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0623-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Jun 14, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brendan Emmett Quigley
THEME: Yo-Yo Tricks … each of today’s themed answers is a YO-YO TRICK:
5D. MTV competitive reality show featuring children of pop stars : ROCK THE CRADLE
7D. Where Phileas Fogg traveled "in 80 days" : AROUND THE WORLD
10D. Do a chore with a pet : WALK THE DOG
15D. Circus act above a net : FLYING TRAPEZE

26D. What 5-, 7-, 10- and 15-Down all are : YO-YO TRICKS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Ladies' service org. since the 1850s : YWCA
The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) was founded in the mid-1800s about 50 years after the YMCA, although the two organizations have always been independent of each other. Having said that, some YWCA and YMCA organizations have amalgamated at the local level and often share facilities. The YWCA is quite the organization, and is the largest women's group in the whole world.

13. ___ acid (building block of biology) : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

17. It has lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) : ZOO
“Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!” is a line spoken by Dorothy in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”. Dorothy had just been informed by the Tin Man and the Scarecrow that she might encounter these animals along the yellow brick road.

18. Real corkers : LULUS
We call a remarkable thing or a person a “lulu”. The term is used in honor of Lulu Hurst, the Georgia Wonder, who was a stage magician active in the 1880s.

A “corker” is something astonishing, and also something that settles a debate or discussion. The term probably comes from putting a cork in a bottle, an act of finality.

23. Baseball's ___ Griffey Jr. : KEN
Ken Griffey, Jr. is noted as a home run hitter as well as a defensive player. In fact, Griffey is tied for the record for the most consecutive games with a home run.

24. Cairo native : EGYPTIAN
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is the largest city on the continent of Africa and is nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name "Cairo" is a European corruption of the city's original name in Arabic, "Al-Qahira", which translates as “the Vanquisher” or “the Conqueror”.

30. London bathroom : LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of "lanterloo" in which the pot was called the loo!

32. Ruler unit : INCH
Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”. “Uncia” is also the derivation of our word “inch”, 1/12 of a foot.

37. Van Susteren of Fox News : GRETA
I remember watching Greta Van Susteren as a legal commentator on CNN during the celebrated O. J. Simpson murder trial. she parlayed those appearances into a permanent slot as co-host of CNN's "Burden of Proof", before moving onto her current gig as host of her own show on the Fox News Channel.

40. Unflinching in the face of pain, say : STOIC
Someone who is “stoic” is indifferent to pleasure or pain, is relatively impassive.

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the "Painted Porch", located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from "stoa", the word for "porch"). And yes, we get our adjective "stoic" from the same root.

42. Architectural style named after a British royal family : TUDOR
The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought for the throne of England between the rival Houses of Lancaster and York. Ultimately the Lancastrians emerged victorious after Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Henry was crowned King Henry VII, and so began the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor united the rival houses by marrying his cousin Elizabeth of York. Henry VII had a relatively long reign of 23 years that lasted until his death, after which his son succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII, continuing the relatively short-lived Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry VIII was the last male to lead the the House of Tudor, as his daughter Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. When Elizabeth died, the Scottish King James VI succeeded to the throne as James I of England and Ireland. James I was the first English monarch of the House of Stuart.

43. "Gone With the Wind" plantation : TARA
Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O'Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind". Tara was founded by Scarlett's father, Irish immigrant Gerald O'Hara. Gerald named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

45. Dubai ruler : EMIR
Dubai is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy.

48. Paris's Musée d'___ : ORSAY
The Musée d'Orsay is one of the premier museums in Paris, and holds the world's largest collection of impressionist art. Renoir was a pioneer in the Impressionist art movement, and so his work is well represented in the d'Orsay.

52. Art ___ (1920s-'30s architectural style) : DECO
Art deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of "30 Rock".

59. English racetrack site : EPSOM
The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. You might also have heard of Epsom salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time.

64. ___ G (Sacha Baron Cohen persona) : ALI
Ali G is a fictional character created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Baron Cohen achieved international fame playing another of his personae, Borat, the protagonist in the 2006 movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan".

65. Musician Frank with the Mothers of Invention : ZAPPA
Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist, a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

66. Blog entry : POST
Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more correctly it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) which then occupy the "front page" of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. Blog is a contraction of the term "web log".

Down
2. ___, amas, amat : AMO
"Amo, amas, amat: ... "I love, you love, he/she/it loves", in Latin.

