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0509-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 May 15, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kristian House
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 18m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Effect of tightening an extra-tight belt, maybe : MUFFIN TOP
The term “muffin top” is used to describe fatty tissue that spills over a tight waistline of a skirt or pants. I guess the idea is that such a phenomenon resembles the top of a muffin hanging over its case.

10. Grilled dish : KEBAB
The name "kebab" (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use "kebab" when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

15. Chance of getting heads on two consecutive coin flips : ONE IN FOUR
The possibilities are:
- head-head
- head-tail
- tail-tail
- tail-head

16. First name among 1991 divorcées : IVANA
Ivana Winklmayr was born in Czechoslovakia. Winklmayr was an excellent skier, and was named as an alternate for the 1982 Czech Olympic Team. She was promoting the Montreal Olympics in New York in 1976 when she met Donald Trump. Ivana and Donald's marriage was very public and well-covered by the media, but not nearly so well as their very litigious divorce in the early nineties.

19. You might live by one : TENET
A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

20. Tool for Capt. Jack Sparrow : SPYGLASS
Captain Jack Sparrow is the protagonist in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series of movies. Sparrow is of course played by Johnny Depp. Depp has said that he based his portrayal of Sparrow partly on the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. I could believe that …

26. Shakes : 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".

27. Division of geology : AEON
Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:
- supereon
- eon (also “aeon”)
- era
- period
- epoch
- age

33. Photoshop range : TINTS
Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software used for editing graphics. When I first bought a copy of Photoshop, it was really expensive (about $300, ten years ago), but now there are cost-effective, stripped-down versions available. Also, the full version of Photoshop is now only available as a monthly subscription service.

34. Ottoman commander : AGHA
"Aga" (also "agha") is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

39. S-shaped line : OGEE
An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S). An ogee arch is composed of two ogees, with one being the mirror of the other and meeting at the arch’s apex.

42. Champion of 11-Down : DARWIN
(11D. Change of life : EVOLUTION)
Englishman Charles Darwin studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland but neglected his studies largely due to his interest in nature and natural history. In the early 1830s, a friend put forward Darwin’s name as a candidate for the post of “collector” on the voyage of HMS Beagle. The Beagle was intending to spend two years at sea primarily charting the coast of South America. The voyage ended up taking five years, during which time Darwin sent back copious letters describing his findings. Back in Britain these letters were published as pamphlets by a friend and so when Darwin eventually returned home in 1836, he had already gained some celebrity in scientific circles. It was while on the Beagle that Darwin developed his initial ideas on the concept of natural selection. It wasn’t until over twenty years later that he formulated his theories into a scientific paper and in 1859 published his famous book “On the Origin of the Species”. This original publication never even mentioned the word “evolution” which was controversial even back then. It was in 1871 that Darwin addressed head-on the concept that man was an animal species, in his book “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”.
44. Dish providers : YENTAS

44. Dish providers : YENTAS
Yenta (also "Yente") is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater "yenta" came to mean a busybody.

Apparently the verb “to dish” means to chat idly, to gossip.

46. First human character on "Sesame Street" : LUIS
On the children’s show “Sesame Street”, the Fix-it Shop owner called Luis is played by actor Emilio Delgado. Delgado took the role back in 1971, and he is still playing it today. His is the longest running part for a Mexican-American actor in continuing TV show, and indeed, the role of Luis was the first human character added to the original “Sesame Street” cast.

50. It burned and crashed in 1979 : SKYLAB
Skylab was sent into orbit by NASA in 1973 and continued to circle the Earth there until 1979. Although it was in orbit for many years, Skylab was only occupied by astronauts for 171 days, in three missions in 1973-1974. Skylab burned up in the Earth's atmosphere a lot earlier than expected, showering some huge chunks of debris on our friends in Australia.

52. Marine mollusk named for its earlike tentacles : SEA HARE
“Sea hare” is the common name of the marine gastropod molluscs known as Aplysiomorpha. The common name comes from the two long “rhinophores” that project upwards from the head, resembling the ears of a hare.

54. 17-24, for Miss America : AGE LIMIT
The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, 15-year-old Marian Bergeron won the contest in 1933.

56. Reagan nickname : DUTCH
When President Ronald Reagan was a child, he was nicknamed “Dutch” by his father. The name arose from young Ronald’s apparent resemblance to logo of the Dutch Boy paint company.

57. San Rafael is its seat : MARIN
San Rafael isn't far from here, and is the county seat of Marin County in the North San Francisco Bay. Like many cities in California, San Rafael owes its name to a Spanish mission, Mission San Rafael Arcángel.

58. Long-running show about a Time Lord : DOCTOR WHO
The Time Lords are an alien race on the BBC sci-fi show “Doctor Who”. In fact, the title character, known as “the Doctor”, is a Time Lord.

