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Greetings from Mammoth Lakes, California

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 probably the last hike of our trip this morning (strenuous, past beautiful alpine lakes), and then opted for vegging out by the pool for a change this afternoon. Almost home ...

Bill

0303-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Mar 14, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrea Carla Michaels & Michael Blake
THEME: Almost Repeated … today’s themed answers are repeated words, almost. The repetition is missing the final letter N:
17A. Operatic singer on a sofa? : DIVAN DIVA
28A. Chitchat about a dressmaking template? : PATTERN PATTER
37A. Complimentary road service in Sierra Leone's capital? : FREETOWN FREE TOW
45A. Egg-hunting time in the Orient? : EASTERN EASTER
63A. Memorize lines for a Shakespearean king? : LEARN LEAR
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. "America's Most Wanted" host John : WALSH
John Walsh is the host and creator of the TV show “America’s Most Wanted”. Walsh was inspired to become an anti-crime activist after his six-year-old son Adam was brutally murdered in 1981.

6. Bedwear, informally : PJS
Our word "pajamas" comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where "pai jamahs" were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And "pajamas" is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is "pyjamas".

14. Prized violin : AMATI
The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo's son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

17. Operatic singer on a sofa? : DIVAN DIVA
Ottomans and divans are essentially couches without backs or arms.

"Diva" comes to us from Latin via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". The word is used in Italy to mean "goddess" or "fine lady", and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

23. Mountain goat : IBEX
Ibex is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

35. Former part of Portuguese India : GOA
Goa is the smallest state in India, and is located in the southwest of the country. The Portuguese landed in Goa in the early 1500s, at first peacefully carrying out trade, but then took the area by force creating Portuguese India. Portugal held onto Portuguese India even after the British pulled out of India in 1947, until the Indian Army marched into the area in 1961.

36. Set of keys? : PIANO
What was remarkable about the piano when it was invented, compared to other keyboard instruments, was that notes could be played with varying degrees of loudness. This is accomplished by pressing the keys lightly or firmly. Because of this quality, the new instrument was called a “pianoforte”, with “piano” and “forte” meaning “soft” and “loud” in Italian. We tend to shorten the name these days to just “piano”.

37. Complimentary road service in Sierra Leone's capital? : FREETOWN FREE TOW
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.

42. Like Dylan Thomas, by birth : WELSH
Dylan Thomas is perhaps the most famous Welsh poet and writer. His most famous poems are “Do not go gentle in that good night” and “And death shall have no dominion”. He also wrote a famous radio drama called “Under Milk Wood” that was first broadcast in in 1954, and that was eventually adapted for the stage and the big screen. My favorite Dylan Thomas work is “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” that was also written originally for the radio, before being published as a work of prose.

50. "___ Man," Emilio Estevez film : REPO
“Repo Man” is a 1984 sci-fi comedy film starring Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton. I tried watching this film, but had to give up. That said, “Repo Man” is considered a great film by those in the know ...

51. Former capital of Italy? : LIRA
The word "lira" is used in a number of countries for currency. "Lira" comes from the Latin for "pound" and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

52. Pizazz : BRIO
“Brio” is borrowed from Italian, in which language it means vigor and vivacity. "Con brio" is a musical direction often found on a score, instructing the musicians to play "with energy, vigor".

57. Broadway's ___ O'Neill Theater : EUGENE
The Eugene O’Neill Theater in the Broadway Theater District of New York City was opened in 1925. The venue was known as the Coronet from 1945 to 1959, and at one time it was owned by playwright Neil Simon.

63. Memorize lines for a Shakespearean king? : LEARN LEAR
Shakespeare was inspired to write his famous drama “King Lear” by the legend of "Leir of Britain", the story of a mythological Celtic king.

65. Evil character in "Snow White" : QUEEN
In the German fairy tale “Snow White” (and the Disney film), the wicked queen owns a magic mirror, which she asks every morning:
Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?
Walt Disney changed the words slightly for his movie version of the tale:
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

67. Superman's adoptive parents : KENTS
Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket as a child by his parents who were living on the doomed planet of Krypton. On Earth he was discovered by the Kents, farmers who lived near the fictional town of Smallville. The Kents raised the infant as their own, giving him the name Clark.

69. "Balderdash!" : ROT!
"Balderdash" means a senseless jumble of words, and was originally (back before the late 1600s) a jumbled mix of liquids, like maybe beer and wine, or even beer and milk!.

