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0702-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Jul 14, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen & Dick Shlakman
THEME: Three Homophones … each of today’s themed answers is a trio of homophones in the format HOMOPHONES HOMOPHONE HOMOPHONES:
17A. MOUNTAINS TICK OFF TOY DOGS : PEAKS PIQUE PEKES
28A. SOUTH AFRICANS ARE UNEXCITED BY SWINE : BOARS BORE BOERS
42A. COUPLES PEEL FRUIT : PAIRS PARE PEARS
54A. PASTORAL POEMS INCAPACITATE TEEN FAVES : IDYLLS IDLE IDOLS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Fix : SPAY
Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

5. Sauna garment : ROBE
As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, "sauna" is a Finnish word, and is correctly pronounced "sow-nah" (with "sow" as in the female pig).

9. Needing a new muffler, say : NOISY
A muffler is a device attached to an internal combustion engine that is designed to reduce noise from the exhaust. We don’t use the term “muffler” on the other side of the Atlantic, opting instead for “silencer”.

14. Jessica of "Dark Angel" : ALBA
Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that she acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. It seems that she has really turned her life around ...

“Dark Angel” is a science fiction television series that ran from 2000 to 2002, and starred Jessica Alba. Alba plays a genetically-enhanced super-soldier.

15. Isle of exile : ELBA
Napoleon was sent into exile twice. A coalition of European powers sent him to the island of Elba in Tuscany in 1814, only for him to escape after a year and return to power. After Wellington defeated him at Waterloo, Napoleon was dispatched to the British-owned island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he spent the last six years of his life.

17. MOUNTAINS TICK OFF TOY DOGS : PEAKS PIQUE PEKES
The words "whet" and "pique" can both be used in the sense of sharpening or awaking one's interest or desire.

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.

20. Honshu honorific : SAN
The Japanese honorific “-san” is added to the end of names as a title of respect, and can be translated as “Mr.” or “Ms.” The usage is wider than it is in English, though. Sometimes “-san” is added to the name of a company, for example.

23. "Now or never" time : D-DAY
The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term "D-Day" is used by the military to designate the day on which a combat operations are to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that D just stands for "Day". In fact, the French have a similar term, "Jour J" (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.

25. Netflix menu heading : BROWSE
Netflix was founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997. Although now focused on video streaming, the company delivered it's billionth DVD in 2007. I presume the renter wasn't charged for that movie ...

28. SOUTH AFRICANS ARE UNEXCITED BY SWINE : BOARS BORE BOERS
“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for "farmer", a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

32. Big name in fancy chocolates : LINDT
The delicious Swiss chocolate sold under the Lindt brand name has its origins in a small confectionery store in Zurich in the 1840s. Lindt purchased our local chocolate company here in San Francisco (Ghirardelli) back in 1998.

34. Play about Capote : TRU
"Tru" was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote's New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn't happen until three years later, in 1978.

35. Piece of Slate, e.g. : ESSAY
"Slate" is an online magazine founded in 1996. "Slate" was originally owned by Microsoft and was part of the MSN online offering. The magazine has been available for free since 1999 (it is ad-supported) and has been owned by the Washington Post Company since 2004.

36. Sex columnist Savage : DAN
Dan Savage is an author and journalist who is famous for writing a sex advice column under the title “Savage Love”. “Savage Love” is directed towards the gay community and is syndicated in several dozen newspapers across the world.

40. "Pics ___ didn't happen" ("Where's the proof?!") : OR IT
“Pics or it didn’t happen” is a phrase used commonly in Internet discussions, designed to counter the plethora of unverifiable claims that one encounters online.

41. ___ poker (dollar bill game) : LIAR’S
Liar’s poker is a bar game that is played with the eight digits of the serial number on a US dollar bill. The idea is to guess how often a particular digit appears in a particular serial number.

48. Antiquity, in the past : ELD
“Eld” is an archaic word meaning “antiquity, olden times”.

49. Shrek, e.g. : OGRE
Before "Shrek" was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children's picture book called "Shrek!" authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title "Shrek!" came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning "fear" or "terror".

51. Any of T. S. Eliot's "practical" creatures : CAT
Andrew Lloyd Webber's source material for his hit musical "Cats" was T. S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats". Eliot's collection of whimsical poems was published in 1939, and was a personal favorite of Webber as he was growing up. "Cats" is the second longest running show in Broadway history ("Phantom of the Opera" is the longest and is still running; deservedly so in my humble opinion). my wife and I have seen “Cats” a couple of times and really enjoyed it ...

The author T. S. Eliot was the son of Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Champe Stearns, so his full name was Thomas Stearns Eliot (TSE).

54. PASTORAL POEMS INCAPACITATE TEEN FAVES : IDYLLS IDLE IDOLS
An "idyll" (also "idyl") is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word comes from the Greek "eidyllion", which literally translates to "little picture" but was a word describing a short, poem with a rustic theme.

59. Author Zora ___ Hurston : NEALE
Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, most famous for her 1937 novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God". Like the author, the main character in the novel is an African American woman, a part played by Halle Berry in a television movie adaptation that first aired in 2005.

