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0808-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 14, Friday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: A Fishy Grid … we have a mini-theme today, with two themed answers that relate to three black fish in the grid swimming from the bottom-right to the top-left:
17A. " ..." [as hinted at by the three groups of black squares in the middle of the grid] : SOMETHING'S FISHY ...
58A. Best Picture of 1954 [see 17-Across] : ON THE WATERFRONT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 23m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … -OSIS (-otis!!), AMOROSO (amoroto)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. "___ Style," first video with a billion YouTube views : GANGNAM
PSY is the stage name of South Korean rapper Park Jae-sang. PSY became an international star when his 2102 music video “Gangnam Style” went viral on YouTube. That video had over 1 billion views on YouTube in about six months, making it the most viewed YouTube video clip of all time. I am not one of that one billion ...

15. Home to "alabaster cities" : AMERICA
“Thine alabaster cities gleam” is a lyric from “America the Beautiful”.

When she was 33 years old, Katharine Lee Bates took a train ride from Massachusetts to Colorado Springs. She was so inspired by many of the beautiful sights she saw on her journey that she wrote a poem she called "Pikes Peak". Upon publication the poem became quite a hit, and several musical works were adapted to the words of the poem, the most popular being a hymn tune composed by Samuel Ward. Bates's poem and Ward's tune were published together for the first time in 1910, and given the title "America the Beautiful".

16. Like Saudi Arabia : OIL-RICH
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab country in the Middle East and is the world's largest oil producer, home to the world's largest oil reserves. The Saudi dynasty started in central Arabia in 1744 when the secular leader Muhammad ibn Saud joined forces with the Islamic scholar and Imam, Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. At the time, Saud was a ruler of a town near Riyadh and he was determined to bring "true" Islam to the Arabian peninsula. Since 1744 the fortunes of the Saudi family have risen and fallen, but it is that same family who rules what we know today as Saudi Arabia.

19. It may contain mercury : ORE
Mercury is the only metallic element that is liquid at room temperature. It was this property that led to its former name “hydrargyrum”, from the Greek “hydr-” (water) and “argyros” (silver). And, “hydrargyrum” gives us Mercury’s element symbol “Hg”. The name “mercury” was in honor of the Roman god Mercury, who was known for speed and agility, another reference to metals liquid properties. Most of the world’s mercury is found in the form of mercuric sulfide, in the ore called cinnabar.

20. One of its flavors is Mud Pie : EDY’S
Dreyers' ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy's in the Eastern states. The company's founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

21. Starwort, e.g. : ASTER
The starwort is a plant with star-shaped flowers.

22. Sounds from some mall temps : HOS
A Santa at the mall might go “Ho, ho, ho!”

23. Those south of the border? : ESOS
“Esos” is Spanish for “those”.

25. ___ soup : MISO
Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus (!) to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

26. Medical suffix : -OSIS
The suffix “-osis” is found in medical terms. “-Osis” indicates a disorder in general, with the prefix providing more specificity.

30. "___ am your father" (classic "Star Wars" line) : NO I
Darth Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke Skywalker: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Darth Vader: No. I am your father.
Luke Skywalker: No... that's not true! That's impossible!

35. Mythical predator : ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

36. Vietnam's ___ Dinh Diem : NGO
When France withdrew from French Indochina in the mid-fifties, Ngo Dinh Diem led the movement to create the Republic of Vietnam. In what was regarded as a fraudulent referendum, the new country of Vietnam was formed and in 1955 Diem declared himself its first president. His rule was far from peaceful, and he was assassinated by rivals in 1963.

41. Quintet comprising "Ode to the West Wind" : SONNETS
Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote "Ode to the West Wind" in 1819 when he was living in Florence, Italy. One interpretation of the work is that it expresses his dismay at not being home in England, while another is that it is a lament for the loss of his son who died earlier in the same year.

46. "It was you," operatically : ERI TU
The aria "Eri tu" is from Verdi's opera "Un ballo in maschera" (A Masked Ball). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

48. Dictator's beginning : IN RE
The term "in re" is Latin, derived from "in" (in) and "res" (thing, matter). "In re" literally means "in the matter", and is used to mean "in regard to", or "in the matter of".

51. With 45-Across, Thor's co-creator : STAN
(45A. See 51-Across : LEE)
Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he has a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many more.

52. Many a base player : CAD
Our word "cad", meaning "a person lacking in finer feelings", is a shortening of the word "cadet". "Cad" was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used "cad" as a term for a boy from the local town. "Cad" took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

55. No sophisticate : RUBE
A “rube” is person lacking sophistication, often described as "a country bumpkin". The term derives from the masculine name “Reuben”, which was considered back in the early 1800s to be a typical name used in rural areas.

