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0511-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 May 15, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe DiPietro
THEME: ‘All of Something … each of today’s themed answers is in the format *ALL OF ****.
16A. Shooter video game franchise : CALL OF DUTY
29A. Very lively sort : BALL OF FIRE
45A. Cooperstown or Canton destination : HALL OF FAME
61A. Empire collapse in A.D. 476 : FALL OF ROME
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Sounds made by supersonic planes : BOOMS
Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot "get out of the way". When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

6. Palmtop organizers, for short : PDAS
Personal digital assistant (PDA)

10. Internet image file, familiarly : GIF
A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.

14. Killer whale : ORCA
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name "orca", rather than "killer whale", is becoming more and more common. The Latin word "Orcinus" means "belonging to Orcus", with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

16. Shooter video game franchise : CALL OF DUTY
“Call of Duty” is a incredibly successful series of video games that started out life on computers and is now available for gaming consoles and handhelds. The first version of this war game was set in WWII, and an eighth version is in the works that features “Modern Warfare”.

19. "Jersey Shore" pal of JWoww : SNOOKI
Nicole Polizzi is quite the celebrity, known by her nickname of Snooki on the MTV reality television show “Jersey Shore”. Polizzi gets her nickname from the character Snooki in the film “Save the Last Dance”, a nickname she was given in middle school because she was the first in her group of friends to kiss a boy.

21. Donald Trump's "The Art of the ___" : DEAL
Donald Trump got into real estate development under the influence of his father, Fred Trump, a wealthy New York City developer, and founder of the Trump Organization.

24. Diarist Nin : ANAIS
Anaïs Nin was a French author, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly-regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

33. Tachometer abbr. : RPM
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word "tachos" meaning "speed". A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

34. Word sung twice after "Que" : SERA
As Doris Day told us, “que sera sera” is Spanish for "whatever will be, will be".

Alfred Hitchcock made two versions of the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. The first was made in 1934 while Hitchcock still lived in England. It starred Leslie Banks, Edna Best and Peter Lorre in his first English-speaking role. Hitchcock remade the original in 1956, with James Stewart and Doris Day playing the leads. And by the way, in that movie Doris Day sang the Oscar-winning song “Que Sera, Sera”.

35. Boxing's Iron Mike : TYSON
The boxer Mike Tyson has said some pretty graphic things about his opponents. For example:
- About Lennox Lewis, "My main objective is to be professional but to kill him."
- To Razor Ruddock, "I'm gonna make you my girlfriend."
- About Tyrell Biggs, "He was screaming like my wife."

41. Instrument for Yo-Yo Ma : CELLO
Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist, born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

43. German industrial locale : RUHR
The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.

44. Bird on the Australian coat of arms : EMU
The official symbol of Australia is a coat of arms that features a kangaroo and an emu.

45. Cooperstown or Canton destination : HALL OF FAME
Cooperstown is a village in New York that is famous as the home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The village was named for Judge William Cooper, Cooperstown’s founder, and the father of the noted writer James Fenimore Cooper.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in 1963 in Canton, Ohio. One reason that Canton was chosen for the Hall of Fame was that the National Football League (NFL) was founded in the city in 1920.

49. 2008 Pixar robot : WALL-E
"WALL-E" is a very cute, Pixar movie, released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot called WALL-E, who loves his "Hello Dolly", and who falls in love with another robot called EVE.

60. Jewish wedding dance : HORA
The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings.

61. Empire collapse in A.D. 476 : FALL OF ROME
Ancient Rome went through three distinct periods. From 753 to 509 BC, Rome was a kingdom, founded by the legendary Romulus. The Roman Republic lasted from 509 to 27 BC. The Republic started with the overthrow of the last monarch, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and replacement by two elected consuls who were advised by a senate. The Republic evolved over time, but came to an end when Octavian expanded his power and declared himself “First Citizen”, and effectively became Rome’s first Emperor and took the name Caesar Augustus. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century, formally ending in 476 CE when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus was deposed. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire that was centered on Constantinople.

64. Ice chunk at sea : FLOE
An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

65. Stun gun : TASER
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called "Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle". The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym TASER stands for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle".

66. End of the alphabet, in Canada : ZED
The letter named "zed" has been around since about 1400, and derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation of "zee" used in America today first popped up in the 1670s.

