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0923-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Sep 15, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael S. Maurer
THEME: Is It Football? … each of today’s themed answers are phrases used in football, but clued to an alternative meaning:
17A. Appetizer, usually? : FIRST DOWN
24A. Exile from? : KICK OFF
33A. "I am not guilty," e.g.? : DEFENSIVE LINE
50A. Cuba or North Korea? : RED ZONE
57A. Beauty queen bride, quaintly? : FAIR CATCH
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Composer Bartók : BELA
Bela Bartók was a composer and a pianist, and perhaps after Liszt is considered by many to be Hungary's greatest composer.

9. These, in San José : ESTOS
San José is the capital of the Central American country of Costa Rica.

14. The "A" of San Francisco's BART : AREA
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) serves the San Francisco Bay Area.

15. Country whose flag has a dagger and two swords : OMAN
The national flag of Oman is made up of three stripes (white, red and green) alongside a red bar which bears the national emblem of the country (a dagger and two swords).

20. Clay targets : SKEETS
There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:
- Skeet shooting
- Trap shooting
- Sporting clays

21. Where you might spend dinars for dinners : SERBIA
Serbia is a landlocked country in southeast Europe. After WWII, Serbia became one of several states making up the nation called Yugoslavia. Serbia became independent again in 2006 as Yugoslavia broke up after the declaration of independence by Montenegro.

The Dinar is the official currency in many countries, such as Iraq and Serbia. The Gold Dinar dates back to the early days of Islam, with the name deriving from the Roman currency called "denarius" meaning "ten times" (as it was originally a coin worth ten asses).

25. Record label for Kelly Clarkson and Miley Cyrus : RCA
Apparently singer Kelly Clarkson was the first winner of "American Idol". That’s all I know ...

Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character "Hannah Montana". Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter "Destiny Hope", but soon they themselves calling her "Smiley" as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute ...

26. "The only American invention as perfect as a sonnet," per H. L. Mencken : MARTINI
The name "martini" probably takes it name from the "Martini & Rossi" brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term "dry" has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noel Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by "filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy". The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

28. GPS part: Abbr. : SYS
Global Positioning System (GPS)

39. Eavesdrop, e.g. : SNOOP
To "eavesdrop" is to listen in on someone else's conversation without being invited to do so. The term comes from the practice of spies loitering in the area just outside the walls of a house, particularly in the "eavesdrip", the ground close to a house that catches the drips of rainwater falling from the eaves of the roof.

40. Deli purchase : NOVA
Nova lox is salmon that has been cured with a mild brine and then cold-smoked. The term originally applied to salmon from Nova Scotia.

49. Club ___ : MED
Club Méditerranée is usually referred to as “Club Med”. It is a French company that started in 1950 with a resort on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean. It was originally a "club" with annual membership dues. Now it is an operator of numerous all-inclusive resorts located all over the world.

50. Cuba or North Korea? : RED ZONE
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean. The exact etymology of the name “Cuba” seems a little unclear. Most believe “Cuba” to be derived from the Taíno terms for “where fertile land is abundant” (cubao) or “great place” (coabana).

Did you know that the official leader of North Korea is actually dead? Kim Jong-il carried out the responsibilities of the country's leader until his death in 2011, when his son Kim Jong-un took over. However, Kim Jong-il’s father Kim Il-sung (d. 1994) is designated in the North Korean constitution as "Eternal President".

52. Dance class wear : UNITARD
A unitard is like a leotard, except that it has long legs and sometime long sleeves. It wouldn’t be a good look for me ...

61. Best man's charge : RING
The term "best man" is Scottish in origin and has been used in English since the early 1800s when it replaced "groomsman".

62. Cassandra, in Greek myth : SEER
I think Cassandra is such a great name, translating from Greek as "she who entangles men". The Cassandra of Greek mythology was so beautiful that Apollo gave her the gift of prophecy. There is another story though, that she gained her gift as a seer by spending the night in Apollo's temple where snakes licked her ears clean so that she could hear the future. Ugh ...

