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0308-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Mar 14, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 25m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Home to the Great Mosque : MECCA
The largest mosque in the world is Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, sometimes referred to in English as the Sacred Mosque or the Grand Mosque. Al-Masjid Al-Haram is home to the Kaaba, the most sacred location in Islam. Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba when performing formal worship known as Salat.

15. It included a moonwalk : APOLLO XII
The Apollo 12 mission included the second moon landing, a landing that took place just four months after Neil Armstrong became the first man to step onto the moon's surface. The main goal for the crew of Apollo 12 was to make a more precise landing than Apollo 11. The target for the landing was close to Surveyor 3 which had been on the moon for over two years. Amazingly, the Apollo 12 lander hit the spot, allowing the astronauts to visit Surveyor 3 and bring the unmanned lander's camera back to Earth.

16. Spirit of St. Petersburg? : STOLI
Stolichnaya is a brand of Russian vodka made from wheat and rye grain. Well, "Stoli" originated in Russia but now it’s made in Latvia, which is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label.

St. Petersburg in Russia is simply a beautiful city to visit. The city was renamed to Petrograd in 1914, Leningrad in 1924 and back to St. Petersburg in 1991.

18. West African capital : DAKAR
The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar, a city located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.

19. Old sitcom sot : OTIS
Otis Campbell is the town drunk on the sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show”. Campbell was played by actor Hal Smith. The character was dropped in the late sixties as sponsors became concerned about being associated with heavy drinking.

20. Pimienta's partner : SAL
In Spanish, one might partner set the pepper (pimienta) by the salt (sal).

21. Many instant message recipients : AOLERS
Even though instant messaging (sending IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties.

22. "Sketches" pseudonym : BOZ
Charles Dickens used the pen-name Boz early in his career. He had already established himself as the most famous novelist of the Victorian Era when he came to visit America in 1842. He was honored by 3,000 of New York's elite at a "Boz Ball" in the Park Theater.

“Sketches by ‘Boz’” is a book of short pieces by Charles Dickens that was first published in 1836, with illustrations by George Cruikshank.

23. Bad-tempered : BILIOUS
The term “bilious” means “relating to bile”. It has come to mean ”ill-humored”.

25. Compress, as a file : ZIP
.zip is a compressed file format that has become widely accepted. The name “.zip” was chosen to indicate that the compression process was faster than the processes for formats available when it was introduced, in 1989.

32. Fat-derived : STEARIC
Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid that takes its name from the Greek “stéar” meaning “tallow”. ost of the stearic acid that we use comes from animal fat, although a small percentage can be derived from plant sources. Stearic acid is commonly used in the production of detergents, soaps, cosmetics, shampoos and shaving creams. As the stearic acid comes mainly from slaughtered animals, the use of such products is problematic for many vegans.

34. Havana highball : MOJITO
A Mojito is a Cuban cocktail, although the exact origins appear to be unclear, as does the derivation of the name. Want one? Put 4 mint leaves in a glass, and add the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Muddle the ingredients, smashing them together with a muddler or a spoon. Add some crushed ice, two ounces of white rum and stir. Top with a couple of ounces of club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint and/or a slice of lime. Cheers!

41. Beech house? : NEST
Beech wood is prized as firewood as it burns for many hours with a bright flame and is easily split.

42. Quarter of zwölf : DREI
In German, one quarter of twelve (zwölf) is three (drei).

44. Tables in western scenes : MESAS
"Mesa" is the Spanish for "table" and is of course is how we get the term "mesa" that describes a geographic feature.

48. Word after red : ANT
Fire ants are stinging ants, many species of which are called red ants. Most stinging ants bite their prey and then spray acid on the wound. The fire ant however, bites to hold on and then injects an alkaloid venom from its abdomen, creating a burning sensation in humans that have been nipped.

51. "___ I forsook the crowded solitude": Wordsworth : ERE
Scarcely was a year thus spent
Ere I forsook the crowded solitude,
With less regret for its luxurious pomp,
And all the nicely-guarded shows of art,
Than for the humble book-stalls in the streets,
Exposed to eye and hand where'er I turned.
The above are lines from the William Wordsworth poem “The Prelude”.

