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0304-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Mar 15, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Stillman
THEME: Quirky Roles … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with a quirky clue. Each clue and answer refert a movie actor and a famous role for that actor:
17A. Connery and Lazenby, between 1967 and 1971? : BOND TRADERS
64A. What Harrison Ford was doing in 1977, 1980 and 1983? : PLAYING SOLO
11D. 1976, for Stallone's rise to stardom? : ROCKY START
29D. Eddie Murphy, after 1984, 1987 and 1994? : TRIPLE AXEL
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. John Lennon's tribute to Yoko Ono : WOMAN
“Woman” is a lovely song written by John Lennon that was recorded in 1980. The song was released in 1981, just a month or so after Lennon was murdered outside his New York apartment building. Lennon wrote the song as an ode to his wife Yoko Ono, and to women in general. He also stated that “Woman” was a grown-up version of “Girl”, a song that he wrote for the Beatles in 1965.

16. In vitro needs : OVA
In vitro fertilization is the process in which egg cells are fertilized by sperm cells outside of the body “in vitro”, meaning “in glass”, usually in a culture dish.

17. Connery and Lazenby, between 1967 and 1971? : BOND TRADERS
Sean Connery is most famous for playing the original James Bond in the successful series of movies. Back in his native Scotland, Connery is very active in politics and is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party. He actively campaigns for Scottish independence from Britain and has stated that he believes Scotland will achieve that goal within his own lifetime. That seems less likely now, given the result of the recent Scottish referendum on independence.

"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is the sixth of the James Bond series films, and the only one to star George Lazenby in the leading role. He wasn't a great choice for 007 ...

19. Tesla, for one : CAR
Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The current base price of a roadster is about $100,000, should you be interested …

20. Prefix with matter : ANTI-
In the world of particle physics, antimatter is made up of particles that have the same mass as particles of ordinary matter, but with the opposite charge and quantum spin. Mixing matter and antimatter causes the annihilation of both, with a release of energy equal to the mass of the particles according to Einstein’s equation E=mc2.

21. Neighbor of a Yemeni : OMANI
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

23. Hood's piece : GAT
“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from the Gatling gun, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure ...

25. Poetic feet : DACTYLS
In poetry, a dactyl is a foot consisting of a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. An example of a word with such a meter is “inn-o-cent”.

27. Study of whales : CETOLOGY
Cetaceans are mammals who have adapted to life in water. Examples of cetaceans are whales, dolphins and porpoises.

33. Boston Garden legend : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn't skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

39. River of Orléans : LOIRE
The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north and then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes.

Orléans is a city in France, located less than 100 miles southwest of Paris. The French city gives its name to the American city of New Orleans.

42. Tiny type size : AGATE
In the world of typography, “agate” is a unit of measure. One agate is is equal to 5.5 points, or about one quarter of an inch. Agate is generally the smallest type size used in newspapers, and is generally restricted to advertisements and market reports in financial publications.

43. Poplar variety : ASPEN
The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

44. European finch : SERIN
Serins form a whole group of small finches, a group that includes canaries.

46. Competed in the last leg of a triathlon : RAN
(6D. Competed in the first leg of a triathlon : SWAM)
An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked to come up with the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finished first would be called "the Iron Man". The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

54. Twin or quadruplet, for short : SIB
Sibling (sib)

55. Cy Young candidates' stats : ERAS
Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. Young is remembered for pitching the first perfect game of baseball's modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created and is presented to the best pitcher in each baseball season.

56. ___-watch : BINGE
I’m a big fan of binge-watching, the practice of watching perhaps two or three (even four!) episodes of a show in a row. My wife and I will often deliberately avoid watching a recommended show “live” and wait until whole series have been released on DVD or online. I’m not a big fan of “tune in next week …”

59. The same, in footnotes : IDEM
Idem is usually abbreviated as "id." and is the Latin word for "the same". In research papers idem is used in a list of references, in place of citations "already mentioned above".

63. "Empire" network : FOX
“Empire” is a musical drama series that was first aired on Fox early in 2015. The title refers to a hip hop music company. I’m not a big hip hop fan …

64. What Harrison Ford was doing in 1977, 1980 and 1983? : PLAYING SOLO
Han Solo is the space smuggler in "Star Wars" played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for "Star Wars", but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

67. Father of Impressionism : MONET
Claude Monet painted the harbor of Le Havre in the north of France in 1872, giving it the title "Impression, Sunrise". The painting is not a "realistic" representation of the scene in front of him, hence the name "impression". It was this very painting that gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement, and earned Monet the title of Father of Impressionism.

68. Novi Sad natives : SERBS
Novi Sad is a city in Serbia located on the River Danube. It is the second largest metropolis in the country, after the capital Belgrade.

69. Popular Japanese pizza topping : EEL
Even though Italian-style pizza is readily available in Japan, I think the reference here might be to the dish called “okonomiyaki”, often referred to in English as “Japanese pizza”. I’ve been lucky enough to eat okonomiyaki quite a few times on business trips to Japan. My favorite way to eat Japanese pizza is in a grill-it-yourself restaurant, where you prepare the dish at a grill in the center of your own table.

