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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! Today's hike was in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where we passed a tree over 4,750 years old. Getting close to home ...

Bill

0307-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Mar 14, Friday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Ginsberg
THEME: Distressing TV Shows … we have a mini-theme today. The names of three TV shows spell out a parent’s distressed cry, when read in sequence:
15A. TV show that debuted on 11/3/93 (and start of a parent's distressed cry?) : THE NANNY
39A. TV show that debuted on 9/22/04 (middle of the cry) : LOST
43A. TV show that debuted on 1/5/70 (end of the cry) : ALL MY CHILDREN
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 27m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Container for Rip Van Winkle : FLAGON
A flagon is a large jug with a lid, traditionally used for holding beer or wine.

"Rip Van Winkle" is a short story written by Washington Irving. The story was an instant hit, and was adapted for the stage just a few years after its first publication in 1819. Since then "Rip" has featured on the small screen, big screen and even in an operetta.

15. TV show that debuted on 11/3/93 (and start of a parent's distressed cry?) : THE NANNY
“The Nanny” is a sitcom that originally aired in the nineties and starred Fran Drescher in the title role. The show was created and produced by Peter Marc Jacobson who was Drescher’s husband at the time.

16. Furnishing in many a tearoom : TATAMI
A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

20. ___' Pea : SWEE
Originally Popeye used the nickname "Swee'pea" to address his girlfriend Olive Oyl. Then along comes a baby, found on Popeye's doorstep. Popeye adopts the little guy and raises him, calling him "Swee'Pea".

22. "The king of terrors," per Job 18 : DEATH
He is torn from the security of his tent and marched off to the king of terrors.

23. Anklebones : TALI
The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the foot are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called the ankle bone. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

27. Guilty pleasure? : SCHADENFREUDE
Our word schadenfreude of course comes from German. "Schaden" means harm or adversity, and "Freude" means joy. So, schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Quite the opposite of pity.

31. Poetic member of a Greek nonet : ERATO
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:
- Calliope (epic poetry)
- Clio (history)
- Erato (lyric poetry)
- Euterpe (music)
- Melpomene (tragedy)
- Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
- Terpsichore (dance)
- Thalia (comedy)
- Urania (astronomy)

33. Org. in "Breaking Bad" : DEA
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

I hadn’t seen the AMC drama “Breaking Bad” until relatively recently when my wife borrowed the first and second seasons from our local library. It is a well-written show about a high school teacher stricken by lung cancer who turns to a life of crime to make money.

36. Setting for "The Shining" : MAZE
In the 1980 film “The Shining”, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the action takes play at the Overlook Hotel. Some of the scarier scenes takes place in the hedge maze that grows on the hotel’s grounds.

37. Bogart role : SPADE
The classic detective novel "The Maltese Falcon" was written by Dashiell Hammett and first published in 1930. The main character if of course Sam Spade, famously played by Humphrey Bogart in the third movie adaptation of the book, released in 1941.

39. TV show that debuted on 9/22/04 (middle of the cry) : LOST
“Lost” is a science fiction drama that originally aired from 2004 to 2010. The show kicks off with a passenger airliner crashing a tropical island as it flies from Sydney bound for Los Angeles. I haven’t seen the show myself and hear that the intriguing plot didn’t really come to a satisfying conclusion. Others would disagree …

40. Corporate giant co-founded by Thomas Watson : IBM
Thomas J Watson was at the helm of IBM during the company’s greatest periods of growth, from 1914 to 1956. There is a famous quotation often attributed to Watson: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”. However, there seems to be no evidence that he ever said such a thing, or even agreed with its substance.

41. Jackie with acting chops : CHAN
Jackie Chan is an actor from Hong Kong who is noted for his action and martial arts films. When Chan was 17-years-old he featured as a stunt actor in Bruce Lee movies. He also starred in the 1982 Hong Kong action film “Dragon Lord” which includes a fight scene that required an amazing 2900 takes, a record in the movie industry.

43. TV show that debuted on 1/5/70 (end of the cry) : ALL MY CHILDREN
“All My Children” was the first daytime soap opera to debut in the seventies. Star of the show was Susan Lucci who played Erica Kane. The show was cancelled in 2011 after having being on the air for 41 years.