“The Prelude” is an autobiographical poem by William Wordsworth. Wordsworth started this epic when he was 28 years old and continued to work on it throughout his whole life, It was eventually published by Wordsworth’s wife in 1850, after the poet had died.

52. Walters portrayer on "S.N.L." : RADNER
Gilda Radner was a comedian and actress, one of the original cast members of the hit television show “Saturday Night Live”. Radner left her first husband to marry comedic actor Gene Wilder, whom she met while they were both filming the Sidney Poitier movie “Hanky Panky”.

Barbara Walters was originally quite upset at the caricature of her performed by Saturday Night Live star, Gilda Radner. She took offense at Radner exaggerating her speech impediment, which of course led to the name "Baba Wawa" being used for "Barbara Walters". However, when she saw that her own daughter found the skit to be hilarious, Barbara decided that she needed to lighten up.

54. Dance piece? : CHA
The cha-cha-cha is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

55. Thé addition : LAIT
In French, one might milk (lait) to one’s tea (thé).

57. Big-name Web crawler : GOOGLEBOT
Googlebot is the search software used by Google to search the web and index information for Google searches. Googlebot crawls all over this blog many times a day, hopefully helping crossword solvers find it when needed …

59. "The Asphalt Jungle" revolves around one : HEIST
"The Asphalt Jungle" is a 1950 film directed by John Huston that is based on a novel of the same name by W. R. Bernett. The movie tells the story of the planning and execution of a jewel heist. Included in the cast is a young Marilyn Monroe who plays a minor role.

60. Like Francisco Goya : ARAGONESE
Aragon is one of the autonomous communities of Spain, located in the northern part of the country on the border with France.

Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter, often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya's most famous works are "The Nude Maja" and "The Clothed Maja".

61. "Breaking Away" director : YATES
Peter Yates was an English film director and producer. His first film as a director is very well known by folks back in my part of the world. Released in 1963, the film “Summer Holiday” is a very lightweight vehicle for the singer Cliff Richard. Over in the US Yates is better remembered for directing the likes of “Bullitt” (1968), “Breaking Away” (1979) and “The Deep” (1977).

62. She "made a fool of everyone," in song : SEXY SADIE
“Sexy Sadie” is a song written by John Lennon and released by the Beatles in 1968. Lennon wrote the song in India, and its original title was “Maharishi”.

Down
1. A. J. ___, author of the best seller "The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World" : JACOBS
A. J. Jacobs is a journalist and author from New York City who works for “Esquire” magazine. Jacobs is noted for his exploits as an “immersion journalist” where he immerses himself in a project or lifestyle and then writes about what he has learned. In one of his experiments, Jacobs read every volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, all 32 of them. This experience was the basis of his book "The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World".

2. Director of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "This Is 40" : APATOW
Judd Apatow is best known for producing the TV series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared". Not my cup of tea ...

"The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is a 2005 comedy film that was written, produced and directed by Judd Apatow. Steve Carell stars as a middle-aged man trying to lose his virginity. I haven’t seen it …

4. Some Yale degs. : LLDS
The honorary degree of Legum Doctor (LL.D.) translates from the Latin as Doctor of Laws, a plural. This practice of using the plural originated in Cambridge University in England, as one was awarded an LL.D. after having been taught both Canon Law and Civil Law.

5. Nellie who wrote "Ten Days in a Mad-House" : BLY
Nellie Bly was a pen name of an American journalist whose real name was Elizabeth Cochran. In 1888, Bly took a trip around the world, emulating the fictional trip of Phileas Fogg in "Around the World in Eighty Days". She departed from New York and arrived back in San Francisco two days behind schedule, jeopardizing her goal of beating the "eighty days". The owner of her newspaper chartered a private train for her and she made it back to New York in just over 72 days. Quite a woman ...

