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0712-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Jul 14, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tim Croce & Alex Vratsanos
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 31m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Army equivalent of a leading seaman: Abbr. : CPL
Corporal (Cpl.)

4. Lowered : SCOWLED
“To lower” is to look angry, to scowl.

14. New England state sch. : URI
The University of Rhode Island (URI) was first chartered as an agricultural school, back in 1888. URI's main campus today is located in the village of Kingston.

16. Preposition with three homophones : O’ER
Three homophones of the preposition “o’er” would be “ore”, “oar” and “or”.

17. Span since 1955 : TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE
The Tappan Zee Bridge is more correctly called the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge which crosses the Hudson River in New York. The bridge opened in 1955 and is showing its age. There are plans to replace it with a new bridge due to open in 2017.

The Tappan Zee is a 10-mile stretch of the Hudson River in New York, a place where there is a widening of the waterway. The name comes from the Tappan Native American people and the Dutch word “zee” meaning “sea” or “wide expanse of water”.

20. Middle of an Aeschylus trilogy, with "The" : LIBATION BEARERS
The “Oresteia” is a trilogy of Greek plays by Aeschylus. The three titles are:
- "Agamemnon"
- “The Libation Bearers”
- “The Eumenides”

21. Classic label in classical music : ERATO
Erato Records is a label that dates back to 1953, specializing in French classical music.

29. Get on board : LADE
The verb "lade" meaning "to load" comes from an Old English word "hladan". Lade also used to mean "to draw water" and indeed gave us our word "ladle". So "lade" and "ladle" are close cousins.

30. Gouda and Muenster : SEMI-SOFT CHEESES
Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, given it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

Muenster is an American cheese, not to be confused with Munster cheese which is from the department called Vosges in the northeast of France. The American cheese is named for the German city of Münster (also Muenster) in the northwest of the country, a city that doesn't actually have a local cheese named for it.

42. River that passes by the Hermitage : NEVA
The Neva is a very large river that spills into the Gulf of Finland at the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The river forms an expansive delta as it reaches the Baltic Sea and the delta gives rise to numerous islands, with the number of islands further increased by a network of canals. The historic part of the city is built on these islands giving St. Petersburg a very Venetian feel. I had the privilege of visiting the city some years ago, and I can attest that it is indeed spectacular ...

The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia, home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). The Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

43. Wall hanging : ARRAS
A famous arras is seen in Shakespeare's "Hamlet". In one pivotal scene, Polonius is hiding behind a tapestry listening to an argument between Hamlet and Gertrude. Hamlet hears Polonius, mistakes his identity and stabs wildly through the cloth, killing Polonius. The name "arras", used for such a tapestry, comes from the French town of Arras which was famous for the production of fine wall hangings.

44. Saint who is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers : ELMO
St. Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo's fire. The "fire" is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

The “Fourteen Holy Helpers” are a group of Roman Catholic saints who are believed to be particularly helpful in interceding, especially in the case of illness. The group was first delineated in the 1300s in the Rhineland during the plague called the Black Death.

45. Squarely, informally : SPANG
“Spang” is an informal term (that’s new to me) meaning “precisely, squarely”, as in “spang in the middle of this mess”.

47. First name in late-night TV : CRAIG
The Scottish stand-up comedian Craig Ferguson is best known these days as host of CBS’s “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”. For several years Ferguson played Drew Carey’s boss on “The Drew Carey Show”.

54. Pro athlete in a red-and-white uniform : ARIZONA CARDINAL
The Arizona Cardinals were founded in 1898 as the Chicago Cardinals. That makes the Cardinals the oldest, continuously-run professional football team in the whole country.

55. Subway inits. : MTA
The MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). MTA might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as the Metro and sometimes the MTA.

56. Bright spots : SOLARIA
A solarium (plural “solaria”) is a sunroom or sun lounge, a structure usually built onto the side of a house that contains a lot of glass to let in the sun.

58. It's double-hyphenated: Abbr. : SSN
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly.

60. Brutus' "but" : SED
“Sed” is Latin for “but”.

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in Ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

Down
1. Schnitzels, e.g. : CUTLETS
Schnitzel is an Austrian dish made from slices of meat that have been tenderized and thinned with a wooden mallet, and then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. The variant known as Wiener Schnitzel (i.e. Viennese schnitzel) is usually made from veal, although now that veal had fallen into disfavor due to concerns about animal rights, it is often made from pork.

