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0712-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Jul 15, Sunday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: Start Again … each of today’s themed answers sounds like a common phrase, but with the starting word repeated:
23A. Bird involved in French government affairs? : CUCKOO D’ETAT (sounds like “coup-coup d'état”)
28A. Glittering ballet costume? : TUTU OF DIAMONDS (sounds like “two-two of diamonds”)
45A. "La Bohème" song in which Rodolfo regrets saying too much to his lover? : MIMI AND MY BIG MOUTH (sounds like “me-me and my big mouth”)
53A. "I'll obey your medical advice!"? : AYE AYE, DOCTOR (sounds like “eye-eye doctor”)
85A. Lionel trains? : CHOO CHOO TOYS (sounds like “chew-chew toys”)
93A. Group planning a hostile takeover of Swiss Miss? : COCOA CONSPIRATORS (sounds like “co-co-conspirator”)
107A. "That's my last trip to the store, ever!"? : BYE BYE, PRODUCTS (sounds like “by-by-products”)
118A. One who's pretentious as hell? : CHICHI DEVIL (sounds like “she-she-devil”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Hamlet : BURG
“Burg” is an informal term used in the US for a smaller town, from the German word “burg” meaning a fortified city.

A hamlet is a small village, especially one without a church apparently.

5. Possible cause of red eyes : FLASH
There can be red dots in eyes in a flash photograph.

10. Collared one : PERP
Perpetrator (perp.)

18. College sports' ___ Valley Conference : OHIO
The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) is a collegiate athletic conference was established back in 1948.

19. Disease spread by bats : RABIES
"Rabies" is actually the Latin word for "madness". The name is a good choice for the viral disease, as once the virus spreads to the brain the infected person or animal exhibits very tortured and bizarre behavior including hydrophobia, a fear of water. The virus is passed on to humans most often through a bite from an infected dog. It is curable if it is caught in time, basically before symptoms develop. Once the virus passes up the peripheral nervous system to the spine and the brain, there isn't much that can be done.

21. Nefarious : EVIL
Something described as “nefarious” is extremely wicked. The term comes from the Latin “nefarius” meaning “wicked”, which in turn comes from “nefas” meaning crime, or “ne-” (not) and “fas” (right).

22. "Casablanca" role : ILSA
Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie "Casablanca". I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: "she paints his face with her eyes". Wow ...

23. Bird involved in French government affairs? : CUCKOO D’ETAT (from “coup d'état”)
A coup d'état (often just "coup") is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for "stroke of state". The Swiss German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.

25. Fulminate : RAGE
To "fulminate" is to explode or detonate, perhaps in rage. It's a lovely word derived from the Latin "fulminare" meaning "to hurl lightning".

28. Glittering ballet costume? : TUTU OF DIAMONDS (from “two of diamonds”)
The word "tutu", used for a ballet dancer's skirt, is actually a somewhat "naughty" term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French "tutu" is an alteration of the word "cucu", a childish word meaning "bottom," or "backside".

35. "Prince ___" ("Aladdin" song) : ALI
The Disney animated feature "Aladdin" was released in 1992 and is one of the best features to come out of the studio, in my opinion, largely due to the great performance by Robin Williams who voiced the Genie. "Aladdin" was the most successful film of 1992, earning over $500 million worldwide, an unusual feat for an animated movie.

44. Tree with samaras : ELM
“Helicopter seed” and “whirlybird” are familiar names given to a type of fruit more correctly called a samara. A samara has a flattened wing or wings made of papery tissue from the ovary wall. These wings enable the wind to carry the seed farther from the parent tree. Samaras are produced by several species of tree and shrub, including elm trees.

45. "La Bohème" song in which Rodolfo regrets saying too much to his lover? : MIMI AND MY BIG MOUTH (from “me and my big mouth”)
"La bohème" by Giacomo Puccini is the second most frequently performed opera in the US (after Puccini's "Madama Butterfly"). The lead female role in the piece is Mimì, a seamstress. The contemporary stage musical “Rent” is a retelling of “La bohème".

