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0711-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Jul 15, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe DiPietro
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 29m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

16. Star close to Venus : SERENA
Serena Williams is the younger of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. Serena has won more prize money in her career than any other female athlete.

Venus Williams is the older of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. In 2002, Williams became the first black woman to earn the World No. 1 ranking by the Women’s Tennis Association.

17. Jordan was part of it in 1984 : NBA DRAFT
Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Not only is Jordan a talented sportsman, but he is also very successful in the business world. He is now the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team.

19. Miss at a party? : DEB
Deb is short for "debutante", which translates from French as "female beginner".

20. 1970s-'80s Olds : OMEGA
General Motors produced the Oldsmobile Omega from 1973 to 1984. The Omega was a rear-wheel drive car until 1979. From 1980 the Omega was a front-wheel drive car.

23. Sched. B entry : INT
IRS tax form Schedule B is used to list interest and dividend income.

24. TV character who said "I learned that beneath my goody two shoes lie some very dark socks" : LISA SIMPSON
Lisa Simpson is Bart's brainy younger sister on TV's "The Simpsons". Lisa is voiced by actress Yeardley Smith.

27. French Christian : DIOR
Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped reestablish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

29. "Hair," for example : TITLE SONG
The full name of the famed show from the sixties is "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical". This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song "Air" is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are "Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air ... is everywhere". How things have changed in fifty years said he ... satirically ...

30. Driver's convenience : E-ZPASS
E-ZPASS was a technology development driven (pun!) by the tolling agencies of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The first E-ZPASS toll booth was built on the New York Thruway, and opened at the Spring Valley toll plaza in 1993.

33. Blue ___ : NILE
The Blue Nile and the White Nile are the two major tributaries that form the River Nile.

34. What may be attached to cortexes? : NEO-
The neocortex is part of the brain, the part of the cerebral cortex that is especially large in higher animals.

39. Marvel's ___-Man : ANT
In the Marvel universe, the original Ant-Man was a scientist who used a drug to change his size, becoming small in scale while increasing his strength.

42. Caesarean section? : GAUL
The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

The most famous Roman known as “Caesar” was Gaius Julius Caesar, the dictator usually referred to as Julius Caesar. It was Julius Caesar’s actions and assassination that ushered in the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. The name Gaius Julius Caesar was also used by the dictator’s father, and indeed his grandfather.

44. Alternative to Pantene : NEXXUS
Nexxus is a brand of hair-care products that was developed by Alberto-Culver, and which now is made by Unilever.

The hair care product line called Pantene was introduced in the late 1940s in Europe, but has been owned by Procter & Gamble since the 80s. The name “Pantene” was chosen as one of the main ingredients was the alcohol called panthenol.

55. What a suit may hold : MBA
The world's first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

“Suit” is a slang term for a business executive or manager.

56. Something people have often been told not to touch : DIAL
Don’t touch that dial! Keep on watching!

57. Gambling mecca, with "the" : STRIP
The Las Vegas Strip is a 4-mile section of Las Vegas Boulevard that is home to many hotels and casinos. Fifteen of the world’s twenty-five largest hotels are located on the Las Vegas Strip.

58. Yossarian's "Catch-22" tentmate : ORR
Orr has no other name, just "Orr", in Joseph Heller's novel "Catch 22".

Captain John Yossarian is the protagonist in Joseph Heller’s novel “Catch 22”. Yossarian’s story is based on the author’s own experiences when stationed in Italy during World War II.

“Catch-22” is a novel by Joseph Heller set during WWII. The title refers to absurd bureaucratic constraints that soldiers had to suffer. Heller’s “Catch 22” was invoked by an army psychiatrist to explain that any pilot requesting to be evaluated for insanity, to avoid flying dangerous missions, had to be sane as only a sane man would try to get out of such missions. The term “catch-22 has entered the language and describes a paradoxical situation from which one can’t escape due to contradictory rules; one loses, no matter what choice one makes.

62. Had zero effect : DID SQUAT
“Squat” is a slang term for “nothing”, and probably has a distasteful derivation that is related to a bodily function.

65. 16 drams : ONE OUNCE
Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”.

The dram is a confusing unit of measurement, I think. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

66. Members of the meddle class? : YENTAS
Yenta (also "Yente") is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater "yenta" came to mean a busybody.

Down
1. Source of the line "If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others?" : CANDIDE
“Candide, ou l’Optimisme” is a 1759 satirical novella by the French philosopher Voltaire. “Candide” was adapted into an operetta with music by American composer Leonard Bernstein.