61. It was boosted by Titan : AGENA
The RM-81 Agena was an upper-stage rocket designed and built by Lockheed, first used in 1959. After 365 launches, it was retired in 1987.

Titan was a family of rockets first introduced in 1959. Titan rockets were used to launch man into space in the Gemini Program in the mid-sixties, and were also part of the American ICBM missile deterrent until the eighties.

63. Main antagonist in Disney's "Hercules" : HADES
“Hercules” is a 1997 Disney animated film about the Greek hero of mythology. In Greek mythology, the hero’s name is “Heracles”, but we tend to use the Roman version “Hercules”.

64. Monopoly property : TENNESSEE
Atlantic and Ventnor Avenue are properties in the game of Monopoly. The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey, e.g. Tennessee Avenue and Vermont Avenue.

Down
1. Like some castles and zoo exhibits : MOATED
A “moat” is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or a an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

4. Tootled, in a way : FIFED
“To tootle” is to play a musical instrument like a flute or a fife.

6. Org. for Cardinals and Saints : NFC
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.

The New Orleans Saints football team takes its name from the jazz song “When the Saints Go Marching In”, a tune that is very much associated with the city. The team was founded in 1967, on November 1, which is All Saints’ Day in the Roman Catholic tradition.

10. Royal who toured the U.S. in the late 1970s : KING TUT
King Tut is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamen's magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts. Famously, the “Treasures of Tutankhamun” toured the world, including the US, from 1972 to 1979.

12. Weapon for the Caped Crusader : BATARANG
A “batarang” is a bat-shaped boomerang used as a weapon by Batman.

Batman and Robin are unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, and Robin as the Boy Wonder.

13. Flavorer for an espresso shot : ANISETTE
Anis is a Spanish liqueur, equivalent to what's called anisette in other countries (in France, for example). It has a licorice taste as it is produced by distilling the seeds of the anis plant. Like all anis-type drinks, it is usually mixed with water and turns a milky white color when the water is added.

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.

23. Staples staple : REAM
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a "short ream".

Staples is an office supply chain store based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Some of the company’s stores have a Staples EasyTech department which provides computer repair and upgrade services.

28. Port whose name means "Christmas" : NATAL
Natal was a province of South Africa up to 1994. The name “Natal” means "Christmas" in Portuguese, a name given to the region by the explorer Vasco da Gama as he sailed by on Christmas Day in 1497.

31. Female fashion faux pas : PANTY LINE
The term "faux pas" is French in origin, and translates literally as "false step" (or "false steps", as the plural has the same spelling in French).

32. Hula hoop, for one : TORUS
A torus (plural “tori”) is a shape resembling a doughnut.

Hula hoops were a big craze in the 1950s, but they have been around in various forms at least since the year 500 BCE!

41. Home of California's National Steinbeck Center : SALINAS
John Steinbeck was born not far from here, in Salinas, California in 1902. His most famous novels are probably "The Grapes of Wrath" from 1939, "East of Eden" from 1952 and the novella "Of Mice and Men" from 1937. 43. Rosenfeld who wrote the best seller "Live Now, Age Later" : ISADORE
For his work, Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

43. Rosenfeld who wrote the best seller "Live Now, Age Later" : ISADORE
Isadore Rosenfeld is a medical doctor who has written a textbook for doctors as well as several bestselling books for the general public. Rosenfeld also serves as a medical consultant for Fox TV and appears every Sunday morning on the show “Sunday House Calls”.

45. McCloud of 1970s TV's "McCloud" : SAM
“McCloud” is a fun police drama that aired on television in the 1970s. Star of the show is Dennis Weaver who plays Marshal Sam McCloud, a law officer from Taos, New Mexico on special assignment in New York City. The idea for the show came from the 1968 Clint Eastwood movie called “Coogan’s Bluff”, which has a similar premise.

47. Rulings from muftis : FATWAS
In the Muslim tradition, a fatwā is a religious opinion issued by an Islamic scholar (a “mufti”) on a matter of Islamic law. There is a common misconception that a fatwā is a death sentence imposed on a person, and although such a drastic directive is a possible component of the opinion, it is a very rare occurrence.

48. Griffin who's the only two-time Heisman winner : ARCHIE
Archie Griffin is a former professional footballer who played running back. Griffin is the only person to have won the Heisman Trophy twice.

The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player each season. The trophy was first awarded in 1935, and the following year was given the name Heisman after the death of John Heisman, a noted college football player and football director.

51. John's accompanier : BIDET
"Bidet" is a French word that we imported into English. In French, the word "bidet" originally described a small horse or a pony. What we know as a bidet was so called because one can straddle it like a horse in order to use it.

Sir John Harington was an author and a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, Harington is perhaps best remembered as the inventor of the flush toilet. Our slang term “john” meaning “toilet”, is thought to be a reference to John Harington.