67. Himalayan legend : YETI
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. "Yeti" is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

Down
1. Popular ballpoints : BICS
Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

2. Neighbor of Yemen : OMAN
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The capital city of Muscat has a strategic location on the Gulf of Oman and has a history of invasion and unrest. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody attack. The Portuguese held Muscat for much of the next one hundred years until finally being ousted by local Omani forces in 1648. A Yemeni tribe invaded the area in 1741 and set up a monarchy that has been in place in Oman ever since.

3. Norway's capital : OSLO
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is an ancient city that was founded around 1048. The medieval city was destroyed by fire in 1624 and was rebuilt by the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV and renamed to Christiana. In 1877 there was an official change of the spelling of the city's name to "Kristiana", and then more recently in 1925 the name was restored to the original Oslo. Things have almost gone full circle and now the center of Oslo, the area that would have been contained by the original medieval walls, has apparently been renamed to Christiana.

7. Beat decisively : DRUB
A drubbing is a beating, given either literally or figuratively. The term "drub" dates back in English to the 17th century when it was imported from the Arabic word for a beating, "darb".

10. Onetime colleague of Roger Ebert : GENE SISKEL
Gene Siskel was a film critic for the "Chicago Tribune". Siskel also hosted the long-running television show "Siskel & Ebert at the Movies", from 1975 until 1999 when he passed away.

11. Early Peruvian : INCA
The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in what today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of South America. The Empire of course fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Tupac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.

12. Uranium or plutonium, for a nuclear reactor : FUEL
A common nuclear fuel is uranium dioxide (UO2). The UO2 comes in powder form and is compacted into pellets that are fired at high temperature producing ceramic pellets. The pellets are ground into a near-perfect cylindrical shape and are then stacked inside tubes made of zirconium alloy. These tubes are what we usually refer to as nuclear fuel rods.

17. One telling little lies : FIBBER
To "fib" is to "to tell a lie". The term likely comes from "fibble-fable" meaning "nonsense", itself derived from "fable".

23. Plant used in making poi : TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

26. Psychoanalyst Fromm : ERICH
Erich Fromm was a German psychologist. Fromm studied extensively the work of Sigmund Freud, and became very critical of Freud’s theories. Fromm was also noted for his political views, and had a socialist leaning. He spent some time in the US and was active in the Socialist Party of America, in the fifties when McCarthyism was running rampant.

27. Sleep disorder : APNEA
Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

30. Dern of "Jurassic Park" : LAURA
The actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

"Jurassic Park" is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. A clever idea, but apparently not very practical from what I've read ...

38. Under the effects of Novocain : NUMB
Novocain is actually a brand name, for the local anesthetic called procaine.

42. Pack animals for 11-Downs : LLAMAS
(11D. Early Peruvian : INCA)
The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

47. One with XX chromosomes : FEMALE
In most mammalian species, including man, females have two identical sex chromosomes (XX), and males two distinct sex chromosomes (XY). As a result it is the males who determine the sex of the offspring. However, in birds it’s the opposite, so females determine the sex of the chicks.

51. Travels through the Grand Canyon, say : RAFTS
The Grand Canyon is in Arizona. The canyon continues to be carved out of layers of rock by the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep.

52. Cheez ___ : WHIZ
The processed cheese spread called Cheez Whiz was introduced by Kraft in 1952. And believe it or not, it’s still around …

53. One of 18 on a golf course : HOLE
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, the truth is that the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland happened to settle down over time at 18, and that standard was adopted all around the world.

57. Sammy who was the 1998 N.L. M.V.P. : SOSA
Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

58. Iowa college town : AMES
The city of Ames, Iowa is famous for holding the Ames Straw Poll in advance of most presidential elections. The poll in question is used to gauge the level of support for two or more Republican candidates, although non-Republicans are allowed to cast a vote. To vote one has to be an Iowa resident and one must buy a ticket to the fundraising dinner at which the vote is taken. The event gets a lot of coverage, so it boosts the local economy as journalists hit the town. It is a very successful fundraiser for the Republican Party in Iowa as well, but the usefulness of the straw poll in predicting the eventual winner of the nomination is less clear. There have been six straw polls since 1979, and just 2 out of 6 times the poll winner went on to capture the party's nomination.