47. Greek hunter trained by Chiron : ACTAEON
The hunter of Greek mythology called Actaeon was trained by the centaur Chiron, as was Achilles.

49. Language that gave us "slogan," originally meaning "battle cry" : ERSE
Our word “slogan” comes from the Gaelic “sluagh-ghairm”, which was a battle cry used in Scotland and Ireland. We’ve been using “slogan” to mean a phrase used by a political or other movement since the early 1700s.

50. Dreaded sort? : RASTA
I must admit that I don't really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a "Rasta", like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

Dreadlocks are matted coils of hair nowadays usually formed intentionally, although if one lets hair grow out without grooming then it naturally forms twisted and matted dreadlocks. The hairstyle is associated with the Rastafarian movement in which "dread" is a very positive term meaning "fear of the Lord".

53. Noted septet : SEAS
The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:
- The North Pacific Ocean
- The South Pacific Ocean
- The North Atlantic Ocean
- The South Atlantic Ocean
- The Indian Ocean
- The Southern Ocean
- The Arctic Ocean

57. Trojan rivals : BRUINS
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.

61. Merino, Suffolk and Dorset : OVINES
The Latin word for "sheep" is "ovis", giving us the adjective "ovine", meaning "like a sheep".

Down
2. Pet project? : CHIA
Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family, and the Chia Pet is an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terracotta figurines to which are applied moistened chia seeds. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the "fur" of the Chia Pet.

3. "Etta ___" (old comic strip) : KETT
“Etta Kett” was a comic strip that first ran in 1925. The strip ceased to be published in 1974, when creator Paul Robinson passed away. The initial intent was to offer tips to teenagers on manners and social graces, hence the name of the title character Etta Kett (sounds like “etiquette”).

5. Turner of pages in history : NAT
Nat Turner was a slave in Virginia who led a slave rebellion in 1831 that led to the deaths of over a hundred people. Half of the casualties were white,and half were black. The 55 white deaths took place on the day of the rebellion as a growing mob of slaves traveled from house-to-house freeing fellow slaves but also killing any white people they came across; men, women and children. The rebellion was suppressed within two days by a white militia. Slaves involved in the rebellion were tried for insurrection and related crimes, and a total of 56 blacks were executed on suspicion of involvement in the uprising. In the aftermath, life for slaves became even more difficult as any freedoms that they had earned were largely curtailed.

6. Put on a key? : ENISLE
A "key" (also "cay") is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish "cayo" meaning "shoal, reef".

8. Burnsian "ago" : SYNE
The song "Auld Lang Syne" is a staple at New Year's Eve, the words of which were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

9. Govt. agency that supports competition : FTC
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers. The FTC runs the National Do Not Call Registry which can limit the amount of telemarketing calls that consumers receive. To register your number, simply go to the website www.donotcall.gov.

26. Word on a biblical wall : MENE
In the Book of Daniel, there is the story of the words "Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharson" being written mysteriously on the walls of the royal place. This story is the origin of the phrase "the writing's on the wall".

28. Zodiac symbol : CRAB
“Cancer” is the Latin word for “crab”.

34. To be in ancient times? : ESSE
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

37. Chucklehead : SHMO
“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

38. Alexander who directed "Nebraska" : PAYNE
Alexander Payne is a film director from Omaha, Nebraska. Payne’s most famous movies would be “Election” (1999), “About Schmidt” (2002) and “Sideways” (2004), all of which I would recommend. Payne was married for a few years to actress Sandra Oh who he directed in the film “Sideways”.

39. Guiding light : LODESTAR
A lodestar (an term rarely used now) is a bright star that's used nor navigation purposes. The most famous would be Polaris, the Pole Star, which is very close to true north. The name lodestar comes from the days of early compasses, when a naturally magnetic stone was used to detect magnetic north. These stones were called lodestones.

41. Pledge, e.g. : CLEANER
Pledge is a dusting and cleaning product made by S. C. Johnson. Pledge is sold in other countries as Pronto, Pliz and Blem.

42. Literary inits. : RLS
Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish author, famous for his novels “Treasure Island”, “Kidnapped” and “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

44. Marco Rubio, for one : LATINO
Marco Rubio is the junior US Senator from Florida, a member of the Republican Party who has been in office since January 2011. Senator Rubio’s name has been closely associated with the Tea Party movement.