65. Statue in London's Piccadilly Circus : EROS
London’s Piccadilly Circus is a major road junction in the West End of London. The junction is at one end of the thoroughfare called Piccadilly, hence the first part of the name. The junction’s shape is roughly circular, hence the use of “circus”, a Latin word meaning “circle”. Famously, there is a statue of Eros at the center of the junction.

Down
1. Battle of Britain grp. : RAF
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF's "finest hour" has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words:
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

2. "Entourage" agent Gold : ARI
Ari Gold is a fictional character in the HBO series "Entourage". "Entourage" tells the story of a rising film star, Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier), a native of New York but now learning to handle himself in Hollywood. Vincent's Hollywood agent is Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven.

5. Madre-y-padre store? : BODEGA
“Bodega” is the Spanish term for a winery, or these days for a grocery store. One might call a bodega a “ma-and-pa” shop, a “madre-y-padre” shop in Spanish.

7. Corpus juris contents : LAWS
Justinian the Great was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. Part of Justinian’s legacy is the “Corpus Juris Civilis”, the “Body of Civil Law” that forms the basis of modern civil law in many Western states.

8. Miller of "On the Town" and "Kiss Me Kate" : ANN
Ann Miller was a dancer and actress who appeared in several successful Hollywood musicals in the forties and fifties. The most famous of these were “Easter Parade” (1948), “On the Town” (1949) and “Kiss Me Kate” (1953).

“On the Town” is a Leonard Bernstein musical that premiered in 1944 on Broadway. The show is about three American sailors on shore leave in New York City during WWII. The most famous song from “On the Town” is the classic “New York, New York”. The stage show was made into a musical film in 1949 starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

"Kiss Me, Kate" is a musical written by Cole Porter first produced on Broadway in 1948. Cole Porter had a string of successes in the twenties and thirties including "Gay Divorce" and "Anything Goes", but he found his career in decline in the forties. "Kiss Me, Kate" proved to be a dramatic comeback, and was the only one of his shows that ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. Famously, “Kiss Me, Kate” is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”.

11. Powerful engines : TURBOS
A turbocharger is a device that is designed to extract more power out of an internal combustion engine. It does so by increasing the pressure of the air entering the intake. The pressure increase comes from the use of a compressor, which is cleverly powered by the engine's own exhaust gases.

12. Become fixed : OSSIFY
To ossify is to become rigid or inflexible in attitude. The original and alternative meaning of the verb is to cause to harden like bone, from the Latin “os” meaning “bone”.

18. Bulls or Bears : TEAM
The Chicago Bulls have won six NBA championships in the life of the franchise, all of them in the nineties. They won in the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons (a so-called “three-peat”), and then again in 1996, 1997 and 1998 (a second “three-peat”).

The Chicago Bears were founded in Decatur, Illinois in 1919 and moved to Chicago in 1921. The Bears are one of only two franchises in the NFL that were around at the time of the NFL’s founding (the other is the Arizona Cardinals, who were also based in Chicago in 1921).

22. Next year's alumni: Abbr. : SRS
An "alumnus" (plural ... alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is "alumna" (plural ... alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

24. Eastern European capital : KIEV
Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and a beautiful city, from what I’ve heard from friends who have visited ...

30. G.P.A. destroyers : EFS
Grade point average (GPA)

41. Cause of fidgeting, for short : ADD
The "official" name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as "attention deficit disorder" (ADD) is "attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder" (ADHD).

43. "Bal du Moulin de la Galette" painter : RENOIR
Renoir’s famous 1876 painting “Bal du Moulin de la Galette" depicts working class Parisians enjoying a Sunday afternoon drinking and dancing at the Montmartre restaurant Moulin de la Galette.

44. Norton AntiVirus target : ADWARE
Adware is “advertising-supported software”, an application that includes ads in some form so that the developed can generate revenue. Sometimes deceptive practices can be used to entice a user to install such programs, so adware can sometimes be classed as malware (malicious software).