3. Rival of Peter Pan or Skippy : JIF
Jif is the leading brand of peanut butter in the US, and has been since 1981. Introduced in 1958, it is now produced by Smuckers.

The Peter Pan brand of peanut butter is of course named after the character in the J. M. Barrie play. What we know today as Peter Pan peanut butter was introduced in 1920 as E. K. Pond peanut butter, and renamed in 1928.

Skippy is a brand of peanut butter that has been around since 1933 when it was introduced by Rosefield Packing Co., just down the road here in Alameda, California. The companies that have owned the "Skippy" brand name have for decades been in dispute with the estate of Percy Crosby, the creator of the "Skippy" comic strip, over use of the name.

5. MTV competitive reality show featuring children of pop stars : ROCK THE CRADLE
“Rock the Cradle” is an MTV show, a singing competition. The “twist” in the show is that the competitors are all children of pop and rock stars from the eighties and nineties. Competitors have included Bobby Brown’s son, MC Hammer’s daughter, Olivia Newton-John’s daughter and Kenny Loggins’ son. I try hard not to watch reality TV, but I must admit that this one sounds intriguing …

6. Hat with a tassel : FEZ
"Fez" is the name given to the red cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of "fez" is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

7. Where Phileas Fogg traveled "in 80 days" : AROUND THE WORLD
"Around the World in 80 Days" is just a wonderful adventure story, written by French author Jules Verne and first published in 1873. There have been some great screen adaptations of the story, including the 1956 movie starring David Niven as Phileas Fogg. In almost all adaptations, a balloon is used for part of the journey, perhaps the most memorable means of transportation on Fogg's trip around the world. However, if you read the book, Fogg never used a balloon at all.

8. Plummet : DROP
“To plummet” is “to fall rapidly”, although for centuries the term was nautical and meant to make soundings, to determine the depth of water. Back then the plummet was the ball of lead at the end of the line used for measuring the distance to the seabed. And so, “plummet” derives from “plumbum”, the Latin word for lead.

15. Circus act above a net : FLYING TRAPEZE
A trapeze is a swing with a crossbar, most commonly seen at the circus. “Trapeze” comes in to English via French from the Latin “trapezium”, possibly because the seat of the swing, the ropes and the ceiling formed the shape of a trapezium.

24. O'Neill's "Desire Under the ___" : ELMS
"Desire Under the Elms" is a classic American play written by Eugene O'Neill and published in 1924. It is basically a retelling of a Greek tragedy, but set in contemporary New England. Sophia Loren stars in a movie version released in 1958.

26. What 5-, 7-, 10- and 15-Down all are : YO-YO TRICKS
Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. "Yo-yo" is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning "come-come" or simply "return".

29. Neutral color : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word "ecru" comes from French and means "raw, unbleached". "Ecru" has the same roots as our word "crude".

36. Senseless state : COMA
The term "coma" comes from the Greek word "koma" meaning "deep sleep".

48. Maine town bordering Bangor : ORONO
The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation.

Bangor is the third-most populous city in the state of Maine (after Portland and Lewiston). The city was given its name in 1791, after the hymn “Antiphonary of Bangor” that was written at Bangor Abbey in Northern Ireland.

50. Katmandu's nation : NEPAL
Although Kathmandu is the capital city of the lofty nation of Nepal, it sits in a bowl-shaped valley so is only at an elevation of 4,600 ft. Air pollution is a huge problem in the city. Industry and residents launch a lot of smog into the air, and given the surrounding geography and climate, any pollution blown away during the day tends to fall back into the valley at night.

53. Italian goodbye : CIAO
"Ciao" is the Italian for "'bye". "Arrivederci" is more formal, and translates better as "goodbye".

56. Ctrl-___-Delete : ALT
Control-Alt-Delete is a keyboard command on IBM PC compatible systems used for a soft reboot, or more recently to bring up the task manager in the Windows operating system. Bill Gates tells us that the command was originally just a device to be used during development and was never meant to “go live”. He recently said that “Ctrl+Alt+Del” was a mistake, and that he would have preferred a dedicated key on the keyboard that carried out the same function.

58. 25-Down offspring : KID
(25D. Animal that butts : GOAT)
Males goats are called “bucks” or “billies”, although castrated males are known as “wethers”. Female goats are called “does” or “nannies”, and young goats are referred to as “kids”.