2. Spanish composer Isaac : ALBENIZ
Isaac Albéniz was a Spanish Catalan pianist and composer. Albéniz is best remembered for creating works built around motifs from Spanish folk music. Although he wrote these works for piano, many have been transcribed for the guitar and are frequently heard today.

9. Hit from the '60s? : LSD
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

10. Key contraction : O’ER
The words "o'er the ramparts we watched" come from "The Star Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key.

Francis Scott Key is remembered mainly as the man who wrote the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Key was a lawyer and amatuer poet from Georgetown, now a neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

12. Norman who directed "In the Heat of the Night" : JEWISON
Norman Jewison is a movie director and actor from Toronto. Jewison was at the helm for many celebrated films, including “The Cincinnati Kid”, “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming”, “In the Heat of the Night”, “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968 version), “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Agnes of God”, “Moonstruck” and “The Hurricane”.

14. Served with a sauce of mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, oil and wine : MARENGO
Chicken Marengo is a French dish that is similar to chicken à la Provençale. The former traditionally includes egg and crayfish, although these ingredients are often omitted in contemporary versions. The dish was supposedly created for Emperor Napoleon after the defeat of the Austrian army at the Battle of Marengo that took place south of Turin in Italy.

25. "Sick" : ILLIN’
I am no expert, but my research seems to indicate that “sick” and “illin’” have opposite meanings …

In the world of contemporary slang (that has left me behind some years ago) "illin’" is the opposite of "chillin’" apparently. Illin’ is uncool, not relaxed, a bit crazy perhaps.

In modern-day slang, “sick” means “really cool”.

26. Attorney general between Smith and Thornburgh : MEESE
Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California just down the road here and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I live. After military service, Meese earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as Chief of Staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

William French Smith was US Attorney General for four years in the Reagan administration. After stepping down from office, Smith joined a law firm in Los Angeles, and was also the chairman of the foundation that located the present site for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Dick Thornburgh served as the Governor of Pennsylvania for eight years before becoming the US Attorney General in 1988. Thornburgh served in the White House under both President Reagan and President Bush.

32. Lots : SCADS
The origin of the word "scads", meaning "lots and lots", is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s "scads" was used to mean "dollars".

36. French bread : EUROS
The “eurozone” or “euro area” is a monetary and economic union within the European Union of 19 states (as of today) that use the euro as a shared legal tender and their sole currency.

39. Nonbasic property : ACIDITY
The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are the alkalis, the hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

41. Item in many a cat owner's pantry : TUNA CAN
The word "pantry" dates back to 1300 when it came into English from the Old French "panetrie" meaning a "bread room". Bread is "pain" in French, and "panis" in Latin.

50. Fancy Feast company : PURINA
Purina began operations in 1894 as an operation for producing feed for farm animals. A few years later, in 1902, the Ralston name was introduced when Webster Edgerly joined the business. Edgerly was the founder of a controversial social movement called Ralstonism. Central to the movement was personal health, with RALSTON standing for Regime, Activity, Light, Strength, Temperation, Oxygen and Nature.

Fancy Feast is a brand of cat food that was introduced by the Carnation Company in 1982.

54. British college : EPSOM
The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across Epsom salt from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time. The town is also home to Epsom College, an English “public school” (which actually means “private, and expensive”). One of Epsom’s “old boys” was the Hollywood actor Stewart Granger.

60. With 13-Down, water dweller that looks like a plant but is actually an animal : SEA
(13D. See 60-Down : ANEMONE)
The name "anemone" means "daughter of the wind" in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom. The sea anemone is named for the terrestrial plant even though it isn't a plant at all. The sea anemone is a predatory animal found on the ocean floor.

61. Workplaces with many stats, for short? : ERS
Emergency room (ER)

The exact etymology of "stat", a term meaning "immediately" in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin "statim" meaning "to a standstill, immediately". A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for "short turn-around time".

