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0625-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Jun 15, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Lead Belly … we have four rebus squares in today’s grid, with the letters PB seen in the middle (BELLY) of four across-answers and four down-answers:
61A. Legendary guitarist ... or a hint to eight answers in this puzzle : LEAD BELLY

17A. Subjects for Andy Warhol : POP BOTTLES
19A. Optimistic : UPBEAT
38A. Groundbreaking chess-playing computer : DEEP BLUE
49A. Sound of disapproval : RASPBERRY
3D. Winner on eBay : TOP BID
10D. Blistex products : LIP BALMS
33D. Old calls from HQ : APBS
42D. Place to put everything you can? : CUPBOARD
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:18m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Tinseltown terrier : 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.

“Tinsel Town” is a nickname for Hollywood.

9. Chap : BLOKE
“Bloke” is British slang for a fellow. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

“Chap” is an informal term for “lad, fellow”, especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

15. Polo of "Meet the Parents" : TERI
Teri Polo’s most prominent role on the big screen was Pam Focker in “Meet the Fockers” and its sequel. Pam is the wife of the character played by Ben Stiller. Polo also played the wife of Presidential candidate Matt Santos in “The West Wing”.

17. Subjects for Andy Warhol : POP BOTTLES
Andy Warhol went through a period of painting iconic American products, including Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell's tomato soup cans. In 1964 he participated in a gallery show called "The American Supermarket". Along with other pop artists he contributed works including a painting of a can of Campbell's tomato soup. He priced the painting at $1,500, and sold autographed cans of soup for $6 a piece.

21. Euchre relative : ECARTE
Écarté is a card game that comes to us from France, with a name that translates into 'discarded". Écarté is a game like whist but is played with a stripped-down deck and involves only two players.

Euchre is a card game that probably came to the US from Germany, introduced by German farmers who settled in Wisconsin. Euchre is a trick-taking game usually played by four people in two partnerships. Unlike bridge, Euchre is played with a stripped down deck of 24 or 32 cards. The verb “to euchre” is slang for “to cheat, swindle”, a term that presumably comes from the card game.

28. Capital of Majorca : PALMA
Palma is the main city and port on the island of Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea, off the east coast of Spain.

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain's largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

29. One-named musician with the hit albums "18" and "Hotel" : MOBY
Moby is the stage name of singer-songwriter Richard Melville Hall. Hall was given his middle name, and the nickname “Moby”, by his parents. Apparently, Richard is the great-great-great-grandnephew of Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”.

32. Ken, to Barbie : BEAU
Barbie's male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken's family name is Carson. Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie's boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia.

34. Abbr. followed by a date : ESTAB
Established (estab.)

38. Groundbreaking chess-playing computer : DEEP BLUE
Deep Blue was a computer developed by IBM specifically for playing chess. In 1996 it became the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. The champion in question was the great Garry Kasparov, although he came out on top in the end by winning the 6-game competition 4-2.

41. More than just show : PLACE
A horse that finishes in the top three of a race is said to “place”. A horse that finishes third is said to “show”.

43. Fraternity letters : PSIS
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork. It is the 23rd letter of the 24 letters in the Greek alphabet.

44. One of the I's of ISIS : IRAQ
ISIS is an extremist Sunni rebel group, with the acronym standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The organization is also referred to as ISIL, standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or simply IS, for the Islamic State.

45. One of the two capitals of Bolivia : SUCRE
Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, although the La Paz is the seat of government.

49. Sound of disapproval : RASPBERRY
Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles "blowing a raspberry" is a way of insulting someone (I think it's called "a Bronx cheer" in the US). The verb "to razz" comes from a shortened form of "raspberry".

52. ___ Americano : CAFFE
Caffè Americano is espresso coffee that has been diluted with hot water to give it a similar strength to drip coffee. Here in the US, an Americano is made by adding water to the espresso, whereas the drink made by adding espresso to hot water is called a “long black”.

56. Old concert halls : ODEONS
In Ancient Greece an odeon (also odeum) was like a small theater, with "odeon" literally meaning a "building for musical competition". Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

60. "The Death of ___" (1793 David painting) : MARAT
Jean-Paul Marat was a prominent figure in the French Revolution. Marat was famously murdered in his bath by a young woman named Charlotte Corday who was a Royalist. The gruesome event was immortalized in a celebrated painting by Jacques-Louis David called “The Death of Marat”.

61. Legendary guitarist ... or a hint to eight answers in this puzzle : LEAD BELLY
Lead Belly was the nickname of blues guitarist Huddie Ledbetter. Ledbetter’s name was often written as “Leadbelly” on many of his records, although he himself wrote is as “Lead Belly”.

"Plumbum" is the Latin for lead, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is "Pb". It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a "plumb line". And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a "plumber" if one of them was leaking.

62. End of song titles starting "About" and "I Kissed" : A GIRL
“About a Girl” is a 1989 song recorded by the the rock band Nirvana. It was written by Nirvana’s lead singer Kurt Cobain.