70. Art Deco, for one : STYLE
Art deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of "30 Rock".

Down
4. Lyric unit : STANZA
"Stanza" is the Italian word for a "verse of a poem".

6. ___ Beta Kappa : PHI
Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for "philosophia biou kybernētēs", which translates from Greek into "philosophy is the guide of life". The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

7. Software platform suitable for Starbucks? : JAVA
Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java was originally designed for interactive television, but didn’t fit the needs at the time. Back then it was called Oak, named after an oak tree that stood outside the designer’s office. Later it was called Green, and finally named Java, which was simply picked out of a list of random words.

Back in 1850, the name "java" was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java, and the usage of the term spread from there.

Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in the Herman Melville book “Moby Dick”.

8. Actress Stone of "Casino" : SHARON
Actress Sharon Stone's big break came with her appearance in the erotic thriller "Basic Instinct" released in 1992. Stone really hasn't landed huge roles in big movies since then, other than the role of Ginger in "Casino", for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Personally I enjoyed her performance in 1994's "The Specialist", an entertaining action film in which she played opposite Sylvester Stallone and James Woods.

“Casino” is a 1995 Martin Scorsese film. One of the movie’s stars is Robert De Niro, someone who collaborated with Scorsese in eight films in all, "Casino" being the last.

10. New Jersey governor whose first name starts his last name : CHRISTIE
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is a prominent member of the Republican Party, and is often cited as a potential candidate in the 2016 presidential campaign. Christie is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and has attended over a hundred Springsteen concerts.

11. "Moby-Dick" captain : AHAB
Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly Captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick".

13. TV's "___ Factor" : THE X
"The X Factor" is another one of Simon Cowell's TV shows and now a worldwide franchise, a show that searches for talented singers. "The X Factor" is in effect a spin-off the the UK show "Pop Idol" (produced as "American Idol" here in the US). And "The X Factor" is here in America as well. Oh joy ...

30. ___ Tots : TATER
Ore-Ida founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

31. Son of Seth : ENOS
Enos was the son of Seth and the grandson of Adam and Eve.

32. Investment firm T. ___ Price : ROWE
T. Rowe Price is an investment company based in Baltimore that was founded in 1937 by Thomas Rowe Price, Jr.

33. "___ Never Meet Again" (Elvis song) : IF WE
“If We Never Meet Again” is a song released by Elvis Presley on his 1960 gospel album “His Hand in Mine”.

34. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA
The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It's well worth a visit if you are in town …

38. Hormone in the pill : ESTROGEN
“The Pill” is more correctly called “the combined oral contraceptive pill”. The formulation is a combination of an estrogen called estradiol and a progestogen called progestin.

39. Quaker pronoun : THEE
Members of the Religious Society of Friends are known as Friends or Quakers. The Christian sect started in England in the 1640s, led by George Fox. The principal tenet at that point was that Christians could have direct experience of Jesus Christ without the mediation of clergy, a reflection of the increasing dissatisfaction with the established church at that time. The term “Quaker” is thought to have been used earlier in reference to foreign religious sects whose followers were given to fits of shaking during religious fervor. Somehow that term became used for members of the Religious Society of Friends.

46. 33 1/3, for a record album: Abbr. : RPM
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33 1/3 rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm "single" the following year, in 1949.

49. "Bald" baby bird : EAGLET
The Bald Eagle is sometimes referred to as the American eagle. It is both the national bird and the national animal of the USA, and appears on the US Seal.

52. Outdoor meals with hamburgers or hot dogs, say, in brief : BBQS
It is believed that our word “barbecue” comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

53. Fidel Castro's brother and successor : RAUL
Raul Castro is the younger brother of Fidel Castro. Raul has been President of Cuba since 2008, when Fidel stepped aside.

56. Commercial prefix with postale : AERO-
Aéropostale was a French aviation company founded in 1918 in Toulouse. When Aéropostale was founded, its focus was to be carrying mail, hence the name. The Aéropostale clothing retailer takes its name from the airline.

58. "___ meeny miney mo" : EENY
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

59. The "N" of N.A.A.C.P.: Abbr. : NATL
The full name of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is remarkable in that it actually still uses the old offensive term "colored people". The NAACP was founded in 1909, by a group that included suffragette and journalist Mary White Ovington, wealthy socialist William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moscowitz. Another member of the founding group was W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University.