63. What's what south of the border? : QUE?
“Que?” s Spanish for “what?”

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gets paid for prior work : CASHES IN
9. Negotiator's challenge : LOGJAM
15. Combined : ALL IN ONE
16. Star close to Venus : SERENA
17. Jordan was part of it in 1984 : NBA DRAFT
18. Part of the chest : DRAWER
19. Miss at a party? : DEB
20. 1970s-'80s Olds : OMEGA
22. One who's speechless : MIME
23. Sched. B entry : INT
24. TV character who said "I learned that beneath my goody two shoes lie some very dark socks" : LISA SIMPSON
27. French Christian : DIOR
29. "Hair," for example : TITLE SONG
30. Driver's convenience : E-ZPASS
33. Blue ___ : NILE
34. What may be attached to cortexes? : NEO-
35. Game for cats : MICE
37. Quit lying : RISE
39. Marvel's ___-Man : ANT
42. Caesarean section? : GAUL
44. Alternative to Pantene : NEXXUS
48. Hacker's aid : COUGH DROP
51. ___ leg : PANT
52. "Hmm, let me think about that" : I’M NOT SO SURE
55. What a suit may hold : MBA
56. Something people have often been told not to touch : DIAL
57. Gambling mecca, with "the" : STRIP
58. Yossarian's "Catch-22" tentmate : ORR
59. If : IN CASE
62. Had zero effect : DID SQUAT
64. Brain game : TEASER
65. 16 drams : ONE OUNCE
66. Members of the meddle class? : YENTAS
67. Monthly reading : GAS METER

Down
1. Source of the line "If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others?" : CANDIDE
2. Spanish composer Isaac : ALBENIZ
3. Sturdy table surface : SLAB TOP
4. Withheld : HID
5. Put on a list : ENROL
6. "Same here" : SO AM I
7. Unpleasantly overrun : INFEST
8. Profit : NET GAIN
9. Hit from the '60s? : LSD
10. Key contraction : O’ER
11. Pop maker? : GRAMPS
12. Norman who directed "In the Heat of the Night" : JEWISON
13. See 60-Down : ANEMONE
14. Served with a sauce of mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, oil and wine : MARENGO
21. Not inert : ASTIR
25. "Sick" : ILLIN’
26. Attorney general between Smith and Thornburgh : MEESE
28. Pile driver, basically : RAM
31. View : SIGHT
32. Lots : SCADS
36. French bread : EUROS
38. Abbr. on a credit card : EXP
39. Nonbasic property : ACIDITY
40. Ticket name : NOMINEE
41. Item in many a cat owner's pantry : TUNA CAN
43. Subject of many a neighborhood poster : LOST DOG
45. Unspecified quantity : X-AMOUNT
46. Free from tension : UNBRACE
47. Official with a pistol : STARTER
49. Bring up the rear : GO LAST
50. Fancy Feast company : PURINA
53. Fair offerings : RIDES
54. British college : EPSOM
60. With 13-Down, water dweller that looks like a plant but is actually an animal : SEA
61. Workplaces with many stats, for short? : ERS
63. What's what south of the border? : QUE?


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5 comments :

Willie D said...

Whew! :35 for me. For some reason I started with "EZ Park" -- wouldn't that be nice in NYC. Also 23A INT could be INT or "div" for dividend income. Yes, His Airness was in the '84 NBADRAFT, but drafted third, behind Hakeem "the Dream" Olajuwon, and Sam Bowie, who had a few injury-plagued seasons. It's widely considered the greatest draft of all time, including HoF'ers Olajuwon, Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. On DIDSQUAT, takes me back to Chris Farley's role as Matt Foley on SNL.

JaJaJoe said...

First, I enjoyed your comment, Willie D. Especially Chris Farley whose raising-his-pants-waistline became some moves I now catch myself doing.-)

Bill, regarding "41D. Item in many a cat owner's pantry : TUNA CAN", you discussed only "pantry"; whereas "TUNA CAN" seems the operative word, which I infer as "empty" vs a "can containing tuna". 'So might a cat-owner keep an "empty tuna can" like as a feline play-thing?

Dave Kennison said...

After 28 minutes, I thought I had the puzzle licked, but it took me another 22 minutes to replace CPA and IN PEACE with MBA and UNBRACE, thus allowing me to guess, with some confidence, at NEXXUS and ORR, with X AMOUNT a relatively clear answer for "unspecified quantity". It's amazing how little it takes, sometimes, to prevent further progress. Anyway, 50 minutes, no errors ... on to the kenkens! ...

BruceB said...

47:18, no errors. I enjoy these Saturday puzzles, which seem impossible after the first read through, but gradually fall apart.

Dave Kennison said...

So I did a couple of kenkens and found myself thinking about "illin', I'm no expert in modern slang, either, but I think I have come across uses of it that have a positive sense: "That's so sick, it's beyond sick - it's positively illin'!" This put me in mind of another phrase that adopted the opposite meaning (though perhaps only for me). When my father was young,he learned the phrase "That's the berries!" I learned the phrase from him and he always used it when something bad had happened - as, for example, when we were about to drive somewhere and he discovered a flat tire on the car. What I did not realize until recently is that he was using it sarcastically; in its original incarnation, it had a positive meaning. I have no doubt that this sort of thing has happened time and again to English words and phrases, reversing their meanings.

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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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