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0510-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 May 14, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 75m 58!!s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Prop for Kermit the Frog : BANJO
The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

Kermit has to be the most readily recognized puppet character created by the late great Jim Henson. Henson came up with Kermit way back in 1955 when he appeared on a puppet show called “Sam and Friends” that aired in Washington, D.C. Kermit is loved so much that he even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

6. It's big in the suburbs : MCMANSION
“McMansion” is a word used for a large, luxury house that many believe is “too much” for the neighborhood. Similar pejorative terms are “garage Mahal” and “Hummer house”.

15. Kind of acid : OLEIC
Oleic Acid is a fatty acid, found in many animal and plants sources, but most notably in olives. As such, “Oleic” means “derived from the olive”.

16. Something you shouldn't knock? : CRAZY BONE
The ulnar nerve runs alongside the ulna (one of the bones in the lower arm). The ulnar nerve is the largest unprotected (not surrounded by muscle or bone) nerve in the human body. The nerve can be touched under the skin at the outside of the elbow. Striking the nerve at this point causes and an electric type shock, known as hitting one's "funny bone" or “crazy bone”.

19. ___ mix : CHEX
The original Chex cereal was introduced in 1937 by Ralston Purina. Ralston Purina had a logo with a checkerboard square on it, which gave the pattern to the cereal as well as its name. Chex used characters from the "Peanuts" comic strip in its advertising for many years.

21. N.F.L. stat: Abbr. : INT
Interception (Int.)

22. ___ pants : HAREM
Harem pants are an item of female clothing that originated in the Arabian Peninsula. They are loose fitting pants that gather at the ankle. The pants worn by belly dancers would be called harem pants.

24. Source of the phrases "cakes and ale" and "milk of human kindness": Abbr. : SHAK
Although William Shakespeare is known as a playwright and poet, he perhaps began his career as an actor in London. Shakespeare definitely acted in some of his own plays early in his career, as well as some plays by other playwrights of the period, and in particular those of Ben Johnson.

The phrase "cakes and ale" comes from William Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”. The actual quotation is:
"Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?"

The phrase “milk of human kindness” comes from William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”. The actual quotation is:
Yet doe I feare thy Nature, It is too full o' th' Milke of humane kindnesse.

25. Belize native : MAYA
The Maya civilization held sway in Central America and Mexico from about 350 AD until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s.

Belize was formerly known as British Honduras, and English is the country’s official language. Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America, bordering Mexico and Guatemala.

28. Profession of Clementine's father in "Oh My Darling, Clementine" : MINER
“Oh My Darling, Clementine” is a folk ballad that dates back to the 1880s. The song is about a man who loses his lover, the daughter of a miner who took part in the 1849 California Gold Rush. The words seem to be very sad, but are actually quite tongue-in-cheek.

29. R.A.F. award : DSO
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a British military award that is usually presented to officers with the rank of Major or higher.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF's "finest hour" has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words:
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

32. Shrimp : RUNT
Back around 1500, a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s "runt" was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately "runt" came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

33. Small job for a gardener? : BONSAI
The term "bonsai" is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers, although it has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots.

34. Noble one : RARE GAS
The noble gases (also “rare gases”) are those elements over on the extreme right of the Periodic Table. Because of their "full" complement of electrons, noble gases are very unreactive. The six noble gases that occur naturally are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon.

36. Spelunker's aid : LANTERN
Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots ("spelunca" is the Latin for "cave"). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

38. Something cited in a citation : WORK
The title of a work might be cited in a footnote.

39. Suffix with transcript- : -ASE
Transcriptase is an enzyme that is used to make RNA from a DNA template.

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

40. Über ___ : ALLES
I'm afraid that I thought that Germany's national anthem was called "Deutschland Uber Alles" (“Germany above all”). In fact, these are just words from the refrain. The anthem is called "Das Lied der Deutschen" ("the Song of the Germans") with words put to music written by Joseph Haydn in 1797.

41. Origin of the word "behemoth" : HEBREW
A “behemoth” is something that is huge in size. The term comes from the Hebrew word “b'hemoth”, which is a beast described in the Book of Job. It is suggested that the Biblical creature is an elephant, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, crocodile or perhaps something mythical.

43. Architect ___ van der Rohe : MIES
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect who was routinely referred to simply as "Mies". I am a philistine, I know, but Mies' buildings look very plain to me. However, he did come up with two far-from-plain sayings: "less is more" and "God is in the details".

