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Greetings from Dromod, County Leitrim 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

0216-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Feb 14, Sunday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Yaakov Bendavid
THEME: Passing Grades … each of today’s themed answers is well-known phrase with an F changed to a D, like a failing grade changed to a passing grade:
23A. One who turned Cinderella's pumpkin into pumpkin cheesecake? : DAIRY GODMOTHER (from “fairy godmother”)
49A. Snorkeling bargain? : TWO DIVES FOR A TEN (from “two fives for a ten”)
77A. Transportation company that skimps on safety? : NO-DRILLS AIRLINE (from “no-frills airline”)
105A. Stephen Hawking's computer-generated voice? : SCIENCE DICTION (from “science fiction”)
15D. Two things seen beside James Bond at a casino? : DISH AND CHIPS (from “fish and chips”)
58D. "Oh yeah? Let's see you hold your breath for TWO minutes!," e.g.? : DARE INCREASE (from “fare increase”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 19m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Israel's Netanyahu, informally : BIBI
Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has been the Prime Minister of Israel since 2009. Netanyahu is the only leader of the country who had actually been born in the state of Israel.

9. Bowler and sailor : HATS
I think a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of "derby" comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

13. Tracking systems : RADARS
Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

19. Ports : LEFT SIDES
The left side of a ship used to be called the "larboard" side, but this was dropped in favor of "port" as pronunciation of "larboard" was easily confused with "starboard", the right side of the vessel. The term "port" was chosen as it was customary to dock a ship, for loading in port, with the left side of the vessel against the dock.

21. Memphis deity : ISIS
Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children.

Memphis was an ancient city on the River Nile. The ruins of Memphis are located just south of Cairo, Egypt. It was a magnificent city that eventually failed due to the economic success of the city of Alexandria, located further down the river and right on the Mediterranean coast.

22. Actress Cuthbert of "24" : ELISHA
Elisha Cuthbert is a Canadian actress who came to world attention playing Kim Bauer, Jack Bauer’s daughter on TV’s “24”. After “24”, Cuthbert played one of the lead characters on the sitcom “Happy Endings” that ran from 2011 to 2013.

The TV show “24” ran on Fox for eight seasons and ended its run in 2010. Each episode of the show is an hour in the life of counter terrorist agent Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland. Fans of the show will be pleased to hear that a 12-episode series called “24; Live Another Day” will be aired starting on May 5, 2014. Apparently each episode will cover an hour in Bauer’s life as before, but there will some “time jumps” to fit the whole series into 12 episodes.

23. One who turned Cinderella's pumpkin into pumpkin cheesecake? : DAIRY GODMOTHER (from “fairy godmother”)
The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

27. New York's Jacob ___ Park : RIIS
Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote "How the Other Half Lives", originally an extensive article that appeared in "Scribner's Magazine" at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year. Jacob Riis Park in Queens, New York is named in Riis’s honor.

28. Crude coconut opener : MACHETE
A machete is a large knife, usually 13-18 inches long. The term “machete” is the diminutive of “macho” meaning “male, strong”.

32. Iglu and yoghurt, e.g. : VARIANTS
“Iglu” and “yoghurt” are variant spellings of “igloo” and “yogurt”.

36. ___ cycle : REM
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.

37. Dustin Hoffman title role : RAIN MAN
“Rain Man” is an entertaining and thought-provoking film released in 1988 starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It’s all about a self-possessed yuppie (Cruise, appropriate casting!) who discovers he has a brother who is an autistic savant (Hoffman). Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance, and “Rain Man” won the Best Picture award.

Dustin Hoffman’s big break in movies came with the starring role in 1967’s “The Graduate”, and he has been going strong ever since. He wasn’t always destined to be an actor though, as he did start college intending to study medicine. But he left after only a year and joined the Pasadena Playhouse. There he met his very good friend Gene Hackman. Even though the pair have been friends all their lives, it wasn’t until decades after they met that they shared the screen together, for just a few minutes in the excellent 2003 thriller “Runaway Jury”.

39. County or lake of Cooperstown, N.Y. : OTSEGO
Otsego Lake is located in Upstate New York. Otsego is geologically related to the Finger Lakes, although it is not regarded as one of them. The village of Cooperstown, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, sits at the southern end of Otsego Lake.

Cooperstown is a village in New York that is famous as the home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The village was named for Judge William Cooper, Cooperstown’s founder, and the father of the noted writer James Fenimore Cooper.

