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0326-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Mar 14, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Vratsanos
THEME: Atomic Numbers … today’s themed answers start with elements in the periodic table, and the clue number for each is the element’s atomic number:
6D. *Typist's duplicate of old : CARBON COPY (Carbon has at. no. 6)
10D. *They're big on Broadway : NEON LIGHTS (Neon has at. no. 10)
26D. *Medieval device with spikes : IRON MAIDEN (Iron has at. no. 26)
29D. *Anti-Civil War Northerner : COPPERHEAD (Copper has at. no. 29)

18D. With 38-Down, property of the first part of the answer to each starred clue (appropriately positioned in the grid) : ATOMIC
38D. See 18-Down : NUMBER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. "Foucault's Pendulum" author : ECO
"Foucault's Pendulum" is a 1988 Italian novel by Umberto Eco that was translated into English by William Weaver the following year. The title of the book refers to a large pendulum that was constructed by French physicist Léon Foucault to demonstrate the effect of the Earth’s rotation.

Umberto Eco is an Italian writer, probably best known for his novel "The Name of the Rose" published in 1980. "The Name of the Rose" was adapted in 1986 into a movie with the same title, starring Sean Connery.

4. Legendary predator of elephants : ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

7. Entertainers at many 49-Downs, for short : DJS
The world's first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

10. Super Mario Bros. console, for short : NES
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era.

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game "Donkey Kong". Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

13. Jobs offering : MAC
Steve Jobs certainly was a business icon in Silicon Valley. I don't think it is too surprising to learn that the brilliant Jobs didn't even finish his college education, dropping out of Reed College in Oregon after only one semester. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, but in 1985 he was basically fired from his own company during the computer sales slump of the mid-eighties. Jobs then founded NeXT Computer, a company focused on supplying workstations to the higher education and business markets. Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, and that's how Jobs found himself back with his original company.

19. "Checkmate!" : YOU LOSE!
In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be "in check". If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in "checkmate" and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce "check!") so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn't occur.

22. 1952 Winter Olympics host : OSLO
The 1952 Winter Olympic Games took place in Oslo, Norway. One of the firsts at the 1952 games was the first use of a purpose-built athletes' village. The 1952 Games also marked the return of Japan and Germany to the Olympic family after being excluded from the 1948 games following WWII.

23. ___ Sea, waters depleted by irrigation projects : ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad ...

24. "Spider-Man" director Sam : RAIMI
Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer, responsible for the "Spider-Man" series of films among others, and TV series' such as "Xena: Warrior Princess".

27. Abalone shell lining : NACRE
Mother-of-pearl is another name for nacre. Nacre is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it's also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that's how a pearl is formed.

The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called “ormer” in the British Isles.

33. Politico Hatch of 54-Down : ORRIN
Orrin Hatch is a Republican Senator from Utah. He's also quite the musician, and plays the piano, violin and organ. He has composed various compositions, including a song called "Heal Our Land" that was played at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.

36. Holey plastic shoe : CROC
Crocs are foam clogs that were originally designed as shoes to be worn at health spas.

38. Drag racers' org. : NHRA
The sport of drag racing is administered by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

39. "The Wizard of Oz" locale: Abbr. : KAN
In the 1939 classic movie “The Wizard of Oz”, the Kansas scenes are depicted in monochrome sepia tones. This effect is actually called out in the original book by L. Frank Baum. In “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, Baum describes Kansas as being “in shades of gray”, and the farmhouse in which Dorothy lives as having an “air of grayness”. The house was also located in the middle of a prairie with grass burnt gray by harsh sun. And Dorothy’s aunt and uncle are described as “gray with age”.

41. ___-Grain : NUTRI
The Nutri-Grain brand of breakfast foods is made by Kellogg. The brand was actually first introduced in Australia in 1981.

43. Bonnie's partner : CLYDE
Clyde Barrow was one half of the famous duo Bonnie and Clyde. Barrow was born a desperately poor young boy just south of Dallas, Texas. He was always in trouble with the law, first getting arrested at the age of 16. He met Bonnie Parker in 1930 at a friend's house, and the smitten Parker followed Clyde into a life of crime. The pair were killed by a posse of Texas police officers just four years later in Louisiana.

45. "... ___ in Kalamazoo" : A GAL
"(I've Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo" is a song made famous by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H
I got a gal in Kalamazoo
Don't want to boast but I know she's the toast of Kalamazoo
(Zoo, zoo, zoo, zoo, zoo)

47. Eldest Stark child on "Game of Thrones" : ROBB
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that was adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually made in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

49. Australia's Port ___ Bay : PHILLIP
Port Phillip is the large bay in Australia on which the city of Melbourne is located. The bay was first named Port King by the British, in honor of Philip Gidley King who was the Governor of New South Wales. King himself renamed the bay in 1805 to Port Phillip, after King’s predecessor Arthur Phillip.