45. Where Chekhov lived and Tolstoy summered : YALTA
Yalta is a resort city on the Black Sea on the Crimean Peninsula. The Crimea is very much in the news of late as ownership of the territory is in dispute between Russia and the Ukraine. Yalta was also in the news at the end of WWII as it was the site of the Yalta Conference, a meeting between the leaders of the three main Allies.

The Yalta Conference was a wartime meeting between WWII leaders Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Held in February of 1945, the conference is most remembered for decisions made on the post-war organization of Europe. To a large extent, the three leaders made decisions carving up influence around the world that has had implications to this day.

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

The Russian author Leo Tolstoy is best known for his novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”. He also wrote the celebrated novellas “Hadji Murad” and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”.

49. Big Apple ave. : LEX
Lexington Avenue in New York City is famous from many things, but my favorite fact is that it was the site of the first ever arrest for speeding in the city. In 1899 a police officer on a bicycle caught up with a cabdriver who was tearing down Lexington Avenue at the breakneck speed of 12mph ...

50. Half of a matched set : HERS
His and Hers

52. Girl in "The Music Man" with a floral name : AMARYLLIS
“The Music Man” is a musical by Meredith Willson. The show was a big hit on Broadway in 1957. “The Music Man” won the first ever Grammy Award for the “Best Original Cast Album”.

55. Nil : ZIPPO
The use of the words "zip" and “zippo” to mean "nothing" dates back to the early 1900s when it was student slang for being graded zero on a test.

58. Capital on the Raccoon River : DES MOINES
The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French "Riviere des Moines" meaning "River of the Monks". It looks like there isn't any "monkish" connection to the city's name per se. "Des Moines" was just the name given by French traders who corrupted "Moingona", the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

59. Something from the oven : PIZZA
Pizza was invented in Naples where it has a long tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza ...

Down
2. ___ Tower (Pacific landmark) : ALOHA
Aloha Tower is actually a lighthouse, and sits at Pier 9 in Honolulu Harbor. Aloha Tower was the tallest structure in Hawaii for many years, standing at 10 stories with a 40 foot flag mast on top.

4. Spelling problems? : JINXES
A jinx is a charm or a spell, and the word "jinx" comes from an older word "jyng" from the 17th-century. A "jyng" was another word for the wryneck, a type of bird much used in witchcraft.

5. Brass maker: Abbr. : OCS
Officer Candidate School (OCS)

6. Year that Chaucer died : MCD
Geoffrey Chaucer was an English author. He is often referred to as the father of English literature because he established vernacular English as a legitimate language for artistic works, as up to that point authors used French or Latin. Chaucer's most famous work is actually unfinished, a collection of stories called "The Canterbury Tales", all written at the end of the 14th century.

7. It follows a pattern : CROCHET
Crochet is the process of making a fabric using a hooked needle called a crochet hook. “Crochet” is a French word for “hook”.

8. Stick : MANUAL
A car with a manual transmission is sometimes said to have a stick shift.

9. 2001-05 Pontiac made in Mexico : AZTEK
The Pontiac Aztek is a mid-size crossover SUV that was made by GM from 2001 to 2005. The vehicle was also sold as the Buick Rendezvous. The Aztek was a commercial flop, although it is getting a bit of a following lately as it featured in the hit TV series “Breaking Bad”.

10. Org. in 1950s-'60s TV's "Naked City" : NYPD
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is the largest municipal police force in the country. The department's roots go back as far at 1625 when there was an eight-man night watch in the days when New York was still known as New Amsterdam. Several disparate forces with policing responsibility were amalgamated in 1844 to form the New York City Police Department, signalling the end of the night watch force that had existed for over 200 years.

"Naked City" is a police drama TV show that was originally aired in the late fifties and early sixties. The program was inspired by a 1948 film noir of the same name. Both film and TV show had a dramatic “semi-documentary” format.

11. Govt. lender : SBA
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency with the mission of assisting small businesses. The SBA doesn't give loans itself, but it does act as a guarantor under the right circumstances. The SBA was set up in 1953, and isn't a favorite with fiscal conservatives.

12. Where Syracuse is a port : IONIAN SEA
The Ionian Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and the southern part of Italy (under the sole of the "boot"). The Ionian Sea is one of the most seismically active areas on the planet.