45. Liquor unit : DRAM
The dram is a confusing unit of measurement, I think. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another, varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

52. Hip-hop artist with the 2013 #1 album "Born Sinner" : J COLE
J. Cole is the stage name of American rap artist Jermaine Cole. J. Cole was born in Germany, on the US Army base in Frankfurt.

54. French noodles? : TETES
"Tête" is the French word for "head".

55. What makes blue jeans blue : ANIL
Anil is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name for the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue.

56. "She's got electric boots, a ___ suit" ("Bennie and the Jets" lyric) : MOHAIR
Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. On the other hand, the Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair.

"Bennie and the Jets" was a big hit for Elton John in 1974 and was first released the year before on his famous “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album.

57. Rust-causing agents : OXIDANTS
Rust is iron oxide.

62. Tin can plinker, maybe : BB GUN
A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.080" in diameter) to size FF (.23"). 0.180" diameter birdshot is size BB, which gives the airgun its name.

64. Oscar winner Leachman : CLORIS
The actress Cloris Leachman has won more primetime Emmy Awards than any other person, mainly for her portrayal of Phyllis Lindstrom on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Leachman also won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the 1971 movie “The Last Picture Show”. Back in 1946, she competed in the Miss America pageant as Miss Chicago.

67. Setting of "The Crucible" : SALEM
“The Crucible” is a 1952 play by Arthur Miller that tells the story of the Salem witch trials. Miller wrote it as an allegory for the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings that were being chaired by Senator Joe McCarthy around that time. Miller was called before the Committee himself, and was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to “name names”.

73. Elizabeth Taylor role of '63 : CLEO
The 1963 movie "Cleopatra" really was an epic work. It was the highest grossing film of the year, taking in $26 million dollars at the box office, yet it still lost money. The original budget for the film was just $2 million, but so many things went wrong the final cost swelled to a staggering $44 million dollars, making it the second most expensive movie ever made (taking into account inflation). Elizabeth Taylor was supposed to earn a record amount of $1 million for the film, and ended up earned seven times that amount due to delays. But she paid dearly, as she became seriously ill during shooting and had to have an emergency tracheotomy to save her life. The scar in her throat can actually be seen in some of the shots in the film.

74. Roman ruler before Caesar : SULLA
Sulla was a Roman leader who served as Dictator of the Roman Republic before resigning his sweeping powers to restore the constitutional government in 81 BC.

75. Subj. of Snowden leaks : NSA
Edward Snowden is a former NSA contractor who leaked several top secret NSA documents to the media beginning in June 2013. After disclosing his name as the source of the leaks, Snowden tried to seek asylum in Ecuador. While travelling to Ecuador he had a layover in Moscow. While in Moscow, the US government revoked his passport, which effectively left him stranded in the transit area of Moscow Airport. The Russian government eventually granted his an annually renewable temporary asylum.

80. Conk : BEAN
The bean, the conk, the head …

81. Wisecrack : JAPE
"To jape" means "to joke or quip". The exact origins of "jape" are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600's "to jape" was a slang term meaning "to have sex with". No joke!

82. Of the flock : LAIC
Anything described is laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term "laic" ultimately comes from the Greek "laikos" meaning "of the people".

83. Lawn care brand : SCOTTS
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, initially selling seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, mainly supplying lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.

84. Mythological monster : CHIMERA
In Greek mythology, a chimera was a female monster with the body of a lioness, a tail that ended in a snake's head, and the head of a goat that emanated from the lioness's spine. The term chimera has entered into our modern language and means a fanciful illusion or fabrication.

105. Stephen Hawking's computer-generated voice? : SCIENCE DICTION (from “science fiction”)
Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist from Oxford, England. Hawking owes much of his fame in the world of popular science to his incredibly successful book called “A Brief History of Time”. “A Brief History of Time” has sold over 10 million copies and was on London’s “Sunday Times” bestseller list for over four years. Hawking does a wonderful job of explaining many aspects of cosmology without losing the average reader. There is only one equation in the whole book, and that equation is of course is “E = mc2”. Hawking suffers from ALS and is almost completely paralyzed. He communicates using a speech generating device.

109. Duvel pub offering : BLONDE ALE
Duvel is a strong pale ale that is brewed in Belgium. The name “Duvel” is a Dutch dialect word for “devil”.