53. Hamstrings or kneecaps : HURTS
“To hamstring” is to cripple by cutting the hamstring muscles.

“To kneecap” is to cripple by shooting in the knee.

54. Asian au pair : AMAH
"Amah" is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet it actually comes from the Portuguese "ama" meaning "nurse". Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an amah.

An “au pair” is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

59. FedEx unit: Abbr. : CTN
Carton (ctn.)

FedEx began operations in 1973 as Federal Express, but now operates very successfully under it's more catchy abbreviated name. Headquartered in Memphis with its "SuperHub" at Memphis International Airport, FedEx is the world's largest airline in terms of tons of freight flown. And due to the presence of FedEx, Memphis Airport has the largest-volume cargo operation of any airport worldwide.

60. The U.S. Treasury is on its back : TEN
The US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury, on the obverse. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Effect of tightening an extra-tight belt, maybe : MUFFIN TOP
10. Grilled dish : KEBAB
15. Chance of getting heads on two consecutive coin flips : ONE IN FOUR
16. First name among 1991 divorcées : IVANA
17. "Whatever" : AS IF I CARE
18. Vacationing, say : NOT IN
19. You might live by one : TENET
20. Tool for Capt. Jack Sparrow : SPYGLASS
22. Put up with put-downs : EAT DIRT
25. Surgeon's closing line? : SUTURE
26. Shakes : DTS
27. Division of geology : AEON
29. Undergo change : MUTATE
31. Do halfheartedly : PLAY AT
33. Photoshop range : TINTS
34. Ottoman commander : AGHA
37. Common cry from a younger sibling : ME TOO!
39. S-shaped line : OGEE
40. Trial and error, e.g. : NOUNS
42. Champion of 11-Down : DARWIN
44. Dish providers : YENTAS
46. First human character on "Sesame Street" : LUIS
47. Considerably : FAR
50. It burned and crashed in 1979 : SKYLAB
52. Marine mollusk named for its earlike tentacles : SEA HARE
54. 17-24, for Miss America : AGE LIMIT
56. Reagan nickname : DUTCH
57. San Rafael is its seat : MARIN
58. Long-running show about a Time Lord : DOCTOR WHO
61. It was boosted by Titan : AGENA
62. Opposite of bore : ENTERTAIN
63. Main antagonist in Disney's "Hercules" : HADES
64. Monopoly property : TENNESSEE

Down
1. Like some castles and zoo exhibits : MOATED
2. Disposition? : UNSEAT
3. Diversionary tactics : FEINTS
4. Tootled, in a way : FIFED
5. Bit of product personalization : INITIAL
6. Org. for Cardinals and Saints : NFC
7. ___ turn (perfectly) : TO A
8. Partnership indicator : OURS
9. Sets up, informally : PREPS
10. Royal who toured the U.S. in the late 1970s : KING TUT
11. Change of life : EVOLUTION
12. Weapon for the Caped Crusader : BATARANG
13. Flavorer for an espresso shot : ANISETTE
14. Blacks out : BANS
21. Indication of a pleased palate : YUM
23. Staples staple : REAM
24. Flirted (with) : TOYED
28. Port whose name means "Christmas" : NATAL
30. Legal suffix : -ESE
31. Female fashion faux pas : PANTY LINE
32. Hula hoop, for one : TORUS
34. Even a single : ANY
35. Flips : GOES GAGA
36. Refused to yield, with "down" : HUNKERED
38. Boo-boo : OWIE
41. Home of California's National Steinbeck Center : SALINAS
43. Rosenfeld who wrote the best seller "Live Now, Age Later" : ISADORE
45. McCloud of 1970s TV's "McCloud" : SAM
47. Rulings from muftis : FATWAS
48. Griffin who's the only two-time Heisman winner : ARCHIE
49. Sharpen anew : REHONE
51. John's accompanier : BIDET
53. Hamstrings or kneecaps : HURTS
54. Asian au pair : AMAH
55. Mood : TONE
59. FedEx unit: Abbr. : CTN
60. The U.S. Treasury is on its back : TEN


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

3 comments :

Willie D said...

Seemed friendlier for a Saturday. I had "let go" at METOO, which spoiled that section. The MUFFINTOP is also known as Dunlap's Disease, as in, "Your belly done lapped over your belt!" :-)

Dave Kennison said...

I thought it was Dunlop's Disease, so-named for its resemblance to a spare tire (Goodyear Dunlop being, of course, a tire company). Whatever it's called, I have a little one and can' t get rid of it, no matter what I do. Grrrr ...

I really liked the precision in the clue for SKYLAB, which did in fact "burn and crash" rather than "crash and burn".

A nice puzzle, though I had my usual moments of thinking that I could not possibly finish. The upper right gave me trouble and then collapsed all at once.

BruceB said...

30:33 for me today, no errors. Upper right was a problem spot for me also, I guessed at MENOPAUSE for 11D, which messed me up for a while.

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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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