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0725-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Jul 15, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin G. Der
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 38m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Items in a robotics kit : SERVOS
A “servomechanism” (also “servo”) is a control system in which usually a hydraulic or pneumatic arm or plunger is actuated by a low-energy signal received from a sensor. An example is the device operating the cruise control on a car. The servo pushes the gas pedal to accelerate and lets off to slow down. The signal to the servo comes from the speedometer.

15. Citizen Kane's affliction : EGOMANIA
"Citizen Kane" was the first film made by Orson Welles, one considered by many to be the finest film ever made. It's a remarkable achievement by Wells, as he played the lead, and also produced and directed. Despite all the accolades for "Citizen Kane" over the decades, the movie was far from a commercial success in its early run and actually lost money at the box office.

16. "Begone," to Shakespeare : AROINT
“Aroint” is an archaic word meaning “begone”. Shakespeare uses the term in both “King Lear” and in “Macbeth”. The line in Macbeth is “Aroint thee, witch!”

18. Sunday hangover remedy : MIMOSA
Where I come from, the cocktail known in North America as a mimosa is called a Buck's Fizz, named after the club where it was introduced in 1921. The mimosa came along a few years later, apparently first being served in the Paris Ritz. If you want to make a mimosa, it's a 50-50 mix of champagne and orange juice, and it is very tasty ...

22. With 30-Down, object of a hunt : HOLY
(30D. See 22-Across : GRAIL)
The Holy Grail is theme found throughout Arthurian legend. The grail itself is some vessel, with the term “grail” coming from the Old French “graal” meaning “cup or bowl made of earth, wood or metal”. Over time, the legend of the Holy Grail became mingled with stories of the Holy Chalice of the Christian tradition, the cup used to serve wine at the Last Supper. Over time, the term “grail” came to be used for any desired or sought-after object.

23. 1978 Olivier Award winner : EVITA
"Evita" was the followup musical to "Jesus Christ Superstar" for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). For the original album's cast they chose Irish singer Colm Wilkinson (or C. T. Wilkinson, as we know him back in Ireland) to play "Che", the narrator of the piece.

The Laurence Olivier Award is the British equivalent to Broadway’s Tony Award, and is presented to recognize excellence in theatre in London’s West End. The Oliviers were inaugurated in 1976 as the Society of West End Theatre Awards and were renamed to honor British actor Laurence Olivier in 1984.

Laurence Olivier has to be one of the most respected actors to come out of England in the 20th century. He had tremendous impact on stage and screen, and was never short of work on either side of the Atlantic. While working in the British film industry just before WWII, Olivier met actress Vivien Leigh. The two were already married but started an affair. Olivier travelled to Hollywood as he was cast as Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights", his big break in Hollywood. Leigh followed him, and found herself cast as Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind". The couple took Hollywood by storm, and eventually unraveled their prior marriages so that they could wed, in 1940.

26. Loaded things? : BASES
Those would be the bases loaded in baseball.

32. Spots for roughnecks : OIL RIGS
A roughneck is a crew member on an oil rig.

33. Trinket : BIBELOT
“Bibelot” is a French word for a trinket, a knickknack, and a word that we imported into English.

34. Shaped like Skittles : OBLATE
Something that is described as having an "oblate" shape is spherical, slightly depressed at top and bottom, just like the Earth for example. A more extreme example of an oblate shape is an M&M.

Skittles are chewy, fruit-flavored candies that resemble M&Ms in appearance (to me, anyway).

35. Modern composer's constructions : TONE ROWS
Tone rows are series of non-repeating tones, usually of twelve notes. Tone rows are important in the twelve-note technique introduced and used by Arnold Schoenberg. I’m not a big fan …

36. "Les ___ Cloches" (Edith Piaf hit) : TROIS
“Les Trois Cloches” (The Three Bells) is a Swiss song that became one of the biggest hits for French chanteuse Edith Piaf.

"La Môme Piaf" (the little sparrow) was the nickname of France’s most famous singer, Édith Piaf. What a voice this woman had, and what gorgeous ballads she sang. Édith Piaf lived a life that was not without controversy. She was raised by her mother in a brothel in Normandy, and had a pimp as a boyfriend in her teens. She had one child, while very young, born illegitimately and who died at 2-years-old from meningitis. Her singing career started when she was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée. Leplée was murdered soon after, and Piaf was accused of being an accessory to the murder but was later acquitted. During World War II she was branded a traitor by many as she frequently performed for the German occupying forces, although there are other reports of her supporting the resistance movement. Later in her life she was seriously injured in no less than three, near-fatal car accidents, including one with her friend, Charles Aznavour. While recovering from her injuries she became addicted to pain medication, an addiction that lasted for the rest of her life. When she died in 1963 she was denied a Catholic funeral mass because of her lifestyle, but the crowds that turned out for her funeral procession managed to stop all traffic in Paris, the only time that has happened since the end of WWII.

