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Greetings from Las Vegas, Nevada (again!)

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 strenuos hike today in Red Rock Canyon outside Vegas in 100-degree weather, complete with a touch of heatstroke (scary), and saw the Cirque de Soleil show "Zarkana" this evening (amazing, as all Cirque shows are).

Bill

0212-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 14, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: TTT … today’s grid has three “T” shapes defined by black squares. Also, we have three themed answers each comprising three words starting with the letter T, and each in the form T--ING THE T--:
16A. Triumphing : TURNING THE TRICK
33A. Traditional pre-Christmas activity : TRIMMING THE TREE
53A. Testifying accurately : TELLING THE TRUTH
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 30s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Katmandu tongue : NEPALI
Although Katmandu is the capital city of the lofty nation of Nepal, it sits in a bowl-shaped valley so is only at an elevation of 4,600 ft. Air pollution is a huge problem in the city. Industry and residents launch a lot of smog into the air, and given the surrounding geography and climate, any pollution blown away during the day tends to fall back into the valley at night.

13. Wrinkly-skinned dog : SHAR PEI
The Shar Pei breed of dog is that one with the wrinkly face and really dark tongue. The breed originated in China, with "Shar Pei" being the British spelling of the Cantonese name.

14. One of the red Monopoly spaces : INDIANA
The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

18. Open-house org. : PTA
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

19. ___ polloi : HOI
"Hoi polloi" is a Greek term, literally meaning "the majority, the many". In English, "hoi polloi" has come to mean "the masses" and is often used in a derogatory sense.

20. Lunes or martes : DIA
In Spanish, an example of a day (dia) would be Monday (lunes) or Tuesday (martes).

21. Ring decision, briefly : TKO
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can't get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly "knocked out". A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter's safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

23. Matt who scored the only Jets touchdown in Super Bowl history : SNELL
Matt Snell is a retired footballer who played with the New York Jets from 1964 to 1972.

25. 2B, SS or CF : POS
Second base (2B), short stop (SS) and center field (CF) are each a position (pos.) in baseball.

26. ___ Stic (retractable Bic pen) : CLIC
Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

27. Comic Fields who was an Ed Sullivan regular : TOTIE
Totie Fields was the stage name of comedienne Sophie Feldman. “Totie” is a corruption of “Sophie” and was the nickname she was given as a child.

28. "Amores" poet : OVID
Ovid wrote a book of poems called “Amores”, as did the author D. H. Lawrence.

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets, Horace and Virgil.

32. Campbell of "Party of Five" : NEVE
Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in movies came with the "Scream" horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” which launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.

33. Traditional pre-Christmas activity : TRIMMING THE TREE
The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

38. Bub : MAC
"Bub" is American slang, a term used to address males, and is possibly a variation of bud.

41. The First State: Abbr. : DEL
There were three states that entered the union in 1787, and they were the first states to join the US:
- Delaware, on 7 December 1787
- Pennsylvania, on 12 December 1787
- New Jersey, on 18 December 1787

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

44. Fleet member retired in '03 : SST
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments.

49. Last book of the Old Testament : MALACHI
The Book of Malachi is the last book in the Bible’s Old Testament, coming right before the New Testament. Malachi was a Jewish prophet, although some scholars suggest “Malachi” wasn’t really the name of the prophet, and is really a word meaning “messenger of YHWH” (messenger of God).

56. Hawke of Hollywood : ETHAN
Ethan Hawke is a Hollywood actor who made his breakthrough in a supporting role in "Dead Poet's Society", playing opposite Robin Williams. Hawke was married to Uma Thurman, with whom he has two children.

57. Buffalo's county : ERIE
Buffalo is the second most-populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

58. Marks of good bowlers : XES
A ten-pin bowler marks down an X when he or she makes a strike.

60. AOL alternative : MSN
MSN was originally called The Microsoft Network, and was introduced in 1995 as an integral part of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system. MSN is a whole bundle of services including email, instant messaging, and the MSN.com portal (which is the 9th most visited site on the Internet).

