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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

0205-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Feb 14, Wednesday





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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: Tracy Gray
THEME: Shredded Wheat … each of today’s themed answers contains an anagram of the word WHEAT:
17A. *Any foreseeable difficulty : HELL OR HIGH WATER
25A. *"Good night, John-Boy" series : THE WALTONS
50A. *Fearsome shark : GREAT WHITE
59A. *"Why am I not surprised?" : SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

37A. Breakfast cereal ... or a hint to what's found in the answers to the four starred clues? : SHREDDED WHEAT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Urban housing option : CO-OP
Housing cooperative (co-op)

14. Dazzling success : ECLAT
“Éclat” can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French "éclater" meaning "to splinter, burst out".

16. Con artist's mark : RUBE
A “rube” is person lacking sophistication, often described as "a country bumpkin". The term derives from the masculine name “Reuben”, which was considered back in the early 1800s to be a typical name used in rural areas.

20. Sitcom character from Melmac : ALF
“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. ALF is a hand-puppet, supposedly an alien from the planet Melmac that crash-landed in a suburban neighborhood. “ALF” stands for “alien life form”.

21. Oom-___ (tuba sounds) : PAHS
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). "Tuba" is the Latin word for "trumpet, horn". Oom-pah-pah ...

25. *"Good night, John-Boy" series : THE WALTONS
The TV show “The Waltons” was based on a book called “Spencer’s Mountain” by Earl Hamner, Jr. who also created the show. Before “The Waltons” made it to television, there was also a 1963 film called “Spencer’s Mountain” that starred Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara.

29. ___ of Gibraltar : STRAIT
The Strait of Gibraltar is the very narrow strait connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. On one side of the strait is Spain (and the tiny British Territory of Gibraltar), and on the other is Morocco. At its narrowest point, the strait is only 9 miles wide, that's just 9 miles of water separating the continents of Europe and Africa.

33. Lacrosse goalie's area : CREASE
Even though lacrosse was dropped from the Olympics after the 1908 games, it is currently enjoying a resurgence of popularity outside of North America.

37. Breakfast cereal ... or a hint to what's found in the answers to the four starred clues? : SHREDDED WHEAT
Shredded wheat is one of my favorite breakfast cereals. It was invented way back in 1893 by one Henry Perky. Shredded wheat is made by a number of manufacturers, and “shredded wheat” is a generic term. Kellogg and Nabisco fought it out in court, and the decision was that the term could not be trademarked.

41. Mixed bag : OLIO
Olio is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish "olla", the clay pot used for cooking.

50. *Fearsome shark : GREAT WHITE
The great white shark is one big fish, and can grow to over 21 feet long and weigh over 7,000 pounds. They can also live long lives, over 70 years. The great white has no natural predator, and is responsible for far more attacks on humans than any other shark species.

55. Official proceedings : ACTA
Actum (plural "acta") is the Latin word for "deed". "Acta" is used in English to describe many official records, including minutes, proceedings etc.

58. Night on which "60 Minutes" originally aired: Abbr. : TUE
The marvelous news magazine program "60 Minutes" has been on the air since 1968. The show is unique among all other regularly-scheduled shows in that it has never used theme music. There is just the ticking of that Aristo stopwatch.

63. Botanical wings : ALAE
A bird (avis) has wings (alae), in Latin.

64. Gear-cutting tools : HOBS
“Hobbing’ is the name given to the machining process that produces gears and sprockets.

66. Specifications marked on 10-hole harmonicas : KEYS
The harmonica is a reed instrument. It contains a number of reeds that are usually made from metal, all arranged on a reed plate.

67. Knife of old : SNEE
"Snick or snee" is the name given to cut and thrust while fighting with a knife. The phrase is rooted in a pair of Dutch words and it gave its name to a "snee", a light sword-like knife.

68. Quality that produces taste : SAPOR
"Sapor" is another word for a flavor, a quality that can be tasted. "Sapor" is the Latin word for "taste, flavor".

Down
2. Spotted wildcat : OCELOT
The ocelot is found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn't look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he carried around everywhere with him.

4. Mule of song : SAL
The song "Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal" was written in 1905. The lyrics are nostalgic and look back to the days when traffic on the canal was pulled by mules, bemoaning the introduction of the fast-moving engine-powered barges. The first line is "I've got an old mule and her name is Sal".

5. Muscle car roof option : T-TOP
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

8. Multinational bank that sponsored the New York City Marathon : ING
ING is a huge Dutch banking institution created via a merger in 1991. The company headquarters is in a spectacular building in Amsterdam called simply ING House. ING stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep.

9. "Reading Lolita in ___" (2003 best seller) : TEHRAN
"Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books” is a 2003 book by Azar Nafisi. The memoir is about the author’s experiences after she returned home to Iran during the revolution of 1978-1981.

