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0516-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 May 14, Friday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Martin Ashwood-Smith
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 24m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Director in "A Chorus Line" : ZACH
“A Chorus Line” is a phenomenal hit musical first staged in 1975. The original Broadway production ran for well over 6,000 performances, making it the longest running production in Broadway history up to that time, a record held for over 20 years (until "Cats" came along).

5. Pistol packer in a 1943 #1 hit : MAMA
"Pistol Packin' Mama" is a 1943 song that was the first to top what later became known as the Hot Country Songs chart (then called the Juke Box Folk chart). The song was written and originally recorded by Al Dexter, but it was the cover version by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters who topped the charts.

15. Writer of the 644-line poem "Ibis" : OVID
The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil.

17. Seasonal servings : NOGS
It's not really clear where the term "nog" comes from although it might derive from the word "noggin", which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

18. 1969 Rolling Stones album : LET IT BLEED
“Let It Bleed” is a 1969 album recorded by the Rolling Stones. The best-known track from “Let It Bleed” is “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. The album is notable in that it was the last one to feature Brian Jones. Jones was the founder of the Rolling Stones, but he parted company with the band in June of 1969.

Even though Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been the driving force behind the Rolling Stones for decades, they didn't start the group. The band was the idea of guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, and it was he who invited Richards and Jagger to join, as well as Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts to make an original lineup of six band members. Jones called the band "Rollin' Stone" back then in 1962, named for the song by Muddy Waters. Jones was the leader, manager and decision maker for the first few years until songs written by Richards and Jagger became hits and he started to lose artistic control. In 1967, Jones was arrested for drug possession, and again in 1968. When his trouble with the law prevented him from getting a US work visa, Jones wasn't able to accompany the Stones on a 1969 US tour. That was the last straw, it seems, and Jones and the Stones parted company. Famously, one month later, Jones was found dead, at the bottom of his swimming pool.

22. Part of une fraternité : FRERE
In French, a brother (frère) is a member of a fraternity, brotherhood (une fraternité).

23. He called the U.S. pres. a "glorified public relations man" : HST
President Harry S. Truman once said:
All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.

24. Abbr. on some clothing tags : IRR
Irregular (irr.)

27. Part of a filled-out survey: Abbr. : ANS
Answer (ans.)

29. Admiral who bombarded Tahiti in 1914 : SPEE
Maximilian Graf von Spee was actually born in Denmark, but of a noble German family. By the time WWI started, Spee had risen to the rank of Rear Admiral in the German Navy. He was killed in the Battle of the Falkland Islands (the original 1914 version!). He gave his name to the powerful pocket battleship, the Admiral Graf Spee, which was damaged in the Battle of the River Plate during WWII. The Graf Spee took refuge in the neutral port of Montevideo and when the boat was expelled by the government of Uruguay, the captain scuttled her rather than face the Allied flotilla waiting for her just outside the port.

38. 1959 hit with the lyric "One day I feel so happy, next day I feel so sad" : A TEENAGER IN LOVE
The classic song “A Teenager in Love” was released by Dion and the Belmonts in 1959.

41. Some Blu-ray players : RCAS
A CD player reads the information on the disc using a laser beam. The beam is produced by what’s called a laser diode, a device similar to a light-emitting diode (LED) except that a laser beam is emitted. That laser beam is usually red in CD and DVD players. Blu-ray players are so called as they use blue lasers.

42. First of 66 books: Abbr. : GEN
The number of books in the Bible varies depending on religious tradition. The Protestant Christian Bible has a total of 66 books: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

47. March Madness, with "the" : NCAAS
March Madness is the name given to (among others) the NCAA Men's Division 1 Basketball Championship, held in spring each year.

55. Swan song : LAST HURRAH
The phrase “swan song” is used for a final gesture, a lat performance. The expression derives from an ancient belief that swans are silent for most of their lives, but sing a beautiful song just before they die.

59. Emmy-winning Ed : ASNER
Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and on the spin-off drama "Lou Grant". Off-screen, Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When "Lou Grant" was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact one of Asner's activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever), found that his show "WKRP in Cincinnati" was also cancelled ... on the very same day.

60. The "O" in F. A. O. Schwarz : OTTO
FAO Schwarz is perhaps the most famous, and is certainly the oldest toy store in the United States. The FAO Schwarz outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City has been made very famous by Hollywood. For example, in the New York Store you can see that floor piano that was played by Tom Hanks in the movie “Big”. The store was founded as Toy Bazaar in 1862 by an immigrant from Germany named Frederick August Otto Schwarz.

