saw in the German camps.

12. Alley Oop's girl : OOOLA
"Alley Oop" is a comic strip that ran for four decades starting in 1932. "Alley Oop" was drawn by V. T. Hamlin. The title character lived in the prehistoric kingdom of Moo and had a pet dinosaur called Dinny. Alley Oop also had a girlfriend called Ooola. I had assumed that Ooola’s name was a play on “hula hoop”, but that wasn't invented until the 1950s (a kind blog reader informs me) ...

23. Like pomaded hair : SLICK
Pomade is perfumed ointment, mainly used for grooming the hair. The word “pomade” is derived from the Latin “pomum” meaning “apple”, as the original ointment recipe used smashed apples.

25. Viscount's superior : EARL
In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquess. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquess and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known simply as a countess.

26. Word with tube or vision : X-RAY
X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also "Roentgen"), and it was he who gave the name "X-rays" to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen's native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as "Röntgen rays". In 1901 Röntgen won the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded, recognition for his work on X-rays.

27. Pen name for Angela Lansbury's character on "Murder, She Wrote" : JB FLETCHER
Angela Lansbury is a veteran actress and singer from London. Lansbury has been entertaining professionally for over 70 years now. She has won five Tony Awards, a number that has only be equalled by Julie Harris and Audra McDonald. My wife and I watched Lansbury in the 1944 film “Gaslight” recently, her first film role. Lansbury played Jessica Fletcher on the small screen in “Murder, She Wrote”.

29. Boston Harbor jetsam : TEA
The famous destruction of tea in Boston Harbor to protest against the Tax Act took place on December 16, 1773. The action was referred to as the “destruction of the tea” for decades, and it wasn’t until 1834 that the term “Boston Tea Party” first appeared in print.

Flotsam and jetsam are both terms used to describe “garbage” in the ocean. Flotsam is floating wreckage from a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is similar to flotsam, except that it is part of a ship or cargo that is deliberately cast overboard, perhaps to lighten a vessel.

34. Holy Trinity member : SON
In the Christian tradition, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three persons in One Divine Being, the Holy Trinity.

36. Stylish Wang : VERA
Vera Wang's first choice for a career was figure skating, but she failed to make the 1968 US Olympics team. She switched to the world of fashion, and is now famous for her designs of wedding dresses ... but also costumes for figure skaters.

47. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher who was a 2007 All-Star with Seattle : JJ PUTZ
J. J. Putz is a relief pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, having previously played for the Chicago White Sox, the New York Mets and the Seattle Mariners. Putz is a big guy, standing at 6 feet 5 inches.

51. Candy bag wt., maybe : ONE LB
The unit of mass that we know today as a “pound” is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate pound to “lb”. The name “pound” though comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”.

54. Newspaper part with mini-bios : OBITS
"Obituary" comes from the Latin "obituaris", originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is "pertaining to death".

56. With a bow, on a score : ARCO
“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

58. San ___, Italy : REMO
The Italian city of San Remo sits on the Mediterranean, right on the border with France. In Italian the city is named Sanremo, just one word, although the spelling of "San Remo" dates back to ancient times.

59. Showy bloom : IRIS
Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”.

60. Villa d'___ : ESTE
The Villa d'Este is a beautiful villa located in Tivoli near Rome, Italy.

62. ___ alai : JAI
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Coal carriers : HODS
5. Take pleasure, as in one's glory : BASK
9. One-named singer with the 2006 hit "Too Little Too Late" : JOJO
13. Soon, quaintly : ANON
14. Tennis's Nastase : ILIE
15. "Same with me" : SO DO I
17. Author of the best-selling book series in history : JK ROWLING
19. ___ buddy : BOSOM
20. Founder of U.S. Steel : JP MORGAN
21. "Thank you," in Hawaii : MAHALO
22. Actress Caldwell and others : ZOES
23. Instant : SEC
24. Office PC hookup : LAN
25. Joe Namath or Mark Gastineau : EX-JET
28. Actress Christine of "Funny About Love" : LAHTI
30. Wall St. operator : ARB
31. Eschews takeout, say : EATS IN
35. A deadly sin : ENVY
38. Means of a castaway's escape, maybe : RAFT
40. Early bloomers : CROCI
41. "Inside the Company: C.I.A. Diary" author Philip : AGEE
42. Vocalist Lovett : LYLE
43. Itch (for) : HANKER
45. R.N. workplaces : ERS
46. Take pleasure in : ENJOY
48. The "A" of James A. Garfield : ABRAM
50. Stew holder : POT
52. "___ Boys" (Louisa May Alcott novel) : JO’S
53. "___ Lisa" : MONA
55. HOW THIS CLUE IS WRITTEN : IN CAPS
57. "Peter Pan" author : JM BARRIE
61. Kind of jacket : NEHRU
62. Dagwood Bumstead's boss : JC DITHERS
63. Campaign sign directive : ELECT
64. On task : AT IT
65. Exclude : OMIT
66. Josip ___ Tito, Yugoslav statesman : BROZ
67. Egyptian goddess whose headdress was shaped like a throne : ISIS
68. A model strikes one : POSE

Down
1. Muslim's trek : HAJJ
2. Cleaning a mess, maybe : ON KP
3. Quad quarters : DORM
4. Alarm clock button : SNOOZE
5. Baloney : BILGE
6. Name after "a.k.a." : ALIAS
7. ___ Féin (Irish political party) : SINN
8. "Animal House" party fixture : KEG
9. "The Well-Tempered Clavier" composer : JS BACH
10. "I'm intrigued!" : OOOH!
11. Reclusive best-selling novelist : JD SALINGER
12. Alley Oop's girl : OOOLA
16. "That was my cue" : I’M ON
18. Composed, as an email : WROTE
21. Villain : MEANIE
23. Like pomaded hair : SLICK
25. Viscount's superior : EARL
26. Word with tube or vision : X-RAY
27. Pen name for Angela Lansbury's character on "Murder, She Wrote" : JB FLETCHER
29. Boston Harbor jetsam : TEA
32. They often elicit blessings : ACHOOS
33. Photocopier parts : TRAYS
34. Holy Trinity member : SON
36. Stylish Wang : VERA
37. Polite rural affirmative : YES’M
39. Real hottie : TEN
44. Charged, as in battle : RAN AT
47. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher who was a 2007 All-Star with Seattle : JJ PUTZ
49. Drink a little here, drink a little there ... : BARHOP
50. Woodsy odor : PINE
51. Candy bag wt., maybe : ONE LB
53. 2,502, to ancient Romans : MMDII
54. Newspaper part with mini-bios : OBITS
56. With a bow, on a score : ARCO
57. Hwy. crossings : JCTS
58. San ___, Italy : REMO
59. Showy bloom : IRIS
60. Villa d'___ : ESTE
62. ___ alai : JAI


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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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