51. Site of Italy's Blue Grotto : CAPRI
The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight , which takes on a lovely blue color as it passes through the seawater into the cave. Natives of Capri are known as “Capriotes”.

52. Barclays Center player : ISLANDER
The New York Islanders are an NHL team, one of three such franchises in the New York City area (along with the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers). When the team was founded in 1972 it was designated as a "Long Island franchise", and it was expected to take the name the Long Island Ducks, but New York “Islanders” it was to be.

57. Bath bathroom : LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of "lanterloo" in which the pot was called the loo!

58. Prey for a dingo : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the "invading force". The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

The dingo is a wild dog of Australia. The dingo is thought to have originated from domesticated dogs that were brought to Australia with humans that settled the land centuries ago.

60. 1969 Nabokov novel : ADA
The reference here is to the 1969 novel by Vladimir Nabokov called "Ada". The story takes place in the 1800s on Antiterra, an Earth-like planet that has a history similar to ours but with interesting differences. For example, there is a United States, but the country covers all of North and South America. What we call eastern Canada is a French-speaking province called "Canady", and western Canada is a Russian-speaking province "Estody". The plot-line is about a man called Van Veen who, when 14 years old, meets for the first time his cousin, 11-year-old Ada. The two cousins eventually have an affair, only to discover later that they are in fact brother and sister.

61. Don Everly's singing brother : PHIL
The Everly Brothers are noted for their steel guitar sound, and their great use of harmony. Their harmony onstage wasn’t reflected off the stage though. In 1973 the brothers decided to pursue separate careers and scheduled a farewell performance attended by many fans, family and stalwarts from the music industry. Don Everly came on stage too drunk to perform, and eventually brother Phil just stormed off into the wings, smashing his guitar as he left. The boys didn’t talk to each other for ten years after that incident. Phil Everly passed away in January 2014.

68. Harry's 1948 Dixiecrat opponent : STROM
Strom Thurmond was a US Senator for the state of South Carolina for 48 years, until he stepped down in 2003. Thurmond was the oldest-serving senator in US history. He retired from his office at the age of 100-years-old, and passed away just a few months after leaving Washington.

Dixiecrats were members of the States’ Rights Democratic Party, a segregationist group that was disbanded after only a few months of activity, in 1948. The Dixiecrats were a breakaway faction from the Democratic Party. The Dixiecrat party platform was centered around States’ rights, racial segregation and white supremacy.

70. Horror film featuring Ghostface : SCREAM
The first installment of the “Scream” franchise of horror films was released in 1996. Each movie features a murderer who adopts the persona of “Ghostface”, a man wearing a mask that resembles the subject in the Edvard Munch painting “The Scream”. Even though the murderer behind the mask changes in each film, the victim is always Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell.

75. Miss Woodhouse of Hartfield : EMMA
I listened to one of my favorite Jane Austen novels on Audio Book not so long ago. "Emma" is the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the story, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet's attention practically from page one of the novel!

80. Car care brand : STP
STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

83. Paul Newman title role : HUD
The modern-day, western movie called "Hud" was released in 1963 and has become a classic. "Hud" stars Paul Newman (in the title role) and Patricia Neal and is an adaptation of a novel by Larry McMurtry called "Horseman, Pass By". Patricia Neal's role in the film was relatively small, yet her performance was enough to earn her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

85. Lionel trains? : CHOO CHOO TOYS (from “chew toys”)
Lionel is the name most associated with toy trains in the US. The first Lionel trains rolled off the production line in 1901 and they are still produced today, although the original Lionel Corporation is long gone. In 1995, the brand was bought by an investment company that included train enthusiast Neil Young (the singer), and operated as Lionel, LLC. Neil Young's financial involvement ended after a 2008 reorganization of the company following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, but the company is still producing and selling.