“I Kissed a Girl” is a 2008 song co-written and recorded by Katy Perry.

63. What the French might call 62-Across : ELLE
“Elle” is the French word for “she”, and sometimes “her”.

65. Penurious : NEEDY
Penury is extreme poverty or need, from the Latin "penuria" meaning "want".

66. Valhalla V.I.P. : ODIN
In Norse mythology, Valhalla ("hall of the slain") is a gigantic hall in the "world" of Asgard. Asgard and Valhalla are ruled by the god Odin, the chief Norse god.

67. Head overseas? : TETE
“Tête” is French for “head”.

Down
1. Pet cause? : ASPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no "umbrella" organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

2. Worked on as a smithy might : SHOED
Traditionally there has been a distinction between a farrier and a blacksmith. A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

3. Winner on eBay : TOP BID
eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb as part of a computer programmer’s personal website. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer collected broken laser pointers …

4. Mea culpa : APOLOGY
Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase "mea culpa" meaning "my fault", as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term "mea maxima culpa" translates as "my most grievous fault".

6. E.U. country where Hoegaarden beer is brewed : BELG
Hoegaarden is a popular wheat beer that is made in Hoegaarden, a municipality in the Flanders region of Belgium.

7. Musical opposite of dimin. : CRESC
Crescendo (cresc.) is an Italian word meaning “gradually becoming louder”, and is often seen on a musical score. The term with the opposite meaning is “diminuendo” (dim.).

9. Kato portrayer in "The Green Hornet" : BRUCE LEE
Bruce Lee was born not far from here in San Francisco although he was raised in Hong Kong, returning to the US to attend college. Sadly, Bruce Lee died when he was only 32 years old, due to cerebral edema (a swelling of the brain) attributed to adverse reactions to the pain killing drug Equagesic.

In "The Green Hornet" television series, Kato was famously played by Bruce Lee. The Kato role has been cited as a driving force behind the increase in popularity of martial arts in the US during the sixties.

10. Blistex products : LIP BALMS
Blistex Inc. is most famous for produced lip balm, and has been doing so since 1947. Today, Blistex even makes the foot care products known as Odor-Eaters.

12. "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever" poet : KEATS
“Endymion” is an 1818 poem by John Keats that is based on the Greek myth of Endymion, the shepherd who was loved by the moon goddess Selene. The first line is quite well known: “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever”.

18. Ex-Yankee Martinez : TINO
First baseman Tino Martinez has retired from Major League Baseball. Martinez played for a number of teams including the Mariners, Yankees, Cardinals and Devil Rays. Martinez was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and as a boy he worked in his father's cigar factory.

24. The "high heel" of Italy's "boot" : APULIA
Apelia is a region in southern Italy, one that forms the “heel” of the country’s “boot”. The actual “heel” is known as Salento peninsula.

26. Honour bestowed by the queen, for short : OBE
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:
- Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
- Knight Commander (KBE)
- Commander (CBE)
- Officer (OBE)
- Member (MBE)

30. Alberta export : OIL
Alberta is a big province, about the size of Texas. Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Louise also donated her name to Lake Louise, the large glacial lake in the province, now within the bounds of Banff National Park.

31. Restaurant that might serve steak frites : BRASSERIE
A brasserie is a kind of French restaurant that’s usually a step up from a bistro. “Brasserie” is the French word for “brewery”, and the original brasseries in France served beer that was brewed on the premises.

The dish “steak-frites” is very popular in Europe, especially in Belgium and France. Steak-frites is steak and fries, with the steak usually being a rib eye that is served in a pan reduction sauce.

33. Old calls from HQ : APBS
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

35. Org. sponsoring a literary fair : ABA
I think that the reference here is to the American Booksellers Association (ABA), but I’m not positive …

36. Fourth of July event, for short : BBQ
On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 Jul 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

39. Letters at sea : USS
The initialism "USS" stands for "United States Ship". The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

46. Pennsylvania and Erie, once: Abbr. : RRS
The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) was a large rail network in the northeast that was founded in 1846. Even though the “Pennsy” (as it was called) was the busiest railroad in the first half of the twentieth century, it went out of business in 1968. The PRR was also the largest public company in the world at one point, and it still holds the record for the longest continuous dividend history, having paid out an annual dividend for over a hundred years in a row.

The Erie Railroad operated from 1832 to 1960, and connected New York City with Lake Erie. The Erie Railroad was largely built as compensation for the towns in the Southern Tier of New York who lost business when the Erie Canal was completed in 1825.

48. One who crosses the line : SCAB
We started calling strikebreakers "scabs" in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of "scab" as a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

49. Like M, L or XL, but not S : ROMAN
M (1,000), L (50) and XL (40) are all Roman numerals.

53. Town at the N.J. end of the George Washington Bridge : FT LEE
Fort Lee, New Jersey is located at the western side of the George Washington Bridge that spans the Hudson River. Fort Lee is known as the birthplace of the motion picture industry. The world’s first movie studio was built there by Thomas Edison, a facility known as the Black Maria.

