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0506-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 May 14, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Bajcz
THEME: Pick Up the End … today’s themed answers end with a word that follows PICK-UP:
20A. Player of a summer lilt : ICE CREAM TRUCK (giving “pickup truck”)
29A. Shows rudeness at checkout : CUTS IN LINE (giving “pick-up” line)
44A. Jeopardy! or Facts in Five : TRIVIA GAME (giving “pick-up game”)
53A. Cocktail stirrers : SWIZZLE STICKS (giving”pick-up sticks”)
47D. Learn ... or a word that can precede the ends of 20-, 29-, 44- and 53-Across : PICK UP
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Wii ancestor, briefly : NES
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

The Wii is the biggest-selling game console in the world.

14. First rapper to win an Oscar for Best Original Song : EMINEM
Rap star Eminem's real name is Marshall Mathers, a native of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers grew up poor, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn't do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big ...

The song “Lose Yourself” was released as a single after it had appeared on the soundtrack of the Movie “8 Mile”. “8 Mile” stars Eminem as a young rap artist in Detroit, and “Lose Yourself” was performed and written by Eminem. The song won Eminem the 2002 Oscar for Best Original Song, making him the first rap artist to be so honored.

16. 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.

18. Having the trajectory of a pop-up hit : ARCING
In a baseball game, a pop-up arcs across the infield.

20. Player of a summer lilt : ICE CREAM TRUCK (giving “pickup truck”)
A pickup is a small truck used to carry light loads. The term “pickup” probably comes from the use of the vehicle to “pick up” goods and then deliver them.

23. - : MINUS
Our word “minus” meaning “less” is a Latin term. “Minus” is the neuter form of “minor” meaning “smaller”.

31. Hearty steak : T-BONE
The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former.

34. Tire meas. : PSI
Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

42. ___ breath (flower) : BABY’S
Baby's-breath is the name used in the US and Canada for Gypsophila, a genus of flowering plants. Gypsophila can often be found on calcium-rich soils including gypsum, which gives the plant its name. Baby's-breath is often used as a filler in floral bouquets, and an adornment worn in the hair by young women at weddings.

44. Jeopardy! or Facts in Five : TRIVIA GAME (giving “pick-up game”)
A pick-up game is one that is started spontaneously by a group of players, with those competing usually just dropping by in the hope of participating.

46. Samoan capital : APIA
Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely.

50. Big name in chicken : TYSON
Tyson Foods is the largest producer of meat in the world. Even though we tend to associate Tyson with chicken here in North America, the company is also the largest exporter of beef out of the US.

51. ___-de-France : ILE
Île-de-France (literally "Island of France") isn't an island at all. It is the name given to the most populous of France's 26 administrative regions. Île-de-France is roughly equivalent to the Paris metropolitan area.

52. Opponents of "shirts" : SKINS
In a casual game of say basketball, teams can be identified by one side wearing shirts, and the other not. You’d want me to be on the “shirts” team, trust me. Not a pretty sight otherwise …

53. Cocktail stirrers : SWIZZLE STICKS (giving”pick-up sticks”)
I drank a rum swizzle or two on the island of Bermuda many years ago, and very nice they were too. They are so popular on Bermuda that the swizzle is often called the island's national drink. The drink also gave the name to the "swizzle stick" introduced in cocktails in 1933.

Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.

56. Pad see ew cuisine : THAI
Pad see ew is also known as Phat si io, and is a stir-fried noodle dish. "Phat si io" means "fried with soy sauce". I love Thai food ...

58. Chevrolet model beginning in 1958 : IMPALA
The Chevrolet Impala was first introduced in 1957, and you can still buy one today. "Impala" is the Zulu word for "gazelle".

60. Score before deuce, maybe : AD IN
In tennis, if the score reaches "deuce" (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the "advantage". If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that's two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. If the one of the players is calling out the score then if he/she has the advantage then that player announces "ad in" or more formally "advantage in". If the score announcer's opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is "ad out" or "advantage out". Follow all of that ...?

61. Staple of Agatha Christie mysteries : POISON
Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

62. German connector : UND
“Und” is the German for “and”.

63. Edifice: Abbr. : BLDG
“To edify” is to provide instruction in order to improve spiritually, morally or intellectually. The intent is to “build up” someone's faith or morality, and so “edify” comes from the Latin “aedificare” meaning “to build, construct”. This Latin root also gives us our word “edifice”, meaning “imposing building”.

65. BlackBerry, e.g., for short : PDA
Personal digital assistant (PDA)

The PDA known as a BlackBerry was given its name because the keyboard on the original device resembled the surface on the fruit of a blackberry.

Down
3. Pop star portrayed by J.Lo : SELENA
Singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, known professionally simply as "Selena", was murdered in 1995 by the president of her own fan club at the height of her career. In a 1997 biopic about Selena's life, Jennifer Lopez played the title role.

5. Hungarian patriot Nagy : IMRE
Imre Nagy was twice Prime Minister of Hungary. He was ahead of his time, I think. His second term as Prime Minister came during the Hungarian Uprising against the Soviet Union in October 1956. The Soviet's invaded of course, and arrested Nagy. He was tried in secret, sentenced to death and hanged.

6. Paltry : PICAYUNE
Something described as “picayune” is of little value or importance. The original picayune was a Spanish coin worth half a real, not a lot of money.

The adjective "paltry" meaning “lacking in importance” comes from an older use of "paltry" as a noun, meaning a "worthless thing".