40. San ___ : FRAN
As I live in the Bay Area, I should point out that the locals don’t take too kindly to the names “San Fran” or “Frisco” for San Francisco. The term most used by those in the know is “the City”.

44. Neighbor of Norma : ARA
The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for "altar".

The constellation of Norma is said to depict carpenter’s square or a set square. The name “Norma” is Latin for “normal”, a reference to the constellation’s prevalent right angle.

47. They're over two feet : TIBIAS
The tibia is the shin bone, the larger of the two bones right below the knee. The tibia is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. "Tibia" is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

51. Beverage in a pear-shaped bottle, ironically : ORANGINA
Orangina is a citrus drink that originated in France and is very popular in Europe. Despite the name, Orangina contains a lot more than just orange juice, but also lemon, mandarin and grapefruit.

Down
2. Northern hemisphere? : IGLOO
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".

3. Capital of Iraq's Nineveh province : MOSUL
Mosul lies in northern Iraq and is the third largest city in the country, after Baghdad and Basra.

4. The Eagles of the N.C.A.A. : EMORY
Emory is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school's founding in 1836.

5. TV character whose middle name is JoJo : BART
Bart Simpson is the main character in television’s “The Simpsons”. Bart’s name was chosen by the writers as it is an anagram of “brat”. Bart is voiced by actress and comedian Nancy Cartwright.

8. Sting, e.g. : BASSIST
Sting is the stage name used by Gordon Sumner, who came to fame initially as the lead singer for The Police. Off stage, Sting is an avid chess player, and he once participated in an exhibition game with chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

9. Home to the so-called "happy people" : SAMOA
The official name for the South Pacific country formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. "Samoa" is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

10. ___ Andrews, co-host of "Dancing With the Stars" : ERIN
Erin Andrews is a sports reporter. I don’t watch much in the line of sports but I do know Ms. Andrews for her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. She did quite well and made it to the final of the show. And now, she is the shows co-host alongside Tom Bergeron.

12. Feature of Berlioz's symphony "Harold en Italie" : VIOLA SOLO
“Harold en Italie” (Harold in Italy) is Hector Berlioz’s second symphony, and was written in 1834. The work started out as a viola solo, requested by renowned violinist and violist Niccolò Paganini. Paganini had just acquired a Stradivarius viola and wanted a new work to showcase the instrument, and so approached Berlioz. The anticipated solo work involved the orchestra to such an extent that Paganini walked away from the project. The final composition is a symphony with four movements and an extensive part for solo viola.

20. "___ Magic," Doris Day hit : IT’S
Doris Day first sang “It’s Magic” in the movie “Romance on the High Seas” in 1947. That film was the first big screen appearance for Ms. Day.

The actress and singer Doris Day was born Doris Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio. Day made more than 650 recordings as a singer with Columbia Records, and also appeared in 39 movies. Outside the world of entertainment, she has been an ardent supporter of animal rights. She now lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California, along with her many pets and stray animals that she has adopted over the years.

24. Four-bagger : TATER
Apparently, a baseball has long been referred to as a potato, or a "tater". In the seventies, a long ball started to be called a "long tater", and from this a home run became a "tater".

25. Derby folks : BRITS
Derby is a city in the East Midlands of England. It is considered to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution is was home to Lombe’s Mill, the first fully-mechanized factory in the world.

26. Members of la famille : BEBES
In French, a baby (bébé) is a member of the family (la famille).

27. Dog washers? : FOOTBATHS
“Dogs” is a slang term for feet. I couldn’t find out the etymology though …

28. Marian's occupation in "The Music Man" : LIBRARIAN
“The Music Man” is a musical by Meredith Willson. The show was a big hit on Broadway in 1957. “The Music Man” won the first ever Grammy Award for the “Best Original Cast Album”.

29. Kosher : ALLOWABLE
According to Jewish dietary law, "kosher" food is "fit" to eat, and food that is not kosher is called "treif" (or tref).

33. Some sports figures : BOX SCORE
In baseball, the line square is a summary set of statistics for the game. It is seen at every baseball stadium, and includes the number of runs scored by each team per innings, as well as the total number of hits and errors. The more comprehensive box score includes the line score, but also shows the individual performance of each player.

37. 1989 Broadway monodrama : TRU
"Tru" was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote's New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn't happen until three years later, in 1978.

39. Subject of the biography "All His Jazz" : FOSSE
Bob Fosse won more Tony Awards for choreography than anyone else, a grand total of eight (and another Tony for direction). Fosse also won an Oscar for Best Director for his 1972 movie "Cabaret", even beating out the formidable Francis Ford Coppola who was nominated that same year for "The Godfather".

42. Lotus position, for one : ASANA
"Asana" is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "sitting down". The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called "padmasana".

43. Traditional birthplace of Buddhism : NEPAL
Siddhartha Gautama is said to have been born in 623 BCE in Lumbini in modern-day Nepal. Gautama achieved enlightenment some 35 years later and became Gautama Buddha, and founded Buddhism.