62. Nelson Mandela's mother tongue : XHOSA
The Xhosa are a Bantu people who live mainly in the southeast of South Africa. The Xhosa language is the second-most common in the country, after Zulu. Among the list of notable Xhosa people are former President Nelson Mandela and retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu.

64. Event with touches : EPEE
The épée that is used in today’s sport fencing is derived from the old French dueling sword. In fact, the the sport of épée fencing is very similar to the dualing of the 19th century. The word “épée” translates from French as “sword”.

Down
1. Corrosion-preventing coating : ZINC
Steel or iron can be galvanized to prevent rusting. The galvanization process involves the application of a protective zinc coat. The most common method used is hot-dipping in a bath of molten zinc metal.

4. Literature Nobelist before Gide : HESSE
Hermann Hesse was not only a novelist, but also a poet and a painter. Hesse’s best known work is probably his 1927 novel "Steppenwolf". He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.

André Gide was an author from Paris who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947. His works were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Catholic Church in 1952.

6. Car name that's Latin for "desire" : AVEO
The Chevrolet Aveo is a subcompact automobile that has been around since 2002. The Aveo is manufactured by GM Daewoo, the GM subsidiary in South Korea. Although the Aveo name is still used in some markets, here in North America the Aveo has been sold as the Chevrolet Sonic since 2012. By the way, GM Daewoo is the third largest manufacturer of automobiles in South Korea, after Hyundai and Kia.

7. McConnell of the Senate : MITCH
Senator Mitch McConnell is a Republican Senator and is currently the Minority Leader in the US Senate. McConnell is married to Elaine Chao who served as Secretary of Labor in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush.

9. Black-and-white transmissions, briefly? : APBS
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

A police car is often referred to by the slang term “black and white”, a reference to the vehicle’s common paint scheme.

10. Like most brain neurons : MULTIPOLAR
There are several types of neuron (brain cell), including unipolar, bipolar and multipolar neurons. Multipolar neurons can connect with several other neurons, allowing for efficient integration of information from many sources. Most of the brain’s neurons are multipolar.

12. Actress Kazan or Kravitz : ZOE
Zoë Kravitz is an actress and singer. Zoe has a couple of famous parents: musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet.

The actress Zoe Kazan is a granddaughter of famed film and theater director Elia Kazan.

13. One may get a pass : END
Football stuff …

19. Picture on a chest, for short? : TAT
The word "tattoo" (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word "tatau" into our "tattoo".

21. They often spot people : TRAINERS
People at the gym who are doing weight training will often "spot" for each other. This means that the person who is spotting assists in the lift, allowing the “lifter” to work with more weight than usual.

26. Minor parish officers : REEVES
A reeve was a senior official in the days of Anglo-Saxon England, perhaps a chief magistrate of a town. Famously, a reeve appears in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”. “The Reeve’s Tale” is the third tale in the book.

28. Jason of "How I Met Your Mother" : SEGEL
The actor Jason Segel appeared in the movies "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "Knocked Up" as well as "I Love You, Man". On TV he appears as Marshall Eriksen in the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother". Segel is an ordained minister and actually married a couple on “The Tonight Show” in 2010.

“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

29. Five to nine, maybe, but not nine to five : SENTENCE
A judge might impose a sentence of “five to nine” months or years.

32. Activity that proceeds hand to hand? : SEANCE
"Séance" is a French word meaning "sitting".

33. Heart-to-hearts : TETE-A-TETES
A “tête-à-tête” is a one-on-one meeting, literally “head-to-head” in French.

34. ___ Jon (fashion label) : TERI
Teri Jon is a fashion house based in New York.

36. Product for young string players? : KITTEN CHOW
I guess kittens eat Kitten Chow, and play with string.

44. Good name for a worrywart? : STU
A worry wart names “Stu” might “stew”, and “stew” rhymes with “Stu”.

The term “worry wart”, meaning one who dwells unnecessarily on troubles, comes from a cartoon strip. Worry Wart was a character introduced in 1956 in the strip “Out Our Way” that was drawn by American cartoonist J.R. Williams. The cartoon Worry Wart caused others to do the worrying, which is the opposite of the meaning we give the term today.

45. Achilles' undoing : ARROW
Achilles is a Greek mythological figure, the main protagonist of Homer's "Iliad". Supposedly when Achilles was born his mother attempted to make him immortal by dipping him into the River Styx. As he was held by the heel as he was immersed, this became the only vulnerable point on his body. Years later he was killed when a poisoned arrow struck him in the heel. The arrow was shot by Paris.

