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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

0313-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Mar 14, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Vratsanos
THEME: Color by Number … in today’s answer grid we have four cases of a COLOR placed BY a NUMBER:
4D. Bureaucracy : RED TAPE
5D. Mashie niblick : SIX IRON

9D. 2010 installment in the Call of Duty series : BLACK OPS
10D. Like some primitive game graphics : EIGHT-BIT

33D. Teal relative : SEA GREEN
34D. Not too hard a golf hole : PAR THREE

42D. Sunbathe : GET A TAN
43D. "Piece of cake!" : EASY ONE!

13D. Kid's art activity ... or something seen four times in this puzzle's solution? : COLOR BY NUMBER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 25m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. "Giant" novelist, 1952 : FERBER
Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel "So Big", which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman.

“Giant” is a 1952 novel by author Edna Ferber. It was adapted into a successful Hollywood movie released in 1956. In the film, Bick Benedict (played by Rock Hudson) marries Leslie (played by Elizabeth Taylor) and takes his new wife home to the family ranch in Texas called Reata. The ranch's handyman is Jett Rink, played by James Dean. Dean was killed in a car accident before the film was released. Some of of Dean’s line needed work before the film could be released and so another actor had to do that voice-over work.

12. Country that calls itself the "Abode of Peace" : BRUNEI
The official name of Brunei is the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. Brunei is situated in the island of Borneo, almost completely surrounded by Malaysia. Brunei's government is dictated by the constitution adopted in 1959, and is ruled by a sultan with full executive authority.

13. Shakespeare character who says "Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave / My heart into my mouth" : CORDELIA
Cordelia was the legendary Queen of the Britons, the youngest daughter of Leir. Cordelia and Leir supposedly reigned before the Romans invaded Britain. Cordelia, her father and her two sisters were immortalized by William Shakespeare in his play “King Lear”.

15. Like only one Best Picture in Academy Award history (1969) : RATED X
The 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy” is a Hollywood adaptation of a novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It’s a pretty depressing story about a young Texan (played by Jon Voight) who heads to New York City to make money as a hustler, hiring himself out to women for sex. Pretty soon the young man ends up selling his body for sex with males as well. Prior to release the MPAA gave the movie an R-rating, but the United Artists studio took advice and decided to release it with an X-rating. When “Midnight Cowboy” won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1969, it became the only X-rated film to be so honored.

16. Essay locale : OP-ED PAGE
Op-ed is an abbreviation for "opposite the editorial page". Op-eds started in "The New York Evening World" in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

17. Stylish 1960s luxury coupe : AVANTI
The Studebaker Avanti is a luxury coupe car that was produced in 1962 and 1963. The Avanti is was unique in its day, a personal car that was high-performance. It actually broke a lot of speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

18. Louis Malle's "___ Amants" : LES
“Les Amants” (“The Lovers”) is a 1958 French movie directed by Louis Malle when he was just 25 years old. The film was a great success in France but when it was first shown here in the US, a theater manager was actually convicted of distributing obscene material.

23. Gold units: Abbr. : KTS
A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

25. 2000 Richard Gere title role : DR T
The 2000 movie "Dr. T & the Women" is a pretty good film, starring Richard Gere in the title role. There can't be many romantic comedies about gynecologists ...

26. D : POOR
D is a poor grade.

28. Mycobacterium, e.g. : AEROBE
An aerobe is an organism that lives in an environment rich in oxygen. An anaerobe on the other hand does not require oxygen for survival.

Mycobacterium is a genus of bacteria that includes pathogens that can cause serious diseases, such as tuberculosis and leprosy. The prefix “myco-”, meaning “fungus”, is a reference to the way that many mycobacteria grow like molds on the surface of liquids.

30. One of the vertices of the Summer Triangle : DENEB
Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation called Cygnus, the Swan. The name "Deneb" comes from the Arabic word "dhaneb" meaning “tail”, as it lies at the tail of the swan.

The Summer Triangle is the name given to a pattern of stars seen in the northern hemisphere. It is so named as it sits almost directly overhead at midnight in most northern latitudes. The points of the triangle are the bright stars Altair, Deneb and Vega.

32. Boston legend Phil, to fans : ESPO
Phil "Espo" Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

35. Rembrandt van ___ : RYN
The celebrated Dutch painter's full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (sometimes Ryn). Rembrandt is perhaps most appreciated for his portraits, and left the world a remarkable collection of self-portraits.

