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0624-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Jun 14, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Heather Valadez
THEME: Covert Operation … each of today’s themed answers has some circled letters within, and they spell out a basic arithmetic operation. Yep, four COVERT OPERATIONS:
18A. Sleep state for an electronic device : STANDBY MODE (giving “add”)
24A. Outsource, as part of a job : SUBCONTRACT
50A. Like World of Warcraft and other fare for 66-Acrosses : MULTIPLAYER
62A. It's on the left in the U.S. and the right in the U.K. : DRIVER’S SIDE

40A. Secret military mission ... or a hint to the circled letters in this puzzle? : COVERT OPERATION
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Norwegian tourist attraction : FJORD
A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

15. Author of Gothic short stories, in short : EA POE
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn't really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

20. Fesses up : ADMITS
The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.

22. Ruckus : ADO
The word “ruckus” is used to mean a commotion, and has been around since the late 1800s. "Ruckus" is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.

28. SXSW festival setting : AUSTIN
South by Southwest, also known as SXSW, is an annual festival that has been taking place in Austin, Texas since 1987. SXSW is a melded event, combining a music festival, a film festival and an interactive festival.

39. Hooch : BOOZE
In the Klondike gold rush, a favorite tipple of the miners was "Hoochinoo", a liquor made by the native Alaskans. Soon after "hooch" (also "hootch") was adopted as a word for cheap whiskey.

43. Oscar winner for "Skyfall" : ADELE
The English singer Adele Adkins goes by the stage name "Adele". Adele describes her musical style as “heartbroken soul”. Not too long ago, Adele wrote and performed the theme song for the latest James Bond film, “Skyfall”.

I have not been a fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond (preferring Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan in the role). However, I saw “Skyfall” when it first came out and have been won over. “Skyfall” is one of the best Bond films so far, in my humble opinion …

44. Yemen's capital : SANA
Sana (also Sana’a) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today's metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site.

45. Ye ___ Shoppe : OLDE
The word "olde" wasn't actually used much earlier than the 1920s. "Olde" was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.

48. Gremlins and Pacers : AMCS
When Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company came together in 1954, it was the largest US corporate merger to date. The new company was called American Motors Corporation (AMC), and was of a size that could compete with the “Big Three” automakers. A few months after the merger, George W. Romney was given the top job at AMC. George was father of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The Gremlin is a subcompact car that was made by AMC in the 1970s. The Gremlin was positioned to compete with the Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto from the US, and with imports like the VW Beetle and Toyota Corona. On the list of ex-Gremlin drivers are Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

The AMC Pacer is an iconic car from the seventies. The Pacer has big glass windows leading to it being nicknamed “the Flying Fish Bowl” by “Car and Driver” magazine.

50. Like World of Warcraft and other fare for 66-Acrosses : MULTIPLAYER
“World of Warcraft” is an online role-playing game. My son informed me that the game is not that great. Like I would know …

56. Coin whose front varies by country : EURO
Euro coins are issued by all the participating European states. The reverse side is a common design used by all countries, whereas the obverse is a design specific to each nation. For example, the one euro coin issued by Malta features the Maltese Cross. That Maltese euro is legal tender right across the eurozone. Of course the Irish euro features a harp.

61. Mopey donkey of children's literature : EEYORE
Eeyore is the donkey character in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”. Eeyore is very lovable, but has a gloomy and pessimistic outlook on life.

62. It's on the left in the U.S. and the right in the U.K. : DRIVER’S SIDE
About two third’s of the world’s population live in right-hand traffic countries. There is a lot of evidence that the Ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians tended to keep to the left on roads, by law or by custom. The British and parts of the old British Empire have generally stuck with this left-hand rule, whereas countries influenced by the French, since the days of Napoleon Bonaparte, have moved to a right-hand traffic system.

68. Wildcats of the N.C.A.A. : KSU
The athletic teams of Kansas State University (KSU) are called the Wildcats. The Wildcats official "colors" are just one, Royal Purple. There are very few college teams with just one official color. As well as KSU there is Syracuse (Orange) and Harvard (Crimson).