Norton Antivirus software is produced by Symantec. The Norton brand name originated with Peter Norton Computing, a company that Symantec acquired in 1990. Peter Norton’s most famous product was Norton Utilities, and he never produced an antivirus application. Symantec decided to use the respected Norton brand for the antivirus product that it developed and introduced in 1991.

46. "The Imitation Game" subject : TURING
Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was deservedly well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film ...

51. Big name in jewelry : ZALES
The first Zales jewelry store was opened by Morris and William Zale and Ben Lipshy in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1924. Zales became successful largely by offering credit to their customers, a revolutionary concept at the time.

58. Fast Company profilee, for short : CEO
“Fast Company” is a business and technology magazine that was launched in 1995.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Engrossed : RAPT
5. Composer Bartók : BELA
9. These, in San José : ESTOS
14. The "A" of San Francisco's BART : AREA
15. Country whose flag has a dagger and two swords : OMAN
16. Reprimand in a movie theater : SHUSH!
17. Appetizer, usually? : FIRST DOWN
19. Analyze : PARSE
20. Clay targets : SKEETS
21. Where you might spend dinars for dinners : SERBIA
22. Pizza order : SAUSAGE
24. Exile from? : KICK OFF
25. Record label for Kelly Clarkson and Miley Cyrus : RCA
26. "The only American invention as perfect as a sonnet," per H. L. Mencken : MARTINI
28. GPS part: Abbr. : SYS
29. Agree (with) : SIDE
31. End of many a sports broadcast : RECAP
33. "I am not guilty," e.g.? : DEFENSIVE LINE
39. Eavesdrop, e.g. : SNOOP
40. Deli purchase : NOVA
42. Training ___ : BRA
45. Expunged : DELETED
49. Club ___ : MED
50. Cuba or North Korea? : RED ZONE
52. Dance class wear : UNITARD
54. How the spiritual look : INWARD
55. Car radio feature : PRESET
56. Hockey stat : GOALS
57. Beauty queen bride, quaintly? : FAIR CATCH
60. Personnel director's choice : HIREE
61. Best man's charge : RING
62. Cassandra, in Greek myth : SEER
63. Part of a bun : TRESS
64. Wild time : ORGY
65. Statue in London's Piccadilly Circus : EROS

Down
1. Battle of Britain grp. : RAF
2. "Entourage" agent Gold : ARI
3. Bring around : PERSUADE
4. To-do list items : TASKS
5. Madre-y-padre store? : BODEGA
6. One who acts badly : EMOTER
7. Corpus juris contents : LAWS
8. Miller of "On the Town" and "Kiss Me Kate" : ANN
9. Out of the ordinary : ESPECIAL
10. Reason for a beach closing : SHARK
11. Powerful engines : TURBOS
12. Become fixed : OSSIFY
13. Bundles : SHEAFS
18. Bulls or Bears : TEAM
21. Word before a year on a storefront : SINCE
22. Next year's alumni: Abbr. : SRS
23. Word before test or trip : ACID
24. Eastern European capital : KIEV
27. Hogwash : TRIPE
30. G.P.A. destroyers : EFS
32. Wrestling win : PIN
34. Backs : ENDORSES
35. Ceaselessly : NO END
36. Kind of beneficiary : SOLE
37. "Don't worry about it" : NO MATTER
38. At least once : EVER
41. Cause of fidgeting, for short : ADD
42. Intelligent : BRIGHT
43. "Bal du Moulin de la Galette" painter : RENOIR
44. Norton AntiVirus target : ADWARE
46. "The Imitation Game" subject : TURING
47. Vigor : ENERGY
48. Alternative to a download : DISC
51. Big name in jewelry : ZALES
53. Bring up an embarrassing story about, say : TEASE
55. One plus one : PAIR
57. Big do : FRO
58. Fast Company profilee, for short : CEO
59. Storefront listing: Abbr. : HRS


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2 comments :

Willie D said...

Nice grid. Only wish I'd picked up the theme quicker...it IS football season after all.

Anonymous said...

This one just didn't "occur to me" even as I finished it. Had 3 errors, caused by that horrid wordplay of "FIRST DOWN". An unseemly 18:24

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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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