113. NASA's ___ Research Center : AMES
The Ames Research Center is just down the road here, located at Moffett Field, at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay. Joseph Ames was a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics when it was formed in 1915, and chaired the committee from 1919-1939.

Down
1. Acting family : ALDAS
Alan Alda has had a great television career, especially of course on "M*A*S*H". Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing Hawkeye Pierce on "M*A*S*H". He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy "Same Time, Next Year" in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

Actor Robert Alda was the father of Alan Alda. Robert Alda's most famous role was probably George Gershwin in the 1945 movie "Rhapsody in Blue". Robert appeared twice in "M*A*S*H", alongside his son.

3. Return option : E-FILE
E-file: that's what I do with my tax returns each year.

5. Former 6'9" N.B.A.'er Hayes, to fans : BIG E
Elvin Hayes is a retired professional basketball player. In 1966, along with Don Chaney, Hayes became the first African American to play for the University of Houston. Hayes didn't finish college, instead opting for a 16-year career in the NBA. When he retired from the game in 1984, he went straight back to the University of Houston and finished his degree. Well done, Elvin, is what I say ...

12. Old atlas initials : SSR
Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR)

13. Force under Stalin : RED ARMY
Joseph Stalin was Soviet Premier from 1941 to 1953. Stalin's real name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili. Not long after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1903 he adopted the name “Stalin”, which is the Russian word for “steel”.

14. Keys on a piano : ALICIA
Alicia Keys is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

15. Two things seen beside James Bond at a casino? : DISH AND CHIPS (from “fish and chips”)
The use of the word “dish” to describe an attractive woman started in the 1920s.

16. Popular ski spot : ASPEN
Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays of course, it's all about skiing and movie stars.

17. Butler of literature : RHETT
In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, when Rhett Butler finally walks out on Scarlett O’Hara he utters the words “My dear, I don’t give a damn”. Most of us are more familiar with the slightly different words spoken by Clark Gable in the film adaption of the story: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

20. Screenwriting guru Field : SYD
Syd Field was a screenwriting guru who wrote several books on the subject. Appropriately enough, Field was born in Hollywood, California.

24. Call from a balcony : O ROMEO
In the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet utters the famous line:
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Every school kid must have commented with a giggle “he’s down in the garden!” Of course, “wherefore” isn’t an archaic word for “where”, but rather an old way of saying “why”. So Juliet is asking, “Why art thou Romeo, a Montague, and hence a sworn enemy of the Capulets?”

28. Massenet opera : MANON
Manon is a comic opera by Jules Massenet that was first performed in 1884.

31. Indoor balls : NERFS
Nerf is the name given to the soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for "safe" play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. "NERF" is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

35. Tryst site : LOVE NEST
In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting.

39. "The Simpsons" character with a habit of calling things "gnarly" : OTTO
Otto Mann drives the school bus on the TV show "The Simpsons". Otto is a Germanic character voiced by Harry Shearer, and his name is a play on "Ottoman Empire". Whenever Bart sees him, he greets Otto with the words "Otto, man!"

40. Candy bar that comes two to a pack : TWIX
I remember Twix bars from way back in 1967 when they were introduced in the British Isles. Twix bars made it to the US over a decade later, in 1979.

41. Most arias : SOLI
“Tutti” (singular “tutto”) are pieces of music performed by all the artists in a group, as opposed to “soli” (singular “solo”). “Tutto” is the Italian for “all”.

48. Bodies of eau : MERS
“Eau” is the French word for “water”; “Mer” is the French word for “sea”.

52. Use for a résumé : JOB SEARCH
A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

56. Spammer enabler : MAIL LIST
Apparently the term "SPAM", used for unwanted email, is taken from a "Monty Python" sketch. In the sketch (which I've seen) the dialog is taken over by the word SPAM, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So "SPAM" is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a "Monty Python" sketch to describe an online phenomenon ...

62. Like Bruce Willis, in his later movie roles : BALDER
Actor Bruce Willis started to hit the big time when he got a lead role in the comedy detective series “Moonlighting” in the late eighties. Willis was born in Germany, where his father was stationed while serving in the US Army. Willis’ mother was German.

63. She "drank champagne and danced all night," in song : LOLA
"Lola" is a fabulous song, written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks back in 1970. Inspired by a real life incident, the lyrics tell of young man who met a young "lady" in a club, danced with her, and then discovered "she" was actually a transvestite. The storyline isn't very traditional, but the music is superb.