60. Scottish Gaelic : ERSE
There are actually three Erse languages. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "America's Most Wanted" host John : WALSH
6. Bedwear, informally : PJS
9. Meager : SCANT
14. Prized violin : AMATI
15. Triumphant cry : HAH!
16. "Yup" : UH-HUH
17. Operatic singer on a sofa? : DIVAN DIVA
19. "I ___ for animals" (bumper sticker) : BRAKE
20. Taken care of : SEEN TO
21. Curved path : ARC
23. Mountain goat : IBEX
24. Kooky : ZANY
26. Ins' partner : OUTS
28. Chitchat about a dressmaking template? : PATTERN PATTER
33. "May ___ excused?" : I BE
35. Former part of Portuguese India : GOA
36. Set of keys? : PIANO
37. Complimentary road service in Sierra Leone's capital? : FREETOWN FREE TOW
42. Like Dylan Thomas, by birth : WELSH
43. Oozy stuff : GOO
44. 180 degrees from WNW : ESE
45. Egg-hunting time in the Orient? : EASTERN EASTER
50. "___ Man," Emilio Estevez film : REPO
51. Former capital of Italy? : LIRA
52. Pizazz : BRIO
55. Many a C.E.O.'s deg. : MBA
57. Broadway's ___ O'Neill Theater : EUGENE
61. Sheriff's star : BADGE
63. Memorize lines for a Shakespearean king? : LEARN LEAR
65. Evil character in "Snow White" : QUEEN
66. Mess up : ERR
67. Superman's adoptive parents : KENTS
68. "Pasted" or "wasted," for "drunk" : SLANG
69. "Balderdash!" : ROT!
70. Art Deco, for one : STYLE

Down
1. Money rolls : WADS
2. Parisian girlfriend : AMIE
3. Wash : LAVE
4. Lyric unit : STANZA
5. Insinuate : HINT AT
6. ___ Beta Kappa : PHI
7. Software platform suitable for Starbucks? : JAVA
8. Actress Stone of "Casino" : SHARON
9. Easily pranked teacher, maybe : SUB
10. New Jersey governor whose first name starts his last name : CHRISTIE
11. "Moby-Dick" captain : AHAB
12. Zap in the microwave : NUKE
13. TV's "___ Factor" : THE X
18. "Please stay!" : DON’T GO!
22. Quarter of a quart : CUP
25. "Man, that hurts!" : YEOW!
27. Reel-to-reel ___ : TAPE
28. Banana skins : PEELS
29. Mountain chain : RANGE
30. ___ Tots : TATER
31. Son of Seth : ENOS
32. Investment firm T. ___ Price : ROWE
33. "___ Never Meet Again" (Elvis song) : IF WE
34. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA
38. Hormone in the pill : ESTROGEN
39. Quaker pronoun : THEE
40. Baby horse : FOAL
41. More optimistic : ROSIER
46. 33 1/3, for a record album: Abbr. : RPM
47. More high-minded : NOBLER
48. Elephants' feelers : TRUNKS
49. "Bald" baby bird : EAGLET
52. Outdoor meals with hamburgers or hot dogs, say, in brief : BBQS
53. Fidel Castro's brother and successor : RAUL
54. Notion : IDEA
56. Commercial prefix with postale : AERO-
58. "___ meeny miney mo" : EENY
59. The "N" of N.A.A.C.P.: Abbr. : NATL
60. Scottish Gaelic : ERSE
62. Coll. major of many writers : ENG
64. Paintings, sculptures, etc. : ART


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3 comments :

andrea carla michaels said...

wow, thanks for such a thorough interesting explanations of all the clues!!! I don't know how you do it! And to learn that AMATI's first name was Andrea!!!! A secret shout out to myself that I wasn't even aware of!!!
Keep up the good work of your amazing blog!

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Andrea.

You are so kind to drop by, and are always welcome! Another remarkable theme idea, especially for a Monday. I really don't know how you come up with these ideas.

And violin-making, a new hobby for you that could be in your blood, Andrea :)

Anonymous said...

A good challenge for a Monday morning. I had no problem with ERSE, AMATI and ENOS, but WALSH and THE X left me completely clueless. I don't spend much time in front of the television, unless I'm watching news, weather, etc. The one answer with which I would take issue is BBQS. I tend to forget that you people up north refer to backyard cookouts, where burgers and hot dogs are grilled over charcoal, as "BBQS." In Texas, we do not. We call that "charcoal grilling," and reserve the hallowed term "barbecue" (no Q) for the art of smoking beef (not pork) over a slow smoldering wood fire.

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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.

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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