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Greetings from Louisburgh, County Mayo 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

0218-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Feb 14, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: A To Z … there’s A  note that comes with today’s puzzle:
The answers to the 13 starred clues follow an unusual two-way progression from 1- to 73-Across. Can you figure out what it is?
Well, it turns out that the answers to the 13 starred clues start with the letters A through M, in alphabetical order. Additionally, the answers to those same 13 clues end with the letters N through Z, progressing in order from the bottom of the grid to the top:
1A. *Everything : A TO Z
15A. *Rap devotee, slangily : B-BOY
18A. *One who goes on and on : CHATTERBOX
20A. *"What should I ___?" : DO NOW
31A. *Sarah Palin or Arnold Schwarzenegger, informally : EX-GOV
36A. *Dish served with long-handled forks : FONDU
40A. *Part of Manhattan's Midtown West : GARMENT DISTRICT
44A. *Football snaps : HIKES
47A. *Less welcoming : ICIER
60A. *2002 Denzel Washington drama : JOHN Q
64A. *Wood cutter? : KARATE CHOP
69A. *2014 TV retiree : LENO
73A. *Standard deviation deviates from it : MEAN
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
14. Buffalo Bill's surname : CODY
Buffalo Bill Cody was a great showman after he retired from the US Army. While serving in the Army, Buffalo Bill was awarded the Medal of Honor. William Frederick Cody earned his “Buffalo Bill” nickname while supplying buffalo meat to the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Cody “hunted” and slaughtered over 4,000 American bison in an 18-month period to fulfill his contract with the railroad.

15. *Rap devotee, slangily : B-BOY
A b-boy is a male fan of rap-music and breakdancing. Apparently the term comes from either “Bronx boy” or “break boy”.

16. University of Maine locale : ORONO
The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation.

22. Lollapaloozas : ONERS
A lollapalooza is something outstanding, one of a kind.

23. "___ tu" (Verdi aria) : ERI
The aria "Eri tu" is from Verdi's opera "Un ballo in maschera" (A Masked Ball). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

28. Former Rocket Olajuwon : HAKEEM
Hakeem Olajuwon is a retired Nigerian American basketball player. Hakeem was born in Lagos in Nigeria, and came the US to play for the University of Houston. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 1984, ahead of the likes of Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan.

31. *Sarah Palin or Arnold Schwarzenegger, informally : EX-GOV
When John McCain selected former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as candidate for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she became the first Alaskan to go on the national ticket for a major party. She also became the first woman nominated for Vice President by the Republican Party.

The body-builder, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Graz in Austria, the son of the local police chief. Schwarzenegger’s family name translates into the more prosaic "black plough man". In his body-building days, he was often referred to as the Austrian Oak. When he was Governor of California he was called “the Governator”, a play on his role in the “The Terminator” series of movies.

33. "Vous êtes ___" (label on a French map) : ICI
"Vous êtes ici" are important words to know when navigating your way around Paris. They mean "You are here", and you'll often see them on maps in the street.

36. *Dish served with long-handled forks : FONDU
“Fondu(e)” is the French word for “melted”.

40. *Part of Manhattan's Midtown West : GARMENT DISTRICT
The Garment District in Manhattan established itself as the powerhouse of the nation's garment industry by producing clothes for slaves on southern plantations. Slave owners found it more efficient to get clothes from New York than have the slaves make their own clothes. Up to this time, most American made their own clothes, so this really was a new industry. Business got a further boost with the need for ready-made uniforms for the soldiers fighting in the Civil War. As the market increased, competition grew and costs had to be kept down. Manhattan had a ready supply of cheap labor so it was able to keep up with demand, and by the end of the 1860s Americans were buying most of their clothes rather than making them.

45. Robt. E. Lee, e.g. : GENL
Robert E. Lee is of course renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state.

49. Bearlike : URSINE
The Latin word for a bear is "ursus".

52. Yamaha products : PIANOS
The Japanese company Yamaha started out way back in 1888 as a manufacturer of pianos and reed organs. Even though the company has diversified since then, Yamaha's logo still reflects it musical roots. Even on Yamaha motorcycles you can see a logo made up of three intersecting tuning forks.