56. Team leader of song : RUDOLPH
We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:
- Dasher
- Dancer
- Prancer
- Vixen
- Comet
- Cupid
- Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
- Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)
Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

57. Retired academics : EMERITI
Emeritus (female form “emerita”, plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb "emerere" meaning to complete one's service.

61. I.S.P. with a butterfly logo : MSN
MSN was originally called The Microsoft Network, and was introduced in 1995 as an integral part of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system. MSN is a whole bundle of services including email, instant messaging, and the MSN.com portal (which is the 9th most visited site on the Internet).

62. After-afterthought on a letter: Abbr. : PPS
One adds a PS (post scriptum, or simply "postscript") at the end of a letter. A second postscript is a post post scriptum, a PPS.

63. Many aging A.L. sluggers : DHS
Designated hitter (DH)

Down
2. One of man's three legs, in the riddle of the Sphinx : CANE
In Greek mythology, the creature known as the Sphinx has the body of a lion, the wings of a bird and the face of a woman. The Sphinx threatened to strangle and devour any person who could not answer a famous riddle: “Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?” Oedipus was able to save himself by answering correctly “Man”. The idea is that a man crawls on all fours as a baby, and then walks on two feet as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age. “Sphinx” is actually a Greek word, meaning “the strangler” …

3. Protest singer Phil : OCHS
Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War.

5. N.B.A. great in Icy Hot commercials : O’NEAL
Shaquille O'Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he's a big guy ... 7 foot 1 inch tall.

IcyHot is a topical heat run that is used to relieve muscular discomfort and pain from arthritis and rheumatism. The active ingredient doesn’t provide any heat or cold, but it does stimulate nerve receptors in the skin causing the user to experience a cool sensation followed by warmth.

6. *Typist's duplicate of old : CARBON COPY (Carbon has at. no. 6)
I wonder do the kids of today know that "cc" stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?

7. Prohibitionists : DRYS
There were concerted efforts to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages in the US from the 1840s right up until the lobbyists achieved success with ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution in 1919. While there were several factors that influenced legislators at that time, one was the perceived need to take political power away from German-based brewing industry during WWI.

8. Game show with the theme music "Think!" : JEOPARDY!
The theme music that plays for 30 seconds during the final round of the game show “Jeopardy!” is called “Think!”. The tune was composed by the show’s creator Merv Griffin, and was originally a lullaby for his son called “A Time for Tony”.

9. Knights' attendants : SQUIRES
A squire can be an escort, say one attending to a woman. A squire is also a young nobleman who attended a knight in days of yore. A fun example would be Sancho Panza who accompanied the deluded Don Quixote.

10. *They're big on Broadway : NEON LIGHTS (Neon has at. no. 10)
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

11. "To be," to Brutus : ESSE
The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in Ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

12. Suffix with slick : -STER
A “slickster” is a slick and untrustworthy person.

16. Radius neighbor : ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the "thumb-side" of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the "pinkie-side".

18. With 38-Down, property of the first part of the answer to each starred clue (appropriately positioned in the grid) : ATOMIC
(38. See 18-Down : NUMBER)
The atomic number of an element is also called the proton number, and is the number of protons found in the nucleus of each atom of the element.

24. First sports movie to win Best Picture : ROCKY
If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be "Rocky" for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and "Rocky" was eventually made with him playing title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and "Sly" Stallone had arrived ...

25. Pianist Claudio : ARRAU
Claudio Arrau was a greatly respected Chilean pianist who performed for much of the twentieth century until his death in 1991. Arrau left Chile to study in Germany where he lived for many years, having married a German opera singer. During WWII, Arrau and his family left Germany and settled in New York City.

26. *Medieval device with spikes : IRON MAIDEN (Iron has at. no. 26)
An iron maiden is an instrument of torture that was possibly used as far back as the Middle Ages. The device consists of an iron cabinet with a front that is hinged, and with spikes sticking out from the interior walls. The victim is placed standing in the Iron Maiden, and stabbed with the spikes by closing the door. However, there are suggestions that the device never really existed or was used and is in fact a hoax created some time back for commercial exhibition.

29. *Anti-Civil War Northerner : COPPERHEAD (Copper has at. no. 29)
The Copperheads were a political group in the Northern US who opposed the Civil War. They were a faction of Democrats who lobbied for a peace settlement with the Confederates. The name “Copperhead” was coined by Republicans at the time who likened the group to the venomous snake.

31. ___ firma : TERRA
“Terra firma” is the Latin for “solid ground”.

40. Bit of surf in surf and turf : SCALLOP
A scallop is a marine mollusk that is served as seafood. Scallops are often served baked in milk and this method of preparation has become known as “scalloping”. So, scalloped potatoes are potatoes baked in milk.