88. Mesabi Range excavation : IRON MINE
The Mesabi Range has the largest deposit of iron ore in the country, and is located in Minnesota. Robert Allen Zimmerman was raised in the area (whom we know him better as Bob Dylan) and he wrote a song called "North Country Blues" that tells of the decline of the mining industry in the Mesabi Range.

91. Oscar winner Garson : GREER
Greer Garson was a British actress who made a name for herself in Hollywood films in the forties. One of Garson’s most famous roles was playing the title character in the 1942 film “Mrs. Miniver”, starring alongside Walter Pidgeon. Garson married a much younger man in 1943, the actor Richard Ney who played her son in “Mrs. Miniver”.

93. Group planning a hostile takeover of Swiss Miss? : COCOA CONSPIRATORS (from “co-conspirator”)
Swiss Miss is a brand of cocoa powder and related products that is sold by ConAgra Foods. The original Swiss Miss product was introduced in the 1950s and was sold only to airlines. The airlines used it to make hot cocoa for their passengers. The beverage was so popular on flights that it was later added to grocery store shelves.

99. Facebook profile feature : STATUS
As far as I know, Facebook users can choose from the following options when designating their relationship status:
- Single
- In a relationship
- Married
- Engaged
- Not specified
- In a civil union
- In a domestic partnership
- In an open relationship
- It’s complicated
- Separated
- Divorced
- Widowed

106. Former SAG president Ed : ASNER
Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and on the spin-off drama "Lou Grant". Off-screen, Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When "Lou Grant" was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact one of Asner's activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever), found that his show "WKRP in Cincinnati" was also canceled ... on the very same day.

118. One who's pretentious as hell? : CHICHI DEVIL (from “she-devil”)
Someone who is "chichi" is showily trendy and pretentious. “Chichi” is a French noun meaning “airs, fuss”.

122. No-show in Hubbard's cupboard : BONE
The English nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard” was first printed in 1805:
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

123. Fictional resort in a 1988 #1 hit : KOKOMO
“Kokomo” is song released by the Beach Boys in 1988. It describes a trip taken by a couple to a fictional island off the Florida Keys called Kokomo. The success of the song led to at least one Florida resort adopting the name.

125. Stands abuse? : BOOS
Abuse from fans in the stands might come in the form of “boos”.

126. Flexible Flyer, e.g. : SLED
“Flexible flyer” is now a generic term for a steel runner sled that can be steered with the feet. The original Flexible Flyer was patented in 1889.

127. Climber's spike : PITON
“Piton” is a French word for a “hook”.

Down
1. Florida city, for short : BOCA
The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

3. "Dirty" dish : RICE
“Dirty rice” is a white rice made to look “dirty” by cooking it with chicken liver, green peppers, celery and onion, as well as cayenne and black pepper. Dirty rice is a traditional Cajun dish.

7. Provides a hideaway for, maybe : ABETS
The word "abet" comes into English from the Old French "abeter" meaning "to bait" or "to harass with dogs" (it literally means "to make bite"). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of "abet" meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

8. Undisturbed, after "in" : SITU
“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning "in the place", and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

9. Qualifying race : HEAT
The term "heat", meaning a qualifying race, dates back to the 1660s. Originally a heat was a run given to a horse to prepare it for a race, to "heat" it up.

10. Breach of trust : PERFIDY
“Perfidy” is a deliberate breach of trust. The term originated from the Latin phrase “per fidem decipere”, meaning “to deceive through trustingness”.

14. Buck, in old slang : SIMOLEON
“Simoleon” is a slang term for a dollar that dates back to the late 1800s. No one seems to sure where the term originated.

15. More-than-adequate supply : PLENITUDE
A “plenitude” is a abundance, an adequacy of supply. The term ultimately comes from the Latin “plenus” meaning “complete, full”.

