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0927-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Sep 14, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Martin Ashwood-Smith & George Barany
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 36m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Start of a weird infraction? I BEFORE E …
The oft-quoted rule “I before E, except after C” is broken in the spelling of “weird”.

9. Sushi offering FLUKE
A serving of sushi might include some Hirame, or “fluke” in English. A fluke is a type of flounder.

14. First Indian tribe to sign a treaty with the U.S. government DELAWARE
The Delaware Nation was the first to enter into a treaty with the newly-formed US government, doing so in September, 1778.

16. Eskimo wear SEALSKIN
Although still used in the US, the term “Eskimo” tends to be avoided in Canada and Greenland as there it is considered pejorative.

18. Mideast pops? ABBA
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to "Abba", the Hebrew word for "father". He made this change as reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

19. Smoke without fire? E-CIGARETTE
An electronic cigarette (also called “e-cigarette”) is a battery powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled, delivering the nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke.

21. Naval petty off. YEO
In the US Navy, a yeoman is tasked with administrative and clerical work. In fact the position of yeoman is the oldest rating in the navy. You’ll see a lot of yeomen in the background on “Star Trek”.

22. What was once cool? KEEN
I guess the word “keen” was once used in the same way that we might say “cool” today …

27. One-man Broadway hit of 1989 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.

29. Only one U.S. prez has had one MBA
President George W. Bush graduated from Yale with an A.B. in history in 1968. He later earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. President Bush is the only person with an MBA to have held the nation's highest office.

38. Words from a good buddy BREAKER ONE-NINER
A CB radio operator might say, “Breaker one-niner, good buddy”. “Breaker one-nine” means “I want to start a transmission on channel 19. Channel 19 is the channel most often used by truckers.

40. X or Y preceder GEN
The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture". By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

“Generation Y” is alternative term for the Millennial Generation. Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

43. One N.B.A. All-Star Game team EAST
The NBA All-Star Game is played between teams from the league’s Eastern and Western Conferences. The game is held annually, and was first played in 1951, at the Boston Garden.

46. One telling you where to get off, for short? GPS
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians all round the world owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

55. Introductory ballet instruction PLIE
The French word for "bent" is "plié". In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent.

56. Whence the word "alcohol" ARABIC
Back in the 1500s, “alcohol” was the name given to a fine powder produced by sublimation. “Alcohol” came from the Arabic “al-kuhul”, a term for a fine powder used to darken the eyelids. Over time, “alcohol” was used to describe any sublimated substance, and then any pure spirit. The term was extended to mean the intoxicating agent in wine in the 1700s.

62. Tiramisu ingredient ESPRESSO
Espresso is made by forcing extremely hot water, under pressure, through finely ground coffee beans. The result is a thick and concentrated coffee drink, which contains quite a lot of solids and a lot of foam. An espresso machine was first patented in 1884 in Italy, although it was a machine to make the beverage in bulk. The first patent for a machine that made individual measures was applied for in 1901, also in Italy.

Tiramisu is an Italian cake. The name "tiramisu" translates from Italian as "pull me up", and is often translated into our English phrase “pick-me-up”.

Down
2. Deep-sea explorer William BEEBE
William Beebe was an American explorer, active in the first half of the 20th century. Beebe was very interested deep-sea exploration and this interest led to the development of the bathysphere by Otis Barton in 1928. Beebe accompanied Barton on the first manned descent in a bathysphere, down to 803 ft. A few years later, in 1934, the pair descended to 3,028 ft. setting a record that stood for 15 years.

4. Beginning of a seasonal refrain FA-LA-
The refrain that starts “Fa-la-la …” is from the traditional Yuletide carol “Deck the Halls”. The tune itself is Welsh in origin, dating back to the 16th century. The lyrics, however, are American and are from the 19th century. Even Mozart used the tune as a theme for a delightful violin and piano duet.

6. Playboy RAKE
A "rake" (short for “rakehell”) is a man who is habituated to immoral conduct (isn’t it always the man??!!). The rake is a character who turns up frequently in novels and films, only interested in wine, women and song and not accepting the responsibilities of life. Good examples would be Wickham in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and Daniel Cleaver (the Hugh Grant part) in the movie "Bridget Jones’s Diary". "Rake" comes from the Old Norse "reikall", meaning "vagrant or a wanderer".

7. Shortstop Aybar who was a 2011 Gold Glove winner ERICK
Erick Aybar plays shortstop for the Anaheim Angels. Erick is the younger brother of Willy Aybar, who used to play for the Tampa Bay Rays.

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.

8. Start of an elimination EENIE
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

9. Time that little Susie is woken in the 1957 hit "Wake Up Little Susie" FOUR
"Wake Up, Little Susie" is a song most famously associated with the Everly Brothers, as it was a hit for the duo in 1957. "Wake Up, Little Susie" is, or at least used to be, the favorite song of President George W. Bush.

12. Canterbury's home KENT
Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England in the county of Kent. Canterbury is famous for Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” written in the 14th century.

15. Who said "I have a wonderful psychiatrist that I see maybe once a year, because I don't need it. It all comes out onstage" JOAN RIVERS
Joan Rivers was a comedian from Brooklyn, New York who got her big break on “The Tonight Show”, on which she was first a guest in 1965. She became the first woman to host a late night talk show in 1986 when she hosted “The Late Show with Joan Rivers”. Rivers passed away following routine throat surgery in September of 2014.

