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I am currently on vacation in Ireland, returning on October 9th. I am hoping to complete a blog post each evening, even if it is only the basics (solved grid and clues, plus explanation of theme). I apologize in advance if I am late in posting.

Bill

0222-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Feb 14, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Evan Birnholz
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 35m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Ones who think things are good as gold? : ALCHEMISTS
11. Like metals used by 1-Across : BASE
One of the main goals of the ancient practice of alchemy was to change base metals into gold, a process known as transmutation.

15. Feared sight on the Spanish Main : PIRATE SHIP
When one thinks of the word “main” in the context of the sea, the Spanish Main usually comes to mind. Indeed, the use of the more general term “main”, meaning the sea, originates from the more specific "Spanish Main". "Spanish Main" originally referred to land and not water, as it was the name given to the mainland coast around the Caribbean Sea in the days of Spanish domination of the region.

16. Obama's favorite character on "The Wire" : OMAR
The character Omar Little is played by Michael K. Williams on the HBO series called "The Wire". I didn't watch "The Wire" when it first aired but we ending up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing a couple of years ago. It's is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.

19. Coastal fish consumers : ERNS
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

21. Composer of the opera "Rusalka" : DVORAK
“Rusalka” is an opera by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. In Slavic mythology, a “Rusalka” is a water sprite.

Antonín Dvořák was a composer from Czechoslovakia who spent three years working and composing in the United States. He was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York from 1892 to 1895. Certainly here in the US, Dvořák’s best known work is his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”, which is often referred to as "The New World Symphony".

25. People might pass for them, for short : TDS
Touchdowns (TDs)

27. High line in the Middle East : EMIRS
An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written as “amir” and “ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

30. Brand of body washes : OLAY
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

32. Grp. with the Office of Iraq Analysis : CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

37. Volt-ampere : WATT
James Watt was a Scottish inventor, a man who figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, named in his honor.

39. Peak transmission setting of old? : MT SINAI
According to the Bible, Mount Sinai is the mountain on which Moses was given the Ten Commandments. The Biblical Mount Sinai is probably not the mountain in Egypt that today has the same name, although this is the subject of much debate. The Egyptian Mount Sinai has two developed routes that one can take to reach the summit. The longer gentler climb takes about 2 1/2 hours, but there is also the steeper climb up the 3,750 "steps of penitence".

44. Score abbr. : ARR
"Arr." is short for "arranged by", when written on a musical score.

45. First name of Woodstock's last performer : JIMI
Many of his contemporaries regarded Jimi Hendrix as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. Hendrix was from Seattle and didn't really have a really stellar start to his working life. He failed to finish high school and fell foul of the law by getting caught in stolen cars, twice. The courts gave him the option of the army or two years in prison. Hendrix chose the former and soon found himself in the famous 101st Airborne. In the army, his less-than-disciplined ways helped him (as he would have seen it) because his superiors successfully petitioned to get him discharged after serving only one year of his two-year requirement, just to get him out of their hair.

46. Split second? : PEE
The second letter in the word “split” is a letter P (pee).

47. Golden, in Granada : DE ORO
Granada is a city and province in Andalusia in the south of Spain. Granada should not to be confused with Grenada (different spelling), the island nation in the Caribbean that was invaded by the US in 1983.

49. Hit with skits, for short : SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

51. Get off the drive, say : ERASE
One often has to erase data from a computer drive.

57. 2012 baseball All-Star Kinsler : IAN
Ian Kinsler is a second baseman for the Texas Rangers MLB baseball team.

59. Some plans for the future, briefly : IRAS
Individual retirement account (IRA)

64. Land capturer, in literature : NEMO
Ned Land was one of the protagonists in Jules Verne's classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". Land and his colleagues get captured and are brought aboard the Nautilus submarine by Captain Nemo. In the famous movie adaptation from 1955, Ned Land was played by Kirk Douglas.

Done
1. Vaulted areas : APSES
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

2. Tall order at a British pub : LITRE
We spell the measure “liter” in this country, but the spelling is “litre” on the other side of the Atlantic.