15. Sched. maker : MGR
A manager (mgr.) might make up a schedule (sched.).

22. Org. with the song "Anchors Aweigh" : US NAVY
The song “Anchors Aweigh” is strongly associated with the US Navy, largely because it is the fight song of the US Naval Academy.

27. Oscar nominee Beatty and others : NEDS
Ned Beatty is probably best remembered for the rather disturbing "squeal like a pig" scene in the movie "Deliverance". Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

29. Chick of jazz : COREA
Chick Corea is an American jazz pianist. Corea is noted for his work in the area of jazz fusion, as well as for his promotion of Scientology.

32. Pageant wear, at times : BIKINI
The origin of the name "bikini", a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name "bikini" was chosen for the swim-wear because of the "explosive" effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

38. Was a snap : CAME EASY
I would have thought that the grammatically correct statement is “came easily”, using an adverb rather than an adjective …

43. H. H. Munro pseudonym : SAKI
Hector Hugh Munro was a British writer, actually born in Burma. Munro was famous for his short stories, which he published using the pen name "Saki". His most well-known story is "The Open Window", which ends with the great line "Romance at short notice was her specialty".

45. Thingies : GIZMOS
The word "gizmo" (also “gismo”) was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps, but the exact origin seems unknown. Nowadays, "gizmo" is a general term used for a device or a part when the correct name escapes one (so I use it a lot!). Oh, and “Gizmo” is the name of the dog belonging to my son and his fiancee ...

52. "South Park" kid and others : STANS
“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

55. ___ gin fizz : SLOE
By definition, a cocktail known as a Fizz includes lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water. There is also a variant known as a sloe gin fizz.

56. Web browser feature : TAB
Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious as it involved lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to "jump" across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key, which could be depressed causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

57. Cholesterol abbr. : HDL
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is a compound that is used to transport fats around the body. When HDL is combined with (i.e. is transporting) cholesterol, it is often called "good cholesterol". This is because HDL seems to remove cholesterol from where it should not be, say on the walls of arteries, and transports it to the liver for reuse or disposal. Important stuff …

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one of the compounds responsible for transporting fats around the body. When LDL is combined with cholesterol it can be referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This is because LDL actually transports cholesterol into the inner walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Wii ancestor, briefly : NES
4. Barely bite, as heels : NIP AT
9. Stratagem : PLOY
13. "Hooray!," to José : OLE!
14. First rapper to win an Oscar for Best Original Song : EMINEM
16. Investment firm T. ___ Price : ROWE
17. Up to, informally : TIL
18. Having the trajectory of a pop-up hit : ARCING
19. Time on end : EONS
20. Player of a summer lilt : ICE CREAM TRUCK (giving “pickup truck”)
23. - : MINUS
24. "Uh-huh" : YAH
25. Place to get a blowout : SALON
28. And others: Abbr. : ET AL
29. Shows rudeness at checkout : CUTS IN LINE (giving “pick-up” line)
31. Hearty steak : T-BONE
33. Went without : LACKED
34. Tire meas. : PSI
37. Fury : IRE
38. Roman 155 : CLV
39. Twisty road curve : ESS
40. Absorption : UPTAKE
42. ___ breath (flower) : BABY’S
44. Jeopardy! or Facts in Five : TRIVIA GAME (giving “pick-up game”)
46. Samoan capital : APIA
50. Big name in chicken : TYSON
51. ___-de-France : ILE
52. Opponents of "shirts" : SKINS
53. Cocktail stirrers : SWIZZLE STICKS (giving”pick-up sticks”)
56. Pad see ew cuisine : THAI
58. Chevrolet model beginning in 1958 : IMPALA
59. Holder of first-aid supplies : KIT
60. Score before deuce, maybe : AD IN
61. Staple of Agatha Christie mysteries : POISON
62. German connector : UND
63. Edifice: Abbr. : BLDG
64. Eye problems : STYES
65. BlackBerry, e.g., for short : PDA

Down
1. "Gotta fly, sorry!" : NO TIME!
2. Bring out : ELICIT
3. Pop star portrayed by J.Lo : SELENA
4. Approaches : NEARS
5. Hungarian patriot Nagy : IMRE
6. Paltry : PICAYUNE
7. Bring to life : ANIMATE
8. Kind of a place to the right of a decimal : TENTHS
9. Advanced algebra class, informally : PRE-CALC
10. Resemble : LOOK LIKE
11. Not lease, say : OWN
12. "You bet!" : YES!
15. Sched. maker : MGR
21. Kind of movie : CULT
22. Org. with the song "Anchors Aweigh" : US NAVY
26. Kind of a place to the left of a decimal : ONES
27. Oscar nominee Beatty and others : NEDS
29. Chick of jazz : COREA
30. "You don't say!" : I’LL BE!
32. Pageant wear, at times : BIKINI
34. Tap in, perhaps : PUTT
35. Full of life for one's age : SPRY
36. "So the story goes ..." : IT IS SAID ...
38. Was a snap : CAME EASY
41. Promising : AVOWING
42. Colorful play area for kids : BALL PIT
43. H. H. Munro pseudonym : SAKI
45. Thingies : GIZMOS
47. Learn ... or a word that can precede the ends of 20-, 29-, 44- and 53-Across : PICK UP
48. How some nonmonetary payments are made : IN KIND
49. Helper in preparing the govt.'s legal case : ASST DA
52. "South Park" kid and others : STANS
54. Pep : ZIP
55. ___ gin fizz : SLOE
56. Web browser feature : TAB
57. Cholesterol abbr. : HDL


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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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