59. Four years, for a president : TERM
The US president serves for four-year terms. George Washington, the nation’s first president, set a precedent by agreeing to serve only two terms. Subsequent presidents adhered to this custom, serving only two terms, until 1940 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed to run for a third term. Roosevelt was elected to a fourth term during WWII, after which the Congress adopted the Twenty-Second Amendment to the constitution, which bars anyone from being elected president more than twice.

62. Luau neckwear : LEI
"Lei" is the Hawaiian word for "garland, wreath", although in more general terms a "lei" is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

Nowadays the word "luau" denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of "poi", the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sounds made by supersonic planes : BOOMS
6. Palmtop organizers, for short : PDAS
10. Internet image file, familiarly : GIF
13. "That's plenty, thanks" : I’M SET
14. Killer whale : ORCA
15. Restaurant handout : MENU
16. Shooter video game franchise : CALL OF DUTY
18. A single time : ONCE
19. "Jersey Shore" pal of JWoww : SNOOKI
20. Schoolkids' transport : BUS
21. Donald Trump's "The Art of the ___" : DEAL
22. Amount in an i.o.u. : DEBT
24. Diarist Nin : ANAIS
26. ___ as pie : EASY
29. Very lively sort : BALL OF FIRE
33. Tachometer abbr. : RPM
34. Word sung twice after "Que" : SERA
35. Boxing's Iron Mike : TYSON
36. ___ nutshell (basically) : IN A
37. Beat decisively : TROUNCE
40. Stats for 35-Across : KOS
41. Instrument for Yo-Yo Ma : CELLO
43. German industrial locale : RUHR
44. Bird on the Australian coat of arms : EMU
45. Cooperstown or Canton destination : HALL OF FAME
48. "If all ___ fails ..." : ELSE
49. 2008 Pixar robot : WALL-E
50. Square dance venue : BARN
52. To ___ it may concern : WHOM
54. Official behind home plate, for short : UMP
56. Clumsily touches : PAWS AT
60. Jewish wedding dance : HORA
61. Empire collapse in A.D. 476 : FALL OF ROME
63. Misfortunes : ILLS
64. Ice chunk at sea : FLOE
65. Stun gun : TASER
66. End of the alphabet, in Canada : ZED
67. Himalayan legend : YETI
68. Involuntary twitch : SPASM

Down
1. Popular ballpoints : BICS
2. Neighbor of Yemen : OMAN
3. Norway's capital : OSLO
4. Tune : MELODY
5. Stir up and feed, as a fire : STOKE
6. Pea's home : POD
7. Beat decisively : DRUB
8. Real : ACTUAL
9. Refuses to give permission : SAYS NO
10. Onetime colleague of Roger Ebert : GENE SISKEL
11. Early Peruvian : INCA
12. Uranium or plutonium, for a nuclear reactor : FUEL
15. Alter partially : MODIFY
17. One telling little lies : FIBBER
23. Plant used in making poi : TARO
25. "... lived happily ever ___" : AFTER
26. Psychoanalyst Fromm : ERICH
27. Sleep disorder : APNEA
28. "I can't believe we both know him" : SMALL WORLD
30. Dern of "Jurassic Park" : LAURA
31. Hotel units : ROOMS
32. Occur next : ENSUE
34. Tavern seat : STOOL
38. Under the effects of Novocain : NUMB
39. Tightwad : CHEAPO
42. Pack animals for 11-Downs : LLAMAS
46. Common cat name : FLUFFY
47. One with XX chromosomes : FEMALE
48. Bundle up : ENWRAP
51. Travels through the Grand Canyon, say : RAFTS
52. Cheez ___ : WHIZ
53. One of 18 on a golf course : HOLE
55. Parcel of land : PLOT
57. Sammy who was the 1998 N.L. M.V.P. : SOSA
58. Iowa college town : AMES
59. Four years, for a president : TERM
62. Luau neckwear : LEI


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2 comments :

Willie D said...

We've hit a crossword cultural nadir when names from "Jersey Shore" are allowed in. An easy fill today.

Sfingi said...

Easy breezy. I prefer Snookie to any sports clues. Seems like more low-life in sports - plus, I just can't get interested.

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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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