55. In-law of Esau : LEAH
Leah was married to Jacob, the twin brother of Esau.

According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

56. 1970s-'80s TV planet : ORK
“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Anyone who’d like to see Williams and Dawber acting together again might want to check out an upcoming episode of “The Crazy Ones”. a sitcom starring Robin Williams that airs on CBS. Dawber is to appear on one episode, and her character will go out on a date with Williams’ character.

60. *2002 Denzel Washington drama : JOHN Q
“John Q” is a 2002 drama movie starring Denzel Washington as the father of a child in need of a heart transplant. The family’s HMO health insurance will not cover the operation and so the child’s name is not put on the transplant recipient list. The father then takes the drastic step of holding hostage a hospital full of patients. Towards the end of the movie the father takes the further step of trying to kill himself so that his own heart can be harvested for his son.

69. *2014 TV retiree : LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

70. Marriott alternative : OMNI
Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Irvine, California and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Marriott Hotels developed their initial properties in the fifties. The first to open was the Quality Inn near Washington DC, the first purpose-built airport hotel in the country.

72. James Patterson sleuth Cross : ALEX
Author James Patterson is known for his thriller novels, especially those featuring his forensic psychologist Alex Cross. Patterson holds the record for the most hardcover fiction titles to appear in “The New York Times” bestseller list ... 63 so far!

73. *Standard deviation deviates from it : MEAN
In the world of statistics, the standard deviation is a measure of closely data points are clustered around the mean value. A low standard deviation indicates a relatively tight distribution.

Down
1. Trip provider? : ACID
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

2. Hullabaloo : TO-DO
Our word “hullabaloo” meaning a “commotion” is a derivative of an older term “hollo-ballo”. “Hollo-ballo” was a word used for an uproar in the north of England and Scotland.

3. Role in "Thor" : ODIN
Thor is a superhero who was introduced to us by Marvel Comics in 1962. The character is of course based on the Norse god Thor, and comes complete with a magical hammer. Like so many comic book heroes it seems, Thor has made it to the big screen. Actor Chris Hemsworth played the role in the 2011 film “Thor” directed by the great Kenneth Branagh. Branagh must have needed the cash. Thor’s father Odin is played by Anthony Hopkins. He must have needed the cash too …

4. Fertilized egg : ZYGOTE
“Zygote” is the name given to the cell formed when (in the case of humans) a sperm fertilizes an egg. It is the earliest stage in the development of an embryo. The term “zygote” comes from the Greek for “joined, yoked”.

5. "Sherlock" and "EastEnders" network : BBC
The marvelous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is mainly funded by the UK government through a television licence fee that is levied annually on all households watching TV transmissions. Currently the fee is 145 UK pounds, about 230 US dollars.

If you’ve seen the American television show “Elementary”, you will know that it is an adaptation of the classic tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that are set in the present day. “Elementary” is a remake of the excellent BBC series “Sherlock”, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. We can pick up “Sherlock” in some parts of the country as part of “Masterpiece Mystery” on PBS.

“EastEnders” is a very, very successful soap opera produced and aired by the BBC since 1985. The term “EastEnder” is used for someone from the East End of London.

7. Horse of a certain color : ROAN
A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

8. Small storage unit : BYTE
In the world of computers, a "bit" is the basic unit of information. A bit has a value of 0 or 1. A "byte" is a small collection of bits (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text.

10. Iceman Bobby : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn't skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

11. Casino pass? : NO BET
The “casino” originated in the 1700s, first describing a public room for music or dancing. The name “casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

13. "Chicago" song : ROXIE
The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance ...

19. One of the Palins : TRIG
Trig is the youngest child of Sarah and Todd Palin, born in 2008. Trig is the child who was prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome. Trig’s older brother is called Track, and his nephew is called Tripp. Trig, Tripp and Track … that’s got to be confusing ...

25. "Walk Like ___" (1963 hit) : A MAN
"Walk Like a Man", released in 1963, was the third number 1 hit for the Four Seasons. Apparently the song was recorded in a studio while there was a fire blazing in the floor above. Bob Crewe, the record producer, insisted that the group keep on recording while smoke and water was seeping into the studio. Crewe blocked the door, forcing firemen to use axes to break it down so they could get everyone to safety.