70. Skedaddles : SCATS
(58D. Skedaddles : GITS)
"Skedaddle " is a slang term meaning "run away" that dates back to the Civil War.

Down
1. Homeland of many Miamians : CUBA
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean. The exact etymology of the name “Cuba” seems a little unclear. Most believe “Cuba” to be derived from the Taíno terms for “where fertile land is abundant” (cubao) or “great place” (coabana).

4. Spectrum hue : INDIGO
The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

5. "Silent Spring" pesticide : DDT
DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don't forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book "Silent Spring", suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

7. Sonata ending : CODA
In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

The term "sonata" comes from the Latin and Italian word "sonare" meaning "to sound". A sonata is a piece of music that is played, as opposed to a cantata (from Latin and Italian "cantare" meaning "to sing"), a piece of music that is sung.

10. PT boat officer: Abbr. : ENS
Ensign (ens.)

PT boats were motor torpedo boats: small speedy vessels that used torpedoes as their primary weapon against large surface ships. The "PT" stands for "Patrol Torpedo". The most famous PT boats that served during WWII were probably PT-41 that carried General Douglas MacArthur and his family from Corregidor to Mindanao in his escape from the Philippines, and PT-109 that was commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, future President of the United States.

11. 1976, for Stallone's rise to stardom? : ROCKY START
If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be "Rocky" for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and "Rocky" was eventually made with him playing title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and "Sly" Stallone had arrived ...

18. Turbine part : ROTOR
A turbine is a machine uses the flow of a fluid (sometimes air) to create rotational work. Simple examples of turbines are windmills and waterwheels.

24. Still a little firm : AL DENTE
The Italian expression "al dente" literally means "to the tooth" or "to the bite" and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender yet still crisp.

26. Wine traditionally sold in a fiasco : CHIANTI
Chianti is a red wine from the Chianti region of central Tuscany in Italy. Historically, Chianti was stored in a characteristically bulbous bottle wrapped in a straw basket. However, the pragmatists have won the day and regular wine bottles tend to be used nowadays.

Back in the mid-1800s, “fiasco” was theater slang meaning “failure in performance”. The meaning morphed soon after into any kind of failure or flop. The term evolved from the Italian “far fiasco”, a phrase that the same meaning in Italian theater, but translated literally as “make a bottle”. It turns out that “fiasco” and “flask” both derive from the Latin “flasco” meaning “bottle”.

27. Bar mixer : COLA
The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. That first Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years. The original alcoholic version actually contained a small concentration of cocaine.

29. Eddie Murphy, after 1984, 1987 and 1994? : TRIPLE AXEL
The “Beverly Hills Cop” series of film stars Eddie Murphy in the title role of Axel Foley. Foley is actually a police officer from Detroit, but he ends up in Beverly Hills, California in pursuit of a murderer. There are three films in the “Beverly Hills Cop” series, and there is fourth on the way, scheduled for release in 2016.

30. Says, in teenspeak : GOES
I had to ask my wonderful daughter-in-law to explain this answer to me. A teen might report that a friend goes like “I love it, I love it”, meaning that a friend says “I love it, I love it”.

31. Symbols of servitude : YOKES
A yoke is that wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together. “Yoke” is used figuratively as a symbol of servitude.

35. Land bordering Lake Titicaca : PERU
Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, and the highest navigable lake in the world (navigable by “large” commercial vessels). Lake Titicaca is located in the Andes, on the border between Peru and Bolivia.

37. Citation abbr. : ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact "et al." can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

38. President Coty of France : RENE
René Coty was the President of France from 1954 to 1959 (succeeding Vincent Auriol), and notably presided over the Algerian War. Coty resigned after five years, making way for the 7-year term of Charles de Gaulle.

45. "The Wild Duck" dramatist : IBSEN
Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. Ibsen was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

48. All together : EN BLOC
To do something “en bloc” is to do it all together. “En bloc” is French for “in a block, lump”.

50. Once-sacred birds : IBISES
The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. "Ibis" is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one "ibis" or two "ibises", and then again one has a flock of "ibis". And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two "ibises" you would have two "ibides"!

51. Author who wrote on Friday? : DEFOE
In Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel “Robinson Crusoe”, the castaway encounters a companion that Crusoe calls “Friday”, because the two first met on that day. Friday soon becomes his willing servant. This character is the source of our terms “Man Friday” and “Girl Friday”, which are used to describe a particularly competent and loyal assistant.

53. Title woman of a 1957 #1 Paul Anka hit : DIANA
Canadian-born Paul Anka's big hit was in 1957, the song entitled "Diana". Anka was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962 called "Lonely Boy".

60. Boat with oars : DORY
A dory is a small boat, around 20 feet long with a shallow draft, a flat bottom and a sharp bow. Dories are commonly used for fishing.

61. Dresden's river : 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 German city of Dresden was almost completely destroyed during WWII, especially as a result of the famous firebombing of the city in 1945. Restoration work in the inner city in recent decades led to it being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site However, in 2006 when the city built a highway bridge close to the city center, UNESCO took Dresden off the list. This marked the only time a European location has lost World Heritage status.