Syracuse is a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. The Italian city has a rich Greek heritage as it was founded by Greek settlers in 734 or 733 BC and became an influential Greek city-state. Famously, Syracuse was the birthplace of the mathematician and engineer Archimedes.

14. Relative of ocher : NECTARINE
Nectarine and ocher are yellow/orange/brown colors.

25. Philadelphia tourist attraction : MINT
The first mint in the US was established in 1792 in Philadelphia, which was the nation's capital at that time. The modern Philadelphia Mint was opened in 1969, and is the fourth building used a mint in the city. The facility can produce a million coins in the just half an hour.

27. Target of a squat, for short : QUAD
The quadriceps femoris is the muscle group at the front of the thigh. It is the strongest muscle in the human body, and is also the leanest. The “quads” are actually a group of four muscles in the upper leg, hence the use of the prefix “quad-”.

28. 1960s dance, with "the" : MONKEY
The monkey was a dance craze that was particularly popular in 1963. In that year, there were two top ten hits with which the dance was associated: “The Monkey Time” by Major Lance, and “Mickey’s Monkey” by the Miracles.

30. Student loan source, familiarly : SALLIE MAE
“Sallie Mae” is a nickname for SLM Corporation, created in 1972 by the US government as the Student Loan Marketing Association. By 2004 the government had severed all its ties with Sallie Mae, and today SLM is basically a profit-focused lender.

33. 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate : BARR
Before Bob Barr joined the Libertarian party, he served as one of Georgia's Republican Representatives in the US House. Barr came to prominence during the Clinton administration when he was one of the leaders of the movement to impeach the President, and the first representative to call for the President's resignation after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke.

35. Lycée breaks : ETES
One might spend the summer (été) under the sun (le soleil) in French-speaking countries.

The “lycée” is the last stage of secondary education in France.

36. Temporal ___ : LOBE
The temporal lobe is one of the four main lobes of the brain, the others being the frontal lobe, parietal lobe and the occipital lobe. The temporal lobes (there is one on each side of the brain) are associated with visual memories, understanding language, and emotions. The “temporal” name comes from the fact that the lobes are located behind the temporal bones, the bones beneath the head’s temples. The temples are named from the Latin “tempus” meaning “time”. The idea is that a person’s age shows with greying of the hair at the temples.

38. It may come with a cookie : WEBSITE
When you visit a website, often it will leave a little piece of text information called a "cookie" on your computer. As a cookie is a text file, and not executable, it is relatively harmless. However, as browsers routinely read these text files, cookies can be used as "spyware". Basically, the browser can read the cookie and tell a lot about your browsing habits. This can be a good thing, so when you go back to your favorite websites you will be recognized and this can help you. For example, you may have shopped at a site and you'll find that your shopping cart still has the items you were looking at, often because the items were stored in a cookie. However, they can be "bad" as some spyware uses the cookies to detect your browsing habits and can direct the browser to do things you may not want it to do. So, I only accept cookies from sites I trust, as they do enhance my browsing experience ...

41. Kentucky county in a 1976 Oscar-winning documentary : HARLAN
“Harlan County, USA” is a documentary film released in 1976 about a strike by coal miners in southeast Kentucky in the 1973. The movie won a Best Documentary Oscar.

42. Forest ranger? : WAPITI
The elk (also known as the wapiti) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the "huge" wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely "elk". The more correct name for the beast is "wapiti", which means "white rump" in Shawnee. It's all very confusing ...

44. Melvin who was called "The King of Torts" : BELLI
Melvin Belli was a lawyer with an impressive list of high-profile clients that included Zsa Zsa Gabor, Errol Flynn, Chuck Berry, Muhammad Ali, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker and Mae West. Belli also represented Jack Ruby after he shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

46. Ruy ___ (chess opening) : LOPEZ
A gambit is a chess opening that intrinsically involves the sacrifice of a piece (usually a pawn) with the intent of gaining an advantage. The term "gambit" was first used by the Spanish priest Ruy Lopez de Segura who took it from the Italian expression "dare il gambetto" meaning "to put a leg forward to trip someone". Said priest gave his name to the common Ruy Lopez opening, which paradoxically is not a gambit in that there is no sacrifice.

47. Relative of ocher : TOPAZ
Topaz and ocher are yellow/orange/brown colors.

53. Radiation unit : REM
The contemporary standard radiation dosage unit is the roentgen equivalent in man, abbreviated to “rem”.

