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0531-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 May 14, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Lampkin
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 23m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Foam item at a water park : POOL NOODLE
Pool noodles are foam flotation devices and much-loved swim-toys by kids who turn up in this house. The grumpy guy who owns the place (me) ends up throwing them out every winter, and new ones just keep turning up …

16. Coming up, to milady : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

“Milady” is a term of address used for a noblewoman.

17. Follower of Roosevelt : ROUGH RIDER
The regiment known formally as the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry is more familiarly known as the Rough Riders. When Theodore Roosevelt was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the unit, it became known as “Roosevelt’s Rough Riders”.

18. Jordan's Mount ___, from which Jericho can be seen : NEBO
Mount Nebo is an elevated spot in Jordan that is mentioned in the Bible. According to the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab in order to see the Promised Land, the Land of Israel that he was destined never to enter. According to Christian and some Islamic traditions, Moses was buried on Mount Nebo.

20. Black hat : OUTLAW
In western movies and television, the bad guys tend to wear black hats, and the good guys wear white. At least that’s the perception ...

22. Sect in ancient Judea : ESSENES
The Essenes were a Jewish religious group, most noted these days perhaps as the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered over a period of years, between 1947 and 1956, in eleven caves on the shores of the Dead Sea. The scrolls are believed to have been written by an ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although this has been called into question recently. Many of the texts are copies of writings from the Hebrew Bible.

24. E.R. units : CCS
Cubic centimeters (ccs)

26. Missouri city, informally : ST JOE
The city of Saint Joseph in Missouri was the westernmost point in the US that was accessible by rail after the Civil War. As such, it was a final stopping-off point as people headed out to the Wild West. The city takes its name from its founder, fur trader Joseph Robidoux. Robidoux apparently like things named after himself and his family, as eight of the main streets downtown were named after his children, and another was named for his second wife!

29. Knuckle-bruiser : MELEE
Our word “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means a "confused fight".

30. "Discreet Music" musician : ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno's most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft's "start-up jingle", the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:
I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

31. Ludwig ___ 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".

35. Acoustic units : SONES
In the acoustic world, the "sone" was introduced in 1936 as a unit of perceived loudness.

36. Hunter of a 20-Across : POSSE
In the context of the Wild West, a “posse” is a group of people who aided a sheriff in enforcing the law. “Posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th-century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

39. "___ Nibelungenlied" : DAS
“(Das) Nibelungenlied” is an Germanic epic poem that dates back to about 1180 to 1210. Known in English as “The Song of the Nibelungs”, “Nibelungenlied” is the source material for Richard Wagner’s famous series of four operas “Der Ring des Nibelungen”.

41. Ephemeral : PASSING
"Ephemera" was originally a medical term, used to describe a fever that only lasted a day. The use of the term was expanded in the 17th century to include insects that were "short-lived", and by end of the 18th century "ephemera" were any things of transitory existence.

45. "Saving Fish From Drowning" author : AMY TAN
Amy Tan lives not too far from here, in Sausalito just north of San Francisco. Tan is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is "The Joy Luck Club". "The Joy Luck Club" was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, a group playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

"Saving Fish From Drowning" is a 2005 novel by Amy Tan about twelve American tourists traveling through China and Burma.

47. Mom on "Malcolm in the Middle" : LOIS
I've never actually sat down and watched the TV comedy "Malcolm in the Middle". It ran on Fox from 2000 to 2006. Malcolm was played by Frankie Muniz, who gave up acting to pursue a career in motor racing.

50. James of jazz : ETTA
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song "At Last". Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

51. Hallmarks of Hallmark : SENTIMENTS
Hallmark produces more greeting cards in the US than any other company. The company was started by Joyce Clyde Hall in 1910, and by 1915 was known as Hall Brothers after his brother Rollie joined the enterprise. Rollie invented what we know today as “wrapping paper”, displacing the traditional use of colored tissue paper for wrapping gifts. The company took on the name “Hallmark” in 1928, taking the term for the symbol used by goldsmiths in London in the 1500s.

52. Old TV news partner of David : CHET
Chet Huntley was a newscaster who co-anchored “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” on NBC with David Brinkley from 1956 to 1970.

Down
2. Pluto and Bluto, e.g. : TOONS
The word “cartoon” was originally used for a “drawing on strong paper”, a durable drawing used as a model for another work. The term comes from the French word “carton” meaning “heavy paper, pasteboard”. Cartoons have been around a long time, with some of the most famous having being drawn by Leonardo da Vinci.

Pluto is Mickey Mouse's pet dog, as well as a star in his own right. Pluto is an unusual Disney character in that he is portrayed basically as a dog as opposed to a "humanized" version of a dog, as are the other Disney characters.