12. Knighthood letters : OBE
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:
- Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
- Knight Commander (KBE)
- Commander (CBE)
- Officer (OBE)
- Member (MBE)

19. Like some Uno cards : WILD
In my youth I remember being taught a great card game, by a German acquaintance of mine, called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that's used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

24. Certain econ class : MACRO
Macroeconomics is the study of economies as a whole, rather than individual markets. Microeconomics is focused on the actions of individual entities like companies or individuals, and how these actions impact specific markets.

35. One in an upper chamber: Abbr. : SEN
Senator (sen.)

40. Vert.'s opposite : HOR
Vertical (vert.) is opposite to horizontal (hor.).

41. Online "Yikes!" : OMG!
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

44. James who was portrayed by Beyoncé : ETTA
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song "At Last". Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

Etta James was portrayed by singer Beyoncé Knowles in the 2008 movie “Cadillac Records”.

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny's Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical "Dreamgirls". Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z.

49. Shish kebab need : SKEWER
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”.

51. Analgesics' targets : ACHES
Our word "analgesic", used for "painkiller", comes from “analgesia” is a Greek word meaning “painlessness”.

53. Café au lait holder : TASSE
In France a cup (“tasse”) may contain coffee with milk (café au lait).

Café au lait (“coffee with milk”) is usually strong, drip coffee to which one adds steamed milk. At least that's the way we tend to make in this country.

60. World Cup chant : OLE
The next three FIFA World Cup tournaments (soccer) will be hosted by Brazil (2014), Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Celebrity ribbing : ROAST
6. Hissy fit : SNIT
10. Urban housing option : CO-OP
14. Dazzling success : ECLAT
15. Practice : HONE
16. Con artist's mark : RUBE
17. *Any foreseeable difficulty : HELL OR HIGH WATER
20. Sitcom character from Melmac : ALF
21. Oom-___ (tuba sounds) : PAHS
22. Falling-out result : RIFT
23. Good economic news : BOOM
25. *"Good night, John-Boy" series : THE WALTONS
29. ___ of Gibraltar : STRAIT
31. PC key below Home : END
32. Pay a call to : SEE
33. Lacrosse goalie's area : CREASE
36. Do some leg-pulling : JEST
37. Breakfast cereal ... or a hint to what's found in the answers to the four starred clues? : SHREDDED WHEAT
41. Mixed bag : OLIO
42. "As I was saying ..." : ANYHOW
43. "Slung" stuff : MUD
44. Suffix with lion : -ESS
46. Puts up : ERECTS
50. *Fearsome shark : GREAT WHITE
54. Bit of harmless mischief : LARK
55. Official proceedings : ACTA
56. Like a couch potato : LAZY
58. Night on which "60 Minutes" originally aired: Abbr. : TUE
59. *"Why am I not surprised?" : SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
63. Botanical wings : ALAE
64. Gear-cutting tools : HOBS
65. Yak, yak, yak : PRATE
66. Specifications marked on 10-hole harmonicas : KEYS
67. Knife of old : SNEE
68. Quality that produces taste : SAPOR

Down
1. Fixes up, as a fixer-upper : REHABS
2. Spotted wildcat : OCELOT
3. Totally in favor of : ALL FOR
4. Mule of song : SAL
5. Muscle car roof option : T-TOP
6. "Quiet, please!" : SHHHH!
7. It may elicit a 6-Down : NOISE
8. Multinational bank that sponsored the New York City Marathon : ING
9. "Reading Lolita in ___" (2003 best seller) : TEHRAN
10. Make by hand : CRAFT
11. On a cruise : OUT TO SEA
12. Knighthood letters : OBE
13. Unit pricing word : PER
18. Squealed (on) : RATTED
19. Like some Uno cards : WILD
24. Certain econ class : MACRO
26. Needing hoeing, say : WEEDY
27. Leaves home? : NEST
28. Part of a gig : SET
30. Tick off : IRE
34. Add ___ of salt : A DASH
35. One in an upper chamber: Abbr. : SEN
36. Crown inset : JEWEL
37. Ethnic joke, often : SLUR
38. Secluded spot : HIDEAWAY
39. Huff and puff : WHEEZE
40. Vert.'s opposite : HOR
41. Online "Yikes!" : OMG!
44. James who was portrayed by Beyoncé : ETTA
45. Mowers' paths : SWATHS
47. Catch a few Z's : CATNAP
48. Following, as one's beliefs : TRUE TO
49. Shish kebab need : SKEWER
51. Analgesics' targets : ACHES
52. "Well, ___!" : I’LL BE
53. Café au lait holder : TASSE
57. Puppy sounds : YIPS
59. Cinch ___ (trash bag brand) : SAK
60. World Cup chant : OLE
61. Long, long time : EON
62. Mexican Mrs. : SRA


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1 comment :

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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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