54. French possessive : SES
“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its”, when referring to a group of items.

55. Use a laser on : ZAP
The term “laser” comes from an acronym, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn't quite so appealing, namely LOSER …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Prop for Kermit the Frog : BANJO
6. It's big in the suburbs : MCMANSION
15. Kind of acid : OLEIC
16. Something you shouldn't knock? : CRAZY BONE
17. What dots may represent : TOWNS
18. "Stay cool!" : DON’T PANIC!
19. ___ mix : CHEX
20. Ready to play, with "up" : CUED
21. N.F.L. stat: Abbr. : INT
22. ___ pants : HAREM
24. Source of the phrases "cakes and ale" and "milk of human kindness": Abbr. : SHAK
25. Belize native : MAYA
26. What "II" or "III" may indicate : SEQUEL
28. Profession of Clementine's father in "Oh My Darling, Clementine" : MINER
29. R.A.F. award : DSO
32. Shrimp : RUNT
33. Small job for a gardener? : BONSAI
34. Noble one : RARE GAS
36. Spelunker's aid : LANTERN
37. High : ELATED
38. Something cited in a citation : WORK
39. Suffix with transcript- : -ASE
40. Über ___ : ALLES
41. Origin of the word "behemoth" : HEBREW
43. Architect ___ van der Rohe : MIES
44. Knockout : BABE
45. Where Chekhov lived and Tolstoy summered : YALTA
49. Big Apple ave. : LEX
50. Half of a matched set : HERS
51. Inadequate : POOR
52. Girl in "The Music Man" with a floral name : AMARYLLIS
55. Nil : ZIPPO
56. Desktop item : NAMEPLATE
57. Elite unit : A-TEAM
58. Capital on the Raccoon River : DES MOINES
59. Something from the oven : PIZZA

Down
1. Mangle : BOTCH
2. ___ Tower (Pacific landmark) : ALOHA
3. More green : NEWER
4. Spelling problems? : JINXES
5. Brass maker: Abbr. : OCS
6. Year that Chaucer died : MCD
7. It follows a pattern : CROCHET
8. Stick : MANUAL
9. 2001-05 Pontiac made in Mexico : AZTEK
10. Org. in 1950s-'60s TV's "Naked City" : NYPD
11. Govt. lender : SBA
12. Where Syracuse is a port : IONIAN SEA
13. Elderly : ON IN YEARS
14. Relative of ocher : NECTARINE
23. Where many accidents occur : MERGES
24. Lies out : SUNS
25. Philadelphia tourist attraction : MINT
27. Target of a squat, for short : QUAD
28. 1960s dance, with "the" : MONKEY
29. State of sleep : DREAMLAND
30. Student loan source, familiarly : SALLIE MAE
31. Third-year hurdles, for some : ORAL EXAMS
33. 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate : BARR
35. Lycée breaks : ETES
36. Temporal ___ : LOBE
38. It may come with a cookie : WEBSITE
41. Kentucky county in a 1976 Oscar-winning documentary : HARLAN
42. Forest ranger? : WAPITI
44. Melvin who was called "The King of Torts" : BELLI
46. Ruy ___ (chess opening) : LOPEZ
47. Relative of ocher : TOPAZ
48. Something from the oven : AROMA
50. Shot deliverer : HYPO
53. Radiation unit : REM
54. French possessive : SES
55. Use a laser on : ZAP


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4 comments :

Anonymous said...

33 down- you have Roseanne Barr as the candidate, when I googled it, Bob Barr is listed as the 2008 candidate nominated by the Libertarian party at their convention.

Bill Butler said...

That's a big "oops!". Another case os "more haste, less speed". Thanks for the help, all fixed now.

Dave Kennison said...


I no longer time myself when doing puzzles (perhaps in reaction to a perceived trend in the numbers :-), but I think my time was about equal to yours. Not an easy one for me ...

One small advantage I had was that I grew up in Northern Iowa and have just returned from an 800-mile (each way) trip there to attend a wedding. Along the way, I crossed various rivers, including the Platte, the Missouri, the Cedar, the Raccoon, the Skunk, and (my all-time favorites) the East and West Nishnabotnas. I have yet to see either of the last two in a crossword puzzle ... :-)

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Dave.

How jealous I am! Just about my favorite kind of vacation is taking a roadtrip across this wonderful country. Back in my homeland, if you travel more than two or three hundred miles in one direction, you fall off the edge ...

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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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