Bluto is the villain in the Popeye cartoon strip and has been around since 1932. Sometimes you will see Bluto go by the name Brutus, depending on the date of the publication. This "confusion" arose because there was an unfounded concern that the name "Bluto" was owned by someone else. Bluto, Brutus ... it's the same guy.

3. Debacles : ROUTS
A “debacle” is a disaster, and is a French word with the same meaning. In French, the term originally was used for the breaking up of ice on a river.

4. Some Prado hangings : EL GRECOS
"El Greco" ("the Greek", in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery's most famous work is "Las Meninas" By Velazquez.

6. Conservative side : TORIES
“Tory” comes from the Irish word “tóraí” meaning “outlaw, robber”. The term “tory” was originally used for an Irish outlaw and later became a term of abuse for Irish rebels. At the end of the reign of King Charles II in Britain, there was a political divide with one side being called “Whigs” and the other “Tories”. Historically, the term “Tory” evolved to basically mean a supporter of the British monarchy, and today is used for a member of the British Conservative Party.

9. ___ Sainte-Croix : ILE
Saint Croix has been ruled by a number of countries, most recently the US. The first colonists were the Spanish, who named the island “Santa Cruz”. After Britain and the Netherlands, the French took over control of the island, and named it Saint Croix. Both Santa Cruz and Saint Croix can be translated into English as "Holy Cross".

11. Hymn leader : CANTOR
“Canto” is the Latin word for “singer”. In some Christian traditions, a “cantor” is the person assigned to lead the singing of ecclesiastical music.

12. They may be thrown out to audiences : ONE-LINERS
Maybe this is a two-liner:
I never wanted to believe that my Dad was stealing from his job as a road worker. But when I got home, all the signs were there.

13. Flip out : GO BANANAS
We use “bananas” today to mean “crazy”, but back in the 1930s the term was underworld slang for “sexually perverted”.

14. One left shaken? : SNOW GLOBE
It is believed that the first snow globes were introduced in France in the early 1800s. They were a development of glass paperweights that were already common, and were initially used to do the same job. Do you know who owns the biggest collection of snow globes in the world, over 8,000 of them? That would be the actor Corbin Bernsen of “LA Law” and “Psych” fame.

21. Lead role in the film known in France as "L'Or de la Vie" : ULEE
The movie “Ulee’s Gold” was released as "L'Or de la Vie" in French-speaking countries, which translates as “Life’s Gold”.

"Ulee's Gold" is a highly respected film from 1997 in which Peter Fonda plays the title role of Ulee. Ulee's "gold" is the honey that Ulee produces. It is a favorite role for Peter Fonda and he has shared that playing Ulee brought to mind his father, Henry Fonda, who himself kept a couple of hives. So if you see Peter Fonda in "Ulee's Gold" you're witnessing some characteristics that Peter saw in his father.

25. Some lap dogs : PEKES
The pekingese breed originated in China, as one might suspect from the name. Breeding practices have resulted in the the dog having many health problems, including breathing issues related to the "desirable" flat face. Standards have been changed in recent years, demanding an "evident muzzle" in an attempt to breed healthier dogs.

26. Class clown, e.g. : SMART ALEC
Apparently the original "smart Alec" was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

27. A woolly bear becomes one : TIGER MOTH
The tiger moth is a brightly-colored moth. The young tiger moth is a very hairy caterpillar known as a woolly bear or a woolly worm.

28. Springsteen, notably : JERSEYITE
Bruce Springsteen is a rock singer and songwriter, famously from New Jersey. A lot of Springsteen’s works are centered on his home state and the American heartland. His most famous album is “Born in the USA”, which was released in 1984. Springsteen lives in New Jersey, with his wife Patti Scialfa and their children.

32. Trysting site : LOVE NEST
In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting.

33. Dished : GOSSIPED
Apparently the verb “to dish” means to chat idly, to gossip.

35. Overseas deb: Abbr. : SRTA
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish and mademoiselle (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

39. 1978 Broadway revue that opens with "Hot August Night" : DANCIN’
The 1978 musical revue “Dancin’” was Bob Fosse’s answer to the hit 1975 music “A Chorus Line”.

Bob Fosse won more Tony Awards for choreography than anyone else, a grand total of eight. He also won an Oscar for Best Director for his 1972 movie "Cabaret", even beating out the formidable Francis Ford Coppola who was nominated that same year for "The Godfather".

41. Rialto and others : PONTI
“Ponti” is Italian for “bridges”.

The Grand Canal is a large, S-shaped canal that traverses the city of Venice in Italy. For centuries there was only one bridge across the canal, the famed Rialto Bridge. Now there are four bridges in all, including a controversial structure that was opened to the public in 2008, the Ponte della Costituzione.