45. Performer at 1963's March on Washington : BAEZ
Joan Baez is an American folk singer and a prominent activist in the fields of non-violence, civil rights, human rights and environmental protection. Baez has dated some high-profile figures in her life including Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs (of Apple) and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.

1963’s March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies in the history of the US, with about a quarter of a million people participating in the march itself. The rally was a call for civil and economic rights for African Americans. Famously, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech to the protesters while standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

46. ___ teeth : HEN’S
Something might be described as “scarcer than hen’s teeth”, as hens don’t have teeth at all!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. One waiting to go off : TIME BOMB
9. Items in a robotics kit : SERVOS
15. Citizen Kane's affliction : EGOMANIA
16. "Begone," to Shakespeare : AROINT
17. Losers : ALSO-RANS
18. Sunday hangover remedy : MIMOSA
19. Hoopster's playmaking ability : COURT VISION
21. Synchronization problem : LAG
22. With 30-Down, object of a hunt : HOLY
23. 1978 Olivier Award winner : EVITA
24. Minstrel's offering : TALE
25. Majors, e.g. : BRASS
26. Loaded things? : BASES
27. Glaring : FLAGRANT
31. Sloppy kiss : WET ONE
32. Spots for roughnecks : OIL RIGS
33. Trinket : BIBELOT
34. Shaped like Skittles : OBLATE
35. Modern composer's constructions : TONE ROWS
36. "Les ___ Cloches" (Edith Piaf hit) : TROIS
37. Contacts, modern-style : TEXTS
38. Experience catharsis, in a way : BAWL
39. Impudent : FRESH
40. San ___ : FRAN
44. Neighbor of Norma : ARA
45. It's blown up at a carnival : BOUNCE HOUSE
47. They're over two feet : TIBIAS
49. Stopgap for an energy shortage : POWER NAP
50. Match parts : HALVES
51. Beverage in a pear-shaped bottle, ironically : ORANGINA
52. Something you close your eyes for : SNEEZE
53. Notation on an envelope : PERSONAL

Down
1. Lecture, say : TEACH
2. Northern hemisphere? : IGLOO
3. Capital of Iraq's Nineveh province : MOSUL
4. The Eagles of the N.C.A.A. : EMORY
5. TV character whose middle name is JoJo : BART
6. As a rule : ON AVERAGE
7. Sliding door locales : MINIVANS
8. Sting, e.g. : BASSIST
9. Home to the so-called "happy people" : SAMOA
10. ___ Andrews, co-host of "Dancing With the Stars" : ERIN
11. DVD-___ : ROM
12. Feature of Berlioz's symphony "Harold en Italie" : VIOLA SOLO
13. Available for purchase : ON SALE NOW
14. Theater designs : STAGE SETS
20. "___ Magic," Doris Day hit : IT’S
24. Four-bagger : TATER
25. Derby folks : BRITS
26. Members of la famille : BEBES
27. Dog washers? : FOOTBATHS
28. Marian's occupation in "The Music Man" : LIBRARIAN
29. Kosher : ALLOWABLE
30. See 22-Across : GRAIL
31. Ultimately prevail : WIN THE WAR
33. Some sports figures : BOX SCORE
35. Music on Radio Disney : TEEN POP
37. 1989 Broadway monodrama : TRU
39. Subject of the biography "All His Jazz" : FOSSE
40. Give up : FORGO
41. Altercation : RUN-IN
42. Lotus position, for one : ASANA
43. Traditional birthplace of Buddhism : NEPAL
45. Performer at 1963's March on Washington : BAEZ
46. ___ teeth : HEN’S
48. "___ had it!" : I’VE


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3 comments :

BruceB said...

29:33, no errors. A lot of vague associations and new terms (for me, anyway). AROINT, BIBELOT, TONE ROW and ORANGINA are all new additions to my vocabulary. Good, tough puzzle. Didn't appear solvable until, bit by bit, it fell apart.

Dave Kennison said...

A hard puzzle for me. No errors, but it took eons to finish. (Perhaps it just felt that way ... :-). At the end, I spent at least twenty minutes staring at BIBELOT, TATER, and TONE ROWS, trying without success to find alternatives that made better sense; ultimately, I gave up and was quite surprised to find out that my guesses were right. ORANGINA was also completely new to me, but AROINT stirred at least a couple of brain cells (probably ones that have lain dormant since the last time I tangled with Shakespeare). All in all, another good Saturday tussle ...

Anonymous said...

I don't know who the "we" is that imported "BIBELOT" from any language; a new one on me. Also, clues like 37 ACROSS.... pretty cynical. You have to be able to find a clue that's more evocative than that. I only got about 75% of this puzzle but don't really feel bad. Between BIBELOT and BOUNCEHOUSE and BOXSCORE (which is NOT a sports *figure*, WTF with *that* clue??) this puzzle was **made** unsolvable by the usual culprit: Old Grinch Shortz' evil editing.

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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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