60. One sleeping "in the jungle, the mighty jungle," in song : LION
I’ve always liked the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, a 1961 hit for the Tokens. The song has a long history. It was written and recorded originally in 1939 by Solomon Linda under the title “Mbube”, Zulu for “lion”. It was released again in 1951 by a band called the Weavers under the title “Wimoweh”, the word sung in the chorus. However, "wimoweh" was a mishearing of the song’s original chorus “uyimbube”, Zulu for “you’re a lion”. Then along came the Tokens in 1961 and recorded it as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Quite interesting …

61. ___ Major : URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for "Larger Bear") is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that's what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the "plough".

62. Lecherous goat-man : SATYR
The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the "rude" male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

Down
4. Tibetan source of butter : YAK
The English word "yak" is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

6. Lena of "Havana" : OLIN
The lovely Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin's breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.

"Havana" is a movie starring Robert Redford and Lena Olin that is set in Cuba on the eve of the Cuban Revolution.

7. Tailgaters' activities, for short : BBQS
It is believed that our word “barbecue” comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

8. La mer contents : EAU
“Eau” is the French word for “water”; “Mer” is the French word for “sea”.

10. Pugilistic combo : ONE-TWO
“Pugilism”, another word for “boxing”, comes from the Latin “pugil” meaning “boxer”. In turn, “pugil” derives from “pugnus”, the word for “fist”.

12. Boy of song who hated his name : SUE
“A Boy Named Sue” is a classic song by Shel Silverstein that was made famous by Johnny Cash. Cash actually recorded the song at a live concert he gave in 1969 at San Quentin State Prison.

13. Sycophant's standard reply : YES
A sycophant is a selfish person, one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

18. Wisenheimer : SMARTY
A smart Alec or wise guy might be called “Wisenheimer”. The term is mock German or Yiddish and dates back to the very early 1900s.

19. Like fur seals : EARED
There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals.

24. "___ means nothing" (1918 manifesto declaration) : DADA
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe. According to the Dada Manifesto of 1918:
DADA DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING. Every man must shout: there is great destructive, negative work to be done. To sweep, to clean. Dada means nothing... Thought is produced in the mouth.

25. Any of three literary sisters : BRONTE
The Brontë family lived in the lovely village of Haworth in Yorkshire, England. The three daughters all became recognised authors. The first to achieve success was Charlotte Brontë when she published “Jane Eyre”. Then came Emily with “Wuthering Heights” and Anne with “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”.

26. Becomes worthy of the Guinness Book, say : SETS A RECORD
"The Guinness Book of World Records" holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.

27. Rarities for Gold Glove winners : ERRORS
The Gold Glove is an annual award given by Major League Baseball to the player judged to be the best in each fielding position in a season. The award was instituted in 1957 by the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings.

28. Guinea-___ (West African nation) : BISSAU
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is in West Africa, bordered by the countries of Senegal and Guinea. The country was a Portuguese colony for centuries under the name Portuguese Guinea. When independence was granted in 1974, the name Guinea-Bissau was chosen for the new country, as Bissau is the nation’s capital. The double-barrelled name helps to prevent confusion with the neighboring Republic of Guinea.

32. Grand jeté, e.g. : LEAP
A jeté is a leap in ballet, coming from the French word "jeter" meaning "to throw". A jeté en avant is a “leap to the front”, towards the audience.

37. Kosygin of Russia : ALEXEI
Alexei Kosygin was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. When Nikita Khrushchev was ousted from the posts of First Secretary and Chairman in 1964, Leonid Brezhnev replaced Khrushchev as First Secretary, and Kosygin replaced him as Chairman. Brezhnev and Kosygin then became the most powerful members of a collective leadership that lasted until Kosygin resigned in 1980, with Brezhnev dying two years later in 1982. Although Brezhnev and Kosygin started out as leaders with equal footing, over time Brezhnev took more and more control. As a result, the period of Soviet history from 1964 to 1982 is now referred to as the Brezhnev Era.

38. Iranian currency : RIAL
The "Rial" is name of the currency of Iran (as well as Yemen, Oman, Cambodia and Tunisia).

40. Printed points of view, for short : OP-EDS
Op-ed is an abbreviation for "opposite the editorial page". Op-eds started in "The New York Evening World" in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

43. Singer with the 1994 hit "Bump n' Grind" : R KELLY
R. Kelly is the stage name of R&B singer Robert Kelly from Chicago. R. Kelly was named by “Billboard” as the most successful R&B singer in the past 25 years, and so I guess he has earned his nickname “King of R&B”. Kelly ran into some problems in the press when it was revealed that he had married singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 and Kelly was 27-years-old.

44. Many a Craigslist user : SELLER
Craigslist is an online network of communities that features classified advertisements organized geographically. Craigslist was started by Craig Newmark in 1995, originally as an email distribution list for his friends who lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area.

45. PepsiCo, to Frito-Lay : PARENT
The Frito Corporation was started in 1932 by Elmer Doolin, basically in his mother’s kitchen. Doolin paid $100 for a corn chip recipe from a local restaurant and started producing Fritos at the rate of 10 pounds per day.