4. Frequent Monet subjects : HAYSTACKS
The Impressionist painter Claude Monet made a whole series of paintings featuring haystacks. There are a total of 25 canvases titled “Haystacks” that Monet painted between 1890 and 1891 near his home in Giverny in France.

Claude Monet painted the harbor of Le Havre in the north of France in 1872, giving it the title "Impression, Sunrise". The painting is not a "realistic" representation of the scene in front of him, hence the name "impression". It was this very painting that gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement.

5. Projection in the air, for short : ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

6. Kind of bust : METH
“Meth” is a street name used for the drug methamphetamine, also called “crank” and “crystal meth”.

7. "___ a man in Reno" ("Folsom Prison Blues" lyric) : I SHOT
"Folsom Prison Blues" is a song written and recorded by Johnny Cash. Cash wrote it in West Germany while serving in the US Air Force after seeing the movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison”. An iconic, and scary, line in the song is “But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”.

8. Well-trained boxer, maybe : SHOW DOG
The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites!) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful animal. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, another gorgeous creature.

9. Punk rocker Armstrong with a 2012 Grammy : TIM
Tim Armstrong is a musician best known as singer and guitarist with the punk rock band Rancid and the supergroup the Transplants. Armstrong also used the stage name Lint earlier in his career, as well as Tim Timebomb.

12. First drink ever ordered by James Bond : AMERICANO
An Americano is a rather tasty cocktail made from Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda. The cocktail used to known as the “Milano-Torino”, as Campari comes from Milano (Milan) and Cinzano vermouth comes from Torino (Turin). The origin of the “Americano” name is disputed. Some say that ‘Americano” is in honor of the drink’s popularity with Americans visiting Italy in the early 1900s. Others say that the name comes from the Italian “amaro” meaning “bitter”. Even though Ian Fleming’s spy is very much associated with a “vodka martini, shaken not stirred”, the first drink he ordered in the series of books was an Americano.

13. Do-gooder : SAMARITAN
"The Good Samaritan" is a parable told by Jesus that can be read in the Gospel of Luke. According to the story, a Jewish traveler is robbed, beaten and left for dead at the side of the road. A priest happens by and sees the poor man, but does not stop to help. A fellow Jew also passes and refuses to help. A third man stops and gives aid. This kind person is a Samaritan, a native of Samaria. Back then Jewish and Samaritan people were said to generally despise each other, and yet here a detested creature gives aid. Jesus told to the story to a self-righteous lawyer, the intent being (I assume) to shake up his self-righteousness.

14. Composer called a "gymnopédiste" : ERIK SATIE
Erik Satie was a French composer most famous for his beautiful composition, the three "Gymnopédies". I have tried so hard to appreciate other works by Satie but I find them so very different from the minimalist simplicity of the lyrical "Gymnopédies".

22. Woe, in Yiddish : VEY
“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that literally translates as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.

29. Facebook connections in Florence? : AMICI
“Amici” is the Italian word for "friends" (singular "amico").

Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

35. Site of the 1992 Republican National Convention : ASTRODOME
The Astrodome is home to the Houston baseball team, once called the Colt .45s and now the Astros (after the ballpark). The Astrodome was named for the city’s long association with the US space program.

40. Weapon in "The Mikado" : 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.

"The Mikado" is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, set in the exotic location of Japan. "Mikado" is a former term for the "Emperor of Japan".

50. "Swing Shift" Oscar nominee : LAHTI
Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

"Swing Shift" is a 1984 movie starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It was while filming “Swing Shift” that Hawn and Russell met for the first time, and have been in a relationship ever since.

53. Game stew : SALMI
Salmi is a spicy dish made with roasted game birds that have been minced and stewed in wine.

54. Locale of London Stansted Airport : ESSEX
Essex is a county in England, referred to as one of the “home counties”.

The home counties are the counties that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. "Home county" is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s.

Stansted Airport serves the London area. It is one of those airports favored by low-cost airlines as Stansted is about an hour’s ride by train or bus from the the center of London. London has two other airports who are much closer, namely Heathrow and Gatwick.