4. 1950s-'70s defense acronym : SEATO
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was set up in 1954, a defense organization with the mission to block communist influence growing in Southeast Asia. The driving force behind the organization's creation was President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Dulles. The list of SEATO members included Australia, France, the Philippines, the UK and the US. The organization was never really considered effective and it fell apart in 1977 largely due to a lack of interest by the members.

6. Pasta eaten with a spoon : ORZO
Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, "orzo" is the Italian word for "barley".

7. "That's enough," to a server : WHEN
The server, adding freshly cracked pepper maybe, says “Say when”.

8. Banker/philanthropist Solomon : LOEB
Solomon Loeb was an American banker who emigrated from Germany when he 21 years of age. Solomon founded the bank Kuhn, Loeb & Co. with his partner Abraham Kuhn in 1867. Kuhn, Loeb & Co. merged with Lehman Brothers in 1977.

9. River into which the Vltava flows : ELBE
The River Elbe rises in the Czech Republic and travels over a thousand kilometers before emptying into the North Sea near the port of Hamburg in Germany.

The Vltava is the longest river in the Czech Republic. We might perhaps know the river as “the Moldau”, which is its German name, as we might be familiar with the symphonic poem called “The Moldau” by Bedřich Smetana.

11. Some corner shops : BODEGAS
“Bodega” is the Spanish term for a winery, or these days for a grocery store.

13. Hero of 20-Across : ORESTES
Orestes is a character appearing in Greek mythology, and is the subject of several Ancient Greek plays. In a story by Homer, Orestes kills his mother Clytemnestra. He does so in revenge as Clytemnestra had killed Agamemnon, who was her husband and father to Orestes. Agamemnon was killed by his wife for sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia in order to get favorable winds on a sea voyage. Heavy stuff …

18. Stanger a.k.a. Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" : PATTI
Patti Stanger is the host of her own reality show called “The Millionaire Matchmaker”. Stanger is a third-generation matchmaker (“shidduch” in the Jewish tradition) who spent some years as Director of Marketing for the matchmaking website Great Expectations. She used this experience to springboard into her own reality show with Bravo TV. In each episode she is seen matchmaking two millionaires.

24. Sight-singing technique : SOLFA
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti. The solfa scale was developed from a six-note ascending scale created by Guido of Arezzo in the 11th century. He used the first verse of a Latin hymn to name the syllables of the scale:
Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.
The "ut" in this scale was later changed to "do", as "do" a more "open ended" sound, and "si" was added (the initials of "Sancte Iohannes") to complete the seven-note scale. Later again, "si" was changed to "ti" so that each syllable began with a unique letter.

27. Onetime center for the distribution of oranges : OCALA
The city of Ocala, Florida was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language "Ocala" means "Big Hammock". Back in the 1890s, Ocala was famous for its oranges, with over one third of that fruit shipped from Florida coming from the city. Also, thoroughbred horse farming in Florida started in Ocala, back in 1943. Some folks today call Ocala the "Horse Capital of the World", but I bet that's disputed by others ...

28. 2008 World Series winners, to fans : PHILS
Philadelphia’s baseball team was founded in 1883 as the Quakers, with the name changing to the Philadelphias and Phillies not long into the team’s history. The Phillies have been based in the same city using the same team name longer than any other team in US professional sports.

32. Laura Nyro album "___ and the Thirteenth Confession" : ELI
Laura Nyro was a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York. Nyro had success with her own recordings, but her songs were even more successful when recorded by other big names. Two of Nyro’s compositions were “Eli’s Coming” recorded by Three Dog Night, and “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand.

37. Sportscaster Jim : NANTZ
Jim Nantz is a sportscaster who has worked for CBS Sports since the 1990s.

38. Olympic gymnast Strug : KERRI
Kerri Strug is that plucky little gymnast who made an outstanding final vault in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics despite having an injured ankle. I think we all remember her being carried off after her vault in the arms of the US team coach Bela Karolyi.