16. Like Goodwill wares : USED
Goodwill Industries is a non-profit organization focused on providing aid to people in the community. Goodwill is funded by thrift stores located right across North America. The organization has its roots in an urban outreach program of the Morgan methodist Chapel in Boston, Massachusetts that started operations in 1902. That program involved the collection of discarded household goods and clothing, and the repair of the items so that they could be distributed to the needy.

24. Classical performance hall : ODEUM
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.

29. Utah Valley University city : OREM
Orem, Utah was originally known as "Sharon" (a Biblical name), then "Provo Bench", and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called "Orem". Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

32. Dennis the Menace's mom : ALICE
"Dennis the Menace" is a comic strip that first appeared in 1951, originally drawn by Hank Ketcham. The strip made the jump over the years from the newspaper to television and the silver screen. Dennis's full name is Dennis Mitchell, and his parents are Henry and Alice (Johnson) Mitchell. Dennis's nemesis is his neighbor, Mister George Everett Wilson. Hank Ketcham drew his inspiration for the story from his real life. When he introduced the strip he had a 4-year-old son called Dennis, and a wife named Alice.

33. Holiday Inn rival : RAMADA
The Ramada Inn hotel chain takes its name from the Spanish word for a shady resting place. A ramada is a shelter with a roof and no walls, mainly found in the American southwest. Nowadays a ramada can be temporary or permanent, but originally ramadas were makeshift shelters constructed by aboriginal Indians from branches or bushes.

The first Holiday Inn hotel was opened in 1952. The name for the hotel chain was inspired by the 1942 movie “Holiday Inn” starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

36. Oil source for Asian cooking : SESAME
Sesame oil is extracted from sesame seeds. Sesame oil is one of the nutritionally “good” oils in that it is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Unlike most “good” oils, sesame oil keeps at room temperature, due to the presence of naturally occurring preservatives.

38. Lobbying org. formed in 1944 : AMVETS
American Veterans (AMVETS) is a charitable service organization founded by World War II veterans. The objective of AMVETS is to provide support for all US veterans and active military personnel.

41. Digs in the Arctic : IGLOOS
The Inuit word for "house" is "iglu", which we usually write as "igloo". The Greenlandic (yes, that's a language) word for "house" is very similar, namely "igdlo".

43. "Whatever Gets You ___ the Night" (Lennon song) : THRU
Whatever Gets You thru the Night" is a 1974 song written and recorded by John Lennon. It is only one of his solo recordings that Lennon saw reach number one in the US before he was murdered. Elton John also appears on the recording, playing piano and providing vocal harmonies.

48. Prefix with metric : ISO-
The word "isometric" comes from Greek, and means "having equal measurement". Isometric exercise is a resistance exercise in which the muscle does not change in length (and the joint angle stays the same). The alternative would be dynamic exercises, ones using the joint's full range of motion.

55. Actress in "Selma," familiarly : OPRAH
What can you say about Oprah Winfrey? Born into poverty to a single mother and with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah's name was originally meant to be "Orpah" after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that's how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing "Orpah", so she's now "Oprah".

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches of 1965. The film stars British actors David Oyewale as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson. “Selma” was received extremely well by critics and audiences alike. That said, there is some criticism about the way President Johnson is portrayed as being less supportive of civil rights than is assumed to be the case in reality.

56. Chi-___ (Christian symbol) : RHO
Chi Rho is an ancient religious symbol in the Christian tradition. “Chi’ and “rho” are the first two letters in the Greek word for “Christ”.

64. Diez menos dos : OCHO
In Spanish, ten minus two (diez menos dos) is eight (ocho).

65. Neck lines? : FRETS
A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, like a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

69. Network owned by Showtime : TMC
The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.

71. Children's heroine with the dog Weenie : ELOISE
Kay Thompson wrote the "Eloise" series of children's books. Kay Thompson actually lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the setting she would choose for her "Eloise" stories. Eloise started out as a hit song for Thompson, a success that she parlayed into the book franchise.