58. Side in an Indian restaurant : NAAN
Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

63. Tapping grp. : NSA
National Security Agency (NSA)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ones who think things are good as gold? : ALCHEMISTS
11. Like metals used by 1-Across : BASE
15. Feared sight on the Spanish Main : PIRATE SHIP
16. Obama's favorite character on "The Wire" : OMAR
17. Like some parents : STAY-AT-HOME
18. Big long-distance carrier? : SEMI
19. Coastal fish consumers : ERNS
20. Much may follow it : HOW
21. Composer of the opera "Rusalka" : DVORAK
23. Deal with : SEE TO
25. People might pass for them, for short : TDS
27. High line in the Middle East : EMIRS
28. Small cell : AAA
30. Brand of body washes : OLAY
32. Grp. with the Office of Iraq Analysis : CIA
33. Art that uses curse words? : BLACK MAGIC
37. Volt-ampere : WATT
38. Takes the plunge : RISKS IT
39. Peak transmission setting of old? : MT SINAI
41. Declines, with "out" : OPTS
42. Fall apart : COME UNDONE
44. Score abbr. : ARR
45. First name of Woodstock's last performer : JIMI
46. Split second? : PEE
47. Golden, in Granada : DE ORO
49. Hit with skits, for short : SNL
51. Get off the drive, say : ERASE
55. No-gooder : BAD EGG
57. 2012 baseball All-Star Kinsler : IAN
59. Some plans for the future, briefly : IRAS
60. Rackets : ADOS
61. High spirits? : ARCHANGELS
64. Land capturer, in literature : NEMO
65. "Bummer" : WHAT A SHAME
66. Tied : DREW
67. Whip wielder : DOMINATRIX

Down
1. Vaulted areas : APSES
2. Tall order at a British pub : LITRE
3. Big picker-upper? : CRANE
4. Frequent Monet subjects : HAYSTACKS
5. Projection in the air, for short : ETA
6. Kind of bust : METH
7. "___ a man in Reno" ("Folsom Prison Blues" lyric) : I SHOT
8. Well-trained boxer, maybe : SHOW DOG
9. Punk rocker Armstrong with a 2012 Grammy : TIM
10. Reached 100, say : SPED
11. Near to one's heart : BOSOM
12. First drink ever ordered by James Bond : AMERICANO
13. Do-gooder : SAMARITAN
14. Composer called a "gymnopédiste" : ERIK SATIE
22. Woe, in Yiddish : VEY
24. Symbols of might : OAKS
26. Scuzz : SLIME
29. Facebook connections in Florence? : AMICI
31. Start sputtering, say : ACT UP
33. Aid in fast networking : BROADBAND
34. One getting messages by word of mouth? : LIP READER
35. Site of the 1992 Republican National Convention : ASTRODOME
36. Very small (and very important) matter : ATOMS
37. Like some missed field goals : WIDE RIGHT
40. Weapon in "The Mikado" : SNEE
43. Telejournalist's item : MINICAM
45. Part of many a training regimen : JOG
48. Plant in subsequent seasons : RESOW
50. "Swing Shift" Oscar nominee : LAHTI
52. In the back : AREAR
53. Game stew : SALMI
54. Locale of London Stansted Airport : ESSEX
56. "Good ___ A'mighty!" : GAWD!
58. Side in an Indian restaurant : NAAN
62. Certain sorority chapter : RHO
63. Tapping grp. : NSA


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2 comments :

Kevin Quinn said...

I'm sure you meant to type: *oy*, vey, rather than "oh, vey" for the yiddish phrase that translates to "oh, pain". (22D:VEY)

This was a fairly smoothe Saturday follow up to a Patrick Berry Friday.

Only trouble was breaking into the North-East.

You can tell Evan puts forth a real effort to make his puzzles interesting and entertaining, although I could have done without the 56D clue/answer, which was, in my opinion, disrespectful, and in poor taste.

Ciao,

-Kevin Quinn

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kevin.

Thanks for spotting the oh/oy typo. Another case of more haste, less speed of an evening. I appreciate (and very much need) the help!

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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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