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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

0215-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Feb 14, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Julian Lim
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 51m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Position papers? : KAMA SUTRA
The Kama Sutra is renowned for its descriptions of positions that can be used for sexual intercourse, but the sutra includes many other texts that deal with various matters of a sexual nature including how to woo a woman, the conduct of a "chief wife", the conduct of "other" wives, how to make money as a courtesan and much, much more, as if that isn't enough …

The word "sutra" is used in Hinduism for a learned text, one usually meant to be studied by students.

10. Joneses : LONGS
Back in the late 60s, “Jones” was a slang term for an intense desire or an addiction. This usage probably came from an earlier meaning for “Jones” as a synonym for “heroin”. The etymology of the heroin meaning is very unclear.

16. When Epifanía is celebrated : ENERO
In Spanish, the Epiphany (Epifanía) is celebrated in January (enero).

The holiday in the Christian tradition known as the Epiphany falls on January 6th. The Epiphany marks the visit of the Magi, the Three Kings, to the Baby Jesus. In many Spanish-speaking countries, the Epiphany is called Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings).

17. Picayune : PENNY-ANTE
Penny Ante poker is a game in which bets are limited to a penny, or some other small, friendly sum. The expression “penny-ante” has come to describe any business transaction that is on a small scale.

Something described as “picayune” is of little value or importance. The original picayune was a Spanish coin worth half a real, not a lot of money.

19. Low prime, in Paris : TROIS
In French, three (trois) is a low prime number.

A prime number is a number greater than 1 that can only be divided evenly by 1 and itself. There are still some unanswered questions involving prime numbers, perhaps most notably Goldbach’s Conjecture. This conjecture dates back to the 1740s and is assumed to be true, but has never been proven. It states that every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers.

20. Newfoundland, in Naples and Nogales :
The large Canadian island of Newfoundland is known as “Terranova” in Spanish and Italian.

Naples (“Napoli” in Italian) is the third largest city in Italy. The name “Napoli” comes from the city’s Ancient Greek name, which translates as “New City”. That’s a bit of a paradox as today Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.

Nogales (properly called “Heroica Nogales”) is a city in the Mexican State of Sonora. Nogales lies right on the Mexico-US border, opposite the city of Nogales, Arizona.

22. Grp. that suspended Honduras from 2009 to '11 : OAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. All the independent states in the Americas are members of the group except Honduras, which had its membership suspended after the country's 2009 coup.

24. Messages using Stickies, say : E-NOTES
Stickies is a note-taking program that runs on Macintosh computers. Stickies is designed to mimic the use of Post-it notes.

25. Certain guy "ISO" someone : SWM
In a personal ad, a single white male (SWM) might be in search of (ISO) someone to for a date.

28. Emmy-nominated show every year from 2006 to '09 : HOUSE, MD
I think that “House” (aka “House, M.D.”) is one of the best shows made by Fox television. It is fun for me to see English actor Hugh Laurie in the title role as coming from the other side of the Atlantic I have been watching him in various comedic roles for decades. Famously he played Bertie Wooster opposite Stephen Fry in P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves & Wooster”, as well as one of the bumbling “bad guys” in “101 Dalmatians” (the version starring Glenn Close).

35. Beta testers, e.g. : USERS
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the "alpha" version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a "beta" and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as "beta". The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right ...

36. Steely Dan's title liar : KATY
“Katy Lied” is the name of an album released by Steely Dan in 1975.
Steely Dan's heyday was in the seventies when they toured for a couple of years, although the group mainly focused on studio work. The band was formed in 1972 and broke up in 1981. The core of the band reunited in 1993 and they are still going strong today.

38. Prozac alternative : PAXIL
The most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the US (in 2010 anyway) are:
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Desyrel (trazodone)
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)

39. Winnebago relative : OTOE
The Native American people known as the Otoe were the first tribe encountered by the Lewis and clark Expedition. The meeting took place at a point on the Missouri River that is now known as Council Bluff.

40. Odds and ends : 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.

42. Mexican president Enrique ___ Nieto : PENA
Enrique Peña Nieto is the current President of Mexico, holding office since 2012.

44. Crane settings : MARSHES
The magnificent birds known as cranes have long legs and long necks. The world’s tallest flying bird is a species of crane, the Sarus Crane.

46. Van follower, often : DER
Perhaps:
- James Van Der Beek (“Dawson’s Creek” actor)
- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (German architect)
- van der Waals forces (weak atomic-level attractive forces)

47. Japanese guitar brand : IBANEZ
Ibanez is a brand of guitar from Japan. Ibanez guitars are named after the Spanish guitar maker Salvador Ibáñez, who plied his trade in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

49. Toy type, for short : POM
The Pomeranian is a breed of small dog, named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch's pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen's admittedly long reign, the size of the average "pom" was reduced by 50% ...