72. Runner-up in every 1978 Triple Crown race : ALYDAR
The very successful racehorse called Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978. Affirmed had a famous rivalry with the the horse Alydar, with the pair meeting up on ten occasions. Affirmed and Alydar came in first and second in each of the 1978 Triple Crown races.

73. Perambulates, western-style : MOSEYS
"Mosey" is American slang for "amble", of unknown origin.

75. Source of four great rivers, in the Bible : EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden "in" Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

77. "Law & Order: SVU" actor : ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

78. Ruler entombed in the Great Pyramid : CHEOPS
Cheops is the name used by the Greeks for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu. It was Cheops who had the Great Pyramid of Giza constructed.

80. Sets (on) : SICS
“Sic 'em” is an attack order given to a dog, instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with "sic" being a variation of "seek".

81. Dressage gait : TROT
The equestrian sport of dressage involves demonstration of how well as horse responds to training. “Dressage” is a French word meaning “training”.

82. Western city named after a Shoshone chief : POCATELLO
Pocatello is a city in the southeast of Idaho. It is home to Idaho State University. The city was founded as a railroad stop in the days of the gold rush. Pocatello was named for the chief of the Shoshone tribe who granted the right of way for the railroad to pass through the nearby Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

84. Card game from Mattel : UNO
In my youth I remember being taught a great card game, by a German acquaintance of mine, called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that's used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

Mattel is the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Mattel was founded by Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler in 1945, and they chose the company name by combining “Matt” with “El-liot” giving “Matt-el”.

86. Grimm figure : OGRE
The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

87. Hatch in the Senate : ORRIN
Orrin Hatch is a Republican Senator from Utah. He's also quite the musician, and plays the piano, violin and organ. He has composed various compositions, including a song called "Heal Our Land" that was played at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.

90. Tabloid show beginning in 1991 : MAURY
Maury Povich has his own daytime talk show called "Maury". He has famous family connections. Maury’s father was Shirley Povich, a columnist and sports reporter for the Washington Post, and his wife is Connie Chung the news anchor.

"Tabloid" is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a "small tablet of medicine", a name that goes back to 1884. The word "tabloid" had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in "tabloid journalism", applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

97. Radio-era dummy : SNERD
Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's most famous character was Charlie McCarthy, but Bergen also worked with Mortimer Snerd.

102. Religious doctrines : CREEDS
A creed is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. The word "creed" comes from the Latin "credo" meaning "I believe".

106. Berkshire racecourse site : ASCOT
Ascot Racecourse is used for thoroughbred horse racing, and is located in the town of Ascot, Berkshire in England. The course is located just six miles from Windsor Castle, and is often visited by members of the royal family. Royal Ascot is the name given to the most famous race meeting in the year, at which members of the royal family attend each day, arriving in horse-drawn carriages amidst great ceremony.

Berkshire is an English county located just west of London. It is home to Windsor Castle, and so is also known as the Royal County of Berkshire. The county takes its name from a forest of box trees called Bearroc, which is thought to be a Celtic word meaning “hilly”.

108. 1980s auto : YUGO
The Yugo was a really unreliable subcompact car built by the Zastava corporation of Yugoslavia.

111. Polynesian idol : TIKI
A tiki is a large carving of wood or stone resembling a human form, found in Polynesian cultures. The carvings often mark out boundaries of sites sacred to the locals.

113. ___-by-the-Sea, N.J. : AVON
Avon-by-the-Sea is a borough in New Jersey that is located on the Atlantic coast. Avon-by-the-Sea is also bordered by the Shark River to the south and by Sylvan Lake to the north.

114. Rat Pack nickname : DINO
Dean Martin was the stage name of singer and actor Dino Crocetti. Martin was famous for his numerous hit songs such as “That’s Amore”, “Volare” and Everybody Loves Somebody”, as well as his film career with Jerry Lewis. Off screen, Martin was a member of the famous “Rat Pack” as he was a great friend of Frank Sinatra. Martin was always associated with Las Vegas and when he passed away in 1995 the lights on the strip were dimmed in his honor.