Down
1. One operating a loom : SHUTTLER
When weaving with a loom, a shuttle is a tool that carries the thread across the weft yarn, back and forth so that the fabric “grows”.

2. End of Kurosawa's "Rashomon"? : HARAKIRI
"Harakiri" translates from Japanese into "cutting the belly", and is a form of ritual suicide. Harakiri is the term used in speech which is equivalent to "seppuku", the term used in writing for the same ritual suicide. The act is carried out by plunging a short blade into the belly and moving it from left to right, slicing through the organs within the abdomen.

“Rashomon” is a period drama film directed by Akira Kurosawa that was released in 1950. “Rashomon” was the movie that first introduced Kurosawa to western audiences. The film’s title refers to the huge gate to the city of Kyoto.

Akira Kurosawa was an Oscar-winning Japanese film director. His most famous movie to us in the West has to be "The Seven Samurai", the inspiration for "The Magnificent Seven" starring Yul Brynner, and indeed a basis for "Star Wars: The Clone Wars".

4. Prefix with center : EPI-
The “epicenter” is that point on the surface of the earth which is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

5. Nixon, e.g., for two yrs. : SEN
Future president Richard Nixon served as a US Senator for the state of California from 1950 to 1953, after having served in the US House of Representatives from 1947. Nixon surrendered his seat in the Senate to become VP under President Eisenhower for two terms.

6. 1952 Gary Cooper classic : HIGH NOON
I am not a fan of western movies, but “High Noon” works for me. The film has a great cast, with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in the lead roles. I suppose I like the film because it doesn’t fit the mold as a typical western with lots of predictable action sequences. That said, when “High Noon” first hit theaters it was not popular with audiences, largely because moviegoers were expecting the formulaic western film.

7. Believer that life is meaningless : NIHILIST
“Nihil” is the Latin word for “nothing, and is a term we’ve absorbed into English. “Nihil” is also the root from which we get our term “nil”. Someone described as “nihilistic” is very skeptical and tends to believe in nothing.

8. Suffix with acetyl : -ENE
Acetylene is one of the simplest hydrocarbons, and has the formula C2H2. About 20% of the acetylene produced in the world is used for oxyacetylene gas welding and cutting.

9. S.F. summer setting : PDT
Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

The city of San Francisco was established in 1776, just a few days before the US declared independence from Britain on the other side of the continent.. San Francisco was founded by Spanish colonists who set up a fort at the Golden Gate and a nearby mission named for St. Francis of Assisi.

10. It's about 1% argon : AIR
Air is mainly composed of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%) and argon (1%). We hear a lot about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It makes up (or should make up!) about 0.04%, but that’s an important 0.04%.

13. Common Nascar letters : STP
STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR is very, very popular and commands the second largest television audience of any professional sport in America, second only to football.

15. Letters on a perp's record : AKA
Also known as (aka).

22. Christmas carol starter : O COME
The lovely hymn "Adeste Fideles" (translated from Latin as "O Come, All Ye Faithful") was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time.

25. Florence's ___ Vecchio : PONTE
The Ponte Vecchio is a famous bridge that spans the Arno River in Florence, Italy. The bridge dates back to medieval times, and indeed the name “Ponte Vecchio” translates as “Old Bridge”.

34. Longtime Florentine ruling family : MEDICI
The House of Medici was a dynasty from the the Italian Republic of Florence. The Medici family went into the world of finance and built the largest bank in Europe in the 15th century. Significantly, the Medicis produced four Popes around this time, and then the family moved from the status of common citizens to become hereditary Dukes of Florence. By the middle of the 18th century the family ruled the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, but ended up fiscally bankrupt.

39. They're said at the end of a soirée : ADIEUX
"Adieu" is the French for "goodbye" or "farewell", from "à Dieu" meaning "to God". The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

40. Dog that might be named Shep : COLLIE
The collie isn’t actually a single breed of dog, but rather the name given to a group of herding dogs that originate in Scotland and Northern England. An obvious (and wonderful) example would be the Border Collie. Many dogs classed as collies don’t have the word “collie” in the name of the breed, for example the Old English Sheepdog and the Shetland Sheepdog.