6. Martini accompanier? : ROSSI
The company that is today known as Martini & Rossi was started in the mid-1800s in Italy, by Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi (and a third partner who sold out years later). From day one it was focused on bottling the fortified wine known as vermouth. Nowadays, the company is also famous for its sparkling wines, and its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing teams. And yes, the famous cocktail is probably named for Mr. Martini.

7. Uses a drunkometer, e.g. : EXHALES
What we know today as the breathalyzer was introduced in 1931 as a device called the “drunkometer”.

8. Provençal spreads : AIOLIS
To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, the “home” of aioli, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

9. 100-at currency unit : KIP
The kip has been the unit of currency in Laos since 1952. One kip is divided into 100 att.

10. It was run in the 1980s-'90s : MS-DOS
MS-DOS (short for Microsoft Disk Operating System) was the main operating system used by IBM-compatible PCs in the eighties and for much of the nineties.

12. Tab alternative : COKE ZERO
Even though Coca-Cola Zero is in the category of "diet soda", the marketing folks at Coca-Cola don't like its association with the word "diet". The target market for the beverage is young adult males, so it is described as "calorie-free" rather than "diet", the assumption being that males associate "diet" with women.

Tab was the first diet cola introduced by the Coca-Cola company, in 1963. It was produced as a competitor to the very successful Diet Rite cola that was made by RC Cola. The name “Tab” was used as the beverage was aimed at people who wanted to keep “tabs” on their weight.

13. Big name in allergy relief : CLARITIN
Claritin is a trade name for the drug loratadine, which is used to treat allergies.

21. ___ Anne's (pretzel maker) : AUNTIE
Auntie Anne’s is a chain of pretzel bakeries that was founded in 1988. The chain started out as a simple stand in a farmer’s market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. There are now almost 900 outlets in about a dozen countries.

23. Ultra ___ : BRITE
Ultra Brite is a toothpaste and tooth-whitener that became popular in the seventies.

31. Hole in one on a par 5 hole : CONDOR
The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:
- Bogey: one over par
- Par
- Birdie: one under par
- Eagle: two under par
- Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
- Condor: four under par
No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

33. "No ___ is worse than bad advice": Sophocles : ENEMY
Sophocles was one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived. The first of these was Aeschylus, the second Sophocles, and the third Euripides. Sophocles is believed to have written 123 plays, the most famous of which are "Antigone" and "Oedipus the King".

34. Bahrain, Bhutan or Brunei : MONARCHY
Bahrain is an island nation located off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia by a series of causeways and bridges constructed in the eighties.

Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia located between China to the north and India to the south, east and west. Bhutan has been a constitutional monarchy since 2008, and has been ranked by “Businessweek” as the “happiest” country in Asia.

36. Popular line of footwear? : JUST DO IT
“Just do it” is a slogan used by Nike.

39. Endurance race, briefly : TRI
An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked to come up with the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finished first would be called "the Iron Man". The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

40. Cardiff Giant, e.g. : BIG HOAX
In the 1860s, a New York tobacconist named George Hull ordered a 10-foot long block of gypsum from Iowa and shipped it to Chicago. There he had a German stonecutter carve the block into the likeness of a man, swearing him to secrecy. The “statue” was stained and mechanically aged to make it look weathered. The completed “giant” was transported to the farm belonging to his cousin in Cardiff, New York, and there it was buried. A year later, on the pretext of digging a well, the statue was “discovered”, and was labelled as a petrified giant. The crowds started arriving in droves, paying good money to see the oddity. Very quickly experts deemed the Cardiff Giant to be a fake, but the money kept rolling in, especially after showman P. T. Barnum got involved. If you want to see the Cardiff Man today, it’s on display in the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

43. Cry for another piece : ENCORE!
"Encore" is the French word for "again".

45. Starfish setting : SEABED
Starfish come in many shapes and sizes, but commonly have "pentaradial symmetry", meaning they have symmetric body-shapes with five points. Most starfish are predators, mainly living on a diet of mollusks such as clams and oysters.

46. Some opera passages : ARIOSI
An arioso (plural “ariosi”) is part of an opera. An arioso's structure lies somewhere between that of a full-blown aria and speech-like recitative.