The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart's wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

119. Coverage provider, for short : HMO
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

120. Particle in seawater : ION
The salt that is dissolved in seawater exists as sodium and chloride ions.

Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound, a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Hamlet : BURG
5. Possible cause of red eyes : FLASH
10. Collared one : PERP
14. Poker in a western : SPUR
18. College sports' ___ Valley Conference : OHIO
19. Disease spread by bats : RABIES
21. Nefarious : EVIL
22. "Casablanca" role : ILSA
23. Bird involved in French government affairs? : CUCKOO D’ETAT (from “coup d'état”)
25. Fulminate : RAGE
26. Come together : MEET
27. Leading the pack : AHEAD
28. Glittering ballet costume? : TUTU OF DIAMONDS (from “two of diamonds”)
31. Brings up : REARS
34. Was nosy : PRIED
35. "Prince ___" ("Aladdin" song) : ALI
36. Flipper? : SPATULA
39. Raced with runners : SKIED
41. "You can stop explaining" : I GET IT
44. Tree with samaras : ELM
45. "La Bohème" song in which Rodolfo regrets saying too much to his lover? : MIMI AND MY BIG MOUTH (from “me and my big mouth”)
49. Except for : SAVE
51. Site of Italy's Blue Grotto : CAPRI
52. Barclays Center player : ISLANDER
53. "I'll obey your medical advice!"? : AYE AYE, DOCTOR (from “eye doctor”)
57. Bath bathroom : LOO
58. Prey for a dingo : EMU
59. Coat of arms element : MOTTO
60. 1969 Nabokov novel : ADA
61. Don Everly's singing brother : PHIL
63. Reaction to a slug : OOF!
66. Guarantee : ENSURE
68. Harry's 1948 Dixiecrat opponent : STROM
70. Horror film featuring Ghostface : SCREAM
74. Collared one : PET
75. Miss Woodhouse of Hartfield : EMMA
76. Stand-up comic's need : MIC
79. Echo tester's word : HELLO
80. Car care brand : STP
83. Paul Newman title role : HUD
85. Lionel trains? : CHOO CHOO TOYS (from “chew toys”)
88. Mesabi Range excavation : IRON MINE
91. Oscar winner Garson : GREER
92. Big butcher purchase : SIDE
93. Group planning a hostile takeover of Swiss Miss? : COCOA CONSPIRATORS (from “co-conspirator”)
98. "Here's an idea ..." : SAY ...
99. Facebook profile feature : STATUS
100. Plywood sheet : PANEL
101. Nail-removing tool : PINCERS
103. Driveway sealant : TAR
104. Become tainted : SPOIL
106. Former SAG president Ed : ASNER
107. "That's my last trip to the store, ever!"? : BYE BYE, PRODUCTS (from “by-products”)
112. Indicates, as a gauge : READS
116. Letup : LULL
117. Reserve : BOOK
118. One who's pretentious as hell? : CHICHI DEVIL (from “she-devil”)
121. Study too much, say : OGLE
122. No-show in Hubbard's cupboard : BONE
123. Fictional resort in a 1988 #1 hit : KOKOMO
124. Washed up, careerwise : DONE
125. Stands abuse? : BOOS
126. Flexible Flyer, e.g. : SLED
127. Climber's spike : PITON
128. Wet blanket? : SNOW