59. "It's ___ wind ..." : AN ILL
We’ve all probably heard the phrase “‘tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good”. The poet Ogden Nash made a “punny” statement about the oboe, calling the instrument "an ill wind nobody blows good”. I must say though, I disagree ...

62. Green with five Grammys : CEE LO
Cee Lo Green is the stage name of rapper Thomas DeCarlo Callaway. Apparently Green is one of the coaches for the contestants on the singing TV show “The Voice”. That’s all I need to know …

63. Writer of the graphic novel "Watchmen" : ALAN MOORE
Alan Moore is an English writer of graphic novels, a term that Moore himself introduced in order to differentiate his work from “comic books”.

64. Home to the Villa Hügel : ESSEN
The beautiful Villa Hügel is a mansion in Essen that was built by the Krupp family of industrialists. Alfred Krupp was imprisoned in a wing of the mansion for three years after WWII when he was convicted of using slave labor in his factories during the war.

65. Outdoor contemplation location : ZEN GARDEN
Japanese Zen gardens are inspired by the meditation gardens of Zen Buddhist temples. Zen gardens have no water in them, but often there is gravel and sand that is raked in patterns designed to create the impression of water in waves and ripples.

Down
3. MSG ingredient? : MONO-
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a “test tube” shouldn't be in our food ...

4. Certain DNA test : AMNIO
Amniocentesis is the prenatal test which involves the removal of a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus using a hypodermic needle. The fluid naturally contains some fetal cells, the DNA of which can then be tested to determine the sex of the child and to check for the presence of genetic abnormalities.

6. ___ vez más (over again: Sp.) : UNA
“Una vez más” means “over again” in Spanish, literally “one more time”.

7. Photoshop addition : TINT
Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software used for editing graphics. When I first bought a copy of Photoshop, it was really expensive (about $300, ten years ago), but now there are cost-effective, stripped-down versions available.

8. Mention on Yelp, say : RATE
yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

9. Aspire PC maker : ACER
I owned several Acer laptops, which are for my money the most reliable machine at the best price. Acer is a Taiwanese company that I used to visit a lot when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed with the company's dedication to quality, and haven't been let down since.

10. Tycoon Stanford : LELAND
Leland Stanford became a very successful businessman in California after moving there from New York during the Gold Rush. Stanford then served as governor of the state for two years, and later US Senator for California. He founded the Leland Stanford Junior University in memory of his teenage son who died of typhoid fever while the family was travelling in Italy in 1884. The university opened its doors for business in 1891, and the first student admitted was none other than Herbert Hoover, the man would become the 31st President of the US.

11. Bridge opening option, briefly : ONE-NO
“One-no” is short for “one no-trump”, a common bid in the card game of bridge, which I will be playing this Sunday ...

21. Overnight activity : REM SLEEP
REM is an acronym standing for Rapid Eye Movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one's most vivid dreams.

23. Iconic "Seinfeld" role : SOUP NAZI
“The Soup Nazi” is a famous episode of the hit show “Seinfeld”. The story is all about a soup stand owned by an excessively strict man referred to as the “Soup Nazi”. Believe it or not, the “Soup Nazi” character is based on a real soup vendor in New York City.

25. Eighth-century Apostle of Germany : ST BONIFACE
Saint Boniface was a Christian missionary from Great Britain who plied his “trade” in the Frankish Empire, and who know is the patron saint of Germany.

29. Company that added four letters to its name in 1997 : USAIR
From 1953, what today is US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir. In 1997 the name was changed again, to US Airways.

31. Longtime Cincinnati Pops conductor Kunzel : ERICH
Erich Kunzel was an orchestral conductor from New York City who is associated most notably with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Coincidentally, I uploaded a Kunzel/Cincinnati Pops CD to my Google Play account just a few hours ago …

34. Pavement caution : SLO
Back in Ireland the "pavement" is what we call the "footpath" here in the US (because the footpath is "paved"!). It's very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous when one has been taught to "walk on the pavement" ...

36. One of a silent force? : KOP
The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

44. Longtime name in banking : MELLON
Mellon National Bank was founded by Thomas Mellon and his sons Andrew and Richard in 1869 as “T. Mellon & Sons Bank”. Andrew Mellon left his post in 1920 to serve as US Treasury Secretary under Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. Andrew Mellon remains the longest-serving Treasury Secretary in US history.

45. Its seat is Santa Rosa : SONOMA
Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country, and the county seat of Sonoma County. The epicenter of the so-called 1906 San Francisco Earthquake was located near Santa Rosa, so there was actually more damage in Santa Rosa, for the size of the city, than there was in San Francisco.

48. Lawyer on "Ally McBeal" : NELLE
Nelle Porter is a character on the TV show “Ally McBeal” who is portrayed by actress Portia de Rossi.