62. Guinness Book adjective : MOST
"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.

64. Cameron and Blair, for short : PMS
The Prime Minister (PM) of the UK has powers equivalent to the US President, but with major differences. The office of prime minister exists by convention and not by any constitution. The convention is that the King or Queen of England appoints as PM the person most likely to have the confidence of the House of Commons, and that person is usually the leader of the party with the most seats in the Commons. There is no term limit and the PM serves “at his/her majesty’s pleasure”. The first UK PM wasn’t actually called “Prime Minister” and the person first attributed with the equivalent powers was Sir Robert Walpole, the First Lord of the Treasury in 1721. The incumbent PM is David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party.

David Cameron is the Prime Minister of the UK, after a cliffhanger of a general election in May of 2010. The Labor Party, led for so many years by Tony Blair and then by Gordon Brown after Blair stepped down, lost the majority of seats in Parliament and the Conservatives emerged with the most seats. However, the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg, had enough seats to hold the balance of power. Cameron had to agree to form a coalition government in order to rule, with Nick Clegg holding the office of Deputy Prime Minister.

65. Govt. property org. : GSA
The US Government's General Services Administration (GSA), as the name suggests, provides general services to other federal agencies. So for example, the GSA manages office space for the other agencies, and transportation.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bow-toter on seasonal cards : CUPID
6. Piano exercise : SCALE
11. Cold and blustery : RAW
14. Turn topsy-turvy : UPEND
15. John Lennon's tribute to Yoko Ono : WOMAN
16. In vitro needs : OVA
17. Connery and Lazenby, between 1967 and 1971? : BOND TRADERS
19. Tesla, for one : CAR
20. Prefix with matter : ANTI-
21. Neighbor of a Yemeni : OMANI
22. Record problem : SKIP
23. Hood's piece : GAT
25. Poetic feet : DACTYLS
27. Study of whales : CETOLOGY
32. Beginning of a conclusion : THUS
33. Boston Garden legend : ORR
34. Walrus mustache feature : DROOP
36. Lay to rest : INTER
39. River of Orléans : LOIRE
41. Scrape (out) : EKE
42. Tiny type size : AGATE
43. Poplar variety : ASPEN
44. European finch : SERIN
46. Competed in the last leg of a triathlon : RAN
47. After the whistle : LATE
49. Foreign film feature : SUBTITLE
51. Where to take a dive : DEEP END
54. Twin or quadruplet, for short : SIB
55. Cy Young candidates' stats : ERAS
56. ___-watch : BINGE
59. The same, in footnotes : IDEM
63. "Empire" network : FOX
64. What Harrison Ford was doing in 1977, 1980 and 1983? : PLAYING SOLO
66. Tribute in rhyme : ODE
67. Father of Impressionism : MONET
68. Novi Sad natives : SERBS
69. Popular Japanese pizza topping : EEL
70. Skedaddles : SCATS
71. To date : AS YET

Down
1. Homeland of many Miamians : CUBA
2. Over : UPON
3. Confined, with "up" : PENT
4. Spectrum hue : INDIGO
5. "Silent Spring" pesticide : DDT
6. Competed in the first leg of a triathlon : SWAM
7. Sonata ending : CODA
8. Add a rider to, say : AMEND
9. Ring in a rodeo ring : LARIAT
10. PT boat officer: Abbr. : ENS
11. 1976, for Stallone's rise to stardom? : ROCKY START
12. Be of use : AVAIL
13. Board defects : WARPS
18. Turbine part : ROTOR
22. Deeply offended : STUNG
24. Still a little firm : AL DENTE
26. Wine traditionally sold in a fiasco : CHIANTI
27. Bar mixer : COLA
28. Counterpart of 1-Across : EROS
29. Eddie Murphy, after 1984, 1987 and 1994? : TRIPLE AXEL
30. Says, in teenspeak : GOES
31. Symbols of servitude : YOKES
35. Land bordering Lake Titicaca : PERU
37. Citation abbr. : ET AL
38. President Coty of France : RENE
40. Swings a sickle, say : REAPS
45. "The Wild Duck" dramatist : IBSEN
48. All together : EN BLOC
50. Once-sacred birds : IBISES
51. Author who wrote on Friday? : DEFOE
52. Chip away at : ERODE
53. Title woman of a 1957 #1 Paul Anka hit : DIANA
57. Russian refusal : NYET
58. Skedaddles : GITS
60. Boat with oars : DORY
61. Dresden's river : ELBE
62. Guinness Book adjective : MOST
64. Cameron and Blair, for short : PMS
65. Govt. property org. : GSA


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1 comment :

Sfingi said...

Rather liked this one. It was challenging, but crosses/perpendiculars allowed one to move on. No Googles.

Had etudE before SCALE and ergo before THUS. Did not know RENE or AGATE.

Pissarro has also been called the Father of Impressionism, but didn't fit.

Also, I like any puzzle which has mini-themes. This one has Skedaddles and legs of a triathlon.

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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.

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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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