42. Cuckoo : INANE
Our word “inane” meaning silly or lacking substance comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

44. Big V, maybe : GEESE
Apparently geese fly in a V-formation for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to "slipstream" a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when it gets fatigued. It's also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

46. Veronese's "The Wedding at ___" : CANA
Paolo Veronese was a Renaissance painter from the Italian city of Verona (hence his name “Veronese”). Veronese is most famous for his paintings “The Wedding at Cana” and “The Feast at the House of Levi”.

49. Bleu body : MER
In French, the sea (mer) is a blue (bleu) body.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cause of an artery blockage : STREET FAIR
11. Some working parts : COGS
15. Foam item at a water park : POOL NOODLE
16. Coming up, to milady : ANON
17. Follower of Roosevelt : ROUGH RIDER
18. Jordan's Mount ___, from which Jericho can be seen : NEBO
19. Innards : ENTRAILS
20. Black hat : OUTLAW
22. Sect in ancient Judea : ESSENES
23. Lacking backing : SOLOING
24. E.R. units : CCS
25. Protective, in a way : PATERNAL
26. Missouri city, informally : ST JOE
29. Knuckle-bruiser : MELEE
30. "Discreet Music" musician : ENO
31. Ludwig ___ van der Rohe : MIES
32. "In" : LIKED
33. Seizure : GRAB
34. Field of fields?: Abbr. : AGR
35. Acoustic units : SONES
36. Hunter of a 20-Across : POSSE
37. Standbys : RESERVES
39. "___ Nibelungenlied" : DAS
40. Like hospital patients and much lumber : TREATED
41. Ephemeral : PASSING
45. "Saving Fish From Drowning" author : AMY TAN
46. Carry on : CONTINUE
47. Mom on "Malcolm in the Middle" : LOIS
48. Free : EMANCIPATE
50. James of jazz : ETTA
51. Hallmarks of Hallmark : SENTIMENTS
52. Old TV news partner of David : CHET
53. Visual expertise : TRAINED EYE

Down
1. Tear : SPREE
2. Pluto and Bluto, e.g. : TOONS
3. Debacles : ROUTS
4. Some Prado hangings : EL GRECOS
5. Intensify : ENHANCE
6. Conservative side : TORIES
7. Some candy wrappers : FOILS
8. Interjects : ADDS
9. ___ Sainte-Croix : ILE
10. Established in a new place, as a shrub : REROOTED
11. Hymn leader : CANTOR
12. They may be thrown out to audiences : ONE-LINERS
13. Flip out : GO BANANAS
14. One left shaken? : SNOW GLOBE
21. Lead role in the film known in France as "L'Or de la Vie" : ULEE
23. Brokers' goal : SALES
25. Some lap dogs : PEKES
26. Class clown, e.g. : SMART ALEC
27. A woolly bear becomes one : TIGER MOTH
28. Springsteen, notably : JERSEYITE
29. Like diamonds and gold : MINED
32. Trysting site : LOVE NEST
33. Dished : GOSSIPED
35. Overseas deb: Abbr. : SRTA
36. Hobby : PASTIME
38. Distresses : EATS AT
39. 1978 Broadway revue that opens with "Hot August Night" : DANCIN’
41. Rialto and others : PONTI
42. Cuckoo : INANE
43. Cuckoo : NUTTY
44. Big V, maybe : GEESE
46. Veronese's "The Wedding at ___" : CANA
49. Bleu body : MER


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

2 comments :

Dave Kennison said...


Random comments:

I thought this was a cool puzzle - not a single misstep in any of the clues.

I don't understand why this site doesn't get more traffic. I occasionally check Rex Parker's site and have learned from it a lot more about Parker than about the puzzles he reviews or the clues/answers appearing in them. (Some of the user comments there are worthwhile, but his comments are usually just tedious.)

I have always intended to check out the London Times puzzles, but never have (perhaps because I assumed they would be too difficult for me, due to a lack of local knowledge). But ... I just noticed the reference here to the Irish Times (which I did not know existed), so I went off and did a freebie Crosaire (#11566, from 2002/01/10). It took me 50 minutes to finish it! I got tripped up by the British spelling of "odor" (which the spell-checker here won't allow me to put in) and the word "paddling" to mean "walking in shallow water" (to me, it implies a rather inefficient type of swimming). I also had to look up "GPO" as the headquarters of a Dublin event of 1916.

I think the Crosaires might be a better workout for a fading memory than the NYT crosswords, since they don't allow one to be as lazy: you can't depend so much on information from crossing entries. I don't know if I'll become an addict (God knows, as a victim of OCD, I don't need another puzzle addiction to use up my time :-), but I'll certainly go back from time to time.

So ... thanks again, Bill, for your blog ...

My two cents worth ...

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Dave.

Crosaire was the puzzle that I grew up with, a great tradition. Cryptic puzzles are very, very different than the American-style puzzles that we see here everyday.

Glad you enjoyed it!

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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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