57. Ovid's others : ALIA
“Alia” is Latin for “others”.

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil.

58. Best Picture of 1954 [see 17-Across] : ON THE WATERFRONT
The 1954 drama "On the Waterfront", starring Marlon Brando, told a story of violence and corruption among longshoremen. The movie was based on a series of 24 articles written by investigative journalist Malcolm Johnston and published in "The New York Sun". The original news stories uncovered mob infiltration on the New York City Waterfront, but the location for the film was chosen as Hoboken, New Jersey.

62. Gander : LOOK-SEE
To take “a gander” is to take a long look. It’s a term we’ve been using since the 1880s and comes from the idea that in taking a long look one might be craning one’s neck like a goose (or gander).

63. As part of a series : EN SUITE
The expression “en suite” is an example of the French language being used in English, but with a new meaning. Firstly, the word “ensuite” translates from French as “then” or “later”. The phrase “en suite” translates as “as a set, series”. The French use the term “suite” as we do sometimes, as in a suite of connecting rooms. Over in the British Isles, “en suite”, and sometimes “en-suite” or “ensuite”, is a term used in the hotel industry for a bedroom that has a private bathroom or shower room attached. Some smaller establishments in that part of the word might rent out bedrooms with the occupants having to share bathing facilities.

Down
1. Hybrid on the road? : GASOHOL
Gasohol is a fuel mixture made from 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. Gasohol can be used in most internal combustion engines.

2. Lovingly, on a music score : AMOROSO
Amoroso is the Italian word for "lovingly" and is used as a musical direction on a score.

3. Greek goddess of vengeance : NEMESIS
Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one's nemesis is one's sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

4. 170 is its max score : GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

5. Minute beef : NIT
A “beef” is a complaint or a grievance. It’s not quite clear how “beef” came to have this meaning, but one suggestion is that derives from the habit of soldiers at the end of the 1800s complaining about the quality or availability of beef in their rations.

9. Rostock bar stock : EIS
“Eis” is German for “ice”.

Rostock is a large city in the north of Germany, close to Baltic Sea. The University of Rostock has been around a while. It was founded in 1419. Yep … 1419 …

10. "Bravo" preceder : ALFA
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … Zulu.

11. Optical separator : PRISM
When light passes through a prism, it is split up (“disperses”) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as beautiful spectra.

12. Like some famous frescoes : SISTINE
The Sistine Chapel, in the Pope's residence in Rome, takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV who was responsible for restoring the old Capella Magna in the 15th century. It was about a century later (1508-1512) that Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel under the patronage of Pope Julius II.

A “fresco” is a painting created on a moist plaster, usually on a wall or ceiling. The plaster is “freshly” laid when the image is created, and “fresco” is the Italian for “fresh”.

13. Secretary of state before Dulles : ACHESON
Dean Acheson was the Secretary of State in President Truman’s administration. Acheson's most significant contribution perhaps was convincing the president to get the US involved in the Korean War in 1950.

14. Neighbor of the Adam's apple : THYROID
The thyroid gland is found in the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The gland produces several thyroid hormones, some of which control the rate at which the body uses energy i.e. the body’s rate of metabolism.

The voice box or larynx is where pitch and volume of sound are manipulated when we talk. The structure called the Adam’s apple that protrudes from the human neck is formed by the thyroid cartilage that surrounds the larynx. The Adam’s apple of males tends to increase in size during puberty, so the feature tended to be associated more with males in days gone by, perhaps leading to the name “Adam’s” apple.

18. Where Sotheby's is BID : NYSE
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:
- Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
- Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
- Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
- Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

24. "NCIS" actor Joe : SPANO
Actor Joe Spano's most famous role was perhaps Lt. Henry Goldblume on "Hill Street Blues". In the movie "Apollo 13" he played an unnamed NASA director. On NCIS he plays FBI agent Tobias Fornell.

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show "NCIS", a spin-off drama from "JAG" in which the main "NCIS" characters were first introduced. The big star in "NCIS" is the actor Mark Harmon.

27. Spanish muralist : SERT
Josep Lluís Sert was a Spanish architect from Catalonia. Sert moved from Spain to the US, where he was appointed Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

28. They're clutched during some speeches : OSCARS
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 ...

32. Mies van der ___ : ROHE
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 do look overly plain to me. He is said to have coined the phrase "God is in the details", and he popularized the concept of "less is more" in the world of architecture.

34. Anderson of "Nurses" : LONI
Loni Anderson's most remembered role was Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati". Anderson has been married four times, most famously to actor Burt Reynolds from 1988 to 1993.

“Nurses” is a sitcom that aired in the early nineties. “Nurses” was a spin-off of the show “Empty Nest”, which in turn was a spin-off of “Golden Girls”.