66. Spanish alternative? : OTRA
In Spanish, the other (otra) is neither this (esta) not that (esa).

68. Myocyte : MUSCLE CELL
Myocyte is the correct name for a muscle cell or muscle fiber.

70. "___ it rich?" (Sondheim lyric) : ISN’T
"Send in the Clowns" is a gorgeous, gorgeous song by Stephen Sondheim from his 1973 musical "A Little Night Music". The song doesn't actually have anything to do with clowns, and the title could be translated to "Aren't We Fools?"

78. Triangular sail : LATEEN
A lateen rig is a triangular sail mounted on a spar that is attached at an angle to the mast.

79. Infuser contents : LOOSE TEA
A tea ball or tea egg is more usually called a tea infuser. It is basically a ball, made of perforated metal or mesh, into which loose tea is placed. It has been superseded by the modern tea bag. I drink an awful lot of tea, and have a tea ball here at the house. Trust me, life is a lot easier using tea bags …

81. Altar no-shows : JILTERS
To "jilt" someone with whom you have a relationship is to drop them suddenly or callously. "Jilt" is an obsolete noun that used to mean "harlot" or "loose woman".

85. Gingerbread house visitor : HANSEL
"Hansel and Gretel" is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter. The youngsters are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister can find their way home, which they do. But the children are abandoned again and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds and so the children do indeed become lost. But eventually they do all live happily ever after ...

90. Eucharist holder : PATEN
The paten and chalice hold a special place in many Christian services. The paten is the plate that holds the bread and the chalice the wine that are used to represent the body and blood of Christ.

91. TV actress Graff : ILENE
Ilene Graff is an American actress, probably best known for playing Marsha Owens, the wife of George in the TV series "Mr. Belvedere".

93. Spotted scavenger : HYENA
The spotted hyena od Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.

94. "Ditto" : SO DO I
"Ditto" was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. So "ditto" is just another wonderful import from that lovely land ...

98. Hosiery brand : HANES
The Hanes brand of apparel was founded in 1901. A related brand was introduced in 1986 called Hanes Her Way.

103. Repetitive behavior condition, for short : OCD
Apparently obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as common as asthma.

106. Grammy Awards airer : CBS
The first Grammy Awards Ceremony was held in 1959 and focused on recognizing outstanding achievement in the recording industry. The idea of a Grammy Award came up when recording executives were working on the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the fifties. These executives concluded that there were many people in the recording industry deserving of accolades but who would probably never make it to the Walk of Fame. As a result, they founded the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Academy considered naming the award the “Eddies” after Thomas Edison, but then opted for “Grammy” after Edison’s invention: the gramophone.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Summer refreshers : ADES
5. Israel's Netanyahu, informally : BIBI
9. Bowler and sailor : HATS
13. Tracking systems : RADARS
19. Ports : LEFT SIDES
21. Memphis deity : ISIS
22. Actress Cuthbert of "24" : ELISHA
23. One who turned Cinderella's pumpkin into pumpkin cheesecake? : DAIRY GODMOTHER (from “fairy godmother”)
25. Drive away : DISPEL
26. Reference : ALLUDE TO
27. New York's Jacob ___ Park : RIIS
28. Crude coconut opener : MACHETE
29. Cherry part : STEM
30. Worth mentioning : OF NOTE
32. Iglu and yoghurt, e.g. : VARIANTS
33. Bad beginning? : MAL-
36. ___ cycle : REM
37. Dustin Hoffman title role : RAIN MAN
39. County or lake of Cooperstown, N.Y. : OTSEGO
42. Dunking cookie : OREO
44. Be too syrupy : CLOY
45. Liquor unit : DRAM
49. Snorkeling bargain? : TWO DIVES FOR A TEN (from “two fives for a ten”)
52. Hip-hop artist with the 2013 #1 album "Born Sinner" : J COLE
53. Up to, shortly : TIL
54. French noodles? : TETES
55. What makes blue jeans blue : ANIL
56. "She's got electric boots, a ___ suit" ("Bennie and the Jets" lyric) : MOHAIR
57. Rust-causing agents : OXIDANTS
59. Vex : ANNOY
60. Stomachs : ABIDES
61. Fit to ___ : A TEE
62. Tin can plinker, maybe : BB GUN
63. Challenge for a speech coach : LISP
64. Oscar winner Leachman : CLORIS
67. Setting of "The Crucible" : SALEM
68. Nappy fabric : MOLESKIN
72. Undeveloped : LATENT
73. Elizabeth Taylor role of '63 : CLEO
74. Roman ruler before Caesar : SULLA
75. Subj. of Snowden leaks : NSA
76. Dismantle on a ship : UNRIG
77. Transportation company that skimps on safety? : NO-DRILLS AIRLINE (from “no-frills airline”)
80. Conk : BEAN
81. Wisecrack : JAPE
82. Of the flock : LAIC
83. Lawn care brand : SCOTTS
84. Mythological monster : CHIMERA
87. Addr. book datum : TEL
88. Even if, in brief : THO
89. Corkscrewed : SPIRALED
92. "___ no turning back" : THERE’S
95. Dress accessory : SASH
99. Knacks : TALENTS
100. Reason for an ophthalmologist's visit : STYE
101. It might be answered "Muy bien, gracias" : COMO ESTA?
104. Sergeant's order : AT EASE
105. Stephen Hawking's computer-generated voice? : SCIENCE DICTION (from “science fiction”)
107. Church vessel : CENSER
108. Bring in : EARN
109. Duvel pub offering : BLONDE ALE
110. Prepares to propose : KNEELS
111. Kind of rug : AREA
112. Buttonhole, for example : SLIT
113. NASA's ___ Research Center : AMES