37. Foundation stone abbr. : ESTD
Established (estd.)

41. Conrad of the silents : NAGEL
Conrad Nagel was a heartthrob on the silver screen in the silent film era. Nagel starred in a renowned movie from 1927 called “London After Midnight”, alongside Lon Chaney. The last known copy of the film was lost in a fire at MGM in 1967, and it has become the most famous and sought-after lost film in the world.

45. Eye part : UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

46. Diamond stats : DPS
Double plays (DPs)

49. Operative: Abbr. : AGT
Agent (agt.)

50. Subj. of 1991's Start treaty : ICBM
An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (as opposed to a cruise missile) an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff ...

START was a 1991 bilateral arms agreement between the US and USSR, with the acronym standing for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The two superpowers agreed to limit themselves to deploying no more than 6,000 nuclear warheads each worldwide. Even though 6,000 seems to be a large number, by the time START was finally implemented in 2001, 80% of the nuclear weapons in the world had been removed from service. START (now called START I) expired in 2009 and was replaced by the New START treaty signed in 2010.

54. Line score inits. : RHE
On baseball scoreboards we see the letters RHE, standing for Runs, Hits and Errors.

60. Lassitude : TORPOR
Languor, lassitude, lethargy and listlessness are such lovely words, all l-words meaning a lack of physical energy, torpor.

62. 11th-century founder of Scholasticism : ANSELM
Anselm was one of the Archbishops of Canterbury (in England) during Medieval times, from 1093 to 1109. As well as holding the important office within the Church, Anselm was an active and respected philosopher. He is often referred to as the founder of scholasticism, a method of learning that reigned in Medieval universities right across Europe for about 400 years.

63. Not hypothetical : IN ESSE
The Latin term "in esse" is used to mean "actually existing", and translates as "in being".

Down
1. Like the Cowardly Lion at the end of "The Wizard of Oz" : BRAVER
The movie “The Wizard of Oz” is full of irony. The Scarecrow wants to be intelligent and discovers he is already very smart. The Tin Man wants to be able to love and finds out that he already has a heart. The Lion thinks he is a coward but turns out to be fearless. And the big reveal is that the Wizard of Oz, who is positioned as all-powerful, is actually just a bumbling and eccentric old man.

3. Re : ANENT
“Anent” is a preposition meaning “regarding, concerning”.

5. Mashie niblick : SIX IRON
A kind blog reader pointed out to me that a mashie niblick is in fact a 7-iron, and not a 6-iron as suggested by the clue.

Most of the irons in a golf bag had non-numerical names in days gone by:
- 2 Iron ... Cleek
- 3 Iron ... Mid Mashie
- 4 Iron ... Mashie Iron
- 5 Iron ... Mashie
- 6 Iron ... Spade Mashie
- 7 Iron ... Mashie Niblick
- 8 Iron ... Pitching Niblick
- 9 Iron ... Niblick

6. Some diet drinks : FRESCAS
Fresca is a Coca Cola product introduced in 1966, and is unusual in that it has no Pepsi Cola equivalent. It has always been marketed as a 0-calorie grapefruit drink, and so it's artificially sweetened.

7. Teacher's advanced deg. : EDD
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

8. "___ Man" : 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 ...

9. 2010 installment in the Call of Duty series : BLACK OPS
“Call of Duty” is a incredibly successful series of video games that started out life on computers and is now available for gaming consoles and handhelds. The first version of this war game was set in WWII, which was followed by a series of “Modern Warfare” games. There are also “Black Ops” version and even something called “Call of Duty: Ghosts”.

10. Like some primitive game graphics : EIGHT-BIT
The difference between an 8-bit and 16-bit processor is the amount of memory that it can work with at the same time. So, 16-bit is “better” ...

11. "The Facts of Life" actress : RAE
Charlotte Rae is an American actress, best known for playing the character Edna Garrett on two sitcoms from the seventies and eighties: "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life". Towards the end of the series, the Edna Garrett character operated her own gourmet food shop called “Edna’s Edibles”.

22. SFO opponent in the 2012 World Series : DET
The San Francisco Giants won the 2012 World Series by sweeping the Detroit Tigers, winning the first four of the seven games scheduled.