Lay's potato chips were introduced in 1938 by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, travelling all over the US. In those days the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!

49. Often-kicked comics canine : ODIE
Odie is Garfield's best friend and is a slobbery beagle, a character in Jim Davis’s comic strip.

53. Pre-1917 autocrat : TSAR
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. "Czar" is derived from the word "Caesar", which was synonymous with "emperor" at that time.

55. Bust-making org. : DEA
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

56. China's Sun ___-sen : YAT
Sun Yat-sen is known as the "Father of the Nation" in China, and is uniquely revered in both the mainland of China and on the island of Taiwan. During his rule as president of the country he promoted his political philosophy known at the Three Principles of the People, namely nationalism, democracy and the people’s livelihood.

58. Indigo Girls, e.g. : DUO
Indigo Girls are a folk rock music duo made up of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. Ray and Saliers are considered icons in the LGBT community as both identified themselves as lesbians a long time ago, although they have never been a couple.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fix : SPAY
5. Sauna garment : ROBE
9. Needing a new muffler, say : NOISY
14. Jessica of "Dark Angel" : ALBA
15. Isle of exile : ELBA
16. When prompted : ON CUE
17. MOUNTAINS TICK OFF TOY DOGS : PEAKS PIQUE PEKES
20. Honshu honorific : SAN
21. Has control of : MANS
22. Caricatures and such : ART
23. "Now or never" time : D-DAY
25. Netflix menu heading : BROWSE
28. SOUTH AFRICANS ARE UNEXCITED BY SWINE : BOARS BORE BOERS
32. Big name in fancy chocolates : LINDT
33. Give ___ of approval : A NOD
34. Play about Capote : TRU
35. Piece of Slate, e.g. : ESSAY
36. Sex columnist Savage : DAN
37. Crime in much insurance fraud : ARSON
39. ___ brown : ASH
40. "Pics ___ didn't happen" ("Where's the proof?!") : OR IT
41. ___ poker (dollar bill game) : LIAR’S
42. COUPLES PEEL FRUIT : PAIRS PARE PEARS
46. Cost of maintenance : UPKEEP
47. ___ grease : AXLE
48. Antiquity, in the past : ELD
49. Shrek, e.g. : OGRE
51. Any of T. S. Eliot's "practical" creatures : CAT
54. PASTORAL POEMS INCAPACITATE TEEN FAVES : IDYLLS IDLE IDOLS
59. Author Zora ___ Hurston : NEALE
60. One sleeping "in the jungle, the mighty jungle," in song : LION
61. ___ Major : URSA
62. Lecherous goat-man : SATYR
63. Didn't spoil : KEPT
64. Sign of spoilage : ODOR

Down
1. Chumps : SAPS
2. "Don't shoot!," e.g. : PLEA
3. Final order from the captain : ABANDON SHIP!
4. Tibetan source of butter : YAK
5. Makes good on : REPAYS
6. Lena of "Havana" : OLIN
7. Tailgaters' activities, for short : BBQS
8. La mer contents : EAU
9. "You got it" : NO PROB
10. Pugilistic combo : ONE-TWO
11. "E-e-e-ew!" : ICK!
12. Boy of song who hated his name : SUE
13. Sycophant's standard reply : YES
18. Wisenheimer : SMARTY
19. Like fur seals : EARED
24. "___ means nothing" (1918 manifesto declaration) : DADA
25. Any of three literary sisters : BRONTE
26. Becomes worthy of the Guinness Book, say : SETS A RECORD
27. Rarities for Gold Glove winners : ERRORS
28. Guinea-___ (West African nation) : BISSAU
29. Unjust verdict : BAD RAP
30. Radio booth sign : ON AIR
31. Catches some rays : SUNS
32. Grand jeté, e.g. : LEAP
37. Kosygin of Russia : ALEXEI
38. Iranian currency : RIAL
40. Printed points of view, for short : OP-EDS
43. Singer with the 1994 hit "Bump n' Grind" : R KELLY
44. Many a Craigslist user : SELLER
45. PepsiCo, to Frito-Lay : PARENT
49. Often-kicked comics canine : ODIE
50. Zero-star fare : GLOP
52. "In addition ..." : ALSO ...
53. Pre-1917 autocrat : TSAR
54. Networkers' hopes : INS
55. Bust-making org. : DEA
56. China's Sun ___-sen : YAT
57. Kind : ILK
58. Indigo Girls, e.g. : DUO


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3 comments :

K McQ said...

This was just too painfully cute. Sophmoric..

Anonymous said...

greetings from canada! i had a french teacher in college who told me a different story about the origins of the word barbecue. in french "barbe" means 'beard', "au" means 'to' and "cue" means... the hole at the other end of the body.

"barbe-au-cue" was the way a goat was secured to the spit before going over the fire. from the beard to the...

Bill Butler said...

Greetings in Canada :)

That's a great etymology for "barbecue". I would love to think that it's true. Thank you for sharing!

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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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