60. Baden-Baden, for one : SPA
Baden-Baden is located in the southwest of German in the Black Forest, very close to the border with France. The natural springs of Baden-Baden were greatly prized by the Ancient Romans who used the town as a spa. Baden-Baden became very popular with the aristocracy in the 1800s when visitors included Queen Victoria, as well as the composers Berlioz and Brahms, and the writer Dostoevsky. The town's reputation earned it the nickname of the "European Summer Capital". The town was originally called just Baden in the Middle Ages, and the name was officially changed to Baden-Baden in 1931. Baden-Baden is short for "the town of Baden in the state of Baden".

62. West who wrote "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It" : MAE
Comic actress Mae West can be quoted so easily, as she had so many great lines delivered so well. Here are a few:
• When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better.
• When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.
• I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
• Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet.
• I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
• Why don't you come on up and see me sometime -- when I've got nothin' on but the radio.
• When women go wrong, men go right after them.
• To err is human, but it feels divine.
• I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I'm a woman, but loose enough to show I'm a lady.
• I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
• Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. College concentration : MAJOR
6. Craze : FAD
9. Ladies' service org. since the 1850s : YWCA
13. ___ acid (building block of biology) : AMINO
14. Flub : ERR
15. Newborn horses : FOALS
16. The fourth (but not the first) letter of "cancel" : SOFT C
17. It has lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) : ZOO
18. Real corkers : LULUS
19. Green-lighted, as a project : OK’D
21. "Nothing ___ sleeve" : UP MY
23. Baseball's ___ Griffey Jr. : KEN
24. Cairo native : EGYPTIAN
28. Weight-loss programs : DIETS
30. London bathroom : LOO
31. What a card player is dealt : HAND
32. Ruler unit : INCH
33. Perhaps : MAYBE
35. And so on: Abbr. : ETC
37. Van Susteren of Fox News : GRETA
40. Unflinching in the face of pain, say : STOIC
41. "Guess ___!" : WHO
42. Architectural style named after a British royal family : TUDOR
43. "Gone With the Wind" plantation : TARA
45. Dubai ruler : EMIR
47. What three strikes make : OUT
48. Paris's Musée d'___ : ORSAY
49. Saw red : WAS ANGRY
51. When most movies open: Abbr. : FRI
52. Art ___ (1920s-'30s architectural style) : DECO
54. Gorilla, e.g. : APE
55. Train that makes all stops : LOCAL
57. Get under the skin of : IRK
59. English racetrack site : EPSOM
63. Joint sometimes twisted when running : ANKLE
64. ___ G (Sacha Baron Cohen persona) : ALI
65. Musician Frank with the Mothers of Invention : ZAPPA
66. Blog entry : POST
67. Not even : ODD
68. Thrill : ELATE

Down
1. Pas' mates : MAS
2. ___, amas, amat : AMO
3. Rival of Peter Pan or Skippy : JIF
4. Winning : ON TOP
5. MTV competitive reality show featuring children of pop stars : ROCK THE CRADLE
6. Hat with a tassel : FEZ
7. Where Phileas Fogg traveled "in 80 days" : AROUND THE WORLD
8. Plummet : DROP
9. "___ wanna take this outside?" : YOU
10. Do a chore with a pet : WALK THE DOG
11. Things hidden in treasure hunts : CLUES
12. The "A" of 9-Across: Abbr. : ASSN
15. Circus act above a net : FLYING TRAPEZE
20. Day: Sp. : DIA
22. The year 1501 : MDI
24. O'Neill's "Desire Under the ___" : ELMS
25. Animal that butts : GOAT
26. What 5-, 7-, 10- and 15-Down all are : YO-YO TRICKS
27. All over again : ANEW
29. Neutral color : ECRU
34. Editorial slant : BIAS
36. Senseless state : COMA
38. What some bands and just-published authors do : TOUR
39. Affectedly cultured : ARTY
44. Matey's yes : AYE
46. "Yes, there ___ God!" : IS A
48. Maine town bordering Bangor : ORONO
50. Katmandu's nation : NEPAL
51. Envelope part : FLAP
53. Italian goodbye : CIAO
56. Ctrl-___-Delete : ALT
58. 25-Down offspring : KID
60. Baden-Baden, for one : SPA
61. Make a decision : OPT
62. West who wrote "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It" : MAE


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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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