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0909-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Sep 14, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: Twisting … today’s theme is the 1960 hit “Let’s Twist Again” by CHUBBY CHECKER. The song lyric “COME ON LET’S TWIST” twists its way down the center of the grid, highlighted by the circled letters:
10D. Starter of a dance craze in 18-Down CHUBBY CHECKER
18D. See 10-Down NINETEEN SIXTY
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Country getaways, in Russia DACHAS
Dachas are usually second homes in Russia and the former Soviet Union that are located outside the city limits in rural areas. Residents/tenants of dachas are often called dachniks.

14. Start of a Latin trio AMO
"Amo, amas, amat: ... "I love, you love, he/she/it loves", in Latin.

16. Subject of Dante's "Inferno" HELL
Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy" is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is "Inferno", which is the Italian word for "Hell". In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here".

21. These, to Thérèse CES
"Ces" is the French word for "these".

22. Addis ___, Ethiopia ABABA
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia. The city is relatively young, having being founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Addis Ababa holds an important position within the nations of Africa as it is home to many international organizations that are focused on the continent.

23. Sub commander of fiction NEMO
In the 1954 movie version of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne the fate of Nemo and his crew isn't quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones' Locker.

25. Home to James Joyce DUBLIN
The city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is known as Baile Átha Cliath in Irish (“town of the hurdled ford”). The English name “Dublin” is an anglicized form of the older Irish name for the city, “Dubh Linn” meaning “black pool”.

Regular readers will know that I am unashamedly supportive of my native Irish culture, but I have to tell you that I can't handle the works of James Joyce. I have spent many a fine day traipsing around Ireland learning about his life, but I have yet to appreciate one of his books. To me, his life is more absorbing than his writing. Having said that, "Ulysses" is an interesting novel in that it chronicles just one ordinary day in the life of a Dubliner named Leopold Bloom. There's a huge celebration of "Ulysses" in Dublin every year on June 16th, called Bloomsday. The festivities vary from readings and performances of the storyline, to good old pub crawls. “Ulysses” was made into a film of the same name in 1967 starring Milo O’Shea.

29. Smartly attired NATTY
A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly and neatly.

40. Noted performing whale SHAMU
Shamu was the name of the third orca, or killer whale, ever to be featured in a public exhibition. Shamu starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the name "Shamu" is still used by SeaWorld for its killer whale shows. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of one of her trainers.

44. Environmental activist Brockovich ERIN
Erin Brockovich is an environmental activists who is famous for the role she played in building a case against Pacific Gas & Electric for contaminating drinking water. Her story was told in a 2000 film title “Erin Brockovich” that starred Julia Roberts. Brockovich herself actually appeared in the film as she was given a cameo as a waitress in a restaurant scene.

46. Pepsi competitor RC COLA
"Nehi Corporation" was the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955, RC Cola was the company's flagship product, so the "Nehi Corporation" became the "Royal Crown Company". In 1954, RC Cola became the first company to sell soft drinks in cans.

48. Round a certain corner in Monopoly PASS GO
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of "The Landlord's Game" created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord's Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

53. Number often given to a maitre d' TWO
A table for two, please …

The full name of a “maître d'” is "maître d’hôtel", which means "master of the hotel".

55. Brown-toned photo SEPIA
Sepia is that lovely rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. "Sepia" is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish.The "sepia tone" of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

59. River to 16-Across STYX
The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead "to pay the ferryman".

62. Pinball infraction TILT
In a game of pinball, some players get an irresistible urge to "nudge" the machine . Such a nudge, a movement of the machine designed to influence the path taken by the ball, is called a "tilt". Most pinball machines have sensors designed to detect a tilt, and when activated a "tilt" warning light comes on and the player's controls are temporarily disabled.

64. Pond fish KOI
Koi are also called Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

65. ___-deucey ACEY
Acey-deucy is a fast-played variant of backgammon. Apparently the game has been a favorite with members of the armed forces since the days of WWI.

66. Noisy like a clunker RATTLY
A “clunker” is a an old jalopy, a beaten-up and run-down car.

67. Hollywood's Harris and Helms EDS
Ed Harris is a very talented actor, noted for two great performances in movies about the Space Program. Harris played John Glenn in "The Right Stuff" in 1983, his "breakthrough" role. Twelve years later he has a stellar performance as the flight director Gene Kranz in "Apollo 13".

The comedic actor Ed Helms got his big break in television on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”, after which he joined the cast of “The Office”. Helms is now making a name for himself on the big screen. Notably, he co-stars in the “The Hangover” series of films.