41. Green Giant canned corn : NIBLETS
The Jolly Green Giant was introduced by Minnesota Valley Canning in 1925 to help sell the company's peas. He was named after one of the varieties of pea that the company sold, the "Green Giant". The Jolly Green Giant first appeared in a television commercial in 1953, walking through a valley with young boys running around at his feet. That first commercial proved to be so scary for younger viewers that it was immediately pulled off the air.

49. Gym ball? : PROM
A school prom is often held in the school’s gym.

50. Barbaric sorts : HUNS
The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila's death in 453 AD.

51. Nth degrees? : PHDS
PhD is an abbreviation for "philosophiae doctor", Latin for "teacher of philosophy".

53. Demanding sort : DIVA
"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.

55. Gyro bread : PITA
A gyro is a traditional Greek dish, a sandwich made with pita bread containing meat, tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce). The meat for gyros is usually roasted on a tall vertical spit and is sliced from the spit as required. The name "gyro" comes from the modern Greek word "gyros" meaning "circle", a reference to the meat turning as it is grilled in a rotating circular motion.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Foucault's Pendulum" author : ECO
4. Legendary predator of elephants : ROC
7. Entertainers at many 49-Downs, for short : DJS
10. Super Mario Bros. console, for short : NES
13. Jobs offering : MAC
14. Stop ___ dime : ON A
15. Radio station listener's call-in, perhaps : REQUEST
17. Asthmatic's device : INHALER
19. "Checkmate!" : YOU LOSE!
20. Experiment site : TEST LAB
21. Alternative to dice : SPINNER
22. 1952 Winter Olympics host : OSLO
23. ___ Sea, waters depleted by irrigation projects : ARAL
24. "Spider-Man" director Sam : RAIMI
27. Abalone shell lining : NACRE
30. "___ all good" : IT'S
33. Politico Hatch of 54-Down : ORRIN
34. Clumsy sorts : CLODS
35. Pick up : GET
36. Holey plastic shoe : CROC
37. Off one's rocker : LOOPY
38. Drag racers' org. : NHRA
39. "The Wizard of Oz" locale: Abbr. : KAN
40. Absorb, as gravy : SOP UP
41. ___-Grain : NUTRI
42. "Dee-lish!" : YUM
43. Bonnie's partner : CLYDE
44. :-( : I'M SAD
45. "... ___ in Kalamazoo" : A GAL
47. Eldest Stark child on "Game of Thrones" : ROBB
49. Australia's Port ___ Bay : PHILLIP
52. In hiding : HOLED UP
56. Team leader of song : RUDOLPH
57. Retired academics : EMERITI
58. Tee-shot club : ONE-WOOD
59. Well-put : APT
60. Vintner's vessel : VAT
61. I.S.P. with a butterfly logo : MSN
62. After-afterthought on a letter: Abbr. : PPS
63. Many aging A.L. sluggers : DHS
64. ___ moment : AHA

Down
1. Send out : EMIT
2. One of man's three legs, in the riddle of the Sphinx : CANE
3. Protest singer Phil : OCHS
4. Arrives, as fog : ROLLS IN
5. N.B.A. great in Icy Hot commercials : O’NEAL
6. *Typist's duplicate of old : CARBON COPY (Carbon has at. no. 6)
7. Prohibitionists : DRYS
8. Game show with the theme music "Think!" : JEOPARDY!
9. Knights' attendants : SQUIRES
10. *They're big on Broadway : NEON LIGHTS (Neon has at. no. 10)
11. "To be," to Brutus : ESSE
12. Suffix with slick : -STER
16. Radius neighbor : ULNA
18. With 38-Down, property of the first part of the answer to each starred clue (appropriately positioned in the grid) : ATOMIC
24. First sports movie to win Best Picture : ROCKY
25. Pianist Claudio : ARRAU
26. *Medieval device with spikes : IRON MAIDEN (Iron has at. no. 26)
28. One way to read : ALOUD
29. *Anti-Civil War Northerner : COPPERHEAD (Copper has at. no. 29)
31. ___ firma : TERRA
32. Unflashy : STAID
37. Kid's post-haircut treat, maybe : LOLLIPOP
38. See 18-Down : NUMBER
40. Bit of surf in surf and turf : SCALLOP
41. Green Giant canned corn : NIBLETS
46. Radiant look : GLOW
48. Zip : OOMPH
49. Gym ball? : PROM
50. Barbaric sorts : HUNS
51. Nth degrees? : PHDS
53. Demanding sort : DIVA
54. See 33-Across : UTAH
55. Gyro bread : PITA


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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Love this man's descriptions and information. As much fun reading his comments as working the puzzle.

Bill Butler said...

You are too kind! :)

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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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