39. Manhattan eatery referenced in Billy Joel's "Big Shot" : ELAINE’S
Elaine’s was a bar and restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that was a regular haunt for celebrity New Yorkers until it closed its doors in 2011. Elaine’s was famous for hosting an Oscar night where the elite and famous would watch the Academy Award ceremony each year. The restaurant gets a mention in the Billy Joel song “Big Shot”, and is also featured in the Woody Allen movie “Manhattan”.

47. Ohio's ___ Point, home of the Top Thrill Dragster and Millennium Force roller coasters : CEDAR
Cedar Point is an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio and is the second-oldest such park in teh country that is still operating (the oldest is Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut, which open in 1846). Cedar Point specializes in roller coasters.

50. Headlight? : HALO
The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo”.

51. Part of A.M.P.A.S.: Abbr. : ACAD
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the "Oscars". The root of the name "Oscar" is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named "Oscar" in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days ...

52. Arum family member : TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

53. TLC, e.g. : TRIO
Tender loving care (TLC)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Army equivalent of a leading seaman: Abbr. : CPL
4. Lowered : SCOWLED
11. Man on the street? : BRO
14. New England state sch. : URI
15. Football helmet feature : EARHOLE
16. Preposition with three homophones : O’ER
17. Span since 1955 : TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE
20. Middle of an Aeschylus trilogy, with "The" : LIBATION BEARERS
21. Classic label in classical music : ERATO
22. Try to pull off, say : TUG AT
23. Camera movement : TILT
24. Unwelcome neighbor : SNOOP
29. Get on board : LADE
30. Gouda and Muenster : SEMI-SOFT CHEESES
33. Greeting at the head of a procession : ALL HAIL!
34. Selfish response to a request : I DON'T FEEL LIKE IT
42. River that passes by the Hermitage : NEVA
43. Wall hanging : ARRAS
44. Saint who is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers : ELMO
45. Squarely, informally : SPANG
47. First name in late-night TV : CRAIG
48. Monumental : EARTH-SHATTERING
54. Pro athlete in a red-and-white uniform : ARIZONA CARDINAL
55. Subway inits. : MTA
56. Bright spots : SOLARIA
57. One being shepherded, say : EWE
58. It's double-hyphenated: Abbr. : SSN
59. Like many a sports car : TWO-DOOR
60. Brutus' "but" : SED

Down
1. Schnitzels, e.g. : CUTLETS
2. Plain variety : PRAIRIE
3. Stick in a purse? : LIP BALM
4. 1950s-'70s defense acronym : SEATO
5. Request often accompanied by "please" : CAN I?
6. Pasta eaten with a spoon : ORZO
7. "That's enough," to a server : WHEN
8. Banker/philanthropist Solomon : LOEB
9. River into which the Vltava flows : ELBE
10. Clear of vermin : DERAT
11. Some corner shops : BODEGAS
12. Move from A to B, say : REGRADE
13. Hero of 20-Across : ORESTES
18. Stanger a.k.a. Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" : PATTI
19. "You can't beat me!" : I RULE!
24. Sight-singing technique : SOLFA
25. 54-Across, e.g., for short : NFLER
26. Gender option on modern forms : OTHER
27. Onetime center for the distribution of oranges : OCALA
28. 2008 World Series winners, to fans : PHILS
31. Didn't get snapped up, say : SAT
32. Laura Nyro album "___ and the Thirteenth Confession" : ELI
34. They run up legs : INSEAMS
35. Skips : DEPARTS
36. Reproductive, in a way : OVARIAN
37. Sportscaster Jim : NANTZ
38. Olympic gymnast Strug : KERRI
39. Manhattan eatery referenced in Billy Joel's "Big Shot" : ELAINE’S
40. "Wow!" : I’M IN AWE!
41. Turned off and on : TOGGLED
46. Shade : GHOST
47. Ohio's ___ Point, home of the Top Thrill Dragster and Millennium Force roller coasters : CEDAR
49. Kind of day or job : SNOW
50. Headlight? : HALO
51. Part of A.M.P.A.S.: Abbr. : ACAD
52. Arum family member : TARO
53. TLC, e.g. : TRIO


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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I found this puzzle impenetrable.

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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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