Down
1. Acting family : ALDAS
2. Did a Vegas job : DEALT
3. Return option : E-FILE
4. Pulled strings, maybe? : STRUMMED
5. Former 6'9" N.B.A.'er Hayes, to fans : BIG E
6. "What did ___ deserve this?" : I DO TO
7. Comfortable state : BED OF ROSES
8. Suffix with age : -ISM
9. Band's cue : HIT IT!
10. More wan : ASHIER
11. Draws : TIES
12. Old atlas initials : SSR
13. Force under Stalin : RED ARMY
14. Keys on a piano : ALICIA
15. Two things seen beside James Bond at a casino? : DISH AND CHIPS (from “fish and chips”)
16. Popular ski spot : ASPEN
17. Butler of literature : RHETT
18. Register ring-ups : SALES
20. Screenwriting guru Field : SYD
24. Call from a balcony : O ROMEO
28. Massenet opera : MANON
31. Indoor balls : NERFS
32. In a loathsome way : VILELY
34. Starting trouble : AGITATING
35. Tryst site : LOVE NEST
38. Director's cry : ACTION!
39. "The Simpsons" character with a habit of calling things "gnarly" : OTTO
40. Candy bar that comes two to a pack : TWIX
41. Most arias : SOLI
43. Insect repellent ingredient : ORANGE OIL
46. Artery : ROAD
47. "That's ___!" : A LIE
48. Bodies of eau : MERS
50. Little: Suffix : -ETTE
51. Per ___ : ANNUM
52. Use for a résumé : JOB SEARCH
56. Spammer enabler : MAIL LIST
58. "Oh yeah? Let's see you hold your breath for TWO minutes!," e.g.? : DARE INCREASE (from “fare increase”)
59. Better qualified : ABLER
62. Like Bruce Willis, in his later movie roles : BALDER
63. She "drank champagne and danced all night," in song : LOLA
64. Crude weapon : CLUB
65. 46-Down division : LANE
66. Spanish alternative? : OTRA
67. Checked (out) : SCOPED
68. Myocyte : MUSCLE CELL
69. Sweater, e.g. : KNIT
70. "___ it rich?" (Sondheim lyric) : ISN’T
71. Highlands refusals : NAES
74. Better at conniving : SLIER
77. Handles : NAMES
78. Triangular sail : LATEEN
79. Infuser contents : LOOSE TEA
81. Altar no-shows : JILTERS
85. Gingerbread house visitor : HANSEL
86. Enrobe : ATTIRE
89. Heap : STACK
90. Eucharist holder : PATEN
91. TV actress Graff : ILENE
93. Spotted scavenger : HYENA
94. "Ditto" : SO DO I
96. "Take me ___" : AS I AM
97. Lifted : STOLE
98. Hosiery brand : HANES
100. Kind of tissue : SCAR
102. Coin grade : MINT
103. Repetitive behavior condition, for short : OCD
105. View from a boardwalk : SEA
106. Grammy Awards airer : CBS


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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Incredibly STUPID "theme"...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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January 29, 2009

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