“Ally McBeal” is a very successful television show that aired from 1997 to 2002. It starred Calista Flockhart in the title role, as a successful lawyer. I must admit, I never watched the show, but I am told by a kind blog reader that it's good viewing. It was created by David E. Kelley, who is also the man behind other successful legal dramas including "The Practice", "Boston Legal" and "Harry's Games'. Kelley is married to actress Michelle Pfeiffer.

52. 2009 Grammy winner for "Make It Mine" : MRAZ
Jason Mraz is a singer-songwriter from Mechanicsville, Virginia. Jason is of Czech descent, and his name “Mraz” translates as “frost”.

54. "Mr. Mom" director Dragoti : STAN
Stan Dragoti is a movie director best known for the films “Love at First Bite” (1979), “Mr. Mom” (1983) and “The Man with One Red Shoe” (1985), all very entertaining movies.

56. Cross : ROOD
A rood is a crucifix that specifically symbolizes the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

58. Old carbine : STEN
The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T comes from the name of the gun's designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

A carbine is a weapon similar to a rifle or musket, but with a shorter barrel.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Position papers? : KAMA SUTRA
10. Joneses : LONGS
15. Vanity case? : EGOMANIAC
16. When Epifanía is celebrated : ENERO
17. Picayune : PENNY-ANTE
18. Not barred : LEGAL
19. Low prime, in Paris : TROIS
20. Newfoundland, in Naples and Nogales : TERRANOVA
22. Grp. that suspended Honduras from 2009 to '11 : OAS
24. Messages using Stickies, say : E-NOTES
25. Certain guy "ISO" someone : SWM
28. Emmy-nominated show every year from 2006 to '09 : HOUSE, MD
32. Suffix with 18-Across : -IST
33. Just-once link : THIS
35. Beta testers, e.g. : USERS
36. Steely Dan's title liar : KATY
37. One blowing up a lottery machine? : BALL
38. Prozac alternative : PAXIL
39. Winnebago relative : OTOE
40. Odds and ends : OLIO
41. Clan female : NIECE
42. Mexican president Enrique ___ Nieto : PENA
43. Clear : NET
44. Crane settings : MARSHES
46. Van follower, often : DER
47. Japanese guitar brand : IBANEZ
49. Toy type, for short : POM
51. Flippers, e.g. : FORELIMBS
55. Members of a joint task force? : NARCS
59. "It's ___ wind ..." : AN ILL
60. Dole : RATION OUT
62. Green with five Grammys : CEE LO
63. Writer of the graphic novel "Watchmen" : ALAN MOORE
64. Home to the Villa Hügel : ESSEN
65. Outdoor contemplation location : ZEN GARDEN

Down
1. Didn't spoil : KEPT
2. Sun or stress : AGER
3. MSG ingredient? : MONO-
4. Certain DNA test : AMNIO
5. Follows a physical request? : SAYS AH
6. ___ vez más (over again: Sp.) : UNA
7. Photoshop addition : TINT
8. Mention on Yelp, say : RATE
9. Aspire PC maker : ACER
10. Tycoon Stanford : LELAND
11. Bridge opening option, briefly : ONE-NO
12. Managed to get through : NEGOTIATED
13. Where to read a plot summary? : GRAVESTONE
14. Totally out : SO LAST YEAR
21. Overnight activity : REM SLEEP
23. Iconic "Seinfeld" role : SOUP NAZI
25. Eighth-century Apostle of Germany : ST BONIFACE
26. Old collar stiffeners : WHALEBONES
27. Engagement parties? : MILITARIES
29. Company that added four letters to its name in 1997 : USAIR
30. Sides in a classic battle : SEXES
31. Longtime Cincinnati Pops conductor Kunzel : ERICH
34. Pavement caution : SLO
36. One of a silent force? : KOP
44. Longtime name in banking : MELLON
45. Its seat is Santa Rosa : SONOMA
48. Lawyer on "Ally McBeal" : NELLE
50. No modest abode : MANOR
52. 2009 Grammy winner for "Make It Mine" : MRAZ
53. Farm block : BALE
54. "Mr. Mom" director Dragoti : STAN
56. Cross : ROOD
57. Purpose of many a shot : CURE
58. Old carbine : STEN
61. End to end? : -ING


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

3 comments :

Dave Kennison said...


Well, I thought this was a hard puzzle, but I did it, I did it! … :-)

(Making up for an embarrassing week: On Thursday, I put IMHERE/TIMA instead of INHERE/TINA, and on Wednesday … oh, the shame! … Wednesday! … I used BLIC/BAT instead of CLIC/CAT.)

Anyway, today's puzzle was a good tussle ...

Anonymous said...

USAir, sometimes known as US Scair.

Bill Butler said...

@Dave Kennison
Congrats on the finish. I found this one tough too, and hence vey enjoyable. A "good tussle" indeed ...

@Anonymous visitor
Agony Air ... US Scair ... all good stuff :)

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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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