27. Composer Novello : IVOR
Ivor Novello was one of the most popular entertainers in Britain in the early 20th century He was a Welsh composer, singer and actor. On top of his success on the stage and in front of the camera, he even wrote the dialogue for the 1932 movie "Tarzan the Ape Man" starring Johnny Weissmuller.

29. Healthful berry : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

30. "Star Trek" captain : KIRK
According to the storyline in "Star Trek", Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the "future birthplace of James T. Kirk."

31. What can get you down? : EIDER
Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an "eiderdown".

35. Loan insured by the F.H.A.: Abbr. : MTGE
Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. The idea was that a pledge to repay a loan dies when the debt is cleared.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was set up in 1934 to insure loans made lenders for the building and purchase of homes. The FHA was created in response to the bank failures of the Great Depression, with the intent of creating a more favorable environment for lending.

37. Not final, legally : NISI
A decree nisi is a court order, one that only comes into force when certain specified conditions are met. At the point where the conditions are met, it becomes a decree absolute and is binding. “Nisi” is Latin for “unless”.

38. Popular pesticide : D-CON
“d-Con” is a line of rodent control products that has been around for over 50 years.

39. Reader founder : UTNE
The "Utne Reader" is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The "Utne Reader" was founded in 1984, with "Utne" being the family name of the couple that started the publication.

41. Chow ___ : MEIN
Chow mein has two slightly different meanings on the East and West Coasts of the US. On the East Coast, "basic" chow mein is a crispy dish, whereas on the West Coast it is a steamed dish and relatively soft. On the East Coast the steamed dish is available, but under the name "lo mein". On the West Coast, the crispy dish is also on the menu, as Hong Kong style chow mein.

50. Rule ending in 1947 : RAJ
The period of colonial rule by the British in South Asia from 1858 to 1947 is referred to as the British Raj. Prior to 1858, the area was ruled by a private enterprise, the British East India Company. “Raj” is the Hindi word for “reign”.

51. Yiddish author Aleichem : SHOLOM
I think that the spelling is incorrect here, and should be “Sholem”.

Sholem Aleichem was the pen name of Yiddish author Solomon Rabinovich, who wrote the stories about Tevye the Dairyman that inspired the musical “Fiddler on the Roof”. Rabinovich’s pen name comes from "Shalom aleichem”, which translates from Hebrew as “peace be upon you”.

53. Ayatollah Khomeini, for one : IRANI
The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was one of the leaders of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which overthrew the Shah of Iran. After the revolution he came to power as the country’s Supreme Leader, holding the highest ranking political and religious position. When Khomeini died in 1989, there were two funerals. The first had to be aborted after a crowd of 2 million people got out of control and encroached on the funeral procession. The Ayatollah’s wooden casket broke open and his body nearly fell to the ground as devotees tried to grasp pieces of his death shroud.

54. Goodyear headquarters : AKRON
For part of the 1800s, the Ohio city of Akron was the fasting growing city in the country, feeding off the industrial boom of that era. The city was founded in 1825 and its location, along the Ohio and Erie canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River, helped to fuel Akron's growth. Akron sits at the highest point of the canal and the name "Akron" comes from the Greek word meaning "summit". Indeed, Akron is the county seat of Summit County.

The Goodyear tire company was founded in 1898. The company was named for Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanized rubber in 1839. Despite the Goodyear name, Charles Goodyear himself had no connection with the company.

55. Sierra ___ : LEONE
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, lying on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the "Black Poor" of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of "a problem", three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were guaranteed British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that's today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

58. Pac-12 team : UCLA
The UCLA Bruins mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be "mean" Bruin mascots but they weren't very popular with the fans, so now there are only "happy" Bruin mascots at the games.

59. Children's author Silverstein : SHEL
Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children's books is "The Giving Tree", which was first published in 1964. "The Giving Tree" tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.

61. Brit of Fox News : HUME
The TV journalist Brit Hume’s full name is Alexander Britton Hume.

62. "Peter Pan" dog : NANA
In J.M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Peter takes takes the Wendy Darling and her two brothers on adventures on the island of Neverland. Back in the real world, the Darling children are taken care of by a nanny, a Newfoundland dog called Nana. It is Nana who takes Peter Pan’s shadow away from him as he tries to escape from the Darling house one night.