New York City's George Washington Bridge links the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, across the Hudson River, with Fort Lee in New Jersey. When the bridge was opened in 1931 it had one deck, allowing six lanes of traffic to traverse the river. The bridge's designer allowed for the construction of a second deck under the first, and this was added in 1946. Some locals refer to the second deck as "Martha" ...

55. Classic Jaguar model : E-TYPE
In my part of the world growing up, we knew them as E-type Jags, but they were marketed over in the US as the Jaguar XK-E line. They were manufactured from 1961 to 1974.

Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters "SS" in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

58. Bamako's land : MALI
Bamako is the capital of the African country of Mali. It is the fastest growing city on the whole continent. Located on the Niger River, the name “Bamako” translates from the local language as “crocodile river”.

59. Adam's apple site : EDEN
In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against the bidding of God. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

61. Sign of summer : LEO
Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Tinseltown terrier : ASTA
5. Building blocks : ABCS
9. Chap : BLOKE
14. Word with gift or thrift : SHOP
15. Polo of "Meet the Parents" : TERI
16. Engross : RIVET
17. Subjects for Andy Warhol : POP BOTTLES
19. Optimistic : UPBEAT
20. Caps : CEILINGS
21. Euchre relative : ECARTE
22. Append : ADD ON
23. Like most typos : CARELESS
25. Sticky stuff : GOOP
28. Capital of Majorca : PALMA
29. One-named musician with the hit albums "18" and "Hotel" : MOBY
32. Ken, to Barbie : BEAU
34. Abbr. followed by a date : ESTAB
37. Cause of inflation? : AIR
38. Groundbreaking chess-playing computer : DEEP BLUE
40. Go out : EBB
41. More than just show : PLACE
43. Fraternity letters : PSIS
44. One of the I's of ISIS : IRAQ
45. One of the two capitals of Bolivia : SUCRE
47. Part of 35-Down: Abbr. : ASSN
49. Sound of disapproval : RASPBERRY
52. ___ Americano : CAFFE
56. Old concert halls : ODEONS
57. "That was said in all sincerity" : I MEANT IT
60. "The Death of ___" (1793 David painting) : MARAT
61. Legendary guitarist ... or a hint to eight answers in this puzzle : LEAD BELLY
62. End of song titles starting "About" and "I Kissed" : A GIRL
63. What the French might call 62-Across : ELLE
64. Percolate : SEEP
65. Penurious : NEEDY
66. Valhalla V.I.P. : ODIN
67. Head overseas? : TETE

Down
1. Pet cause? : ASPCA
2. Worked on as a smithy might : SHOED
3. Winner on eBay : TOP BID
4. Mea culpa : APOLOGY
5. Letter-routing abbr. : ATTN
6. E.U. country where Hoegaarden beer is brewed : BELG
7. Musical opposite of dimin. : CRESC
8. Family nickname : SIS
9. Kato portrayer in "The Green Hornet" : BRUCE LEE
10. Blistex products : LIP BALMS
11. One taking extra courses? : OVEREATER
12. "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever" poet : KEATS
13. Diminutive suffixes : -ETTES
18. Ex-Yankee Martinez : TINO
21. Great time : ERA
24. The "high heel" of Italy's "boot" : APULIA
26. Honour bestowed by the queen, for short : OBE
27. Eye, informally : PEEPER
29. Pirate's aid : MAP
30. Alberta export : OIL
31. Restaurant that might serve steak frites : BRASSERIE
33. Old calls from HQ : APBS
35. Org. sponsoring a literary fair : ABA
36. Fourth of July event, for short : BBQ
38. In a respectable way : DECENTLY
39. Letters at sea : USS
42. Place to put everything you can? : CUPBOARD
44. Maximally moronic : INANEST
46. Pennsylvania and Erie, once: Abbr. : RRS
48. One who crosses the line : SCAB
49. Like M, L or XL, but not S : ROMAN
50. Bit of folk wisdom : ADAGE
51. Farmer's concern : YIELD
53. Town at the N.J. end of the George Washington Bridge : FT LEE
54. Choice beef cut : FILET
55. Classic Jaguar model : E-TYPE
58. Bamako's land : MALI
59. Adam's apple site : EDEN
61. Sign of summer : LEO


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4 comments :

Willie D said...

Clean puzzle today after I put it down for a while. LEADBELLY is a favorite blues artist of mine. And aren't Barbie and Ken broken up now? I thought Mattel did that as a marketing ploy once.

BruceB said...

30:30 for me today, no errors. The "P" in APULIA/PALMA was a complete guess, lucky today.

Anonymous said...

I **hate** rebuses..... HATE 'EM!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

PB is the symbol for lead on the periodic table. The "PB" letter combination that is the theme for the puzzle occurs in the middle of each theme answer. The theme answer LEAD BELLY cleverly summarizes both of the characteristics.

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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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