Down
2. Poet Khayyám OMAR
Omar Khayyam was a Persian with many talents. He was a poet as well as an important mathematician, astronomer and physician. A selection of his poems were translated by one Edward Fitzgerald in a collection called "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam". Here are some lines from “Rubaiyat” …
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help--for it
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

3. Cher's son Chaz BONO
Chaz Bono is the only child of the singers Sonny and Cher (although they both have children from other marriages). Chaz was named Chastity Sun Bono at birth and told her parents at the age of 18 that she was a lesbian. More recently Bono underwent gender reassignment surgery, and Chastity has legally changed his name to Chaz.

5. Mo. when Shakespeare was born APR
It is not actually known when the great English playwright William Shakespeare was born, but he was baptized on April 26th, 1564. Traditionally, his birthday is celebrated on April 23rd, which is the feast day of Saint George and England’s National Day. Shakespeare also died on April 23rd, in 1616 at the presumed age of exactly 52 years.

6. TV's "___ and the Man" CHICO
“Chico and the Man” is a sitcom that originally aired in the seventies. The title characters were played by Jack Albertson (the Man) and Freddie Prinze (Chico Rodriguez). Sadly, Freddie Prinze committed suicide during the third season. The producers tried to keep the show going by introducing new characters, but it was cancelled at the end of the fourth season due to poor ratings.

9. Onetime New Left org. SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

10. Starter of a dance craze in 18-Down CHUBBY CHECKER
(18D. See 10-Down NINETEEN SIXTY)
Ernest Evans was given the nickname "Chubby" by his boss at a produce market where he worked after school. When he went to make a recording for "American Bandstand" as Ernest Evans, Dick Clark's wife asked what his friends called him. When she heard "Chubby", she compared his name to that of "Fats" Domino. She then joked that "Checker" might be a better choice than Evans, given that Fats used "Domino". And so, Chubby Checker was born.

The Twist is a dance that was born in the sixties, and was inspired by the Chubby Checker hit of 1960 called “The Twist”. Chubby Checker sang the song live in front of a crowd in Deland, Florida in October 2012. About 40,000 people danced along to the music, setting a new Guinness World Record for the most people “twisting” at the same time. Checker helped keep the dance craze going by releasing a follow-on hit “Let’s Twist Again” in 1961.

11. Kidney-related RENAL
"Ren" is the Latin word for "kidney".

12. "I was home watching TV," e.g. ALIBI
"Alibi" is the Latin word for "elsewhere" as in, "I claim that I was 'elsewhere' when the crime was committed ... I have an 'alibi'".

22. BMWs, but not BMXs AUTOS
The acronym BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and then moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross. It's the sport where folks on bicycles race around what is in effect a regular motocross track. Medals were awarded for BMX for the first time at the Beijing Olympics, with a Latvian winning for the men, and a Française winning for the women.

25. The shakes, with "the" DTS
The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called Delirium Tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is "trembling madness".

26. Rush order ASAP
As soon as possible (ASAP)

28. Discovery in a British mystery CLEW
A “clew” is a ball of thread or yarn. In a famous tale from Greek mythology, Theseus unwound a clew as he went into the Labyrinth to battle with the Minotaur. After slaying the monster, Theseus found his way out of the maze by following the thread. It is this use of a “clew” as “something to point the way” that gives us our modern term “clue”. The original spelling of “clew” was often used in murder mysteries written by British authors.

29. Reds and Pirates, for short NLERS
The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with "Reds".

The Pittsburgh Pirates (nicknamed the Bucs or Buccos) joined baseball’s National League in 1887 just six years after the league was formed. The Pirates played in the first ever World Series, in 1903, and actually won their first World Series in 1909.

30. Jai ___ ALAI
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

33. Dog of 1930s-'40s mysteries ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb "The Thin Man" series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called "Skippy". Skippy was also the dog in "Bringing up Baby" with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of "The Thin Man" films.

34. Corn syrup brand KARO
Karo is a brand of corn syrup, an industrially manufactured sweetener derived from corn.

35. Jannings who won the first Best Actor Oscar EMIL
Emil Jannings, an actor from Switzerland, was the first person to receive an Oscar. He was the star of the 1928 silent movie called "The Last Command".

42. ___-Caps (movie candy) SNO
Sno-Caps are a brand of candy usually only available in movie theaters. Sno-caps have been around since the 1920s, would you believe?

48. Lasagna or linguine PASTA
Lasagna was originally the name of a cooking pot, but it came to mean a dish that was cooked in it. Lasagna also became the name of the flat noodle used in the dish. If you order lasagna on the other side of the Atlantic, you'll notice the "lasagne" spelling, the plural of "lasagna". The plural is used as there is more than one layer of pasta in the dish.

Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, except that in cross-section linguini is elliptical whereas spaghetti is round. The correct name for the dish is “linguine” meaning “little tongues” in Italian. That said, the misspelling “linguini” is given in some dictionaries as an acceptable Americanized variant..

49. Three Stooges bit ANTIC
If you've seen a few of the films starring "The Three Stooges" you'll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as "Moe, Larry and Shemp". Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, "Moe, Larry And Curly". Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then "Curly-Joe" DeRita. When Larry Fine had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

53. Turner who sang "The Best," 1989 TINA
Tina Turner is actually a stage name used by Anna Mae Bullock, the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll". Turner has always loved Europe and moved there in the eighties. She now splits her time between her homes in England, France and Switzerland.

“The Best” is a 1988 pop song that was originally recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler. Tina Turner’s 1989 cover version of “The Best” was the big hit, though.

56. Highway PIKE
Back in the 15th century a “turnpike” was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travellers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike (sometimes “pike”) was the name given to a road with a toll.

57. "Mini" music player IPOD
The iPod Mini was an extremely popular music player manufactured by Apple from 2004 to 2005. The Mini was replaced by the iPod Nano.

60. Lab's coat FUR
The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s.

61. The Cowboys, on a scoreboard DAL
The Dallas Cowboys play in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the NFL. The Cowboys are famous for a lengthy streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons, from 1966 to 1985. They are the highest valued sports franchise in the country. The only team in the world that's worth more money is the UK’s Manchester United soccer team.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Easy toss LOB
4. Country getaways, in Russia DACHAS
10. Cliff feature CRAG
14. Start of a Latin trio AMO
15. Support, as a principle UPHOLD
16. Subject of Dante's "Inferno" HELL
17. Behavioral quirks MANNERISMS
19. Together, in France UNIE
20. Oven button BROIL
21. These, to Thérèse CES
22. Addis ___, Ethiopia ABABA
23. Sub commander of fiction NEMO
25. Home to James Joyce DUBLIN
26. Bow (to) ACCEDE
29. Smartly attired NATTY
31. See 39-Across SALT
32. Electricity source WALL SOCKET
37. Thin as ___ A REED
39. With 31-Across, natural flavor enhancer SEA
40. Noted performing whale SHAMU
41. Electricity source POWER STRIP
44. Environmental activist Brockovich ERIN
45. Many babysitters NANAS
46. Pepsi competitor RC COLA
48. Round a certain corner in Monopoly PASS GO
51. Brought (along) TOOK
52. "No" voters ANTIS
53. Number often given to a maitre d' TWO
55. Brown-toned photo SEPIA
59. River to 16-Across STYX
60. Class outings FIELD TRIPS
62. Pinball infraction TILT
63. Open, as a letter UNSEAL
64. Pond fish KOI
65. ___-deucey ACEY
66. Noisy like a clunker RATTLY
67. Hollywood's Harris and Helms EDS

Down
1. Very soft fleece source LAMB
2. Poet Khayyám OMAR
3. Cher's son Chaz BONO
4. Crossed swords DUELED
5. Mo. when Shakespeare was born APR
6. TV's "___ and the Man" CHICO
7. Cheat, in slang HOSE
8. Old-fashioned charity ALMS
9. Onetime New Left org. SDS
10. Starter of a dance craze in 18-Down CHUBBY CHECKER
11. Kidney-related RENAL
12. "I was home watching TV," e.g. ALIBI
13. Gather bit by bit GLEAN
18. See 10-Down NINETEEN SIXTY
22. BMWs, but not BMXs AUTOS
24. Kitten call MEW
25. The shakes, with "the" DTS
26. Rush order ASAP
27. Dear one, Italian-style CARO
28. Discovery in a British mystery CLEW
29. Reds and Pirates, for short NLERS
30. Jai ___ ALAI
33. Dog of 1930s-'40s mysteries ASTA
34. Corn syrup brand KARO
35. Jannings who won the first Best Actor Oscar EMIL
36. ___ roll (sushi offering) TUNA
38. Proceeds like a boring meeting DRAGS
42. ___-Caps (movie candy) SNO
43. For, in a debate PRO
47. Like a mistake that's going to hurt you COSTLY
48. Lasagna or linguine PASTA
49. Three Stooges bit ANTIC
50. Fashion sense STYLE
51. Apartment rental sign TO LET
53. Turner who sang "The Best," 1989 TINA
54. Last part of the country to report election returns, usually, with "the" WEST
56. Highway PIKE
57. "Mini" music player IPOD
58. How used goods are often sold AS IS
60. Lab's coat FUR
61. The Cowboys, on a scoreboard DAL


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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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