47. Parlor piece : SETTEE
“Settee” is another word for a couch. The term come from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

53. Thing twitched on "Bewitched" : NOSE
The delightful sitcom “Bewitched” originally ran on ABC from 1964 to 1972. The lead character in the show is Samantha Stephens, played by the lovely Elizabeth Montgomery. Elizabeth was the daughter of Hollywood star Robert Montgomery.

55. River known for the goldfields in its basin : LENA
The Lena River is in northern Russia, and empties into the Arctic Ocean.

58. "___ Tarantos" (1963 film) : LOS
“Los Tarantos” is a 1963 musical film that was nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Film. The film is based on a play by Alfredo Mañas, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cooler idea? : JAILBREAK
10. Home to the Great Mosque : MECCA
15. It included a moonwalk : APOLLO XII
16. Spirit of St. Petersburg? : STOLI
17. One stocking bars : CANDY SHOP
18. West African capital : DAKAR
19. Old sitcom sot : OTIS
20. Pimienta's partner : SAL
21. Many instant message recipients : AOLERS
22. "Sketches" pseudonym : BOZ
23. Bad-tempered : BILIOUS
25. Compress, as a file : ZIP
26. Turn the air blue : SWEAR
28. Where many games can be viewed : ESPN
29. Prefix with data : META-
30. Motor problems : TICS
32. Fat-derived : STEARIC
34. Havana highball : MOJITO
37. Recite mechanically : INTONE
38. Swank : OPULENT
40. Word before red : BEET
41. Beech house? : NEST
42. Quarter of zwölf : DREI
44. Tables in western scenes : MESAS
48. Word after red : ANT
49. Like time, inexorably : GOING BY
51. "___ I forsook the crowded solitude": Wordsworth : ERE
52. Walters portrayer on "S.N.L." : RADNER
54. Dance piece? : CHA
55. Thé addition : LAIT
56. Produce sentimental notes? : CROON
57. Big-name Web crawler : GOOGLEBOT
59. "The Asphalt Jungle" revolves around one : HEIST
60. Like Francisco Goya : ARAGONESE
61. "Breaking Away" director : YATES
62. She "made a fool of everyone," in song : SEXY SADIE

Down
1. A. J. ___, author of the best seller "The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World" : JACOBS
2. Director of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "This Is 40" : APATOW
3. Turn positive, say : IONIZE
4. Some Yale degs. : LLDS
5. Nellie who wrote "Ten Days in a Mad-House" : BLY
6. Martini accompanier? : ROSSI
7. Uses a drunkometer, e.g. : EXHALES
8. Provençal spreads : AIOLIS
9. 100-at currency unit : KIP
10. It was run in the 1980s-'90s : MS-DOS
11. Abbr. for the listless? : ET AL
12. Tab alternative : COKE ZERO
13. Big name in allergy relief : CLARITIN
14. It's flown in : AIRSPACE
21. ___ Anne's (pretzel maker) : AUNTIE
23. Ultra ___ : BRITE
24. Quick missions? : OPS
27. Slightly biased? : ATILT
29. Like some finishes : MATTE
31. Hole in one on a par 5 hole : CONDOR
33. "No ___ is worse than bad advice": Sophocles : ENEMY
34. Bahrain, Bhutan or Brunei : MONARCHY
35. Clearing : OPEN AREA
36. Popular line of footwear? : JUST DO IT
39. Endurance race, briefly : TRI
40. Cardiff Giant, e.g. : BIG HOAX
43. Cry for another piece : ENCORE!
45. Starfish setting : SEABED
46. Some opera passages : ARIOSI
47. Parlor piece : SETTEE
49. Word on a restroom door : GENTS
50. Loose : BAGGY
53. Thing twitched on "Bewitched" : NOSE
55. River known for the goldfields in its basin : LENA
57. Sign on an interstate : GAS
58. "___ Tarantos" (1963 film) : LOS


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2 comments :

lance berquist said...

Why in the solutionns are the answers sometimes shaded or red colored

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Lance.

The answer to your question about the shaded squares can be found here.

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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.

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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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