69. Kagan of the Supreme Court : ELENA
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the fourth female US Supreme Court justice (there have been 108 men!). I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread "Pride and Prejudice" once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I'd say ...

70. Potter's potions professor : SNAPE
Severus Snape is a character in the Harry Potter novels, played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen.

71. Simone de Beauvoir's "The Second ___" : SEX
Simone de Beauvoir was a French philosopher and writer. de Beauvoir wrote a treatise in 1949 called “The Second Sex” that discussed the oppression of women, which became an inspiration for the modern feminist movement. She is also known for the long-term relationship she had with fellow philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre.

Down
2. One who believes in karma : HINDU
Karma is religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one's life, future life, or afterlife and vice versa.

3. Weapon of mass destruction in '45 headlines : A-BOMB
The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was code named “Trinity”, and was conducted on July 16, 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The detonation took place at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range located about 25 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.

6. Therapists' org. : APA
American Psychiatric Organization (APA)

7. Submarine sensor : SONAR
The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using "supersonics", but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy's Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the IC from "superson-ic-s" to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology "ASDivite". By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so the name ASDIC was deep-sixed ...

8. ___ Gabler, Ibsen heroine : HEDDA
“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as “the female Hamlet”.

9. Really cool, in slang : FLY
Apparently “fly” is a slang term meaning “cool, in style”.

11. Instrument that tunes an orchestra : OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name "oboe" comes from the French "hautbois" which means "high wood". When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you'll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an "A". The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe's "A".

13. Great Scott? : DRED
Famously, the slave Dred Scott was unsuccessful in suing for his freedom in St. Louis, Missouri in 1857.

19. ___ Raton, Fla. : BOCA
The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

21. Magnesium chloride, e.g. : ICE MELT
Magnesium chloride is an ionic salt that is very soluble in water. One of the main applications for the compound is to control icing of highways and sidewalks during the winter. Here in North America, most of the supply of magnesium chloride comes from the brine in the Great Salt Lake.

25. Nirvana and Destiny's Child : TRIOS
Nirvana is a rock band, formed in Washington in 1987 by Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. The band effectively disbanded in 1994 after Cobain committed suicide.

Destiny’s Child was an R&B group active from 1960 to 2006. The trio’s lineup changed over the years, and probably the most famous former member of the group is Beyoncé Knowles.

26. Big horn : TUBA
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). "Tuba" is the Latin word for "trumpet, horn". Oom-pah-pah ...

31. Preppy clothing brand : IZOD
Jack Izod was a tailor of some repute over in England, producing shirts for King George V as well as other members of the Royal Family. As Izod was about to retire, he was approached for the use of his name by an American clothing manufacturer based in New York. The brand Izod of London was introduced to America in 1938.

32. Protected bird in Hawaii : NENE
The bird called a nene is a native of Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name "nene" is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful.

33. Grift, e.g. : SCAM
“Grift” is money made dishonestly, especially as the result of a swindle. The term perhaps is an alteration of the the word “graft”, which can have a similar meaning.

37. One working overtime in Apr., maybe : CPA
Certified public accountant (CPA)

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

38. Alaskan peninsula : KENAI
The Kenai Peninsula juts out into the Gulf of Alaska from Alaska’s southern coast. The Kenai Peninsula is home to several towns, including Homer, Alaska. Homer is nicknamed “the end of the road” as it is a terminus for North America’s paved highway system. The peninsula is also home to Kenai Fjords National Park.

41. 20 quires of paper : REAM
A “quire” is a measure of paper quantity. There are usually 25 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires (500 sheets) in a ream. However, a quire sometimes only contains 15, 18 or 20 sheets, depending on the type of paper.

47. German coal region : RUHR
The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.

49. "Monty Python" actor John : CLEESE
The magnificent actor and comedian John Cleese came to the public’s attention as a cast member in the BBC’s comedy sketch show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Cleese then co-wrote and starred in the outstanding comedy “Fawlty Towers”. He even had a role in two “James Bond” films.

The zany comedy show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” was first aired in 1969 on the BBC. The show ran for four seasons and finished up soon after John Cleese decided to leave the team and move onto other projects.

52. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse ___ : TYSON
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who is noted for his ability to communicate science to the masses. Tyson is well known for his appearances on the great PBS show “Nova”.

55. Brought back : REDUX
The adjective “redux” means “returned, brought back”, and is derived from the Latin “reducere” meaning “to lead back, to bring back”.

57. Eurasia's ___ Mountains : URAL
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

58. Frost : RIME
Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

64. Flatow or Glass of public radio : IRA
"Science Friday" is an excellent talk show broadcast every Friday on NPR, and hosted by Ira Flatow. Flatow is known on television as the host of “Newton’s Apple”, which ran from 1983 to 1998.

Ira Glass is a well-respected presenter on American Public Radio, most noted for his show "This American Life". I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira's first cousin.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Oh, so that's it!" : AHA!
4. Impetuous : BRASH
9. Norwegian tourist attraction : FJORD
14. Tease : RIB
15. Author of Gothic short stories, in short : EA POE
16. Slave away : LABOR
17. Music producer Brian : ENO
18. Sleep state for an electronic device : STANDBY MODE
20. Fesses up : ADMITS
22. Ruckus : ADO
23. Tidbit for a bird : SEED
24. Outsource, as part of a job : SUBCONTRACT
27. Still-life subject : EWER
28. SXSW festival setting : AUSTIN
33. Blossom support : STEM
36. Really cool, in slang : SICK
39. Hooch : BOOZE
40. Secret military mission ... or a hint to the circled letters in this puzzle? : COVERT OPERATION
43. Oscar winner for "Skyfall" : ADELE
44. Yemen's capital : SANA
45. Ye ___ Shoppe : OLDE
46. What covers many blocks? : MORTAR
48. Gremlins and Pacers : AMCS
50. Like World of Warcraft and other fare for 66-Acrosses : MULTIPLAYER
56. Coin whose front varies by country : EURO
60. Stable diet? : HAY
61. Mopey donkey of children's literature : EEYORE
62. It's on the left in the U.S. and the right in the U.K. : DRIVER’S SIDE
65. Boy : LAD
66. See 50-Across : GAMER
67. Doughnut's shape : TORUS
68. Wildcats of the N.C.A.A. : KSU
69. Kagan of the Supreme Court : ELENA
70. Potter's potions professor : SNAPE
71. Simone de Beauvoir's "The Second ___" : SEX

Down
1. Fields : AREAS
2. One who believes in karma : HINDU
3. Weapon of mass destruction in '45 headlines : A-BOMB
4. Confer (upon) : BESTOW
5. Tangle : RAT’S NEST
6. Therapists' org. : APA
7. Submarine sensor : SONAR
8. ___ Gabler, Ibsen heroine : HEDDA
9. Really cool, in slang : FLY
10. Copier malfunctions : JAMS
11. Instrument that tunes an orchestra : OBOE
12. Cycled, say : RODE
13. Great Scott? : DRED
19. ___ Raton, Fla. : BOCA
21. Magnesium chloride, e.g. : ICE MELT
25. Nirvana and Destiny's Child : TRIOS
26. Big horn : TUBA
29. In a manner of speaking : SO TO SAY
30. Slave away : TOIL
31. Preppy clothing brand : IZOD
32. Protected bird in Hawaii : NENE
33. Grift, e.g. : SCAM
34. ___ list : TO-DO
35. Of all time : EVER
37. One working overtime in Apr., maybe : CPA
38. Alaskan peninsula : KENAI
41. 20 quires of paper : REAM
42. Increased, as production : RAMPED UP
47. German coal region : RUHR
49. "Monty Python" actor John : CLEESE
51. Persists : LASTS
52. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse ___ : TYSON
53. They provide richness in batter : YOLKS
54. Wipe away : ERASE
55. Brought back : REDUX
56. Sharp part : EDGE
57. Eurasia's ___ Mountains : URAL
58. Frost : RIME
59. Place for a roast : OVEN
63. Historical interval : ERA
64. Flatow or Glass of public radio : IRA


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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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