27. Key preposition? : O’ER
The words "o'er the ramparts we watched" come from "The Star Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with the Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

30. Vietnamese currency : DONG
The Vietnamese đồng has been the country’s currency since 1978. The term “đồng” comes from “đồng tiền” meaning “money”.

32. Title character from the village of Highbury, 1815 : EMMA
The Jane Austen classic “Emma” is set in a fictional village called Highbury in the English county of Surrey.

"Emma" is just a wonderful novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1815. I had the privilege a few years ago of attending the premiere of "Emma", a delightful musical adaptation for the stage. If you ever get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it ...

33. Teal relative : SEA GREEN
The beautiful color of teal takes it name from the duck called a "teal", which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

36. Part of U.S.N.A.: Abbr. : NAV
The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

40. Vatican City vis-à-vis Rome : ENCLAVE
Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.

47. Radio activity? : PAYOLA
Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term "payola" comes from the words "pay" and "Victrola", an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

48. ___ whale : SPERM
The massive sperm whale takes its name from “spermaceti”, a waxy liquid that is found in its digestive system. The liquid was originally mistaken for the whale’s sperm, hence the name.

53. Breviloquent : TERSE
Someone described as “breviloquent” is known for having brevity of speech.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Swine : BOARS
6. "Giant" novelist, 1952 : FERBER
12. Country that calls itself the "Abode of Peace" : BRUNEI
13. Shakespeare character who says "Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave / My heart into my mouth" : CORDELIA
15. Like only one Best Picture in Academy Award history (1969) : RATED X
16. Essay locale : OP-ED PAGE
17. Stylish 1960s luxury coupe : AVANTI
18. Louis Malle's "___ Amants" : LES
19. Scottish exclamation : OCH!
20. Fruit juice : NECTAR
21. Like much music, starting in the late 1980s : ON CD
23. Gold units: Abbr. : KTS
25. 2000 Richard Gere title role : DR T
26. D : POOR
28. Mycobacterium, e.g. : AEROBE
30. One of the vertices of the Summer Triangle : DENEB
31. Start to break up a fight, say : STEP IN
32. Boston legend Phil, to fans : ESPO
35. Rembrandt van ___ : RYN
37. Foundation stone abbr. : ESTD
38. Dirty dog : MEANIE
41. Conrad of the silents : NAGEL
44. Noted part of a book? : MARGIN
45. Eye part : UVEA
46. Diamond stats : DPS
49. Operative: Abbr. : AGT
50. Subj. of 1991's Start treaty : ICBM
52. Women's shoe style : T-STRAP
54. Line score inits. : RHE
56. Highball? : LOB
57. Approval of an order : AYE AYE
58. Play to the balcony? : SERENADE
60. Lassitude : TORPOR
61. Faint : KEEL OVER
62. 11th-century founder of Scholasticism : ANSELM
63. Not hypothetical : IN ESSE
64. "___ lift?" : NEED A

Down
1. Like the Cowardly Lion at the end of "The Wizard of Oz" : BRAVER
2. Best on stage, say : OUTACT
3. Re : ANENT
4. Bureaucracy : RED TAPE
5. Mashie niblick : SIX IRON
6. Some diet drinks : FRESCAS
7. Teacher's advanced deg. : EDD
8. "___ Man" : REPO
9. 2010 installment in the Call of Duty series : BLACK OPS
10. Like some primitive game graphics : EIGHT-BIT
11. "The Facts of Life" actress : RAE
12. Leave a lasting mark on : BRAND
13. Kid's art activity ... or something seen four times in this puzzle's solution? : COLOR BY NUMBER
14. Public : OPEN
22. SFO opponent in the 2012 World Series : DET
24. Elate : SEND
27. Key preposition? : O’ER
29. Line holder : REEL
30. Vietnamese currency : DONG
32. Title character from the village of Highbury, 1815 : EMMA
33. Teal relative : SEA GREEN
34. Not too hard a golf hole : PAR THREE
36. Part of U.S.N.A.: Abbr. : NAV
39. Certain grandson : III
40. Vatican City vis-à-vis Rome : ENCLAVE
42. Sunbathe : GET A TAN
43. "Piece of cake!" : EASY ONE!
46. Hung : DRAPED
47. Radio activity? : PAYOLA
48. ___ whale : SPERM
51. Foreshadow : BODE
53. Breviloquent : TERSE
55. Reef dwellers : EELS
58. Kind of trail : SKI
59. Rejections : NOS


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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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