Down
1. Florida city, for short : BOCA
2. "Ain't gonna happen" : UH-UH
3. "Dirty" dish : RICE
4. Track vehicle : GO-KART
5. Back again : FRO
6. Youth : LAD
7. Provides a hideaway for, maybe : ABETS
8. Undisturbed, after "in" : SITU
9. Qualifying race : HEAT
10. Breach of trust : PERFIDY
11. Skirt : EVADE
12. Having no flex : RIGID
13. Entreaty : PLEA
14. Buck, in old slang : SIMOLEON
15. More-than-adequate supply : PLENITUDE
16. Like Goodwill wares : USED
17. "Dagnabbit!" : RATS!
20. Half-witted : STUPID
24. Classical performance hall : ODEUM
29. Utah Valley University city : OREM
30. Soft rock? : MAGMA
32. Dennis the Menace's mom : ALICE
33. Holiday Inn rival : RAMADA
36. Oil source for Asian cooking : SESAME
37. Exploit : PLAY ON
38. Lobbying org. formed in 1944 : AMVETS
39. "Yeah, I bet," e.g. : SARCASM
40. Intertwined : KNIT
41. Digs in the Arctic : IGLOOS
42. List entry : ITEM
43. "Whatever Gets You ___ the Night" (Lennon song) : THRU
46. Device once sold in a U2 Special Edition : IPOD
47. Unwelcome bit of mail : BILL
48. Prefix with metric : ISO-
50. Consume : EAT UP
54. The olden days : YORE
55. Actress in "Selma," familiarly : OPRAH
56. Chi-___ (Christian symbol) : RHO
62. Sinful : IMMORAL
64. Diez menos dos : OCHO
65. Neck lines? : FRETS
67. Law school course : ETHICS
69. Network owned by Showtime : TMC
71. Children's heroine with the dog Weenie : ELOISE
72. Runner-up in every 1978 Triple Crown race : ALYDAR
73. Perambulates, western-style : MOSEYS
75. Source of four great rivers, in the Bible : EDEN
77. "Law & Order: SVU" actor : ICE-T
78. Ruler entombed in the Great Pyramid : CHEOPS
80. Sets (on) : SICS
81. Dressage gait : TROT
82. Western city named after a Shoshone chief : POCATELLO
84. Card game from Mattel : UNO
86. Grimm figure : OGRE
87. Hatch in the Senate : ORRIN
89. Important people : NOTABLES
90. Tabloid show beginning in 1991 : MAURY
94. Given a start : SPOOKED
95. Not working as a volunteer : PAID
96. Favored by fortune : IN LUCK
97. Radio-era dummy : SNERD
102. Religious doctrines : CREEDS
104. Cylindrical holder : SPOOL
105. Lying flat : PRONE
106. Berkshire racecourse site : ASCOT
107. Indistinct shape : BLOB
108. 1980s auto : YUGO
109. Dies down : EBBS
110. Blender setting : CHOP
111. Polynesian idol : TIKI
113. ___-by-the-Sea, N.J. : AVON
114. Rat Pack nickname : DINO
115. Multitude : SLEW
119. Coverage provider, for short : HMO
120. Particle in seawater : ION


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

3 comments :

Willie D said...

A lot of fits and starts on this one today, but I finally cleaned it up. I don't think the theme held up very well. Some of the theme answers were two words repeated, others were two sounds. And some, like CHICHI...sounded (to me) like cha-cha. I may be overthinking the grid, but having OPRAH cross PHIL (as in Dr. Phil) was pretty funny. So was having IMMORAL, ICET, CHEOPS, and ORRIN Hatch in the same block. And for that matter, so was crossing PERP and PLEA.

Lou Sander said...

Cheops is thought to have commissioned the Great Pyramid at Giza, but he wasn't buried there. None of the great pyramids served as burial sites for Egyptian kings. You can look it up. Or, you can watch Ancient Aliens. (And speaking of Ancient Aliens, the biggest unanswered question there is "Who does Giorgio's hair?" I know the answer: The AFLAC duck. (See one of his recent commercials.)

Bill Butler said...

@Lou Sander
Thanks for pointing out that fact about Cheops NOT being buried in the Great Pyramid of Giza. It prompted me to do some reading on the subject. It seems that it has indeed been quite a controversy for a long, long time.

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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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