45. Straight : HETERO
“Heterosuxuality” is sexual attraction between person of the opposite gender. The profix “hetero-” comes from the Greek “heteros” meaning “different, other”.

46. Will Smith flick of 2004 : I, ROBOT
“I, Robot” is an interesting 2002 science fiction film starring Will Smith that is loosely based on the excellent collection of short stories of the same name by Isaac Asimov.

47. Subject of a celebration on the last Friday in April : ARBOR
Arbor Day is a holiday each year in which people traditionally plant and care for trees. The first Arbor Day was held way back in 1872.

58. Retired boomer : SST
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s AĆ©rospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments.

60. Texter's "No way!" : OMG
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cause for squirming : ICKINESS
9. Container for Rip Van Winkle : FLAGON
15. TV show that debuted on 11/3/93 (and start of a parent's distressed cry?) : THE NANNY
16. Furnishing in many a tearoom : TATAMI
17. Officer's "gift" : CITATION
18. Lemony, for example : CITRIC
19. Roles, metaphorically : HATS
20. ___' Pea : SWEE
22. "The king of terrors," per Job 18 : DEATH
23. Anklebones : TALI
25. In the company of : AMONGST
27. Guilty pleasure? : SCHADENFREUDE
31. Poetic member of a Greek nonet : ERATO
32. Having a gaping hole, say : RENT
33. Org. in "Breaking Bad" : DEA
36. Setting for "The Shining" : MAZE
37. Bogart role : SPADE
39. TV show that debuted on 9/22/04 (middle of the cry) : LOST
40. Corporate giant co-founded by Thomas Watson : IBM
41. Jackie with acting chops : CHAN
42. Sit on it : ROOST
43. TV show that debuted on 1/5/70 (end of the cry) : ALL MY CHILDREN
47. Greek hunter trained by Chiron : ACTAEON
49. Language that gave us "slogan," originally meaning "battle cry" : ERSE
50. Dreaded sort? : RASTA
51. Outside: Prefix : ECTO-
53. Noted septet : SEAS
57. Trojan rivals : BRUINS
59. Transfer, as wine : REBOTTLE
61. Merino, Suffolk and Dorset : OVINES
62. Like Christmas candles, typically : AROMATIC
63. "Says who?," e.g. : RETORT
64. So-so : NOT GREAT

Down
1. It may come with a bite : ITCH
2. Pet project? : CHIA
3. "Etta ___" (old comic strip) : KETT
4. Worked up : IN A STATE
5. Turner of pages in history : NAT
6. Put on a key? : ENISLE
7. Isolate, somehow : SNOW IN
8. Burnsian "ago" : SYNE
9. Govt. agency that supports competition : FTC
10. Presented : LAID OUT
11. See (to) : ATTEND
12. Thing often controlled by a remote : GARAGE DOOR
13. Drops : OMITS
14. Not in Germany? : NICHT
21. Ending with dog or jug : EARED
24. Flurry : ADO
26. Word on a biblical wall : MENE
27. Certain playoff game : SEMI
28. Zodiac symbol : CRAB
29. Requirement for special handling? : HAZMAT SUIT
30. Swiss standard : FRANC
34. To be in ancient times? : ESSE
35. Subj. line alert : ATTN
37. Chucklehead : SHMO
38. Alexander who directed "Nebraska" : PAYNE
39. Guiding light : LODESTAR
41. Pledge, e.g. : CLEANER
42. Literary inits. : RLS
44. Marco Rubio, for one : LATINO
45. Straight : HETERO
46. Will Smith flick of 2004 : I, ROBOT
47. Subject of a celebration on the last Friday in April : ARBOR
48. Chisel : CARVE
52. Lead-in to Apple : CRAN-
54. Trix alternative? : -ETTE
55. Inter ___ : ALIA
56. Ending with inter- : SECT
58. Retired boomer : SST
60. Texter's "No way!" : OMG


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3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Donald, I prefer your website over any other. Your explanations of various clues, as well as your lack of arrogance, are interesting and appreciated. KIM

Anonymous said...

I meant BILL, not donald! KIM

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kim.

Thanks for the knd words about the blog. I appreciate it. And so does Donald :)

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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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