46. Wayne's pal in "Wayne's World" : GARTH
"Wayne's World" was originally a Saturday Night Live sketch starring Mike Myers (as Wayne) and Dana Carvey. The sketch was so successful that it was parlayed into two hit movies, released in 1992 and 1993. Not my cup of tea though ...

49. Ancient master of didacticism : AESOP
Aesop is remembered today for his famous fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

Something described as “didactic” is morally instructive. The term derives from the Greek “didaktikos” meaning “apt at teaching”.

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

Back in the 18th century "drag" was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was "dragged" along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted drag as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to "drag racing". A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

53. ___ Grey, alter ego of Marvel's X-Man : NATE
Nate Grey is the alter ego of the comic book X-Man called Cable.

X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains that X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellan.

54. Extraocular annoyance : STYE
“Extraocular” is a medical term meaning “outside the eye”.

57. ___-cone : SNO
A sno-cone (also "snow cone") is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Director in "A Chorus Line" : ZACH
5. Pistol packer in a 1943 #1 hit : MAMA
9. Make eyes pop and jaws drop : AMAZE
14. Paradoxical assertion, perhaps : I LIE
15. Writer of the 644-line poem "Ibis" : OVID
16. Stage : PUT ON
17. Seasonal servings : NOGS
18. 1969 Rolling Stones album : LET IT BLEED
20. Like some long flights : COAST TO COAST
22. Part of une fraternité : FRERE
23. He called the U.S. pres. a "glorified public relations man" : HST
24. Abbr. on some clothing tags : IRR
27. Part of a filled-out survey: Abbr. : ANS
29. Admiral who bombarded Tahiti in 1914 : SPEE
30. It often results in changes across the board : HOSTILE TAKEOVER
38. 1959 hit with the lyric "One day I feel so happy, next day I feel so sad" : A TEENAGER IN LOVE
39. At any price : WHATEVER IT TAKES
40. Not meant for specialists : GENERAL INTEREST
41. Some Blu-ray players : RCAS
42. First of 66 books: Abbr. : GEN
43. Fix : SET
44. Couch problem : SAG
47. March Madness, with "the" : NCAAS
51. Charges at the door : ENTRANCE FEES
55. Swan song : LAST HURRAH
58. "Who ___?" : ISN’T
59. Emmy-winning Ed : ASNER
60. The "O" in F. A. O. Schwarz : OTTO
61. Looking up : ROSY
62. Nelson Mandela's mother tongue : XHOSA
63. Sound heard during a heat wave : WHEW!
64. Event with touches : EPEE

Down
1. Corrosion-preventing coating : ZINC
2. Not very affable : ALOOF
3. With 56-Down, refuse to be cleaned out from a poker game? : CIGAR
4. Literature Nobelist before Gide : HESSE
5. Stream on the side of a mountain, perhaps : MOLTEN LAVA
6. Car name that's Latin for "desire" : AVEO
7. McConnell of the Senate : MITCH
8. "Peace out" : ADIOS
9. Black-and-white transmissions, briefly? : APBS
10. Like most brain neurons : MULTIPOLAR
11. Had a beef? : ATE
12. Actress Kazan or Kravitz : ZOE
13. One may get a pass : END
19. Picture on a chest, for short? : TAT
21. They often spot people : TRAINERS
25. Withdraw : REVOKE
26. Minor parish officers : REEVES
28. Jason of "How I Met Your Mother" : SEGEL
29. Five to nine, maybe, but not nine to five : SENTENCE
30. Big bass, in fishing lingo : HAWG
31. Ones remaining : OTHERS
32. Activity that proceeds hand to hand? : SEANCE
33. Heart-to-hearts : TETE-A-TETES
34. ___ Jon (fashion label) : TERI
35. "Give me ___" : A RING
36. Product for young string players? : KITTEN CHOW
37. Ones remaining : REST
44. Good name for a worrywart? : STU
45. Achilles' undoing : ARROW
46. Wayne's pal in "Wayne's World" : GARTH
48. Extremely excited : AFIRE
49. Ancient master of didacticism : AESOP
50. Pick up : SENSE
52. Drag racers' governing grp. : NHRA
53. ___ Grey, alter ego of Marvel's X-Man : NATE
54. Extraocular annoyance : STYE
55. Like some oversight : LAX
56. See 3-Down : ASH
57. ___-cone : SNO


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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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