42. Derby victory margin, maybe : LENGTH
The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, and is a race modelled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, The Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses.

43. Many an urban Cornhusker : OMAHAN
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

45. Quarantine, say : SHUT IN
The original use of our word “quarantine” back in the 1500s was as a legal term. A quarantine was the 40 days in which a widow had the legal right to reside in her dead husband’s house.

46. Dime-on-the-dollar donation : TITHE
A tithe is a traditional payment of one tenth of a person's annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

50. To the point, in law : AD REM
The Latin term “ad rem” translates literally as "to the matter".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Word of exasperation : SHEESH!
7. Katmandu tongue : NEPALI
13. Wrinkly-skinned dog : SHAR PEI
14. One of the red Monopoly spaces : INDIANA
16. Triumphing : TURNING THE TRICK
18. Open-house org. : PTA
19. ___ polloi : HOI
20. Lunes or martes : DIA
21. Ring decision, briefly : TKO
23. Matt who scored the only Jets touchdown in Super Bowl history : SNELL
25. 2B, SS or CF : POS
26. ___ Stic (retractable Bic pen) : CLIC
27. Comic Fields who was an Ed Sullivan regular : TOTIE
28. "Amores" poet : OVID
30. Designed to minimize wind resistance : AERO
31. Prepare, as some peanuts : ROAST
32. Campbell of "Party of Five" : NEVE
33. Traditional pre-Christmas activity : TRIMMING THE TREE
36. Cartoon shriek : EEK!
37. Roll-call call : AYE
38. Bub : MAC
41. The First State: Abbr. : DEL
43. Cry at the World Cup : OLE
44. Fleet member retired in '03 : SST
47. Place on a pedestal : IDOLIZE
49. Last book of the Old Testament : MALACHI
51. Element in chips : SILICON
52. Became too old for foster care, say : AGED OUT
53. Testifying accurately : TELLING THE TRUTH
55. Rare sight on casual Friday : SUIT
56. Hawke of Hollywood : ETHAN
57. Buffalo's county : ERIE
58. Marks of good bowlers : XES
59. Surgical bypass : SHUNT
60. AOL alternative : MSN

Down
1. One operating a loom : SHUTTLER
2. End of Kurosawa's "Rashomon"? : HARAKIRI
3. Directional ending : -ERN
4. Prefix with center : EPI-
5. Nixon, e.g., for two yrs. : SEN
6. 1952 Gary Cooper classic : HIGH NOON
7. Believer that life is meaningless : NIHILIST
8. Suffix with acetyl : -ENE
9. S.F. summer setting : PDT
10. It's about 1% argon : AIR
11. Had a break between flights : LAID OVER
12. Clear and direct, as reporting : INCISIVE
13. Common Nascar letters : STP
15. Letters on a perp's record : AKA
17. Morgue ID : TOE TAG
22. Christmas carol starter : O COME
23. They vary according to batters' heights : STRIKE ZONES
24. Poison gas, e.g. : LETHAL AGENT
25. Florence's ___ Vecchio : PONTE
26. Bopper : CAT
29. "___-lish!" ("Yum!") : DEE
34. Longtime Florentine ruling family : MEDICI
35. There might be one on the corner of a sail : EYELET
38. Atomizer outputs : MISTS
39. They're said at the end of a soirée : ADIEUX
40. Dog that might be named Shep : COLLIE
42. Derby victory margin, maybe : LENGTH
43. Many an urban Cornhusker : OMAHAN
44. Searches high and low : SCOURS
45. Quarantine, say : SHUT IN
46. Dime-on-the-dollar donation : TITHE
48. Happy tunes : LILTS
50. To the point, in law : AD REM
54. Day after hump day: Abbr. : THU


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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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