63. Christie's "The Mysterious Mr. ___" : QUIN
“The Mysterious Mr. Quin” is a collection of short stories written by Agatha Christie that was first published in 1930. The collection is a set of mysteries, each solved by a Mr. Satterthwaite with the help of a Mr. Quin, who always turns up at the right moment.

66. Curse : POX
A pox on ye!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. *Everything : A TO Z
5. "Yo mama" joke, e.g. : BARB
9. Hopeless case : GONER
14. Buffalo Bill's surname : CODY
15. *Rap devotee, slangily : B-BOY
16. University of Maine locale : ORONO
17. "Gotcha, dude!" : I DIG!
18. *One who goes on and on : CHATTERBOX
20. *"What should I ___?" : DO NOW
22. Lollapaloozas : ONERS
23. "___ tu" (Verdi aria) : ERI
24. Run like the wind : TEAR
26. "Am I nuts?" : IS IT ME?
28. Former Rocket Olajuwon : HAKEEM
31. *Sarah Palin or Arnold Schwarzenegger, informally : EX-GOV
33. "Vous êtes ___" (label on a French map) : ICI
34. In a crowd of : AMID
36. *Dish served with long-handled forks : FONDU
40. *Part of Manhattan's Midtown West : GARMENT DISTRICT
44. *Football snaps : HIKES
45. Robt. E. Lee, e.g. : GENL
46. Like a ___ to me : SON
47. *Less welcoming : ICIER
49. Bearlike : URSINE
52. Yamaha products : PIANOS
55. In-law of Esau : LEAH
56. 1970s-'80s TV planet : ORK
57. Get extra value from, say : REUSE
60. *2002 Denzel Washington drama : JOHN Q
64. *Wood cutter? : KARATE CHOP
67. Hawaiian do : LUAU
68. Online line : E-NOTE
69. *2014 TV retiree : LENO
70. Marriott alternative : OMNI
71. Supped : DINED
72. James Patterson sleuth Cross : ALEX
73. *Standard deviation deviates from it : MEAN

Down
1. Trip provider? : ACID
2. Hullabaloo : TO-DO
3. Role in "Thor" : ODIN
4. Fertilized egg : ZYGOTE
5. "Sherlock" and "EastEnders" network : BBC
6. Hate : ABHOR
7. Horse of a certain color : ROAN
8. Small storage unit : BYTE
9. Becomes less strict : GOES SOFT
10. Iceman Bobby : ORR
11. Casino pass? : NO BET
12. Huge, in poetry : ENORM
13. "Chicago" song : ROXIE
19. One of the Palins : TRIG
21. Like some hours : WEE
25. "Walk Like ___" (1963 hit) : A MAN
27. Composer Novello : IVOR
28. Over the estimate : HIGH
29. Healthful berry : ACAI
30. "Star Trek" captain : KIRK
31. What can get you down? : EIDER
32. Marked, as a box : X’D IN
35. Loan insured by the F.H.A.: Abbr. : MTGE
37. Not final, legally : NISI
38. Popular pesticide : D-CON
39. Reader founder : UTNE
41. Chow ___ : MEIN
42. Accompanied : ESCORTED
43. Pivot on an axis : SLUE
48. Therapist's words : I SEE
50. Rule ending in 1947 : RAJ
51. Yiddish author Aleichem : SHOLOM
52. Moseyed (along) : POKED
53. Ayatollah Khomeini, for one : IRANI
54. Goodyear headquarters : AKRON
55. Sierra ___ : LEONE
58. Pac-12 team : UCLA
59. Children's author Silverstein : SHEL
61. Brit of Fox News : HUME
62. "Peter Pan" dog : NANA
63. Christie's "The Mysterious Mr. ___" : QUIN
65. Supped : ATE
66. Curse : POX


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5 comments :

Jackie B. said...

Sending a prayer for your son.

Major Icehole said...

Best wishes mate.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Jackie and Major.

Thanks for the kind wishes. After a scary couple of days, everything seems to have worked out just fine. Quite a relief!

Thanks again.

Tricia said...

Bill, thank God it has worked out for your son.
There is nothing in this world more precious than our children. Sorry for all of you that you had to go through a scare. We hope your son continues to recuperate nicely.
Tricia and Gene Murtha

Bill Butler said...

Thank for the kind words, Tricia and Gene.

Our son is in good shape now, and getting some rest, as indeed are we!

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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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