37. Dessert preference : A LA MODE
In French, "à la mode" simply means "fashionable". In America, the term has come to describe a way of serving pie, usually with ice cream, or as I recall from when I lived in Upstate New York, with cheese.

40. Test the strength of, in a way : TITRATE
Titration is a laboratory technique used to determine the concentration of a particular solution. We probably all did titrations in school, using a burette.

41. Where snowbirds flock : SUNBELT
Snowbirds are people from Canada and the northern US who head south for the winter, to places like Florida and California.

42. Corral : ENCLOSE
“Corral” is the Spanish word for an enclosure for livestock, and is a word we’ve imported into English. Ultimately, the term comes from the Vulgar Latin “currale” meaning “enclosure for carts”, itself coming from “currus”, the Latin for “cart”.

50. Indian chief, once : NEHRU
Jawaharlal Nehru was the very first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor, Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru's only daughter, Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi, though she was no relation to Mahatma).

54. Prefix with john : DEMI-
A carboy (also “demijohn”) is a large container for liquids, usually with a capacity of 5 to 15 gallons. Glass and plastic carboys are often used at home for the fermentation of beer and wine.

57. Refuges : ARKS
The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah's life-preserver during the flood.

59. Southeast Asian temple : WAT
“Wat” is the name given to a temple in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.

60. Metrosexual sort : FOP
I think it’s generally accepted that the term “metrosexual”, from “metropolitan heterosexual”, refers to a man who lives in an urban environment and puts a fair amount of money and energy into his appearance. That wouldn’t be me, then ...

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "___ Style," first video with a billion YouTube views : GANGNAM
8. Goes for enthusiastically : LEAPS AT
15. Home to "alabaster cities" : AMERICA
16. Like Saudi Arabia : OIL-RICH
17. "Hmmmmm ..." [as hinted at by the three groups of black squares in the middle of the grid] : SOMETHING'S FISHY ...
19. It may contain mercury : ORE
20. One of its flavors is Mud Pie : EDY’S
21. Starwort, e.g. : ASTER
22. Sounds from some mall temps : HOS
23. Those south of the border? : ESOS
25. ___ soup : MISO
26. Medical suffix : -OSIS
28. Bests : ONE-UPS
30. "___ am your father" (classic "Star Wars" line) : NO I
31. Things that ties never have : LOSERS
33. Last part : TAIL END
35. Mythical predator : ROC
36. Vietnam's ___ Dinh Diem : NGO
37. Excellent, in slang : ALL THAT
41. Quintet comprising "Ode to the West Wind" : SONNETS
45. See 51-Across : LEE
46. "It was you," operatically : ERI TU
48. Dictator's beginning : IN RE
49. ___ angle : AT AN
51. With 45-Across, Thor's co-creator : STAN
52. Many a base player : CAD
53. Like 19-Across : MINED
55. No sophisticate : RUBE
57. Ovid's others : ALIA
58. Best Picture of 1954 [see 17-Across] : ON THE WATERFRONT
61. Hardly the assertive type : DOORMAT
62. Gander : LOOK-SEE
63. As part of a series : EN SUITE
64. A wild card is unlikely to beat one : TOP SEED

Down
1. Hybrid on the road? : GASOHOL
2. Lovingly, on a music score : AMOROSO
3. Greek goddess of vengeance : NEMESIS
4. 170 is its max score : GRE
5. Minute beef : NIT
6. Really long? : ACHE
7. First : MAIDEN
8. Closes a session : LOGS OUT
9. Rostock bar stock : EIS
10. "Bravo" preceder : ALFA
11. Optical separator : PRISM
12. Like some famous frescoes : SISTINE
13. Secretary of state before Dulles : ACHESON
14. Neighbor of the Adam's apple : THYROID
18. Where Sotheby's is BID : NYSE
24. "NCIS" actor Joe : SPANO
27. Spanish muralist : SERT
28. They're clutched during some speeches : OSCARS
29. Sharp or flat : SIGN
32. Mies van der ___ : ROHE
34. Anderson of "Nurses" : LONI
37. Dessert preference : A LA MODE
38. Told, as a secret : LET IN ON
39. Rough housing : LEAN-TOS
40. Test the strength of, in a way : TITRATE
41. Where snowbirds flock : SUNBELT
42. Corral : ENCLOSE
43. Cadet, e.g. : TRAINEE
44. Under : SEDATED
47. Like a guitar string : TAUT
50. Indian chief, once : NEHRU
54. Prefix with john : DEMI-
56. Suffix with switch : -EROO
57. Refuges : ARKS
59. Southeast Asian temple : WAT
60. Metrosexual sort : FOP


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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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