24. Name in 2000 headlines ELIAN
The immigration status of young Cuban boy Elian González was all over the news in 2000. Elian's mother drowned while trying to enter the US illegally, whereas Elian and his mother's boyfriend survived the journey. The INS placed Elian in the care of paternal relatives in the US who then petitioned to have the boy stay with them permanently, against the wishes of Elian's father back in Cuba. After court proceedings the federal authorities forcibly removed Elian from his relatives in the US, and he was returned to his father who took him back to Cuba. Back in Cuba, Fidel Castro stepped in and befriended Elian, so he has influential sponsorship now in his homeland as a result of his ordeal. Elian is now attending a Cuban military school.

25. Mates BLOKES
“Bloke” is British slang for a fellow. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

28. Early online forum USENET
Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in "newsgroups"? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it's still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms "FAQ" and "spam" were both born on Usenet.

33. ___ asada CARNE
“Carne Asada” translates from Spanish as "roasted meat".

36. Song that ends "O dolcezze perdute! O speranze d'amor, d'amor, d'amor!" 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.

44. Challenge for defenders SIEGE
Our word "siege" comes from a 13th century word for a "seat". The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force "sitting down" outside a fortress until it falls.

45. Bygone royalty TSARS
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.

47. Measures of one's writing? PICAS
A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. One pica is equivalent to 1/6 of an inch. Each pica unit contains 12 "points".

49. Shooters TAWS
In the game of marbles, the "taw" is the shooting marble, and is shot at the "ducks".

50. Israeli conductor Daniel OREN
Daniel Oren is a conductor who was born in Israel. He is the artistic director of the Verdi Opera House in Salerno, Italy.

51. Rain forest rodent PACA
There are two species of pacas, and both are found in Central and South America. In some parts, paca is considered a gourmet dish.

52. Aid in an uphill climb T-BAR
A T-bar is a type of ski lift in which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There's also a J-bar, a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

53. Country name pronounced by natives in two syllables EIRE
"Éire", is the Irish word for "Ireland". "Erin" is an anglicized version of "Éire" and actually corresponds to "Éirinn", the dative case of "Éire".

54. Atlantic City resort, informally, with "the" TROP
The Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City was opened originally as the Ambassador Hotel in 1919, although extensive renovations have been made since then.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Start of a weird infraction? I BEFORE E ...
9. Sushi offering FLUKE
14. First Indian tribe to sign a treaty with the U.S. government DELAWARE
15. Hand in hand JOINED
16. Eskimo wear SEALSKIN
17. Hike, e.g. OUTING
18. Mideast pops? ABBA
19. Smoke without fire? E-CIGARETTE
21. Naval petty off. YEO
22. What was once cool? KEEN
23. Gray figures? REBS
27. One-man Broadway hit of 1989 TRU
29. Only one U.S. prez has had one MBA
32. Straight talker's slangy phrase I CALL ‘EM AS I SEE ‘EM
37. Country standard NATIONAL AVERAGE
38. Words from a good buddy BREAKER ONE-NINER
39. On the side IN ONE'S SPARE TIME
40. X or Y preceder GEN
41. Site of class struggles?: Abbr. SCH
42. Floor STUN
43. One N.B.A. All-Star Game team EAST
46. One telling you where to get off, for short? GPS
49. High ranking? TOP TEN LIST
55. Introductory ballet instruction PLIE
56. Whence the word "alcohol" ARABIC
57. Listen here! EARPIECE
59. Words of support from an organization WE CARE
60. Reacts to, as a nagging request GROANS AT
61. Game keeper? SNARE
62. Tiramisu ingredient ESPRESSO

Down
1. Guesstimate opening I’D SAY
2. Deep-sea explorer William BEEBE
3. Explain ELABORATE ON
4. Beginning of a seasonal refrain FA-LA-
5. Hurtful outbursts? OWS
6. Playboy RAKE
7. Shortstop Aybar who was a 2011 Gold Glove winner ERICK
8. Start of an elimination EENIE
9. Time that little Susie is woken in the 1957 hit "Wake Up Little Susie" FOUR
10. Lo-cal LITE
11. Military group UNIT
12. Canterbury's home KENT
13. Beat by a whisker EDGE
15. Who said "I have a wonderful psychiatrist that I see maybe once a year, because I don't need it. It all comes out onstage" JOAN RIVERS
20. Easily passes GETS AN A
24. Name in 2000 headlines ELIAN
25. Mates BLOKES
26. Old age SENESCENCE
28. Early online forum USENET
29. Inane MEANINGLESS
30. Spangle, say BEGEM
31. "___ trifle!" A MERE
32. Having much at stake IN BIG
33. ___ asada CARNE
34. Parade V.I.P. MARSHAL
35. Cockeyed ALOP
36. Song that ends "O dolcezze perdute! O speranze d'amor, d'amor, d'amor!" ERI TU
44. Challenge for defenders SIEGE
45. Bygone royalty TSARS
47. Measures of one's writing? PICAS
48. Mind SEE TO
49. Shooters TAWS
50. Israeli conductor Daniel OREN
51. Rain forest rodent PACA
52. Aid in an uphill climb T-BAR
53. Country name pronounced by natives in two syllables EIRE
54. Atlantic City resort, informally, with "the" TROP
55. Common cleaning scent PINE
58. Hole number PAR


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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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